A few years ago, we had a chance to travel to San Diego, California. That trip is still a family favorite---even if I suffered a bit of a glitch just before we left. Since that's an interesting story in and of itself, I thought I would share it with you today. =)
We had been planning this trip for several weeks. Our sons were thrilled with the idea of exploring Sea World. As was mentioned in a previous blog, I love the ocean and I was excited to see it for what would be the second time in my life. We also thought since we were that close, it would be great to see Tijuana, Mexico, which is just across the border from San Diego.
As we continued to make plans, we decided to invite my mother. She had never seen the ocean and she had always wanted to fly, so we made additional plans to include her in this adventure.
Two nights before we were to fly out of the Salt Lake Airport, I made the mistake of participating in a city league volleyball tournament. Actually, that wasn't my mistake. I had played with this particular volleyball team for years. It was a lot of fun. We called ourselves the Bennington Beauties, and we were. =) During the night in question, as we played in our first game of the evening, I twisted my ankle. It wasn't too bad, just a slight sprain. I figured I would be fine (not one of my better decisions) and I continued to play. As I went after a ball that came flying my direction, I slipped on that weakened ankle, and tore up the ligaments on both sides of my right ankle.
From the way the thing swelled up, everyone thought it was broken. I was taken to the emergency room of the local hospital for x-rays. Long story short, the ankle wasn't broken, but I had sustained a really nasty sprain. It was so bad, my doctor wanted us to cancel our trip. We had a little discussion and I proved to be more stubborn than he was. He got even. I had to spend the first couple of days in California in a wheelchair. Nice. My ankle was placed in a walking boot and I was given a pair of crutches to take along on our trip.
It wasn't bad flying to San Diego. And we found our motel without too much difficulty. We had rented a mini-van during our stay in California and my husband did a great job of driving us around.
Visiting Sea World while in a wheelchair was not my idea of a fun time, but we tried to make the best of it. My mother pushed me around for a bit as my husband and sons rode a couple of the rides located in the park. =) Then it was off to see Shamu. I was excited to see this show. And it did live up to my expectations. There was only one problem---the wheelchair. I was pushed to a special booth that provided a great view of the show for wheelchair bound individuals . . . until about 8 kids crowded in front of me. Then I couldn't see a thing. I asked them politely if they could please move somewhere else, and they ignored me. I learned during this experience that there are a lot of people in this world who show great disrespect to people in wheelchairs. Not cool. My husband, who was sitting nearby, caught on to what was happening, and he took care of things for me. ;) After the kids moved, I snapped the picture of Shamu that you can see at the beginning of this blog. The rest of the show was great, even if we did look like drowned rats at the end, as you can see in the picture below. Not only did we get splashed on by the stars of the Shamu Show, but it rained on us a bit, too.
We had one other adventure involving the lovely wheelchair----after seeing Shamu's show, everyone was starved. So we set off to find a place to eat in Sea World. It didn't take my boys long to find a small restaurant that served hamburgers. Son # 2 was pushing me around at the time. He pushed me up the hill toward the hamburger joint and then, caught up in the excitement of eating, he left me, forgetting to lock the brakes on the wheelchair. I found myself living a moment seen in comedies---my wheelchair began rolling backwards down the hill. Luckily, Derek caught on before we had a tragedy. He ran as fast as he could and caught me before I tipped over. =) Good times.
We loved the weather in San Diego. It was around 70 degrees the entire time we were there. Since it was still winter back in Bear Lake, my entire family loved the warmer temperatures. The ocean was awesome. We visited it the next day, when I no longer had to use a wheelchair---just crutches.
Old Town San Diego was fascinating. There are a lot of craft stores, including a glass-blowing business that sells all kinds of vases, glass animals, etc. My mother and I watched, intrigued as the owner of the shop made a glass vase utilizing a metal pipe and molten glass. Naturally, we each had to purchase something from this great shop. =) A souvenir of a wonderful afternoon. Later, we met up with my husband and sons for an old-fashioned milkshake made with real ice cream.
We didn't have time to see everything that San Diego offered. We spent one afternoon in Tijuana, which I'll talk about in a future blog. We spent another exploring San Diego itself. We ate delicious fresh seafood one night in a fancy restaurant called The San Diego Pier Cafe. It's part of a fun area near the ocean called Seaport Village. Seaport Village contains a ton of little shops that are full of neat souvenirs. Again, we ran out of time before we saw everything it had to offer.
I would love to go back to San Diego again sometime, minus the crutches and wheelchair. ;) But I'm not sure we would have any more fun than we did during those few days when we experienced San Diego under "entertaining conditions." ;)
Incidentally, my book, "Moment of Truth," features several scenes that take place in San Diego. The adventures described are fiction, but the settings and descriptions are based on what I saw while visiting this beautiful city.
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