Friday, March 20, 2009

Last day in San Diego - Balboa Park

In downtown San Diego, there is a great park, Balboa Park. It is where the San Diego Zoo is located, along with numerous museums and gardens. It is a beautiful place and you could easily spend several days there and not see everything. We decided to go do a little exploring before heading home from San Diego and decided that Balboa Park was the perfect location. We enjoyed a little lunch and some of the gardens. It was a perfect way to spend our last day in San Diego before hitting the road.

Poor Lizzie was always strapped into something. She was a trooper. She was probably the happiest to return home, so she could explore on the floor to hearts content.

They have a rose garden that I am sure is magnificent when in full bloom. There were some blooms, but not a whole lot. I love the smell of fresh roses.

Camilla and Luke posing in the cactus garden.

Chris and Lizzie
An interesting "cactus tree" with a hollowed out trunk.

These flowers were all over in San Diego (especially along the freeways). They must be a good ground cover. Very bright and vibrant.

Lizzie, Camilla, Luke, and Kelly

The architecture of the buildings was beautiful (and Chris's favorite shot--from behind).

Luke and Camilla enjoyed watching the Koi fish.

The botanical garden had a lot of interesting flowers and plants. They had a little "touching garden" where you could have a hands on experience. A lot of herbs to rub your fingers on and smell the plants (spearmint, rosemary, basil, lavender, etc.). The most interesting to me where the leaves of a variety of geraniums. There were apple scented, lemon scented, lime scented, vanilla scented, among others. Who knew? The kids spent quite a bit of time in this part of the garden.

Camilla posing in front of another fountain.

Luke and Camilla loved the "rocky mountains" we drove through. They were interested in the huge rocks.

Luke on the drive home. He finally gave in to his exhaustion.

Camilla was a BIG helper in the car. She helped with both Luke and Lizzie. The last hour of the trip, Lizzie had had enough and Camilla tried everything to help pacify her. She was a great big sister and helper to her mom and dad.
We had a great time in San Diego, but as with any vacation, it was great to get home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Visit with Aunt Catherine and Uncle Nick and Camilla loses her first tooth

On Sunday, we drove up to Ramona to visit Chris's Aunt Catherine (Norton) and Uncle Nick. We also visited with Chris's cousin Brady and his family, who live next door. Camilla and Luke made themselves at home and enjoyed playing with Brady's daughter, Jaclynn. Aunt Catherine made us a lovely dinner of chicken, rice, stuffing, and jello. You'll have to ask Chris about his new "favorite" jello salad (I'll give you a hint, it involved lemon jello, some crushed pineapple, cucumbers and a little onion. Apparently, it was one that Grandma Norton used to make, but it wasn't one Chris remembered. Chris requested that Aunt Catherine make it for his dad when he comes to visit in a few weeks.) We had a good visit. Can you believe Uncle Nick will be 96 this summer? Doesn't he look great?
Playing Lincoln Logs

Camilla discovered her first loose tooth a few weeks ago. She has been working on it ever since. She was showing it off at Aunt Catherine's, and Jodi told her that Aunt Catherine had a lot of practice pulling teeth (from all of her years teaching). Aunt Catherine told Camilla she would see if it was ready to come out and pulled it out. Camilla was a little nervous with the blood, but was excited to lose her first tooth. (Luke decided he didn't want to lose any teeth ever).
Camilla showing off her tooth.

Do you see the little gap?

Camilla with Aunt Catherine

Camilla sound asleep, awaiting the tooth fairy. Don't you love the crossed arms? The tooth fairy did find her. She left her a note with $5 (a $2 bill and 3 ones) and a pack of gum. She was thrilled.

Luke tuckered out. He would fall asleep in the car while we were going to get dinner, and then wouldn't want to go to sleep. Luckily, this day, he got his nap in on our way to Ramona in the early afternoon.

Lizzie sleeping in her own bed.

Ferry ride from Coronado Island

We took a ferry ride from Coronado to San Diego Port and then back to San Diego. It was a fun way to see down town San Diego. Coronado is a neat place to visit too. I wish we had more time to explore Coronado. It would have been neat to tour the battleship too. Maybe on our next trip.
The Norton's getting ready for our trip back to Coronado.

Lukey Luke



There were quite a few sailboats and yachts in the San Diego Bay.

Phil the Sea Lion sunning himself.

A Navy ship that you can tour in the bay.

We pulled in to dock between two cruise ships. They were massive.

People were boarding this cruise ship.

U.S. Coast Guard boat

Naval Security, the Prowler

Spring Break - Phil's BBQ

Chris and I enjoyed the baby back ribs. Yum.

The yummy onion rings, served with ranch dressing.

Camilla and Luke had some boneless chicken. Also very tasty.

Chris enjoying a rib.

Camilla enjoying her lunch.

Luke loving his root beer.

Lizzie trying to get her hands on some BBQ.

If you know Chris, you know he takes his BBQ/meat seriously. He knows what he likes and he can cook it too. We lived in Texas, so we have eaten a lot of BBQ (in too many hole in the wall type of places). One night when we were headed to dinner, we passed Phil's BBQ. Now, most places in this area had an obvious wait outside of their doors, but at Phil's, the line came out the door, down the front of the building, and wrapped clear around the other side of the building. Of course, Chris thought he needed to check them out, so the next day, we ventured there for lunch. Luckily, we arrived when the line was just barely out the door, so our wait wasn't too long.

At Phil's BBQ, you order when you first walk in. They give you a buzzer and you wait to pounce on a table, as you see someone clearing out (much like the Cafe Rio concept). Thankfully, we were able to pounce quickly. Our server, Kenny, was energetic and upbeat and apologizes for not having the table cleaned off quickly enough (we did kick the people out of their booth, what were we expecting?). Our food was done relatively quickly, and was brought out by one of the managers. He saw that the chicken we ordered was for the kids and said that if the BBQ sauce was too hot to let him know and he would bring out another order without the sauce (very accommodating). The sauce was great, so we didn't need him to do that. We were all very happy with our meal (Chris and I enjoyed the baby back ribs and the kiddos had some chicken). Chris declared it about the best barbecue he has had, so that is high praise. Next time, we will likely try something else (the roasted chicken, the brisket sandwich, the pulled pork sandwich, lots of choices). So, if you find yourself in San Diego, we highly recommend Phil's BBQ, and if you find yourself in AZ, I highly recommend Chris's BBQ!