Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Diego

Last week my husband attended an SAE convention in San Diego and my son and I tagged along for a mini vacation. We lined up the suitcases in the living room before loading them into the car for the drive to the airport.  Guess who ended up with the smallest bag!?   How did that happen???!  No wonder I didn't have room for my regular size sewing kit!

Since the hotel we stayed at was convenient to public transportation we opted to ride bus and trolley to our destinations rather then renting a car and driving. We discovered San Diego is very "green".  Their buses run on natural gas and the trolleys are electric.

This is one of the natural gas powered buses.  This one is a double length bus.  That center gray accordion area allows the bus to "bend" in the middle to turn city street corners.  It is strange to be sitting inside and watching the seats in the accordion area turn

Through some hydraulic wizardry these buses also kneel down low to the curb and open up a folding ramp to allow wheel chairs and other handicap equipment to roll on.  They are also equipped with bike racks on the front of the bus for riders who bike to the bus stops.

The electric trolleys were mostly red, but occasionally one like this would roll by.  I think this one was advertising a bar-b-que place.  

We visited Balboa Park where multiple gardens and museums were located. 
The science museum was a big hit with all the "hands on" exhibits.

The tiles in the garden fountains show designs that would make beautiful quilts!

And I enjoyed the sculptured facades on many of the buildings.

 There was a bird rescue group set up with several different birds available for adoption to the right family. This little guy climbed up and helped himself to a free lunch while the girl was talking about the birds.  She was totally clueless, so I asked her what that furry tailed bird was.  She looked puzzled, turned around and said... Oh my!  LOL!

The flowers located in the gardens were awesome.  I especially loved the orchids in the tropical garden area.

We spent one day exploring the San Diego Zoo.   We started with the guided tour bus to see the different areas of this 120 acre zoo and decide where we wanted to spend our time.  We walked through some of the front areas and then took the sky rail to the back to see the polar bears, pandas and African section. 

One of the park guides mentioned that on his first day working at the zoo a complete set of whale bones was found while excavating for a new section of the park.  Several of the plaques near the live animals displayed information about extinct relatives.  The fake bones interested Matthew so the next day we went back to Balboa Park and the Natural History Museum to see and learn more about bones and ancient animals.

Mountain Lion
There were many displays with different sized skulls... and this one showed skulls from different animals with the same parts.

It was a busy, fun filled four days and we are now home and back to work.  Hubby says next year's conference is in Jacksonville, FL.... I hope we can tag along on that trip and do more exploring!