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  • Writer's pictureJon Watkins

San Diego- Lego Land, SeaWorld and the Zoo...oh my

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

San Diego with the kids! SeaWorld has changed a lot over the years and seems to be more ride focused than ever before. Lego Land is the perfect amusement park for young children. And the San Diego Zoo is a classic! Although you better love hiking up hills. Have you been on the USS Midway? It is an experience everyone should do once. If you're looking to travel on a budget, spend the day at Balboa Parl. Plus, our favorite restaurant "George's at the Cove" is a must.

Transcribed from our Podcast:

Jon: This is the first episode that we've done where we're not drinking wine.

Jen: I'm drinking tea. That's where I'm at right now

Jon: What vintage is that tea that you're sipping on over there.

Jen: This is a 2021 sleepy time.

Jon: Oh, what a good year,

Jen: Right?

Jon: Absolutely.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Why are we having tea instead of wine? It's a drinking wine talking about travel podcasts.

Jen: I know.

Jon: That's what we do.

Jen: I know, well, we could have not recorded the podcast.

Jon: We almost didn't

Jen: We just got back from Vegas

Jon: Yeah, and we're dragging.

Jen: We're dragging. You know what? I don't even feel like I'm hung over as much as sleep deprived

Jon: I think we just stayed up really late for us. Like most people would be normal, but you and I are used to going to bed like at 8:00 PM.

Jen: And that's not an exaggeration actually.

Jon: And we stayed up until midnight.

Jen: Actually, we stayed up until four.

Jon: Yea we did, yea we did. So, if this is your first episode, usually we drink wine. We talk about the wine we're drinking, and then we tell travel stories. Each week's a different travel adventure. We're married, my name is John and Jen is the one sipping on tea...

Jen: Hello.

Jon: Next to me. But again, we went to Vegas for an upcoming episode.

Jen: Yes TBD.

Jon: Can't wait to share about how you can go to Vegas without a driver’s license, because that happened. But that'll be for the future. I do want to do a quick beg if you have not reviewed our podcast.

Jen: Yes please.

Jon: Yeah. And thank you for everyone who has already done it. Fantastic. That's if you're listening on iTunes, of course. If you're listening on Spotify, just tell a friend, share it, just follow us on Instagram.

Jen: Write something.

Jon: Something like that.

Jen: Write something nice.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. Don't be mean

Jen: maybe like a photo on Instagram.

Jon: We're doing this for you when we're dragging.

Jen: I know

Jon: All right. Before we talk about San Diego, I want to tell you about a new podcast that I found, you know, something that you and I talk about a lot is that even though you are unique, your life experiences.

Jen: Yes [inaudible02:04].

Jon: Yeah, other people can go through very similar situations and I found this podcast. And when I tell you about it, I know you're going to think, oh, that seems a little hard, but I think it's beautiful. It's called 'Making Lemonade'. And it's about these two parents who both lost a child in 2017, separate. Yeah. And they felt inspired to share with others, like their journey of grief. And then they share stories of other people and the trials they're going through. So, I mean, there's anxiety and spouse loss and, and they just hope to bring light to those when life is hard, you know, it could be relatable still and you know that someone else is going through it.

Jen: That is beautiful

Jon: So, yeah, thank you to Making Lemonade podcasts for supporting our podcast as well. All right. San Diego, are we talking San Diego party time or San Diego with kids?

Jen: San Diego with the children.

Jon: Okay. So, it’s a different trip. There's two different ways to do San Diego. One is to go there for like say a bachelor party or a bachelorette party. Yep. The other way is with your children and you go to all the theme parks. Yes. That's really what it's all about. Right. And so, this is San Diego with kids. And of course, if you say San Diego SeaWorld...

Jen: SeaWorld,

Jon: That's like what you think of.

Jen: Lego Land.

Jon: Yeah. With those [mumbling 03:18] the San Diego Zoo, that's it?

Jen: Yep.

Jon: I went to SeaWorld, right when Blackfish came out, do you remember that documentary?

Jen: Yes, I remember it.

Jon: And I didn't see it yet. And we went down there actually for a wedding and I had the kids for the day and I went to SeaWorld and there were protesters everywhere. And I didn't know why they were protesting. So, I had to go back and watch Blackfish afterwards.

Jen: Why would you do that?

Jon: It was terrible. I mean, it was a great movie, but it made me feel so bad that I went to SeaWorld.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: Flash forward went again.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: So, it didn't stick with me.

Jen: Nope.

Jon: And I feel like SeaWorld is trying to get away from the, hey, look, we have a bunch of fish in tanks. To more, like, look at all these rides we're building

Jen: Also, a lot of like, research. Like, they're all about the education there. Like even the Shamu show

Jon: It’s not even a Shamu show anymore, no.

Jen: It was all about,

Jon: Oh, it’s boring

Jen: It’s like learning bout like their habitat, you know, it was very few cool tricks that they used to do. Like, I grew up going to see SeaWorld, like I remember original the OG.

Jon: The original Shamu before Shamu started eating people. Yeah. And now they just let this big Orca swim around. It's just, it's actually more sad. I would rather see the Orca do tricks. Than see this Orca just do laps in the pool with no trainer while they have this voiceover being like the Orca, a majestic sea animal. Like it was terrible.

Jen: But all the exhibits are like that. All of them are very educational. I thought they were really cool though. I enjoyed the time at SeaWorld.

Jon: Did you?

Jen: Yes.

Jon: I thought it was fine. I don't know. Like once you get rid of that, what's the point of going to Sea world?

Jen: You could still like the sting rays and you could still touch the fish and stuff

Jon: You can get that at the aquarium here.

Jen: I know, but its SeaWorld.

Jon: Wild Arctic is a cool thing that SeaWorld has. You get to go on a ride that's like the line. And then you go down and you get to see a Beluga whale, which is like the coolest thing ever, or a Narwhal.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Like, that's awesome.

Jen: Is it a Narwhal though? `

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: No,

Jon: I'm pretty sure.

Jen: We should really start to research before we do this.

Jon: And actually, I do remember this, they're doing this new thing where you can like, have encounters with these animals.

Jen: Oh yeah. I saw that. That would have been cool.

Jon: I wanted a photo of me hugging a Beluga.

Jen: I don’t think that you could actually do that, but it would have been cool to do something,

Jon: It had something like that you could make out with a Beluga.

Jen: No,

Jon: No.

Jen: [inaudible05:56].

Jon: It was something where it's very sensual.

Jen: Okay [crosstalk05:58].

Jon: You can have a romantic dinner with a Beluga whale and for the right price, you can hunt one, SeaWorld desperate.

Jen: Oh my God...

Jon: Liam loved... remember that ride he went on, what was it called? The Manta ray?

Jen: Yes.

Jon: That was like the, I don't know...

Jen: It was a Rollercoaster.

Jon: Yeah. That one was fun. And then Shipwreck rapids was...

Jen: Oh, like the...

Jon: It's like, whatever the amusement park has; the raft and then there's a waterfall that falls on you at a time like that so that's Sea world. I think SeaWorld is adapting. They're changing. And I can't wait to go back in a few years and see what new rollercoasters they have.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: And what boring Sea life exhibits.

Jen: Oh, I thought it was cool.

Jon: No, it was cool.

Jen: I would go back. I would definitely go back to SeaWorld.

Jon: What about Lego land?

Jen: You know, I had never been there before that was like our first time we went and I thought it was actually pretty cool.

Jon: I thought it was awesome.

Jen: Like if your kids are into Legos at all,

Jon: What kid isn’t.

Jen: Right?

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: It was pretty sweet and all ages really more geared towards younger children,

Jon: [inaudible07:05] I wouldn’t take a teen to Lego land.

Jen: No, you're right. Not teenagers, but if you've got like really little ones, like two,

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: There was like little rides for like tiny ones. And then there was rides for like Liam and Ella

Jon: Right? I think past 10, maybe. No, I don't see me taking a 12-year-old or a 14-year-old to Lego land. It's not as exciting,

Jen: Probably not.

Jon: But for the kids, it was like, perfect.

Jen: No yeah.

Jon: We're big fans of the Lego movies like Batman. They have a hotel which we did not stay at.

Jen: No, we didn’t stay there.

Jon: They have a waterpark that we did not visit.

Jen: Nope.

Jon: And they have an aquarium that we did not go to either.

Jen: They also have an aquarium?

Jon: Yeah, so they have a lot of stuff that we did not do.

Jen: Oh, I didn’t even know that.

Jon: Yeah. Funny thing though, you can also hug a Beluga whale...

Jen: Don’t do that.

Jon: At Lego land. That's a fun fact that you can take with you. No, but it really is. The driving school was like the kids' favorite. It was the school community that your kid can drive through like Lego universe. And they really have leaned on leaned in on like the Lego movie and Emmet. Like, you can go take your foot. Emmett is the Mickey mouse to Lego land. Yeah. And then you can do it all in half a day.

Jen: I know, I feel like we kind of went through that place fairly quickly, but the kids really enjoyed it. You know, if we went back to San Diego, anytime soon, I would, I would take them back to Lego land.

Jon: Yeah. SeaWorld one day Lego land, the other.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: Or we stay at the hotel this time...

Jen: Yes.

Jon: At Lego land something different. I didn't know this, but I looked it up during the school year. Lego land actually is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Jen: How random.

Jon: Writes.

Jen: Why?

Jon: I don't know. I do remember. I haven't mentioned that I worked at Disneyland for a few podcasts.

Jen: Oh, please yeah.

Jon: I don't know if you know this Tuesdays with the slowest day.

Jen: I know, but yeah.

Jon: And so, I wonder if that's why the close on Tuesdays and Wednesdays instead of like Saturday and Sundays or something like that.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: But there's a thing for you if you want to go to Disneyland.

Jen: Then go on Tuesday.

Jon: Go on Tuesday. Yeah, of course. The big one at San Diego, that's been there for like a hundred years. It's the San Diego Zoo.

Jen: Yes

Jon: Personally, I would choose Disney's animal kingdom in Orlando if I was given the choice between the two.

Jen: Really why?

Jon: I think that it's just more comfortable to get around and visually it's cooler, it's Disney. So, it’s a zoo Disneyfide.

Jen: Yes, yes.

Jon: The San Diego Zoo is, it's just a zoo.

Jen: It's enormous,

Jon: Its huge.

Jen: Like that you will spend all day at for sure.

Jon: And there's hills. It's not like flat. Like you have to, I don't know how, but you continuously walk uphill the entire time you're at the zoo.

Jen: Can you hug a Beluga whale at the zoo?

Jon: You can't hug a Beluga whale there it's a Narwhal.

Jen: Okay Yeah.

Jon: But they offer now these like discovery carts so you don't have to walk. I was looking this up. They're like golf carts. I think they had a personal driver though.

Jen: Oh.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: I’m down with that

Jon: I'm telling you...

Jen: Right.

Jon: I don't want to push a stroller through the San Diego Zoo or even like have one of those Baby Björn things that is a hike.

Jen: Yes, and it's hot.

Jon: Oh yeah, yeah it is.

Jen: Depending on what time of year you go, it's hot. We went in March, April.

Jon: That sounds right.

Jen: And the weather was perfect actually.

Jon: That’s like a great time to go to San Diego.

Jen: A great time. It's kind of like an overcast in the morning and then it burns off that's great.

Jon: There's like 3,700 animals at the San Diego Zoo, so it is a famous zoo for a reason. I will tell you though, the mere cats... the Prairie dogs, it's an outdoor exhibit and there's Hawks in the area that know that the Prairie dogs are outdoors. And from time to time, if you have your kids there. Yeah. You can see nature in action.

Jen: Yeah, crazy did you see that?

Jon: Yeah, I know. No, but I heard someone saying how it had just happened.

Jen: Oh.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: Oh.

Jon: Yeah, no there was tears.

Jen: They can't put like a net around it or something.

Jon: We would think they would do something to protect them. But no, it's just this all you can eat buffet for the Hawks.

Jen: Hawks, interesting.

Jon: Yeah. My favorite, See elephant Odyssey. It's just a really cool place because they're elephants and it's big. Yeah. In front of the San Diego Zoo, one of my favorite places to go as a kid. And I was so excited to bring our children. There was Balbo Park.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: Balbo Park in itself is so fun. There's all these museums are 17 museums and gardens and ...

Jen: Its beautiful.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: It's almost like a central park in the middle of San Diego.

Jon: It is

Jen: You know what I mean?

Jon: Yeah, exactly. And there's everything. There's performing arts venues and it's really one of the most fun places for a family and it's free to go to Balboa Park. So, everything else is so expensive, but Balbo Park, you can just walk in and do whatever. I took Liam to it's the Fleet Science Center. There so many museum choices.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: I think it was the cheapest. And that's why we took them there, but he loved it.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: We could have gone all day.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: And then the other one, I know you want to talk about George's let's do the one last place.

Jen: Okay.

Jon: The U S S Midway Museum.

Jen: You know what? I didn't think that I would like that. I really kind of went like kicking and screaming, like, Ooh, this is going to be so boring. I wish we could have spent more time there.

Jon: I have wanted to go to this museum since I was a child. We grew up in Southern California.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: It's on this big aircraft carrier.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: And you, you drive by it. If you go to San Diego. And so, I would see it as a kid and never went.

Jen: Yep.

Jon: And then once you hit college, no one wants to go with you to something like that.

Jen: Yea.

Jon: And then we had kids and we were wondering if it was going to be too boring for them.

Jen: It's not.

Jon: It is worth the money completely.

Jen: And they have like some

Jen: Interactive stuff for the kids too. Like you can climb into a bunch of different airplanes that they have inside and...

Jon: You can fly a jet. [crosstalk12:52] No, no, but I mean, you really can't. You can walk down the, like the ladders and go into the underbelly of the aircraft.

Jen: Okay. That sounds good.

Jon: It's the Navy in me. It's the Navy man in me, but it's the below deck is what it is. And like, you could see the, like their mess hall.

Jen: Yep, you can see all their sleeping quarters. You can see the infirmary. I thought it was just so, so interesting ...

Jon: And they have like these creepy mannequins...

Jen: Oh yeah.

Jon: That are like posts in each place. They'll give you nightmares for years afterwards, they have not updated the mannequins since they parked the aircraft carrier there.

Jen: Okay. I would suggest, I thought it was going to be super nerdy and usually I'm against it, but we got the little headset...

Jon: Yea we did

Jen: And ...

Jon: So, cool.

Jen: Honestly, again, I wish we would've been able to stay there longer and I would have gone to each thing to listen.

Jon: And then they had pilots like retired pilots up on the deck with like next to the plane they flew. And once an hour, they would just talk about the planes.

Jen: Yeah. It was awesome.

Jon: I know, look at us geeking out on something that we would never have done in the past. Yeah. did you know that you can purchase a resort pass, which gets you into certain hotel pools?

Jen: That is so cool.

Jon: Because if you're staying at an Airbnb and you don't have a pool, and if you're there in the summertime, you're going to want a pool. And there's some really nice classy hotels you can pay just to go ...

Jen: Into the pool,

Jon: Bathe in their pools.

Jen: So, cool.

Jon: What a great idea.

Jen: Yes, I would totally do this.

Jon: I know this isn't the Las Vegas one, but why isn't Vegas doing something like that where you can stay at MGM, but go to the Venetian.

Jen: Yeah. Well, because the pools are already so crowded.

Jon: You don't want more people to look into that.

Jen: Everyone would just be at like the wind pool or something

Jon: Or, Wet Republic for that matter. Okay. We went to this restaurant with the kids.

Jen: I've been to this restaurant many, many times.

Jon: Oh, Ooh.

Jen: I've been there. I've had friends that have gone to school down there, so I've gone to like graduation dinners there. And just because yeah. Anyways, Georges,

Jon: Georges in La Jolla.

Jen: It's so good.

Jon: It's a seafood restaurant. I'm sure they have other stuff, but that's all we got.

Jen: That's all we usually get. We usually get some bubbly.

Jon: Oh yeah. You got two.

Jen: Yep. We get a bottle of bubbly and then some oysters.

Jon: And it's overlooking just the most scenic part of the ocean it's beautiful.

Jen: Oh, it’s so Beautiful. I mean, it is the epitome of San Diego.

Jon: And then what's really cool about that area it's called LA Jolla Cove. You can actually just walk down the hill and there's sea lions.

Jen: Tons.

Jon: Seals, sea lions.

Jen: Oh, now I don't know.

Jon: It's not sea otters. I know that much, but they're all just sunning themselves on the rocks. And then you get to watch dumb Americans try to get close to wild animals for the best Instagram photos.

Jen: Because you can like walk kind of...

Jon: Right up to them.

Jen: Yeah. And they there's signs everywhere that says like, please, they're not super friendly.

Jon: No, they're like dogs.

Jen: Like dogs, but yeah, people will get super close to them and then they start like barking basically at you.

Jon: And I bet people get bit on the daily. So, many people were like daring each other, go and slap them on the butts [inaudible16:29] these wild animals.

Jen: I know.

Jon: Just like sunning themselves. Getting out of that cold water for a second. Leave them alone.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: You don't want to get your butt slapped, popping out of the pool.

Jen: No one.

Jon: Well maybe you do. I don't know. I'm not judging you about it that's the LA Jolla Cove, which is really fun.

Jen: Yeah. I would definitely go down there.

Jon: San Diego with the kids or without the kids.

Jen: Ooh, you know what? With the kids.

Jon: I think so.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: It's not like ... we just got back from Vegas. So, it’s on my mind. It's not like that. Like we're, we're going to do a whole episode on Vegas with and, without the kids.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: But I think there's so many cool museums.

Jen: There's a lot to do down there.

Jon: Yeah. It's expensive.

Jen: Its expensive, well, all of California is expensive really,

Jon: Yeah, that’s true.

Jen: But you know there's a lot of cool things and attractions to go and do and see, obviously. There's Gaslamp district we didn't really touch on that.

Jon: We're not taking the kinds to the Gaslamp.

Jen: But there's like restaurants, obviously the beach[crosstalk17:29].

Jon: No, you hate the beach

Jen: I don't love swimming in the beach, or in the ocean, but there's also like tide pools. There's so many cool things

Jon: Tijuana is right past there.

Jen: No, we won’t take the kids there.

Jon: Take the kids there. Carlsbad flowers.

Jen: Oh yeah. That's over by Lego land.

Jon: Yeah. That's the only reason I know of it. Have you ever been there?

Jen: I haven't. I've seen it.

Jon: What do you do? You pay like some money and you get to pick flowers?

Jen: I don't can you pick them?

Jon: Or is it just for photos?

Jen: Now, the last time we were in San Diego with the kids. Oh, actually both times that we were in San Diego with the kids, we stayed at Airbnb’s

Jon: Now as a whole, you should know we're not big Airbnb fans.

Jen: We're not, I know.

Jon: For us, it's weird staying in someone's house.

Jen: Yeah. Yeah. I'm just not a huge, huge fan of that. But there are like specific times that I do think that it's the better option. So, we did like a big family reunion,

Jon: That was so much fun.

Jen: And I mean, honestly, staying at that Airbnb was like the best cause we were all together. I mean, honestly, we stayed in like this mansion

Jon: Ridiculous house.

Jen: Yes, on the beach, just...

Jon: We got to see how the rich live.

Jen: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. And all of us had our own rooms and there was like 15 of us. It was ridiculous.

Jon: You know, what’s weird? I always thought like, I'd want to sleep with the window open and hear the ocean all night.

Jen: It was loud.

Jon: It kept me up.

Jen: It was very loud.

Jon: Every time I'd fall asleep, the waves would crash. And I'd be like, huh, like scaring me.

Jen: First-world problems.

Jon: Right, I know.

Jen: But I would totally suggest, with kids I mean, I will say when we do have kids with us, I like the option of staying at an Airbnb type.

Jon: Yeah. Well, we get to make breakfast that way. It's just easier.

Jen: Yeah, and then especially if you're doing like San Diego, right. Like one day you just kind of want to like chill. We hung out at the beach all day and we did like fun games. So, anyways, that time was awesome. And then the second time that we went the most recent time, we also stayed in an Airbnb for a wedding and yeah.

Jon: It was fine. Yep. It was on a golf course. Yeah. So, yeah. There you go. Listen, we had a hard time.

Jen: I know.

Jon: Well, we knew we had to do a podcast we're professionals like that.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: So, we'll have a better episode next week.

Jen: No, this is great, was this not informative?

Jon: Tell your friends, please spread the word. Give us a nice review. Follow us on Instagram. Of course, our Instagram handle is oursavingstartstomorrow.

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