We started out by going to the Mormon Battalion Museum. What a neat find! It was really interesting to learn about the Mormon Battalion and the kids loved it.
The kids immediately had to explore the wagon.
Who knew this was sitting in the middle of San Diego? A pioneer wagon?
Inside, the LDS missionaries did a little presentation about the Mormon Battalion and it was actually quite interesting! I never even really knew what all they did and their amazing contributions to the area. Ethan jumped up at the first chance to volunteer and was more than excited to wear the "gear". I think this was his 3rd time being picked as the volunteer. Funny!
At the end of the tour, the kids got a chance to pan for gold.
As you can see, they all really got into it. :)
So did the parents.
Here is Athena finding her share of the gold.
Everyone made a pretty good haul on the gold. Too bad it wasn't real! I'd go home and pay off the house!!
Each kid was allowed to take home one piece, so they took awhile and picked out their VERY BEST one.
We were inducted into the group of honorary members of the battalion. SWEET!
Our next free activity (after lunch) was to go see the beautiful Coronado hotel and beach. We drove over this huge bridge that goes out to the island and on the way we happened to pass the famed Carnival Splendor ship, the one that was left drifting out in the ocean with all its passengers aboard and no power. It was interesting to see it because when Jeremy and I went on our cruise last year, this is the ship that paralleled our ship all the way down the Mexican Riviera. Only it was working at that time.
This is the hotel we wanted to see. The "Somewhere in Time" hotel. Isn't it beautiful? I got some better shots of it from the back view, this is just our first view of it. It's an amazing building!
After finding a place to park on a very full street, we let the kids loose on the beach. They were happy as can be just to be out of the car! It was pretty cold, but the kids all insisted on taking off their shoes. Oh well.
We got there right at sunset. Isn't it beautiful?
Something she found . . . is it a shell? A rock? I can't tell, but by the look on her face it must be pretty exciting!
I'm not sure what exactly happened, but while we were there, Callie's head just got too heavy for her neck! We tried to help her but there wasn't much we could do.
And Cynthia got stuck holding all the shoes. It was pretty hard on their family.
Here is that great view of the hotel I was telling you about. If we didn't have kids with us I would have gone inside.
With all the sand, and water, and tide pools, and rocks to climb on, and beautiful sunset to look at - Alexandra chose to play right beside this cement wall. Why go to the beach?
Another view of Coronado Beach.
Pretty me with pretty hotel. Thanks Jeremy for the photo op!
We left the beach as it was getting dark and drove to the next free spot on our list. The San Diego temple. I have to say, I think this is the prettiest temple of all of them because it looks like a palace.
My eternal children in front of the temple. :) I'm glad I got to show them this temple. It was their first time here.
And this is my eternal family in front of the temple.
We shared our wonderful day in San Diego with Brett, Cynthia, and their children. It was a fun day out - and did I mention it was free? Except for lunch. We don't very often get to come here and we RARELY spend a day with Brett and Cynthia, so that was a real treat for all of us!