Cheer Competition

In San Diego we met a group of cheerleaders from Washington state while visiting Sea World and were invited to the West Coast All Star Cheerleading and Dance competition the following day.  We were excited to be there and see all the teams doing their dances.  Our niece Ashleigh is really into cheerleading so during the competition Greg calls her all excited to tell her we are at this competition and her reply is simple – “I’m not really into cheerleading anymore”.  Well that’s fine, BareNakedFamily really enjoyed themselves anyway but Jenn spent many hours taking pictures of all the different teams and the dances thinking Ashleigh will love them.  It’s really hard to get a picture of girls flying around!  We got busy with the show and Greg forgot to tell Jenn that Ashleigh’s not into this much anymore until we are in the car heading home!  Jenn freaked out because she took all  these pictures and Ashleigh’s not into it anymore!  Well we still love her, but someone take a look at some of the pictures Jenn took! The camera was hot, batteries dead, memory sticks full, and we have over an hour of home video of this event! We can’t even remember names! (We actually had a lot of fun and spent most of the day here).

The hairspray picture.

Cheerleaders practicing outside before the event.

Ask Kesley what she wants to do when she grows up – for years it’s been ‘a cheerleader!’

Arrived early.

These are the trophies.

BareNakedFamily sat close to the stage on the floor by ourselves – then all of a sudden this team rushed to the floor and surrounded us to cheer their team competing! We were a little scared. The girl to the left of Jenn actually leaned on her shoulder before realizing we were strangers. An odd moment.

A view from the front line! Notice the tape at the knees. Can’t cross this!

Greg and Austin went to the balcony. After sitting on the floor where the different teams kept surrounding the girls they moved to front row center on the seats. We were continuously asked what team we were with (Black and Silver of course!)

There were girls of all ages, these were some of the youngest ones.

Judges.

Kes was super jealous.

When girls messed up they would really be upset but were brave enough to continue their performance.

These teams were some of the best – told you already we can’t remember names!

Check out the really strange faces being made. Obviously trained and we learned they were judged on facial expression. Is sillier better?

West Coast Mavericks? These were part of the ‘best’. The audience would go nuts when one of these teams came on.

We don’t know who this guy is, but he must be really good or famous because all the teams were taking pictures with him and another girl we didn’t get a pic of.

We left the competition late afternoon but it was not yet over. We sure thank the girls from Washington for letting us know about the competition. Hope to see them on ESPN soon!

Sea World San Diego

San Diego has so much to do we really had to make some decisions about how to limit our budget. Sea World was running a promo to buy a Funcard which allows you to pay for one day and come back the rest of the year free.  Since we are staying across from Seaworld this was a good purchase.  We have gone many times and have had so much fun there!

We laughed so hard at this mirror, we stayed here for a long time playing with our reflection.

The Shamu show you can never get tired of!  We have gone back many times to this show and it is better every time.  The kids are determined to get soaked whenever we go.  The saltwater from the tank kinda stinks though.

Killer whale close-up!!!

These trainers made it look like it was nothing to ride on the back of a Killer Whale and glide through the water at several miles an hour while managing to hold on and be thrust through the air!  Just another day of work.

We went below to see the whales swimming in the tank and Sunny was leaning against the window when one swam by for this photo.

We watched and waited to time another picture with Shamu. We think he swims from this tank to the one in San Antonio, TX – there can’t be more than one Shamu!

Dead Fish: “Please don’t feed me to the dolphins”. You can actually stick your hands in the tank and pet the dolphins.  This was a cool exhibit that we spent a long time at and the kids loved it.

We learned a lot from this dolphin trainer, he taught about the differences between some dolphins and where they live, about contamination in the water which is big here in California, and he also taught about the personalities of the individual dolphins in the tank.

“No! I said please!”

We met this lady and her service dog, he was very excited to watch the dolphins.

The kids hanging over the sea lion exhibit, these guys were aggressive!  You can also feed these ones and they knew it!  They were fighting with each other, making a lot of noise, and standing on the wall for food.

But they are so cute!

It is really cool that you can touch so many of the creatures. Jenn is holding one of the starfish out of the tide pool.  There were many of them and all you have to do is pull one out to look at them.

We put one in upside down and watched him turn over.  It took a while but it was really neat to see how he does it.

Kes with a snail from the tidepool.

What the?

These were real and alive.

At the Manta Ray exhibit you can buy a tray of food and feed them.  They feel very strange and leave slime on your hands.  They are kinda oily and will take the food out of your hands.  It took a while for the kids to feed them because they make this slurping noise and splash like crazy while trying to get the food in their mouth.

Kesley holding the dead squid we are feeding the Manta Rays.

They come out of the water quite a bit to take the food from you.

We learned that if you are hanging around on a slow day at feeding time, if all the feed is not purchased ($7/tray), they give it away.

We took the moving walkway through the shark exhibit and saw many different kinds of sharks.  It was really beautiful.

Jaws isn’t real! Jaws isn’t real! Jaws isn’t real!

(The nightmares are back)

We saw polar bears trying to hunt some fish in the water, they take their time and follow the fish for a while before jumping in after it.  This was very interesting to watch cute yet fatally vicious!

Sea World has turned into a great investment for our time in San Diego. We have been several times and plan to go back several more. What’s really nice is the last time we went we took the kids on a hot day to cool off in the water and Greg and Jenn got some work done. Sea World is a great place to spend your time.

February 2003 Pictures

We left Phoenix and went to San Diego. We had never been there and our friends the Nodlands were there working on a house. They highly recommended San Diego due to its wonderful weather and a great campground.

On the way we stopped at these way cool Imperial Sand Dunes (BLM) in eastern California near Yuma. It was very dirty.

We were tempted to take the VW off on the dunes but didn’t think we had time and also would’ve had to round up a flag so others can see you coming over the dunes.

That’s our dream bus – a Prevost conversion. Someday. But we are pretty happy with our Winnebago. Holds its own next to the Prevost don’t you think?

Practically burned up the brakes to get this picture in the desert. Just miles before this we were actually seven feet below sea level near El Centro, CA.

Campland on the Bay

Here we are having Dinner with the Nodlands at Campland on the Bay. This is easily one of the coolest campgrounds we have been to. It’s also the first campground that we have paid for a whole month – all others have been daily or weekly because we weren’t sure how long we’d want to stay. Another reason we paid monthly here is because it’s cheaper than two weeks on the weekly rate. Funny thing is – to ‘qualify’ for a monthly rate you have to ‘pass’ orientation. They require you to have current registration and insurance on all your vehicles and check out your site to make sure you have followed all the rules (they gave us a book of rules). We were pretty nervous until talking with others at the park. We’re pretty sure they leave lots of room to run troublemakers off and who wants sewage lines open anyway!

The activities for the kids at the park are phenomenal! They have a calendar that has something on it everyday and entertainment coordinators to keep things going. The weekdays are only slightly quieter than weekends. Above is a Dance Dance Revolution contest (video game).

There are lots of kids at the park – it’s gonna be hard to get ours outta there when we are ready to move on.

Rian is between the girls here and is the Nodlands granddaughter. She was very fun to hang out with. She has her own page of her stay on the Nodlands website.

We gave up our roller blades to this sports resale shop and found Kesley trying out some hockey – kudos to the clerk that checked her (she’s okay now). We’ve purchased scooters and that seems to work best. We scoot, the kids ride bikes about the same speed. We took the dogs on a scoot/ride around the bay and Timon couldn’t walk afterwards. He’s not in great shape and we think his pads even wore down. He’s better now.

Glad we filled up the RV before California – also glad we drive an old VW…

Old Town

One of our first excursions out in San Diego was to Old Town. We found some of the best Mexican food and had a great view.

This lady hand makes and grills tortillas right on the patio facing the street. This is primarily why we went into the restaurant and were very glad we did.

Here’s the girls with Rian. They were given the flowers from a fella on the street.

Skating – Kesley wanted to go skating on her eighth birthday on Feb 6.

So we did. It’s hard to take pictures in a skating rink… The rest aren’t that good.

Balboa Park – The Nodlands took us to Balboa Park. Cheryl Nodland grew up in San Diego so they’ve really clued us in on the area.

Austin rarely wants to leave the campground because all his friends are there. He’s developed an attitude.

The pictures above are from a small community in Balboa Park that has representations from several countries in their huts.

An enormous outdoor organ.

Awesome architecture.

This carousel is historic – there is a prize given out to the person who snatches a gold coin as it spins around.

View of San Diego and bay.

One of two aircraft carriers that recently took off for the Iraq thingie…

We’d rather be on this. Lovers, not fighters thing.

There was a guy that took a picture of the kids in the restaurant – thanks for the pic!

La Jolla, CA – A short drive north of the campground.

The surf was huge due to an approaching storm.

What’s hard to see is the 10 foot drop on the other side.

Some bystanders said – ‘little risky don’t ya think?’

Just in time…

This was on a cove just down the way from the rocks.

This beach was recently opened up for the seals. Apparently the wall was built to shelter this part of the beach for swimming. Now there’s a huge controversy about relocating the seals so the beach can b re-opened for swimming. The seals are protected and pollute the water making it unsafe to swim.

Reminds us of our dog Timon in the face.

Slightly farther north is a launching pad for paragliders and sailers.

That’s probably a 200ft drop-off he just glided off. These guys in the parasails just sit down and kinda walk off the edge. The guys with the gliders walk to the edge and make a leap of faith.

Scripps Institute – Has an aquarium that is open to the public and we’re told it’s one of San Diego’s best kept secret.

Hard to tell – but this is a 10 foot fish.

And Austin is actually 40 feet tall.

Sunny went for a swim in the tank.

This is in front of the house that the Nodlands are re-building as a home school project for their kids.

We bought season passes to Sea World because it’s right around the corner from the campground and we’re gonna stay  awhile!