August 17, 2010

Mountain Lions, Space Capsules, and Holycrapsocold!

We arrived at Caspers Wilderness Park in San Juan Capistrano, where we would be setting up the tent for the week. There are a few things to know about Caspers:

1. It's beautiful (lots of trees and mountain views), convenient (ten minutes from town), and cheap ($15 a night).

2. Oh, but they have a problem with freakin' mountain lions. So much so, kids were not even allowed until 1997. (That was probably the year that all of the Capistrano kids became annoying teenagers that the city didn't know how to handle...problem solved.)

3. By the by, there are also rattlesnakes. The blood-thirsty kinds.

4. They probably also have Chupacabras, though I didn't see it on the wildlife guide. Obviously because no one knows what El Chupacabra looks like just yet.

Immediately upon getting out of the car, we discovered they also have a problem with bees. Not the kind of bees that flit from flower to flower, while singing and dancing in the air. No, these bees like to jump all over you, break-dance on your face, while asking incessantly, "Whatcha doing? Ooh! Orange juice! I love juice. What's that? Cereal? I love cereal! You have a tent! I love tents! What are you doing now? What is that spray? Bug spray? I love bug spray!"

Note the kids wearing jackets and hoods because of the stupid bees:

Nevertheless, there were plenty of cute woodland creatures: lots of rabbits, squirrels, and lizards:

After a dinner of bratwursts, hot dogs, and corn on the cobs (followed by s'mores, natch), we hit the sack(s).

The next morning, we woke up, fought with the bees some more, then headed south to downtown San Diego:

Where we hit the Air and Space Museum:

(Keene is like Waldo in these shots.)

While the whole place was pretty cool (though I would likely never pay the high admission prices in order to tour a second time), this was the main reason for the visit:

The Apollo 9 space capsule. We had recently watched the movie, Apollo 13, with Kayden since he has always been interested in space. When he heard there was a museum in San Diego with a real capsule, he nearly peed his pants.

A peek inside the capsule:

A real space suit:

Space Monkey!

And Space Maia!

(What you don't see is me standing off to the right, tossing Maia into the air. I'm the Master of Illusions.)

While we were in the museum, Keene's sister was combing through Craigslist for us, looking for anybody selling Legoland admission tickets. We had planned to buy the Go San Diego card--a good deal if you plan five million activities, but not a good deal for us who were only planning three. However, we came up with the idea of using Craigslist as a way to save money.

Upon leaving the museum, she gave us the number of a guy in our area with four tickets. We called him and met at the beach...and only then did he discover he had left the tickets at his hotel room. He instead offered two BOGO discount tickets, asking $5.00 for each. While we were slightly suspicious (well, I was), we bought the tickets, anyways. We would find out the following day if it were a scam...

Meanwhile, we ate lunch picnic-style, then headed off to the beach.

(These pictures are actually from our second beach visit the following night, when I was too cold to swim. I thought California was supposed to be hot in August!)

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