Friday, January 22, 2016

Made For Midway

Coronado Bay, San Diego, CA
  I haven't dedicated a lot of time to explore San Diego. Usually when I have enough time to visit southern California we spend it in Disneyland, well, because kids. This trip we decided to set aside two days to visit the area with only three places in mind to see: Seaport Village, Old Town, and the USS Midway. We were sure we would struggle to fill our time even though we only allowed two days. Well I'm here to tell you that we grossly misjudged out time frame.
  We spent the entire first day at Sea World. We were there five minutes after the gates opened at 10:00 AM and walked out the gates ten minutes after they closed at 5:00 PM. We saw just about everything you could want to see with the exception of the tunnel that travels under the shark tank. For some reason it was barricaded off. This single, short walk was to be the highlight of my visit and it didn't happen (sigh.) But my children were able to see the killer whale show which was something we wanted for them since it was announced that the show would be ending. The dolphin show was also closed because their enclosure is being remodeled but this didn't bother us since we got to swim with dolphins last year during our Caribbean cruise. Overall it was a fun day and I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would.
  Day two turned out to be a surprise for us. We had big dreams of seeing Seaport Village, Old Town and the USS Midway, a 972 ft long aircraft carrier that served from 1945 until 1992. We imagined that we would spend only a couple of hours in each location and still be back to the rooms early enough to pack up for our departure the next morning. Wrong.
USS Midway, San Diego, CA
  We hit the USS Midway first. Once on board you can choose to explore the ship on your own or you can pick up a handy headset with an audio tour which costs you nothing. I suggest picking one up. Simply find a number next to an exhibit and type it into the hand held device and it will give you a little history on what you're looking at. But the real magic of the headset is that it magically transports you five hours into the future and you find yourself only 3\4 through the tour and wondering where the time went. 
  Here is what I'll suggest to those that want to visit the Midway. Pick up the headset and be selective of what you want to listen to. You will find yourself exploring multiple dining halls for the different classes of sailors which after awhile started looking alike and got a little boring to me. The sleeping quarters are fun to explore and the pilot ready rooms are kind of fun because you can sit in the seats and dream of getting briefed for your next mission. Also there are a number of people on board that hang out in specified areas that will answer questions and tell stories that are just as interesting if not more so than what the audio tour gives you. If you want to hit every number on the ship go for it, just remember to allow time for it because you'll be there all day.
  After leaving the Midway we walked down to Seaport Village to grab some fish & chips and do a little shopping. The food was good and I got out of there without spending a whole lot of money but once we were finished the sun had set and there was no time to head up to Old Town which was a little disappointing because I really wanted to visit the Whaley House again. But I'll have to save that for another trip.
  So the moral of the story is to always leave more time than you think you'll need to make sure you get to see everything you plan to. I enjoyed the time we spent in San Diego and I'm looking forward to a return trip. Have a fun, safe weekend, folks. See you next week.


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