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April 12th, 2008

10:18 am
*collapses into a puddle of goo*

We are back from San Diego! And I'm going to be paying for this trip, in a couple of ways, for days.

I gained six pounds. Woe.

All that walking around made my legs ache, y'all. I'm getting too old for this.

So, the first day, we checked the loads and decided that the earlier flight might be make-able, so we ran around like crazy creatures getting ready to go. And we actually made the earlier flight, so yay. Had pizza and mozzerella sticks at Oggi's. OMGYUM.

Tuesday, got up early to go to the zoo. Free breakfast at the hotel was a madhouse. There was nothing organized about that chaos. Hit the zoo right around opening time, bought our membership, and made a beeline for the panda exhibit.

Where I shot about 150 pictures just of the pandas. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my camera?

The trick, we discovered, is get there early on a weekday when school's in session. The baby was having a blast, running around, climbing on stuff, hassling his mom--and we could stand there for as long as we wanted, because the crowd hadn't gathered yet.

The rest of it is...kind of a blur, actually. We got to see the Hairy-Nosed Wombat out and about, which was the first time I'd ever seen one, so that was cool. The walk-through aviaries were neat, although the upper level of one of them was closed for repairs of the walkway, which appeared to be rusting. They have lots of hornbills, but they're sequestered behind wire, and this makes them hard to shoot, alas. No toucans, the echidna was sleeping, and the anteater was AWOL.

Oh! Honey Badgers! They were entertaining too. And the Green Tree Python had just been fed, so I got some shots of him with his mouth open and such. I'm sure I'll remember more as I go through the pictures (again). Ate at Sizzler and wandered through the Fry's Electronics, because we don't have a Fry's in SLC.

Wednesday, we visited the Emerald Forest Bird Garden, and Jerry showed us around his operation and answered our questions about the birds. And I shot NO PICTURES. He's got seventeen species of toucan, along with hornbills, finches, parrots, turacos, and at least one peacock (heard, not seen). It's a really impressive setup out there, and I think we're leaning towards a "YES" on the question of whether we're getting one, but it's contingent on finding out how much it's going to cost to feed it.

After that, we wandered down to Seaport Village and poked through the shops. Ate an indifferent meal at one of the small eateries there.

Thursday was our day for the Wild Animal Park. BABY PELICAN. It's like... a bird larva. Really really weird. And the Flamingos apparently decided, with much fanfare, that they'd all rather be there than here, and with much honking and wingflapping and swimming off, most of the flock swam away. And then five minutes later, they came back.

The lions were entertaining as well. They've got a Land Rover in the exhibit, and they spent a lot of time on top of it. I got a couple of fabulous cub shots, and a really nice head shot of the male. Ate at Outback, which is always always very good.

Friday, we visited the ICR Creation Museum, which entailed a lot of standing around reading signs. They had a really cool video of the Mt. St. Helens eruption, and the ark exhibit was neat, too, giving you an idea of the scale of the thing.

After that, we hit the beach. I got pix of terns and some sort of long-legged shorebird-thing.

And then we tried to come home. Apparently the length of the runway meant weight restrictions on the airplane. So, while they had empty seats, they didn't have any empty seats for us. JetBlue had a flight going out after that one, which was late. We hung around their gate for a bit, the Hubby made a phone call to $CompanyHeWorksFor to see if they could do anything for us (they couldn't), and then asked the gate agent if there was any way we could buy a ticket there to get home on. The gate agent basically blew him off, so we were going to just suck it up and stay in a hotel overnight (hoping to find one that could take us to the airport at five in the morning!), but I said, let's ask at the actual counter, where they're not slammed.

So, we did, and wound up buying tickets. Which we hate to do, because we're cheap that way, but we're home, so yay.

I have no idea if I'm going to be able to catch up with my flist. I've filtered the comms and feeds out, so I'm just reading journals, but I'm sure I'll be at skip=200 or something by the time I give up.

03:49 pm
I have wrestled our Federal tax return into submission!

And it only took an hour! I didn't throw the pencil across the room even once! And I only made one mistake, which I caught because something there was SO not making sense.

I will declare this a "win."

I haven't done the State tax form yet. I'm debating if I want to pick one up at the library or use the online form...

Of course, if I'm going to pick one up from the library, then the Hubby better get home with my car soon. They close in a couple of hours.

I'm still wondering about this whole "economic stimulus" check they're supposed to be sending us. Last I heard, it was an "advance on next year's refund." But now I'm reading on the IRS website that "that it won't reduce my refund for next year or increase the amount I owe." However, I still need to hang on to the paperwork for tax purposes next year. Whyfor?

I'd really like to opt out of the whole thing, myself. We don't particularly need it, and if it's an advance on our refund...when was the last time we got one of those? Yeah, that's what I thought. Count me out, plz.

Unless it's an actual tax rebate. Oh, yes, give me that. *grabbyhands* But I have no faith that it's one of those, because the government, she doesn't work thataway. Nuh-uh.