Spring Vacation – Day 2 (March 28/09)

Mrs. GeoK read about San Diego’s Science Expo on the web, while doing a little pre-trip planning. One of the activities during this 6-week long event was the chance to visit Miramar to learn about flight, weather monitoring and the marines’ fire & rescue team. We sent off the requisite e-mail to pre-register and then (with the aid of a print-out from google maps) made our way to the main visitors’ gate a little before 9 o’clock Saturday morning.

We spent about 90 minutes checking out a display of remote-controlled aircraft, taling to fire & rescue personnel, climbing about a Super-Stallion helicopter, examining the cockpit of a Hornet and talking to some of the personnel who staff field weather stations. The most interesting thing the boys learned is that you can’t be taller than 5′ 8″ to pilot a Hornet and that the HUD helmets you see in the movies aren’t real!

After departing Miramar we headed for the nearby REI store; Mr. GeoK had some boots to return and we were looking for new shoes,pants and shirts for C. We were shocked by the very full parking lot and then we discovered it was REI’s quarterly used gear sale. The line-up for the cashiers was at least 50 people long, but since Mr. GeoK had a return to make we were able to take all our stuff to the customer service counter instead, where there were only 2 people in the line.

After Mrs. GeoKs’ failed attempt to download MapSource with base maps this morning, we decided to drive north to Del Mar, to the AAA outlet to pick up some maps. We left with more than 10 pounds of carefully folded paper and with a mental note never to forget to load maps in the GPSrs.

Since it was past midday, we headed to the foodcourt at a big mall in La Jolla. The food was quite mediocre, but one of the staff people in the sporting goods store suggested we head to West Marine on Rosecranz to see if they could solve our missing maps problem. Unfortunately, they couldn’t help us out.

Since we were so close to Cabrillo National Monument we decided to make use of our National Parks Pass and to get a couple of virtual caches. We arrived just in time for Mr. GeoK and the GeoKids to attend a special guest lecture on the La Jolla kelp beds (this was another San Diego Science Expo activity) while Mrs. GeoK gather info for a couple of virtual geocaches and took some pictures, including this one…

On our way back to Carlsbad we made a bried (and unsuccessful stop) at the Patagonia store in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and also at a nearby New Balance store. K visited with one of the staff while Mr. and Mrs. GeoK tried on shoes. Only Mrs. GeoK left with new footwear, perfect for wearing in the house on cool days.

We ate way too much supper at Claim Jumper: a huge chocolate shake, soft pretzels and chicken nuggets for the boys; a rack of ribs with fries and roasted veggies for the parental units to share plus a visit to the salad bar for me. We took a slice of the 6-layer chocolate cake to go and enjoyed some of it while we finished watching “Sahara”.

 Miracle of miracles…this evening Mr. GeoK successfully downloaded the basic MapSource software. It’s amazing what you can learn when you google “how do you download MapSource?” We managed to get into our Garmin account and have started downloading new City Navigator maps ($69.99 for a lifetime subscription). At +/- 45kbps, the 1.92 GB file might be finished downloading by supper time tomorrow!

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