Spring Vacation – Day 3 (Balboa Park)

We woke up this morning a few minutes past 7 o’clock. The first thing we discovered was that our maps stopped downloading shortly after we turned off our bedroom lamps last night. Fortunately, the download utility seems smart enough to remember where it was at when we lost internet service, so we re-started the download from there and hope it’ll be finished before bedtime tonight.

Breakfast in the hotel lounge was pretty much the same as yesterday: oatmeal, waffles and “egg mcmuffins”. After we packed up a picnic lunch we headed to Balboa Park for the day (again with the aid of a google maps printout). We arrived about 9:50, in time to get a great parking spot near one of the museums.

We headed to the visitors’ center to purchase one-day museum passes and then continued towards the Air & Space Museum. About halfway there Mrs. GeoK realized we should be carrying at least one GPSr, so she ran back to the car to retrieve the Garmin Colorado, spare batteries and her iPod (for the Podcacher Podcache in the park).

At the Air & Space Museum we had to pay a supplemental fee for the DaVinci Experience at the Air & Space Museum; it was well worth it. The kids studied all the interactive exhibits and Mr. GeoK  took plenty of photos. 

C really enjoyed the rest of the museum too; he studied all the World War I and II planes and tried the flight simulator while the parental units checked out the GPS satellite.

We managed to find a few geocaches while waiting for (what we thought was) the artisan village to open. Ooops! It turned out to be the United Nations village. After we discovered our mistake we decided to return to our car to retrieve our picnic lunch. We ate near the big fountain in front of the Rueben H. Fleet Science Center. Mrs. GeoK started listening to the Podcache in the Park and gathered the first couple pieces of information before we decided to visit the Natural History Museum.

Since our GeoKids weren’t sure they wanted to see plasticized human bodies, we decided not to pay the supplemental $80 for the Bodyworks exhibit. Instead we watched an excellent movie about the human brain; the boys learned alot.

After we finished touring the museum exhibits (the fossil mystery section was K’s favourite), we split up. Mr. GeoK and C went to the photography museum while K and I worked on the Podcache for a while.

We joined up again at the Museum of Man, where we saw a full-sized model of C3PO, learned about primate evolution and viewed a special exhibit of mosaics.

After we gathered the final clues for the Podcache, we split up again, with Mr. GeoK and K heading for the Spanish Arts Village while C and I went after the final location for the Podcache. We searched hard and knew we were at the right place, but couldn’t find the container.

Back together at the car, we headed off to make a second search for the Podcache, but even with fresh eyes couldn’t find the container. We were afraid the cache was muggled, as we searched this tree…

…which was a perfect match for the description of the cache location according to Pocacher Episode 4. We decided to give up and head for our hotel.

Back in Carlsbad we made a brief stop at Ralphs for groceries and then headed to our room for a picnic-style supper and some preliminary packing.

The mapset STILL wasn’t completely downloaded, but at least we got an adapter so we could go off a wired internet connection. Maybe tomorrow morning?

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