This year was the first year in a few that we have been able to take a family vacation away from home. (Unless you count the Summer we moved to Utah... nope, not a vacation!)
We chose to go to California since we have never been there, and Mike and the Kids picked San Diego (while I was in England) because there are lots of Theme Parks near. :) I am not a big Theme Park fan myself but we compromised with Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, The San Diego Wild Animal Park and Coronado Island. (Personally, I could have just hung out at the beach for the whole week and not minded at all!)
Let me first say that we would have never gotten ANYWHERE in California without "Jeeva", (Mike's GPS, the feminine of Jeeves). The highways and roads are interlaced like a hammock and it is CRAZY trying to drive period. Jeeva made it simple and easy to get around and find restaurants, entertainment, shopping... you name it. I HIGHLY recommend one for EVERY family... especially if you have a husband like mine. (Even with Jeeva, we heard "recalculating" or "make a u-turn here" WAY too many times.)
I really enjoyed Coronado Island which wasn't too busy and had a bay side and an ocean side. I loved riding the surrey bike around the Island, (which brought back memories of a vacation in Majorca, Spain many years ago with my parents where we did the same thing). I also loved sitting in the Sun eating Cold Stone Ice Cream, a treat I have been introduced to since I have come to Utah. :) (Have you tried the "Founders Favorite"? It is to die for!)
My favorite part of Sea World was going to all the different shows and seeing the clever animals. We always got wonderful seats because no-one likes sitting in the splash zone, but we took $1 ponchos and so we didn't care... but loved seeing the animals up close and personal.
We skipped around from place to place, but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves the whole week. If you are interested, here's a little slide show you can check out. :)