Our first miscalculation had to do with lunch. On the way down we had to stop at the AAA office in Del Mar to pick up robot_grrl's new license plate ("I*BOTS" -- and the * is a star). As we were leaving I was telling her that despite my earlier concerns I thought that I could make it to Balboa Park before needing lunch. However, she spotted a Greek and Persian restaurant in the same center, and so we ended up there. The food was reasonably good -- or at least the vegetarian plate was. The Greek chicken wasn't as moist or flavorful as many I've had for less money. The big problem is even splitting two plates we were more full than we'd have liked with all of the yummy food we had to pass up.
Once we got there, we parked very sensibly at the City Collage and took a free trolley shuttle to the park. We then got a brief orientation and found the Air and Space museum. However, since we were told it would be free after 5:00, we decided to wait (it was about 2:45) and look around. We looked briefly at the food vendors (kind of a Taste of San Diego, complete with food tickets) and the other vendors near the Air and Space, then worked our way past some of the international house tents to the organ pavilion were we looked at the religious displays, had some gingerbread men to help support them, and listened to the Martian Luther King Community Choir (who I mistook for a church choir until the end when they reintroduced themselves). After that we worked our way up to the central area and looked at a few more vendors.
This is were we made our second miscalculation. We missed a whole area, including the major market area. We then worked our way back through the international house area (stopping at the UN store for a while -- I was outside when I posted before) to the Air and Space Museum.
Once we got inside, following a long line, we discovered our third miscalculation. The Star Trek Experience (and I just learned the Bonnie and Clyde car) weren't included in the free museum admission. So, we'll have to go back before January 19th. By the time we got inside, we were getting tired and hungry so we ended up leaving -- I didn't feel like trying to eat standing up with a kid growing grumpier and less focused by the minute.
We got back to the car, eventually, and worked our way back to Oceanside, were we ate at a Quick Wok and headed home.