Monday, April 15, 2013

Zoo Day!

 Best picture of the day :)
Mission: we had to see the pandas at the zoo!

 Friday in San Diego, day three, and it is the zoo day!  It was also zoo day for a million other people who were there on spring break (note to self, choose a different week next time we go!), but it was great.  We saw just about everything:
 Orangutan's (this is the daddy one)
This big fella walked right up to my kids at the glass.
James thought it was cool, Jack started screaming :)>
Nathan quote: "Jack, stop scaring the rest of the children!"

 James was explaining what we just saw, and Jack is calming down.
We got James a little Safari Limited Daddy Orangutan

 Next stop, gorillas
I love that you can see Jack and Daddy through the glass, and it looks like Jack and the gorilla are looking at each other!

 Jack enjoying a ride on Daddy and seeing the Capuchin's
 Cute little monkeys

 My little monkey trying to make the same face

 Different monkeys grooming

 Grammies being eaten by a flamingo head :)

 Two juvenile grizzlies waiting for their afternoon treats

 We watched them get their treats of a melon and nuts.  
However, the most excitement happened when two ducks were landing in the enclosure.
One almost got taken out by one of the bears!
That got everyone's heart pumping in the audience.
Luckily the duck got away, and will hopefully think twice before flying too close to the bears :)

 More monkey's, and this one had a baby

 Jack was very impressed by the acrobatics of the baby jumping all over the place

 Being lifted up to see some baby yaks while in the long line to see the pandas.

 The baby panda, only a few months old, hiding up in the tree.
The mom had gone back inside during our viewing time

 James viewing another panda.
They weren't really white and black, more like brown and black.
And this guy only showed his back to us.  A bit sad to have to wait so long to see them.  

 Jack's favorite's include Eagles right now.  He'll yell for "eagles, eagles, eagles" over and over.
This is the closest cousin to the Bald Eagle, it's a Sea Eagle from Russia, and they are extremely endangered because where they build their nests is very windy (along the coast), and the nests blow over a lot of the time.

 Jack and Daddy and the Sea Eagle
Jack got a little Bald Eagle from the gift store.

 James being a seal and poking his head out of a seal's hole in the ice at the polar bear enclosure.

 Polar bear chomping on, surprisingly, a carrot?

 That part of the zoo was so crowed, we all ended up getting separated (luckily not the kids from the adults), but it was mainly just annoying to get back together.
We couldn't fight the crowds farther to get to the caribou, we'll get them next time. 

A jaguar, though James insisted it was a leopard.
I just let it go, but that exhibit ended in tears because Nathan insisted that no, this was in fact a jaguar.
We sometimes choose different battles :)

A secretary bird.
These birds don't fly much (they can, they just prefer to walk),
and they stomp on their prey like snakes to get them.

 Jack and the California Condors (big birds are this kid's thing)
They condors are endangered, but the zoo has one of the best breeding and releasing back to the wild programs in the world. 

 A giraffe's eye view while looking at the giraffes :)

All we could see of the rhino's

 And we are still walking around, though Jack fell asleep for a while like that

 Daddy and little monkey walking back towards the entrance

 Riding a lion!
As a kid I had my picture taken next to a leopard, but the leopard was real, and I remember being so scared (I was four, or maybe younger).
I think we'll stick for now with statues of big cats for picture taking 

 Grammies and her grizzly 

The very last animal we saw was the Komodo Dragon
All day James' favorite animal had been the Orangutans, until this giant Komodo Dragon.
I had stopped to rest a little, Jack was sleeping, and Grammies was sitting with me (after we had taken a little detour to the gift shop to pick up the boys' animals for the day).
Daddy took James to the reptile house, and this was the last one they saw.
James talked non-stop then about this "Komodo Dragon, and I saw it with my daddy, and it is SO BIG, but it doesn't have wings"
Then he wanted to show it to his mommy too.
What a cute kid.
Well, Nathan wanted to get him a little Komodo Dragon, I didn't think I had seen any, but he was welcome to look.  And well, the kids left that day with two animals each because he did indeed find a little Komodo Dragon, and by now Jack also had woken up, so Daddy got him a baby panda.
Overall, a very successful, and very tiring day at the zoo.

That evening we got to see the Williams gang again for dinner (Thank You!!)
We stayed probably later than we should have, but we loved talking and catching up them.
The next day we woke up, packed up the car, and started the long drive home.
Unfortunately, Nathan did not feel well the whole drive, and neither did I, though we never threw up like Jack did.  
We probably caught the same little bug though.
Nathan was a trooper and drove the whole way (though there were offers to help or switch). 
He was content to listen to one of his Wheel of Time books, and he said he never got tired.
I was listening too, but sometimes I'd fall asleep, then wake up and have to have Nathan explain to me what was going on in the book :)

It was a great vacation, and the mission to take the kids to the 
San Diego Wild Animal Park and San Diego Zoo was a success!