Thursday, April 19, 2012

San Diego Zoo

The Mendoza Family was blessed to go on vacation earlier last month. I think we wanted to take them to Legoland one more time before they outgrew it, although our biggest Lego enthusiast said he will never out grow it.

So off we went, although we made an unexpected stop at the Reagan Library. We just wanted to get some souvenirs there, not thinking that the kids would want to actually go there. There are a couple of things you can see there without paying admission, and that is a large slab of the Berlin Wall, and Reagan's actual tomb. We got to see both, went to the gift shop, and the kids asked if that was all there was to see here. We told them that they had the actual Air Force One that Reagan flew on, and all of a sudden, they would like to come back and see it!

So we got to San Diego, an absolutely beautiful city. As it was Sunday, we started off by going to Holy Mass at St. Ann Church. This church hosts the Traditional Latin Mass, and it is staffed by the Fraternal Society of St. Peter. It is a gorgeous church, and the schola they had was fabulous. They had tons of Servers, and their MC was young and knowledgeable.

Then it was off to the Zoo! Let's get this out of the way: it is EXPENSIVE to go to the Zoo. If you can get any sort of discount, take advantage of it. That being said, it was worth every penny to go to the Zoo. worth a visit to San Diego just for this. Here is just a sample of what you will see here.

Near the Main Entrance, they have Zoo staff who present animals for a close-up view. Here we have South American Eagle. It's like an American Eagle, but South.

Yeah, they gotta have this sign around.

There he is, the King of the Jungle. Just. Lying. Around. Doing nothing.

Elephants! Man, they are massive.

There are perks to your ticket at the Zoo, and that is being able to ride the Skyfari, and a tour bus that takes you to about 60 percent of the park. Here are some Rhinos from the tour bus.

Next we walk on over to the Panda exhibit. It is about a 30 minute wait, on the day we went, but it was totally worth it! There are Pandas here in San Diego, Memphis, Atlanta, and in Washington, DC. These are the only ones on the west coast, so why not? Above is the lesser known Red Panda, and here he is just hanging around in a tree before you get to the Giant Panda exhibit. You can get pretty close, as you can see below.

Yup, here I am folks!
Their main diet consists of Bamboo, which has almost no nutritional value. Because of this, they have to keep eating constantly. But aren't they cute? They also put the hard sell on you as well. Right before you get to the Pandas, they take your photo, and they have the littlest one in the group put their hands in a certain way, so that when this photo comes out, you are in a forest setting with Pandas all around, and the littlest one is holding a baby Panda! Yeah, hard sell.
Did we mention this place is huge?

Already it was getting to be around 3 PM, and there was no way one could see everything. We went around to see the Orangutangs, and they were just hanging around.
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but don't pick your friend's nose.

The super model of the animal world.

One of the gorillas. Or maybe me in profile, I can't be sure.

Great aspect of the Zoo is that you are put right up to the animals. The exhibits are made so that you get right up next to the animals as is safely possible.
male Gorilla from about 15 feet away.
Younger male Gorilla.

A supirsing thing about the Zoo is the aviaries. Thye have an incredible variety of birds, and now we wish we had spent more time in the different aviaries. Yes, multiple aviaries.

The flamingos were a funny lot. If they heard a noise, they would all get in a huff, and start running around!

Some of the birds from the aviaries.

"Hey, why are yo lot all tired? This is only the second of vacation! We still have seven more days of vacation!"

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