Thursday, June 9, 2011

Not Just for the Birds

Panda Lounging

Fittingly, we kicked off our San Diego trip like a bunch of party animals.  We felt right at home since our robust itinerary had us scheduled for a full day at San Diego Zoo.  Having already visited a number of comparable animal parks, we were skeptical of this rather pricey tourist attraction.  

Otter Play

Vacay Creates Big Smiles

It was adorable watching the koalas snuggle up to the tree trunks.

Thankfully, San Diego Zoo did not let us down.  Instead, it gave us yet another reason to love this paradise city.  Our legs trekked an estimated 10 miles while covering the extensive collection of animals from all around the world.  As you'll see from our hippo, polar bear and camel photos, we had the unique opportunity to observe and experience the Zoo's wildlife up close and personal.  We were even introduced to some rather strange, uncommon creatures that were new to us.  For example, have you heard of, much less seen, a fossa, fishing cat or okapi?  If not, you're due for a date with San Diego Zoo.

Stacy's having a moment with the hippo.

It was so fun watching the personalities of the gorillas come alive.  Here's the "The Thinker."

We made it for polar bear feeding time.

Equally enjoyable to animal watching, was navigating between exhibits.  The crowds were surprisingly sparse, and the refreshing temperature was cool enough for a light jacket in the shade.  The Zoo's most impressive feature was perhaps the oasis of lush vegetation growing throughout the park.  With over one million plants on the grounds, visitors get to explore a jungle like garden filled with not just animals, but exotic leaves, flowers and trees too.

Lots of Monkeying Around

Feeding the Camel Fruit from a Tree

View from the Sky Buckets