Today we had a great day. We went to the ‘world famous San Diego Zoo’. Okay, it was a bit of a surprise to start with that it was going to cost us $100 for the family ticket (£65), but once we’d bitten the bullet (London Zoo was £25 for the family last time we went) it was good inside. The zoo is HUGE, or at least it is to 2 small children! We took a guided tour bus around the zoo to get oriented, and then set off to see what the girls had decided in advance.
Number One was the petting zoo, to see the exotic animals like goats and sheep! Then we saw the Seal Show – which was a huge delight for the girls. We sat in an amphitheatre that would probably seat 1,000 people – which gives you an idea of how many people they can squeeze into the zoo on a weekend. Thank goodness we went on a Monday, rather than at the weekend. Somehow during the rest of the day we saw bears, tigers, gorillas, polar bears, elks, bison, tapirs, giraffes etc etc. And another animal show.
We arrived at 10am, and by 3pm the girls were flaking a bit, so we left the zoo (after getting our re-entry hand stamps) and headed into San Diego for a McDonalds (okay, I know I harangued them earlier, but it seems a guaranteed way to re-inject the girls with energy), and then we went for a drive along the beach isthmus. By the time we reached the end of the beach, we were within 10 miles of the Mexico border. Hmm, maybe that’s something for later in the week – a bonus Country!
Anyway, we turned left instead of right, and went back to the zoo at 6. Then we went to see the orang-utans. We couldn’t get the girls away. They (the orang-utan) were having playtime before bedtime, so they were chasing and teasing each other, and Charlotte especially loved watching their playfulness. Like almost every part of San Diego Zoo, the landscaping was green and lush, for the visitors as well as the animals. We hope to see orang-utan in the wild in Indonesia, but with the security situation in Indonesia at the moment, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get there. If we don’t, at least the girls have seen their Number One animal.
Then we saw the panda – only one was out. One of the others was pregnant with twins and under “24 hour birth watch” indoors. The third panda was having a phantom pregnancy, and was nesting inside too.
And then we ended up with the late night show, at 8:30, which featured human acrobatics in an incredible display. It really rounded off the day for the girls, who stayed awake right through until we got into the car at 9:45pm. And then they slumped straight into sleep.
It was a packed day, which we all really loved, and it was definitely worth (a) the money and (b) coming back in the evening. Our top moment in the US so far.