San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park

(July 29th)

Nathan had a class to teach for work down in San Diego today, so the boys and I tagged along with him and spent the night at a hotel. The boys loved the breakfast buffet in the morning and I loved getting to bum around with them all day while Dad was at work!

With our newly renewed zoo memberships in hand, we dropped Nathan off at work and headed for the San Diego Wild Animal Park. I love that our memberships get us admission to both here and the zoo, because it really makes it feel worth the money. The boys had both been here before, but Eli was only about 4 and West had just been born, so they didn’t remember much of it.

I didn’t have my nice camera with me, so try to look past the barely-adequate photos, ha!


Ah, Eli, my poser child, ha!

First thing off the bat, there was this adorable little hedgehog guy that was out and ready for his closeup. He was so cute and looked just like Martin Freeman! Although, I don’t think the woman holding him liked my joke. (In case you don’t either, here’s a link that may explain…or not.)

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We were there first thing in the morning, and we came across these adorable meerkats that were just waking up and getting ready to start their day. I love how they were lounging in the morning sun.

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Then the boys tried their hat at living in a nest, pretending to be bat-eared foxes, and living in said bat-eared fox’s den.

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Then we saw the most adorable little guy! A fennec fox, who was just running around his habitat and looking cute.


Seriously, I wanted to take that guy home!

We wandered over to a little mini park and found some statues to climb on and some drums to play.


(West finally feeling what it’s like to be as tall as Eli!)

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And some actual proof of my existence! A miracle! :)



Sidenote: Don’t you just love my hat? Okay, it may be a little large, but I love it because I finally have something to protect my freaking hairline from getting sunburned! That’s been the bane of my existence the last couple of summers because I never remember (or want) to put sunscreen in my hair and I always end up with a terribly burned scalp, which turns into the lovely look of dandruff a week later. So yeah, I bought a big, floppy hat. And I love it in all its ridiculousness.

Moving on! Next stop was the bats, which were just freaky-deaky! They look kind of cool, but there’s no way I’d want to come into contact with them out in the ‘wild’. Seriously creep me out.




Unless, of course, they were these bats. Then I’d be okay.


Next up, we made our way over to the tram ride that goes around the park. Thankfully, that’s a free trip included in our memberships, so we can enjoy it as many times as we want. We had a really cute gal leading our expedition and we got to see a ton of animals!


I won’t bore you with all the animals we saw, but here are some of the highlights:


In that photo, you can just barely see a rhino and her baby (right behind the giraffe). Our tour guide said this was probably our best shot at seeing that baby on the tour, and sure enough, once we had made our way back around the circle where we would be closer to them, the Mama and baby were gone!

Here’s another rhino taking a rest in the shade.






After cruising by the lions…


…we ended up at the perfect time to catch a bird show. It was so cute and well done, we saw lots of cool birds, including my favorite secretary bird! I was too mesmerized to take any photos, whoops. But the highlight was when Eli got chosen to go onstage and help with one of the presentations! He was super excited to be picked and said to me afterward, “Mom, I was crossing my fingers so hard so that I would get picked!” Too cute.


We ended up having a really great, albeit long, day at the park and we will definitely be going back again soon!




(July 25th)

The local bowling alley has a great summer program that lets the kids bowl for free, 2 games every day. (Of course, shoe rental is not included in that deal, but they have to make money somehow, right?) So I took the boys down this afternoon and they had a lot of fun! I didn’t have my nice camera with me, so the shots are pretty terrible, but I’m glad I got it documented at least.

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I love this next picture – West was refusing to smile so Eli was ‘helping’ him. Ah, brothers!



Disney with my boys

(July 10th)

Today I took the boys to Disneyland because I really wanted to see the Lone Ranger train that was on display there, after they had the movie premiere at California Adventure. West, of course, was all over it, but Eli took some convincing. I mean, seriously, I must have broken my kid because what 7-year-old doesn’t like going to Disneyland?! Really though, he loves it once he’s there, he just gets nervous that Nathan and I will make him go on rides he doesn’t like. For better or worse, we’ve stopped forcing him to face his fears, so he’s mellowed out a little bit about it lately, ha. Parents of the year, I know.

So the first stop was the steam engine and it was certainly impressive! Although not enough for the boys to ignore the blaring sun in their faces.


Then it was off to the boys’ favorite place – Redwood Creek Challenge Trail! Really, if they could spend all day there, with a few churro breaks in between, I’m sure I wouldn’t hear any complaints about going to Disneyland ever again.

A favorite of theirs is the Bravery Test, aka the tire swing. LBL_8657

It’s fun to watch them zip down the line, especially because at the end, they get swung up as they’re stopped and swing back toward the other end. West loved it even as he was falling off the swing!




Of course, they then had to mark it off on their trail maps. Good thing I have a steady supply of quarters!




Next is the kiddie slides, then the popular rock climbing test. They both love this one, but West is just a natural climber and he always looks right at home on the rocks. Eli is getting better and better at it, the more he does it.








Then we made our way to the Little Mermaid ride, a favorite of ours to take a break from the heat outside! I took along my big camera to try and get some shots of the inside of the ride and was pleased with the way most of them turned out.

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Then we headed over to King Triton’s Carousel, and Toy Story Midway Mania. I love riding the carousel with the boys, and Midway Mania is one of my top-three favorites rides in the park. It’s almost always worth the wait and I love getting to practice my shootin’ skills, ha.

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Finally, we ended our day with some ice cream! Yum!

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And here’s the only proof that I was there that day: the boys and my ice cream. :)