San Diego Zoo

(July 5th)

Last night Nathan and I decided to renew our zoo memberships, in hopes that the kids would be old enough to enjoy it again and make it worth the trip down to San Diego. We had them one year when Eli was about 2 or so, and he enjoyed it, but we also lived closer to it than we do now, so it wasn’t as much of an investment of time to go down. But now that West is older and is interested in animals and since Eli has decided he’s going to be a zoologist when he grows up (seriously, he talks about animals and their cool and unique attributes all. the. time.), we figured it would be worth it.

So today we took the kids to San Diego to visit the zoo for the first time in years. Let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint! The boys were thrilled with the surprise trip, and were so excited to go and explore. One of the highlights was getting a map and planning out our route, since the SD Zoo has pretty much the most confusing layout ever! Eli loved the challenge, though, and proclaimed himself ‘in charge’ of the map, telling us where to go and only getting us lost once! Thankfully, Nathan was there to help out with minor corrections here and there, but don’t Eli that, ha.

The first stop was the koalas, which are some of my favorite animals. I love how cute they are and how they just cling to their trees and hang out all day. They’re just adorable!





West loved pointing out the animals on all the informational signs he saw. Since he’s not reading just yet, he asked us to read almost all of the facts to him.


He did almost get eaten by a giant vulture, but luckily the vulture had already had his breakfast!


We saw kangaroos, flamingos, and stopped by the giant elephant sculpture, before checking out the real thing. The elephants were really huge!





West tried on the look of an extraterrestrial impact theorist, with a little help from dad.


I think he’s got the look!

We saw one of my favorite kinds of birds (which I’ve just discovered thanks to Eli and Wild Kratts), the secretary bird!


Don’t let the photo fool you – they’re really cool birds with long legs and they look so funny when walking around. They also use their long legs to stomp on snakes to kill them and eat them, which is pretty cool to see in action.

We saw a big rattlesnake, which made me feel like I was back home in Texas.


Well, actually, the only time I’ve ever seen a rattlesnake in real life (not in a zoo) was when I was on a walk with my friend Tracy and our boys in Mission Viejo. It was pretty scary, as he was kind of blocking our path and we basically ran by him with our strollers, praying that he wouldn’t eat us. So I suppose it should have made me feel like I was right at home in Southern California!

Then the kids rode a humungous, extinct liger or something. Whatever it was, it looked fierce to me! Not gonna lie, I was kind of glad it was extinct.


After that was another big cat, a cool-looking lion who was pretty much bored with the whole “people looking at me from behind a fence” thing. But at least he looked cool doing it.


Next up were some cute gazelle-looking things, I am 100% sure that’s not what they are, but I can’t remember their names. They were really cute, though!


See, don’t they just look like the volleyball players of the animal kingdom or something? Adorable!

Then West and Eli did their best seal impressions, although it wasn’t cold enough to really do it justice.



After that it was the huge line to get to see the pandas, which is puzzling to me why there is such a demand for those guys. I mean, they’re cute and adorable and all, but you don’t see people lining up in a processional like that to see the gazelle volleyball players. Maybe because they’re more endangered? I don’t know, but I was glad we got to see them.


And our own bamboo-loving kiddos.


West’s favorite animal, the warthog, had a couple of adorable little babies with them. They were fun to watch as they trotted around the enclosure with their mommas.


Then there were some big horn sheep, an orangutan, and some more crazy animals!







Of course, getting to visit (although briefly!) with my friend Amy from Scrap Girls was one of the highlights. She works with the birds there at the zoo and was busy with a new exhibit they had to finish on a deadline. Of course, we didn’t give her much notice, so the next time we plan to go down, we’ll have a longer visit. Just getting to chat with her was totally awesome, though!


We really had a fun (and calorie burning, with all those hills!) day and we expect to go back often throughout the year!

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