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San Diego Zoo!

On Sunday MJ and I checked out of the hotel, which was a bit of a relief because it turns out a youth soccer tournament decided to use the hotel as their base and it had grown quite out of control will kids (don’t get me wrong, kids are cool, but the loud, unsupervised roaming packs throughout the night got to be a bit much!). We then headed over to the San Diego Zoo. I first learned about this zoo when I was a kid and a friend had a CD-ROM featuring the zoo that I loved to play with on her computer. I’ve wanted to go ever since, so I was super excited to finally get the opportunity!

The day ended up being a bit overcast and we dealt with some drizzle throughout the day, but overall it was quite tolerable. Upon arrival we decided to first take the bus tour of the park, which wasn’t exceptional for photos but did give a nice overview of the layout beyond what the map could offer and gave us some extra ideas of what to see the rest of the day.

Just like with the Safari Park the day before, there were some animals I particularly wanted to see.

First was the pangolin! The code name of the 12.04 version of Ubuntu was “Precise Pangolin” so I thought it would be fun to finally see one and, though quite rare in captivity, I knew one lived at the San Diego Zoo. The pangolin isn’t on exhibit, but run now they have a daily “Keeper Talk” in the children’s zoo area where a keeper brings out the pangolin to talk about it!

The pangolin was a lot of fun, very mobile and ran around a bunch. It was really cool seeing one in person.

The San Diego Zoo is also home to some of the few pandas in the United States. We caught two of them during feeding.

We also got to see Xiao Liwu via video as we walked through the panda exhibit (see his lated zooborn.com update here: Panda Cub Has a Ball at His Exam)

In my post about the San Diego Zoo Safari Park I mentioned that their elephant cam was on my Chumby. The second star exhibit on my Chumby is the lively San Diego Zoo polar bear cam! So it was nice to see that during our visit as well.

MJ brought his new DSLR along for the trip to the zoo as well, so he spent the day trying out different settings to get some good shots of the animals, I hope to be able to share some of them soon.

As for me, more photos from my day can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157632266587811/

We had dinner at Albert’s Restaurant there at the zoo. It was an actual sit-down restaurant and I was really pleased with the menu and service. Plus it was super nice not to have to leave the zoo to get some good, non-fast food. After eating we spent some more time walking around the zoo, but by then it had gotten quite dark out already. We then made it back to the car to head to the airport, which was an adventure of its own – good thing our weekend had been largely fun to make the trials of getting home worth it for such a short trip!

Since I had flown in early for the conference, MJ and I ended up with different itineraries on different airlines, but we had carefully planned things so our flights were scheduled to leave around the same time. Unfortunately planning doesn’t work out so well when weather changes the plans! It turns out that the weather on the ground in San Francisco was quite rainy and it was causing a lot of delays. My flight was delayed a couple hours, so they rebooked me for a much earlier flight that was scheduled to leave about 30 minutes after my original flight, it actually left over an hour later than that. MJ wasn’t quite as lucky and ended up having to wait an additional hour. I managed to get home just after midnight and he arrived home about an hour later.


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