Day Six--San Diego and Dennis

San Diego Travel Blog

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Today we were pulling up stakes and heading south. We had thought about maybe stopping in Hollywood, but decided against it. I wanted to see my buddy, and while it wasn’t a terribly long drive to San Diego, we did have to contend with L.A. traffic. I heard horror stories, but up until know we had not had to travel on the major arteries a lot. Today would be different.

We got up, dressed, finished packing, and grabbed a nutritious breakfast from McDonald’s. Well, it was fast anyway, which was among our top priorities. We made through the rat maze which in the Los Angeles street system with almost no damage to our psyche or schedule.  We were just merging onto I-5 from the highway near our hotel when traffic started to back up. We had to slow down to about 30 for less than a minute, and then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. I was amazed. I really thought we would run up against one of the famous traffic jams, and sit. Nope, serendipity ruled.

We had seen the San Diego Zoo when were there in 1987, so this time I wanted to visit the San Diego Wild Animal Park.  We arrived there sometime about 11 AM, and went inside San Diego Will Animal Park is operated by the same people who operate the San Diego Zoo. I had heard that the big draw to this park was that the animals were not housed in cages, but ranged freely. I thought that would be pretty neat to see. That was the first thing we did. The park has a tram that you ride that takes you through the open range part and you can see the animals. They warned you that the animals, like zebras, rhinos, buffalo, and deer, had a mind of there own, and you might not get good looks at them. We didn’t. It was a bit of a disappointment. We ate lunch and then got went on the “Heart of Africa”, which is a trail system that takes you to various areas of Africa. Here you could learn about some less exciting and more timid animals. We were able to see a few, but again we were a bit disappointed.

The park had an animatronic dinosaur exhibit which the girls seemed very interested in seeing. Since the animals had turned out to be a bit of a bust, we decided to try that. At the very beginning of the exhibit you got a little book, to gather stamps. The idea was to stamp your book at a station located near each of the dinosaurs you saw, and collect them all. So we set about our dinosaur scavenger hunt. All of the dinosaurs moved, made noise, or both. It held everyone’s attention, but they were kind of tame. They were well done in that they looked real. If their movements could have mimicked something natural they might have been scary. But, still it was neat to see and the girls enjoyed.

After we collected as many stamps as the girls wanted to we went over to the petting zoo. Jolene loves these and goes from animal to animal. If there is a feeding station she is all over me for coins to get some grub. Then she would come back and tell us all about how the animal had taken its meal from her. This one didn’t allow hand feeding, but that was OK. They had several exotic looking deer that were all very docile. Most were just lounging around in the shade, trying to escape the heat. Jessi was still apprehensive about this. But her mother led her over to one animal just lying on the ground. After telling her that she didn’t have to pet it, but that Margo wanted to, they went bend down. Margo went first, and coaxed Jessi to pet its soft fur. She was wearing sunglasses when she did it, but took them off when she was finished, and I saw that her eyes were huge with triumph and excitement as she told me she had petted the deer. From then on she would pet them on her own, but still not as enthusiastically as her sister.

Somewhere around 4 PM we called it day at the park. We still had to check into our hotel and find where Dennis lived. Dennis and his girlfriend had an apartment in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego. Dennis had invited us to stay while we were in town, like last time, but we decided on a hotel. They really didn't have room for us, and we had added Jessi since the last time. Anyway, we checked in and dumped our luggage. From there we were off to find Dennis. I had an address and had figured out how to get there from a map. But, I was not positive. But, my directions were close enough and we where there in about half an hour. We spent the rest of the evening visiting. We talked about our trip so far, got caught up on events back home, and here in California. We ate dinner there, visited some more, and went back to the hotel, dead tired.

sylviandavid says:
nice blog!
Posted on: Jan 20, 2008
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San Diego
photo by: Sunflower300