Margo in line at the San Diego Zoo
Anyone who has watched the Tonight Show on even a semi-regular basis has been exposed to the animals of the San Diego Zoo. For years they would send one person or another bringing some furry or feathered critter to educate the public and do something to embarrass either Johnny Carson or Jay Leno. So as we were going to be in the San Diego area for nearly two weeks, how could we not go?
As was getting to be our normal routine, we were in no real hurry to get up and seize the day. We were more into the lulling the day into a state of complacense and then sneaking up on it in the afternoon. So we didn't get to the zoo until after noon. But as it was open into the evening we weren't concerned about not having enough time.
The big draw to Zoo this year were the Panda Bears from China. China had loaned two pandas, Basi and Yuan Yuan, to the San Diego Zoo for a period of 200 days. These were the only pandas in the United States, so we had to see them. But, they weren't the first things that we did, as the Panda Exhibit was towards the back of the zoo. So first we had to wander past reindeer and ostrichs, giraffes and zebras, water buffalo and a few big cats. We also happened upon a pair of antelope who were doing their part to perpetuate the species. We did manage to divert Jolene's attention and avoid ackward questions.
We did make it to the Panda Exhibit about half an hour into our visit. The line was unbeleivable! Perhaps in Southern California, home of Disneyland and such, people are accustomed to seeing line like this.
Jolene waiting in line to see the pandas
But outside of the line outside the lady's restroom at a Bronco game, Denver doesn't have lines like this. In truth the San Diego Zoo doesn't normally either. I later found out that 2 million people saw the pandas in the time they spent in San Diego. We waited in that line for probably only 30-45 minutes, but for a zoo exhibit that was like camping out to get concert tickets. When we finally got to walk past the glass viewing area, we were pretty disappointed. The cage area for the animals was pretty large. That is great for the bears, so they get plenty of room to play and exercise. It even would have been great for us visitors, except our pair were content to sleep the most distant corner. The could have been black and white rugs stuffed in the corner and we wouldn't have know the difference.
That black and white blotch in the center is one of the Pandas
But, we snapped a picture or two and kept going with the flow of the crowd. That was another disappointing part, you really couldn't linger very long, as you knew there were a ton of people behind you too. But hey, we saw the pandas and there weren't a lot of people in this part of the world who could say that.
Well it was all down hill after that excitment. We saw the hippos and elephants. The tigers and rhinos, and even some snakes. We took a bus tour around the zoo, which we enjoyed, as we could sit down and see the zoo. Plus we had someone telling us stories too. You could really tell we were relaxing on this vacation. We particularly enjoyed the bear exhibit. Here they had several bears that put on an impromptu show, rearing up on their hind legs and "waving" and pandering to the crowd.
Hi! Welcome to the San Diego Zoo! Please feed the bears!
The driver stopped the bus and let us be entertained by the bears for awhile, but we had to go, and the bears got bored with us too.
We hung around the zoo early evening, and then we called it a day. So we all went back to Dennis'. We were settling into a routine here too. Dinner, general conversation, and some TV. It was good to be able to visit with my best friend. He had moved to San Diego just a few years ago. We kept in contact, but it sucked not being able to go grab a beer. We did a bit of that now. We also decided that tomorrow we head south, and visit Mexico.