Saturday, December 03, 2005

You Belong in the Zoo

Grandma Suzie, lucky dog that she is, was going on a little cruise to Mexico in a large cabin with a balcony that was a religious experience, and needed a lift to the Port of San Diego last Saturday. We were more than happy to take her, and she hoped we would be able to go do something after we dropped her off so it wouldn't be an endless incarceration in a car seat for Tenley. I said we'd probably just go for a stroll around Sea Port Village & grab some lunch, since we'd love to go to the zoo but at $32 each for Jeff and I it just wasn't in the budget! Mom was stunned to hear how expensive zoo admission was (it had gone up quite a bit since she had last taken me), and we both agreed that $64 for 1 visit was highway robbery, especially when you can get a family annual pass to both the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park for only $22 more. So, Grandma Suzie up and bought the family one for Christmas!

So Tenley made her first trek to the San Diego Zoo. She loved the petting zoo, and toddled all over with a big smile on her face and pounced on several very tolerant goats. She was so excited that they let her hug them and touch their fur. After each one she would stand up and clap. She was also interested in the otters, racoons, red pandas and warthogs who were all very active. She was also very awed about the elephants, and when one of them trumpeted she squealed and clapped. But her favourite "animal" of the day - by far- was the tour bus. Everytime one of those noisy brown double deckers came by Ten's head would whip around to stare at it in wide eyed wonder and then the pointing, grunting and excited leg kicking would follow. Go figure.

We had a nice lunch at a cafe by the Koalas, and then we decided to pack it in since the wind was starting to kick up and we were exausted. We had forgotton that the Zoo is built on hills and our calfs and thighs were starting to register some complaints.

It was a good start, even though we never made it to the giraffes and the line for the pandas was prohibitively long. I was delighted to see that the Balboa Park carousel is still out in front of the zoo, as I have very fond memories of my parents always buying me a merry-go-round ride after a visit to the zoo, and I'm looking forward to passing those memories on to Tenley.

Our next stop is going to be the Wild Animal Park, since Jeff hasn't been there since he was a kid and I've never been. Hopefully we'll get there during the holiday season when they have whole bunch of lighted sculptures & such, so we can indulge Tenley's love of animals and all things shiny at the same time!

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