Have been to San Diego only with Mercury, and then it was on embarkation. As such, I have never really seen much of the city other than the terminal and on one or two occasions, the mall which is about 6 blocks away. With a whole day to spend, I had it mapped out since I wasn't going to be able to get my medical done here.
I had heard many good things about the San Diego Zoo, so that was definitely a stop. The mall to pick up some essentials was also in the plan as I was not able to find everything in Acapulco.
Akis woke at 6:30 to start his day, but alas, we had yet to arrive. The late arrival had us at the pier at 7:45 or so which pushed everything back. As I got up for breakfast by 8:30 I wandered to the gangway only to find that the ship was not cleared by Immigration yet and I was not able to get out. The halls and everywhere else on the ship was packed with waiting guests to leave so I returned to the safe haven of the cabin. 10am came, 10am went and the lines were HUGE. At this rate the plan for going to the Zoo first and then to shop was becoming seriously compromised. I had to be back at the ship by 3:30 at the latest and I would need at least 2 hrs or so to run the errands. That meant only 3 hrs at the Zoo if I left now. Revising the situation, I figured I would go shopping today and then hit the Zoo next San Diego before my flight back to Canada.
As the God's would have it, I got off the ship around 10:30 with the hoards of other people only to find getting a taxi a bit of a nightmare. I decided it would be best to hoof it to the mall. I arrived ~ CLOSED. What? Isn't this America where things are open 365? Yes, the stores were all closed for Easter Sunday. Even Starbucks was closed. Can you believe that?!?!
I decided to have a bite to eat and then revise the plan. I did check the website for the Zoo and they said that they were open 365. So the decision at noon was to head to the Zoo. I would have just over 3 hours, but that should do. I almost didn't go thinking that $33.00 plus cab fare there and back would be a bit much for entertainment for 3 hours, but I am glad that I went. The zoo was fantastic and I did learn a thing or two on the guided tour...
San Diego Zoo
It is 91 years old and when it first opened it was the only Zoo to have animal pens which were not completely enclosed. This was considered to be quite radical at the time and helped to distinguish this Zoo from others at the time. There are 4000 animals that are living there and to feed them all, there is a great diversity in the plant life that is found in the Zoo ~ so much so that the Zoo is also considered to be a botanical garden.
Horns vs Antlers
Horns are not bones, but are made of the same stuff you find in your ears and nose. The Horns are permanent features on the animal while Antlers are shed each season. Antlers are made of the same type of material found in your fingernails.Polar Bears
They are not in fact white. Their skin is black and what makes them white is that each hair in their fur is hollow and filled with air. This is what is used to insulate them to keep them warm in the Arctic
waters. Who knew that hair could be hollow.Elephants
These guys have over 1000 muscles in their trunk. I don't know if I have that many muscles in my whole body never mind in one appendage.
These are the only members of the cat family that like to swim. So if the plan to fend off the tiger is to squirt him with the hose, you may be out of luck.Lions
These guys eat roughly once a week. So in efforts to conserve their energy between their feeds, they sleep up to 18 hours a day. Perhaps I am somehow related to the Lion family with all the napping I do, however that theory goes out the window when you consider that I eat more than once a week. Oh well.
The animals I did get a chance to see: Koalas ~ I love these guys
the Panda exhibit ~ very cool how they eat the bamboo and seem quite content to just munch
the Orangutan ~ what a sense of humour these guys have
The giraffes ~ who if you give $5, you can feed them biscuits from your mouth and check out their tongue. Hmm, not so sure about that one
some Galapagos Turtles and the Flamingos ~ which do surprisingly enough look like their plastic lawn counterparts.
The other cool thing I found was this contraption ~ used to soothe the aching feet. I didn't get a chance to try it as I was rapidly checking out the exhibits, but for a quarter, I don't think you can go wrong.
I have also learned that I am not allowed to purchase shirts for Akis
. On my way out of the Zoo at about 3pm, I stopped at the Gift Shop. I found a shirt for myself and figured I should get one for Akis
. Needless to say, the TShirt
with the San Diego Zoo logo and Panda on it did not strike his fancy. I still think it is a guy shirt, but needless to say, it is now looking for a home. Maybe I should have gone with the Gorilla. That might have been less 'girly
Even though the time was short, this was a definite 'Must See', and I'm glad I spent the time even if it was only a couple of hours. If you are ever in the neighbourhood ~ check it out.