Friday, March 30, 2012

San Diego: Zoo and Hodad's

We decided to spend our entire Saturday at the San Diego Zoo. We have a membership to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and we go there fairly frequently. Since I knew very little about the San Diego Zoo, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend a day there when we could easily go to the zoo back home. Luke, however, had heard from several coworkers that the zoo is completely worth the visit, and he was right! The zoo was amazing, and I am so glad we took the time to go.
We started our trip at the zoo with a bus tour. The tour was a 40 min bus ride all over the zoo grounds, and we were able to get some great views of the animals that would have been difficult to see from the regular exhibit area. The line to get on the bus was a bit of a wait, and by the end Owen was very anxious for his turn on the "big bus". He cheered quite loudly when he saw we were actually boarding. Unfortunately, he was pretty tired and fell asleep 10 min into the bus ride and missed most of the sights.
After our bus tour, we wandered around some of the exhibits and quickly realized this zoo was huge! We decided we needed to make a priority list for that day and make plans to come back on another trip to San Diego. We started with the gorillas and monkeys because Owen had been talking about them all morning. Sadly though, he fell back asleep in the stroller and only saw a few monkeys at the end.
However, he did wake up in time to see the hippos which was one of our favorite exhibits of the day. Not only can you view the hippos while they are on land, but they also have an underwater viewing area. The tank included a mama and baby hippo, and we loved watching the mom push the baby around and help it get to where it wanted to go.
From here we moved over to the panda exhibit since this is something we can't see in Seattle. It was quite busy and we had to wait in a short line in order to walk on a small walkway in front of the panda. We saw a couple pandas and then it was over. I am glad we went through the exhibit, but we did feel a little rushed.
After the pandas, we went to see some elephants and lions. The lions were a little difficult to see because they were hiding near the back of the exhibit. However, Owen really enjoyed playing on the elephant statues. He certainly could have stayed there for awhile.
Our final stop of the day was to the Polar Bears. They also had an underwater viewing area, and the bears were spending a good portion of time swimming around and playing in the water. Owen's favorite part of this stop was actually not the Polar bears, but rather the helicopter they had for kids play in. He waited so patiently for his turn, and then loved getting to play with the controls and sit in the cockpit. He is really becoming a planes, trains, and trucks fan!
Since we had to climb uphill to get to the Polar Bears, we decided to finish off our day by riding the skytram back to the entrance. Owen had been eying this flying device above us all day, and was excited for the trip. However, being the nervous mommy I can be, I held on tight and really didn't want him to close to the edge. Overall, the day at the zoo was wonderful, and we will certainly go back on our next trip to SD.
After we got home from the zoo, we decided to head down to Hodad's for dinner in Ocean Beach. We had heard from Bekah and her parents about their monstrous burgers and amazing shakes. It is a tiny little place with a line out the door, but really fun experience. The burgers were great, but definitely unhealthy. The four of us shared a shake which was also amazing. It had a huge scoop of ice cream on top. It was a fun way to finish off a great day.

Zoo Pictures (a bit out of order)

Sunset at Ocean Beach

Dinner at Hodad's

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