April Travel: San Diego Old Town and Zoo

Again, this is the third part of my blogs on our April travel adventures for more see April Travel: Downtown LA and April Travel: Baby Shower and First Flight.

We met up with Luke on Friday night in San Diego. My parents took us to Casa De Reyes which has become their favorite stop for food in Old Town. It was a beautiful balmy day and we sat outside in the courtyard taking in the sun before it set eating amazing Mexican food (the prawn enchiladas were amazing).

Zach was very happy to spend time with his Dad after being away for almost a week. We walked around the shops, enjoying the evening entertainment. When it got dark we exchanged a few items, said goodnight, and took the lighttrail to our hotel in the Gaslamp District.

The next day Luke at his conference all day so my Mom, Dad, and I took Zach to the San Diego Zoo. This Zoo holds a lot of memories for our family. I went there several times as a child and Luke and I went to this zoo as our last date right before our wedding.

We started our Zoo adventure with the tram ride and saw what was new since we’d been last (Africa Rocks). Then we explored the aviaries and rainforest trails on our way down to our lunch stop. Zach loved the spider monkeys and colorful birds. The waterfalls also caught his attention, hopefully he will see some REAL ones soon.

Zach took a nap while we explored the reptiles and reptile house after lunch.

Then later in the afternoon when he woke up we saw the big animals starting with the Hippo and baby Hippo, which Zach really didn’t see all he could see were the fish.

We looped around to end the day looking at the Elephants and Lions, then took the Kangaroos tram down to the Giraffes and Kangaroos.

But Zach’s favorite: the Zebra. He noticed the Zebra all the way from the tram ride so we went back to let him see him again. Whether it was the black and white stripes, or the fact that it’s the only animal that starts with the same letter as his name, he loved the Zebra.

 

When I went to this Zoo for the first time my parent’s got me a small stuffed giraffe because there was a baby giraffe then and I really enjoyed it. So we got Zach a small stuffed Zebra before we left, and he loves it.

We got back in time for Luke, Zach, and I to go out for dinner, we ended up going to Rockin Baja Lobster which was great. They had a salsa and chip bar and the three of us enjoyed a lobster bucket for two (Zach ate the chicken and beef that came with it). It was a great celebration meal for our first spring vacation as a family.

Flashback: Buffalo Zoo

In March Luke and I went on a mini-spring break vacation to Buffalo.

One of the places we explored while there was their local zoo. Because it was cold and snowing we almost had the park to ourselves.

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Now I have  been spoiled when it comes to great zoos.  I grew up with the LA zoo where the weather is good enough to view all animals all year.  Then the weekend before Luke and I got married we went to San Diego  zoo. I had been before when I was very little but it was Luke’s first time. Of course that zoo is world famous and has a rare Panda exhibit.

I knew this going into the much smaller 20 or so acre Buffalo Zoo. But I have to say I was impressed. For a small zoo it was well organized, clean, and a good variety of animals and habitats.

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Of course because of the weather some animals were not so keen on coming out to play like the hyenas, some monkeys, and leopards. We watched as a lioness pouched, roared, and scratched at the door to go inside.

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not my pic, for more on Monica the baby Indian rhino click on the picture

But we were please to find out the zoo has been very successful with babies.We were able to watch several baby and toddler grey backed gorillas run around together, a baby rhino playfully charge at her mother, and two baby giraffes exploring their play area.

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Fortunately, this type of zoo is used to the rainy/snowing weather so the gorilla exhibit, giraffe house, elephant house, reptile house and more were all indoors.

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Another impressive piece of the zoo was their indoor rainforest ecohabitat. When we walked through the doors of this exhibit we sighed relief and took off our coats in the humidity.

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With a waterfall at the back and a river winding through the center, animals who would normally interact in the wild are placed in the same exhibit.We watched the capybara, rays, turtles, and tropical birds in the river.

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Tropical monkeys shared an exhibit with tortoises and above red ibis and toucans flew freely around landing on the tops of wire cages. They also had a separate exhibit for an anteater and for vampire bats behind the waterfall.

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Let’s just say in spite of the weather we were happy that we went to the zoo.

To explore the buffalo zoo for yourself link on the link below:

http://www.buffalozoo.org/

What is your favorite animal to watch at the zoo?