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: Botanical Gardens

Yes, I am still writing posts at the end of April to catch up to March but this is the last one, I promise. During our mini spring-break trip to Buffalo we also went to the Buffalo Botanical Gardens.

logo Luke at first seemed uneasy about going until I explained to him that it was a giant greenhouse; almost completely inside. Then he was all for it.


The wind was blowing hard as we went to the main entrance. Once we got inside we were able to take off our jackets and breath deep the fragrant air of many plants and trees inside the greenhouses.


The Botanical Gardens has many different rooms each focused on different types of plants and their locations. We first stepped into the tall atrium called the Palm Dome. It was the first time Luke had seen palm trees since leaving California.


Then we went through the fern collection (we see plenty of those where we live) and onto the topiaries and coy pond. Here all topiaries are shaped to look like dinosaurs.


We went over the pond bridge and found a great place to sit and drink our coffee while watching the waterfall covered in purple flowers and moss.


After sitting for a while we move onto the much warmer dessert room filled with cacti and succulents. Although I am much more familiar with these plants ( my dad/brother had a cactus garden in my backyard growing up) I was impressed to the variety they had in their garden.


We probably spent the most time in the next room which housed several plant collections including the largest ivy collection in the world, a substantial bonsai collection and medicinal herbs/plants. Luke enjoyed the boxed-in exhibit of carnivorous plants as well.


The next room: Archangel Room housed the brightest of spring flowers: roses, tulips, sweet broom and more. Here they had a water fountain in view of a ivy wrapped sitting bench, and a table to play checkers at. The room was decorated for spring including kites flying above and plastic easter eggs strung across the room.



As we continued to wind around we saw one of my favorite new editions to the gardens: an orchid house. After that room we thought we were almost done exploring; surprised by  how detailed each room was.


But we still had yet to pass through house 10 where they hold indoor events/weddings, their Panama cloud forest, and Florida Everglades.

By the time we were done exploring the gardens we had finished our coffee, warmed up from the cold wind, and relaxed taking in the peaceful gardens.


To learn more about the Buffalo Botanical Gardens click on the link below:http://www.buffalogardens.com/pages/our-gardens