On Day Two we piled into Drew’s ride and hit the highway, southbound to San Diego. As a member of the San Diego Zoo, Drew finagled some free passes for us, which was awesome, considering that it costs $35 per person and we are spoiled with the freeness of the St. Louis Zoo. Probably the neatest thing about the San Diego Zoo is the immersive experience. Once you enter, you are whisked away into a world of animals and the city itself recedes into the background.
Even though there were many people there (it was a beautiful Saturday) it didn’t feel crowded at all.
The animals there were pretty good sports about the whole thing. They were engaged with the visitors and generally active, living a life of luxury. We went by the giraffes to try and feed them, but the line was too long, so we just watched them getting fed, which was almost as good and definitely less slimy.
The koalas were soft and snuggly, sleeping contentedly in their branches.
One even had the face of Jesus in his fur:
The world famous pandas where strangely two dimensional.
Seriously though, we were excited to see the pandas, since we’d never seen them before. They also liked to sleep in trees. One rolled over and stretched for us…
…and then pooped out a massive turd of wood chips. While we were giggling, the zoologist shushed us and reminded the crowd that everyone poops but some animals are just less shy about it.
My favorite animals of the day were the tigers:
Also, the pygmy hippopotami seemed to have a good life.
The full sized hippos were engaged in a half-submerged mating ritual that mainly involved biting each others’ face, but with the water and the crowd it was hard to get pictures.
After checking out all the animals, we left the Zoo and headed to Stone Brewing Company, just north of San Diego. They are a microbrewery and restaurant where great emphasis is placed on honest ingredients, real food, and attention to detail. The beers were great and the meal we had there was fantastic. Jen got the fancy mac and cheese (it had sausage and all different kinds of cheeses) and I got the duck tacos. High quality, for sure. If you are ever out that way, definitely stop by. In addition to great food and beer, it’s a great setting too. We were out on the patio, and while it was a little bit chilly, the patio heaters kept us warm.
After Stone, we headed back to LA, talking music the whole way, with Jen sleeping in the back. Another great day.