The day started out overcast and chilly for SD which was a balmy 65'F. However, I was more than thrilled to be in weather that consisted of no visible moisture! As the day progressed, it got warmer and the sun came out! It was a glorious feeling. The sun on my face and wearing short sleeves, I thought momentarily I was in heaven. (Can you tell, I am seriously over the Winter as Spring weather I am currently enduring!)
Jude had yet to experience the zoo. He sees horses and cows each time we travel the 30 minutes to Mamo's, but all other real animals he has not seen. I was anxious to see how he would react. I wondered if he would be shy, frightened, excited, apprehensive, indifferent... But I was sure no matter how he reacted we would have fun!
We arrived at the zoo around 10:30 and it was packed! It was Armed Forces Day, something I should have been aware of but wasn't... sorry Gabe, and all active duty military personnel were invited to the zoo for free! What a great deal for active duty service men and women and their families, but it made for a busy day. Also there seemed to so some massive photography club and a huge number of boy and girl scout troops! It was a great day for people watching and for listening to children!
One little boy who was with three little girls around the age of 7 was inquiring if any of them had ever eaten a bug. He told them that it wasnt a big deal and that they, the bugs, taste like spicy tuna! I laughed outloud. First of all, eating bugs! Gross! But what was so funny to me was the idea that the flavor of spicy tuna would be so common place among these children, that he thought this would be a good comparison. I like spicy tuna, I wish I could eat some now! If that is what bugs taste like, perhaps I should rethink my aversion to bug eating!
Jude liked the animals a lot and was such a good boy. He stayed in the stroller and would stand up to see all the animals. He wasn't shy, or nervous, but I could tell he was overwhelmed. The zoo is a big place with a lot of things to see. We pushed through the day forgoing a nap, and he never once became the cranky sleepy kid monster. His favorites were the rhino, which he was at first confused about since my parents have a riding 4wheeler which we call a rhino..., the elephant, the giraffes, the camel, and the cougar. He liked the monkeys, but they weren't being that active and therefore not that interesting. The California Condors were cool and Chandler taught Jude how to span his arms real wide like wings and whoosh like a bird of prey! I was pretty cute. The last place we went was into the reptile house and we saw a huge albino python. Jude really like it. He kept saying, "Lellow nake!"
But the real highlight of the day was seeing the Polar Bears at feeding time! Well not really, Let me explain. I am married to hunter. A man who sees the value and validity of stewarding and subduing the land and animals around him. The polar bears were scheduled to be fed around 1:30, so we headed in that direction. Garrett, I am sure, envisioned large slabs of meat or some wounded seal swimming around in the polar bears fake artic pool. We show up at the newly redone polar bear exhibit, making me feel ever so gulity for ever having any sort of carbon footprint because its because of us all the polar bears are dying, and the trainer is placing large heads of romain lettuce all over the habitat.
Garrett scoffs loudly, "Dont these people know what Polar Bears eat. Haven't they seen Planet Earth! You know in the back right now, they are chowing down on some huge side of beef, and they expect us to be entertained by the bears playing with lettuce!"
I wasn't sure if I should dive into the fake ice cave and hide for the rest of the afternoon, or if I should kiss him hard right then and there.
You see the zoo is a paradox. Saving endangered animals means that those animals have to eat other animals. Not all living creatures are vegetarians. Most are meat eaters, and as far as the hubby is concerned to be honest is better than being offended. I did have to point out how for a small child the idea of the seal they just saw in the Seal Show being hunted by Mr. Polar Bear could be slightly damaging to the psyche. He agreed. But he did make me think. He always makes me think, and that is one of the many things I love about my husband.
Anyway, the zoo was a success and I am looking forward to many more paradoxical days at the San Diego Zoo. I really do love that place, even if they feed the Polar Bears lettuce.
Here are a few pictures: