Monday, August 31, 2009

San Diego Wild Animal Park

None of us had ever been to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, partially since it is outside of San Diego in Escondido, so we were quite excited to check it out. Here's Sarah at the welcome sign to the park.

What I love about this park is that it gives the animals HUGE space to roam around- it definitely has a more natural feel to it.

What we loved about the park was that they provided a map with a recommended trail so that you can maximize the number of animals that you see since the park is so much bigger. I loved this tree house type walkway around the ponds.

They also have a balloon ride that you have to pay extra for so we didn't do it- also, all it does is go up and down. If I'm going to pay to go on a balloon ride, I definitely want it to go somewhere.

Included in our admission was a ride on the Conservation Carousel- but William refused to ride it so I at least got a good photo of me :-)

They also had a safari tram that took you into areas of the park not accessible by walking and where we saw the best part of the zoo- the animals. We first saw the cheetas- who spend most of their time resting to store up their energy for very fast but brief sprints


And giraffes

I loved that they used an old beat up SUV as a bed for this lion

The female lions weren't really fans of the car and so they were on the other side of the enclosure

They had so many elephants- I particularly love the photo of the mama and the baby- precious.

How William measures up to the span of the gorilla

and to California condors

His span is almost long enough with both. We saw some of these California condors and they didn't seem that big. And a bald eagle

They also had a lot of other beautiful birds- Macaws (rainbow and blue) and and some orange bird

And look at the amazing coloration of this hornbill

They also had meerkats- I haven't seen the tv show, Meerkat Manor, so I guess I didn't fully appreciate them, but they are cute
I have never seen an armadillo close up- I was surprised at how it literally fits into a round ball.

I had heard of all of these animals before even if I had never seen them in person before. However, we attended this show at the park where I learned about all kinds of animals that I never knew existed. Like the African caracal- it has these curly black tufts of hair over their ears.

And boy can they jump- and he did this several times for us.

They also had another animal that could jump really high and has a beautiful spotted coat so it is endangered- its called the serval cat which is primarily found in Africa.

I really enjoyed the Wild Animal Park- it was definitely gave the animals the most space and natural type habitat. But, if you only have a short time and limited funds, William and I would recommend that you choose the San Diego Zoo as you can see a wider variety of animals.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unique Gifts at the Sea Life Aquarium

We made a great discovery at the Sea Life Aquarium gift shop- CHOCOLATE LEGOS. Brillant- and delicious. We bought a pack of 8 blocks- a mix of white and milk chocolate. William immediately used his engineering skills to create this great tower

Look at how perfect each individual brick is- what would be better is if the bottom was not there so that you could attach them- but an A+ for originality.

However, while we found this great gem of a gift, we found some that I would not like to receive. I am all about "recycling" but this is taking it to a new level-

if you can't read the fine print in the upper left hand corner- it says "Made with real poo!" I am completely disgusted by the prospect of using notecards made out of elephant dung. All I have to say is GROSS- it doesn't matter how cute you try to make it by putting sea horses on it, I'm just not buying it.

Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland

My sister Sarah and I went to Legoland a few months ago and had also gotten tickets to the Sea Life Aquarium there but ran out of time to visit. We came back on this trip with William, who was a good sport about it because he actually really wants to go to Legoland. I told him that we can go again when we have kids, but he has appeased himself by checking out the new Google street view versions of it. You get to see Lego creations even before the entering the aquarium.

I particularly loved all of the sea horses- like this hieroglyph

They also had some Lego displays not underwater like this seagull

This place definitely brought out the kid in me.

And it rubbed off on my sister Sarah who already seems to be jumping in

The fish were neat

I touched this spiky sea cucumber and it isn't hard at all- the spikes are completely jelly like. Very surprising since my mind was thinking of something prickly.

But what most fascinated me were all of the underwater Lego sculptures

Saturday, August 29, 2009

HGTV type Dream House

While we were in San Diego, we went and visited the beautiful new home of one of my good friends parents whom I have also become good friends with over the years. They used to live in Virginia but moved out to Escondido where they now have their dream home. It literally looks like something off of the HGTV show- which my sister Sarah and I had watched the night before. The home is set up on top of a hill and has these incredible views of the surrounding landscape.

In addition to this view, they also have a swimming pool and outdoor BBQ grill with a mini-fridge and remote controlled lighting for the pool and backyard.

They also have a mini-putting green and a raised patio

And the interior is just as spectacular- my favorite part is this staircase with the rounded out portico at the top of it.

The whole house is incredibly beautiful- a true dream house- and I am so happy that they can now enjoy it and that they shared it with us. But don't worry William- I won't be wanting one of these for a LONG time :-)