Sunday, February 7, 2010

San Diego - Day 2, Part 2

The San Diego Zoo is such a wonderful zoo. Most of the animals habitats are designed to not only allow a good glimpse of the animals but to give us silly humans an idea of how these guys actually live. I loved seeing the different 'homes' of all the animals. (Make sure you click on the links throughout the blog to get a better idea of where we were.)




Some really cool looking African rock art.


I love these Meerkats! They're always so adorable!!!

I have no idea what this guy was eating but Ewwwww!!!



Who hasn't kissed a few snakes in their time?

....or a few toads hoping they'd turn into Prince Charming?



Camels! Watch out! They spit!!




I have no idea what type of bird creature this is, but he is so bad ass! Check out those feather behind his head! I wanna take one home and stick it on my front porch!

Elephants!



The elephants have a HUGE area devoted just to them. In the picture below, they have this type of 'housing' area where the are fed, bathed and generally pampered. There's also a pretty large pool area for them to swim in.


After we visited the elephants, we came up to the Lion's Den. They had a pretty big area to play in with a nice thick glass wall protecting us from them. The lioness below would pace around this corner, go into the little house there and back out and around the corner.



We watched her do this a few times and then we noticed this big guy...
Now what I need to tell you about this certain picture is that Jon was the one taking it. See where that Lion is staring? Yeah, he's staring right at me. In fact, as soon as he came around that corner he locked eyes on me and charged the glass! Made me jump back, let out a little girlie scream and have the whole crowd of people laughing at me! I tell you, I was VERY thankful for that glass wall. I'm pretty sure he's was just messing with me but holy mother of all that is African! I did not want to be his play food!




We now come to the part of the story where you can become a big blubbering pile of mushy love.....

The Koala Exhibit.
Apparently this is the largest gathering of Koala's outside of Australia. It was very cool. Lots of trees with wooden walkways for us humans to observe. Most of the koala's where snuggled in the trees. Little round gray balls. But as I stood watching one of them, I noticed some movement. Next thing I knew, this little tiny koala baby came climbing up her Mama's chest.

The Mama reached her arms around, ran her arms and hands up and down the baby's back.....

....then snuggled in for some baby koala lov'n.
It was so super sweet that all I could do was keep saying, "Awwww...Jon! Look at this! Awwww....". They were the cutest things I think I've ever seen. I became a big ol' pile of love right there in the Outback Exhibit.



Giraffes are such a wonder to look at. Sometimes I wonder how they can possibly stand up and walk around with all that neck and short stubby body?



Some of you may not know that my Mom's maiden name is 'Ryno'. So of course, because of this her side of the family has a thing with Rhino's.  Which means that whenever any of us get a chance to see one, it's pretty dang special and requires many a photo.

Here I am with the Rhino in the back ground, with the focus on him.....


and now the focus is on me. Isn't Jon a crafty photographer?

Check 'em out! Pretty dang impressive.





Finally our last animal of the day. The Kangaroo. What was funny about this is that when we came up to this exhibit. There wasn't a kangaroo to be found. We were just about ready to give up and keep walking when all of a sudden, this crazy kangaroo came flying out from behind the rocks, hopped like a mad man in a big circle and went back behind the rocks. Nothing like a drive by Kangaroo hoping to end the day on a happy note.



After we exited the zoo (after picking up gifts for the kids of course and my Dad for watching said kids), we thought to take a walk to see if we could find this building we saw on the 'Skyfari'.


We had no idea what this was but we kept hearing church bells ring throughout the day. They even rang to the tune of our National Anthem at one time. We decided to take a little stroll to the right of the zoo and see what all these cool looking buildings were all about. We were in for a very happy surprise!

We ended up in Balboa Park.

"Welcome to Balboa Park - the nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction. "
Let me tell you, it is BREATHTAKING. All these buildings that have been turned into museums, stores, restaurants. Lush landscapes where you can find a family enjoying a picnic, a struggling musician playing his favorite songs, a posh model shoot, and various couples like Jon and I, holding hands and taking in the beautiful sights.

The first building we came upon is this one:
I think, maybe it's a collage or some sort?

The architectural art work on all these buildings is amazing.



A scene from one of the gardens.


We found one of many fountains, in the middle of a garden.



There were also walk ways and abbeys that had these statues and beautiful art work throughout them.




This is a picture of the Botanical Building. Apparently there are some really lush gardens inside. Unfortunately, we were unable to go in since it was closed.



I've been trying to find out what this word means above the fountain. If you figure it out, let me know!

Another museum.
Another garden.

So beautiful!


Finally, right as we were leaving we came upon the Spanish Village Art Center.
This is an art lovers paradise! So many different vendor. From glass to wood, to paintings and sculpture. It is amazing!



Words cannot even begin to describe what a wonderful day that day was. Seeing animals that make you wonder what God was thinking, to beautiful buildings and art. It truly was a day carved out just for Jon and I. Each and every time I think of it, I am feel so blessed that I was able to share that day with my husband. I am one lucky gal.

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