San Diego Zoo

By grace.g.yang ยท February 11, 2013
Under: California,Travels

We wanted to see the pandas at the San Diego Zoo so we spent the day with Flo, Paul and the kids. The drive to the zoo wasn’t too bad (about an hour) but we spent another hour trying to find parking! Parking is free but you should get to the zoo SUPER early if you want any chance of finding a parking space (not even a good parking space, just a parking space in general). Valet parking was completely full and Ken and I sat in the car trying to chase people down as they were going to their cars for a solid hour before I ended up just getting out of the car and trying to buy tickets to save some time. We eventually found parking and met up with the kids inside. The zoo was all decorated for the holidays:


We almost immediately went to the other side of the park by taking the tram – here’s me and Ken on our way to see the pandas:


First, we went to see the polar bears – there were two that were leisurely lounging on their rocks:


Then we saw these animals (I don’t know what they are….and they were just standing between me and the pandas!!):


When we finally found the panda exhibit, the lines were SUPER long. We almost didn’t make it through the exhibit lines because we thought it might take hours! But, I really wanted to see the pandas and it was the only reason we drove to the zoo, so Ken, Flo, Charley and I stood in line while Paul and Sammy sat down and enjoyed a churro. The line was actually not too bad, it just looked like it was never-ending. Actually, they had other exhibits before you got to the pandas, including the red panda and a snake (gross). Finally, we got to the panda exhibit!! Here’s gao gao:


Me, Charley and Gao Gao:


The panda is super lazy and really cute – in fact, one of his ears is larger than the other because before the zoo found him, he had gotten into a fight with another panda and lost part of his ear! I can’t even imagine a panda fighting with another animal because they’re so fat and lazy…I almost think Gao Gao just got his ear stuck on some bamboo shoot and couldn’t figure out how to untangle himself without hurting his ear. There’s another panda at the exhibit (but they’re not together):


And a third panda was born over the summer (not available for public viewing yet, but Ken and I watched a bunch of the videos and they were all really cute). After seeing the pandas, I was down to see anything else so we went to see the rhinos:


Me, Ken and Charley by the rhino:


Across from the rhino: a herd of giraffes:


And then we saw the cutest koalas!!!:


Finally, some very pink flamingos:


The trip to the zoo wasn’t too bad of a drive and it was definitely worth it to see the pandas and the koalas. Next time we visit, I’d love to see the new baby panda! They’re redoing some of the koala exhibit so there will be at least 20 koalas by the end of 2013 – I can’t wait to go back and see them!

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