Saturday, March 29, 2008

Family Trip to the "Zoo Park"

Rachel loves animals. And ever since the girls and I went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park the end of February, Rachel has asked over and over again to go to the 'Zoo Park', as she calls it. Today we went as a family and had a wonderful time. We've kinda done away with using the stroller, so Rachel walked just about the majority of the day and did a great job at all the walking we did. We started off our day by making our way to the lion exhibit. This exhibit was very impressive last time and we all were anxious to show Daddy. Our experience last time was awesome as our visit to the park was on a weekday and not a lot of people were there, today, it being a weekend and Spring Break for much of Southern California, there were a ton of people. We had to be patient to make our way to the front, but we got to see the lion family and that was fun. After the lions we did the tram ride again. Rachel isn't too big of a fan of this. I'm not sure why, but she gets kinda antsy and bored. Towards the end of the tram ride, the animal trainers were out feeding the cheetahs and that was cool. We had lunch on a patio that overlooked a playground area. So after the girls had finished eating, they went to play for a bit. And here Rachel demonstrates a family trait of sticking her tongue out when attempting to do something that takes some effort. LOL. After lunch we set out for a long walk to some of the exhibits that are off the beaten path. It was a nice walk on a dirt trail that led us to some areas that overlooked the valleys of the park and some beautiful scenery. At one part of the trail we crossed over a wooden bridge.Along our walk, we stopped at the elephant viewing area where we could see the African elephants up close. There have been about three elephants born over the last year. Rachel and I often check in on the elephants via the elephant web cam. So it was fun to see them in person. With these four elephants, we referred to the smallest elephant as Rachel, and the next smallest as Hannah. In addition to Hannah needing wanting to observe the lions again for her research project, Mommy wanted to see the butterfly exhibit that the "Zoo Park" is currently hosting, the tour includes orchids, but the butterflies are much more interesting. Rachel, having painted a butterfly at school last week also expressed an interest in seeing the butterflies. The line for the exhibit was really long the several times we passed by, so we kept putting it off and putting it off, and finally, as one of the things we did at the end of our day, we got in line, which had become shorter. The butterflies were difficult to capture with the camera, but this butterfly sat long enough for me to get some beautiful pictures. There were quite a few places on our walk today where you could look out the telescope, And for some reason Rachel was attracted to them at every stop. I took this picture when we stopped to observe the gorillas. The park closed at 5:00, so we as we made our way towards the exit, we stopped along the way to do a few fun things as well as take a look at the pretty birds. Rachel did not want to leave and was pretty sad as we were heading out. She loves seeing the animals. We're making plans to go to the San Diego Zoo and to Seaworld in June, when Steven takes a few weeks off for vacation. So she has something to look forward to as far as seeing the animals again soon. We stopped for dinner before hitting the freeway for the long drive home where the girls scarfed their dinner down. Apparently all the walking had caused them work up a good appetite. And despite all the walking and all we'd done, Rachel was bound and determined to 'play a game' when we got home. Knowing that she'd fall asleep at some point on the way home, I told her if she stayed awake all the way home, she could stay up. She was fast asleep shortly after that! LOL. We had a wonderful day together as a family, enjoying all the animals and the beautiful day, and look forward to another day like today!


John, Shannon, Broderick, Camden, and Adalynn said...

The pic of Rachel and the telescope is gorgeous!!!! Looks like y'all had a blast!

Darcy said...

I love that picture too! I would really like to take a photography class. But then I'll want a better camera, etc. LOL.