Sunday, October 24, 2010

San Diego Comic Con 2010: Episode IV

Day two in San Diego was centered around visiting the local Zoo. An average zoo, such as the one back home in Calgary would require about 5 hours to walk about, although I feel that many more hours than that are needed to fully see the zoo. Nonetheless, the San Diego zoo is massive, being 107 acres in size. Built in 1915, the zoo now has over 4000 animals comfortably living within its borders that represent 800 different species. This is also one of the very few zoos in the world that houses pandas, which were a particular draw for my wife.

We didn’t have to go to out for breakfast that morning since we purchased groceries the night before. We woke up early and Michelle showered and got ready for the day while I packed the backpack for our trip: various snacks and batteries for the camera, along with a map of San Diego. We debated about taking transit to the zoo but opted instead for a cab. The cab ride was about $15 round trip, which was cheaper than purchasing a day pass for the transit. The cab ride was much faster than the transit, plus we didn’t have to worry about catching the correct bus. As we were staying at a hotel in the downtown area, there were always cabs outside, albeit primarily there waiting for people to exit the Greyhound station next door.

The ride to the San Diego zoo was quite fast. We exited the cab at the front gates and found that even though it was still early in the morning, around 9 am, there was a large group of people waiting to enter the zoo. There were a few summer school groups there, a number of other people likely taking the day off from work to take their kids, and other people much like us who were visitors to the area. While waiting in line we again met another friendly San Diego’ite (or whatever you call the native people of San Diego). He was with his son and spoke to us about how great the zoo is and how they were to visit Lego Land the following day.

The San Diego Zoo is a massive place. It can easily take a day to walk through the complex, but this would do it no justice as you would have to walk briskly past almost every enclosure. We decided to walk a counter-clockwise route and take advantage of the daylong trip. The morning weather was nice, but not exactly summer-like. As the day wore on it became increasingly cooler, and as we were wearing shorts and no jacket, we soon began to shiver.
Panda bear at the
San Diego Zoo

We forgot that we had packed snacks for the day. We bought food from a few of the vendors, where it was found to be re-heated previously frozen chunks of what might pass for food if you were trapped on a desert island. Not exactly appetizing and I do not recommend it. Water was also not something easily obtained, and when it was found it cost about $4. We opted instead for the more hideously satisfying fountain beverages, where you could buy one large cup with a gaudy plastic animal lid. The cup held about 1 litre of pop and could be refilled at no extra charge, which sounded like the most rationale choice even though the thing cost over $10. Nonetheless, I would recommend buying one of these if you forget to bring a water bottle, which we had. Also, even though the food was marginal at best, it did satisfy our hunger and didn’t empty our pocket books too much

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