Friday, July 29, 2005

A Day at the Zoo

Tonight will be our last night in San Diego. Tomorrow, we are off to... actually, I have no idea. That's the way I like it. We may park our rental van at the border, walk across to Tijuana and spend the day in Mexico. Or, we may head off towards Arizona, or even backtrack into the California interior, where we haven't been yet. We'll decide in the morning. Holidays are all about the flexibility to do whatever pops into your mind.

Today, we were at the San Diego Zoo. It was an interesting experience. Have you heard or read the hype about San Diego having a 'world class' zoo, perhaps even the best zoo in the entire world? I have.

Don't believe everything you hear or read. San Diego has an 'OK' zoo, no better or worse than dozens of other zoos across North America. It is special, though, in several ways. Going to the San Diego Zoo is an event, more than just going to see some wild animals. It is a total entertainment experience. It has a Sky Tram which traverses the park and allows you to orient yourself with a bird's eye view of the zoo's offerings. It has guided tours on double-decker buses. Other double-decker 'express' buses are available to whisk you from one part of the zoo to another. The zoo also offers various forms of entertainment, several restaurants and kiosks with $3.75 soft drinks. It even has a huge outdoor escalator which allows you to climb one rather substantial hill without breaking a sweat.

Actually, it is almost impossible not to break a sweat in California this time of year, even by riding an escalator instead of walking. It was rather toasty in San Diego today and by the time we returned to our air-conditioned room, I was very ready for a nap.

It would be easy to spend a week or two in San Diego. There are some things that we didn't get a chance to do. We're all getting restless, though. It is time to move on.

Oops. My wife just picked up the telephone and I heard her ask the desk clerk if it would be possible to stay another night in this hotel. I may have more to say about San Diego after all.


  1. I had an experience at the San Diego Zoo which I would like to share with you. Standing alone, outside the gorilla pen I took the time to read the warning sign which said not to touch the enclosure chain link fence. Of course being the kind of guy who must try everything which comes my way, I thought the warning was just a bit of zooish hype. Back in the corner of the pen was a concrete cubicle with no indication of an occupant. Stupid as it now seems, I grabbed the fence with both hands, and shook it violently imitating what I thought was a credible sound of an enraged gorilla. That's when the you know what hit the fan. This enormous furry beast charged out of its home,directly at me, roaring as fiercely as anything I've ever encountered before. This is not the recommended behaviour. Thank God the chain link fence kept the animal from grabbing me. By now, I'm sure you are getting a better understanding of why I'm known in my own mind as "Wild Bill". Keep those cards coming in. I'm thoroughly enjoying your holiday.

  2. That must be the same old guy I saw sitting within inches of the perimeter of the enclosure. He had a baleful/lovestruck expression on his rugged visage. I think he misses you, Bill.

  3. I was at the SD Zoo in June 1969 and again in September of 2003.

    I think back in the 60's it was 'world class' because it was one of the first to offer things other than animals in unadorned soulless cages.

    Since then, most other zoos have adopted it's technique of showing the animals in approximations of their natural habitats.

    San Diego is a great place....but I'm thinking that with all the recent changes in my life, I'll never get the opportunity to see it again.

  4. Those changes in your life, Christopher, must be daunting at times. I'm sure you will do just fine, even with all the new responsibilities and the dynamics of 'his,' 'hers' and even potentially 'ours.' You and Heather seem like you were made for each other. She 'sounds' like a funny, smart and sexy woman and her daughter sounds delightful.

    It always seems like there aren't enough dollars to do everything we would like to do though, doesn't it? In my humble opinion, a good relationship trumps... well, just about everything else.