Day 38 - 02/08/2002 - San Diego USA
Today I went to the zoo with Karin (she wanted her name mentioned on the web page, hence the highlighting etc). Other people from the group went to Sea World or the beach/shops or Tijuana Mexico. I decided on then zoo for a number of reasons.
The San Diego Zoo is regarded as one of the best zoos in the world, but honestly, I think that Sydney's zoo is just as good, if not better. Disappointingly, San Diego's zoo does not have any set feeding times and we one got to see one (by chance), which is a bit silly because I think that this is one of the best things to see/do at a zoo (watching the animals eat and getting information from the feeders). I think about 50% of the animal cages were empty, or we could not see the animals that were hiding in there ... in other enclosures I think the animals have become quite annoyed at the people watching them, so the animals often sit out of sight in a corner or simply in the middle of the enclosure with their backs to the people - it looks quite weird and it is as if the animals are on protest and will not satisfy the paying customers by looking at them.
The zoo's star attraction is their Panda's Bears ... Karin actually saw a picture of the Panda bears and said to me "see they have Koala bears here" - she had never seen a Panda bear or Koala bear before (obviously). The poor Panda bears must have been been boiling in the heat) ... after I complained yesterday that the days have not been very hot in this California summer, I got mine back today with a very hot day at the zoo (which is not good when you are always walking past animals dropping s that smell more in the heat). Anyhow, we had to line up for almost half an hour to get a glimpse of these Panda's, and in the line we met some nice American's who had been to Sydney and Europe, so we the time went quickly as we chatted about the various places ... one of these American's was the first American to pick my accent as Australia (and not UK as most American's think) ... it seems as though a lot of American's like Australia and Australian. They thought it was quite funny that Karin and I were from Australia and Austria (they thought we were from the same place) ... after listening to how Karin and I talked to each other, they thought they we were acting like a married couple who had been married for many years - ha ha - sadly Greg and I got the same comment from some people on our Contiki tour.
My highlight at the zoo, was seeing two Hippopotami (I think that is the correct plural of Hippopotamus) under the water ... it does not sound very exciting, but the mother and baby were squashed up against the glass viewing area and mother seemed to be sitting on top of the baby ... it looked really funny in real life, but the photo below will give you an idea.
The zoo did have some shows, but I thought they were very average (if not below average). The best part of the shows was when they got a massive sea-lion to dance to the music of "Celebration". They also had a cheetah and dog they were best friends and they live together - unusual.
[I will try and add the video I took at some stage]
After the zoo, we all went as a group to visit the San Diego's Old Town - an old Spanish settlement where San Diego was established. Almost everything was closed because we got there a bit late, but it was still ok to just walk around and look at the outside of the buildings.
For dinner, Stefan made us a massive piece of fish on the BBQ ... then he also cooked some chicken and then some beef and then some potatoes ... all this with salads and bread ... I think Stefan got a bit excited and cooked a bit too much, but it was awesome and we have leftovers for tomorrow.
After dinner, we went into the city and went to a restaurant/pub/club in downtown San Diego. There was a good band playing cover songs - we had a lot of fun dancing up the front near the band .. the lead singer even kept giving us "high-fives". There was a guy who got kicked out of the night club, but not for being drunk or violent ... he got kicked out because of his dancing ... well, not because he was a "bad" dancer, but because he was using "props" that have may have been dangerous to the other dancers ... for example, he came back from the toilets with a roll of toilet paper and started dancing with it and throwing it around the room - the bouncer (security guard) came and gave him a warning and they dancer simply proceeded to dance in a guy fashion up and down the bouncers body, which actually made the bouncer laugh and go away ... later the dancer left the dance floor and returned with a hand full of straws (from drinks) and decided to throw them around the room as he completed his rhythmic dance moves ... this time the security guards got rid of him, but he did not go away because he ended up staying outside the window of the place and continued to dance there anyhow.
MOVIE: Day 38 [MPG 990KB]