Wednesday, May 9, 2018

San Diego Zoo

When we were planning our trip, we knew that we wanted the maximize our time in San Diego and see as much as possible while we were there, but we also knew that our kids were still really little, so too much activity could potentially backfire.

One of my favorite memories- Ryan grabbed a map right when we walked in and said, "Wooks wike they have wions, wemurs, elephants and weopards."

I read several blogs and used TripAdvisor to determine the three parks we would see, and then we ordered the days based on the parks' required energy, if that makes sense.

Disneyland was an all-in day, plus it was a 1.5 hour drive, so we chose to do that first when we would likely be waking up on East Coast time still. 

The zoo is usually more chill, and the kids could be pushed in strollers if they were tired, so we chose to do this our second day after Disneyland.

And then SeaWorld was another full day that followed our rest-ish day at the zoo (more on that tomorrow).

Our last day, we left completely open to explore La Jolla, play at the beach, see the sea lions, and do whatever the kids were feeling that day.

We considered switching up our SeaWorld day and last day of no set plans, but I'm so glad we went back-to-back days at parks and had our last day to hang around La Jolla. I think it would have been hard to have a full day at SeaWorld and then leave for the airport the next morning.

SO, all of you who were seeing our pics on Instagram and thinking we were crazy for packing in our 3 park days, there was reason behind the madness! ha!

Natalie's smile in this one :)

Like I said in my first post about our trip, kids tend to be more resilient to travel than we expect, and each time we go somewhere, Matt and I end up be pleasantly surprised by how well they do in a different environment and on a different schedule.

And one last thing to say about that- we definitely go in to these kind of trips knowing that there might be meltdowns from exhaustion and try to mentally prepare for what I like to call extra-grace moments or days (and this is mainly me because Matt is gifted with the ability to give extra grace and patience to our kids without having to prep himself for it. ;) Bless. Him. ) 

So the zoo! 
You guys. The park opens at 10 and close at 5. We got there at 10 and left at 5, and did not have enough time to see it all.

Granted, we took lots of time for noticing non-zoo creatures crawling across the ground, climbing on animal statues, and swinging on hand rails, but I say that to say that this zoo was HUGE! And really amazing. Totally worth going to whether you have kids or not.

The kids really wanted to climb up this rock structure in one of the play areas, so Matt got up there with them, and then I snapped this pic of the three of them:
The look on Natalie's face! Close call, daddy.

This was one of my favorite days because it was low key. There was a lot of walking (more than Disneyland!) but we had the strollers for the kids, and it wasn't crowded at all, so we were able to let the kids walk for a good portion of it, and Matt and I could enjoy conversation while they walked or played nearby.

I have some short videos saved on my Instagram stories, but the highlights were the sky ride that takes you from one side of the park to the other, the massive Africa Rocks section, and the polar bears. Polar bears! Crazy.

If you're taking a trip to San Diego, I would definitely make time for the zoo! 

Tomorrow I'll share all about our SeaWorld day. See you then!


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