Monthly Archives: March 2014

San Diego Zoo Safari Park and La Jolla

On our second day of our short San Diego adventure we woke to gray skies and a chill in the air, very unlikely Southern California weather. Knowing our time was limited, and what a great opportunity the weather the day before awarded us with an almost empty SeaWorld we packed up and drove out to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, about a 45 minute drive from SeaWorld.

We had purchased our tickets with the 3 for 1 ticket package but be aware that this allows you entrance to the safari, but does not include parking or most of the actual safaris once in the park. You are free to walk around but if you want to do one of their additional, in depth safari tours you will pay extra.

Walking to our cart safari at the SD Zoo Safari Park

Walking to our cart safari at the SD Zoo Safari Park

We picked the Asian Savanna Cart safari, and had the cart to ourselves (there were 6 of us), but there could have a few other people on our safari. Our driver was very informative, and even let both our kids feed an animal through a fence. We saw much of the African cart safari while on our drive, and he gave us info about those animals as well, so it seemed as if we got two for the price of one.

L and her papi on the Asian Savanna cart safari

L and her Papi on the Asian Savanna cart safariFeeding one of the wild cows at the SD Zoo Safari ParkFeeding one of the wild cows at the SD Zoo Safari Park

After an expensive, and not particularly enjoyable lunch at the park we finished touring the park with their bird area and a carousel ride, both big hits with our kids.

Feeding birds at the SD Zoo Safari Park

Feeding birds at the SD Zoo Safari ParkCarousel at the SD Zoo Safari ParkCarousel at the SD Zoo Safari ParkThe moments that make all our traveling worth it wrapped up in one picture.The moments that make all our traveling worth it wrapped up in one picture.

The skies were clearing and we drove on out to La Jolla, to meet up with some friends from LA who drove down to meet us. This is such an amazing little town (and by amazing I mean expensive and super cute) and since we had no idea where to go I checked out La Jolla Mom and we met up at Pannikin Coffee and Tea, where we sat outside and basked in the newly present sun, while deciding where to go next. Every sign pointed to the Children’s Pool, not for swimming but for seal watching, and amazing seal watching it was. As we walked up the entire beach was filled with seals who were also enjoying the sun, and while the crowds were big we had no issue being able to watch them for a while.

Seals sunbathing at the Children's Pool in La Jolla

Seals sunbathing at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla

We headed to the other side of the beach and let the kids play around on the sand, with seals as background imagery. This may be an every day thing for some but for us land locked Southerners it was a pretty cool way to spend the rest of the afternoon.

F and a seal, in a stare down!

F and a seal, in a stare down!

As the sun set we were reminded, as we often are, of how very lucky are to not only experience these amazing places, but to share them with our children. We have been back a few weeks but we talk about things that happened on this trip at least once a day. We enjoy every where we visit but this trip definitely had some sort of magical feel to it.

Playing on the beach

Playing on the beachLa Jolla as the sun is slowly settingLa Jolla as the sun is slowly setting

Next up? The San Diego Zoo! Stay tuned!

 

Sunny, Er, Not So Sunny San Diego With Families*

*Part One

A few months back we planned a trip to San Diego, a destination our then 5 year old son, F, had been dying to go to so he could see the world renowned zoo and their white tigers. We planned it during his spring break, and booked it all.

And then discovered that I had the week wrong – and whoops, we found out when we got there that the zoo didn’t actually have white tigers and San Diego, which is known for year round amazing weather was forecasted to have storms that they hadn’t had in months. I am not sure what went wrong with our planning there but alas, it happens, and we rolled with it. Turns out that sometimes even under the least ideal circumstances good can come out of it if you just push through!

On our first day we headed out to Balboa Park, with sunny skies and threats of rain later in the day. Balboa Park is home to many museums, including the SD Art Institute, SD History Museum, and the SD Museum of Man. There is a carousel, a miniature railroad, a children’s garden and of course the Zoo.

Standing in Balboa Park

Standing in Balboa Park

Standing in Balboa Park

Standing in Balboa Park

We wanted to save the Zoo for a full day and with the skies looking as if they may erupt we headed to SeaWorld, which is about a 20 minute drive from the Zoo. You can pay for up-close parking ($20) or regular parking ($15). If you are there early or on a day with potential bad weather? Don’t pay the extra money. We paid for regular parking and we were just as close as the up-front parking.

*If you are planning on attending more than one attraction I highly recommend their 3 for 1 (or 2 for 1) ticket packages. We did the 3 for 1 and had tickets for unlimited visits to the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and the SD Zoo Safari Park.*

SeaWorld, with cloudy skies, was empty. We had the park to roam around in, ride rides without any wait, front row views of all the animals, and lots of space for our kids to, well, be kids. While we did not see a Shamu show we did see every other exhibit there in the 5 or so hours we were there – and it never once rained!

Introducing Shamu the stuffed animal to Shamu the real thing

DSC_0197

Introducing Shamu the stuffed animal to Shamu the real thing

Introducing Shamu the stuffed animal to Shamu the real thing

With kids fighting jet lag and tired feet we headed back to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, which was in an ideal location next to SeaWorld and close to the airport, and grabbed some dinner, where L, 2.5, showed that even for the most hearty child travelers jet lag is no fun!

How quickly the jet lagged fall (even with a chip in hand)

How quickly the jet lagged fall (even with a chip in hand)

Next up – The San Diego Zoo Safari Park and La Jolla!