I LOVED THIS DAY SO MUCH!!
It was another day of leaving our hotel in bathing suits because we had a big day lined up. First, we hit up the Donut Bar for breakfast. We read online that this was the place to get unique donuts…and that there is always a line; and yup, there was definitely a line when we showed up. My husband went to grab us coffee, at Achilles Coffee and Starbucks nearby, while the girls and I waited in line for donuts. The wait was about 25 minutes, but the people watching in the area was so abundant that the 25 minutes flew by fast! The place inside was adorable, and the amount of donuts on display was something else! There were your average donuts, of course, but also some creative ones like a grilled cheese donut!!
Also, just something I noticed… The donut money is pretty lit in San Diego because the owner had a Ferrari out front with personalized Deadpool and Donut Bar advertising all over it. (Who knew!?)
We grabbed our order of donuts and took off for our next destination, where we were going to enjoy those fried babies! Oh where were we off to? Well, THE SAN DIEGO ZOO!! SANDIEGOZOOOMG!! <– That was my tagline the whole morning. I have been dying to go to the San Diego Zoo since I was a kid. It’s the work-home of Joan Embery, guys!! JOAN EMBERY!!
Hmm, I don’t feel your excitement. Do you know who Joan Embery is? Well, professionally she is the goodwill ambassador for the Zoological Society of San Diego, but my memories are that she was the only “guest” I cared about watching on The Late Night with Johnny Carson. She would bring on some of the coolest animals that I had ever seen!! And that those animals would make Johnny and his guests squirm, made it fun!
We took the donuts, coffee and our kids to a seated are right across from the zoo inside Balboa Park. The donuts were delicious! The perfect start to this fun day. After we wolfed down those donuts we trekked right over to the zoo. We had purchased the tickets before leaving for this California trip, and mapped out where we wanted to start, to make the most of our one day there. We walked in, took a hard left towards the Skyfari. This is a sky ride from one side of the park to the other. It is super fun, and a great way to cool down. The aerial views from the Skyfari were fantastic; you could see inside a lot of the fenced in areas. Super cool!
After the Skyfari we walked down to the polar bears while stopping at each African animals along the way. The polar bear exhibit was so great. We got inside the area where you can see them in the water. They spent a lot of time just chilling above, so all we could see were their chubby bums. Once in a while they’d dip their head in or bite at some food that was chained underwater. Once we walked to the exterior of the pool we could see them up close. through the glass. They were playing with one another, swimming around and floating. Their floss like white fur outside the water was so fluffy!
From the polar bear we took a walk down the hill towards the hippopotamus. At first I thought the animal was alone leaning on a small rock, but as soon as I walked to the right I saw the rock was a baby hippo!! Aweee! We back tracked to the entrance of the hippos to make our way to the panda bears. Now, this is the part of the zoo I have been dying to see since we made these plans. We have never seen a panda up close before! My gosh how cute and CHUBBYYYY!! We saw a mother and son panda, who were so docile and happy just being. I wanted to jump into the area with them to lounge with them, scratch their bellies and feed them some bamboo. But I was told I couldn’t go in with them. Bummer.
From our visit with the pandas we walked up the hill towards the entrance to the treetops. This zoo is just the coolest place! We got up to the top, then went to check out some birds and an ape exhibit to the left, then went down an incline to cross the bridge. We ended up right outside the elephant area, well, right outside a refreshment stop. We grabbed slushies for everyone, except Mum and Dad’s were vodka soaked. 🙂
So, I love elephants. They are such a beautiful, smart and bold animal. This was my favorite part of our zoo trip. The space was beautiful, and the elephants seemed so happy. They had two Asian elephants and two African elephants. They were doing their own things, eating, scratching, frolicking, uhm, poopin’. haha We spent a lot of time in this area watching them all. There were other exhibits peppered around, but it was an elephant sanctuary really.
After we exited the elephants, we made our way up the prairie towards Australia to see the koalas. This was another stop that we enjoyed. Koalas are absolutely adorable!! They are so furry and slow paced. They were climbing up their poles that were laced with eucalyptus. Munch, munch, munch, snooze. I swear each lil koala would be awake and asleep in seconds. They were also chunky, I just wanted to squeeze them!! We took a walk through Africa before exiting the zoo. We saw a lot of beautiful animals, and learned so much. I wish this zoo was closer!
We were all a little munchie, but we had another destination before heading back to the hotel, so we had to make a stop to an In and Out Burger. We had to! Their burgers and fries were too good to pass up, and I even had a Coke! I never drink soda, but man a fountain Coke is hard to pass up in the heat. Mmmm mm… soooo good!
Our next stop was to Nicholson Point / La Jolla Tide Pool area. The plan was to check out that one spot then go to the hotel, but instead we got to the tide pools then explored the whole way down seeing the Children’s Pool, hiking up a cliff, and walking all the way to Shell Beach where we ended up seeing caves. I want to say that trek was about a mile, but not a straight one because of the turns from beach to cliff/walking path.
This area was the most beautiful sight. Really, what a special place. There were tide pools, cliffs, caves, seals, pelicans, lots of waves, sea moss and so much to look at around us. At this point, the sun was starting to come down, so the sands glowed a warm gold and the ocean was glimmering like a dream. Our girls were having a blast splashing in the waves then walking in the caves or looking into the pools. My husband and I had fun doing that, too! When we exited the top of Shell Beach it spilled out onto a big park. There were so many people around getting ready to enjoy their nights on the beach. I loved seeing everyone. San Diego is hyper diverse.
Our first 24 hours there, and I was in love with everything that we were seeing. ESPECIALLY THE BEAUTIFUL WEATHER!!!
After we explored the beaches, we headed to our hotel to soak up more sunshine! The sun was still hot, even though it was starting to set more. We got at least an hour of sunshine time. Once the sun set we hit up the pool area again. The kids went to swim with my husband, because they like the abuse of being thrown around by a 6’3″ monster! And, well, I stayed in the hot tub! Ooh the heat of the hot tub was perfection. While in there I got to meet some nice people. Once they disappeared my husband got in. We got to have a lot of alone time to talk. He is a great conversationalist, and I love hearing his point of view of things we experience together.
I also loved that he reminded me that it was time to eat and how he wanted a burrito. hahah So we got out of the tub to run to get ready for dinner. By the time we got cleaned up we realized how late it was, so we went to grab take out again.
Where? THE SAME PLACE AS LAST NIGHT! haha It was too good to pass up! And one of my vacation goals was to eat a lot of burritos while in San Diego. This time we ordered a few more dishes to try. Holy glutton over here. But it was worth every calorie. EVERY ONE.
Before we knew it again, it was almost midnight, and even though our last full day in San Diego would be a relaxing one, we wanted to get to bed.
What a fun day!!!
Next up…our last days, 11 and departure, in San Diego.
And yes, I had to update the look of my blog …again. The phone viewing feature was confusing some people because it was starting the page with the menu rather than the actual post. This is much cleaner now! Woo!