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Report 1899: San Diego or Bust

By j3dnight from Maryland, Winter 2011

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Page 6 of 8: Day 3 – Zoo

photo by Jeannette


Up bright and early and headed for the zoo. I know that I need to get to Broadway and 5th to get my bus to the zoo. The #7 bus, which is fine and dandy until I realize, while standing alone on the bus stop, this #7 does not run on Sunday, according to the sign. Great! I have no ideal what direction the zoo is even in, so I cross the street to find people to ask. They don't know either. I go back to the #7 and now there is a woman there with a baby on her back having a good time with a cookie and she tells me go up the street to the tram, take that to a transit station, so I walk up to the tram station but am unsure which side I'm to be on, read the board to find out. Then a policeman comes up and I ask him about the zoo and he recommends I take the tram to city college stop than get the bus from there. So I decide to do just that.

There are bums around this tram station. I'm asked for cigs, spare change, good gosh, some I don't realize are bums till you speak for a minute or so than they ask you for the spare change. They are dressed so casual you can't tell! Well next thing you know I hear a whole lot of shouting, someone in the direction I just came from is having a heck of a fight, there is lots of yelling, a man runs up to the policeman who gave me the zoo info and said you better come this is turning ugly. I did not see them fighting but definitely could hear them. The tram pulls up and I hop on. Then I notice the man, who is across from me, is the one who gave the warning to the policeman, so I ask him what the heck was going on with that fight? He says, “I don't really know but I do know it was a couple that got off the tram coming from the opposite direction and he was really going off on that woman and with domestic situations it can turn ugly so I told him I hope they jail the ****ard! He was screaming like a deranged nutcase, no doubt in my mind he's a beater.”

There's a busy road across the street from the zoo, that's where the tram drops you off, nice and convenient! I have a coupon from the hostel for a discount. I get my map, go sit under a tree to decide what animals I want to talk to today.

I decide on the chair lift across the zoo so I can get the polar bears first. Well the polar bears hid from me because I couldn't find them. I believe I went through all the display. It was warm; maybe they moved them to Baltimore to arctic temps my mom told me they were having. Polar bears, do they not looking like a living breathing teddy bear you want to hug? When I watch National Geographic I'm still shock how they show they can be vicious. Well if I lived on the Arctic I'd be vicious too; ask anyone in my hometown. Okay then onto the elephants, if the polar bears won't love me.

Well god knows I love an elephant. Just look at them, really look at them. Is that not animal art? Now maybe everyone else knows this but I didn't, do you know that the elephants mourn their dead? Yes it's true I saw it on a Nat Geo program. Not many in the animal kingdom seem to have a sensitivity or awareness of loss but an elephant does and they show it. During the program I watched, they each would stop and with their trunks lovingly touch, feel and caress the elephant bones with compassion and some had a little tear. Coincidence? I don't know but it is something ... something pretty incredible about elephants and their feelings (there's a link in Resources about Elephants).

And this if you are interested watch this video showing this sort of ritual.

A caretaker comes out and starts stuffing stalks of celery in hiding places so I have a good spot at the rail for waiting. The elephants don't come down so I decide I'll go to the other side, bingo found them munching away. I have good visit there enjoying them. Got to love an elephant.

After this I walk and walk and walk through this zoo meeting all sorts of animals along the way. I didn't take a whole lot of photos but couldn't resist a few of them, especially that panda so, so cute. I took a photo of that wild boar thing and told it, “You’re so ugly only your mudder can love that face.” LOL. It’s true! I am pretty sure I cover miles and miles in this zoo, up hills, down hills, hills with dead ends. It really is a terrific zoo and well worth a visit.

I am too exhausted for the rest of the Balboa Park attractions so I decide to get a bus back, freshen up and go for dinner. It's nice walking outside the hostel checking out places. TGIF made me an offer I couldn't refuse, 1/2 price appetizers and $2 Coors light so I get a table outside and talk to the hostess a bit, along comes a crazy guy, very harmless but he's wearing superman underpants on top of his pants. He is quite proud of them and shouts to the hostess, “where's Adriana?” She tells him she's off today. He then says, "See what I have on today"? See my superman?” Yes she answers very nice. He's smiling away and so proud of them. I'm grinning taking this all in and once he walks away she comes to my table saying he comes by every day. He really likes Adriana and shows us something he is wearing or has. He's harmless though really and very sweet. I wanted to snap a photo of him wearing his superman underoos but thought no ... wouldn't be right so I turn off the camera.

I like ordering a bunch of appetizers for dinner sometimes so I decide to do this since they were having a special. I have deep fried green beans, artichoke/spinach dip and something Mexican but I can't remember what but I am stuffed and worn out from all the walking.

I am not a napper, never have been, so wish I was sometimes but once in a great while I can do it and today was going to be one of those times. I crawl in that bed and that is all she wrote. I didn't wake up until 8 or 9pm? My roommate, who I believe is from Japan, asks me, “Are you going out tonight?” Still feeling tired I said nope, no way, that zoo kicked my butt. I shower go back to sleep and do not wake up until the next morning.

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