New Experiences at the San Diego Zoo

After spending Saturday on the beach and cruising around Newport on a surrey bike, we woke up Sunday ready to hit the beach again. We had plans to go to the San Diego Zoo on Monday, but since it was cloudy and a little cool, we decided to switch the days up.

We ate breakfast and made the drive to San Diego. Right when we got there, Grace was greeted by a mama duck and her four ducklings. She was so excited, and we just knew it was going to be a great day.

After grabbing a quick lunch at the Safari Kitchen, we headed down Monkey Trail and stopped to check out the flamingos. Charley absolutely loved them. She ended up picking out a stuffed flamingo in a flamingo purse at the end of the day and won't stop talking about "Camingos" and how they sleep on one leg.

Once we finally pried her away from the flamingo exhibit, it was on to check out the monkies. I don't know why, but monkies are always so fascinating to me. I love checking out their feet and watching them interact with one another.

They had a Mandrill Baboon, and Gracie loved his blue nose.

These little guys worked so hard using this stick to get leaves that were just outside of their reach. I couldn't believe how smart and adorable they were.

These ones had the longest arms I've ever seen.

After the monkies, we made our way down Hippo Trail to find two hippos taking a nap. The girls loved seeing all of the colorful fish.

There were some cool snakes and lizards inside the walkway. Gracie was a good big sister and kept slithering and scaring Charley as they watched the snakes.

She got really freaked out when they started moving around.

Finally, we made it to the gorilla exhibit. This is by far my favorite spot, and we spent the most time here. There was a baby gorilla, born in December, without any human help. They arrived the next morning to see the mom cradling her newborn baby. Apparently, it's her sixth child. How sweet is that?! When we first saw him, he was sleeping on his mama's back as she walked around. It was the cutest! 

It's so fun to experience new things with the girls. Charley could not get over that baby gorilla. "He's just hangin' on!" "Look at him sleeping right there!" She was in awe.

He woke up and wanted to eat right away. It was amazing to watch this mama breastfeed her little one like it was nothing.

When she looked down at him as he ate, I almost died. I can recall sitting in the exact same position admiring my own babies as they ate.

When she was ready to move, she just swung him right onto her back, and off they went.

She came and sat right in front of us, which was beyond awesome. The little one was so curious, and kept looking at Charley through the glass.

They must've known it was lunch time, because they were pacing around waiting for their food.

The little one wanted some so badly, and he was finally able to snag a small piece of his mom's. She made sure to raise her hand to ask for more.

After they ate, the little guy (literally) hung out on his mama's arm. It was so sweet.

We moved on after a while, and the girls played with the monkey statues. Once again, Char liked the babies the most.

When they were finally monkied out, we made a pit stop for some ice cream cones.

We decided to head up to the Polar region and passed a tiger on the way. 

The ducks found us and let the girls pet them and feed them popcorn. They were in heaven (the girls and the ducks!).

This little guy just laid down in front of Grace. Apparently, he wanted all of the popcorn.

We passed another hippo exhibit, and to our surprise, there was a five-week-old baby hippo learning how to swim with his mama. She would push him around until he climbed up the hill to get some air. He was so uncoordinated that he'd roll down the hill, and she'd have to help push him back up. They were so adorable.

We also passed a zebra, some deer, and a couple of reindeer that girls swore had to be Sven (from Frozen, of course) and his friend.

We made it to the top, and the polar bear was taking a nap. He was so huge and fluffy. Charley was ready to take a nap with him.

On the way back down Park Way, we saw antelope, pigs, and then another baby! 

This time it was a baby jaguar. He played with his mom before settling down for a nap. Gracie fell in love with him. She was so funny pushing through the people to get to the front and just stood there by herself watching them play together. (She got a jaguar animal and purse at the end of the day.)

We saw some llamas and camels and played around by the elephants.

We passed a donkey and a rattlesnake.

We watched a huge rhino eating his lunch.

And we found the giraffes. They were busy eating, too, and Grace loved watching them move their looong necks around.

As we left the zoo, we decided to stop by Coronado Island to watch the sunset. This is another beach that Isaac and I used to come to before we had kids. We have so many great memories here.

We had a blast playing in the waves, but no one more than Grace. She's a Cali girl all the way.

We played with Alex and Allison's wedding date next year and wrote it in the sand. Yay!!

The rest of the evening was spent playing in the sand and surf. This beach is perfect, because the sand goes out into the water forever. You can walk out for a long distance before it starts to get deep, so Grace took advantage and ran all over the place.

Charley was so beyond ready for her nap. She played in the sand with Daddy and freaked out when we made her leave the beach. She kept crying hysterically saying, "I want to go to the beachhhh." Poor kid passed out as soon as she was buckled in her seat.

We drove around the island for a while checking out houses. Isaac and I vowed to live there someday. It will happen.

As we drove over the bridge, we got to check out some of the Navy's fleet that were at the base. How perfect to see them on Memorial Day weekend. Just looking at these ships from afar makes me feel so proud to be an American.

Driving back to Newport, we saw some hot air balloons taking off in the distance. I don't know if this day could have been any better.

Until next time, San Diego. Thanks for the beautiful weather, memories, and special experiences with my girls. We'll be back soon.

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