It’s All Happening At The Zoo

We ended our San Diego trip with an afternoon at the zoo. Erin and Adrian have taken up enough space here, so instead I give you: pictures of animals mostly in black and white because I can’t take a good picture of a zoo animal in colour except for once in a while so there are a couple of colour photos of zoo animals here too.

Flamingo?
Flamingo?
Elephant Butt.
Elephant Butt.
California Condors (which look a lot more like vultures than the majestic eagles I'd always pictured.)
California Condors (which look a lot more like vultures than the majestic eagles I’d always pictured.)
Baby giraffe babing giraffely.
Baby giraffe babing giraffely.
Mouse Face.
Mouse Face.
Was that a goat?
Was that a goat?
Alligator or crocodile.
Alligator or crocodile.
Lizards gettin' busy.
Lizards gettin’ busy.
This picture is not out of focus. This lizard is just blurry in the back.
This picture is not out of focus. This lizard is just blurry in the back.
The wonderfully coloured lizard of many colours.
The wonderfully coloured lizard of many colours.
Snake.
Snake.
Polar Bear Face.
Polar Bear Face.
River Cow.
River Cow.
Takin. That's a real name for a thing.
Takin. That’s a real name for a thing.
The zookeeper insists that pandas aren't actually black and white and I'm all "Have you even SEEN a panda?"
The zookeeper insists that pandas aren’t actually black and white and I’m all “Have you even SEEN a panda?”
BABY GORILLA FACE!
BABY GORILLA FACE!
More baby gorilla, because this is my blog and I say so.
More baby gorilla, because this is my blog and I say so.
Pygmy river cow.
Pygmy river cow.
Capuchin not eating poisoned dates.
Capuchin not eating poisoned dates.
DEFINITELY FLAMINGO!
DEFINITELY FLAMINGO!

I like zoos.

Erin and Adrian Go To LEGOLand (Photos)

We brought the kids to southern California for the last week of summer. Although we don’t usually make it any further south than Disneyland, we decided to use this time to go to San Diego. Emily and I lived there for many years before the kids were born, but Erin and Adrian have only been down a couple of times, and they have almost no memories of those trips.

We left home late on Saturday, driving almost straight through while the kids, eventually, slept in the back seat. Because she’s the best, Emily drove the whole way. We finally arrived some time after midnight, then slept for a long time.

After waking up in the morning and realizing I hadn’t packed any shirts for Adrian, I took the kids to a nearby Target to pick out a few. Because I’m the best, I let Emily sleep the whole time.

We spent the rest of the day at the beach in Oceanside, swimming, burying kids in the sand (our kids, not kids who happened to walk by), boogie-boarding, and eating the best tacos we’ve had in years. Sorry NorCal, tacos at the beach are better than anything from a food truck. We walked down to the pier and got some ice cream and gelato. The ice cream vendor had MAPLE WALNUT ice cream. I’ve looked in every ice cream shop in California and have never seen maple walnut ice cream out here. I had given up ever encountering my favourite ice cream flavour outside of the St. Lawrence River valley. But then, this miraculous ice cream vendor at the pier in Oceanside! Whence this cone of wonder, Ice Cream Man? “Oh, my brother makes it all. He’s from Upstate New York.” Please send me all of your maple walnut ice cream.

We spent the evening visiting family in town (after rinsing the ocean off our surf-beaten bodies). I ate a lot of spaghetti and watched the kids play with cousins they haven’t seen for years (and so have no memories of) with that kind of instantaneous bonding family creates: Wii games, basketball, scooters; sitting at the kids’ table and giggling all through dinner; bonding over musical instruments and scooping their own ice cream. Emily’s mom came down too, since she wasn’t too far away, so it was family all over the place. (My side of the family was inadequately, but tastily, represented by the maple walnut ice cream I’d had earlier.)

After sleeping a goodly while again, we woke up and went to LEGOLand. This park was built while Emily and I lived in San Diego, but we never went there because we didn’t have kids. And after the kids were born they were either too young when we came to San Diego, or we didn’t think it would be worth a trip down for its own sake, or we got distracted by Disneyland (we are always distracted by Disneyland). Right now the kids seem to be the right age, and we were making the right trip anyway, so we tried it out.

Cool LEGO building guy.
Cool LEGO building guy.
Charm.
Charm.
Adrian won ten races in a row, he says.
Adrian won ten races in a row, he says.
Adrian's spider face is a lot like his pirate face.
Adrian’s spider face is a lot like his pirate face.
A fitting punishment for goofballs.
A fitting punishment for goofballs.
You know what to do, king, bust a move.
You know what to do, king, bust a move.
Tiny Washington.
Tiny Washington.
Start spreading the news.
Start spreading the news.
This is Adrian's impression of how paleontologists work.
This is Adrian’s impression of how paleontologists work.
How low can you...ow.
How low can you…ow.
Cool girls don't look at water explosions.
Cool girls don’t look at water explosions.
Blue Steel.
Blue Steel.
I feel the need...the need for speed.
I feel the need…the need for speed.
Sit like an Egyptian.
Sit like an Egyptian.
Adrian's pirate face looks a lot like his spider face.
Adrian’s pirate face looks a lot like his spider face.
Photobomb.
Photobomb.
"Dodged it."
“Dodged it.”

It’s not Disneyland, but it involves more creativity and detail than a Six Flags. A lot of the rides are unique, and the LEGO displays are amazing.

Tomorrow, we are going to the San Diego Zoo, then we leave San Diego. We have somewhere to go before the summer is over and the kids are back in school.

It rhymes with “Isneyland”.