Friday, June 21, 2013

San Diego Zoo

The hotel we were staying at in San Diego had two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a kitchen, balcony, plus a pull out couch in the living room.  But in order for our little guy to sleep more deeply we found that if we put his crib in the master bath it allowed great background noise (bathroom fan) and complete darkness.  The only problem was the air conditioning didn't quite reach that area.  He slept perfectly and took great long naps in the morning, but he woke up like this little sweat ball below every time...
At least he was happy!

For our last day in San Diego we decided to go to the zoo.  The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest most incredible zoos I've been to (second to Sydney, Australia.)  I was a little bummed though, because we were one day too early to see their new Koala exhibit.
The token family pictures at the zoo's entrance.

Right at the entrance, next to all the gift shops, there was a photo booth of the African grasslands.  It was totally hokey, but Daxton got super excited to play on the fake lions.  We ended up snapping a few pictures with a very patient daddy.

Don't you just love Daxton's excited face!?

Such a happy little guy!

We decided to start at the Monkey Trail.  The thing I love most about the San Diego zoo is that no matter how many times I have been, I always see something different, whether it is the zoo facilities themselves or the animals.  It's pretty amazing.
Daxton is quite the little monkey and loved trying to grab the dangling branches while he was strapped to Daddy's belly.
The walkways are high above the ground, so you are eye level with the monkeys playing in the trees.  Daxton loved watching them swing back and forth.
Kim's such an incredible mom.  They have passes to the zoo, Safari park, and Sea World, and they go constantly.  Lydia is so familiar with different animals and I loved watching Kim explain and answer all of her questions.  All I can say is Lydia and Layla are super lucky to have such an amazing mommy!

Posing with the monkeys.

The zoo is MASSIVE so we didn't cover everything, but we did get to see lots of different habitations including the pygmi hippo and crocodile, and then the regular sized hippo.  The zoo has lots of fun animal replicas at different exhibits for children to climb on.  Daxton loved them!

Lydia and Daxton playing with the gorillas.  The real gorillas were not impressed!

The Panda Trek was getting updates done before the big summer season, but we were able to see a mommy panda and her baby which was pretty awesome.

Our last adventure was through the Elephant Odyssey.  Luckily for us, this is where Daxton finally too his long afternoon nap.  Dallas and I got to relax, eat some yummy ice-cream, and enjoy some good shade.  We love nap time!
Such a tired little man...
I always love how happy Daxton is after a good nap.  He was ready to explore and play!

We all had fun playing on different prehistoric animal replicas.  Crazy to think how huge prehistoric animals were.
Lydia and Brooks playing on the sabertooth.

We couldn't leave without taking a few pictures with the prehistoric elephants.  Daxton was very curious about their tusks.

Our whole crazy group (excluding myself taking the picture)
(Left to Right) Hadley, Nate, Michelle, Brooks, Daxton, Lydia, Kim, Dallas, Layla.  We truly have been blessed with amazing friends!

On our way back to the entrance of the zoo, we decided to ride the tram.  It gave us incredible views of the entire zoo and also Balboa Park.  Nate and Brooks took the first cart.
Dallas, Daxton, and I squished into the next cart.  It was a little tight with our BOB stroller also shoved in the cart with us, but we had a blast and Daxton loved looking over the side.
After leaving the zoo we had to say a sad goodbye to Kim.  With us moving to Florida, I'm not sure when I'll be able to see her again.  She has been an amazing friend over the past 10 years.  She's gotten me through some very difficult times.  I sure do love her and count myself as one of the most lucky people to call her such a dear friend.  As you can tell from the pictures below, Daxton loves her as well!

That night, our last night in San Diego, Maren came and picked up Michelle and I for a girls night.  We ate at the Cheesecake Factory and talked for hours.  It was so much fun to hear about Maren's crazy adventures and also to hear new stories from Michelle's past.  I love these girls!  I have already made a big list of all the fun things we are going to do when Maren comes out to visit us in Florida.  We've had some incredibly fun memories over the past 10 years and I can't wait for our next adventures together!
It was such a fun week traveling with the DeMary family.  They are such easy, considerate friends, which made the tighter living area and the busy schedule a total breeze!  We would totally vacation with them again!  We've loved getting to know them these past few years of them living on the block.  Now we just need to get them out to Florida, if Michelle can conquer her fear of gators, snakes, and sharks!

The next day we started our journey home and like true Daxton fashion on each drive home from southern California, this happened...
Luckily I was the one driving and Daddy was in the back taking care of him :) But even more lucky, we were literally right next to a rest area we could pull over and hose our little man down.  Nothing like cleaning up toddler vomit from clothes, car, hair, and his carseat!  At least he felt much better afterwards and slept most of the drive home.
Little Stinker!

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