San Diego - October 24, 2009

 

The morning of Nina's birthday, we visited the famous San Diego Zoo. The pink flamingos were the first animals we saw at the entrance to the zoo.

We took this shot of the monkey jungle area while riding in the zoo's gondola.

We stopped at this Treehouse Restaurant so Nina could rest and have some lunch. She opted for the kids meal of macaroni and cheese, chips and animal crackers in a plastic zoo beach bucket with a souvenir cup! The heat, crowds and numerous hills at the zoo really wore Nina out.

Nina was most excited to see the San Diego zoo pandas, since she had never seen one before. We went all the way to China but didn't see any pandas.

While both pandas were sleeping, they were both in adorable positions facing their audience, so we got these great photos and felt like we were given a good show by the pandas!

Nina and the twins pose in front of the beautiful panda mural.

The closest Nina has ever gotten to and ever will get to a sleeping hippopotamus!

The hippo can hold its breath for up to five minutes.

A large gorilla looking a bit grumpy!

This big boy starting licking something slimy and green off of his paw. We'd rather not know...

Nina was so excited to see koalas... but they were all just a bunch of furry lumps in trees. All nine of them were fast asleep.

Apparently, koalas get a ridiculous amount of sleep due to the effort of digesting eucalyptus leaves.

The afternoon of Nina's birthday we took a sunset gondola ride through the canals along Coronado Island's narrow strip of peninsula.

Ahhhhh... what a happy couple.

We passed a “party” gondola.

 

According to the gondolier, 80% of these homes are second or third homes. Several of the homes had giant inflatable, floating trampolines with slides docked on the water in front of their homes.

The old timers who live on the main land still refer to the canal area as the “dump” or the “farm” based on the area's former use and the people who live there are sometimes called “farmers.” I guess there's a bit of a rivalry between the main landers and the canal dwellers.

Our gondolier claimed to be named Tomaso Maserati, but Nina managed to get him to slip up and refer to himself as Michael.

For Nina's grand 36th birthday celebration dinner, we ate at the historic Coronado boathouse.

The boathouse, used as a dormitory for construction workers during the building of the Hotel del Coronado, was built in 1887 and designed by the Reid brothers in the same Queen Ann revival style as the hotel.

We chose to pose in front of an old photo of the boathouse with a long pier and side room. The boathouse has been used for various marine and oceanography societies, a luxury yacht club and now a restaurant.

 
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