San Diego – Day 3

Again it was my turn to be late on this day too. Surprisingly my wife wasn’t as furious as I thought she would be. Both Nidhi and she were ready pretty fast and I took most of the time 🙂 And to top that on the way to the Zoo there was an accident on I5 and that held up another 30 mins. I was expecting a huge line at the entry gate. And it turned out just that. Now I could see my wife’s face getting red…but to my rescue, the line was moving fast and we got in without much of a wait time. Thank God!

First we decided to take one of the many trails leading to each area of the animals kept. So we kept walking seeing birds, monkeys, wild boars, hippo etc. At the hippo place, there was a metal hippo kept on the ground as a show-piece. Nidhi was more happy on it than actually seeing the hippo in the pool. Got some nice shots of her expressions there. The one which I liked was when she started crying the moment we headed out of the place. That photo is like a proof to my parents and in-laws back home that she does throw her tantrums around.

The best view of the animals I got was that of the panda bear. There were 2 pandas and both of them were sleeping. There was a sign which said “Be Quite”. Since Nidhi is not yet old enough to follow all the directions, the moment she went near to the Panda, she started greeting it with “Hi Panda…get up…what are you doing?” etc. This got the best laughter I’ve heard from the crowd out there and we all had to remind ourselves to be quite 🙂 The conversations kept going between Nidhi and Panda (though it was a one-way traffic) and we had to literally drag her out of that area.

Had a quick lunch and then we decided to take the bus tour. Since elephants are the current favorite animal for Nidhi we wanted to taker her there. Since it was quite far to walk, the bus tour seemed more appropriate. By the time we reached the line to get onto the bus, Nidhi was fast asleep. Luckily she got up just in time the bus started moving. She slept through the long line we had to go through before getting on the bus. I’m glad she took the nap as I would have had a tough time keeping her in-line 🙂

The bus tour gives a general “overview” of all the places around. It doesn’t stop enough to give take photos and is constantly on the move. So most of the animal shots are either out of focus or blurred. Along with this add Nidhi’s constant craving to “touch” them kept me moving in the seat. So it wasn’t an ideal setting to take photos, but thats what you get with a 2 year old on your lap 🙂

Before going to the zoo, I had lots of expectations. I had heard such wonderful comments and recommendations of it being the “world-famous” zoo. The bubble I had built-up just took a big-bang the moment I had a look at the tiger’s den. Also the amount of animals kept seemed a lot less. Its true that the park is too big, but the real-estate has been used for promoting the park. I would have preferred the animals had more room. They all seemed just constrained for space. The good old Mysore Zoo is lot better. Ah! I miss that zoo so much now.

We were done with all the sightings and Nidhi was getting bored. We still had time, so we decided to head to the Imperial Beach near our hotel. It was really hilarious to see her react to the sand on the beach. She wanted to play in the sand, but at the same time kept asking for “tissues” to wipe the sand off her hands. After some time she came to the conclusion that it was “ok” to get dirty here and started enjoying herself. I wanted to get a shot of her in the water and after much persuasion, managed to get her stand in the water. But I didn’t see the big wave coming our way and the moment it hit her, she started crying. “Big” was more from her point of view and the wave was actually a tiny one for us. The level of water had reached her tighs and that was enough for her to get startled. That was first and last visit to the water on the beach. The rest of the time was spent in playing with sand showels that her mom had picked up from the local store.

I spent some time trying to catch some surfers in action. Couldn’t get close enough for the lens. Then started to chase some birds which were flying little low…just to test whether the camera would get them in focus. Got couple of them which turned out pretty well.

The rest of the night was spent dining at an Indian restaurant called Masala Spice of India on 5th Ave in downtown San Diego. Though the price was expensive, the food was really tasty. The ambience was also nice. If you are visiting San Diego, then don’t miss eating at this place. In my opinion our time spent there was worth every dime.

Had a good night sleep and then headed back to home. As expected the traffic was bad, but managed to keep it at 85/90 to get a milage of 31 mpg.

Day 3 set can be accessed here.

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