San Diego Zoo: Pandas or Koalas?

While we were at BlogHer last year, we made a day trip over to the San Diego Zoo. I had my crazy ear surgery right after that, so I never was able to write about it – and about a bunch of things over the past six months, which is kind of nice in some ways, because I almost get to relive all the fun things we have done now, with a big ole run-on sentence, even.

One thing I could not WAIT to see at the zoo were the pandas. Even though I grew up in Maryland, for whatever reason, I never saw the pandas at the National Zoo. Even though I am totally fascinated with them. Their cuteness. Their bigness. Their panda-ness.

SanDiegoZoo_02The line for the Panda Trek is well organized – it winds through a maze so you don’t realize how long you really are going to wait. And honestly, it was a pretty long wait. I am glad we knew about that beforehand, and had drinks and snacks on hand. But truly, when you think about how long you might wait for a ride at an amusement park – it wasn’t bad at all.

And then BOOM. There you are! Pandas. Right there! Lazily eating their treats. Being cute. And big. And fuzzy. It honestly took my breath away.


I thought Declan was going to lose his mind.


We didn’t have too much time to take photos, and it was awkward to get shots of us in front of them, but – seriously. So worth it.


I felt like we had just visited royalty.

We spent much of the rest of the day stumbling around – trying to see as much as we could – because the San Diego Zoo is HUGE. We were glad for the Skyfari ride that brings you from one side to the other. Still, compared to our Denver Zoo – it also felt really hilly and lush. So, yes, even though it was a lot of walking – it was very pretty walking.

And then we stumbled upon the koalas.

I apparently I had no idea they were there, because it was a huge surprise to see them. And unlike the pandas, there was no line. They were all just tucked back in circles of wooden decking. Sure, there were lots of people, but since we could get around all sides, there was plenty of room to just sit and watch.

Koalas are lazy too, so we mainly watched them sleep and stretch and then sleep again.


But then some were moving around and even playing with each other a bit. Wow. Seriously wow.


So, in the end, we had two mind-blowing animal encounters when we were really only expecting one.

Then you count the collective awesomeness of all the other animals we saw and … yes… one heck of a day.


Disclosure: Park passes for the day were provided to us by the San Diego Zoo. All thoughts, words and photos are mine.

This article has 11 comments

  1. Magpie

    Fun. My husband took our kid to the zoo and to Sea World (a day each) – and in retrospect he said he wished he’d done two days at the zoo.

  2. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    ha ha – that is hilarious!!!

  3. Flyoverjoel

    That is filled with awesomeness!

  4. JoAnn

    I love the fact that the picture of Andrew at the top of your site nearly MATCHES the Panda with the bamboo in it’s mouth!! LOL!!

  5. JoAnn

    *its mouth. Ack! I was so dazzled by the similarities that my grammar got twitchy!

  6. Laural Out Loud

    We seriously don’t go to the SD Zoo anymore because the last time we went the whole family got heat stroke from climbing hills in the sun. It’s like Death Freakin’ Valley, just full of animals. Though I have to admit, the first time we saw the pandas we almost died from swooning.

  7. Anonymous

    What totally AWESOME pictures, as always.. I remember going to the National zoo when the first two pandas were given to the USA…what a sight to see up close and personal.

  8. Maricris @ SittingAround

    Lol! I had to take a second look on the photos to see what JoAnn was saying. haha

  9. zipper

    So cute!!!!

  10. Everyfann

    Those photos are KILLING ME!!!!

  11. Tabby

    I am all over pandas,actually. The more I drooled over pandas when I saw the photos on your post! Incredibly adorable.

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