No visit to San Diego is complete without a trip to the Zoo and yesterday we made the pilgrimage. April happens to be the month when many baby animals are born. The ones most fascinating to Olivia and Mateo were the wild boar babies who played a nonstop game of chase, and the baby ducks, who behaved just like the characters in Make Way for Ducklings and followed their mother over to the food court to scavenge for dropped potato chips and bits of muffin.

The kids could spend the entire day riding the Skyfari Aerial Tram between the Polar Bear Plunge and the Elephant Odyssey, but our agreement is that we have to get out and walk, too. We saw tigers and monkeys, cheetahs and orangutans. As usual, we stopped by the panda bears. Not much action beyond napping pandas, but it’s always nice to check in. Last year, we saw a panda stand up, turn around, and lie back down in the other direction. Afterwards, I told the kids they may have just witnessed the most panda activity they will see in their lifetime. (The most in my lifetime, anyway.) 

Olivia was on the look-out for that most-elusive of birds, the quetzal. Considered sacred by the ancient Maya, the quetzal is the national emblem of Guatemala and the name of the country’s unit of currency. The quetzal is also a favorite design element in Guatemalan textiles, recognizable by the long blue-green plumes that cover the bird’s tail. Like many animals at the San Diego Zoo, the quetzal is endangered. No sighting this trip. Maybe next time.


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