San Diego Zoo Safari Park and so much more...

Our day encompassed so much, this is going to be a very long post. Scroll to enjoy the photos and share in our incredible day!

When Karen and David learned that we had a free day, the most wonderful itinerary was devised. After lunch at The Yellow Deli (yes, the 4th time was just as delicious), we headed out for wine tasting.
Orfila Vineyards is a 70-acre estate that grows premium wine grapes in the San Pasqual Valley, located in a 10,000-acre agricultural preserve owned by the City of San Diego. The picturesque hillside estate is 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 500 feet. The cool ocean breezes and morning fog create classic wine growing (and drinking) conditions.
Our ultimate destination was The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (when I began coming here in 1972, it was known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park). This amazing environment is an 1,800 acre zoo and conveniently just down the road from the winery! It houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. This past Memorial Day, The Tull Family Tiger Trail opened and we were eager to see it.
Karen took these photos of the Sumatran Tigers... so beautiful and lovable.

Steve captured David's Tiger encounter perfectly!
There is something pretty special about these paws! What an opportunity for us to see these majestic creatures in such a spectacular setting.
This little guy became my new favorite critter. The southern three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes matacus) is the only species that can roll up into a ball for protection and was so intriguing to watch.

While most of what we observed today was new to us, the old familiars were just as special.

Okay, hysterical photo, right? My favorite of the day holding Ring-tailed Lemurs. These mesmerizing mammals are native to Madagascar, and are easily recognized with their long nose, big eyes, woolly fur, and long, black-and-white-ringed tail. To see them up close, we strolled the Lemur Walk, an immersive experience, where guests get to walk on a pathway through the animals' habitat and watch the endearing primates socializing, grooming, jumping, climbing, and even sunbathing, one of the lemur's favorite pastimes.

Our final destination was the Gorilla Forest where the young'uns were more active than we have ever seen. It was truly a spectacle watching them tussle.
The biggest treat here was the new baby. This is Imani and baby Joanne. Joanne was born by cesarean section, a first at the park for a gorilla mother. Three months later, both are fine and super adorable. It was a lovely way to end our extremely fun day. Good friends make life so awesome. Thank you Karen and David for the unforgettable memories.

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Nesbit Library rocks! said...

What an amazing time at the zoo! My son had an armadillo groom's cake for his wedding but I didn't really know about them. And being able to get that close to tigers and see a newborn gorilla, wow! Lucky you.

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