The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden
Before heading to San Diego, we stopped at The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden. The zoo’s central theme is a collection of plants animals from desert and savanna biomes around the world. The backdrop of the California desert made an excellent habitat for the giraffes and other animals of the African Savanna.
Other highlights included the educational Discovery Center and a tour of the Animal Care Center, where a wallaby was receiving a dental check-up.
We hadn’t expected the drive from Palm Desert to San Diego to be an experience in and of itself. The hairpin, cliff hugging turns rivaled those of Highway 1 from a few days before; the only difference was that our car would have tumbled into Coachella Valley instead of the Pacific Ocean. The landscape changed frequently on the drive, from rocky treeless mountains to pine forests. We saw a lot of wildfire damage as well.
San Diego Botanical Garden
Visiting San Diego was a last minute decision, and much of the trip was filled with dining, drinks, and reuniting with many friends and their children. We spent our first day at San Diego Botanic Garden, where I found my new favorite Children’s Garden. A “tree” takes children up three layers of the garden, where they can climb ropes, play on a swinging bridge, and slide between layers. Other elements include a music garden, log stacking area, riverbed and playhouse. The rest of SDBG is on the smaller side; but the exhibits are packed with plants.
A walk up the path led us to through a Mexican Garden with colorful topiaries, a lush succulent garden and many other themed collections. The path culminates with a lookout that gives views of Encinitas to the ocean.
The evening ended with me drinking an entire bottle of wine and taking potato pictures.
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