Memorial Day weekend is one of the worst weekends to travel by car through Southern California, or pretty much any big city, but somehow we made it work this past weekend. The key to making it work? Not being stuck to our original plans. The original plan going into the weekend was to leave Saturday morning, arrive at the zoo around noon, then hang out in the Gaslamp Quarter area of San Diego that night. Our return trip to the LA area would then include a stop over in La Jolla, CA.
Well, we were stunned by the enormous amount of people at the zoo and the utter lack of parking available. Not stuck to our plans, we made a quick change by deciding to hit the zoo early Sunday morning, arriving just as they were set to open. As it turned out, the simple change of plans worked like a charm. And after a 3 hour drive to San Diego, it was nice to arrive at the hotel and have a chance to relax for a little bit on Saturday afternoon.
We arrived at the zoo on Sunday morning around 8:30 AM, about 30 minutes before they officially opened. The best part about going to the zoo just as they opened was being able to see the panda’s first thing, not dealing with the lines. This was a big change from the last time I went to the zoo, when we waited on a long line to be funneled past the panda’s, not having a whole lot of time to sit back and watch them for a bit. Getting that part of the zoo experience out of the way off the bat allowed us to enjoy the rest of the trip. Another little tip for attending the zoo is to bring a camera with a better than average zoom lens. This allowed me to take close-up pictures of the animals that I would not have been able to with just the iPhone camera.
We still did stop in La Jolla, CA on the way back to LA, which made for a lot of walking for a single day, but it was totally worth it. The last time I went to the San Diego Zoo was during October 2010. There are plenty of picture from that trip, so I’m only including a smaller number of pictures here. Enjoy!