Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Family Time: San Diego Zoo Safari Park & Orfila Vineyard

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the day with my family up at the San Diego Zoo Safari park. I haven't been up there in ages despite being a zoo member for most of my life. (Though I'm pissed my mom changed her membership so at present I have no card. Boo.) Anyway, it was a beautiful sunny day and the weather was perfect to wander and check out the sights, including the recently reopened Butterfly Jungle. I can't believe I'd never been in the butterfly exhibit. There are thousands of them and they love to land on you, especially if you wear bright colors and fragrance. Apparently they loved my shampoo as I walked around the exhibit with a butterfly riding my ponytail.

We also took the tram ride around the park. It's been so long, I haven't been there since they took out the monorail. The tour guide was awesome. The park has been around for over 30 years, and she's been there for 28 of them I think she said. Anyway, one of the things that really struck me was the facts about the Northern White Rhino. There are only SEVEN left on the planet, 5 females and 2 males. Rhinos can live up to 50 years (or beyond in captivity), but they're only fertile until the age of 12 or so (according to the International Rhino Foundation), which means the Northern White Rhinos will go extinct as we watch them. They're native to the war-torn region of Uganda, Chad, and Sudan, and have been the victims of poaching for their horns. As the guide said, however, poaching is a very complex issue, and when living conditions are extreme, people will do what they feel they need to survive. A tragic situation all around for sure. (For more Rhino info, click here.)

The rest of the tram ride was cool and we enjoyed wandering the park for a while until it was time to go. On a whim, we stopped off at Orfila Vineyard and discovered quite a beautiful hidden gem of San Diego. After a couple glasses of some tasty "grape juice", we called it a day. If you have some time off, I'd recommend the say trip out to the park. (The winery closes at 6pm, FYI, so keep that in mind if you opt to make the stop.) You can see my full photo slide show if you click 'keep on reading' at the bottom of this post.

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