Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 17: Tijuana to San Diego Zoo to Yuma

Finally back on the road! Yay! We decided to head out early this morning, use our fast pass to cross the border into the US without having to sit in all that traffic, have a nice leisurely breakfast, and then get to the zoo about when it opened. Yeah, right.

We slept in till six o’clock, which doesn’t sound late until you remember we have to cross the border into the US from Mexico. That’s okay. We have the fast pass from the dentist, right? Right.

Bruce slept with his dentures out for the first time last night. The dentist had given him immediate dentures which he was supposed to keep in to help control swelling. Dr. Miyano said it was okay to leave them out overnight if he wants to now, but he doesn’t have to. He wanted to try it, so he left them out all night. He had a little added swelling overnight, and that made it difficult to get the denture in and caused some pain. Not massive pain, but pain nonetheless. That’s a good start. (Sarcasm again). So, we got the truck loaded, checked out of the hotel, and on the way.

I had downloaded a new navigation program,, for use when we didn’t have signal. When we were at the dentist’s office yesterday, I marked the dentist’s office and have a map for how to get the “Servicios Medicos” lane from the dental office. All is good. Until the first turn on the map – onto a road that’s closed. But we made it back on the Avenida Rapida and headed in the proper direction. We never did find for sure where we were supposed to enter for the Servicios Medico. We saw the lane and we found the sign directing us what lane to be in, but we just couldn’t find a way around those Jersey barriers! So, on to the regular border crossing. It really wasn’t so bad. We were only in line for about 45 minutes. It was cute, though. Some people thought blowing their horns would be effective. Musta been some Ecuadoreans in line!

So, we get up to the border guard, and I’m trying to pull up new directions to the zoo. Bruce hands him our passports, and right off the bat, the border guard says, “Can you get off the phone until I’m done.” Strike one.  So, he asks the normal questions – where we went, how long we were there, the purpose of the trip, and are we bringing anything back with us. Bruce says, “Just my teeth.” Strike two. It was clear he was considering pulling us into the secondary inspection area, but we recovered. We declared Bruce’s prophylactic antibiotics and NSAIDS the doc gave him for pain (which he’s saving for migraines). I mentioned that we were supposed to take the Servicios  Medico lane and pointed to our pass sitting on the dash, and he glanced into the back of the truck and let us go.

We had a nice breakfast at a Denny’s in Chula Vista, and headed on to the zoo. Only one more set of wrong directions, which wasn’t bad. (Think I'll try another nav program) We saw the Mile of Cars in Chula Vista. There is one little shopping center (I think two relatively small buildings) that didn’t belong, but the car dealers have to have somewhere to have lunch! This shot is at the end of it. I had no clue we were hitting it, so the camera wasn't ready until we had passed the first sign.

Everything they say about the San Diego Zoo and its awesomeness is true. The enclosures didn’t all necessarily lend themselves to awesome pictures, though some do. The important thing is that the animals are provided with room and appropriate habitat materials, socialization, and enrichment activities.  The animals that are generally active in the wild were active. Monkeys were playing with each other and their enrichment materials. I’ve seen some good habitats, but these were the best.  The only improvement suggestion I could make would be to set up the trails so that you don’t need to make a choice of which exhibit to see unless you want to backtrack. It could have just been the way paths we took, though, so… Enjoy some shots from the zoo and a video of one of the giant pandas!

 Polar bear enjoying his pumpkin.

This little girl was having a blast shaking that hay down on herself!

California condor numbers in the wild are up, and show that they are now successfully breeding in the wild again!

The future encounter animals are socialized with dogs (of course, only where appropriate).

The walkways were generally tree-lined and comfortable except for certain areas around food courts

She looks like me when I eat!!

These arctic foxes were playing keep away with just one of these baskets. They were romping all over that enclosure!

"How did I end up on the skyride??"

Some views from the skyride

After the zoo, we headed to Arizona. I love these rock mountains. Bruce says they built those mountains one rock at a time. I kept waiting for one of them to get up and start walking, like that comic book super hero.

And, we’re in Yuma. We’ll spend tomorrow just taking care of some laundry and picking up some odds and ends. Monday, we’ll get our new Inter-Americas Driving Licenses, and head back to Mexico!

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