It's about time I did a MTM post on San Diego's Wild Animal Park. Why? Because this is the scene of the crime in I So Don't Do Mysteries. My children and I took A LOT of trips to the Park while I was writing this book. It was with great pleasure that I wrote off the mileage on last year's taxes!
The Park is huge at about 1,800 acres. There are over 3,500 animals. And they have the largest CRASH of rhinos (yes, that's what you call a group of rhinos!) of any zoo. The Wild Animal Park is very open concept. The animals must love all the space. Forget about trying to see everything in one visit. Even with the monorail and tethered helium balloon, you'd still have to cover an incredible about of territory by foot in an attempt to take it all in. Much better to kick back, fit in a couple of shows, meander around and enjoy yourself.
Once, I got to be the volunteer at the Bird Show. A falcon landed on my (well-gloved) wrist to peck at some sort of meat spread. Very cool. Although, according to DH, I looked terrified.
Besides the regular daytime visit to the Park, you can spend the night. They provide the tent. And the meals. And lots of animal entertainment. Oh yeah, and the bonfire. A few years ago, Child #2 and I did a Roar & Snore. Total blast. Very weird, though, to know the nocturnal rustlings were WILD BEASTS WITH SHARP TEETH nosing around the fence. Anyway, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And it's something you could plan ahead, if you knew you were going to vacay here.
A really really the-world-is-small bizarre thing happened the time of the sleep-over. So, as most of you know, I grew up in TORONTO. As in CANADA. The Wild Animal Park is in SAN DIEGO. In the tent next to mine and Child #2's was a guy (well, now a dad. He was there with his wife and two kids) from my HIGH SCHOOL (which wasn't overly huge). In fact, I went to the Graduation Dance (our version of the Prom) with this guy's BEST FRIEND. I don't think the Wild Animal Park can guarantee these kind of tripping-down-memory-lane encounters, but you never know...
Me in high school (Not that I've changed. Ha! Dodging giant lightning bolt!)
Please visit Travis Erwin, the guy who spearheads My Town Mondays. He has a really interesting post up this week about Umbarger, TX. Not to mention he'll have a list of links to other Mondayers.