Monday, March 22, 2010

We Saw All Five Pandas Today!

We got very, VERY lucky....

Saturday morning, as part of our special tour, they took us into the "classroom" area (which is normally off-exhibit) where Zhen-Zhen is currently living, so we got to see her. Of course we saw a lot of Su Lin, Bai Yun, and Yun Zhi as well, because they are the bears currently on exhibit to the public. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of Gao-Gao, the patriarch (father of Su, Zhen, and "Yunior") who is also currently off-exhibit, but he was never in line with the tiny cracks in the fence.

Until this morning. We had gotten a heads-up that one could see into his enclosure (and Zhen's) from a high walkway across the canyon, so this morning on our last trip to the zoo, we purposely came down that walkway--and there he was. Mister Stud-Muffin himself, prowling around his enclosure. Yes, he was at a great distance, but we saw him.

We saw a lot of Su, Bai, and Yun. Then, on the way back, we looked for Gao-Gao again, and he was not visible--but Zhennie was playing trapeze artist in a tree branch, swinging around, hanging upside down, doing all kinds of maneuvers. Again, she was quite far away, but we sure got a kick out of watching her. I took some pictures with my telephoto, but I haven't yet checked to see how they came out. Stay tuned....

I dropped Laura and Brad off at the airport and headed north. This time, it only took two and a half hours to get from San Diego to Burbank (remember, it took 4 hours on Friday). The time frame was 1 to 3:30 p.m., and included a gas stop, a burger-to-go stop, and a couple of fairly minor traffic tie-ups.

After a Starbucks stop, I headed on up into the high desert. I am now ensconced for the night in Rosamond (near Edwards Air Force Base), because tomorrow I am planning to go visit the cats. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time might remember a prior visit there--5 years ago already, it was, on another road trip (the Death Valley trip, for whatever that's worth). I also plan to do a little wildflower-chasing.

Point of minor trivial interest. This motel is the first I have been to in YEARS where the room key is--a key. Not a card, but an actual key that looks just like my front door key at home.

And now I'm going to finish my bowl of soup and get ready to watch the season opener of Dancing with the Stars. If y'all are lucky, I might get some more pictures posted before I give up for the night. But don't hold your breath. :)


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