Exploring San Diego
We stopped at the Carlsbad Visitor Center, about 35 miles north of San Diego, to learn about the attractions within driving distance of our hotel. I always loved going to visitor centers when I was a girl, and our boys grabbed fliers to look at in the car just like I used to do as a child. In Carlsbad, our children ran around the city beach and gazed at the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
When we arrived in San Diego, we were in awe of its beauty: the palm trees, the white sand, the bustling strips and shopping centers. We explored downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter, an area of restaurants and shops that was decorated for the holidays. We walked by the water as the sun was setting to look at the ships and stopped for a quick dinner at the Cheesecake Factory before heading to bed.
The next morning, we woke up ready to visit the famous San Diego Zoo. Ever since he started walking, our middle son has had a serious love for animals. He spends most of his free time reading “Animal Encyclopedia” and watching educational shows on animal life. Our trip gave us an opportunity to feed his interest and encourage his desire to be a veterinarian.
After some research, he realized that his favorite animal, a wild cat called the serval, was at the San Diego Zoo. The zoo, with its well-constructed habitats and lush landscaping, is the best we’ve ever visited. My son was able to see animals he’d never viewed at other zoos, including black panthers, koalas and a big grizzly bear. When we came around a corner and saw the serval, my son ran over to the enclosure. He rambled off facts as we all listened intently, and we stayed for 20 minutes, so he could savor his time with the big cat.