Goth Panda

Cross-Country Road Trip Day 7 (Christmas!): San Diego

Here are some photos of our cute San Diego hotel room at the Inn at the Park.

Inn at the Park Bed

Inn at the Park Couch

The old cars were on a window screen that could be raised

Inn at the Park Kitchen

These were taken when we first got there obviously, not after we had settled in.

san diego

We had breakfast at the rooftop restaurant. I chose this hotel because it was close to the Zoo, but we also had views of the ocean from up there.

Inn at the Park Rooftop Patio

I mistakenly thought because the hotel was close to the zoo, we could walk to it. I had not realized that in California you basically can’t walk anywhere. We managed to get to the Zoo eventually, but by a circuitous and possibly illegal route. By the time we got there, we were already a little tired. Which is bad, because the San Diego Zoo is huge and hilly.

We headed first, of course, for the pandas.

Gao Gao

Daddy Gao Gao

Bai Yun

Mom Bai Yun

At first the littlest panda, Xiao Liwu, was busy sleeping in his hammock.

Xiao Liwu

But he woke up for a treat of honey water, meant to lure him into shifting off exhibit so the keepers could clean the exhibit.

Xiao Liwu

Later, he munched on bamboo.

Xiao Liwu

We didn’t just see the pandas, though. We also went to the polar bear exhibit…

Polar Bear

…and came home with some new friends.

Mike & Bear

We rode the Skyfari tram down to other side of the zoo. We stopped by the hippos and the tiger, where there was a small clutch of hardcore photographers with tripods gathered.


We also stopped by the rhinos, elephants, and koalas, before heading back to the pandas.


Tired and hungry, we made our way to Albert’s, the zoo restaurant, for lunch. We had to wait for a table, but we ended up with a very nice one on the patio in front of the waterfall. We decided to leave the zoo after lunch. We had two day tickets, so we planned to come back the next day. I thought it would be less crowded because it was Christmas, but there were still plenty of people there. It seemed to get more crowded as the day went on.

We took a cab back to the hotel rather than walk again, so we got a little scenic tour of other parts of Balboa Park.

sunny christmas

After a short nap, I investigated where we could go for dinner that would be open on Christmas day. I found an Indian restaurant less than a mile away, and we walked there. It was more crowded than I would have thought, but then there weren’t many other options. They played incomprehensible Bollywood clips on the televisions. The food was decent, but not decent enough to link to.

Later we did laundry in the hotel basement and watched “Bob’s Burgers” on the iPad while we waited for it. We hadn’t seen that show before and it was recommended to us, so several of the road trip evenings we spent binge-watching to catch up. And we really enjoyed staying in one place for two nights. It was very restful after all the driving.

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