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Because of the six pack, load out was longer and later than usual. Thank you to everyone who busted tail so that we could leave Anaheim. I hope everyone got a chance to rest.

Jameson and I drove to San Diego, to a hotel near the San Diego Zoo. We arrived late and immediately fell asleep. The next morning we decided to grab a late breakfast and head over to the zoo. There was a place called Original Pancake House right down the street, and it had stellar reviews. At the top of the menu were three specialties, an apple pancake, a German pancake, and a "Dutch baby". The Dutch baby was described as a "smaller German pancake", so I settled on that. It came with a side of fresh lemons to squeeze over it, whipped butter, and powdered sugar. The consistency was very much like a large crepe with crisp edges. It was delicious!

(my hand is just there for scale)

I had gotten a side of eggs for protein, not realizing how eggy the pancake would be. It was an egg-filled morning :) Jameson thought he was hungry and got a German pancake. When it arrived, he looked at it in horror and said, "I didn't think I'd be getting a spare tire for breakfast!!"

A while later we stumbled out of there full of delicious food, and drove out to the zoo. This zoo is pretty famous as one of the top zoos in America, and neither of us had ever been there before, so we were pretty excited. And we weren't disappointed. It's a lot of walking and a lot of ground to cover if you want to see everything, but the paths take you in a big circular route so you won't find yourself lost or doubling back over things you've already seen.

We started with the orangutans. This guy was stuffing his face.

There was a mother with her baby too. The baby was getting climbing practice while the mother stared at us tourists in an intimidating way. I couldn't get a good picture because of the glass, which was pretty dirty and had a bad glare :/

Next we saw many different kinds of monkeys and apes: baboons, vervets, guenons, gorillas, and more. The capuchins were adorable, grooming each other and lazing in the sun.

The monkeys in general were difficult to photograph, as they tended to hide among the branches and move very quickly from one place to the next. The gorillas were surrounded by a huge crowd of onlookers, so we couldn't even get close for photos. But we got to see them, and that was enough :)

Similarly, there was a pretty long line to see the pandas. When we got to their enclosure only one panda was visible, and he had apparently eaten a lot of food and passed out.

Still, cute!!!

We saw hippos and crocodiles, koalas and porcupines, and huge rare birds like the harpy eagle and secretary bird. We got to the big cats just in time to see the zoo's lion crunching away on a large bone.

We were able to see a snow leopard snoozing in the shade.
These animals are so rare...I'm so happy I got to see one!

We skipped the tiger but found a Serval mother and her baby playing in the underbrush. They were adorable. My pictures were worthless. Around lunchtime we found the elephants and watched them for a while :) Then it was off to a much anticipated part of the zoo, the Reptile and Insect houses!

The snakes and lizards were absolutely gorgeous. Usually when viewing snakes, they'll be curled in a corner and barely visible. Not today. For whatever reason, most of the reptiles were out and about, moving around near the glass and looking directly into my camera. <3

A cranky-looking rattlesnake. His eyes are opaque, so he'll probably shed his skin soon.
I'd be cranky about that too.

A Mang Mountain Pit Viper. These snakes weren't discovered until 1989.

King Cobra. He was huge, probably longer than Jameson is tall! King cobras can grow up to 18 feet!! He came right up to the glass and moved back and forth, looking at everyone like "Feast your eyes, puny humans." He was awesome.

This very large boa also stuck his face right up to the glass and tried to "smell" us with his tongue.

There were lizards too, Komodo dragons and skinks and even a basilisk (known for running on water).
At the insect house, we saw some awesome cockroaches and stick bugs, and a cute fuzzy tarantula.

There was also a giant leafcutter ant farm with a magnified live feed of the ants working, and a giant millipede (who was hiding, bummer).

We were at the zoo for around six hours and saw all that we could. It was a really fun day :)
Back at the hotel we ordered a pizza and just enjoyed each other's company while watching Food Network.

The next morning we set out to find lunch and a grocery store. We enjoyed lox, cream cheese, tomato and caper sandwiches on sesame bagels at BCB Company, then visited Ralph's to restock on produce and such. We easily found the train, parked in the same spot as two years ago near the ballpark and convention center. Jameson went to the mall for some shopping and to have his hair cut, while I did some cooking for the week and installed the Windows 10 upgrade (it's not bad!).

Wednesday was a dark day, much needed after last week's bombardment of shows. I spent the morning writing this blog, then went to Robert Cromean's Salon (it was so good two years ago, I HAD to go back!). They even booked me with the same hairdresser I'd had! When you're on the road, you pretty much never get to visit the same of ANYTHING twice in a year. Hairdresser, doctor, etc. So seeing Josh (yes, his actual name is Josh ;) ) again was an unexpected luxury. Not surprisingly I walked out with a great haircut :) Thank you Josh!!

I walked back to the train, cleaned up a bit, then Jameson and I walked to the taco place in the Gaslamp Quarter where we'd had our first-second date :P The restaurant had a new name but the tacos were still just as good.
For dessert it was the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. We both got hot fudge sundaes, Jameson's with strawberries and mine with cherry ice cream. Sweet deliciousness!

Opening day went well. We had a short rehearsal, then some of us went thrifting. I didn't find anything to buy this time. The evening show went well too, a decent crowd.

To be honest, I can't say much about the rest of the week because I caught a virus that's been making its way around the circus and spent all of my energy just trying to get through the shows. Sometimes I wish we in the band could take sick days! But I'm grateful to be surrounded by people who are sympathetic when the inevitable happens. Thanks, circus family :)

I was feeling a little better by Sunday. We had our two shows and started packing up. Next stop, Oakland, CA!

Other stuff:

San Diego is very close to Tijuana, Mexico. Several members of the BMX troupe participated in a PR event there. Free bikes for the kids!!!

Lina's beautiful photo of the train in San Diego. Notice the little group hang going on in the yard :)

A very good fan photo of Dima and Nadia's Iron Jaw act.

(photo courtesy Clarence Alford)