First stop: The San Diego Zoo!!! We got to do a guided bus tour through the zoo during which the crew could see many of the big exhibits. The lions were relatively inactive in their cage while the giraffes and elephants were grazing calming. The crew witnessed a cheetah being given a treat and were amazed at the domesticated responses of the jungle cat to the zookeeper it interacted with. The koalas were sleeping which they do 22 of 24 hours a day we learned. The most active exhibit by far was the polar bears. As the bus drove by they were getting enrichment by the zookeepers. This meant they were getting fed carrots for treats. Later, as some of the crew walked around the zoo to see some animals on their own, the polar bears could be seen flipping in the water, diving, or sunning themselves on the rocks. It was an active day at the zoo!
After a few hot hours at the zoo the crew was pumped to go to lunch. Lunch was authentic Mexican cuisine at Old Town Mexican Restaurant. The buffet provided options to please everyone and I would say we are luggage-weight in chips (and we have a lot of luggage on this bus). All boarded the bus stuffed and ready for naps, but the fun for the day wasn't over just yet!
The next stop was the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier turned museum. The students had a chance to take a free audio tour through the aircraft carrier. They saw the enlisted and officers barracks, the doctors offices, cafeteria, barbershop, and explored the flight deck. Along the flight deck there were many retired Navy and Air Force planes. A movie depicting the landing and takeoff process of planes was showing on a loop for visitors to watch as well. From the deck of the ship we could see San Diego and the San Diego Bay as well as Coronado Island.
After a quick check-in at the hotel we reloaded the bus and headed to our last stop of the day, La Jolla. The kids loved having time on the rocks overlooking the ocean. They jumped and ran, took lots of pictures, and enjoyed time together. Dinner was a bbq picnic in a nearby park. The crew then explored more of La Jolla in small groups during free time. We got back to the hotel awhile after the sun had gone down and just in time to go to bed.