Thursday, March 10, 2022

Hello, Out There

We returned to the Zoo. Geoff was hopeful about joining us, but crunchmode is still crunching, and so his fun has been deferred, again. This is probably what started our old tradition of celebrating birthdays, or any occasion, over days, or even weeks. We can't let scheduling conflicts, work hours, school demands, or anything, completely derail our fun, so we are very flexible with dates, and happy to extend birthday celebrations over multiple days, with multiple special activities. William's ultimate hope and plan is to return to the museums in Los Angeles, particularly La Brea. Anyway, we are very lucky to be near an amazing Zoo, and we are loving our passes. We beat the crowds, and had another fun outing, another chance to celebrate William's birthday.
It's a big Zoo, and we saw all new animals, like takin, big cats and big eagles, okapi, hippos, and polar bears. William and I became enchanted by the takin (sounds like "rockin.'") They are a bit amorphous, which is not a typically flattering distinction, but then they have these distinguised horns framing their moose-like faces, and... I don't know, they're just endearing, somehow. ("Distinguised?" I saw this awful typo/misspelling late last night and cringed. Writing and speaking have gotten easier, most days, but it's still a struggle. I will leave this one alone. A reminder that I am here and trying, and that mistakes aren't fatal.) The sign at the Zoo mentions that they can "leap up to 6 feet," and considering the size of them, how stocky and heavy they look, my fascination only increased, and I tried to imagine a takin in full flight. We were at the zoo between rain showers, and everything felt refreshed, brightened. The view from the Bashor Bridge, of Balboa Park, the Tower, and Downtown, is always stunning. Two hours of walking and learning, observing, talking, of clouds and sunshine, and we left happy, already thinking of how nice it will be to come back, again.
We headed to South Park for lunch, which was almost perfect... the "between" showers part of the day was behind us, and we got literally drenched eating our lunch al fresco! We were almost done eating, when it got to be too much, and we had to dash for the van! But what an excellent lunch! We can't wait to get back to Shwarma Guys, and the rest of South Park that we left unexplored. One thing I couldn't skip was The Book Catapult. William, Maria, Max, and I popped in, and we were not disappointed.

This is the kind of bookstore that makes a city a destination. The staff are always engaging, welcoming. Our friend, Susie Ghahremani's mural leaves me feeling like we've had a little visit! And books! I always find a title that is compelling, irresistible, and whatever I am looking for they are happy to find, and they'll order books, which they can hold in the store, or ship. I ordered a book, Collective Wisdom, by Grace Bonney, and the bonus is I get to return to South Park when it comes to The Book Catapult.

I guess this post was just a chatty catch-up. The news, still bleak and heart-breaking, can consume my thoughts, so I am here... in a virtual space of fond recollection, and hopeful anticipation that some online friends will chat, too. Hello, out there!


js said...

Hi all the way over there, I just stopped by to read your post and I realised I could thank you, THANK YOU!
Your blog has been a source of comfort and gentle escape for me during some hard times this year and I’m so glad I found it. There is something very comforting in the attention you pay to all the small beautiful parts of your life, but what I appreciate the most is how you combine that with honesty about the unravelling edges of all of it all too. So thank you again from the Far North of New Zealand, wishing you and your family all good things, Jodie

lilysgrannie said...

Your blog brought back so many memories especial the flamingo photo. We lived in SD for over 35 years before retiring to the Central Coast and sometimes really miss our life there. Thank you for the memories this morning.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Jodie, hello! I've already pulled up a map to study the Far North of New Zealand... I am enthralled! Cape Reinga, Karikari Peninsula, Te Hāpua! Geoff once had a job offer in Wellington, and we were so tempted to make the leap. Sometimes I still look at houses for sale there. Thank you for introducing yourself, for sending your kind wishes. I am glad if Chickenblog has made any bit of a nice difference. I have found connecting with people, far and wide, near and dear, has been very helpful, like a row of stitches to stop a total unravelling! My gaze keeps returning to the map of New Zealand... I am sending best wishes your way.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Lily's Grannie, you may have noticed (or not) that I have a massive crush on the Central Coast... probably on most of California! Once I get over the pass from Thousands Oaks and into Ventura County, I start feeling more relaxed, more eager for the journey. But... even if I did have the privilege of living further north, I would miss a few things around here, like the Zoos, and the shoreline from La Jolla and up the coast, and nostalgic places like Julian, and the Lagunas. Nothing is more iconic of a day at the San Diego Zoo than the sight of those flamingos! If you know, you know! They're here for you... I hope you can enjoy a fun return visit, soon.

Little Dorrit does... said...

Hello! The Zoo photos are wonderful - from the serene underwater smile of the hippo to the hot coral pink flamingos and the okapi with the velvet jacket and the zebra stripe leg-warmers. I had to look up okapi to discover that they are actually close relatives of giraffes. Who knew? Certainly not me! Thanks for letting us share in your Zoo Joy!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Amelia, you put a big smile on my face this morning... velvet jackets and zebra stripe leg warmers, exactly! And when you see their heads, or how they eat, then the giraffe connection is more apparent, yet still amusing. There are a few animals, including the takin, that look like they were designed and assembled at the 11th hour, just semi-randomly pieced from any leftover bits, whatever had to be done to make the deadline. I love them! Nature is, of course, awe-inspiring, but can also be wonderfully amusing. Thank YOU for sharing in the Zoo joy!