Today, my husband and I decided to make good on our recent promise to have Cultural Sundays and finally cashed in the San Diego Zoo day passes we’ve had for months. We left LA super early and made the two-hour drive to the zoo with no traffic (miracle of miracles!) – only to then spent the next four hours battling throngs of people in attempts to see the giant pandas and new, massive “elephant odyssey.” Despite the fact that it was packed (and I tend to get a little anxious in crowds), I had a fabulous time walking around adoring The Husband, eating a churro and drinking an ICEE.
The animals were pretty cool too. (Notice the order of importance: Husband, Churro, ICEE, and THEN zoo animals.)
In addition, I felt like a rock star (by proxy, of course), because the new elephant exhibit drew lots of parallels between current Southern California animals and the (now extinct) animals alive in Southern California 12,000 years ago. This led to much exhibit-wall discussion of the La Brea Tar Pits, a museum built around asphalt seeps in mid-city LA, which have yielded, and continue to yield, thousands of incredible Ice Age mammal fossils for nearly one hundred years. In my past life, I spent two years as a Sunday volunteer in the lab there, excavating, cleaning, sorting, and reconstructing the bones of mammoths and dire wolves, and I am lucky to know several people who still work there as excavators. Some of whom, I discovered today, have been immortalized in photo collages at the San Diego Zoo:
That woman with the notebook in the middle photo? She wrote on the comedy paper with my husband and me, and was the person who encouraged my love of anthropology and got me a volunteer position. Man, I used to be so cool, guys.