|It's the Shrimp that Keep Us In The Pink|
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To fully enjoy the beautiful details
One of my favorite ways to play tourist in any city I'm visiting, is to go to the zoo. Zoo's tend to be spacious, beautiful places that have evolved over time. People of all ages, who live in that exotic place I've traveled to, are there, enjoying time with their families. Traveling with a kid? They'll find play time they may be missing as they zip around exhibits. A lot of zoos, like San Francisco Zoo have great playgrounds and children's zoos for maximum other-kid interaction as well.
In this setting, people who live there are relaxed and ready to chat about what they find beautiful in this specialized environment -perhaps the landscaping or design. Often they suggest other fun places to go or eat. In zoo's I've also been know to pickup tidbits about local politics I might not hear in the made-for-tourists meccas farther downtown.
Oh, and there are animals there too. Animals I might not have seen in other zoos. San Francisco Zoo is home to an exhibit of twin grizzly bears, a pair that wildlife rescue folk weren't able to re-release. They are darling. The Magellanic penguin breeding program is one of the most successful in the world. Plus the little tuxedoed cuties are a kick to watch, every one so individual. I hung out for a half an hour today during feeding time, as every single penguin was hand fed their requisite two fish - and if they didn't take two that fact was noted on the keepers clip board. Eagle Island and Devil the white penguin (a one-winged survivor of a tangle with a cut fishing line - most marine animals in this situation don't make it) are two other favorites of mine. Devil is particularly appealing when he plays with - woops I mean interacts with - his keeper.
Even though it's not particularly far from home, I always feel like I'm on a wonderful trip when I visit the San Francisco Zoo. I love the gorgeous landscaping and appreciate the effort that's gone into making the animals feel comfortable and relaxed.