Nothing says holidays like a giant tarantula

by Ginger on December 21, 2008

in Celebrations, Taking Pictures

This holiday is totally kicking my ass. I feel like everything sort of rushed up and caught me off guard about this Christmas, and even though I have my Christmas shopping 99% done, I’m still kind of overwhelmed by it all.

Add to that a general lack of Christmas spirit, and it’s been a weird holiday for me. I’m not normally this bah-humbugy. And frankly, it’s kind of bothering me.

So last night, I made N.C. take me to the San Diego Wild Animal Park to check out their Festival of Lights (courtesy of passes from the darling Single in San Diego, who is no longer in San Diego). This is the last year that the park is having this event, so it was a double win–a last chance opportunity for something kind of cool, and something to hopefully kick start my holiday cheer.

For anyone who hasn’t ever been to or heard of the San Diego Wild Animal Park, it’s a different kind of zoo. Most of the animals have enormous enclosures to run around in rather than a typical cage. There’s a whole area where giraffes and rhinos and gazelles and the like wander freely over about a 2 mile “enclosure”. A 3 acre area for the African elephants. 2.5 acres for Asian elephants. You know, that kind of thing.

So the weird thing about the Festival of Lights was wandering around the park after dark. Seeing the glint of the lion’s eyes, even though you can’t really make out their bodies. Seeing 3 cheetahs maybe 20 feet from you…separated by a narrow ditch and about 2 feet of rope…in the dark! Hearing the gorillas, but not being able to see them at all since there were no lights in that area of the park.* As N.C. kept saying, there was something a little Jurassic Park about the whole thing. But it was definitely cool.

This photo is horrible, but I still feel compelled to share it with you all.

It was also very cool to see all the stuff they set up for the kids–face painting, sand art stations, make your own Christmas wrapping, toasted marshmallows (Um, yeah, we totally got on board with that one), etc, etc. Seeing all the kids running around, and all the lights definitely helped my Christmas spirit.

That’s not to say some of the lights weren’t hysterical.

Like this one.

Because nothing says the holidays like a giant tarantula.

Or an elephant shooting sparks from its trunk.

But that’s ok, because the S.S. Santa was festive enough for everyone!

*I tried to get pictures of the animals but 1) I have no tripod and 2) the animals were too far away for my flash to do anything other than illuminate their eyes in the creepiest way and 3) I suck at taking photos at night, with or without my flash. I’m working on it, but kind of feel like until I have the tripod, it’s a wasted effort. So yeah, these photos all kind of suck, but at least they’re something!

Jenni December 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm

We gave up our membership when they got rid of the monorail and had to pay (even thought we’re members) for the much less experience of the bus ride; but I do miss the festival of lights.

When they had the monorail, you could take it at night and see the animals at night during the festival of lights. The lights would come up in each section as you passed it and in such a way that it didn’t really disturb the animals but you could still see what they were doing. It was awesome!

Glad you enjoyed it!

Mad Asthmatic December 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm

i love the elephant lights, it may not be the most festive of subjects but i just love elephants, not so keen on the tarantula one though!

MA

Mad Asthmatic´s last blog post..Party Success

Single December 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I’m glad you had the chance to go! I went to the Festival of Lights last year. It is good for getting in the Christmas spirit.

Single´s last blog post..Update

Kat Argonza December 21, 2008 at 3:39 pm

So festive! I love christmas lights so much.

Kat Argonza´s last blog post..Dieting for the Holidays

Jessica December 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm

That is so cute! Our zoo has holiday lights too. I want to check that out when I get back. I’m glad you brought up feeling overwhelmed because I am too. I’m organized but still feeling like there is a lot happening quickly.

Jessica´s last blog post..My baby blog’s birthday!

Nilsa December 22, 2008 at 8:59 am

We have something like that here called Zoo Lights, only it’s free. And awesome. Looks like you had fun!

Nilsa´s last blog post..Snippets

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