Yup, that’s right, I finally got rid of THE mole. You know, the one on the bridge of my nose between my eyes. The one that was growing its own personality. The one that was going to start talking out loud any day. It has been a long time coming, let me tell you – people kept asking me, “when are you going to get rid of that thing?” And I kept putting it off – it’s a part of me, of my face. I didn’t even really notice it on a daily basis, looking in the mirror. BUT, when I saw photographs of myself, my eye would be immediately drawn to IT…so I knew it was time for me and my mole to part ways.It was pretty easy, really – it didn’t hurt at all, and the wound isn’t *that* noticeable (or at least, not as noticeable as an organism the approximate size of an eight-week-old fetus nestled between my eyes would be). And the wound is temporary…AND, my coworkers have been kind enough not to say anything about it.
Whatever…I’m just saying.
Here are pictures of me and Nicole at the Wild Animal Park at Lorikeet Landing last weekend (pre-mole-D-Day). By the way – not too many single guys will attend “A Taste of CRES”, so you can cross that off your list of ways to meet eligible single guys. Again, I’m just saying.
See that mole??? It’s no longer there!!!
Look at how cute Nicole is…
Now I LOVE the Wild Animal Park, located right here in Escondido. I even worked there for a summer as a guide. But I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so much of the park at one time as I did on this day. We went everywhere! The weather was great, and I had free admission tickets for everyone. It was the perfect time of year to go, too, because flowers were blooming and the butterflies and orchids exhibit, which shows only a few weeks of the year, was on display. We walked around Mombasa Lagoon, checked out the gorillas (which kind of freak me out – I’m not a big fan of primates), then saw the butterfly exhibit in the Hidden Jungle. Butterflies were everywhere! We were swarmed by rainbow lorikeets when we fed them nectar, and I got some really great pictures. We then hoofed it over to Lion Camp, where I got to see my old lion friends. It’s the best exhibit in the park, I think. That day, both moms (Mina and Oshana) and Dad (Izu), and all seven cubs were out. They were initially just snoozing (trying to make sure they fulfilled that 20 hours of sleep per day quota), but as we were waiting in line for the safari tram, Mina caught a duck that had decided to fly into the lion’s enclosure. So, I took about fifty pictures of the lions running around with the duck – it was really fun to watch (although I’m sure the duck didn’t enjoy it).
After the safari tram thing, we ate lunch and walked back up through the Heart of Africa, then walked out to the tiger and elephant exhibits. We made it up to Condor Ridge, which shows some of North America’s most interesting critters (although the burrowing owls were no longer on display – boo hoo), and even walked through the Baja botanical garden and Bonsai house. By then we were pretty beat! But we managed to drag ourselves over to the Petting Kraal and through the gift shop. When we got home, Dad grilled up some salmon on the miniature BBQ that they bought for me on Saturday – it was delicious. Mmmmmm.
Click HERE to see all the pictures from the Wild Animal Park, including the lions having fun with the duck (which won the 2008 waterfowl division Darwin Award).
Can you believe I haven’t been to the Wild Animal Park in over a year? It’s true. But that all changed when Janet (from work) invited me and a few other girls to go see the park at dark, a.k.a. the Festival of Lights. Apparently, the wildfires of October destroyed a trailer that contained most of the lights, but they were able to cobble together a fairly decent display. It was really cool to see the lions and tigers I regularly visited while I was guiding for Roar and Snore in 2005; I got to see Delta’s three Sumatran tiger cubs, Izu at Lion Camp – all grown up, and Mbari in the big lion exhibit. I can’t believe how huge those lions have gotten!
Yes, it does actually get cool at the Wild Animal Park. I went there today with Mark, where we visited Lion Camp and saw two of the lion cubs (cute!), saw a tiger, walked around Mombasa Lagoon, visited the deer in the petting kraal, and fed the rainbow lorikeets. Here are some of the pictures!
P.S. – The Wild Animal Park called today for an interview for the Educator Guide position. And, I’ve also applied for the Education Specialist opening they have at the park / CRES facility. I think that job will be my preference, but we’ll see what happens. Woo hoo!!!
Ok, so last in the beginning of November Miranda and her friend Aron came with me to the Wild Animal Park for a little bit of fun. While I’m working, there are a lot of parts of the park I don’t get to see, so I caught up on all the goings-on that I couldn’t check out while I was on the clock. We went on the 3D simulator ride, the carousel, spent some time in the petting kraal, and then went up on the hot-air balloon that takes you 400 feet up above the park. Here’s a picture I took of the campsite from above (it looks better at ground level, I tell you):
Here’s a frisky Desert Bighorn Sheep, and me with a little (actually quite fat) gazelle named socks.
Saturday night was the last night of the Roar and Snore camping season at the Wild Animal Park. And because it was so close to Halloween, we all decided to wear cat ears and tails (that’s my tail in the middle). And, to end things with a bang, we had probably the rowdiest group of kids of the entire season! Worse than girl scouts, and dare I say it, even cub scouts! It was bittersweet – after an entire summer of giving the same tours over and over again, I think everyone was ready to move on. But, it was sad saying goodbye to my new friends (really, my only friends here in CA) and my employment at the park. I’ll be able to hang onto my employee ID for a little while so that I can continue to visit the park for free, and enjoy the new balloon ride and the Glacier Run simulator and get down to the zoo.
I really hope that we can all stay in touch. My friendships with the people on the night crew are so important to me, and whether or not they realize it, they’ve given me a lot during a rough time in my life. I’ll probably always look back on this job as one of the funnest I’ll ever have; it has given me some great ideas of what I’d like to do with my life, shown me some of my strengths, and given me a boost in confidence. I’m so fortunate to have had this opportunity!