Friday, July 02, 2010

More Birthdaying! Crazy Animals

A couple days before my actual birthday, Thatboy told me he wanted us both to take the day off work. But then things got busy at my work and Thatboy had a trial, and I just didn't think it was going to happen.

Then I had an unexpected meeting schedule for the morning of my birthday (this always seems to happen to me) and Thatboy was fairly certain his verdict would be back that morning....since they jury had been deliberating 2 days already...for a DUI.... So we decided to do a half day. Which reminds me of how we spent my birthday last year!

And like last year, once we were off work, we headed to the zoo! My fave place ever. I really wanted to check out the new polar bear exhibit because we hadn't been since the 5k where we raised money for them to build it!

We usually don't stop and look at the flamingos, but they were SO pink, we gave them a gander and came upon a lot of interesting sights.

Did you know Flamingos slept on their knees? And that their knees bend backwards like some weird zombie creature?

It was hatchling season so we got to see baby flamingos! So cute and grey and fuzzy! Hard to believe these grow into giant pink birds, huh?

Those big mud lumps are actually flamingo nests. And the sitting flamingos are sitting on eggs. When they stood up we got to see pre-baby flamingos!

But of course, our real reason for the trip was to visit our polar bear buddy in his giant new habitat.

I love this big galut. He's such a ham, fooling around for the camera. Waving his giant paws, scratching his ears, rolling over.

His girlfriend doesn't pander to the crowds (you don't know how hard I had to fight not to stick a "panda" joke in there). She made herself a nice bed under the shelter and only briefly deigned to look at us. And frankly, I think she was only looking up to see if our buddy was going to be bringing her something to snack on anytime soon.

And of course, no trip to the zoo is complete without visiting my bestie beasties!

Although we might have come at an inopportune time since we appear to have intruded on an, ahem, "intimate" moment.

And believe it or not, I hadn't been to the zoo since the newest member of our panda family made his debut. There are two times of day in the panda enclosure - eating time and sleeping time. We happened to arrive during eating time.

Except for our new little guy who was taking a nap. How cute is his little tail! Hi baby panda!

We were meeting the rest of my family for dinner a little later, but Thatboy and I headed to the restaurant early to enjoy some happy hour. Because there's nothing better than beer on your birthday.

Now, I've actually been avoiding blogging about this restaurant for a while. It's Thatboy and my best kept secret - the place we take family and friends to, but don't really spread the word about. We like it because it's local and hidden, and we kind of like it that way. It's the place we go when we decide last minute we want to eat out because we can always get a table and the food is phenomenal and locally sourced. The local beer selection is awesome, and all their wines are from small batch distributors. Can you see why we want to keep it to ourselves?

Thatboy and I made ourselves comfy on the deck overlooking the lagoon and ordered a couple of beers and the baked goat cheese.

Thatboy is in love with the bread here, we always go through multiple baskets. And the goat cheese is so good, we ordered another one to share with the family. Thatboy liked it best with the pesto, but I loved the sweetness the caramelized onions brought to the tangy cheese.

Eventually the rest of the family got down to us, and we moved indoors, and switched to a bottle of wine Thatbrother brought with him.

Thatmom and I both got the flatiron steak. All the alcohol means I needed something heavy in my stomach, and steak sounded like a great choice, but beer and bread and cheese made me too full to finish. Although I did some nice work on those buttery veggies. Mmmmmm I love veggies! I think Thatmom cleaned her whole plate.

Thatbrother got the duck confit, the first dish I ever had here and one of the best duck confits I had. He was pretty impressed with it.

And UDubb had another one of my favorites - the cassoulet with chicken breast and Italian sausage. I love the meatiness the tuscan beans add to this and the saltiness the pancetta brings.

Thatboy got his favorite dish (and Sisterwife's too) - the Scallops with farfelle. He loves these scallops! And I don't know that many places that serve them grilled, a nice change.

And we finished the evening with a cake Thatmom brought from Susiecakes. Which we graciously shared with the restaurant staff since there was no way we were eating the whole thing. The staff was very upset to learn this bakery was in Orange County because they are now as addicted as we are!

And thus ends my birthday celebrations for 2010. Although Prez and I have already started planning for 2011..........


  1. Does the zoo by any chance have penguins? Because if so, we might need to plan a visit VERY soon.

  2. Happy, happy birthday That Girl. Thanks for sharing your day at the zoo...and the food of course:D

  3. Happy birthday! That dinner looks really good.

  4. Yay for the zoo! Yay for your birthday!