It has been hot down here in the south bay area, but once we crossed the city limits into SF, the weather became overcast, we could see the fog/clouds rolling quickly across the highway, and it was definitely chilly. A nice respite from the heat, indeed!
We got to the Zoo in time for the grizzly feeding, which was really cool to see. The enclosure featured a large glass wall that bumped up against a small pond where the zoo keepers tossed food such as carrots, apples and chicken carcasses. We had front row viewing of the bears as they searched around for and munched on their breakfast.
Trouble with getting there in time to see the feeding was that we had to hurry from the entrance to the other end of the park, quickly passing by lots of other cool looking exhibits, such as the Outback and other bear species. Once we were done with the bears, it was nearing lunchtime for us, and there was no good way to find an efficient path through the park to the cafe, without once again missing cool exhibits along the way. Once lunch was out of the way (expensive but a decent selection, including veggie burgers, which is what we ordered out of respect), again it was difficult to find a good path through the park to see everything without crisscrossing the park or going through areas we had already been through.
Probably the best area was the African Savannah. It seemed to be fairly new and well maintained, and we saw giraffes fairly up close, a zebra butt, and other African animals.
My least favorite area was the Lion House. This building looked like a zoo structure that you see in old cartoons. You go inside to find a large open space with cages all around the perimeter. The only live animal in there was a tiger, not to mention a zoo keeper cleaning out an adjacent cage. The bright side of this was that the cages open up on the other side to an open area that more resembled what you would expect to see in a modern zoo, a habitat.
Penny was complaining a bit that she wanted to go home, she seemed bored. Surprising, since she usually likes animals. We later found a playground, and she perked right up.
We stayed at the playground for a good long time while Harold napped. Then afterward, we made our way to the children's zoo area. We really should have started in this area. By the time we found it, it was closing time for some of the exhibits there (4PM), and so we sped through the nature trail (without seeing the small animals that would have been there with keepers) and we also were able to get into the insect zoo/museum just before they closed.
The zoo itself closes at 5PM, and we were back at the car soon after 5. Using our GPS, we looked up some places where we could have dinner. We decided on Italian and easily found Pirro's Pizzeria on Taraval Street. Since it was a Monday, and still somewhat early, the place was near empty. I'd recommend it.
After a small pizza and ravioli, we hit the road back home.
Overall, I wish I had read the reviews of the San Francisco Zoo on Yelp, at least to know what we were getting ourselves into. Overall, the descriptions in the reviews are pretty accurate. It's an older zoo, it shows its age, but they do the best they can. For fifteen bucks for an adult to get in, it's not overpriced, in my opinion. We will go back, probably not before a few years go by.