It was a lovely Friday morning in San Francisco. The skies were azure blue, the sun was shining, and the nice fresh ocean breeze was blowing, when we all started gathering in an Actian designated area in the center of the San Francisco ZOO. Us – the Actian-ers and our spouses, kids, nieces, nephews and friends. It was our annual company picnic and it was an absolute blast!
The San Francisco ZOO is a 100-acre zoo located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco, between Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean. As of 2016, the zoo houses more than one thousand individual animals, representing more than 250 species, which we all got to see!
Apart from all the yummy food and the wide variety of drinks, we had so many activities available for making our day a memorable one. A professional caricaturist portraited our joyful faces; we could have had a face paint or a tattoo of any kind done; Chloe, the pig, made kids (and many of the adults) happy as she was walking in our area and was more than delighted to be petted.
We also got free tickets for the carrousel and the ZOO train, which broke before we actually reached the train station but we didn’t really mind. Kids got bribed with an extra ice-cream and were ready to run around again and explore.
At one point, it looked like we were all, yet individually, on a single mission. The Red Panda! “Were you able to find the red panda?”, “Have you seen the red panda?”, “I must have missed the red panda!”… While looking for the red panda, we saw a grizzly bear playing with his grizzly mates, penguins being fed, giraffes snacking fresh leaves from the trees, all the cool big cats relaxing in the sun, gorillas and chimpanzees jumping on trees, a koala having an afternoon nap, parrots boasting with bright colored feathers… ostriches, flamingos, insects, kangaroos, suricatas, zebras, wolves… and finally, the Red Panda dossing off, camouflaged in a red-leaved bush!
It was a beautiful day and we’re really lucky! Actian is a wonderful bunch of people. But having the extended families join the company event shifted the nice company spirit yet to another level.