Escapes: San Diego, Vallejo, Homewood and Booneville

01/26/2014 12:00 AM

01/23/2014 9:32 PM

SAN DIEGO

Mila the elephant debuts at zoo

As elephants go, Mila is diminutive. The African elephant moved to the San Diego Zoo in November and is ready for public viewing.

The 41-year-old elephant was in quarantine at the zoo’s Prebys Elephant Care Center until mid-January, getting used to her new surroundings. Now she’ll get to explore at her own pace and continue to work with her keepers as she gets used to the sights and sounds of the zoo’s other elephants, according to the zoo.

Mila made the move to San Diego after the death of Helen Schofield, founder, operator and elephant project manager of the Franklin Zoo & Wildlife Sanctuary in New Zealand.

Mila and other elephants are a part of the work of San Diego Zoo Global conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

The zoo is at 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego. For more information, visit zoo.sandiegozoo.org or call (619) 231-1515.

VALLEJO

Birds-of-prey hike

What: Join Larry Broderick and the Solano Land Trust raptor team for a 4-mile hike offering raptor identification tips and views of resident and over-wintering birds of prey.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Lynch Canyon Open Space Park, 3100 Lynch Road, Vallejo

Cost: Parking $5; reserve a spot at mbcrittendon@comcast.net or (707) 685-5908

Information: www.solanolandtrust.org

HOMEWOOD

Chef showdown

What: Diners will have a chance to see two Tahoe chefs, Mike Davis of West Shore Cafe and Inn and Tom Marrin of Full Bully Deli and Seasoned Catering, in a head-to-head cook-off as part of the the West Shore Chef Showdown.

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6

Where: West Shore Cafe and Inn, 5160 West Lake Blvd., Homewood

Cost: $75; reservations required

Information: (530) 525-5200

BOONVILLE

International wine festival

What: The International Alsace Varietals Festival includes an educational session, a grand tasting with more than 100 wines and a winemakers dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars in Philo. Winemakers from France, Germany and New Zealand, in addition to many from California and elsewhere in the United States, will be pouring samples.

When: Feb. 8

Where: Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville

Cost: $45-$130

Information: www.avwines.com

MANZANITA LAKE

Ranger-led hikes

What: Lack of snow isn’t going to keep the rangers from leading outings (normally on snowshoes this time of year) to Manzanita Lake. The 1- or 2-mile hike will explore winter ecology and Lassen Volcanic National Park’s geologic history. Hikers should dress in layers and carry food and drinking water.

When: 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 23, weather permitting

Where: Meet outside the Loomis Ranger Station

Cost: Free with admission to park

Information: www.nps.gov/lavo

– Janet Vitt

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