Sunday, June 16, 2013

When in Ohio

The Columbus Zoo 

     I love the zoo! We went in early spring, and a few of the tropical animals were hibernating, but other than that, this attraction is well worth the trip.
     There are bears. The picture to the left is one I took there when we went recently. Though it was a pretty chilly morning, at about noon people started flooding in, so going for the first half of the day definitely has its pluses.
    There is a playground-like kids' area, and it's pretty big. Though I didn't play around in it, the kids' place looked like lots of fun. 
     They have a few small aviaries, a good-sized reptile house, and a nice aquarium. (The aquarium is not pictured to the left, that picture was taken of the polar bears' habitat.) I highly suggest visiting if you're into those sorts of things, since my husband and I were not disappointed. 
     Overall, the variety of animals is amazing. They have apes, orangutans, and bonobos. They have polar bears, brown bears, and sun bears. They have bats, snakes, turtles, lizards, flamingos, fish, rays, manatees, and even a komodo dragon. 
     We got through the whole zoo in about five hours. It was a little tough on the feet, but if you're just going to see the animals, one day is enough. Compared to the Miami Zoo, this one is a bit smaller, but not disappointing in the least, not in my opinion anyway. And the food there wasn't that over-priced, surprisingly, so having lunch there isn't too hard on the wallet. I highly recommend.

To learn more, visit the Columbus Zoo's website.

Feel free to leave a comment and ask any question I might be able to answer for you. Also, I'm interested in knowing where your favorite zoo is. Why is it great and what's your favorite zoo animal?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When in Ohio


     My husband is a Reds fan and insisted we go to Cincinnati for a game or two. I agreed only when he agreed to do other things there as well, since I didn't consider the trip worth it just for the baseball. Besides baseball, there are plenty of things to do in Cincinnati, and here are the things I suggest for the compromise.
There are a few of these around the aquarium.
     First, the Newport Aquarium. The hotels right across the river from Cincinnati are cheaper than the ones in the more well-known city, and therefore we stayed right across the bridge from the stadium. The aquarium is also right across the bridge from the baseball stadium, no more than a ten minute walk, in my approximation. It's a little on the pricey side, but if you haven't been there before, and enjoy wildlife, it's worth the trip. You can spend a whole half-day there, so plan accordingly. Their website is available here. Also in the vicinity of the aquarium, between it and Barnes and Noble is a rock-and-roll type cafe, which I highly recommend for good food and good service, but cannot remember the name of.

Friday, January 18, 2013

When in the Bahamas

The Grand Lucayan Resort

     I don't know if I would agree that the Bahamas are all they're cracked up to be, but I do know I did have fun while I was there. Here I will reveal what one should know when traveling there, the perks of visiting, and the downsides of visiting this major tourist attraction. 
An example of a greatly appreciated small courtesy.
     My mother and I cruised over to Grand Bahama Island on the Bahamas Celebration cruise ship. There's plenty to do on this ship and lots to choose from when considering things to do, but everywhere the servers offer alcohol. I do not recommend this cruise to any recovering alcoholics, because you must refuse alcohol everywhere you go. Past that, though, I found it to be an exhilarating experience, it being my first time on such a big boat and all. I have to say the best things are the little things - the staff's courtesy and kind treatment considering all guests was fantastic and the little surprises (save the ones on the bill, which we happened to have been forewarned about but were still surprised by) were very welcome and sometimes even cute.

Monday, January 14, 2013

When in Florida

Zoo Miami

     The Miami Zoo is a great place for anyone who likes animals, walking, or just hanging out with the kids! This place is huge, and definitely has more to do than anyone can do in one day. Just for some kind of reference, take a look at the map I took a picture of and consider it takes 10-15 minutes to walk from the apex of one small curve to the next. It takes hours to walk through just one of the loops, and that's not considering standing still long enough to witness the animals living in their habitats. 

     I highly recommend checking this attraction out and blocking a couple days just for exploration. The zoo offers carts that anyone can rent and drive around in, but the exercise offered is a plus. Definitely wear tennis shoes or other comfortable footwear and clothes you feel comfortable sweating in, especially if it's going to be warmer than the mild 70s. And waterproof sunscreen is also a must, since there are mist stations everywhere, and you definitely want to use them for cooling off.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

When in Florida

Sawgrass Recreation Park

     The Sawgrass Recreation Park is family owned and operated and a great place for decently-priced souvenirs. They have air boat tours as well as live exhibits, but if you've already seen alligators, it may not be worth the price of a seat on an air boat, unless you just want to see them move or to have someone tell you a little about them.
     This park is a great place to view wildlife. There were a lot of black vultures in the parking area, tortoises, birds, raccoons, black panthers, baby alligators (and they let you hold them!) as well as adult ones, various large lizards, pigs, snakes, and lots of little scrub lizards.
     I recommend this attraction to anyone who likes reptiles, and zoos. I suggest wearing comfortable shoes, as there is a little walking to do through the exhibit areas, and comfortable clothes, since the exhibits are outside in the sun.

To learn more about this attraction, visit their website at

Friday, November 23, 2012

When in Florida

Packard Antique Car Museum

     My mother and I also visited the Antique Car Museum while we were in Florida. We aren't really interested in old cars particularly, but spent a couple hours there, just working our way around, taking lots of pictures for my dad to look at when we returned home. This is a definite must for anyone interested in old cars, since this museum has antiques of everything that has to do with cars: old gearshift knobs, emblems, ornaments, gas station items, signs, toys, of course lots of cars, car mirrors, cigarette lighters, a punch bowl, a piano, a hearse, a firetruck, typewriters, spark plugs, parking meters, ashtrays, a jukebox... you name it, they probably have it. It was a lot bigger than we expected. And they have a room dedicated to presidents. And lots of books.
     Make sure you take cash or check to pay the entry fee, which isn't much compared to the other attractions in the area, because they don't take card. They ask you not to touch the cars, to help keep them in pristine condition, so the museum is not really ideal for kids who have to touch everything.

To learn more about this attraction, visit their website at

When in Florida

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum

     When my mother and I were in Florida on vacation a few months ago, we went to the International Game and Fish Association's Hall of Fame and Museum. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed ourselves there. It was a whole lot less boring than we expected and a lot more diverse in presentation than we could have imagined.
     This attraction is not only for people who enjoy to fish and who are looking to learn about fishing, but also for those who enjoy wildlife, art, and history. The museum has more to offer to adults than expected and interactive learning for growing children.

Monday, September 17, 2012

When in Florida
Flamingo Gardens
Florida Scrub Lizard

     For both Butterfly World and Flamingo Gardens, I suggest you set aside at least a day for exploration, especially if you're "into" animals, plants and trees, and photography. My mom and I did both these attractions within the same day and almost didn't get to see everything. And I would have loved to have taken more time to watch the animals for a little while longer than just glancing when passing by and stopping for a little more than a few seconds for a quick picture. Both of these places are pretty big, and both have a lot to see and watch, and take pictures of. They have some things in common, but are totally different places and attractions in my book. I highly recommend both. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When in Florida
Butterfly World

     Recently my mother took me on a cruise to the Bahamas. This included four nights in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, two nights on the Bahamas Celebration cruise ship, and two nights on Grand Bahama Island. When checking into our hotel in Florida, we picked up some coupons/advertisements in the lobby, and when in our room for the night, we looked through the small cards to plan our stay and visits. Although Butterfly World was a little expensive for our budget, I just had to go, and so my mom went with me just to quell my excitement at the thought of such a place.