Monday, June 25, 2012

April - Spring Break

We decided to take our awesome foursome south for spring break, all the way to...  Columbus, Ohio ;)  

We need to ease our way into a big spring break trip (Although, let it be known that I am not a fan of going away for spring break.  I hate feeling like I need a vacation from my vacation, when I have to go back to school and teach.  Jason, on the other hand, would love to pick up and leave for spring break.)

Anywho...  the drive was about five and a half hours.  Doable, but not fun!  
We stayed 3 nights in a hotel room/suite.  We pushed the queen size beds up against the wall, and had the kids sleep in twosomes across the beds.  I am sure the housekeepers were totally thrown off, but it worked very well for our vertically challenged kiddos!  
Who ever doesn't believe that Jason and I won't do anything for our kids, didn't see us sleep on the pull out couch.  UGH!  Let's just say that it ranked right up there with sleeping on the floor covered in rolling pins.  Good thing we love them!
The main reason that we went to Columbus was that all four kids love animals, so we went to the Columbus Zoo.  Jack Hannah was the director of the zoo, and helped build it to be a beautiful, well rounded zoo!  It was a perfect zoo for a two day trip (for our kids, anyways - who hung in there for about 4 hours each day).  Because it would have cost $25 more to pay for each individual person to go over the two days, we are now members.  We are hoping to find a more local zoo that will accept their membership as part of a reciprocal program.  
The Columbus Zoo has so many different areas to explore!  It is divided up into 5 areas.  On our first day we went to 'Shores', 'African Forest' and 'Voyage to Australia and the Islands'.  We were tired by the end, but it was hard to stop when we knew there was so much to see.

We started out at a whole building dedicated to reptiles.  I learned a ton!

Don't they look excited?!?!  
One of the most memorable exhibits was the gorilla area.  This gorilla was quite playful when we were there. She would swing around the entire perimeter of the area, thumping her hind legs on the glass to get the spectators attention.  At one point she was playing hide and seek with Ellery - so fun to watch!
I don't have a picture, but the Bonobos were equally entertaining!
My own monkeys!
Having lived in Australia (I student taught there) , I LOVED the Australia area!  The signs and animals brought back so many memories.  We could walk around, and get up close and personal with the kangaroos.  
We ended our first day with a ride on the carousel.

After grabbing a bite to eat and heading back into the hotel to take a swim, Easton was running on the sidewalk and took a good spill!  I was in front of him, but his forehead hit the ground so hard I could hear it :(  Poor guy!  The look on the woman's face that was walking towards us was priceless - I think she wanted to run to him faster than I was.  I am pretty sure that everyone in the lobby thought he may be dying, but he quickly pulled it together.  
Day 2 took us to the 'North America' and 'Asia Quest' areas.  
We started out at the petting farm.  Those goats will probably never be the same after being tormented  lovingly brushed by my four.  If you get one of my kiddos, you get all four - eek!

There is a neat train ride that takes you around the North American exhibits.  What a cool way to see the back side of many of the animal's individual areas.

Hands down, the highlight of the second day was the polar bear exhibit!!!  There is an area above the ground and an area under water.  We were able to watch one of the polar bears roam above the water for a short time, before he took a dip in his 'pool'.  Jason ran down with Quin and Ellery.  They were able to see him dive deep and paddle around.  We spent a long time at in this area!

Gianna loved the elephants (or efififants as she calls them).  She had a mini-melt down when we had to walk away.  
I have hundreds of pictures!  So many diverse animals, but I will spare you!  If you are ever in the Columbus area, we would highly recommend going to their zoo!

There is also a cool shopping/dining area about twenty minutes from where we stayed called... Easton!  Well, with that name, we had to go!
It had every store imaginable, in an outdoor shopping mall atmosphere.  There was a magical fountain in the middle.  My kids wanted to dive in!  There were so many dining choices.  It was one of those places that I thought, "if only the kids weren't with us!"  Oh well, they probably helped save me a lot of money!

Too bad our name sake was super tired and grumpy by the time we left!  He wanted nothing to do with my picture shenanigans.  Oh well.
I love that our troops are getting more independent, so that we are able to do more of these types of trips.  Oh the fun to be had! ;)

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