Okay, long trip to go to the zoo, and I wish Jim had been able to spend at least SOME time with us. He spent his whole time at the convention center for the gaming convention, and didn’t make it back to the hotel until late in the evening. That left me pretty tired, having to deal with all three kids in an unfamiliar area for three days.
The Columbus Zoo was awesome! I absolutely loved it. The weather was perfect, at about 80 degrees and sunny, and there were lots of shady trees to help keep it cool even in the sunshine. The zoo is broken into areas like “Australia”, “North America”, “Pachyderms”, etc. and the environments of the areas where we visited seemed very natural. Admission was much cheaper than the Philadelphia Zoo, where we usually go, and it was $9 for adults to get in, $5 for kids 2-11, and free under 2. Once inside, there were things you could do that required additional tokens, which were sold for $1 each, but everything we did was only $1 – like the boat ride, the carousel, and the nectar to feed the Lorikeets.
We missed some of the zoo, so I really think if we get to go again, we will plan to be there as the gates open at 9 AM. We went right to see pachderms, since Eilis wanted to see them, and as a result, missed the whole North America section. There are two sections being renovated as well – including the Gateway to Asia, which looks like it will be nice when it’s finished.
Included within the zoo is the aquarium. Not huge, like the Baltimore Aquarium, this was just the right size for the family.with smaller kids. They had some beautiful, colorful fish, manatees, sea turtles, and some nice displays. Again, not extensive, but a nice taste of an aquarium.
We ate lunch there, and we didn’t see too many tables outside, but we were lucky to find one shaded in a nice area outside of the food court. The lines were a little long at the food court, but I got through okay. I can’t comment too much on the fare – we had the basic hot dogs and chicken nuggets with fries. Not much can go wrong with that!
On the way out, they gave us $5 off a visit to the Six Flags Wyandot Lake park right next door. It seemed like it had a lot of water rides, something Eilis is too little for yet, I think. Maybe on a return trip.
We stayed at the Springhill Suites in Gahanna, Ohio. I like Springhill because you do have more room to stretch out than in a regular hotel room. I was VERY impressed with the breakfast. They advertised it as a continental breakfast, so you figure you will get bagels and muffins and doughnuts. This buffet though had make your own waffles, and for the low-carbers, there was sausage patties and eggs each morning. Bad thing – no cold water to drink, although for $1.25, you could buy a bottle in their “market”.
The housekeeping left something to be desired. I ended up coming back each evening having to wash the dishes in the sink – with no dish soap. But they never replaced our drinking glasses. They also insisted on only giving us 3 towels for a room full of 5 people. That sucked. I hate when they skimp on towels.
Again, overall, a nice trip, but I would have rather had even a few more hours with Jim. The kids would have loved it if he had gone swimming with them.