Monday, June 20, 2016

Columbus Zoo

Last summer we won VIP passes at a charity auction for the Columbus Zoo. It tok almost a year, but we finally got around to using them! You have to call ahead and let the Zoo know you are coming so they can leave the passes at will call. Unfortunately, the day we chose, last Saturday, was also their big fundraiser, meaning they were closing early, at 3pm. After a family discussion, we decided that 6 hours was all the zoo fun we would need anyway and decided to soldier on. The zoo felt bad though and decided to throw in free day passes to the waterpark that is part of the complex. So we arrived a day early and spent Friday enjoying perfect weather for water slide action!

Sadly, as it was a very wet place, no pictures.

That night we went to Schmidt's in Germantown for dinner. We had to (gasp) wait almost an hour for a table, something we never do, but it was worth it. Great German food.

And a terrific atmosphere. There was a two man oompah band that was a hoot. They really interacted with the crowd, sometimes to the dismay of teenagers who will go unnamed, and played some non-traditional music, like the Beastie Boys' No Sleep Til Brooklyn. It was so much fun.

The next day we were at the park first thing, beating down the doors when it opened.

The zoo was one of the most well done zoos we have ever visited. Seeing as we only had six hours, we had to keep on task but we able to see most everything. We got to witness these flamingos fighting.

And see the baby tiger cubs play with their mom and each other. You've never seen anything this adorable!

What we all really enjoyed was our VIP status.

All day long employees would greet us with "It's the family of the day!" There were some perks we didn't really use, like unlimited rides. Just not enough time. But what we did take advantage of was the free unlimited animal feedings. 

First up were the lorikeets.

Then the giraffes...

But the big hit of the day was feeding the stingrays! They are very tame and come right over so you can pet them. But if you have food, they get excited and will eat out of your hand, which is an odd experience. They open up their mouths, which have no teeth but are kind of a hard cartilage, and then they sort of suction on to your hand. It doesn't hurt but it is a weird feeling. Not embarrassed to say we all squealed like little girls. 

We must have fed them over 100 fish. It was some good, splashy fun! 

After that, our time was up, which was probably a good thing as we were all beat and had a 7 hour car ride awaiting us. Tired, coated in sunscreen and stingray water, we made our way back to Virginia. It was a great weekend.

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