We were lucky enough to catch the National Geographic, Joel Sartore Exhibit of Animal photographs entitled Photo Ark on our trip to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. This exhibition is making the rounds of zoos all around the country and is quite frankly, stunning. Joel Sartore is on a mission to document species before they disappear. You can read more about it on the Photo Ark Site.
These fanciful and quirky photos of animals staged as if they were Hollywood icons were scattered all around the zoo.
The girls in front of the Red River Hog!
And then of course, there were the real animals. Cincinnati Zoo has wonderful habitats for the animals which are as close to natural as possible. The polar bear gave us a real show which was a treat because we usually just watch the polar bear nap at other zoos.
And you can see the elephants and a lot of other animals very close up in this zoo.
The girls had a ball feeding the giraffes which were at eye level.
Now, the sloth was the main attraction that day for us. He actually woke up and did a dance for us about five feet from our spot on the balcony. Quite a show off!
The flamingos do perform an actual show and you can sit about one foot from them.
Then they do the whole “napping on one leg” thing.
The most unexpectedly fascinating part of the zoo was the World of the Insect.
This is the fascinating journey of the Leaf Cutter Ants who travel through this tube with bits of leaves they cut from these little bushes and carry to the other side of the exhibition to their home below. We watched them for ages. Much better than reality TV.
Here is the where the Queen Ant lives. They bring the pieces of leaves and build up huge piles.
Check out this interesting video about these ants!
We had an incredible mini-vacay over the Labor Day weekend and our first stop was spending a day at the breathtaking Promised Land National Park in the Poconos. (More later about where else we went after!) The lake here is amazing and the skyscape out of this world. We had a nice picnic and then spent the day relaxing on the lake beach. Solène even caught a tiny jellyfish,which is in that water bottle. We took it all the way home and are finding out what to feed it!
Promised Land State Park is in Blooming Grove, Greene and Palmyra Townships, Pike County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The approximately 3,000-acre (1,214 ha) park is mostly surrounded by Delaware State Forest.
And of course, I love finding out the history of places we go, so here’s a bit on Promised Land below:
The name is an ironic commentary of the immigrant residents in the 18th and 19th centuries who had been dazzled by promotional promises of the supposed wonders of the land they were buying, reflecting their later disappointment.
Promised Land State Park was once the hunting grounds of the Lenape Indian tribe. Their land was part of the Province of Pennsylvania, established by King Charles II of England and under the leadership of William Penn. William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a colony where religious freedom was the foundation of its establishment. The Shakers, a religious sect, from England, migrated to the Thirteen Colonies and purchased some of the land in the Promised Land State Park area. They chose not to settle and instead sold off the land to lumbering operations that clear cut the land and sent the timber to the ship building docks in Philadelphia. The process of clear cutting the forests repeated itself several times until the land was acquired by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1902. The forestry department worked to re-establish the forests of the area. Promised Land State Park was opened to the public in 1905, becoming just the fourth state park in all of Pennsylvania.
What an incredible Columbus Day it was today! We took advantage of the very warm and glorious weather and made a trip out of the city to Maskers Orchard. We trekked all over this place in search of some Granny Smiths to make a apple pie with and we finally found them at the very end of the earth! We also picked about 10 other varieties and chomped our way through the orchard, tasting and comparing different varieties. We will be apple connoisseurs soon.
Grand Central Station is one of our favorite buildings in the city. In fact, I find it to be one of the most majestic buildings in the world, especially because of the constant life and lives who pass through it’s walls on a daily basis. The girls are growing up accustomed to running around on its marble floors. So, I wanted to share this wonderful structure with you of our trip there today, and show you a little bit of inside Grand Central Station from our point of view. I hope you enjoy it!
If you do, please comment below and also please share with us your fave building in your city.
We were visiting family in Cincinnati last week and made our way to Entertrainment Junction, which is the world’s largest indoor train display -that’s 25,000 sq. ft. of model trains on an enormous train layout. This place is incredible. With an area of over half a football field and which includes over 2 miles of track, 90 G-scale locomotives and over 1000 cars, this is a model railroad museum that shows how trains shaped the growth of the US.
I absolutely love how they take you through the different eras of train travel, and all of the people, cars and objects of each era, and the scenarios that take place around the trains. And they are continually building new train tracks and scenes and adding more characters and stories and lives. We’ve been here twice and both times, we can’t take everything in. You just keep looking deeper and deeper and seeing more. It’s hard to get an idea of the scope of this place so I’m sharing tons of photos to help you out.
And they also have a great play area for when the kids are all trained out! So, if you are going to be in Ohio at all, very worth the detour.
I’m back. We just got back from our vacation on Martha’s Vineyard and as you may have noticed, this year, I took a break and completely unplugged. But I am glad to be back and full of new ideas so keep tuned. I blogged about the magic of Martha’s Vineyard in this post right here. And this time, I thought I would spoil you with random shots.
The girls have really come to love this place and look forward to our trip every year.
La Mangerie, is a family restaurant in the heart of the Marais, in Paris, which now has a kid friendly brunch! And wanted to share this with you all as the “go-to place” to take the kids if you are traveling to Paris this summer.
It’s been four years now that La Mangerie has been dishing up portions that are shareable, which is great for group meals. And they are getting better and better.
I used to be in the Marais all the time when I was living there, and they had nothing like this. In fact, it was hard to find a specifically kid-friendly restaurant at all. Well, times are a changing in Vieux Paris.
We just received our VW Camper Van Play Tent which the girls had tried out a couple of months ago at an expo and I can’t get them out of it! They want to sleep in there too so it seems I will have to get some sleeping bags as well. And don’t worry…they make a large VW Camper Van Tent for adults in case you are yearning to use the kids’ one when you go camping. Made by The Monster Factory, all of these are modeled on the 1965 VW Camper Van. Must have been a good year.
This is the first post of our lovely new correspondent from Barcelona, Laia Arriols – an illustrator, photographer and owner of Apanona, a beautiful online shop filled with her gorgeous items and illustrations! A huge welcome and we look forward to many great posts like this one!
Montjuïc is a mountain in Barcelona nearby the sea. It’s an historical and emblematic place of the city with lot of history. The Olympic Games that took place in Barcelona in 1992 gave a new relevance to the mountain and became a very popular place of the city. Yet, it has museums, schools, stadiums, pools, beautiful gardens, etc. So, Barcelona residents usually choose this mountain to spend their leisure and sport time.
The idea for this family journey to Barcelona, was to spend all day in Montjuïc by doing all kinds of cultural and leisure activities.