It was less than two hours travel time from Kenton, which was perfect for traveling with toddlers and school-age children. We had checked on the Internet beforehand and printed a coupon, which saved us money on our admission price. Included with the drive-through safari was a huge cup of food pellets to attract the animals.
Picture six pairs of hands diving into the food pellets and -- you guessed it! -- ore pellets were on the floor of the van than were available for feeding the animals.
There were more types of animals than we could name.
We encountered caribou, deer, moose, buffalo, llamas, alpacas, giraffes, and maybe even a yak. Not really sure about that one because the only yak I have ever come across personally was in a Dr. Seuss book. In the distance we could see zebras and lemurs.
It was pretty exciting stuff especially when the animals stuck their heads through the van windows looking for food, or when they planted themselves in front of the van and refused to move! The experience was a little chaotic at first but fun nonetheless.
After the drive-through fun, we parked the van and rode ponies and also a camel. (That's Alexa and Meyghan atop the camel.) These were included in the admission price. There also were various exotic animals to view and some tropical birds.
It was a great day trip, not that far from home but just far enough that some of the kids fell asleep on the way home. It was also a bit nostalgic for me, because I had taken my own children years ago to the safari, and now I was able to spend a day there with my grandchildren.
My husband, Ray, and son, Andrew, and I took a four-day trip to Cincinnati in early March. It was unseasonably warm and uncrowded.
We went to the Cincinnati Zoo and were able to really spend time viewing the animals because of the lack of crowds. White lions were there for a special exhibit. The apes are always fascinating to watch, but I must admit I observe with a tinge of sadness. They are so human-like. The zoo also has a 3-D movie theater, which is billed as a "4-D" experience with environmental sounds. I always think those are fun.
The next day, we went to an area which is actually in Kentucky. It's called Newport on the Levee, just across the Ohio River. There is a wonderful aquarium (Newport Aquarium) there. The shark petting tank is always a hit. When Andrew was 4 years old, he was a shark freak, and he knew all the different types. He still likes sharks, and this exhibit is as popular with adults as with kids.
Of course the shark tunnel is a magnet. Sharks and rays, and sometimes divers, can be found in there. In the tropical exhibit, some colorful little birds took a shine to Andrew. But when they decided to take a nibble too, he became a bit less thrilled with them. There is a great jellyfish exhibit; be sure to note the central lighting fixture in that area, if you go.
Finally, on to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Science. The building itself is quite impressive. Be sure to notice the beautiful mosaic murals on the walls in the main entry area. There is an IMAX theater (I love those) which was showing a human body film, to tie in with the human body exhibit that was there at the time.
A stop at Jungle Jim's on the way home completed the trip. If you are any kind of "foodie," you should get to this international food market sometime. It gives a whole new meaning to grocery stores.
Click HERE to view a slideshow of creatures and critters found on the Scholes' trip.
Here is a picture taken from "Jordon Pond House" of Jordon Pond and the Bubble Mountains in Acadia National Park, Maine that we visited in June.
From its Web site: "The dining traditions of Jordan Pond House date back to the late 1800s. During that era teahouses were established to cater to the growing number of sophisticated summer visitors. Today, Jordan Pond House continues these dining traditions featuring our famous baked popovers and homemade ice cream, fresh Maine seafood, and the finest poultry, meats and vegetables. We invite all Acadia's visitors to share in this unique dining experience surrounded by the mountains, forests, and waters of Jordan Pond."
My daughter, Kate, and I took a trip through Canada in April.
We took the train from Windsor, with our first stop being Montréal. It's a big city, with lots to see. We stayed in Old Montréal, which is very picturesque and charming. Lots of art galleries to roam through.
The Biodome was a highlight, as well as the local custom of taking your own wine to restaurants! There are handy "spirits stores" to assist in this custom, to which we felt we must adhere. Our hotel, Auberge Bonaparte, was perfect.
The Notre Dame Basilica was spectacular. Take the guided tour, but skip the light show. (We did both.)
After a couple days, we were back on the train to Québec City, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. The town oozes charm and we had a wonderful time. It's a hilly town, so be prepared. We enjoyed the tour of Le Château Frontenac.
My husband, Ray, and I took a two-week trip to England and Scotland in May. It was our first time there, and it did not disappoint.
We were very lucky with the weather, especially in Scotland where the natural beauty is simply amazing. The two days we had to drive across Scotland and around the Isle of Skye were spectacular. Edinburgh was a beautiful city, filled with friendly people who seemed happy to see us.
I suppose they won't see as many Americans this year because of the exchange rate. The cab drivers must not get tipped as much there as they do in the States because they seemed particularly happy with us. One driver in London was so tickled with his tip that he had me sit in the drivers seat for photos!
London was filled with so much fascinating history, and incredible architecture. Every turn seemed to deserve a photo. I took more than 1,000 pictures on the trip.
The city is very, very expensive and, again, I think there will be fewer Americans making the trip this year. We didn't see a lot of our fellow countrymen in either place. We stayed in grand manor homes converted to hotels and, fortunately for us, with friends in London.
The double-decker, open-top bus tour of the city and the Tower of London were highlights of our stay. We also rented a car from Oxford and drove to Warwick Castle and surrounds. We managed to stay on the "correct" side of the road, and not leave any bodies in our wake.
And as for Scotland, we are so glad that we rented a car and drove to the western Isle of Skye. It gave us just what we hoped for from Scotland.
If the exchange rates improve, we'll consider a return hop across the pond. But ... there are other places to experience first.
Click HERE to view a slideshow of the Scholes' trip to England and Scotland.