I understand I am a day late on this and I apologize @tattoodjay. I knew I wanted to include this as a #wednesdaywalk post because we did a ton of walking, but I had some work related stuff that consumed my time yesterday. Anyway, here we go!
This past weekend we took a mini vacation to Columbus, OH to visit @mrsbozz's sister and her family. The two of us go to C-Bus quite frequently, but what made this special was that her parents and her other siblings were also coming. @mrsbozz's sister the party planner decided that Saturday would be a great day for us to head to the zoo.
The Columbus Zoo is directed by none other than Jack Hanna himself. The zoo itself is massive and there is a water park attached to it called Zoombezie Bay that also attracts a lot of visitors. Yes I have been to the water park, no I do not have pictures(you can thank me later).
With eight adults, two teenagers, and three children in tow, we pulled into the parking lot and got ready for the long walk to the front of the zoo. Parking at the zoo is $10 per car load, plus you still have to pay admission to even get in the zoo. It is obvious how they can afford to have such a world class facility. These pictures only show about a quarter of the parking area available. There is still a whole other section and another area behind us about the same size. They do have trolleys to cart you up to the entrance if you don't feel like walking.
Here is "Pops" heading towards the entrance.
The zoo recently opened a new dinosaur exhibit, so there was a big advertisement at the entrance for that.
After giving them my left kidney we were able to gain entrance to the zoo. Okay it was really about $22 per adult to get in but on top of the $10 to park I am surprised they didn't make me sign a contract in blood.
As is usually the case, there were a ton of people at the zoo on this Saturday. There were a couple large groups of Amish or Mennonite families and the lines to get your ticket and then pass through the turnstile for entry were quite long.
Once you have gained admission, you are presented with a large number of souvenir, food, and beverage options.
Likewise, throughout the zoo there are many smaller concession stands like this one. For real, if you can't find something to eat in this place you are just too lazy to be looking.
The majority of my in-laws are huge fans of the primates, so I knew our trip would definitely take us to Africa and the Congo section. Little did I know that is where we would end up spending the majority of our time and because of that I actually got very few photos of the animals.
I thought about throwing in some pictures from previous trips to the zoo, but that just didn't feel right.
First we passed by some flamingos...
Then we passed by some alligators...
And the reptile house. I have been in here before, but we didn't visit on this occasion.
The carousel my nieces used to love to ride on when they were little...
Finally, we arrived at the Congo.
The structures and enclosures are pretty complex and well maintained. While I am not a big fan of keeping animals in captivity, you can tell they have made a big effort to ensure the creatures have plenty of space and that they are comfortable.
As I said, my in-laws could have literally spent the whole day just viewing this section of the zoo.
Eventually, we did move along and that was when things started to fall off the rails. It is hard to try to stick together when you have a big group like this unless you are clear from the beginning what everyone wants to do.
The young kids wanted to go on the dinosaur ride, so they did that while about six of us stayed behind and waited for them. Thinking back we probably could have done some exploring ourselves then, but instead we did this:
There was a nice breeze that was making the warm weather pretty reasonable. The addition of a nice Summer Shandy had us all relaxed in no time. Don't be fooled though, they always find a way to make their money. The beer was about $14 in the souvenir glass but you could get refills at any stand throughout the park for only $7.50. A rip off? Yes. Refreshing? Definitely...
When they finished with the dinosaur ride, our beers were gone and we started heading towards the elephants. @mrsbozz and I stopped to get a refill but the line was so long our family decided to go on ahead. Long story short, they told us to meet them in the wrong area. By the time we caught up with them we were pretty much done for the day. Did I mention how huge this place is? You really can't explore it all to its fullest potential in just one day.
The final thing the kids wanted to do was feed the giraffes. A group of us held back and decided to get some lunch since it was now about 12:30 while the others started the long walk to see the giraffes.
We sat down in this little dining area and enjoyed a nice nosh at a mildly unreasonable price. To be fair the quality of the food was pretty good for being as costly as it was.
I really don't feel like I did enough justice to the zoo given the amount of actual animal photos I got. I really encourage you to visit here on your own someday and you can see just how magnificent it is. Just make sure you bring your wallet and a lot of spare time. There are small trolleys that run through the park making it much easier to get from one area to the next (if the cars aren't all full).
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