I had been excited to get out over the weekend and enjoy the spring weather we’ve had, when to my surprise, this was what I walked out to Friday morning…
We decided not to stick around long enough to see the snow melt and took off for Columbus, Ohio right after work Friday. We had never really been there but knew it was only a couple hours drive from us and about a 10 degree increase in temperature. Sign me up!
Ellie has been a lot more aware of and curious about animals lately–she likes to watch the geese in our back yard and the dogs being walked in our neighborhood–so we thought it would be fun to take her to the zoo. It was still on the cool side–around 60 degrees–so not all of the exhibits were open for the season, but there was so much to see! The Columbus Zoo is reportedly one of the best in the country; Jack Hanna was once the director and still makes appearances occasionally.
This picture pretty much sums up the visit:
Ellie had the time of her life! She had several firsts at the zoo, starting with the aquarium. She loved the floor to ceiling exhibit–her eyes were glued watching the fish, turtles and manatees swim by so closely to her.
Next, we played at the playground near the aquarium and watched the flamingos try to stay warm.
We attempted the carousel, but she wasn’t quite ready for that. She stayed on the horse a few seconds and spent the rest of the ride in my arms petting it, ha ha!
We saw kangaroos and koalas in Australia, and elephants and tigers in Asia. I think this elephant lying on the ground has the right idea.
Finally, we took a train ride around North America and saw bears, moose, deer, goats and many other animals. Ellie loved the train and we were happy our last stop was a ride–we were tired!
After a long nap back at the hotel, we went to dinner at a restaurant I picked especially for Andrew called Harvest Pizza. It turns out Ellie loves pizza as much as Andrew. I’ve watched this video at least 20 times. So funny!
The next morning, we went to a historic neighborhood near Downtown Columbus called German Village. We started with lunch at a popular German restaurant called Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, where Ellie ate TWO orders of potato pancakes. Needless to say, she was a happy baby.
After lunch, we walked through the Village, admiring the brick sidewalks and quaint shops. Maybe it was just because we had a cute baby with us, but EVERY person we saw said hello to us. We couldn’t believe it! We stopped into a store called The Book Loft that had previously been a pre-Civil War era general store and saloon and is now a 32-room book store. It was like a maze of books–it was a-mazing! 🙂
We had planned to go to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, but we got a later start to the day than planned and decided to save it for next time. On our way out of town, we stopped by a gourmet food shop in the Short North neighborhood for rolled ice cream. I hadn’t seen it around our area yet and wanted to try it. Ellie really wanted to try it too, so obviously we had to. 🙂 It turns out there is nothing special about the ice cream itself, just heavy cream and sugar, but the technique used to make it is unique and I’m glad we got to check it out.
Notice Ellie’s little hand reaching for the ice cream cup in the photo on the right. It was a great trip and I’m looking forward to more weekend getaways. Hopefully we’re done with snow until the end of the year!