Saturday, 5 August 2006

Back To Cincinnati - Day 2 - Animals and Plants

Started off the day with the awesome Holiday Inn Express Quick Start Breakfast Bar. Those cinnamon rolls are the best. The weather forecast was pleasant: sunny and warm. We got ready and headed out to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Though we arrived shortly after opening, the place was already bustling. There was a special event held in the morning for members. We received 50% of the price of admission since we were members of the Toledo Zoo. At the Cincinnati Zoo, you pay for your admission and parking before you park. This is better than having to pay parking, park and walk to the gate and then pay admission. Once you are parked, you walk straight into the zoo. Given the hilly topography of Cincinnati, there were parts where you had to walk up (but that meant there were parts where you had to walk down). For a small cost, you could take a train on wheels to get to other parts of the zoo.

The Zoo itself is fairly compact but packed with exhibits. Since this is also a botanical garden, the zoo is done to the nines with wonderful plant displays. The environment is very pleasing. Both Jeremy and Corbin loved the zoo. We managed to catch the Elephant Bath show, which both boys watched in awe. Once the show was done the elephants bathed in the pool and were about 15 feet or so away.

Exhibits are interspersed with walkways going everywhere - it is possible to visit this zoo and not take the same route each time. After about three hours or so, and before the afternoon sun began to take its toll, we headed back to the parking lot and the hot van. Back to the hotel and time for a dip in the pool, naturally.

Hunger started to settle in and we drove out to a nearby commercial area. We settled on the Olive Garden. After about a 10 minute wait, we were lead to our table. The orders were taken. The kids had spaghetti - which they ate very quickly. Unfortunately, our orders were delayed - seems like one or two large tables placed their order at the same time as ours. The waitress apologized and said that the manager would stop by. We were shocked that the waitress took the initiative to tell her manager that our meal was delayed. The manager came by, apologized and offered to pay for any deserts we ordered - she even said we could take them home. Wow.

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