Category Archives: Botanical Garden

Let’s All Go To The Zoo!

Last week while on a mini vacay, my husband and I visited Council Bluffs, Iowa. As we were getting ready to head toward our destination we began looking into the activities available in that area. While there are many fun and historic things to do between Council Bluffs and Omaha, Nebraska, which is just a few minutes away, we decided to check out a zoo.

The Omaha zoo is known as the, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. This particular zoo has nineteen exhibits and it can take more than one day to take everything in. During our visit we did not go into the aquarium, theater, children’s adventure area, or the butterfly and insect pavilion. There were also a few different areas that were closed due to renovation. I wish I had known ahead of time that things were under construction, because I missed out on seeing a few of my favorite animals.

During our visit, I did not see any penguins, polar bears (they moved to the Kansas City Zoo), or zebras. I have no idea where the zebras were, but they were not in the enclosure they were supposed to be in according to the map. In some cases, due to the construction, it was unclear as to which animals were normally located in which areas. The zoo is currently adding an Asian Highlands section, but it also appears to be changing other areas as well. I believe there was construction going on in three different sections.

We arrived at the zoo around one o’clock and we were there until close, which was at five o’clock. We very much enjoyed walking through the, Desert Dome, as well as the, Kingdoms of the Night. If you want to take everything in, or try to take everything in, I would suggest you arrive at nine in the morning, when the zoo first opens. Make sure you check the times of the different Visitor Experiences that are available. These events are great learning occasions for children.

As you wander around there are plenty of bathrooms, water fountains, and places to find a snack, or to get out of the sun. Several exhibits are indoors. One of the most interesting things I witnessed was that of the giraffe crossing. This must occur at the same time each day, because the giraffes were lined up at the gate and waiting for the staff to come out and let them into their indoor enclosure. This process can take roughly a half an hour. The staff must open fencing to create a walkway and then the giraffes meander on into the building across the walk from their outdoor pen.

I have not been to a zoo in many years. My experiences are mostly with that of the, Como Zoo, in St. Paul, MN, and the Apple Valley Zoo, in Apple Valley, MN. I greatly enjoyed the Omaha Zoo, even though several areas were under construction. I still took tons of photos and saw a lot of interesting animals. I would definitely recommend this zoo to anyone who is visiting the area, especially if you have children who love animals.

For more information on the, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, please visit: http://www.omahazoo.com/

Vacationing The Summer Away In Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Summer is in full bloom and vacations are upon us. Living in the Midwest you never know what the weather is going to be. It could be hotter than Hades, or it could be cold and rainy. You might have humidity that makes you want to cry, or you could end up with a day that feels like fall is moving in. Take heart in knowing that you can escape the madness by adventuring to either coast, or leaving the country completely.

If you are looking for a great summer destination with beautiful weather and great scenery, in the month of July, allow me to recommend Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat is a great location for your summer vacay, because this city has a little bit of everything. You will be surrounded by great hiking territory and a quaint downtown area that has lots of great food options as well as shops.

There are tons of lodging options in Steamboat. You can choose a hotel, a condo, or look to VRBO, which is what my family did on our vacation. We managed to rent a five bedroom home overlooking the mountains, on the outskirts of town. This particular location was beautiful and felt like home away from home. We had a hot tub, a horseshoe pit, a grill, and large open living spaces. Check out VRBO.com, sometimes they give last minute deals to fill their rentals.

If you plan a trip to Steamboat, and you like rodeos, you should check out their Pro Rodeo Series. They host a special rodeo event on the 4th of July. My family had a blast, and it was a fairly inexpensive and entertaining way to spend an evening.

Other fun things to do while in Steamboat are as follows: The alpine slide, gondola rides, bike trails, fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, zip lining, the water park, and the hot springs. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do in and around this town; there are many more options than what I named above.

While we were out hiking in July we did see quite a few wild flowers. There are nearby hikes that include waterfall destinations. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are also some scenic drives that will provide you with some great views and photographs.

While I have only visited Steamboat once, just thinking back to our last trip there makes me want to return. The feel of the town is small, but also clean and crisp. You can breathe in that mountain air and enjoy the river running along the edge of town. The feeling is serene.

For more information on Steamboat Springs, please visit: http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat/western/rodeo

 

A Visit To The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Las Vegas is a favorite vacationing spot for my husband and me, both. We love Vegas because we have family there, but we also love all of the wonderful things you can do in the area. My husband likes to tell people that each casino is like its own museum. There is more to a Las Vegas hotel than just the rooms and casino.

As I stated yesterday, the Bellagio has a great Fountain show, but that is not all the this impressive hotel and casino offers. If you venture inside this beautiful hotel and casino, you will also find out that it is the home of “O,” by Cirque Du Soleil as well as several great lounges and restaurants. The Bellagio also has a fine art gallery and a Conservatory & Botanical Garden.

I make a point of checking out the Conservatory & Botanical Garden on a regular basis. This garden is a must see for anyone who loves art and/or flowers. You will be transported to a magical land of fragrant fantastical beauty. The Conservatory’s theme is changed every season, including Chinese New Year. Bring your camera because you will definitely want pictures of this. During my last visit a bride and groom were being photographed on a bridge right in the middle of everything; the theme at the time was Chinese New Year.

This garden has lots of water and fountains incorporated into it. Most often you can find giant Coy swimming freely in the ponds. One of my personal favorite items in the Conservatory is the living painting that they make for each season. This painting is made completely of flowers and it’s always beautiful and impressive.

For more information on the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, please visit: https://www.bellagio.com/en/entertainment/conservatory-botanical-garden.html