Central Park and the Upper East Side With Littles in Tow

IMG_5451
Happy Thursday, friends! Our New York adventures continued yesterday with a trip into the Big Apple. Lotte had been once before when she was about four months old, but this was Grace’s first time, and I think we packed in just about as much fun as a 3-year-old and 19-month-old can handle for a day 😉 My stepdad drove in with us, which was lovely, and we met Chris in the UES, since he was coming back from a work trip in San Francisco on the red eye.

The adventure started with a walk down Fifth Ave., checking out the Metropolitan Museum of Art (from the outside — checking out the inside will come when the girls are a tad older), and grabbing bagels from our old bagel joint in our old neighborhood to have near the Alice in Wonderland statue and the Conservatory Water.

Continue reading “Central Park and the Upper East Side With Littles in Tow”

The Inspirational Animals of My Travels

As I sit here working on a passion project of mine — which, to be fair, I’ve been working on for the better part of a year now — I realized that I’ve up until this time passed up a perfectly lovely opportunity to give thanks to all the inspirational animals I’ve come across in my travels. These animals have been so much fun to meet and learn about, and I’m so grateful to them for being a part of the learning process that is traveling.

So without further ado, please meet some of my favorite animals I’ve met on my journeys:

Shawn_the_Koala^^ This is Shawn the Koala from the Koala Park Zoo in Sydney.
He’s the animal that started my whole project idea.

Shawn_talks^^ Can’t you tell he’s just whispering amazing ideas in my direction!

Kookaburra_Bird^^ This is a replica of a Kookaburra bird in the
Museum of Natural History. They’re known for their good-natured,
hysterical laugh, which can sound a lot like a human’s.

Red_Panda^^ This is a red panda — let’s call her Jia. This photo is from the
Philadelphia Zoo, which is sort of cheating because my real
inspiration came from the red pandas at the Central Park Zoo.
This was a better photo, though.

Pigeons_London^^ These are pigeons. And while yes, these pigeons are in London,
let’s be honest — the real inspirational pigeons live right here in
good ole’ NYC.

Chasing_Pigeons^^If we’re being even more honest, my true obsession with pigeons began
when I was a toddler and my parents lost me in the Piazza San Marco
in Venice because I was chasing them. That’s why I took this
dorky photo when we were back there in 2012.

What inspires you when you travel?

Bis bald, friends!

Back in the Borough: Farewell, Gus, We’ll Certainly Miss You

^^ Gus, the gorgeous Central Park Polar Bear.
^^ Gus, the gorgeous Central Park Polar Bear.

Hi friends,

Well I can’t believe that only two short weeks ago I was at the Central Park Zoo, saying hello to all the amazing animals there — one of which was Gus, the polar bear. It was with great sadness that I read the news yesterday that Gus had to be put down at the ripe old age of 27. The docs had found an inoperable tumor in the poor bear, and he was euthanized.

To be sure, Gus had a good life. Experts say most polar bears living in zoos only live to about 20.7 years old, and after Gus started exhibiting worrisome behaviors (like swimming obsessively for hours in his habitat), the zoo ordered therapy for the bear and made changes to his daily routine to help keep him stimulated and happy.

Still, I hate to hear when any animal dies, especially those being held in captivity.

At least he’s in a happier place, now. You’ll be in my thoughts, Gus.

Back in the Borough: A Trip to the (Central Park) Zoo

Hi friends!

So my summer of Central Park continued last Friday when I took a trip to the Central Park Zoo to do some research for a little project I’m working on. (Shhhhh…it’s a secret! More details to (hopefully) come later.)

Anyway, the zoo is great. It’s pretty small, so you can get everything done in a couple hours, and there are some really fun animals. Here’s a bit of what I saw …

^^It was a gorgeous day for the zoo!
^^It was a gorgeous day for the zoo! Plus it was the middle of a weekday, so it wasn’t all that packed.
^^The seals put on a cute little show at certain points during the day. You know, cause they're awesome.
^^The seals put on a cute little show at certain points during the day. You know, cause they’re awesome.

_DSC2056

^^The penguins! Oh my goodness, the penguins ...
^^The penguins! Oh my goodness, the penguins …
^^So handsome.
^^So handsome.

_DSC2074

^^These cute turtles reminded me of the one we have at home. His name is Marty, and he's a Red-eared slider.
^^These cute turtles reminded me of the one we have at home. His name is Marty, and he’s a red-eared slider.
^^ This little guy -- a Red Panda -- was sleeping so peacefully in the basket.
^^ This little guy — a Red Panda — was sleeping so peacefully in the basket.
^^Can you "spot" the spotted cheetah?
^^Can you “spot” the spotted cheetah?

_DSC2099

^^This big guy, the polar bear, was quite shy. Or sad. Or both.
^^This big guy, the polar bear, was quite shy. Or sad. Or both
^^ Snoozy cutie!
^^ Snoozy cutie!
^^ This little guy reminded me of 'Rainbow Brite,' one of my favorite movies as a kid.
^^ This little guy reminded me of ‘Rainbow Brite,’ one of my favorite movies as a kid.
^^ The Land of the Tropics was really fun. All the birds fly around and it's loud and swampy. Totally fun!
^^ The Land of the Tropics was really fun. All the birds fly around and it’s loud and swampy. Totally fun!
^^This bright little guy was fancy and he knew it.
^^This bright little guy was fancy and he knew it.
^This little mongoose baby was getting some attention from his mom the whole time I was there. So cute!
^This mongoose baby was getting some attention from his mom the whole time I was there. So cute!
^^ Such a handsome monkey!
^^ Such a handsome monkey!

_DSC2145

_DSC2151

_DSC2156

^^Part of the seal performance.
^^Part of the seal performance.

I got a lot of great fodder for my research — so now I just need to put it to good use.

Bis bald, friends! We’re off to the Mets game this Friday and the Warwick Valley Winery on Saturday. Hope ya’ll have a great weekend 😉