I love my zoo membership. I love being able to just decide to drive north, not pay exorbitant amounts of money for parking, and wander the zoo for an hour or two before I decide that's enough outside time for the day and run away. It's awesome.

This time, I finally had a chance to check out the new Heart of Africa exhibit - I hadn't been to it last year before it closed for winter, but it's pretty great, now that it's open again.

image

It's an open savannah area with a bunch of different animals all in the same space, which leads to fun interactions on occasion. Plus, some of the areas are connected to various enclosures, so animals that couldn't be in the same area at the same time still get to wander around and smell each other's presence. Pretty sure the cheetahs love being in there right after the warthog or ostrich :-)

Columbus Zoo June 2015  Cheetahs

I was also mostly in time for the cheetah run demo, which was really interesting. Apparently all the cheetahs are trained as animal ambassadors, so the keepers can be in the enclosure with them without it turning gruesome immediately :-P



The lions weren't having it with the showing off though. It was hot. They're cats. They slept.

Columbus Zoo June 2015  Lion

The giraffes were very interested though. Including during the cheetah demo. Apparently they get a kick out of all the commotion as well. Or maybe they're just looking for food.

image

And then I got to end the day with a baby moose. One month old. So adorable.

Columbus Zoo June 2015  Baby Moose
Jeni's seems to be a love it or hate it thing - either you adore it and love trying new, random flavors, or you think it's overpriced and ridiculous and never want to go there again. Obviously, I'm in the first camp :-)



It's just so good. Creamy to the point that other ice creams now feel grainy, packed with whatever flavor you picked out that day, and stuffed in waffle cones that they should seriously sell as cookies.

My favorite is the Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Cherries - tangy yogurt flavor with cherry swirls. Best paired with Cherry Lambic sorbet.



Is it expensive? Yeah, sure. But it's fresh, it's local (made, and many of the ingredients), and it's totally worth it.



Mmm. Yum.
I mean, my job is pretty cool most days anyways, but this week, I got to go into parts of Franklin Park Conservatory for free :-) They were just getting ready for Christmas with the most amazing decorations, including a model train with the coolest landscape.

Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014 Franklin Park Conservatory 2014

Sorry about the blurry photos, but the thing was on a turntable. Plus, phone photography.

Also, there was Chihuly art EVERYWHERE. I was distracted.

Franklin Park Conservatory 2014

Next time mum comes to visit, this is definitely on the agenda.
I'm going to try out a new thing: my fave things about Columbus, whenever I can think of a new one to post. Hope you like it :-)

Destination Donuts doesn't have a physical store at the moment (which is really a good thing for my wallet and waistline, but still disappointing), but Heather sells at a number of coffee shops in town, as well as at North Market at least one weekend a month.

Destination Donuts

Similarly to Jeni's Ice Creams (coming up later), there's lots of unique flavors, not just regular donut styles. I love it. So many random things to try. (And yes, that's chocolate bacon up there. I have yet to try it.)

This was one of my favorites: caramel chocolate pecan. Messy, but oh so good.

Destination Donuts

But really, anything's good. From chocolate candy cane, to apricot pistachio, to strawberry almond and ginger peach nibblers.

Destination Donuts

Destination Donuts

Destination Donuts

I love this city. So much good food.

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