Oh the joys of day one. This is the start of our epic adventure. No one is tired, car sick, home sick or restless. Everyone is ready to hit the road and get things started! We gave each of the kids an envelope with $20 in it for souvenirs of their choice. This was their money for the entire trip. Each kid also had their own busy bag filled with some form of tablet or game, books, a favorite toy, and their envelope. Once everyone was buckled and had their own pillows and blankets nearby, away we went! Our original plan was to do the Toledo Zoo and Hocking Hills in one day. I worked the night before our vacation (7pm-7am), so we didn’t get on the road until 8am. Our travel day was rainy and in the low 50s…go figure. As I have said before, just go with the flow! We were so fortunate that at each stop the rain subsided and it was just misty and damp.
The journey to Toledo was an easy enough one for me…honeslty I slept almost the entire time. The kids did great though. I think 3.5 hours was an easy enough amount of time for them to grasp. It really helped that they knew we were going to the zoo and they were soooooo excited about it!
There was hardly anyone at the zoo that day (go figure!) We were able to stand as long as we wanted at each exhibit. There was lots of running around of course, but we still got to go at our own pace. One of the first things we saw were the cheetahs. They were very laid back until someone walked by with a dog and they started pacing and then running towards the dog. Obviously the dog was safe so it was really neat to see them stalk and charge.
One of our favorite animals to watch at the zoo that day was the tiger. He was not shy at all and came right up to the fence. Who doesn’t love these big majestic cats?
He is so photogenic!
We went to lunch at the zoo after we saw the tiger. We just got your basic chicken tenders and burgers (a large part of any young family diet). The food was decent and the prices were what you would expect from a zoo. The kids each got a cup (money was not taken from their envelopes for this).
We went and saw the otters and hippos next. Okay correction. We went and watched the cute otters.
After that we stared at some hippo butts. This was the only part they were willing to show I guess.
We saw elephants and the reptile house next.
We are now approaching one my most memorable zoo experiences of all time….
We share a love for the camera and a true relationship. He was not looking when I originally held my camera up to take a picture. Every time that I held the camera up he would pose with his face right next to mine and every time I put it down he would look down. I probably took pictures with my man for 5 minutes! If the hubs and kids hadn’t dragged me away it would’ve been much longer.
Aren’t we so cute together?
This stud loves me no matter how I look!
Ok. I promise I am done posting about this monkey. Moving on!
We saw some penguins and then went into the aquarium. This aquarium was so amazing for being part of a zoo! They had a small touch pool, jellyfish, and you could pet stingrays.
The little man touching a star fish
Before little miss touched a stingray
After little miss touched the stingray
We had a little mishap here. She was so excited to touch a stingray that she reached as it was turning sideways and ended up touching under its wing…apparently they don’t like this! It started flapping and she started screaming and well, we got soaked! It was fun to laugh about afterwards, but it sure got my heart going.
It was honestly hard to leave this amazing zoo. We had to leave after a few hours though because I was still under the impression that we would hike at Hocking Hills that same day. The kids were exhausted so we left with the intention to return soon with more family!
It continued to rain as we drove to our next destination: Logan, OH. Once we arrived, we quickly realized that the hike was not happening that day. We scrambled to find a hotel and ended up calling several different places before we found one close to the state park. We wanted one that also included a pool and free breakfast (these are must haves when traveling with kids). Every time we get a hotel we always have pizza in the room. It is a tradition the hubs and I started in our first travels together. We have done this so many times but every time the kids are always so excited. I would love to say that I plan for this and bring plates and napkins, but I think we all know that is just not how I roll.
I’m pretty sure we ripped the top of the pizza box into squares to use as plates…yes we are that classy! Oh well. The kids obviously loved it!
We finished our day with a swim and some cartoons. Everyone got some much-needed rest. Now on to day two: Hocking Hills State Park!
What are your favorite hotel traditions when traveling with kids? What are some of your favorite zoos to visit?