I know I’m not alone when I say this school year was beyond exhausting for teachers across the globe. We have undoubtedly earned this years summer vacation. But, instead of spending our first weekend at home recuperating and decompressing, we packed up and headed to Fredericksburg to visit the elephants at The Preserve.

When I first heard that there was an elephant preserve in Texas I knew I had to go. Elephants are hands down my favorite animals and I’ve always been fascinated with them. After doing my research I booked our Air B&B and tickets to see the elephants. I figured this would be the perfect way to celebrate the end of a rough school year.

As always our Air B&B did not disappoint. If you’ve never rented an Air B&B I highly recommend you do so.

We checked in the night before so we had time to relax before the big elephant adventure. It was a good thing we prepared ahead of time because the Bearded One was a little under the weather. Lucky for us me and baby O had plenty of room to run around the AirB&B while the Bearded One rested up.

The day of our elephant encounter started off rainy but cleared up by the time we arrived. I was a little nervous that baby O would be scared of the elephants and I didn’t know what to exactly what to expect.

Each encounter only allows about 30 people so it wasn’t crowded and we all were able to interact with the 3 beautiful Asian Elephants (Rosie, Kitty and Becky).

They staff did an amazing job explaining everything about these fascinating animals. They were knowledgeable and made the experience not just educational but interactive and fun.

We were able to give Rosie a bath, take pictures with Becky, watch Kitty get a pedicure, and so much more. Everyone was allowed to interact with “the girls” and baby O wasn’t even scared!

Giving Rosie A Bath
Elephant Feet!

Overall I give this experience 10/10 and I would definitely do it again! (We might wait until Baby O is a little older and more attentive).

If you’d like more information please follow this link:https://www.visitthepreserve.com/ . The staff said they would soon be adding more animals and exhibits so stay tuned!

Spring Break Shenanigans

With our masks on and our hand sanitizer packed, we managed a few Spring Break adventures close to home.

First we decided to take Baby O to the downtown Houston Aquarium. It wasn’t a terrible experience, and Baby O seemed to enjoy himself, but I wouldn’t go back. It was overly crowded, people weren’t very kind, and honestly, there wasn’t much to see or do. Overall I give it 4/10.

Although the aquarium wasn’t a huge success we decided to try again the next day with a trip to the Houston Zoo. Other than getting caught in a chilly 40 minute thunderstorm, the zoo was a pretty good experience. It wasn’t too crowded ( we did have to book tickets online ahead of time) and there was plenty to see and do. Baby O saw lots of new animals and was even able to get out of his stroller and run around. I’d give it a 7.5/10.

We had a pretty good Spring Break and are already planning our next big adventure!

Road Trip: California

California Part One: San Diego

So folks, we’ve been in California for the past five days and we’re pretty much in love. The ocean, the beautiful weather, the endless exploration …what’s not to love? (Okay well maybe the traffic sucks but that’s an entirely different blog)

We started our trip off in San Diego. I found the perfect little Air B&B guest house in the South Park neighborhood and we settled down there for 3 days.

While in San Diego we checked out the zoo, the beaches, and Old Town. I’m not a huge zoo fan but the San Diego Zoo lives up to its reputation, it was beautiful. There was so much too see and it was prestigiously clean and well taken care of. We cover the majority of the park in about 4 hours.

After our zoo adventure we drove down to the beaches to decide where we wanted to spend the next day. We started with Imperial Beach which was gorgeous. I really enjoyed the small beach town as well but it was packed. The whole town was preparing for the annual Surf and Sun Festival the following day. We were able to see the beginning of the sand castle competition and walk along the pier.

Although Imperial Beach and Pier was awesome, we decided it would be too packed the following day. Our beach day was spent at Silver Strand Beach and it was perfect. We arrived pretty early, way before the crowds and spent about 3 hours enjoying the sun, sand, and ocean breeze.

Old Town was our last stop in San Diego. After doing a little research we learned all about the history of Old Town. It was the very first settlement in SD. You can walk around the historic park, enjoy the old buildings with their individual stories to tell, and learn about the history of Old Town with the many costumed employees.

Fun fact: Old Town is also the home of The Whaley House, which is known as one of the most haunted places in the US.

We had a spectacular time in San Diego and would definitely return. Three days went nearly enough time to visit everything the city had to offer!

*After leaving SD we drove up the coast and stopped at several beaches along the way. Beaches photo blog coming up next!

St. Louis Adventure, Day One

After a quick overnight stop in Raymore, MO to see my granny,  gorge on frozen custard, and jam out to Waylon Jennings, we finally headed to St. Louis, Missouri.

There’s so much to explore and experience in St. Louis, The Gateway to the West, home of the Arch, Anheuser Busch  headquarters, and my old home sweet home.

As a child growing up in the suburbs of St.Louis I never really appreciated or knew the deep historical roots of my city, as an adult, I appreciate them that much more.

St. Louis Day One:

We quickly checked  in to to our Soulard Air B&B (it’s fantastic, we stayed here for New Year’s Eve) then headed on over to the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park.

Now, I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of zoos overall but the STL zoo is so nostalgic. I recall numerous family adventures as a child and the St. Louis zoo and all it entailed are part of those fond memories.

During the summer the zoo has extended hours so we showed up around 4 and stayed until 7. On our way out we noticed they had a free concert going on and people were flocking in by the car loads. Pretty cool summer activities for families, couples, and anyone else looking for a live concert.

The zoo itself is one of my favorites. There’s plenty of entertaining exhibits, it’s shaded, it was far from crowded and it’s a FREE attraction. Of course you have to pay for some of the activities like the train and different shows, but entry to the zoo is free, which is a pretty appealing feature. Make sure you park on the street to avoid the $15 parking fee!

In the 3 short hours we were there we were able to cover lots of ground. First stop, the herpetarium full of exotic reptiles from across the world, and air conditioned of course! Next we visited the primate house, the 1904 Bird Enclosure, and pretty much everything else the zoo had to offer. There weren’t any unique or rare animals we’d never heard of before, but it was still a pretty relaxed evening at the zoo. I’d definitely recommend the St. Louis Zoo to any newcomers. My favorite of course was the elephant exhibit ❤️.

When we’d finished with the zoo we decided to just take a quick drive around Forest Park to see what it had to offer.

Forest Park:

During our Christmas Break adventure we were able to visit the St. Louis Museum of art, which was spectacular and had an eclectic array of art. But, due to the freezing weather, we didn’t really have the opportunity to explore the park at its fullest.

Anyway, during our quick drive we came across the annual Shakespeare in the Park: Romeo and Juliet free performance and let me tell you, it was PACKED! I put it on my list for our upcoming days (we were too late to stop today).

We were also able to see all the other events and museums the park has to offer such as, The Jewel Box, The Muny Theater, The History Museum, The Science Center and quite a few others.

Overall, I’d chalk up our first day in St.Louis as not only successful, but relaxing and informative. Stay tuned  for  the rest of our STL adventures: Soulard Farmers Market, Anheuser Busch Brewery, The Graffiti Wall (recommended by our bartender), The Arch, museums, food and whatever else we can accomplish in our 3 day expedition!