An Aquarium exhibit from Down Under

My husband was just trying to convince me that our next big trip should be to Australia (not that I need convincing), saying that for animal lovers (i.e. me and the girls), it’s a continent that offers a whole different array of species than we’re used to. And then I came across this article on the National Aquarium blog.

So don’t get me wrong – I’m still up for going to Australia, but until that happens, I’ll be satisfied going to the “Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes” exhibit at the National Museum in Baltimore, which happens to be right near where we live and not thousands of miles away and is actually one of my favorite places to visit  in Maryland, Washington, DC area.  (Not counting the Arundel Mills Mall Maryland, of course.)

And it won the award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the best exhibit!

Meanwhile, on another blog that I like to read , I came across another top 10 list for the best aquariums for kids. It’s very similar to my recent top 10 aquarium list, but adds one more that I know nothing about: the Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, New York.  I like that area for my Long Island Romantic Getaways, but anyone ever been to the aquarium?
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Boston for the Boys: Good father-son museums

Just to continue the Boston conversation that Sharon has started…
I think of these things as “guy things” but that could just be because I’ve been to Boston a number of times to visit my father who always insists on taking me to one of these museums (among many others):

Top U.S. Beach Resorts for Families

I thought I’d continue the top beach conversation (Dana, thanks for the new list!). This time, I’ve got a list of the top beach resorts for families. The original list from parents.com includes beaches in Jamaica and the Bahamas, but I’ve excluded those for the sake of continuity of the conversation.

Enjoy beach season!
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Dog-Friendly Ski Resorts in California

I know ski season is over, but I just came across this great resource that lists pet-friendly ski resorts by state. And since I myself have needed a list like this, I thought I’d share. First, from the website, www.petswelcome.com:
“Okay, you’re probably thinking that dogs and cats aren’t meant for skiing. But neither are people. And that doesn’t stop us. So why not take your pet along? When you’re on the mountain you probably spend a lot of time with your nose in the snow anyway, right? Dogs appreciate this. They’ll think you suddenly got some sense and will begin treating you with a renewed respect. They might not even chew on your crutches. So take advantage of this bonding opportunity and hit the slopes with your favorite animal ASAP!”
So, you probably can’t go ASAP, but when you get a chance, here’s where to go:

There’s nothing like sharing a day on the slopes with your dog. One of life’s great pleasures. Continue reading

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – not such a hole after all

Done with business school, got a little wild vacation after it, and now I’m back to work with the occasional “business trip” in tow. I have a lot of work that I need do from home, and when that piles up high enough, I take it away with me somewhere nice to do it in peace away from the city. I write off most of it as business expenses.

All that was by way of introduction to my current lodgings at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa. I don’t take travel lightly and I figure that if I’ve got the money I should spend it. I don’t stay in big, fancy hotels because I don’t like them; but I stay in nice ones.

So I’m in Jackson, Wyoming, right near Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

I spend half of every day working and the other half either hiking (I’ve hired a private guide to show me the best of the best in a limited amount of time) or I’m in the spa relaxing. This is my kind of vacation—out in nature, with fresh air and wildlife, but not too far from a luxury room and my laptop.
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Tampa and Tampax

Uh-oh. That’s all I was thinking when Katie pulled a tampon from my purse yesterday and asked if it was a souvenir from our recent trip. I immediately saw the confusion and got all flustered myself in trying to answer. She already “kinda” knew what it was, so the explanation wasn’t too painful. And first I made her run and get Alison, just to save me from going through the same thing twice. And now, I think forever Katie and Ali will associate Tampa, Florida with menstruation.

Wow, it’s amazing how time flies here on this blog. I felt like I just updated our travel plans the other day, and before I know it, weeks have passed! We’ve already gone to and returned from Tampa and St. Petersburg and did everything that we had planned on our itinerary (plus more).

A few highlights: The Lowry Park Zoological Society of Tampa was fantastic. We took a jeep ride and saw animals I’ve never seen before—kookaburra, manatees, and komodo dragons. The girls had a blast in “The Billabong” water area. This hadn’t even been on our itinerary, but we stumbled upon and were thrilled.

Another surprisingly good afternoon was spent at the University Mall in Tampa. In a way it’s a typical mall with anchor stores and other popular stores; and in a way it’s like a big flea market. We spent hours rummaging through locally owned shops, stopped for some snacks in the food court, and then saw a movie. We had spent the morning at St. Pete Beach and wanted to do something low key on our way back to the hotel, and University Mall hit the spot.

I wonder where we’ll be off to next….


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Free NYC! (Thing to Do and See)

New York is an expensive place to live, but it doesn’t need to be an expensive place to play! There is so much to do in the city for free, so get a piece of paper and start taking notes (or just hit print):

Always free: The National Museum of the American Indian, the New York Public Library, the Hispanic Society of America, Central Park, Riverbank State Park, Prospect Park, the Socrates Sculpture Park, and Castle Clinton National Monument.

Free on Fridays: The American Folk Art Museum has a lot of character and is free on Friday nights from 5:30-7:30. The Guggenheim (talk about character!) is also free (or rather, pay what you wish) on Fridays starting at 5:45. There’s also music. The Museum of Modern Art is free on Fridays from 4:00-8:00, and the Whitney Museum of American Art opens its doors to the unwilling to pay on Fridays from 6:00-9:00. The American Museum of the Moving Image is also free on Friday evenings, from 4:00-8:00 – a great place to catch up on old You Can’t Do That on Television reruns!

Free on Saturdays: The Studio Museum in Harlem is free on the first Saturday of every month, as is the Brooklyn Museum, but only after 5 p.m. The Jewish Museum of New York City is free every Saturday after 5 p.m.

Other free things to do: Brooklyn Botanic Garden are free on Tuesdays and from 10:00-noon on Saturdays. The New York Botanical Garden (in the Bronx) is free on Wednesdays and also from 10:00-noon on Saturdays.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is free for students (and has a pay what you wish policy for everyone else) and if you save your Met ticket, it can be used as your free pass into the Cloisters Museum.

A lot of this info comes from the National Geographic site (found through Blissful Free Things in NY Travel’s informative post – thanks, Erica!). Thought I’d share the wealth with you all.

You’ll definitely be hearing more from me on this, just in looking these few things up I came across so many other great museums in NYC, less well known ones—that’ll be my next post…so stay tuned!


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