A Month in Photos | July


This Month’s Highlights:

  • Not one, but TWO family vacations – Florida and Branson, MO
  • Sweet girl’s first time in the Ocean!
  • Her very first Silver Dollar City visit – she wasn’t thrilled with the roller coasters, but throughout the trees were really nice.

{Dallas Things to Do} Dallas Zoo

IMG_3856Lions and giraffes and koalas, oh my! While Daniel’s family visited over Spring Break, we went to one of my favorite attractions in the whole metroplex – The Dallas Zoo! Though our sweet girlĀ slept through most of our trip, we had an amazing day walking around enjoying the animals. It was so nice to get out of the house to do something out of the ordinary for a day! One of the best aspects of living in Dallas is the amazing weather in Spring and Fall, so February and March are actually some of the best times to visit the zoo. The crowds were low, but the weather was gorgeous and the animals were very active. Here are a few of my favorite tips for visiting the Dallas Zoo:

Before You Arrive

IMG_0026Save money by packing a cooler. Bring your own snacks and drinks (glass and alcoholic beverages are not permitted) – you can even pack a lunch to save a bit of money. There are some beautiful shaded areas to rest and have a snack. My favorites are ‘Base Camp’ in the Giants of the Savannah, where there is a shaded porch overlooking the elephant enclosure, and an area with picnic tables between the Texas Cats and Wings of Wonder exhibits. If you’d like to eat at one of the zoo’s most unique dining experiences, the Serengeti Grill in the Giants of the Savanna has floor to ceiling windows that allow you to watch the lions while you eat.

Ride the DART to add an adventure. The DART arrives at the gate of the Dallas Zoo and you save money on parking. If you show your ticket stubs on Monday or Tuesday, you save $2 on your zoo admission! It’s a fun addition to any day at the zoo.

Bring a swimsuit. Maybe not for the whole family, but at least for the littlest members! The children’s zoo is very well developed and it sure to captivate children of all ages. This area includes barn animals, underground creatures (featured in a room you have to crawl through!), and a koi pond. Your child’s favorite part will undoubtedly be the water feature. Kids can splash around and let off steam from a long day walking around the zoo, but if you want to stop meltdowns on the way home, it’s best to bring a swimsuit or at least a change of clothes.

When You Arrive

Plan to feed the giraffes. We have been to half a dozen zoos around the country. One of the most unique things about the Photo Jan 31, 12 24 39 PMDallas Zoo (and the exhibit that makes this zoo my favorite) is the giraffes. It only costs $5 to have a unique experience that will not soon be forgotten. For $5, you receive a giant head of lettuce (plenty for the family to share) and you are able to feed and pet the giraffes. They are not shy – they will come right up to the railings and stick their giant tongues out waiting for some food. The keeper will tell you how to feed them and show you how they like to be touched, then get your camera ready! Without traveling to Africa, you will likely never be this close to these beautiful, interesting creatures again.

Don’t miss the reptile house.
Tucked back in the corner of zoo is a building that could easily be looked over. If you pass by this building, you will be missing giant snakes, kimono dragons, and tiny poison dart frogs. The real treat, though, is behind closed doors. As you enter the reptile house, turn right immediately and walk through the door to see the most intriguing animal at the zoo – the albino alligator!

Check trainer encounter times. I love watching the trainers interact with their animals. They are so knowledgeable and able to share really interesting facts. You always get a better view of the animals and you can learn about each of the animals individually. We have seen the lion trainer and the elephant trainer and both were excellent – the last time we went to the zoo, we even heard an elephant trumpet!

What did I miss? What’s your favorite part of the Dallas Zoo?


Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration 6 – could words be made that sound sweeter to my ears!? I don’t think so!! I got to travel to Orlando to spend a week with my dad at a Star Wars Convention and at Universal Studios (Wizarding World of Harry Potter). It was SO MUCH fun and I can’t wait to go back when the convention comes back to the States! Here are some pictures from our adventures:

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A giant AT-AT and Death Star greeted you when you walked through the convention doors – I felt like I was home šŸ™‚
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There were so many amazing costumes – Darth Vader, Wookies, Stormtroopers, Ewoks, and more Jedis than I couldĀ count!

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They had a car display and I found my dream car –Ā 
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They had movie sets set up in different areas that you could take pictures with – they looked like the real thing.

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I got a few ‘mini’ drawings from an amazing artist – Katie Cook. They are now framed above my mantel šŸ™‚

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We saw Carrie Fisher’s Q&A, as well – she’s a little crazy, but HILARIOUS!

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Only at Star Wars Celebration!

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When Star Wars Celebration ended, we stayed in Orlando for a few days to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Growing up, dad always took me to the midnight premiers and the book release parties at Barns & Noble, so it’s always been something special I share with him!
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Butterbeer was AMAZING – it’s basically a cream soda with a butterscotch foam and it was delicious!Celebration 6 (221 of 241) Celebration 6 (232 of 241)

It was such an incredible adventureĀ and I can’t wait to go back!