This Monday morning snuck up on us pretty darn quick. If there was a definition of a jam-packed weekend in the dictionary, you might just find a picture of Scott and I perusing around the state of Ohio there.
What a weekend full of summer FUN!
Yesterday I highlighted my second ever “fun race”, the Drenched 5K in Columbus. Both Scott and I had a blast, and found ourselves bouncing around and playing in water like giddy children as a result.
After a morning of getting wet from giant hoses, water buckets and balloons, we spent the rest of our time in Ohio getting drenched outside thanks to the on and off again sporadic rain showers.
Lets pick up right where we left off, shall we?
Columbus Zoo – Powell, Ohio
Taking a friend’s suggestion, we stopped by the Short North district for lunch and found a British pub there called Mac’s Cafe. The food was good, but nothing crazy out of the ordinary. The area was pretty, and we would have spent more time walking around the city if we didn’t already have other things on our minds.
With just about a fifteen minute drive down the road, Scott and I took our changes against the threatening rain clouds to go visit the Columbus Zoo!
I was in diapers the last time I went to a zoo. Scott is a huge animal lover (fun fact: he even has a bachelor’s degree in Zoology!), so I was excited to finally get the chance to see exotic animals and go to a zoo with him.
This location in particular intrigued us, as it is known as the zoo that Jack Hanna made famous. He was Director of the zoo from 1978 to 1993, and is viewed largely responsible for it’s success.
There is even a water park connected to it called Zoombezi Bay!
Already soaked from the run, we decided to head straight for the zoo and make the most of our time inside.
The very first thing we found was a train ride of characters, which was great. Any type of mascot seems make us smile these days!
We grabbed a map and didn’t waste any time to explore.
First up were a favorite of both of ours: the penguins!
I just love those little guys. Their waddles and curiosity always make me laugh. I could seriously sit watch them for hours!
We only had five hours to explore the entire zoo, which was a little bit of a tall order. Scott is one who likes to check out everything possible until the very last minute, so we hurried along the exhibits as quick as we could.
Notice I had no problem petting the flamingo, while my thoughts about the snake remain less than thrilled. Yikes!
The zoo is organized into continents and we enjoyed visiting everything from Africa to Australia.
North America was our final stop, and it was the first time both Scott and I ever saw a wolverine (bottom left)!
My all-time favorite exhibit at a zoo is always the Polar Bear exhibit.
Since that was our last sight of the day at closing time of 7 p.m. we didn’t expect much activity from them. We took a stroll downstairs and saw the beautiful under water viewing tank, but unfortunately there weren’t any swimming polar bears to see this time.
Active or sleeping… are they not the cutest?
After a race and a long afternoon/evening at the zoo, my feet were certainly barking. Even so, I am so glad we got to visit and I encourage anyone in the Columbus/Powell area to go see the exhibits too.
As we made our way through each section, I was impressed by a lot of their displays that focus on educating their guests on wildlife preservation. Each area included children’s games, brochures, and information on how to help keep our endangered animals alive and safe!
Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio
Anyone we talk to from the mid-west raves about an amusement park in Ohio called Cedar Point. As soon as we announced we were going to be moving up north to the Detroit area, we heard “you are so close to Cedar Point!” from multiple people.
They were absolutely right. Although the park is located in Sandusky, Ohio, it is only about a 2.5 hour drive from where we live. I am loving how convenient it is to road trip up here!
We ended up staying in a Holiday Inn Express halfway between Columbus and Sandusky. Ready for an adventure, we checked out and got on the road by 9 a.m. to get to the park.
We arrived about an hour later right outside the Cedar Point entrance. The skies were cloudy and there was a sixty percent possibility of rain, but nothing was going to stop us from a day of amusement park fun with friends!
Single tickets to get into the park cost as low as $45. You have an option to purchase a Fast Lane, or a Fast Lane Plus wristband that pushes you up to the front of the roller coaster lines for an additional $55 or $70, depending on which which coasters you wish to include in it.
Considering the weather, we had a feeling we would be okay with the regular passes and skipped the additional cost at the door. Good call, Scott!
I love our faces in this picture. He is genuinely excited for the day, and I am putting on a happy face but am dying inside a little.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with roller coasters! I love to ride them, but my body hates the after effects. My stomach can be a little on the high maintenance side at times, and there is no exception at amusement parks.
While Scott can ride coasters back-to-back for days, I have to take periodic breaks and have found my body to react best to an every-other-ride kind of schedule. After getting off of a high-speed roller coaster, I feel extremely dizzy, nauseous, and have been known to toss my cookies right then and there. I almost always have a headache for days at a time after a full day at a park, too. Really.
I try not to draw attention to it, and instead hang with the best of them as much as I can! It also helps to have distractions in the park, like a 3-Point Shoot Out Challenge. (Oh hey there, Pistons flag!)
And of course, photo opps.
Before we left for Ohio, we invited a group of friends from home to come down and join us for the day. Bri and Zack were the first ones we ran into, and were both equally excited for the adventurous day ahead!
We LOVE roller coasters (kind of) and jumping in front of them!
We started our day off by walking right over to conquer our first corner of coasters. On our way, the three of them kept hearing commentary from yours truly on being perfectly content with the speed of rides happening at the ferris wheel and kids areas.
While in line for our first ride, Wicked Twister, I thought to myself… “you guys have fun, I’ll be good hanging at the beach for the day. See ya!”
I may or may have not also said it aloud after the ride.
It was pretty wicked. I have never been on a coaster where I am twisted up high into the air and then dropped backwards and forwards to do it over and over again.
The park has SO many different roller coasters and thrill rides, I knew I was going to be in for it and would need to pace myself if I was going to make it through the full twelve hours we planned on being there.
My plan of sitting to the side for every few rides was perfect!
Soon after our first ride, we met up with a few more friends and caught a break from the rides with a few skills challenges.
Would it surprise you to find out Scott admitted to having spent over $50 on this exact challenge back in his local fair college days to master it?
I always allow myself some kind of frozen treat at theme parks, which also tends to help settle an upset stomach. When I saw someone walking with a giant snow cone, I knew I had to have one!
In 2-year-old fashion, I asked Scott if I could “plllleeaaaaasssseeeeee get one” and was excited to mix our own flavors afterwards.
I told Scott to go light on the syrup, and to him that meant go heavy on every flavor possible. Can’t take him anywhere.
With a snow cone the size of my head in hand, we walked over to a the oldest part of the park, Fronteirtown, that has a coaster and building dating all the way back to the 1870’s.
There was also a small petting zoo that I would have gotten more excited over if I had not just been to a zoo the day before.
I did stop, however, for more photo opps.
You have to!
I became more excited over the next building I saw more than any other ride there. Sounds ridiculous, but any other southerner who grew up on Chick-fil-A will understand after I also tell you we don’t have a real location up where we now live.
I didn’t get anything, but just the fact that it is there if I ever need to make an emergency visit makes me a happy camper! 😉
As a group, we made our way over to the wooden roller coasters. This is where I opted to become the bag holder and wait out front. I have only ridden one wooden roller coaster before, and after that experience vowed I would never do it again. One ride = instant migraine for me. No thanks!
(Seriously, why do roller coasters hate me?)
I was excited to hear that our plans then included hitting all of the water rides. Those I can always handle!
I happened to have a bathing suit on under my clothes, so I wasn’t bothered about getting soaked (once again) on our trip. I found it hilarious that there was actually a family dryer outside of the water rides, though.
(Pay no attention to the creeper on the left.)
To soak in the full culture of the park, we got a few elephant ears to split and enjoy as an afternoon treat.
I’m pretty sure they were the size of an elephant ear. Beats a funnel cake any day, if you ask me!
In the exact middle of our day, we caught a BMX show put on by All Wheels Extreme by the water. They were extremely talented and had a variety of performers doing tricks on anything from roller blades to scooters.
For the next five hours, the group of us continued to make our way around the park and walked it a total of at least five times. We had a goal of fitting in everything we could, and I think it is safe to say we accomplished that goal with flying colors!
Here is a list of our ride highlights, and what I would recommend standing in line for:
GateKeeper – New in 2013!
(was closed for us, but we kept checking back for it to open)
Maverick – holy wow, was that one a surprise!
Millennium Force – a crowd favorite
Top Thrill Dragster – fastest coaster out there!
Shoot the Rapids
Snake River Falls
Without a doubt, we had a weekend jam-packed with excitement and things to do in Ohio! I am getting ready to go to my first pre-audition dance clinic tonight to prepare for my upcoming auditions and am still coming down from being so go-go-go this weekend!
How was yours? Any exciting things to talk about?
I am looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule and eating habits this week. Hope you all had a great start to yours. See ya tomorrow!