Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Duluth MN

The first few days here have flown by.  We've been able to get some school done and have some fun.  It's been so lovely outdoors that we just took school outside this week!

 At least until Uncle Dan got here..... 

It's definitely been more laid back - trips to the park, playing tag in the front yard...

Today, we girls, headed to Duluth MN to visit a few fun sights.  We hopped over to the Lake Superior Zoo first. 
***insert Val's advertisement here***

For those of you who aren't aware of the ASTC reciprocal membership program...  Look into it!
ASTC = Association of Science and Technology Centers  (a slew of science & technology centers, zoo, and museums all over the world).   This year we joined Tellus in order to take advantage of it during our travels.  With our Tellus Membership, we were able to get free admission into all the places we went today!  Totally worth the Tellus membership!!!!  Before our trip - I literally made a list of all the places on our route that we could get into for free with the reciprocal membership!

OK - back to the Lake Superior Zoo!  
4 years ago, there was a huge flood in Duluth.  We were actually here right after the flood and saw a lot of the damage.  The zoo was in the news because of the devastating damage and animals that were loose (the seal was found outside the zoo, at 3am, which was how they knew it was flooding).  There is a beautiful creek that runs through the zoo property.  We loved it - it's got an amazing little waterfall and is a really nice walkway through the woods and over some bridges.   My girls were shocked when they saw the pictures of  the flooding....all from this sweet little creek.  Sadly, the zoo lost 14 of their zoo animals. 

With that in mind, I knew that they were rebuilding and rehousing animals as they worked on their structures and grounds.  BUT... this year with our Tellus membership, we were able to get in for free!  So we went!!!!

I have to say- I loved it.  It's very different than Zoo Atlanta - different types of animals, different habitats.  We had a great time! loved the lions and tigers....

We loved having a great view of the lions and tigers...
Tidbit learned today.... why do the male lions have manes?

If you said to attract the females - no.  It's protection for their necks as they fight for their territory.

Their barnyard had baby goats, which were a hit.... and they loved trying to eat my shoe laces and purse.

 Their train did not get 2 thumbs up from the girls.  Evidently it was more than a bit bumpy.

they had a Tarantula exhibit going on - I found it so interesting.  Did you know that researchers are using tarantula venom to combat illnesses???  cool.
 My favorite exhibit was the "nocturnal animal" exhibit.  You are literally in the dark.  They had several exhibits of bats - soooo cool!  I wish Zoo Atlanta had an exhibit like this!  We went through twice!
 Another favorite was the porcupine.... this guy was so funny.  He basically danced with that tree for awhile.
 One of Nicole's favorites.... because she never sees them up close in Atlanta.

 And ----- it's a cousin of our own pumpkin!  Yes - they even had guinea pigs at the zoo!
 We had a great time exploring.  We will definitely be back.  They are working to get the "polar zone" back up.  That is where the flooding damage was so severe.  So the polar bears and seals are off exhibit right now.

After the zoo - we zipped down the street to the Duluth Children's Museum.... also a NSCT member - so once again, free admission!

I had a great time playing on the giant Connect 4 game with Megan. (I won, in case you were wondering).

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