Friday, 4 July 2014

Indianapolis: Indianapolis Zoo

We left Port Clinton as early as we could.  The gentleman who we rented the condo from wanted to come and check it before we left, which I can fully understand.  Once that was done we hit the road.

It was a rainy miserable drive, I drove first.  Ohio and Indianapolis are very flat places, with not much to see than the odd farm.  We stopped at a Burger King for lunch, another special local one.  The boys were certainly amusing for the locals.

We continued on, with the aim of visiting Indianapolis Zoo before checking into the hotel.  We drove through some interesting areas of Indianapolis en route.

We arrived at the zoo about 1.30.  It had been raining here most of the morning, so it wasn't too busy. Our first stop was the aquarium part.  The boys have a real thing for marine animals, and they loved being able to touch a shark.

Then it was out to see the polar bear.  So beautiful, with a pretty good size enclosure.  He had obviously enjoyed the rain that morning.

There was a dolphin show going on at the time, and we managed to head up past the show area, towards the orangutans.  There has been a new enclosure/research area built for them recently.  There are huge posts very high in the sky with ropes attached to them, which the orangutans are able to access from their indoor enclosure.  So good to see stimulus for them.  Inside their enclosure, one of the orangutans was doing a demonstration on a huge computer where he was matching shapes.  Such intelligent animals.

From there we headed to the plains area.

Like Columbia Zoo, you can pay extra to feed the giraffes, though we did not do this 

They have beautiful cheetahs, in a good size enclosure.  On weekend days they have an activity (pay extra of course)  where you can race the cheetahs up and down the fence.  Paul snapped this beautiful photo of this guy taking a stroll.

But we had to take a trip to see the elephants.  Since Joys departure from Greenville Zoo, Seb has been missing his elephant fix.  He was so happy to see this large herd.  But by now, the sun had come out, and it was time for some refreshment. 

We headed back to the central area, and had a couple of drinks.  The boys monkeyed around…..

We already had tickets to see the dolphin show at 4.30, so we decided to check out the rest of the zoo.  We were lucky enough to see a couple of brown bears having a play in the water.

We still had some time to kill, so we decided to let the boys go on the carousel.  They all loved it.  Seb was pleased as punch to be able to ride an elephant.

Then it was time for the dolphin show!  We parked the buggy and took our seats.  We were unsure how Seb would react, after the palaver of Seaworld last summer.  It was an ok show, nothing spectacular, and they appeared to be a dolphin trainer down.  The kids still loved it though.  It was just the right intensity for them.  Seb was shaking, but we think he was just in awe of these amazing creatures and being so close to them.

We were one of the last groups out of the zoo, through the gift shop of course.  We drove to our hotel, less than 10 minutes from the zoo.  We checked in, and parks the car in the underground car park.

We went for dinner in the TGI Fridays next door.  It wasn't a good experience, in fact none of our trips to that chain have been.  I can't be bothered to take the time to give them a bad review, lets just say it wasn't well maintained, service was slack, and it was only Monday.  

After dinner we took a little walk around the block where the hotel was.  It was downtown, on what I would call Marriott corner.  There was about 5 different brands of Marriott hotel, all on the same block. Funnily enough right by a baseball field and the convention centre.  Talk about a monopoly...

I really liked downtown Indianapolis.  It reminded me of Greenville in lots of ways.  Parts of the center have under gone regeneration fairly recently, and are pretty nice.  Definitely somewhere I would like to go back to.  

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