Seriously, I was very impressed with the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. My wife, kids and I are something of zoo experts too. Out of 8 thumbs possible in my family, they get a 7 out of 8. That last one is because they do not have enough invertebrates! 95+ percent of life people! Get with the program!
I don’t do pictures, because my wife is a photographer, so my blurry fumbling are just irrelevant. Luckily she posted a few highlights on her photo blog. Go there and see a few examples from their Africa exhibit. By the time we got to North America, we didn’t have the energy to keep up the photographing. It was a lot for 2 kids under 3!
What I really liked about the zoo was how well it was laid out and easy to get around. You also weren’t inundated with souvenir wagons and shops every 10 meters. The "look and feel" of the Zoo was very natural. The OMG moment was when I came out of the baboon exhibit onto a balcony literally overlooking the African Savanna, except I was still in North Carolina. It was the coolest thing to see the landscape, as far as the eye can see, as a natural setting dotted with rhinoceros and ostrich. To see them all walking around as if they were in Africa was amazing.
After the zoo we went to Chili’s where I gorged on a shrimp quesadilla and… water. Yep, you heard me right. Asheboro just legalized selling alcohol in the city this summer. Apparently not all of the local restaurants have caught on yet. It was still a good time to be had by everyone though! Lots of great sciencey bloggy discussions. James and I stole away to gas station to get a tall boy of Yuengling and chat it up more at the hotel we were staying at though. So alcohol was involved, thus making it a *real* science blogger party.
It was great to finally meet ScienceWoman and Sci–Curious, as well reconnecting with Bora, Dave, James and Sheril and meeting several other bloggy folk! It makes me look forward even more to Science Online ’09. North Carolina is blessed with a fantastic crowd of bloggers. Next time ya’ll should come to the coast and I’ll take you to the NC Aquarium! Bora has the details, photos and links as always. I finally make an appearance in several pics from the Chili’s dinner. My beautiful family and I are sitting at the end of the table.