When we I made the decision to travel to California, Los Angeles specifically, for Hubz’ 31st birthday, it was kind of done on a whim. He nor I had ever been to The Golden State, or the City of Angeles, and while we were both excited to be experiencing some where new together, I wasn’t sure if L.A. should be the place. It’s fast, it’s loud, it’s bright and sunny. Honestly, it’s everything I’m not and I was concerned if this would actually be vacation for me or a few days in which I’m just trying to make it through to get back home. Also, couple that with the fact that our romantic getaway, had quickly morphed into a family trip, my hesitancy about traveling to Los Angeles steadily increased.

Now, I will admit that prior to our trip, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Los Angeles, or California in general. I felt it was overcrowded, too expensive, and hot as hell. Those beaches though. Those beaches were the first things to win me over when I was deciding if our trip to Cali should happen.

As I researched more and more (because I am a card carrying INTJ), I came to find so many things we could get into during our 3 days visiting the city. Since I knew my husband would appreciate the Hollywood aspect of the city more so than I, one of the first things we did was visit Hollywood Boulevard (to get it over with). I, however, ever the pessimist, was pleasantly surprised by the famous boulevard and what it had to offer.  View Post

como park zoo st paul minnesota family vacation traveling

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done an “Out & About.”  Usually, the O&As consist of our explorations of Omaha.  This time, however, we took our show on the road.  About 5.5 hours up the road, to be exact, as we headed to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul, MN.  I’ll share in another post of how this all came to be, but for now, I want to talk about Como Park.

como park zoo conservatory

First and first most, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is free.  Like, there is no cost to get in.  Like none.  There is a recommended donation of $2 for children and $3 for adults, but it’s not required.  So, this is definitely affordable family fun.

Now I have to be honest and say that when I read that Como Park Zoo was free, I was a little scared.  I mean, are we talking “free” as in 2 birds, a squirrel and a sleepy horse?  I mean, there is something to be said about the saying, “you get what you pay for.”  Well, let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised by Como Park Zoo.  Even though some of the animals were napping (or playing opossum for us eager gawkers), there were so many that were awake and doing their thing.

Como Park Zoo family vacation Como 2 Como 4 Como 5

This dude straight mooned us as soon as I got my camera out.  He was like, “Take a picture of this.” Well played, sir.  Well played.

como 6 Como 7

So, these guys here?  I had to ask my husband if they were indeed alive.  He assured me that they were, so I’m taking his word.  I’m pretty sure I saw the male lift his head a little, look over at us and then put it back down.  Like, are they seriously still here?!  Yep, we were!

After being outside for a while, we decided that we needed a break from the sun cooking us.  Even though we were in Minnesota, the sun was on Texas and it was showing no mercy. So…we headed into the aquarium.

como 8

There was quite a bit to see in the aquarium, but due to the darkness and the reflections from the encasements, it was hard to get even a decent picture.  We did snag the penguins though.

And this penguin…

como 9

We had so much fun at Como Park Zoo!  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the conservatory because, well…we spent the rest of our time at the adjacent amusement park–Como Town.

ComoTown1 como town

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is a great bang for your buck.  The majority of the park is free, with the exception of the amusement park, which requires you to purchase tickets or a wrist band for the rides.  Oh, and the ice cream is not free either, but that’s okay.  If you’re like us and not too far from Minnesota, get to Como Park Zoo!  Like, go. Now.