Exploring where you live

baby-zoo1A word usually spoken in the same breath as the struggling economy this year has been staycation. People are finding inexpensive ways to celebrate and explore the cities and towns in which they already live. How great is it that we relocated to a fabulous city packed with things to do?

Since we have been here in Atlanta, we have been very lucky to have had many family members visit so the mini staycations are abundant in the Hartzell household so far this summer. W00T! As you all know, we loved our previous local zoo. We could not wait to check out the fabulous Zoo Atlanta. They are one of only four zoos in the country that have giant pandas, and the ONLY zoo with a baby panda born (in 2008). Oh, and did I mention they have a live panda cam???? So fun for getting a daily fix of the cuteness! And I have to say the greatest thing about the zoo was the amount of shade in the walking areas. We were there on a very warm and sunny Saturday and had no problem staying cool.

Being fish people (as opposed to dog or cat people…we were up to three salt water aquariums in our last home), the Georgia Aquarium was next on our list of things to do. We spent the day among throngs of other people exploring the site from end to end. Poor Jed. He has never spent so much time in his Snugride! If he wasn’t getting so big, we would have been carrying him around in our arms because he loves watching the fish already. Our entire family would easily sit and stare at the six million gallon tank for hours if it weren’t for closing time.baby-and-panda1

There are also free things to do in our new city that are great ways to beat the heat with kids. Centennial Park has a variety of playgrounds and fun padded fountains for little ones to play and keep cool. Baby still whines asks to go back to the fountains this time with her bathing suit. There was even music in the park the evening we were there. Nothing cuter than watching kids dance with wild abandon. Sadly, Baby right now is more like Elaine Benis from Seinfeld when it comes to her dancing talent. Mommy definitely has to help out there. Dance lessons needed. Now. Could a pageant be right behind? Come to think of it…I think that’s a whole other post for another time.

There are so many more things to do in our new city, as I am sure there are in your own. Are you planning a staycation for your family this summer? Are you sharing any hidden jewels of your own city with visiting friends or relatives? Share the excitement and get out there to explore!

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7 Responses to “Exploring where you live”

  1. Lizz Judd July 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    I went to Zoo Atlanta just this past Sunday! It was so much fun, even though I’m no kid anymore. There are so many fun things to do in Atlanta. I hope you keep enjoying and exploring your new home!

  2. Karen Hartzell, Graco July 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    You definitely do not have to be a kid to enjoy the zoo. I’d go even if I didn’t have kids. It’s a great place to roam around, have a picnic lunch, or listen to some cool facts from all the employees. Really an enjoyable and amazingly clean too!

  3. Suzanne Mulcahy July 23, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    I loved the concept of “making a bouquet of the flowers within your own reach”. I live in the S.F. Bay Area and have more than enough parks and attractions to keep me busy for years. I also loved the picture of your little one with a panda. It is as cute as my “Yin”, (see on website).

  4. Tina July 24, 2009 at 5:51 am #

    We can’t wait to come and visit and see all the local attractions. I LOVE the Atlanta aquarium and know what you mean about being able just to sit and watch……………… The baby beluga whales were there when I visited. They seemed so human-like. Did you get to see them? Hope all is well. Great blog story!

  5. Terrance July 28, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    The little girl and the panda were so adorable!


  6. Karen Hartzell, Graco July 28, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    I love that so many people love the Panda pics! Has anyone been to see Pandas at any of the other 3 zoos in the country?

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