Saturday, October 13, 2012

New York and Philadelphia

Central Park, NYC
September was another busy travel month. We visited New York, Philadelphia, Ireland, and San Francisco.

It had been seven months since I had been back in New York and almost a year for Darren. Seven months was the longest stretch I'd gone without a trip in five years so even though I was enjoying my time on Maui, I had some really itchy feet again and a bad case of "island fever".

We had two great excuses for the excursion. The first was our friend's wedding in Philly and the second was our niece's Christening in Ireland. So off we went.

New York was busy, crazy, and noisy as usual. Aaah! it was good to be back!

Darren proudly shows off
 my Butterfly sculptures
Darren and I stopped in at the Bronx Zoo to visit some of my old coworkers at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). WCS owns and operates all of the New York City Zoos which includes the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium. Their headquarters is at the Bronx Zoo.

September is a really nice month to visit the zoo because the weather in New York is fantastic. Also, because September is the quietest month for zoos and museums since kids have just gone back to school and most field trips won't be planned during the first month back to school (this varies depending on where you live. For example, kids in Hawaii return to school in July so therefore July would be a quiet month for museums). We pretty much had the whole park to ourselves and I got to show some of my exhibits to Darren.
That's me standing under
the sign I designed for
the Madagascar! exhibit
Darren tests out my
 "Threats to wild dogs" interactive

Two weeks later we were having our breakfast in Ireland and heard on the radio that someone leaped from the monorail over a sixteen-foot fence and into the tiger enclosure. The tiger did nothing wrong so I was relieved to learn that the man was rescued and the tiger did not have to be put down. The tiger was just defending his home which is what anyone would do if they had an intruder.

There was also a tornado while we were in New York. People seem to think that I attract earthquakes just because I coincidentally seem to be in every country where earthquakes have occurred but this tornado dispels that theory. I attract all types of natural disasters without discrimination.

After a wonderful and hectic week visiting friends, we headed off to Philadelphia on the Megabus. This was my first Megabus experience and since our tickets were only five dollars I set my expectations really low. I was very glad to discover that my preconceived ideas about the Megabus were completely off. It was an immaculate, air-conditioned double-decker coach bus with a bathroom and televisions. The reclining seats were very comfortable and the bus wasn't even half full which was surprising since some tickets cost only one dollar. I'm still trying to figure out how they stay in business. I was expecting a packed rickety old bus with diesel fumes blowing in the window and a lot of motion sickness but the Megabus was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone.

Philadelphia, PA
It had been a few years since my last trip to Philly (you can read my older post here: On the road again). I was sent there for work so I didn't get to do all that much but did get to check a few things off the "must-see" list such as the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall. This time we were in Philly for our friends' wedding which was at the Franklin Institute, a brilliant venue for this museum couple.

My first time visiting the Franklin Institute was on a field trip in the fourth grade. This was also my first time ever visiting a hands-on science museum and it was there where the spark was ignited and my love affair with museums began.
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

The reception took place on the roof with the beautiful city of Philadelphia as a backdrop. The cocktails were served amidst the Giant Heart, Electricity, and Changing Earth exhibits so in addition to being delicious (there were mini cheesesteaks being served!) it was the most entertaining and educational cocktail hour ever.

Darren learning about electricity in his muscles
The reception was set up in the main lobby where we danced the night away under the Franklin Memorial. It was a really fun and unique wedding. We had a fantastic time and I think Ben Franklin did too!
Ben Franklin attending the wedding reception
Please check back soon for another post about Ireland and a new post about San Francisco.
In the meantime, you can read some of my older posts about Ireland and New York.

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