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Usually we save zoo travel posts for the spring and summer, since that's when people go to zoos, and we like to be helpful. But there are exceptions to every rule, and - wouldn't you know it - baby animals count as some of those exceptions.
The Washington DC National Zoo has in recent months been blessed with quite a few baby animals. Lots of the attention has been lavished in particular on the zoo's new baby panda and two new baby tigers. All were born around the same time and all were in the news today.
Animals / Augmented Reality / Travel Technology / Travel Tech / Zoo Travel / Green Travel / Cute Travel / Japan / Japan Travel / → All Tags
As is well known and widely acknowledged, Japan is a land of crazy. The plain assertion doesn't really require any proof, but if it did there are entire websites devoted to the insanity that pervades the Land of the Rising Sun. Even their zoos and aquariums are batshit, allowing you to do everything from shake hands with otters to watch Santa Claus play with dolphins.
Somewhere in between shaking otters hands and Santa Claud on a dolphin, there's this very cute bit of travel advertising from Japan's Sunshine Aquarium. The tourist attraction is kind of a hike from the nearest station, and aquarium officials wanted to make sure people could find it. The solution? An augmented reality app where penguins guide tourists along the right path. Because Japan, of course.
Just in time for the southern summer, there's an ultimate travel contest for anyone with more stamps in their passport than Facebook friends. Since the Antarctic is no ordinary place, it calls for no ordinary assignment. Air New Zealand and National Geographic have teamed up to find the world's most adventurous traveler to call the South Pole home for a little while, with the goal of bringing environmentalism to the forefront for rest of the world.
As one of the most fragile places on earth, Antarctica is home to not only a lot of ice and penguins, but a handful of research stations to expand knowledge of the frozen continent. The lucky winner of the Air NZ contest will work side-by-side with a few scientists and National Geographic photographer, Jason Edwards at one of these stations. The winner will learn about environmental issues hurting our planet's southern most ice mass and, ultimately, the rest of earth.
Fall Travel / Corn Mazes / Farm Travel / Green Travel / Active Travel / California Travel / New Jersey Travel / Illinois Travel / → All Tags
So far we have celebrated the season with pumpkins, apples, and we’re still looking for you to show off your best snapshots of the fall foliage. However, as we enter the middle of all the fine fall weather we’ve got one more autumn activity for you to enjoy—corn mazes! Here’s three that will keep you busy and potentially frustrated:
Happy Day Farm – Manalapan, New Jersey
Just about an hour south of New York City sits Happy Day Farm in Manalapan, New Jersey, and when it comes to building and maintaining a corn maze they certainly know what they’re doing. This year they’re celebrating next year’s Super Bowl—which will be played in New Jersey of course—as their maze features a picture of the New York City skyline as well as an image of the trophy from the big game. The 10-acre maze opened a few weeks ago towards the end of September, but it should be going strong through October 27. It’s $13 for adults and kids—those under the age of two are free—and admission includes access to the corn stalk tunnel, pig races, and even a hayride as well.
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While they’re not exactly an exotic or sports car, we certainly wouldn’t mind testing out the newest and trendiest rental car, the electrically-powered Tesla Model S, with a
couple donuts quick cruise down the coast to see just how good the gas mileage is.
Advertised as approaching 100 miles-per-gallon, the electric hybrid is now available via Hertz at two airports over in California, as both Los Angeles and San Francisco will be adding these rechargeable vehicles to the rental car lot. Road trip, anyone?
At this point there’s more than a few rental car companies offering up electric cars to get you and your crew from here to there, but now there’s an entire city that’s going all in with the electric movement. The theme capital of the world—AKA the greater Orlando area—is looking to link visitors with some of these voltage vehicles, and they just announced a whole new program to do so.
Drive Electric Orlando is a friendship between the area’s rental car companies and the city, as both look to make utilizing an electric vehicle just another slice of vacation fun. Those who choose to skip the pumps will enjoy all kinds of perks like free valet parking at the hotel, preferred parking in the area, and plenty of places to conveniently charge your car—even at the theme parks.
Volunteer Travel / Eco Travel / Washington Travel / Voluntourism / Green Travel / Hiking / → All Tags
September is one of the best times of year to visit Mount St. Helens thanks to cooler temperatures and clear visibility. It's also the perfect time to help the staff complete a much needed one-mile trail to the nearby Ape Cave, the famous lava tube just south of the active volcano.
Volunteers from the Washington Trails Association and the Mount St. Helens Institute have finished all but the last few hundred feet, which they hope to finish this month with the help of some intrepid travelers.
Green Travel / Alaska Airlines / Airlines / Airline News / SEA / SJC / → All Tags
We’re pretty familiar with the greening of the airline industry at this point. It might not be everywhere just yet, but we have certainly seen our share of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Specifically jet fuel has been given the eco-friendly treatment, as more than a handful of airlines have given the green gas a go. Now it looks like one carrier is looking towards the sun, as solar power is just another way to save energy and reduce the electric bills.
You'll remember Yuan Zai as the adorable panda cub - now just over 40 days old - who became an international star when the Taipei Zoo released video of her being reunited with her mother Yuan Yuan for the first time since birth. Zookeepers had whisked Yuan Zai away because she was injured, both to provide her with around the clock medical care and because panda mothers sometimes kill injured offspring. When Yuan Yuan and Yuan Zai were reunited, the video predictably went viral. Embedded below.
Now that she's a certified Internet celebrity, every move that Yuan Zai makes counts as news. Today's big development: she's opening her eyes! They where half open during her last medical examination, and now the next step is happening. Consider yourselves briefed.
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A new coffeeshop isn't the only notable new addition to Chicago O'Hare Airport this week. Inside the terminals, passengers now happily fill up on caffeine and baked goods while, outside, four-legged animals chow down on the grasses surrounding the airport.
As promised, O'Hare has introduced natural lawn maintenance in the form of goats, donkeys, sheep and llamas. The animals, all overseen by a shepherd, have a job to keep 120 acres of airport land tidy. They've even already made themselves at home, as one goat recently gave birth to a kid. Guess what the airport named it? Yep, a baby goat named "O'Hare" now lives at O'Hare (you can see him through the grass a little, in the photo below)
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August is, in many parts of the country, a miserable month. The weather is hot, humid, and - if you're lucky - punctuated by thunderstorms. But it still counts as summer, which means summer travel, which means zoo travel. All of which is a roundabout way of saying here are some U.S. zoos with baby elephants that you can go visit:
· The Fort Worth Zoo's social media people have been having a lot of fun with their new baby elephant, Belle. We've embedded a couple of videos below that showcase the newborn. The first is a news video with footage of Belle playing in a kiddie pool. The footage was produced by the zoo and published by the Associated Press. It quickly went viral, mostly on account of how it's a video of a baby elephant playing in a kiddie pool. The second video is an ad produced by the zoo, and if you watch it through the end you'll see even more baby elephant footage.
Things are getting pretty hot over the pond in Europe with rising mercury not offering much relief. With highs edging over 30℃ (around 90℉), Paris has at least found the solution for the throngs of tourists sweating throughout the city to snap a few pics in front of the Eiffel Tower or eat a croissant.
The relief comes in the way of the Seine River that cuts the city in two halves. No, Parisians are not recommending to jump in the river to cool off, instead city engineers are using the cooling properties of H2O to ease soaring temps in some of the Paris' hottestliterally and figurativelytourist attractions all the while considering Mother Nature. Essentially, the Seine acts a giant, city-sized swamp cooler reducing temps and making buildings more bearable to explore.