Tag: Nature TravelView All Tags
There are subtle ways and not-so-subtle ways to attract travelers. Some places - say, Mexico - struggle with image problems, and before they can pitch anything fun they have to rebrand themselves.. Other countries and organizations have it a lot easier. Zoos, for example, can do the equivalent of waving their arms in the air and shouting: "Hey, look over here! There are cute baby things over here!"
Our beloved San Diego Zoo knows what works, which is why they kicked off the summer travel season this morning by opening up their new Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit to the public. The 3 acre exhibit is meant to model what you might see in Queensland. At the entrance is a cluster of 8 to 15-foot-tall totems depicting a koala, a platypus, a crocodile, a kangaroo, a Tasmanian devil, and a kookaburra. They call it the exhibit's "welcoming committee."
Panda Travel / Edinburgh Travel / Animals / Scotland Travel / Zoos / Zoo Travel / Nature Travel / → All Tags
Yang Guang limbers up
Maybe Edinburgh is that kinda town, because it wasnít just Richard Branson getting frisky in Scotland last week; bumping Little Redís arrival down the news agenda were the two pandas at Edinburgh Zoo, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, whose slow and steady journey to mating season has been vicariously lapped up by the British press.
Not because theyíre creeps, see; but because a panda pregnancy will be a feat against all the oddsthe female is in season for just 48 hours. Also, the couple have only known each other for just over a year, so although itís not quite celebrity speed, itís pretty quick. Last year, they tried to breed unsuccessfully. This year, we were told when we visited last week, Tian Tian has been calling to Yang Guang with ďmuch more urgency,Ē making the scientists think they might just hit the jackpot.
Tax Refund Vacations / Costa Rica Travel / LIR / Surfing / Surf Travel / Nature Travel / Hiking / Green Travel / → All Tags
Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited...but not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
Whether you're into eco-travel, surfing, zip lining, hiking, swimming/snorkeling/Scuba, hanging out with exotic animals (like the Coati), learning Spanish or just lazing on a sandy beach, Costa Rica can make it happen. Regardless, you're in for sun and warm temperatures.
If you're interested in the Caribbean side with all its eco-tourism or you'd like to scratch a visit to Arenal volcano off your bucket list, fly into San Jose International Airport. For trips to the Pacific side's beaches, surf spots and giant national parks, Liberia International AIrport is the best bet (and it's got a brand-spanking-new terminal).
Zoos / Zoo Travel / Fall Travel / Green Travel / Nature Travel / Washington DC Travel / Twitter / Animals / → All Tags
Elementary logic: all organizations are increasingly leveraging social media, zoos are organizations, therefore zoos are increasingly leveraging social media. What differentiates zoos from other groups, of course, is that their tweets, posts, photos, and videos are much, much cuter.
Our beloved San Diego Zoo probably sets the standard for social media completionismtheir annual Panda Week activities are to the pointbut the National Zoo in Washington, DC is not far behind. Last year they live-tweeted the artificial insemination of a giant panda and the subsequent birth of the panda baby. Both of those were neat but not particularly cute.
The zoo's most recent live-tweeted event did much better on the cuteness front: photos and descriptions of elephant baths.
It's been a while since we've written about our beloved San Diego Zoo, and even longer since we've written about it as anything but an exercise in kind of entertaining but also sort of unseemly schadenfreude. Let us remedy that with background and a video of the zoo's new baby panda making his public debut.
The toddler's name is Xiao Liwu. He first met the public last Wednesday, which is when the video below was taken. The San Diego Zoo - which is one of only four American zoos with pandas - has now had six successful panda births. That makes the park the single most successful panda breeding facility outside of China.
The holiday greetings are now starting to stream in after starting with a trickle. Up this week is the countryís National Park Service, as theyíve uploaded their own little YouTube greeting to wish you and yours a very merry holiday season.
Park employees chime in to say hello from their national parks, historic sites, and monuments, and of course thereís even a little cameo by Santa.
Thereís some cheesy special effects like everyone doing their thing inside of a snow globe, but weíve got to say good for them and happy holidays right back at you, NPS.
The Sierra Club is proving volunteer travel doesn't have to be a major expense or time commitment.
The environmental organization already has dozens of trips planned for 2013, including a five day winter break in Florida's Ocala National Forest.The Ocala National Forest is home to the world's largest sand pine scrub ecosystem featuring hiking trails and camping sites, including the Florida National Scenic Trail.
In case you havenít noticed, the days in 2012 are starting to get pretty limited and before you know it itís going to be time for 2013. The National Park Service is already getting set for the calendar switch, as they just announced their freebie days for the following year. So if you still have a couple more national park visits on your bucket list, you might be able to visit for a few fewer bucks.
Up first is January 21, which corresponds with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and after that Uncle Sam is opening up his back yard for an entire week. Itís pretty much a park free-for-all during National Park Week, as the gates swing open free of charge between April 22 and April 26.
Presidential Travel / Washington DC Travel / Nature Travel / Christmas Travel / Holiday Travel / Christmas Trees / → All Tags
The fall tours of the White House Gardens may have already come and gone, but the holidays bring other special, Presidential events. For example, there's the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, which goes down December 6 on the Ellipse nearby the White House.
This will be the 90th annual National Tree lighting, which gives it a full decade more seniority over the Rockefeller Center Tree, and the night promises "nationally known entertainers and a United States military band," plus the President's message of peace.
It seems that every few months thereís a chance to score a gratis visit to some of the countryís greatest treasures, and that chance is coming up once again. It might be getting a little cooler where you call home, but itís probably still warm enough to enjoy one more slice of the great outdoors.
In support of Veteranís Day the National Park Service is continuing their free entrance days this upcoming weekend, as theyíre planning to swing open the gates on November 10-12. These are the last fee-free days of the year, so if you havenít taken advantage of Uncle Samís generosity in the past now is the time to do so.
Yes, we'll shortly be going to our beloved San Diego Zoo. They have a new baby panda, new baby jaguars, and new monkeys, otters, and pigs. The video of the baby panda learning to walk is embedded below, hi-res photos of the new baby jaguars are here, and the San Diego Zoo blog has your post describing the rest of the babies.
In the meantime, this is what a fall morning looks like in San Diego from our hotel room. If you look at the road you'll see the Old Town Trolley. Their site brags that San Diego is "known as 'America's Finest City,'" which sounded very suspicious to us until we saw the weather and noticed the San Diego Zoo pictures they have pasted to the back of their trolley. Persuasive!
Let's take a tripa road trip. Most of our stories have a common theme revolving around airports and planes and seats and in-flight meals...but this one's about driving. It's the good ol' fashioned American road trip with one caveat: this one takes place in Australia. We're heading way South to the Great Ocean Road to stand amongst the 12 Apostles.
Functioning as the world's largest war memorial, the Great Ocean Road is in remembrance of the ANZAC (Australia/New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers who fought for freedom in World War I. The returning soldiers were tasked with building a road to serve as a link to smaller coast towns for the timber industry and tourism.