Tag Archives: Animal Attractions

Cuddle Up at the Zoo’s Animal Attractions on February 5

Animal Attractions Postcard 2015

Over the holidays, Scott and I celebrated our tenth anniversary together. I know that’s not so long for others (I marvel at my parents who have been married for over 45 and together for over half a century). But still, a decade.

All those mushy feelings make getting through the drabness of another cold winter much easier to bear. Because there’s nothing like a little bit of passion to warm the cockles of your heart when temperatures dip into the single digits.

The Cleveland Zoological Society knows what I’m talking about. This February 5th, join them in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest for one of my favorite winter events, Animal Attractions.

Animal Attractions is an evening for adults only, featuring food, cocktails, and fun presentations on the birds and the bees … and lions and tigers and bears …¬†oh my. ūüėČ

In addition to the food, drinks, and presentations, some of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's animals will be on hand for up-close meet and greets.

In addition to the food, drinks, and presentations at Animal Attractions, some of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s animals will be on hand for up-close meet and greets.

From 6:00 to 9:00 pm, guests can enjoy a sampling of tastes from these area restaurants:

  • AMP 150
  • Butcher & The Brewer
  • Cleveland Cupcake Company
  • Creekside Restaurant & Bar
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • House of Blues Cleveland
  • Merwin’s Wharf
  • Tremont Tap House
  • Whole Foods Market Cedar Center

I’m happy to see a few of my favorites from previous years’ Animal Attractions on the list (AMP 150 and Cleveland Cupcake Company are always must-stops for me!) plus new ones like¬†Butcher & The Brewer,¬†Merwin’s Wharf and¬†Tremont Tap House.

An open bar from Samuel Adams and Rain Organics Vodka, plus¬†wine tastings round out the evening’s menu.

You’ll also enjoy conservation education with a twist at Animal Attractions. In years past, Scott and I attended a 50 Shades of Grey presentation about the zoo’s elephants and a trivia game on the mating habits of bears.

All in all, it’s a wonderful evening out at one of Cleveland’s most beautiful spots.¬†The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest showcases more than 10,000 plants and over 600 animals from the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Dr Chris Kuhar, the Zoo'S Executive Director, will be among the featured speakers at Animal Attractions

Dr Chris Kuhar, the Zoo’S Executive Director, will be among the featured speakers at Animal Attractions

With a 25-foot waterfall, research hut, and other interactive exhibits, the two-acre, two-level indoor space is a wonderful way to enjoy the Zoo — especially when it’s so cold out.¬†Getting the chance to explore it after-hours is definitely another perk to attending Animal Attractions.

General admission tickets for Animal Attractions cost $65. Or save $5 on your ticket and get a bunch of other great benefits by becoming a member of the Cleveland Zoological Society. You can purchase tickets online at www.clevelandzoosociety.org/events/2015/02/animal-attractions.

The Cleveland Zoological Society is also hosting an Animal Attractions sweepstakes on their Facebook page. You can learn more and enter it here: http://woobox.com/ronn89.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Animal Attractions with a guest in exchange for blogging about it. I’ve attended this event in years past and opinions and the decision to blog about it are 100% my own.

Five Years and a Whole Lot of Love

Five years ago: Wedding ceremony, part 1 (CL, 2/21/09) and part 2 (Key West, 3/21/09)

Five years ago: Wedding ceremony, part 1 (CL, 2/21/09) and part 2 (Key West, 3/21/09)

Five years ago today, I piled into a car with my dad, mom, and sister, dressed in a white gown and black snow boots. We were headed to St. Ann’s in Coventry. It was snowing and I was stressing out – no surprises there.

Was I nervous that I was about to get married to Scott? Not at all. Out of all the things in my life, he is the one thing I have always been sure of.

I was just running late, and I hate running late. I was also anxious about slipping on ice or falling on my way down the aisle.

However, the moment I saw Scott patiently waiting for me at the front of the church, I was calm. Whether it’s our wedding day or a random Tuesday, Scott has the ability to calm my nerves with just a funny face:

scott face

Not sure if this particular Scott face is funny or scary

With Valentine’s Day and our anniversary so close to each other, love’s been on my mind lately. However, not just love for Scott, but for the friends, family, and city that have made up so much of our marriage and supported us through this past year of ups and downs.


I count myself very lucky that my mom, dad, and sister are in good health and I get to see them fairly regularly considering they live in Virginia. The good health hasn’t always been the case, and I also know it won’t always be the case. But at this moment, everyone’s happy and healthy and I’m grateful for that. I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can for as long as that lasts.

They keep me honest – about myself, my feelings, and how things are going.

I’m also grateful to finally have Scott’s parents and grandmom in Cleveland. I forgot what it was like to have family right around the corner. I didn’t even realize it, but I missed Sunday dinners. I want to spend as much time as possible with this lady:

Grandmom made a tomato heart in honor of Valentine's Day

Grandmom made a tomato heart in honor of Valentine’s Day

It also means we’ll get to see more of Scott’s sister and our brand new brother-in-law! Happy one-month anniversary, Laura and Max.


I know that Scott and I have the habit of retreating into our own little insulated world — one constructed of comic books, LEGOs, and two crazy cats. However, it’s good to escape and enjoy some time with the girls. After the stress of the last few weeks, not one, but two girls nights were needed.

Nothing can quell my anxiety quite like Ty Fun’s Gang Gari curry, chocolate, bubbly, sorbet, and an evening with Alicia, Jen, and Kimberly. I have a tendency to go down the rabbit hole of panic and negativity. And although they let me ramble on about whatever’s bothering me (or the 500 things that are bothering me), they also force me to talk about what’s good. That, more than anything, helps stave off my crazy.

As if that wasn’t enough, I celebrated my first Galentine’s Day on Sunday with some friends from work. What is Galentine’s Day, you say? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year! (Non-Parks and Rec fans can check out the link.)

We channeled our inner Leslie Knope and enjoyed a delicious (and slightly rowdy) brunch at Le Petit Triangle. The smoked salmon crepes were magnificent; however, I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on that menu. And although no one got a needlepoint pillow with their face on it, I think we would have made Leslie proud with our various gifts:

Will you be my Galentine?

Will you be my Galentine?


A post about the last five years would not be complete without a mention of Cleveland. Exploring the city and its surrounding areas is how we spend most of our time as a couple, finding new things to love from the region’s great food, attractions, and nonprofits.

One event recently combined all of those things – the Cleveland Zoological Society’s Animal Attractions:

Food from some of the area’s best restaurants.¬†Favorite dishes came from Rosander Event Kitchen, Whole Foods, and AMP150. I’ve learned to expect that I’ll always love AMP150’s soup; however, Animal Attractions’¬†roasted red pepper soup impressed even me. In many red pepper soups you may get a little heat and acidity; however, you could fully taste the fresh red pepper in AMP150’s.

Year-round Fun at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.¬†It may have been¬†cold¬†the night of Animal Attractions, but it was hot inside the Zoo’s Rainforest. I enjoyed being surrounded by all of the tropical flora while saying hello to my favorite Rainforest residents: the porcupine, the chameleon, and the orangutans. We also got to hold a bear’s baculum during the pun-filled Bear Foot and Pregnant presentation!

The Zoo's Curator of Animals Travis Vineyard had a surprise co-presenter during Bear Foot and Pregnant

The Zoo’s Curator of Animals Travis Vineyard had a surprise co-presenter during Bear Foot and Pregnant

Supporting the Cleveland Zoological Society.¬†Scott and I are glad to be members of the Cleveland Zoological Society and love that such a good night goes to raise money for the Zoo’s programs. Summer will be here soon enough with more Zoological Society events like ZippityZooDoo¬†(6/6), Twilight at the Zoo¬†(8/1), and¬†Date Night at the ZOOvies (8/22). We hope to see you out at them.


Which brings me back to Scott. Every year of marriage has its ups and downs; however, this past one brought more challenges than the previous.

We both had changes occur in our jobs, which although good, were still an adjustment. We also struggled with some personal news.

After unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for 3 years, we decided to get tested last Spring for fertility issues. Considering it took both sets of parents ten years to get pregnant. I always knew it could take awhile. However, they also started much younger than us so we wanted to find out sooner than later if there were any issues.

We learned this past year that, in fact, it would be very difficult to get pregnant.

This was not the news Scott and I had hoped for, at first. However, it opened the door to another possibility. One, that after a lot of reflection and conversations, we’re even happier with.

We’re going to adopt.

This isn’t news if you and I are friends on Facebook; however, it is the first time I’ve shared it here in a more public forum.

Why share it now? As I think about the last five years of marriage with Scott, supported by family and friends and surrounded by this fantastic city, I’m also looking ahead to the next five.

Here's to the next five years and beyond

Here’s to the next five years and beyond

Realistically, I know the adoption process is not going to be easy or quick. Because of this, we’re forcing ourselves to take our time. We know we want to move forward with a domestic infant adoption, and our goal for 2014 is to just pick an agency we’re happy with and prepare ourselves by attending more workshops at¬†Adoption Network Cleveland.

In the meantime, though, Scott and I will continue living, loving, and most of all laughing. And we’re happy you’ll be here with us.

One of the rare times I've told a funny joke

One of the rare times I’ve told a funny joke

Happy anniversary, Scott!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Animal Attractions in exchange for previewing the event on my blog. Opinions about the event are my own.

Cleveland Zoological Society’s Animal Attractions

Blogkeeping: Congratulations,¬†entry 7 ‚Äď Kate, for winning the Boutique Bridal Bazaar giveaway. Please respond to my email by 5pm ET today (1/9) to confirm you can attend.


Animal Attractions at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest, February 6, 6-9pm

“Baby, it’s cold (really, really cold)¬†outside.”

It’s time to cuddle up — not just because of the cold, but also because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. (Where did the time go, right? Feels like it was just Halloween.)

That means it’s time for one of my favorite Cleveland winter events — the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Animal Attractions.

This year’s Animal Attractions will be hosted by the Cleveland Zoological Society on February 6. It takes place inside the Zoo’s RainForest so you’ll be nice and warm to enjoy all of the food and wine and birds and the bees.

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Cuddled up at Cleveland Zoo’s Animal Attractions

Cleveland Zoo Animal Attractions

10th Annual Animal Attractions at the Cleveland Zoo Rainforest

Ever wonder how Willy, the Cleveland Zoo’s 13,000-lb bull elephant,¬†gets along with Kallie, Martika, Shenga and Moshi, the¬†herd’s female elephants? Want to know more about mating behaviors of the Zoo’s other creatures big and small?

At last week’s Animal Attractions¬†I¬†got my fair share of answers to the birds¬†and¬†the bees at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Hosted by the Cleveland Zoological Society, Animal Attractions raises money to support the Cleveland Zoo and its various programs.

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Animal Attractions at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Animal Attraction

Each year when October rolls around, I marvel at the number of birthdays that fall during the month.  And then I do a little math, count back 9 months, and it all makes sense to what people were doing a lot of the previous February.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo understands that couples like to get close(r) this time of year. So escape the cold and cuddle up at the 10th annual Animal Attractions on Feb. 7.

From 6:00 ‚Äď 9:00 p.m. in The RainForest, the Cleveland Zoological Society hosts a series of fun and educational presentations about what makes hearts go a-flutter at the Zoo.

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