Thursday, December 22, 2011

One of Our Favorite Holiday Traditions!

I don't remember exactly when this tradition started, but we've been visiting the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens to see the Festival of Lights at least since I was in high school. The highlight of the trip is always a yummy dinner at Benihana, which is a hibachi grill.

This year was no exception! The weather ended up being unseasonably warm (close to 50 degrees), which made a big difference in our zoo experience. Usually we feel like we have too much time because we're absolutely freezing. This year, it felt like we didn't have enough time because we weren't so cold!

The zoo does a really nice job with the light displays, and you can ride a little train and a carousel. Tons of fun!
We didn't get any great pictures of the lights. It was drizzley, and we didn't want to take our good camera with us in the rain. So, instead, you can see shots of my pretty family!

Zac and my mom waiting to ride the train

Beth, Nick (Beth's boyfriend), and Emily ready for a really fun 7 minute, 7 mile an hour train ride!

Mom and I playing around in the Lollipop Forest

Dad and Emily

Zac missed a UK game for this, which is a HUGE sacrifice for him. Hence our picture in front of the blue UK lights!

My mom and sisters

The cutest picture of my parents ever!

Ours isn't quite as cute, but I love Zac's face in this one. He looks so happy! Don't be fooled though - sticking his head in a wreath for a picture is not his idea of a great time. This is likely his "wedding face," which is a smile he can turn on and off. He's crazy.

And what visit would be complete without a merry-go-round ride??

Confession. I didn't ride the horses on the merry-go-round that go up and down until I was 10. Because I was too scared. I am the world's biggest scaredy cat. You couldn't pay me $1 million to ride a roller coaster. Seriously.But look! Here I'm riding with no hands!! Though I'm obviously wearing the seat belt, because while I'm not scared, I'm also not a risk taking crazy person like some of my family members.

Emmy rode some sort of gazelle like thing that no one could name.

And now - the best part! We've been to a hibachi grill quite a few times, but this was the best trip. Our chef was just adorable, and so so funny. He even had some new tricks we'd never seen before!

"No way Jose" in action

My mom can make friends with anyone, so Kayla and Brandon, who sat at our table, even got included in our family picture! 

It was SUCH a fun trip! I think this was one of the best years ever. This is such a fun family tradition that lets us spend time together before the holidays officially start. What about you - do you have any similar traditions?

1 comment:

  1. :) We are going to try to go to the Botanical Gardens here for the lights tonight! I hope we can!
    Your parents are adorable!!!


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