Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kyla's Time in PA, part 2 of 2

Monday morning was when we were able to move in to the new place. We got there around 10:30am, and promptly rearranged some furniture. The layout quickly grew on both of us. Jonathan left to go to work shortly before noon, and Kyla and I checked out the internet and television. Then we headed out to explore the complex (free Starbucks coffee, hot chocolate, and Tazo tea in the leasing center during business hours), and saw the mailboxes, dumpster, recycling bins, and fitness room, among other things.

I wanted to see what the nearby mall was like, so we drove to the Oxford Valley Mall (about ten minutes away from the apartment, maybe less if you make the lights). In terms a few readers would understand, I'd equate Oxford Valley to Governor's Square, and Franklin Mills to the Tallahassee Mall. For the non-FSU alums, Oxford Valley is mostly chains, while Franklin Mills is more independent or small-franchise shops. In a neat boutique called Deb, I bought a belt for $1.06, down from $10.99. There was actually a Disney Store in this mall (haven't seen those in forever!), and we checked out an amusing array of merchandise... Dodger, Cleo, Percy, and Meeko were featured stuffed animals!

We got to Delia*s and saw that you could get a $10 gift card just for trying on a pair of their jeans! So we each grabbed a pair (ended up being the same style in different colors and sizes) and ended up loving them. We headed toward the register and the salesgirl mentioned there was a BOGO 50% off, so we headed back over to the jeans wall and grabbed more pairs (two styles, various colors). In the end, we each bought the same two pairs of jeans, which was pretty funny. I should also mention that this is the very first time I've bought two pairs of jeans from the same store on the same day since I was fourteen (I'm incredibly picky with jeans!).

We continued around the mall until Jonathan got off work. Then it was off to get some dinner. We went to Venezia again, this time picking up a pepperoni Sicilian and a fettuccine alfredo dinner. We finished off the pasta, ate maybe half the accompanying bread, but only got through about half the pizza. It was delicious, and I'd highly recommend it! (The pizza also worked well reheated over the next week.)

Tuesday morning the stuff arrived! I was very excited that we didn't have to wait two weeks like we did in California. We were quoted "between 11 and 2" and the movers showed up at 11:06, and were gone by 12:10. Everything made it, nothing was broken, and they took away all the boxes and packing materials, which was good. We did some minimal organizing, Jonathan went back to work, and Kyla and I went to play miniature golf at Golf Adventure, which is less than fifteen minutes from the apartment. It is an older course, no real theme apparent. There are a few rivers/ponds/waterfalls, with the water dyed a denim blue. The holes are pretty straightforward, with a few tricky ones (one which Kyla and I both struggled on, hitting the 6-stroke limit easily!). We were the only ones playing at the time, although there were people finishing up when we started, and a lone woman began playing as we finished. Then we ran a few errands and went to Ross (which was a mini-venture in itself since it was brand new and not in the GPS or listed by 411). We met up with JB and went to Taco Bell and Barnes & Noble. Kyla got The DaVinci Code, so hopefully she's enjoying reading it.
my hole in one :)

Wednesday afternoon, Kyla left. But before she did, the two of us went to the Philadelphia Zoo. Construction on I-95 caused us to take much longer than necessary to make a 40-minute drive, but parking was easy (though $12). We parked in "Zebra" and headed toward the park. I was hoping to get the AAA discount, but apparently if you want that you have to buy your tickets directly from AAA... good to know. We were able to hit the entire park in about 3 and a half hours, which was pretty good. Disappointments: no zebras or elephants were out. the nocturnal exhibit wasn't the best. the map isn't to scale or very descriptive of what's where. The baby sloths were adorable!

Giant AnteaterPanamanian Golden FrogPig-Nosed TurtleBlack-Tailed Prairie DogGibbonsTwo-toed slothsPygmy Marmoset

There are a TON of "extras" and feedings at this zoo which is neat. You can go up in a hot air balloon, ride a carousel, do paddle boats, face painting, ride a camel, and more. Obviously, we ponied up $6 each and rode the camels. They were Dromedary camels (aka 1 hump), and you sit behind the hump. They are REALLY bumpy (much more so than horses!), but pretty fun. For the same price, you could get your entire face painted to look like an animal... and while that was cool, being able to recount the experience of riding a camel is much more awesome. We fed lorikeets which was neat, especially for Kyla since she hadn't done it before. We also watched them feed the hippos (Cindy and Una), and the mangabey (no known name). I took a ton of photos of the hippos, and thus there's a ton that made it over here as well...

Heading out of the park, we passed by a mural with a lot of different animals painted on it. I had Kyla take a couple photos of me with two of the hippos on the wall. :o)

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