Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cascades indoor Water Park, ski dreams at Greek Peak and the best day for seeing Animals at the zoo!

Cascades and  Hope  Lodge,
Cortland NY
Greek Peak
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Syracuse, NY
Saturday Jan. 15, 2016
Cascades indoor Water Park

Saturday, Kelly and I planned an all day adventure for the boys. We had discussed a few different options and decided upon the indoor water park in Cortland NY. This indoor water park and resort is just moment from Greek Peak Ski center. It has been years since I have skied, but wouldn't it be an amazing vacation to be at the lodge and skiing all day and water park all night. I am making my long bucket list and skiing at least one more time has got to be on that list.
link to website  cascades

We had discussed potentially booking a room for the night but there was a two night limit. Instead we decided to get day passes for the boys while we watched them enjoy themselves. Passes both access and spectators were NOT cheep. (Just an FYI...it makes more sense to stay as it is included in the stay price.) To bad so sad...what is done is done. Cortland is about an hour drive from my house and as I was picking up Kelly another 15 or so minutes to get to the park. I left my house at 8:15 got Gavin and I some NOT so needed breakfast at Burger King and meet Kelly in Elbridge, The four of us then made our way on the back roads up into the mountains...then down into the valley..then up into the mountains again...until we finally arrived at Hope Lodge.

I am so regretting that we didn't stay for at least one night isn't this just beautiful????
We entered the water park area and we one of the first to enter the park. We quickly found a nice spot to spend our retreat day and relaxation while the boys changed and headed in to the wave pool. (It was so humid in the park and so cold outside my camera was fogged over for the longest time. These pictures are from my camera phone. )
The wave pool seemed to be the favorite attraction.

After some time in the wave pool the boys hit up the water slides. They didn't slide to much as two of the four slides had a weight restriction and they exceeded it. (That seems strange.)

There were some more fun water games like this water soaker
and when the bucket dumps the water falls from the roof.

I took tons of pictures from away across the room where our dry seats were located..the telephoto lenses is not so bad....before he noticed and waved.

Both the boys were thrilled that they were old enough to go into the hot tub. (I wish we had paid to play when we saw these babies....that would have been nice.) The cool thing about this hot tub is you can get to outside....

Matt takes his wade into the hot tub.
and here the boys are outside in the hot tub. Very cool.
After a few hours of playing the boys decided they were ready for some lunch..They were actually ready to head home, but we had hoped after some lunch they would want to return to the water. (They didn't.)
As I had said we hoped they would have returned to the water after lunch or we would have found a cheep meal on the road somewhere....Instead we had lunch in the lodge. (It was AlSO NOT CHEEP
I paid $40- for chicken tenders, a pepsi and a burger fries plate.  With taxes and a resort fee,.....wth!!!
If we hadn't had lunch however we may have missed this beautiful lodge.

(I need to have some lessons on how to take a picture with my camera or I need a new one...) Look at this mess.

We even got to see a room...Nice hun

After a tour of the lodge we made our way back to the water park and the boys both agreed they were done and ready to head home. (A very expensive short day....) Well what were we gonna do...make them swim and had fun in the water?
Instead we packed ourselves up and headed out towards the ski area. Gavin took pictures as we did a drive by.

This a view from the resort to the ski areas.

I had wanted to get a picture of Gavin and Matt sitting in the ski lift, but it was wet and Matt only had flip flops on....What was he thinking
Going up.

Gavin enjoyed taking random pictures.

Heading back towards Syracuse was much faster then the back roads we had came in on. Once we hit Route 81 is was a straight shot on the high way. It was still fairly early in the day and I asked if the crew was interested in stopping at the Syracuse Zoo, It was a unanimous YES. The zoo offers a free admission during some of  the winter months for anyone who has a camera with them for the photo contest. (It cannot be a cell phone.)
We paid $4- for all of us to enter. (Sort of makes up for the costly lunch). It had to be the best $4- spent. The animals were at their most I have ever seen them. (Of course my camera's battery died shortly after we got in.) I AM SO READY TO RID THIS CAMERA!!! I miss my old one!!!

I did manage to get a few pictures before the camera died....I so wished I had my old camera because there were some AMAZING opportunities for some serious animal sightings.

Have you ever seen anything like this? Its a fish, but it looks like it crawls ..
Here is a better one where it looks like it is crawling. 
The monkeys were out and about...(the rest of the pictures are from my phone.)
As way the lion.
He was a little sleepy.

But took some time out to stare down this young man.
This little guy looked right at me...Hi ya.
The monkeys were enjoying a little late day lounge,.
These birds are new to me. I never recall seeing them at this zoo, They were very pretty.
These birds are at home in the winter weather.
The wolves were a first. I have been coming to the Syracuse Zoo since I was a kid myself and you can almost NEVER get a sighting of the WOLVES. They are almost always hiding up in the tree areas and are never this close to the viewing station.

There were three of them in total and they were enjoying a deer. Perhaps they were only around as their meal was being added to their enclosure, but they were sure neat to see this close.
Of course the boys had to pose on the Tiger. (I have pictures of Gavin as a baby on the back of this guy.)
The tigers were not as front and center as the wolves and some of the other animals. (Sometimes they are right at the glass) They were easily visual but we noticed that there were two tigers and they were in separate enclosures. No one was around to tell us why.
This lynx was enjoying a late snack. This was the first time she (or he) has ever been out since I have been visiting, I also never seem to see this fox who was smiling at us as we passed.
 Both the coyotes were also easily sighted. (Another animal that we almost never see.)
 This one even looked up at us.
 We did not expect to see any of the Elephants, but one was braving the outdoor cold. His family was viewed through the windows of their new indoor enclosure.
 I fell in love with these guys who are NEVER out when I visit. These red panda's simply stole the show, They were so cute I wanted to take one home with me.

I must have taken like 30 pictures of these guys, They were so active too. They climbed the wood planks and the trees, it was almost as if they were waiting for a picture to be taken of them.
 We all held our breath as this one walked out on this little tree limb. He eventually took a face plant into the wooden planks below. I was just fearful he would fall.
Wow....It was getting a bit colder and none of us had planned to be outside. Matt was still in his flip flops. We saw the bear...who was not so cooperative in allowing his picture to be taken.
 then said good bye to these silly ducks that should have so flown south months ago.
Our day complete we headed home. Kelly and Matt stayed the night and we had Pizza at Avcolli's for dinner. Gavin got a new friend too.....
Meet Philip the newest addition to the Beale brood.

Snow hit us all pretty hard on Sunday....Monday and Tuesday....I am so ready to get back to normal.