Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Brevard Zoo - Melbourne

The Brevard Zoo is on Wickham Road in Viera just off I-95 east of Orlando.  As one of Florida's smaller zoos it host animals from Florida, Africa, South America, and Australia.  The zoo opened in the early 90's with the involvement of community and business leaders.  A. Duda & Sons donated the land and the Brevard Zoo was born.  Since then it has undergone various expansions, reconstructions, and today is one of the nicest zoological parks I have ever visited.

Animals from 4 continents live on seperate reserves in natural surroundings where they live comfortable but can still be seen by visitors.  There is a large bird aviary that you cn walk through and have a hands on experience with hundreds of species of tropical birds.  Take a train ride around the park and see the gibbon island or the masssive rhinos.  You can feed the giraffes and attend some of the wildlife experiences where you can lern about and touch some animals while the zoo staff educates you with animal facts and ecological knowledge.

Visit the concession stand for some very good food at not terrible prices.  If you want some added kick in your day take a kayak tour through the park or jump on the Zip Line where you rope your way over the swamps filled with alligators! Fun stuff!

There are also impressive fish and crocodile displays that show the ecological vastness of the tropics. The younger visitors can also hand out at Paws on Play where they can splash in shallow pools while the family can sit and have food and drinks from the concession stand.

Prices for adults are $15, seniors are $14,  2-12 are $11, and under 2 are Free. They also have group rates and membership packages for those who like to visit often. Hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with last admission at 4:30 (although I don't know why you'd want to go in that late).  One nice perk about the Brevard Zoo is that since it's a tropical setting much of the park is under a canopy of trees.  Even when it's hot in the summer you don't have the sun beating on you the whole time you are there.

Come visit our zoo.  It's a great fun day for the family and I know you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

P.F. Chang's - Mall at Millenia

So I' taking my daughter to the Mall at Millenia which isn't far from International Drive in Orlando to have dinner and she decides to try P.F. Chang's.  Didn't really know about except it has a good reputation and they sell a lot of frozen items at the grocery store so we decided to give it a try.
The atmosphere is typically Asian but really nice.  Very dark but I like dark restaurants so no problem.  We started with a shrimp appetizer and we each had sweat & sour pork with fried rice and sweet & sour chicken with chicken fried rice.  The food was delicious and the service was equally as good.

          Dynamite Shrimp

             Sweet & Sour Pork with Pork Fried Rice

P.F Chang's has three full service bars, one by the street, one upstairs outside and one inside. The can serve a lot of drinks! They have tables and half booths with full booths for larger parties and the dining room is very comfortable.  We enjoyed dinner there very much. Prices are typical for Chinese cuisine.  Dinners ranged from about $11 to $25.  We added more to our bill by ordering fried rice ($8) because we didn't want the white rice that comes with the dinner.  They also have a good dessert menu although we didn't get anything because we couldn't finish what was on our plates.  They also have a $39.95 four course dinner that includes soup, appetizer, entree, and dessert.  Seems a little high but if you like course dinners this may be for you.

I wanted to post the menu here but it is too long.  Visit to view the menu and see for yourself. If you like Chinese food or are a fan of P.F. Chang's you'll enjoy this dining experience.  More of a date restaurant than a family restaurant, it really is more for occasions than routine eating out but it is a great experience either way. I give them an "A". Food, service, cleanliness, and atmosphere are all definitely up there. This is a dinner to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Splitsville - Bowling with a Twist

So today the kids and I went to Splitsville Bowling Center at Downtown Disney and had a great time.  Splitsville is a high end bowling alley and Disney does it up like they do everything else.  Multi-level bowling, three bars, live entertainment, pool tables, and good food.  The only thing missing is valet parking.

We had to wait for n hour to get a lane. That's how popular this place is.  hey give you your flashy thing and you go walk around for a while which isn't that hard.  When we got our lane we were escorted there by one of the employees who bagged our bowling shoes and menus then showed us where we were to sit.  You pay for an hour block of bowling for $20 each.  Three people get an hour and they add 15 minutes for each additional person.  No, it's not cheap but it's Disney.

After you start bowling a waiter comes and takes your order.  We had burgers, nachos, and chicken sandwiches but you can also get sushi and entree plates if you want to go fancy.  Ever heard of sushi at a bowling alley? I know I haven't.  Prices are definitely high and I can't afford to do it often but it was a fun afternoon. They have full liquor if you want and the place is piped with music.  The atmosphere is festive and thoroughly enjoyable.  Hats off to Disney for making such a cool place out of an American pastime! See my previous article for more photos.