Anyway, down to business.
Our son is a bug fiend. Not just a normal, "Hey look, a spider" type of kid. He wants to cuddle with a praying mantis and hold black widows. He digs watching Monster Bug Wars and any entomology videos on You Tube. Somehow this year I found that Cornell University does an annual Insectapalooza. Since we have both been to Ithaca before, my hubby attended Cornell, Go Big Red!, we knew we had to take our son to this show. We began to look into places to stay.
Now, we have our handicapped pup so that presents a problem at times when it comes to hotels. Some let you bring your pet, but you cannot leave them unattended in the room. Um, yeah, no. We have come to the conclusion that it is much better for us to rent a house at a decent rate, but Ithaca is not cheap. Luckily I kept looking and found a very cool, underground earth home called Fieldstone Suites available to rent.
Yes, our son found a grasshopper. Cool house though right?
They allowed the dog and they are on 39 acres. Perfect. It is one giant room, but it worked out really well for us. I recommend looking into renting there if you head up to Ithaca. There was a fire pit and grill for use , but since it flurried a few times, yes Upstate NY beats to its own drum, we just ran around the yard throwing a ball and getting our pup and child some serious exercise.
The day of the show our son was very jazzed as only a three year old can be. The event was held at Comstock Hall and it was pretty choice. Our son got to meet Dr Linda Rayor who started Insectapalooza AND is one the of entomologists on Monster Bug Wars. She took a picture with us which was very kind, but the big plus was she allowed him to help feed the Huntsman Spiders. Yeah, this is our child's Disney World people.
One interesting thing for me was there was a film crew there from Tasmania. They are filming a documentary called Sixteen Legs, about an incredible cave spider that was recently discovered in Tasmania. They had been in the States for three weeks and were going to museums and universities getting people's thoughts, reactions and opinions on spiders. We actually got picked to be interviewed. My son lasted all of three seconds and then it was all me. Yes. I was interviewed and it was funny. I have no idea if they will use any of my footage, but it was a cool experience and the three man team were really nice people. I chatted for a bit with the biologist/zoologist/all around nice man, Dr Niall Doran, who is involved with this project and he is director of Bookend Trust, a not for profit education initiative that works to inspire young people to make their mark in the world by focusing on a environmental career out of Tasmania. While this is fascinating and fun, allow me to mention the most amazing part. One of their patrons is Neil Gaiman. That's right. The one author I would love to meet and probably pass out when I do, is involved in this project. Thank you Universe. For what I am not sure, but I am getting closer to maybe one day actually shake that man's hand. LOL
We spent two hours at the show, which was divided up among three floors of classrooms. They did a great job and we are hoping to make this a yearly tradition. I still do not like desert centipedes and I must say that tarantulas are very beautiful in person. Below is a picture of our son holding a walking stick insect from Vietnam. He was in heaven. He also got to hold a spiny leaf insect, a pepper roach and a crayfish. God Bless.
Now for the food. On Friday night we ate at Taste of Thai where I had a delicious Pad See Eew and on Saturday night we did Moosewood. Their baked mac and cheese with tempeh bacon is fantastic.
So to all of you I say make a stop in Ithaca and enjoy yourself. There are tons of places to eat, things to do, I highly recommend the Cornell Plantations, and of course, you can always do a wine tour around the Finger Lakes. Not to sound like a cheesy ad, but there is something for everyone. I am looking forward to going back, in warmer weather, and to Insectapalooza next year.
Have a fabulous day!!