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January Jackpot @ Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

It’s the January Jackpot!  In the month of January, 2013, come to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays and take advantage of special money-saving deals!

  • $2 Tuesdays – Pay only $2 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $2 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 8, 15, 22, 29.
  • WACKY Wednesdays – Spin our prize wheel for the chance to win 15-67% off general admission, free carousel or train rides, free giraffe feedings, free drinks, gift shop discounts, or our Grand Prize: 75% off general admission, free train rides, 25% off any Zoo food outlet, and 25% off at any Zoo gift shop!
    One spin per family. Prize winner will be given a coupon redeemable at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens location specified. Valid January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
  • $3 Thursdays – Pay only $3 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $3 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.
  • $5 Fridays – Pay only $5 general Zoo admission when you bring in the $5 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 4, 11, 18, 25.

Each coupon is valid only on the dates indicated for up to two adults and all the children in a family. The discount cannot be combined with any other discount or offer, including Zoo Value Tickets, and can only be used once per transaction. 

For more info visit http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org

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11 Best Places For Fall Foliage

LEAF PEEPING
AT ITS BEST!

Does the crisp, cool air of autumn remind you that summer is gone? Is the call of fall colors awakening the leaf peeper in you? Don’t wait a moment longer. Take a fall color drive before all the leaves have drifted to the ground.

Aren’t we fortunate that this great land of ours offers marvelous leaf peeping opportunities nationwide? Here are 11 amazing autumn leaf peeping destinations to tease your interest. Surely, you’ll find many more on your own.

1. Vermont
Is there a best place to view the fall foliage in Vermont? Cruising Vermont is sure to bombard the eyes with colors of the season. A variety of elevations and deciduous trees paint an explosion of color upon hillsides throughout the state. Specially flashy are the reds of the sugar maples and the state tree. Farmhouses and barns dot the hillsides, adding interest to the overwhelming dazzle of color. Country stores lure visitors in for freshly picked apples, maple syrup, local cheeses and interesting antiques. How about a bird’s eye view of leaf peeping colors from Killington’s gondola sky ride? Enjoy a picnic or restaurant lunch at the top of the mountain while gazing out upon views of five states and Canada too. Use the Vermont foliage forecaster map for the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of the best colors.

Vermont Autumn Color Hotlines: 1- 800-828-3239

2. Michigan
Michigan is a leaf peeper’s paradise where the annual blaze of colors pop and crackle over every inch of the state. Vibrant colors paint the state from top to bottom and from elevations high and low. The drape of color begins in the Upper Peninsula and makes its way down the state as temperatures and elevations drop. The show is amazing, sending locals and visitors alike on endless fall color tours. With over 30 varieties of trees, the colors of autumn in the Hiawatha National Forest would please any artist’s palette. Located on Michigan’s upper peninsula, the 880,000 acre park touches the shores of Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron, giving it over 100 miles of shoreline. If that isn’t enough, Michigan’s many interior lakes also add to the magical beauty of the fall colors.

Michigan Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-644-3255

3. Colorado
If solid gold is your thing, then head to Colorado where the 14-karat gold of the quaking aspens will take your breath away. With over 2.7 million acres, Colorado has more aspens than any other state. Drive the back roads from Ouray to Telluride for a golden display of aspens and colorful wildflowers. Other excellent places to leaf peep Colorado’s gold are Cottonwood Canyon, Green Mountain Falls, Estes Park and, of course, Aspen, where Maroon Bells and the reflections of the aspens in Maroon Lake are spectacular.

If you’re brave, take the switchback road to the Twin Lakes Reservoir for majestic aspen views from the highest paved mountain pass in the country. If you don’t mind driving a few more hours through beautiful Colorado autumn, drive southwest of Crested Butte along County Highway 12 and across Kebler Pass, to see one of the largest stands of aspens on Earth. The views are breathtaking with mountains and valleys draped in golden aspens under a brilliant sky of blue.

4. Central Park, New York City
Central Park is wonderful anytime of year, but truly shows its colors in autumn. The reflection of reds, oranges and brown shimmering in its lakes with a backdrop of New York City’s towering glass buildings gives Central Park a charm all on its own. Bundle up and rent a rowboat for a view of the fall colors from the lake. Get your fill of leaf peeping combined with a lakeside brunch at The Tavern on the Green. Stroll the many meandering paths under umbrellas of autumn colors while gathering handfuls of leaves. Toss your scarf around your neck and enjoy New York City at its finest.

New York Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-225-5697

5. Pennsylvania
If you like mixing your autumn colors with water, then Pennsylvania is the place to go. The Delaware Water Gap area is lovely at fall foliage time. Drive US-209 along the Delaware River from I-80 to Milford to see the many colors of autumn shimmering on the surface of the river. Located in Northeast Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains is Bushkill Falls, also known as the “Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania.” A small admission charge and some hiking through a network of trails, bridges, and crunching autumn leaves can take you to any of its eight waterfalls, including the 100 foot high Main Falls. Maybe leaf peeping of the color palette from the air is more your style. Than hop into a hot air balloon at the Mid-October Timber and Balloon Festival at the Shawnee Mountain Ski Area.

Pennsylvania Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-325-5467

6. New York
Autumn in New York State’s Adirondacks will keep leaf peeper’s binoculars and cameras busy with color opportunities. Start off with six million acres of forest, lakes, and quaint towns at a variety of elevations. Add in 14 National Scenic Byways sprinkled with autumn fairs and festivals with many historic sites along the way. You won’t have to look too hard for a pumpkin stand or some apples to take home for baking. Enjoy the fall foliage from your car, bike, and canoe, on horseback or hiking along a quiet trail. Just take it slow and enjoy.

New York Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-225-5697

7. Virginia
Be sure to have a camera in hand when you leaf peep along Skyline Drive of the Shenandoah National Park. Stop at one of the many overlooks to photograph the panorama of autumn colors. Mountains, ridges and meadows are ablaze with golds, purples, crimsons, browns, and oranges. Among vegetation contributing to this display are hickories, birches, maples, dogwoods and sumac saplings. The purple asters, yellow goldenrods, golden ferns and bright red Virginia creeper vines are other park plants adding to the display. For a slower pace, hike one of the many beautiful trails and listen to the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet. Then, stay the night at one of the park’s three lodges for more of the same the next day. Many fall festivals are to be found in the area during the autumn season.

West Virginia Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-225-5982

8. Missouri
Do you long for the quieter days of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Then, the Mark Twain National Forest and Ozark National Scenic Riverways is where you want to be this autumn. Viewing a rainbow of fall colors from the vantage point of a canoe on one of the Ozarks’ 350 miles of floatable rivers and streams can take you back in time. You may even glimpse a bald eagle, osprey, wild turkey, beaver, or possibly even a bobcat as your canoe quietly slips through the water. Doing your leaf peeping from one of many scenic hiking trails is a good alternative if canoeing is not your cup-o-tea. Mark Twain National Forest, with its 1.5 million acres spanning 29 counties, will not leave you bored.

Missouri Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-898-8895

9. Utah
The striking sandstone canyons, high plateaus, rock towers and mesas of Southern Utah’s Zion National Park are amazing all by themselves. Add in the colors of Mother Nature’s autumn artwork and you’ll be glad you have your digital camera along. Zion’s changes in elevations and plant life offer a variety of color from early October to mid November. Expect to see aspens in Zion’s high country, hardwoods on the east side, and the riparian trees at the bottom of the canyon. The riparian areas offer the greatest variety of color in deciduous trees, ferns, wildflowers and mosses all splendid in their varying shades of red, yellow and orange.

10. Texas
Drive 71 miles west of San Antonio and you’ll find the Lost Maples State Natural Area, designated a National Natural Landmark, alongside the Sabinal River. Here, the diversity of deciduous trees creates a kaleidoscope of color, especially beautifully reflected in the park’s creeks, ponds, and two small lakes. Sprinkle in the textures of its limestone cliffs, and deep canyons for even more of a scenic lure. The dazzling shows of color, especially from the big tooth maples, entice multitudes of visitors during the November peak fall color season. Eleven miles of hiking trails within the 2,208-acre provide lots of opportunities for relaxing hikes and lots of leaf peeping.

11. Quebec
Anywhere in Quebec is unbelievable when it comes to autumn colors, but you needn’t go far beyond Montreal Island to be dazzled. The number one leaf peeper locations for a stunning stroll among the colors, however, is Mount Royal Park on Montreal Island. There, a background of the city’s skyscrapers is framed by color, color, and more color. It doesn’t stop there, as other colorful Montreal strolls are Angrignon, Maisonneuve and Jean-Drapeau parks. An extra special treat is the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Botanical Garden, which runs every evening until November 1st. With Halloween creeping closer, you may want to take your leaf peeping to Mount Royal’s two large and spooky graveyards, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and Mount Royal cemeteries, where you can invite along a friendly ghost or two on your autumn leaf viewing experience.

Quebec Autumn Color Hotlines: 1-800-363-7777

Do your autumn research!
These suggestions only scrath the surface of leaf peeping possiblities. Decide how far you want to drive, how much time you have, and how much your budget can handle. Quickly do a little research, then hop in the car and go! Those leaves won’t be there forever!

The Best Places to View Fall Foliage
Leaf-Lookers’ Guide to Fall Colors
U.S. Forest Service offers a toll-free number — (800) 354-4595

Other great Autumn color hotlines

Maine: 1-800-533-9595
Massachusetts: 1-800-277-6277
Minnesota: 1-800-657-3700
Montana: 1-800-847-4868
New Hampshire: 1-800-258-3608
North Carolina: 1-800-847-4862
Tennessee: 1-800-697-4200

© Copyright 2003 – 2012, SheKnows LLC

How Color Can Change Your Life

Discover Your Power Color

By: Pamela Harding

Are you feeling blue? Seeing red? Looking green around the gills? Try a healthy dose of color therapy. It might be just the prescription you need!

Our ancestors believed that color held magical properties. It could be used to ward off evil spirits, attract good ones, and even heal the sick. While in this age of hard science and cool technology we may view such beliefs with skepticism, our fascination with color has taken on new forms. Biochemists, environmental and industrial psychologists, make-up experts, wardrobe consultants, and, of course, advertising pros have studied color and found how it affects mood, health, image, perception, even heart rate. Certain colors can prompt you to eat faster, perceive objects differently, and even make you spend more money.

Although babies are drawn most strongly to bright colors, and children often prefer solid, vibrant hues, adults tend to choose more subdued tints and shades of color: pink and rose or maroon instead of fire-engine red, for instance, or peach, melon or rust instead of bright orange. To surround yourself with what you feel comfortable is most important. Certain colors can ramp up your mood, but only if they appeal to you. If they don’t, they can do the opposite.

Red

Blood Pressure, respiration, and muscle tension all increase on initial exposure to red. But, this jazzy hue also boosts spirits and stimulates creativity, conversation, and the appetite (which is why it is used in many restaurants). Red is also a popular color in casinos—people are more likely to gamble in a red environment than in, say, a blue one. Rooms with a lot of red feel warmer, heavier, and time seems to pass more slowly in them. Red may increase passion, but also aggression, anger, and restlessness—it’s probably not the best choice of color for a bedroom. In clothing red conveys energy, power, and leadership, but can also signal romance and sensuality, depending on the garment.

An interesting note: when you have two objects of identical shape and weight, one red and one blue, most people will think the red one is heavier. (Might be one reason to rethink that red wardrobe! On the other hand, red accents could perk up your image.)

Orange

Like the edible fruit, orange is associated with health and well-being. Eye-catching, stimulating, exciting, and mood elevating, the color decreases irritability. Like red, it boosts appetite, but it will stimulate people to eat and run—hence the popular orange in many fast-food restaurants. Generally, orange conveys a sense of youth, quickness of mind and body, and is perceived as a warm and friendly color. An orange accent on a plate makes food look more appealing and lighter tints on walls or clothing flatter the complexion. Peach and melon are good colors for living rooms and dining areas. People who wear orange are seen as cheerful, emotional, communicative, enthusiastic, and fun.

Yellow

Vibrant yellow, bright and easily visible, is a great color to wear on dull, dark, or rainy days to add a little sunshine to your life. (It’s also a good color to wear after dark if you’re walking along busy streets.) The color projects love, light, warmth, and wealth, enhances communication, learning, mood, and energy level.

Generally, yellow combats gloom and fatigue. It opens up or brightens rooms, and pale tones are good choices for classrooms; warm tones good for play areas and living rooms. It’s the most visible choice of background color for signs (with black lettering). People who wear yellow are perceived as sunny, intelligent, warm, and compatible. So wear gold (also in jewelry) or yellow when you’re asking for a raise.

Green

The color of money, but also balance, harmony, and control, green exudes prosperity and well-being. It increases the ability to concentrate, while reducing muscular tension and stress. Refreshing and restorative, green is an ideal room color for sedentary or monotonous tasks—a good color for learning and doing. Rooms feel cooler and fresher. Turquoise and light green are good choices for kitchens, since they make room temperatures feel cooler and time and tasks seem to pass more quickly. Wear green to give the impression that you feel in control. It’s a good color to wear if you’re trying to keep the peace, mediate, or generate team spirit.

Blue

Blue hues lower blood pressure respiration, and pulse and convey a sense of peace, serenity, and tranquility. Blue objects tend to feel lighter than they are. A pale blue bedroom creates a light, airy atmosphere and is likely to create a peaceful, restful environment that helps lull you to sleep. Rooms feel cooler, and time passes more quickly. Blue is also a good formal color for living rooms. However, choose the hue wisely, because it can also be depressing in bathrooms or dining areas, making people’s complexions look gray. In clothing, “true” blue is an American favorite. Wear blue to inspire trust and loyalty, encourage communication, and convey a sense that you belong.

Violet

Violet hues suggest something unusual and superior. Associated with high spirituality, violet can also convey somberness or solemnity, and may be interpreted as either uplifting or depressing. Good for prayer and meditation, the color has an otherworldly character. It’s not generally a good color choice for walls, since large expanses disturb the eyes’ ability to focus. Wear violet and you’ll project unconventionality, nonconformity, and creativity. The color stands out in a crowd and may be associated with acute perception and deep insight.

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