Tonight I’ve been partaking in one of my favorite activities: smoking weed and writing reviews on TripAdvisor.

black rat snake at Albuquerque Bio Park

I started using TripAdvisor earlier this year when I was reminiscing on my trip to New Mexico in 2017 and planning my most recent trip. TripAdvisor is a great resource for planning a vacation. You have to have an account to write reviews, which takes a little more effort than just reviewing a business on Facebook, so I think it weeds out the bad seeds. (Can you weed a seed?) Anyway, please give me a follow on there and I will follow you back.

alligators at Albuquerque Bio Park

Whenever I’m researching a destination I might visit, I go immediately to the 1 star reviews, then work my way up to 3 stars. I made a story highlight on my Instagram of my favorite bad reviews if you’d like to see them.

You can tell a lot about a person based on WHY they gave something a bad review. I have a great example, screenshots of which are in that IG highlight. I’ve been reading reviews of the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo & Aquarium, which I visited in March of this year. Someone from Knoxville gave the zoo 2 stars. They said they got there but were put off by the “shabbiness of the entrance and the price.” They didn’t even go in the zoo, and they gave it two stars! Also, have you ever planned a whole day at the zoo, got there, looked at the entrance, and then just went, “Nahhhh.”

Another person from Louisville gave the zoo 3 stars and mentioned that they saw a camel that was potentially dead with “a huge bloody lesion on his belly.” So they went into the zoo, saw a dead or dying camel, and still gave it three stars. Truly astounding.

klipspringers at Albuquerque BioPark
Klipspringers that were very much alive & healthy

I didn’t see any wounded camels, but I was with the Shitty Entrance people and gave the zoo 2 stars. Many of the exhibits were closed for construction, so we missed out on many of the . The reptile house was pretty cool and had lots of snakes, turtles, and other creepy crawlies.

snapping turtle at Albuquerque Bio Park

I DID get to seea couple of good babies, including the chimpanzee and elephant.

This zoo experience was very uncomfortable for my brother, who can walk short distances but is in a wheelchair most of the time. We rented a wheelchair for him at the zoo. We would have gotten a motorized chair but were told that we couldn’t take it on the train to the aquarium. Some of the hills were so steep that it was impossible to get him up the hills, particularly leading up to the polar bear enclosure. So he missed out on a few things due to inaccessibility. But like, you see one polar bear, you’ve seen them all.

train at Albuquerque BioPark

We took the train from the zoo to the aquarium. It was crammed shoulder to shoulder both ways. My brother had a wagon jammed in front of him, so he couldn’t stretch his legs, which led to muscle spasms. When we got off the train at the aquarium we had to push him through loose gravel to get to the entrance. Part of our walk was in a driveway where cars were passing; there just weren’t any ramps to the sidewalk.

Albuquerque Bio Park train
View from the BioPark train

The aquarium was honestly just ok. I’m spoiled because I grew up going to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, which has not only an immense collection of sea creatures, but also features outstanding early 20th century architecture.

Albuquerque aquarium spider
Yes, I’m saying this aquarium is ugly.

Once you get inside the aquarium, there’s no flow of traffic. We decided to start on the top floor and work our way down. The sting rays are in a low enclosure on (I think) the second floor. There were children leaning over the sign that says not to touch the sting rays, so they could touch the sting rays. That’s more of a parent problem, but there should be someone stationed nearby to enforce this (/yell at the parents.)

sting ray at Albuquerque Aquarium
No touchsies, please.
sting rays at Albuquerque zoo
Sorry you got manhandled, guys.

There was a pretty decent array of sea creatures. I could probably sit and look at any fish all day, so this was great. These are a few of my favorites.

One last complaint: the gift shops were pretty whack. I love sending postcards and buying silly key chains to remind me of my trip. I didn’t find a single thing that I liked. There were plenty of stuffed animals, but lots of critters that weren’t even at that zoo! My nephew ended up with a stuffed rattlesnake, which we did see in the reptile house.

Albuquerque Bio Park Aquarium
My nephew had a good time; that’s what’s important.


I got these cute floral pants at Torrid in February. They were on clearance for about $20. They are sheer but have solid shorts underneath. My top is a very old scoop neck tee from Old Navy, tied to a crop. My jacket is a very old denim biker jacket from Torrid. And I purchased the hat at Target about 2 years ago. My shoes are plain black Tom’s, pretty much the only shoes I wear when it’s warm enough.

Selfie with fish

If you’d like to read about my entire 2019 trip to New Mexico, check out these posts:

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