"start your carts!" One of the entrances to Jungle Jim's.
A huge gingerbread house made with German gingerbread cookies!

The display above the British food section. They have displays like that all over the store!

The entrace to the bathrooms. Throws a person off, but they're the cleanest, nicest potties you'll ever use!

Isaac sitting in the display privy. Weird. Funny, but weird.

The monorail. This one doesn't work. It's in the parking lot as a kind of display I guess.

The working monorail, which they call the "Foodie Tram". It takes you around to the back side of the parking lot (yes, the parking is huge) to the event center they have there. It was closed yesterday. Bummer!

Another look at the non working monorail.

Another shot of the working monorail.

Yesterday Michael and I packed up the kids and the car and headed southeast to Cincinnati for the day. It takes about 2 hours to get there, so it's a great day trip for us. Our primary, ok ONLY, reason for going there this time was to go to Jungle Jim's. I know I've mentioned Jungle Jim's before in other posts, but to refresh yourself, I'll explain what it is and why we love it so much. Jungle Jim's is an international grocery store. But not a yucky-run down looking-no one here speaks English-weird, usually nasty, food kind of international grocery store. This is a store, spread out over 6 acres, full of every kind of food, from every kind of culture known to man that is legally able to be imported to the United States. It also has a regular grocery store section, but whoop dee do, I'm there for the exotic stuff! Over the years Jungle Jim's has grown and enlarged itself to the point where it's actually a tourist attraction. They've added amusing and interesting decor throughout the store and have specialty shops within the store that add an even greater ability to try new things. For example: There's a Boar's Head deli, two in fact, one specializing in sausages only. A world cheese department that is so big I've lost Michael before while browsing, a sushi bar in which the sushi is made to order for you, an olive bar with, at last count, 20 kinds of olives, a salsa bar where the salsa is made there and fresh daily. There's also a speciality meats shop, giant bakery and huge wine shop inside.
However, the biggest draw for Michael and I is the back half of the store. It's all food from different countries and it's organized by country. We spend a lot of time in the Asian, middle eastern and German sections. We also scout out the French, Indian and British sections, usually looking to try something new. This trip netted us a whole ton of things we've never had. Some I'm a little skeptical of, others I've already devoured. While in the German section I noticed they had a whole entire isle dedicated to Christmas specialties. Some of you know that I have a German grandmother and great grandparents. Growing up I would always get some German cookies, marzipan (almond paste, usually covered in chocolate and made into bars) and stollen (a Christmas fruitcake, but way better) from my Nana and Mutti. Seeing these things brought back some very happy Christmas memories, so in the cart they went!
We spent about 5 hours at Jungle Jim's this time around. It's a bit longer than usual, but Michael and I were looking to stuff each others stockings with some good finds. I brought my camera along intending to take lots of pictures for my blog, but when we got there, there were signs posted at the entrance asking people to not take pictures. I was allowed to take a picture at the bathrooms, and I was a rebel and took a couple of other shots of my favorite scenes. I guess in order to fully enjoy and experiece Jungle Jim's you'll just have to make a trip there! Believe me it's worth it!

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