Zoo-Rangutan

When the sun is out in Indy, every body or every seal is out to soak it in! That’s how brown I want to be!

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I had not been to the Indy zoo since WAY before the Orangutan exhibit opened. I could see it every time I ran the canal. It was time! Can you see the one on his perch high in the sky?

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I loved it! I always feel so conflicted visiting zoos. While I love to see the beautiful creatures, I hate the trace-loop most caged animals end up doing. I remember a polar bear at a zoo when I was a kid. He had a pattern. Forward around, reverse. So sad.

Back to this extraordinary open enclosure! A real marvel to look at. Spears, ladders, glass. Swinging fire hoses to climb and metal rungs to explore. It did look like these guys and gals were having fun. But Mama, Sirih, kept following the baby, Mila, like she didn’t approve of her antics.

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Thousands of zoo fans voted to name this adorable baby with a name that translates to “dear one” in Indonesian. He was dear.

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Then this joker comes climbing down from the top and I thought, that could totally look like a sasquatch or a yeti depending on your terrain.

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After we were done with these characters, let’s see some more animals! This guy doesn’t need to climb anything.

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Our zoo puts on shows through out the day, so we took in a dog show. We always love them on AGT, so let’s see it live! These were all rescue dogs who were given a chance by their amazing trainer. See them jump!

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Next were the big cats. I’ve always loved tigers. Rewind 7 years ago when B & P & I actually got to play with them! Most amazing hands on experience that started my journey towards always having real contact with wild animals. Oh wait. P & I got to do it TWICE!

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Must have a tiger selfie since I can’t pet him.

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Add the lemurs were, first napping in a pile. Later, they were bums on a log. Booooooring. I’m so spoiled. At least these brother bears gave us some action!

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Then came the scary train ride.

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Thank goodness my parents were here to comfort me.

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On our way out, real life happened. Hello sssssssssnake!

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People were freaking out on the sidewalk. Come on, it’s a zoo! Last show of the day, the Macaws. This was awesome. There are 3 tribes of Macaws at the zoo right now. During specific times of the day, each tribe’s cage door opens and they are trained to fly from the cage to the Bicentennial stage near the zoo entrance. Very very cool.

And these birds were not shy about getting to the stage, so watch your head. It’s not the biggest zoo around, but I learned we have a lot to offer. I hope visitors of our city enjoy it too!

The Year of the Blood Clot

Doing some spring cleaning and stumbled upon my old medical paperwork from 2007, AKA the Year of the Blood Clot.

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In 2007, I was busy painting the entire interior of my condo. That coupled with my workout mania, led to a blood clot forming in my upper right 1st rib/clavicale. But being young and dumb, I didn’t know I had a blood clot. I just had an arm that would swell up as I worked out, then go back down. No big deal, I thought. Boy was I wrong. After a few weeks of my observation, my cousin said “GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW”. I had no idea what I was in for. I was scared literally to death. Thought I was going to die. To add to this fear, it was the Friday before Memorial Day. The hospital was empty. The doctors saw me, then sent me home with a DVD to learn how to inject myself in the stomach with blood thinners. Seriously?! I think I cried for 2 days straight. Momma came to comfort me.

The doctors assured me I would be fine, but a battery of tests were coming my way. The overly organized person I am, I started a folder and a spreadsheet. It went to every appointment with me tracking my health. Once I was calm about the blood clot not ending my life, they say “We saw spots on your lungs we want to check out.” OH SHIT. I’m dying again. I am healthy. I don’t smoke. What the hell is this about? Cancer? Well, basically everyone in the Midwest has had Histoplasmosis at some point. It makes spots on your lungs. You’d think you had a cold but in real life, you have a type of lung infection caused by inhaling fungus spores found in soil and in the droppings of bats and birds. WTF. I was told it’s just in the Midwest air. Lovely. Bring on the CT scans.

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Clearly had my clothes on during that scan! But it proved I do have a heart! A soul? That’s still up for debate. So now I think I’m in the clear again. Until the day I realize it’s been 5 days since I pooped and I was getting uncomfortable. Tried pills from both ends. Nothing worked. Called the hospital and they said, come to the ER now. Son of a bitch!

Because I was off birth control, my ovaries started firing again. Firing so much a cyst formed blocking my intestine. Add that my hematologist was not properly monitoring my clotting factor levels. Normal level is 2.0-3.0, I was 7.5 INR! Signed up that day for a new hematologist.

My blood was so thin. After 2 IV bags and several restroom trips, I headed home exhausted. Many rounds of follow ups occurred that year. End result: No more birth control, get an IUD and you don’t have an genetic clotting issues. I just happened to win the fluke blood clot lottery one day in May 2007. 10 years ago.

At least I got all these cool scans of my innards. Check me out and enjoy the added music to lessen the creep factor!

If you need a

*Hematologist
*Vascular Surgeon
*Pulmonologist
*Gynecologist
*ER Doctor
*Allergist

I know people. Now, I need to go paint my bathroom. Not kidding.

Blinded

Travel. Travel. Travel. Love it! But I was ready to kick off my shoes and hear some music in the Lawn!

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These kids invited us to go see Third Eye Blind with them. Because I love 90s music anyway, I didn’t do any research on their more recent stuff. So I went in prepared to be underwhelmed by some cheesy 90s band. Boy was I wrong!

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Not only was the company with the V’s great, TEB put on a helluva show!

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While I enjoyed “Semi-Charmed Life” & “How’s It Going to Be”, I loved their later stuff too. Definitely being added to the playlist.

4th of July Weather

Last 4th of July was soooo cold.

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This year, we had a bit of heavy rain for 10 minutes.

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But we all were prepared!

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After that rainstorm shit, we got to enjoy this!

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Ahh let’s relax tonight… or let’s box and I’ll taunt you with my low blow punch moves!

K sent me this AMAZING video because she knew of my love for this guy.

Whoever buys me my own Trex costume for Christmas is my new best friend. “Just sayin” Then I saw this… might have gone too far with the Trex costume on AGT.

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Clearly Trex arms are not meant for pole dancing.

14hr : 41hr

25% drive time for 75% memory making time… pack it up and let’s head to KC for some family time. Let’s go on a boat!

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The paddle boards even made the trek West. We had a new taker ready to try it out. The low center of gravity always helps.

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Weird thing about this lake, the trees are petrified into the soil so these barren wood sticks shoot out of the lake everywhere! Not just the coast line, literally in the middle of the lake too. Watch your props people.

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Ok, next activity, let’s take in a Royals Game!

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Felt like a wolf-pack moment. First game for this kid!

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I was intrigued by the vendor’s carrying methods.

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We didn’t get a Royals win, but it was a win to be together.

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Sunday, was down time day. Just hanging out, lots of pictures, and 2 important birthdays to celebrate. But the highlight of my trip, was this…. I scored myself a new best friend.

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I think it was our matching hair styles! Every one that entered the room, whether it was their first time or tenth time entering, they got with a finger point at me “Hey, that’s Natalee!” Every time he entered the room… “Where’s Natalee?” Cuteness achieved!

The Ultimate Saturday

Was thrilled to represent Team OneAmerica at the 2nd annual 2017 Indy Ultimate race!

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This event takes you all over downtown Indy to see what our community has to offer. First stop, IUPUI Michael A. Carroll Stadium for a soccer kick.

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After that, we made our way past the Indianapolis Zoo to run the bases at the Victory Field.

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NL was ready!

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What’s up Rowdie!

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Let’s go to Lucas Oil Stadium to kick a football through the uprights!

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Very cool to enter through the tunnel like a real Pro.

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So, I didn’t make it through the goal posts, but I was pleased that my kick did get air born like a champ!

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Georgia street welcomed us some tire drills and a frisbee toss. And finally a water station. It was hot out!

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So I enjoyed getting into some air condition at Bankers Life Field house. Before the free throw, I need my pic with this guy while the band played!

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Didn’t get to shoot on the real court… would have been a fun stair climb!

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Next stop, the Circle to ride the HandleBarIndy.Com. But no beer?! Pass.

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We were treated to a trivia maze just south of the Indiana War Memorial Museum. As we arrived to the stairs, there were Soldiers yelling at us to climb to the top. “WHY ARE YOU SMILING?” Seriously yelling. It was awesome! After the stairs, you could see what was up next.

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Pack carry around the fountain.

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Slack line.

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Then the obstacles in the American Legion Mall.

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Let’s finish this thing! Down the canal, through the Indiana State Museum and back to Military Park to celebrate!

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Complimentary beer only quenched my thirst for a few sips. Creeper alert!

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#ConquerIndy – We did! Thanks to Indiana Sports Corporation for putting on a great event!

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What’s the best way to not be sore after a race? Stay on your feet!

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We were ready to party with the pretty people!

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And eat! Bring me my tacos Cluster Truck!

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Huge day of fun and memories! Can I rest now?

Let’s See-attle From the Needle (Day 3)

Take me to your leader.

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A Men In Black throw back was requested.

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Today brought us to the iconic Space Needle to see Seattle from the best view around. Plus, who doesn’t want mimosas at the 500 foot tall SkyCity restaurant for brunch?

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This gave you a great vantage point to take in a lot of the fun architecture Seattle has to offer.

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Plus parks!

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This isn’t from the Needle, but the creative art in this city puts them at the top of most art community lists. Turns out, it’s built into the city’s business model. You have to dedicated so much of your space to art installations. I loved the light up sidewalk!

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Of course we had to the historic Pike Place Fish Market to watch fish get chucked around the booths. It was not a smell I appreciated but it was fun to see.

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Next was the town of Fremont. We opted to miss the naked human painted bike parade. WTF? And just saw the painted cars.

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Rumor has it, Mt. Rainer is an icon in the Washington landscape. Sitting at 14,410 feet and is an active volcano, you’d think we’d see it over our 4 day trip. Nope, not once. Looks like I’ll have to go back and trade the city-scape for a nature trip to confirm Rainer exists.

Let’s See-attle Some Orcas (Day 2)

I’ve been waiting for this moment my WHOLE LIFE! Bring me my orcas!

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Our boat arrived for the last tour of Orcas in Puget Sound. Cool thing about this boat was it had a front open bow and stern.

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So the driver said “Hold on!” We are going to cruise out at 40 MPH to get us to the whales as quick as possible. Then you can get out in the open air. Good man, let’s go!

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When the first dorsal fin showed up, I cried. I’ve had a dream of seeing Orca whales in the wild since I was a little girl. It took all I had not to jump in and just let life take it’s course!

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These creatures are AMAZING!

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Ocean hair, don’t care!

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We were very fortunately to run into a super-pod of Orcas. About 20! AHHHHHHHHH! So that meant a few pods got together for some socialization and play. The boat crew lowered a mic down into the water and you could hear them communicating to each other. AHHHHHHHHHHH! This was an experience on a whole other level. Normally you only see 3-4 at a time. We got 20. Thank you Orca Gods for blessing us with this experience! I will never forget it.

I’ll work on some better video. For now, here’s a short clip. Look for the fins and water sprays from them breathing out the blowhole. Think white water misting.

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Let’s See-attle (Day 1)

More travel? Yes please! I asked K if we could sleep like this while in Seattle.

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While AM had to work, we took advantage of doing a few activities that she’d already done. Let’s see the Seattle Aquarium! We were greeted with the Window, a 120,000-gallon exhibit filled with more than 800 fish and spans 20 x 40 feet. That’s a tank.

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Lots of variety in fish and exhibits.

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Then some WTF is that tanks?!

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The Underwater Dome was pretty cool. Fish were swimming everywhere. Especially when the diver came in for the daily feeding frenzy.

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Except these guys.

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I had to ask the why these fish were settled, not moving, and even upside down. They are called rockfish and can control their buoyancy by deflating or inflating their swim bladder. They just looked so grumpy!

Estrella, Zoltars wife, read us our prophecies. We waited for Big to happen, but we didn’t switch bodies.

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Next stop was the Chihuly Garden and Glass experience. Oh man! THIS WAS AMAZING. I don’t have enough words to describe the beauty behind this man’s art creations. From the very 1st exhibit, my jaw was on the ground.

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2nd room was a massive collection of pieces, shapes, and colors.

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I couldn’t get enough of this room!

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

I learned Chihuly was inspired by Native American colors and patterns.

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Each room just dazzled us with color and brilliance.

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Me standing in front to show you how massive these pieces are.

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There were bowls…

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Boats full of imaginative pieces. We felt like we were in Willy Wonka’s garden!

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It keeps going….

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My favorite piece, this pointy orange chandilier. Just gorgeous!

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Glass house ceiling was covered in floral pieces.

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Even the gardens and outside walkways had pieces.

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The rain couldn’t stop us from having a great experience.

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This exhibit is right next to the Space Needle. This neon green thing, is glass!

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Mama commissioned me to purchase a piece for a several hundred dollars. Sorry Charlie. We aren’t even close!

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