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!

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!

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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Wherever I May Roam

Previously.

Let’s roam over to St. Louis!

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Just as we finished up at the Arch, a storm rolled in. Seems like I’m cursed with rain on my first day of travels lately. San Diego, St. Louis, Seattle…  geez.

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We made it back to the room just as the rain hit.

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Once that burned off, we were ready to rock out at Busch Stadium with Volbeat and Metallica!

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What you can’t see in the pictures is the drizzling rain that came back. Everyone was getting wet. Thanks to our ticket snobbery, we were relaxed and dry.

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The stage was magnificent! 5 huge video screens played vibrant images of the band.

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And who doesn’t love it when they add fire! You could feel the heat from our seats. I can’t imagine what it felt like on the floor.

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The crowd loved every bit.

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“It’s unbelievable after 36 years we’re still up here making this noise,” Hetfield told the crowd. “I can’t believe you still like this.” Yes sir we do!

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As soon as we got home, Metallica Guitar Hero battle ensued.

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Set List
*Hardwired
*Atlas, Rise
*For Whom the Bell Tolls
*Fuel
*The Unforgiven
*Now That We’re Dead
*Moth Into Flame
*Wherever I May Roam
*Halo on Fire
*Whiplash
*Sad But True
*One
*Master of Puppets
*Fade to Black
*Seek & Destroy
Encore
*Battery
*Nothing Else Matters
*Enter Sandman

PhilHarmonious

Mom signed herself up for a new fundraiser to support the Fort Wayne Philharmonics. Which signs us up for work duty. Our first task 6 months ago was to come up with the event name. During our brainstorming lunch at The Merdian, CS took the prize and named the event PhilHarmonious. We all agreed it was a great name! Now it was time to celebrate.

Cold pea mint soup? Come on.

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Half a spoon was enough for me and the Herbs.

This evening’s special guest was a prior White House Chef, Mr. John Moeller.

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I believe he delivered a wonderful menu, I may just have one of the most bland palates on the planet who will never enjoy something like this. The steak came out looking amazing yet not to my bland palate. Now Mimi, would have loved the temperature of this dish. Hair dryer style. Dad and I, we want less pink.

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Our wonderful server was able to bring us some more well done steak and our table started trading like a swap meet so that everyone really enjoyed their meal. Dessert was a replica of our Chef’s cook book cover.

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I did try a bite and it was delicious! Throughout the evening, I was privileged to meet the people that keep this organization running like Andrew Constantine, their Music Director.

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Supporting my Mom and all the Foundations she supports, I tried my luck at the jewelry surprise…

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Waaah-whhhah. 21 was picked! Whatever. Nothing can ruin the fun I always have with these good looking people!

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stupid

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A Mile A Day In May

Previously.

While starting my “training” for the Mini 5K this year on May 3rd, I thought of an idea to get my ass running on a regular basis again. “A Mile A Day In May” was born. I have no excuse to not carve off 10 minutes a day for a minimum one mile run. Since I started this idea late, I made sure to have catch-up runs for May 1st & 2nd, which included a run over to packet pick up in some rain. Little did I know that was an omen for race day. What better way to shake off the crappy weather than with a mascot photo!

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Slim pickins’ in the goodie bag since this race went to a virtual goodie bag. This was a fun surprise, a student who has benefited from the 500 Festival education programs wrote us a note!

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Instead of our usual lasagna dinner, we met up with my cousin and 2nd cousin who would be running the race with Team Triumph!

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If you haven’t heard of this group, please visit their website. TEAM TRIUMPH is an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults, and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races. Their mission is “To enhance the health and well being of individuals with disabilities by fostering lasting, authentic relationships through the teamwork environment of endurance athletics.” My cousin’s daughter has an amazing story and gets to ride in this chair at events.

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I have thought about racing with someone like this for awhile because I do so many races by myself. Now, I’ll commit to racing for Team Triumph in 2017. Mom and I added CS to our 5K team this year!

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He’s in shorts and a jacket. I’m in pants, a winter coat and stocking cap. 45 degrees is not my friend. The weather didn’t keep the crowd away but I heard a lot of runners bailed on the Mini because of the conditions.

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The weather couldn’t keep T-Rex away! I needed a picture with this guy!

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Mom was not happy with the drizzling rain. Nobody puts Mama in a hood.

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It was chilly but 5K bag people? Must of been their 1st rodeo.

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During the last mile Mama had her fill. She was ready to bail. Don’t JUMP!!

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But she gets some pep in her step at the finish line!

I think we’ve seen the last of the Mom/Daughter Mini days. We’ll find some warmer races to compete in. Got to see my longtime friend @erikprops finish the wheelchair race! Sorry I can’t show a closer view… Flickr needs to figure out their photo editor choices.

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As I’m trying to figure out time splits for my cousins, Chad goes “There they are!” Fugh! Barely could get my phone out in time but I did get to capture J running the last bit of the race!

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As we walk back to our tent, we spy a massage area. Yes please!

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So, back to A Mile A Day In May… I only missed last Thursday because of the work schedule and events, but I made up for it the day before. My legs are tired, but will stay strong!

Ham-mer Time

Last year, Herbie decided to make Easter all about him.  Dick move, and I let him know I felt that way. This year, we were celebrating! When you invite the hostess with the most-est to your place for Easter lunch, you must have a suitable center piece. This was my attempt!

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Fresh flowers adorned with Peeps and jelly beans. Mannie even got into the spirit…

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Let’s eat some ham!

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After a full tummy of ham, potatoes, deviled eggs, baked beans, rolls, cake… we needed to walk it off. Mom was impressed with the flowering trees in the community. Sounds like an old person thing but I will admit, these were pretty cool.

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When we bought the ham, we had few to choose from. 12-15 pounds each! It’s only 5 of us. So we have leftovers for days. What to do? Make ham sandwiches!

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I’ve eaten ham 3 days in a row! I’m done with it, send me your shipping address. And don’t tell CS.