Zoo Brew

Mom’s been talking about this event for years but it sells out literally 3 minutes after tickets go on sale. She made some networking calls and finally we had 2 tickets to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo fundraiser called Zoo Brew!

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I can’t even remember the last time I was here, but I do remember my first job working with the ponies and horse rides. That lasted one summer due to my hay allergy. But it did give me a great memory of one car ride home with my Mom… I was 14 and couldn’t drive yet so she carted me and my lunch there every day. This was back in the day of the hard Igloo coolers. A rabbit had built a nest in the middle of the pony ring. Once the babies were ready to flee, my fellow co-workers were trying to catch them. Once you touch them, the mom won’t take care of them anymore. Dad and I had raised bunnies in our neighborhood quite a few times. So I thought, I’ll just bring them home. I put some grass in my cooler and in went 2 bunnies. Mom picks me up and asks

Why do you have grass coming out of your cooler?

I have 2 bunnies in there.

Natalee, you can’t steal animals from the zoo!

Duh! Back to present time… She got us VIP so we could get access to all the food and drink an hour before the general public. Very good choice as the lines got ridiculous as the night progressed. The zoo is laid¬†out by continents so we headed to Africa first.

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Each continent had about a dozen food vendors and a dozen drink tastings. I was happy with my Mo’s tacos, but the caprese salad looked great.

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Bourbon tasting? Yes please!

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But we were really there to see the animals. A lot of the cats were sleeping.

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Hyena

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Zebras on the veldt.

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As we watched this monkey, he started to relieve himself from all ends. We hightailed it out of there. No poop thrown at us please!

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As we headed to North America, we hear the classic train horn. Mom got giddy like a little kid! She wanted to ride the train. I walked over to the empty station and asked the worker if it was open to the guests. It was so waited for it’s return… it had 4 people on it. 4. We were the only ones in line, everyone else was scarfing down food and booze. Alright Mom, let’s ride the train.

Alone. Seriously hilarious that we were the only ones. This is not a small train.

After our ride we headed to Austrailia.

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They turned the old bat exhibit into an interactive sting ray pool.

Roos hanging around the walkabout.

The huge aquarium is still a favorite of ours.

Puffer!

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Penguins weren’t very active in heat.

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I was excited to see the Lion drinking fountain was still functional!

Great day & memories with Mom! Thanks Momma!

Family Day in Nappanee

Since last summer, I’ve been threatening to take my parents some where in Nappanee Indiana they will never believe. Today, I made good on my promise. Introducing the Nappanee Horse Track!

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We parked in the shade, popped the hatch and waited for the race to begin!

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We were in turn 4. There were people lining the fence in turn 2 around the finish line where the grand stands were then down to us. Still had 5 more cars add to our turn after a few races.

A red El Camino would pull up to the finish line with these huge gates on the sides. The drivers and ponys would do a big walk down and back to get in line behind the car.

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Drive around to turn 2, then the El Camino takes off, folds up his gates, and off they go!

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Go ponies!

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It was so crazy! These guys get some major speed. We even saw one guy wreck and had to watch in agony for a few minutes to see if the pony could get up. After 7 races, they take a break and it’s practice time. We counted at least 30 ponies out there at one time. There were 19 races tonight! We had our fix after about 10. Carole needed chicken.

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Afterward, we headed into town to dine with some of Mom’s new friends at the Mexican restaurant. Someone’s getting a bonnet for Christmas.

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Afterward, I had one more stop on our visit. My friend’s parents help Nappanee create quilt gardens each year. I’ve only heard of these so I was ready to see one. It was gorgeous! With the State’s bicentennial this year, they are State themed.

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What city is next?!

A little video of the ponies. After a few races, Dad and I really enjoyed watching the El Camino try to pull off the track after the start. Comin’ in hot! Not a lot of room there! On lap 2, this was the race a pony went down. Hard to watch, but remember he did walk off the track on his own. Oh, and the driver was fine too.