indy zoo recap

Before I forget, I wrote a fun little post on my website last night entitled 52 Zoos in 52 Days. I realized that I haven’t really explained the book that well–at least not all in one place. If you’re curious, go check it out.

We left for the zoo at 5:31 a.m. Monday. Halfway down our street remembered something we forgot. Left our house for good at 5:34. Some fighting between daughters #1 and #2. Lots of chatter from #3, “Look! Goo Goos (car wash) in the dark! Target in the dark! Mommy, it’s dark!”  She finally settled down, and we 4 girls slept for at least an hour. Our fabulous chauffeur listened to sermons on his iPod Shuffle.

The packing went well. Makes a big difference when we aren’t staying overnight. Made cookies again, but in plenty of time–Cinnamon Sugar Butter cookies. Yum. Got to the zoo 30 minutes before they opened.

Met Kelly! We all hit it off instantly. She’s darling and dear and down-to-earth and very funny. Went to The Oceans first. Aquarium stuff, seals and sea lions (love those!), big ol’ walruses (our first ones), polar bear (there used to be 2, but Kelly said 1 “went on vacation”).

Headed through the Desert. A bit stuffy. Meerkats are a hoot. Kelly breathed through her mouth the entire time we were in that biome. Too funny.

Dolphin Show. Amanda and Steve got there right before it started. Amanda was a 6th grader in my class back in 1998-1999, my first year of teaching out of college. Now she’s all grown up and married. We’ve kept in touch over the past 10 years, and I’ve seen her once since then (4 years ago). It was so great to see her and meet her hubby! Love you, Amanda!

The dolphin show was a bit of a let-down. My girls have been to Sea World. Multitudes of dolphins doing synchronized flips and twirls, people riding dolphins like water skis, diving deep with the dolphins and getting launched in the air. I sooooo want to take them back this year. Nina was just a little banana in my belly at the time, and I know she’d go crazy.

We saw the koalas on their last day before they get shipped back to California. Two baby baboons–so adorable! Steve and Amanda had to leave at 11:30, so we walked them out to their car and ate our lunch at a picnic table by the parking lot.

Rode the Kombo Coaster with Livi. Fun! Then we all rode the train–another let-down. We got a delightful tour of the highway outside the zoo and the entire service area. Saw the top of a giraffe’s head. And a pheasant. It’s a nice train though.

Rode the carousel with Ava and Nina. That’s when Livi came up and said, “Daddy’s talking to the guys who wrote that zoo book!” I couldn’t believe it. We had no idea they’d be there. Chatted with them for quite awhile. They’re both believers. One is almost old enough to be my dad, and the other one is 24. They’ll be in C-bus in a couple weeks, and we hope to meet up with them again.

Allen’s the one who asked for a more detailed explanation of 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks, so I wrote about it last night on my website.

We touched an elephant’s rear end. Soooo cool! They’re squishy! And hairy!

And feeding the giraffe was probably my favorite part. His big ol’ tongue slid over my hand. It was awesome! Giraffes are just the most fascinating creatures EVER. Big ol’ gentle, sad eyes. Such a crazy-shaped head and neck and body. And such beautiful printed skin. Wow.

We toured the butterfly gardens (where Kelly held her nose again), hugged Kelly good-bye at 3ish and headed home.

Chick-Fil-A did not disappoint. The fine folks there are just awesome. We must find a way for all of you to get one near you. They’re built on Christian values, have the politest service and yummiest food ever, play Christian music. They’re closed on Sundays, everyone says, “my pleasure” when you thank them, and they’re always offering free food. The kids’ meal prizes are the best anywhere, and more often than not, a big cow mascot makes an appearance. The manager came over and started chatting with Gabe, then gave the girls little cows.

I had a dream last night that we were looking at a tiger in a zoo, and he growled really loud, leaped over the moat and came after us. He almost had Ava, and I couldn’t figure out whether to help her or grab Nina. We all made it safely into a bathroom and slammed the door shut. Whew.

I guess you could say I think about zoos a lot.

Have a great day, friends!

15 thoughts on “indy zoo recap

  1. GracefulKiki

    Oooh chicken dip is the most bestest thing ever…2 pounds shredded chicken, 2 blocks cream cheese, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, a cup of ranch dressing and as much of Franks Red Hot hot sauce as you can take (I think the recipe calls for 12oz….I do about 4-6…depending).  Throw in a crock pot…heat…mix well…serve with tortilla chips.  I like to put it in a bowl and crunch the chips over it and eat with a fork.  HEAVEN!  It’s kind of pricey to make…but absolutely amazing.  I think in the course of a month I made it 5 times.  I LOVE it.  So, if I come to Xangafest (I mean, when), I could totally bring it.  Mmm, gives me a reason to make it.  🙂  OK fine, I’m going to go officially RSVP…you think I could rent a kid or two for the day?  Perhaps a husband?  You know, just to fit in. 

  2. lites4Him

    So glad your trip went well- Indi was one of my favorite zoos as a kid (my grandparents lived there) and I haven’t been in YEARS!! I’m also looking forward to Toledo in the spring!

  3. mtaviano

    @jonnalynn – Thanks, Jonna! Nashville is absolutely on our list. We’d love to stay with you, and I want to meet Pete and Brandi too. We’re thinking of possibly coming over Thanksgiving break. Will you be in town or off visiting family?

  4. jonnalynn

    I read the description on your website of what your zoo book is all about & it sounds just great! Nashville has a zoo & if you’re willing to make the trek -we’d love to have you and your fam!

  5. mtaviano

    @gsowell – We were talking to the Zoo Guys and missed the Elephant Show. After the show, they bring the elephants up to the fence, have them stand sideways, and you can come up and touch them. There was a big crowd, so we just got to touch his left flank. 🙂 How’s that?

  6. gsowell

    That elephant butt part reeeeeeeallllllly needs some additional explanation, my friend. Why? Why? Why did you touch an elephant’s butt? How? When? So much to know.

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