our weekend: the long and the short of it

The short:
We had an amazing weekend in Kentucky with fabulous Gail and her family, Beth Moore, and the lovely Louisville Zoo!

The long:
Thanks to my trusty-rusty Zoo Journal, the details are fresh in my mind. We left OH for KY Thursday afternoon at 3:16 p.m. We pulled out of the driveway, and I fought back tears. I did a lousy job of planning, preparing and packing. I stink at that stuff anyway, and this time was pretty bad. I had to change my shirt before we left, because I was so sweaty. Running, scurrying, packing, searching… It was bad. I disappointed every member of my family (except Nina) in some way or another (forgot things, etc.). Ugh.

The girls were great on the way down. License plate game. They all napped for a little bit. Snacks. Taco Bell for supper. Arrived at Gail’s @ 7 p.m.

Her house is beautiful, their property is amazing, her children are gorgeous, her husband is nice. This is my 4th time seeing Gail in person, and I love her more each time.

The girlies played, went to bed. (I’m not even going to talk about how awful each night was with Nina. I have no idea what was wrong with her.) We big people chatted for awhile.

Up bright and early for Zoo Day! Susannah rode with us and Livi rode with Gail’s fam. (we switched twins on the way home) Zannah thinks I’m “a crazy woman” and serenaded us for 45 minutes straight on the way to the zoo.

Susannah’s song:
“I’m going to the zoo with Caroline!
Who’s mean to me!
I’m going to the zoo with Josie!
Who loves me!
I’m going to the zoo with Livi!
Who likes me! But doesn’t play with me!
I’m going to the zoo with Nina!
Who’s a baby!
I’m going to the zoo with Miss Marla!
Who’s a crazy woman!
I’m going to the zoo with Mr. Gabe!
Who goes over the speed limit!
I’m going to the zoo with Ava!
Who plays with me! And tells jokes on her dad!
I’m going to the zoo with Mommy and Daddy!
And I love them so! (so, oh, oh, oh!)

It cost us just $8.50 to get into the zoo. Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Gabe got in free on DeWayne and Gail’s pass. Gail had a VIP pass for me. Nina was free. And we paid 1/2 price for Livi and Ava with our C-bus Zoo membership.

We saw the orangutans do their “Cool Down.” They put out wading pools filled with ice, orange jello and grapes and let the orangutans loose. They were hilarious. Totally showing off for all the tv cameras. We also got to see Feeding Time for the Komodo Dragon–2 white rats. Yum. Gail and I like the little tamarins. I love Scotty, the baby elephant. And any animal we don’t have in C-bus at the moment. Zebras, giraffes, camels. The carousel is always fun. Nina chose a panda, then discovered only the horses go up and down. I put her on a horse. Wanted the panda. Then the horse. Ended up back on the panda. She was tired and an absolute grouch.

We met Krista, Addy and little Kerry for lunch at McDonald’s. I love Krista. The kids had a blast, and Krista came back to Gail’s with us, even though we only had an hour until we had to leave for Living Proof Live. Addy and Caroline rode in our van, and the girls played with their Happy Meal Polly Pockets for the entire 45-minute trip. (and Caroline sang for 43 of those minutes) Oh, I wish Krista could have been with us the whole weekend!

The conference was wonderful both Friday night and Saturday morning. I loved getting to meet the women from Gail’s church. And Gail and I had such a great time of bonding. Loved worshiping with Travis and the team. Took notes like crazy during Beth’s talks. Fell more and more in love with Jesus. Just awesome.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, DeWayne and Gabe, for entertaining the six girlies for many, many, many hours.

Got back around 3:00 p.m. Saturday. Just in time for Mega Water Balloon War. Then we headed to Miss Judy’s (lady who drove us to LPL) to swim in their pool. I didn’t have a swimsuit, so I was the official photographer. Nina, my water-hater, was in love with the pool by the end. Back to Gail’s for baths and chicken enchiladas. YUM! Then angel food cake and rainbow sherbet, a combo I’ve never tried but loved (and Gail grew up on it. well, she had other stuff too, I’m sure).

Kids in bed early. The guys watched some X-games, and Gail and I had a wonderful heart-to-heart chat. They went to bed, and we kept chatting. Went to bed sometime after midnight.

Up for Sunday School and church. The girls looked so cute in their little dresses. Livi wore a DRESS! I had to take pictures. (see below if you haven’t already. notice how tired they all look!) So fun to see everyone at church that I’d met on Friday and Saturday. Half of Gail’s church is made up of one family. No lie. 11 kids, spouses, their kids and grandkids. Wow.

Lasagna after church. YUM. Packed up the van. Hugs and love. Headed home. Gail had to clean up after us, pack for 3 days at Beki’s, go to a business meeting, then drive 3 hours with the girlies. Whew!

It was such an amazing time. Gabe and DeWayne got along. The girls play beautifully together and love each other to pieces. Their house is PERFECT for playing and relaxing and sleeping and eating and having a blast. Sigh.

I left out a lot, but my goodness, I went on long enough. And I’ll just put the rest in my Zoo Book. I’m awfully excited about that adventure, by the way. Gabe and I got out a U.S. map last night and circled all the zoos we want to visit. Time and money are big issues, so we’re just going to play it all by ear. We live in a pretty central location for hitting most of the best zoos, so that’s cool. Not all the trips will include free meals, lodging, parking and just $8.50 for our tickets, so we’ll see. If God wants us to do this, He’ll provide.

Remember–if you live anywhere close to a zoo and have room on your floor for five of us to spend the night, we’d love to come visit you!! And we’d love to return the favor if you’re ever in central Ohio!

If you read this entire post, you are clearly avoiding some task/chore you dislike. Get back to work! (I’m talking to myself here.) Have a great day!

21 thoughts on “our weekend: the long and the short of it

  1. smarkas

    I hope the Cincinnati Zoo is on your list. I haven’t been to a lot of zoos, but it’s pretty cool! It’s the 2nd oldest zoo in the country. It’s only 15 minutes from our house, but I don’t think you would fit in our little place… don’t think my husband would have any idea what to do with 3 little girls either (sorry). However, I can get you discounted tickets… $8 for adults (instead of $13) and $5 for kiddos (instead of $8). Just let me know.

    We also have Newport Aquarium, if you’re interested in aquariums as well (the shark tunnel is AMAZING)… and I hear the Creation Museum has a petting zoo now with all kids of hybrid animals (zonkeys, zorses, sheep-goats, etc.)

  2. mtaviano

    @gsowell – What to do with Susannah? Kiss her sweet little cheeks. I love all of your babies dearly, but Susannah wiggled her way into the depths of my heart. Nina didn’t wake up at all Sunday night and woke up briefly at 4:30 for a drink this morning. Love you oodles too!

  3. gsowell

    Fabulous recap. I’m sorry for the little singers. They just can’t help it…so filled with joy that song bubbles out. Susannah and I have had a discussion about appropriate respect towards adults. Sheesh. Calling you crazy and attacking Gabe. What will I do with her?

    I love you oodles. You were really the most fabulous of house guests. How is Nina sleeping now?

  4. Anonymous

    found your blog through another.  love your perspective:)

    sounds like you had a great time “zooing”. 

    kids are in bed and i’m getting ready to go there.  philadelphia zoo is about 1 hr away its tons of fun.  haven’t been ther in  in awhile, but it is a fun zoo. 

    be blessed.

  5. ergirl053

    @mtaviano – 

    We are about 30 min from the Cleveland Zoo. As far as the house goes, we can camp there anytime- but we probably won’t have running toilets until Septemberish (like late September) and since I figure someone will probably have to go potty at some point….. If you wanted to come earlier, my parents are quite hospitable/up for company 🙂

  6. SuperGirlAmelia

    Sounds like a fabulous weekend. I’m avoiding packing for a trip…hmmmm… back to work.

    Lowry Park boasts being on someone’s top 10 list of something for zoos. No idea what, but if you want a FL vacation, we have room, even a bed for you 🙂 And we’re only about 15 minutes from the zoo. However, I don’t recommend coming in the summer. Ever. Make it a winter vacation when you can actually breathe and not suffocate from the humidity.

  7. shannahhogue

    I’m waiting for my laundry to finish its cycle, so I shirked no responsibilities while reading this post.

    And from the recap, it was clearly a fan.tas.tic weekend!

  8. lites4Him

    What a treat to hear about your weekend- Praise the Lord for sisters in Christ! I sure wish I lived close enough to a zoo to host you guys (it sounds like you’re always having fun!) but the closest one is an hour away and probably only 2-3 from your house!! 🙁

    Have a great day!!

  9. faithchick

    i’m BUSTED!!  eesh.  okay.  back to work. 🙂

    fun recap.  the susannah’s song is hilarious!!

    the bambina got some polly pockets recently, too; and she’s absolutely smitten with them.

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