Monday, October 12, 2015

Kentucky Part 1

Stephen, if he can POSSIBLY manage it, LOVES to go to DerbyCon.  It's an information security conference in Louisville, Ky.  He's gone without me before, but the kids and I love to all go with him.  It's been a while, but we all went this year, including Nana!

Upon our arrival, we checked into our comfy hotel after eating some Chik-fil-A.  After getting things unpacked, kicking an overstimulated Stephen out of the room, and getting the kids comfy and cozy, I pulled out my contraband from the Cheesecake Factory, which I had purchased while everyone else ate their Chik-fil-A. :D

Over the course of this trip, my children became TV addicts.  We don't have cable at home and normally closely monitor what they watch.  But we kind of let things slide on the trip and let them watch Cartoon Network pretty much all they wanted.  They now ADORE Gumball and Teen Titans.  And while I don't just love all the humor, I figure they're older now...I appreciate that they don't laugh when it's not funny and they know what is and isn't appropriate.  They spent their TV time laughing so hard they couldn't breathe.  Nana and I LOVED hearing them laugh.  Had to get some pics!

First full day was spent at zoo.  And for a mom and three kids who all have syncope and a nana who has to use a walker, I must say, God really watched over us in allowing us to get through the whole thing!

I have a strange fondness for rhinos!  Loved this guy!

I have always considered horses majestic, but I must say, giraffes just really take the cake in that area.  Always before, I've only seen them on TV or from a distance.  Watching them was amazing!  They were magnificent.  Of course they have a nice outside habitat too, but sometimes they prefer the shade.

Kids loved the lion.

 And while we all laughed when Clyde said he just wanted to get in there and cuddle and hug on the lion because....well, that's just CRAZY, we could still all relate.  I mean....

In the petting zoo, they loved Spike, who enjoyed spending his time near the bars getting petted.

I just LOVED this lazy meerkat!  I chill!

 Meerkats are just very inviting.  

 Iris forgot to read the sign....that this interactive hippo-wheel was to demonstrate how they spread their dung in the wild ;)

Well, while Clyde is as tall as a typical gorilla, I'd say he definitely wouldn't be a worthy opponent.

We made friends with this wart hog...he made the cutest sounds!

After cooling everyone off, pumping them full of caffeine, and feeding them, we were feeling less likely to pass out.  But we were still feeling a little off.  We had been in the direct sunlight for quite a while.  So it was time to pass out the cool cloths.  You wet these things and they help cool you down.  They were really helpful, allowing us to finish our journey.  Lucy completely soaked her hoodie and wore that.  First visit after lunch...tortoises!

We didn't mean to, but it appeared that we confused a few muslims with our cold cloths.  We made many of them do double takes, before they realized that the rest of our wardrobe didn't quite match the unintentional headcloths.  I admit...we did look a little odd.

But what we were really going for was NINJA!

Female orangutan and Lucy mutually admiring each other...

The male gave us quite a show of his amazing strength and agility!!  He effortlessly swung all around his habitat.  Amazing to watch!

Then he sat down to bond with Iris.

King Louis was Clyde's favorite animal from 3 years ago, and was Clyde's "must see" this year.  Interestingly, the man presently in charge of the reptiles at our local zoo used to care for this guy.

The swan pond was kind of out of the way, but the black swan was Lucy's "must see" so we made the trip and it was totally worth it.

I personally ADORE lorikeets.  They are just so fun!  When we walked in with the nectar, the very same bald one landed on Clyde that landed on him 3 years ago.

He adored the attention as several more continued to land on him!

Lu was quite nervous and was getting very agitated so I held the nectar until they landed on me then gave it back to her so she could actually feed them.  This is her distressed face, but she wanted to do it and braved it out.  Very proud!

Clyde in his element!  Loves him some animals!

Iris falls between Clyde and Lucy in this.  She was nervous, but allowed several birds to land on her and enjoyed it.

Lu starting to chill not that the danger of birds landing on her is over.

Clyde and I with Baldie...

 This is for Grandad!

When we had just about reached our limit and Lu's blood pressure started dropping for the fourth time, we sat and watched this sea lion swim around with a seal in this fun tank.

We finally made it Nana's favorite, and the very last animal in the zoo for us to see, the tiger!

Clyde & Clyde

Lucy always picks out the restaurant.  We always have so many choices and she doesn't and we want her to feel safe.  Her pick this evening was Ruby Tuesday.  Clyde ordered a FULL rack of ribs, sweet potato fries, mac and cheese and he ate several cheese biscuits!

We arrived back at the hotel for TV and laughter!

Much fun during our arrival and first full day!

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