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When Andy and I took our big NC Thanksgiving trip, we got to see a lot of our favorite people and go to a few of our favorite NC places. One of those combinations was visiting the NC Zoo with Andy’s parents.
Andy’s parents are lifetime members, so Andy and his siblings have been visiting this zoo for literally decades. It was one of the first family traditions they included me in after he and I started dating.
I’d like to think that I bring a little something extra to the trips. After all, how many almost-30-year-olds do you see hiding out in giant gourds?
Since this was my 3rd visit, I was eager to visit my favorite animals from previous visits and see how they were doing. The Arctic Fox was solidly in his summer coat (brown) the last time I was there, so it was really interesting to see him almost completely transitioned into his fluffy white winter duds.
The otter was curled up in a sunbeam and was not even remotely interested in playing or scooting out of his nest long enough for people to get pictures, so I made do with the sculpture near his exhibit. It is one of my favorites in the park. The sea lions and seals however were having a blast chasing each other around their enclosure. Lots and lots of adorable antics to entertain the small, but steady stream of visitors trooping through their area.
The desert dome was the perfect place to warm up a bit after walking around outside. Sadly, my favorite resident, the Ocelot, was not there. He was getting acclimated to the new outdoor enclosure that was recently built but not yet open to the public. I did get to see the adorable Ringtail pictured above. Her handler was out when we where there and she told us all about Willow.
Elk derp. Evidently, that branch was the best scratching branch in the entire world.
So many gorgeous flowers were blooming in the aviary. I ended up with more pictures of them than of the birds. It was a really nice day; perfect weather and lots of laughter. It was sad not being able to see Andy’s parents on Thanksgiving Day, but we were really grateful that we still had the chance to see them.
Aaaaannnndddd we’re back! I know the “holidays” aren’t really over until after New Years Eve, but my house is eerily quiet and I have to go back to the office so it feels like things are at least a bit “over”. I had such a great Christmas, and I wanted to share a bit of the second part of my week with you guys. Enjoy!
Christmas Eve and Day were a blur of cooking, cleaning, laughing and visiting with family. It was absolutely wonderful to have a full house for the first time in forever. My Uncle Brian won the prize for “Best Gift” with the Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp he made for my mother. She has been wanting a larger one ever since she got her tiny side table lamp and we all agreed that this was the prettiest one we’d ever seen.
Unfortunately, half of our visitors had to head home on Friday, but Andy and I took my mom and step dad to the Tallahassee Museum… after I fortified myself with a large mug of tea in my new favorite “Cat Mom” mug, of course. It was the perfect day to be out and about: sunny, but still cool enough for walking around to be enjoyable. All of the animals were enjoying the good weather as well; we got to watch the otter frolic around in his pond and the red wolves were having a blast playing tag. Even the farm animals were walking around their pens making happy sounds.
One of the best parts of the week was the mother daughter day my mom and I planned. We kicked things off with breakfast at Liams’ with two giant bowls of coffee and orange scented doughnuts. Then came quite a bit of shopping, most of it was window shopping, but we still had a blast. After we walked around enough to feel like our feet were about to fall off, we picked the boys up for dinner out. My poor mom was so tuckered out, she fell asleep in front of the fire. Apparently, the couch wasn’t close enough so she had to make her own place to lounge.
I was cleaning out the photos on my phone the other day and I came across these three shots I took back in May when I visited my brother in Ashville. We spent the day driving around to several of the easier-to-get-to waterfalls in the area, and then we had a late lunch downtown before we had to get on the road again. Unfortunately the restaurant we had planned to go to was closed, but Charlie had a back up place in mind. The Early Girl Eatery, he got bonus points for thoughtfulness because it boasted quite a few vegetarian items on the menu.
The food was really good and there was a ton of it. What you see above is just what I had ordered, the Vegan Bar-B-Q Bean Burger with White Cheddar Mac’n Cheese and Squash Casserole. The guys had to help me finish everything. You know, because they didn’t want me to feel bad about having to leave perfectly good food behind, they’re generous like that. Of course I probably would have liked the place even if the food had only been so-so, they had these gorgeous dark purple tulips on all of the tables. I didn’t steal one, but I wanted to.
I have a cold. It’s summer. Why do I have a cold in the summer? When you have a cold you’re supposed to be able to drink soup and hot tea curled up in a blanket. It’s in the 90’s outside! I don’t want to do any of those things. I’m feeling a little pouty if you can’t tell. But I am soothing myself with a bowl of fresh pineapple procured by the husband, and I have something truly awesome to share with you guys today. From the blog Design Love Fest, I give you the Flower Bomb.
“Kristen and i were talking a while back about feeling so grateful for our friends. i know for me, i am far away from my family members who live in the midwest, so my friends here in california have definitely become like family to me. we were dreaming up ways that we could show our gratitude to our friends and thought of this idea of a “flower bomb”…surprising someone with flowers in unexpected places. my first thought was, “what if we filled an entire front seat with flowers?!”
The How To:
• I first placed one tightly lined wooden garden box on the passenger seat and another on the floor. You want to make sure the vessel you choose is watertight! No leaks. And is big enough to hold a lot of blooms.
• I then filled the boxes with water soaked oasis (green floral foam).
• Now i had to think about shape. I didn’t want it to look too much like a typical floral arrangement so I gave it a full and wild shape that accented the curves of the car’s interior. I think it also helped to have the second box on the floor of the car. That way I could get a couple different heights.
• Starting from the back and moving to the floor I started filling the boxes with blooms. I was keeping the stems as tall as I could so you could see the flowers through the windows.
• I even water tubed some blooms a placed them on the dash!
Images and tutorial from here.
Andy and I are officially back in Tallahassee. We ended up having one of those crazy world wind trips that are over before you know it, but still leave you feeling like you’ve been away from home for weeks instead of days. We drove to Ashville on Friday night after work, and spent most of Saturday with my brother. We spent the morning driving and hiking to couple of the more popular waterfalls in the area, and then had a late lunch at the Early Girl Eatery and did some shopping downtown.
There was only a .06 mile hike, via a well maintained and well marked trail, to the falls, so my brother and I didn’t bother to change out of our flip flops. That and our t-shirts earned us a few strange looks from the real hikers that were bundled up against the freezing 65 degree weather, and carrying enough gear to last them a week in the wilderness. Clearly we don’t take our outdoors adventures seriously.
Unfortunately, I didn’t any other pictures for the rest of the trip, but it was all pretty uninteresting. Multiple trips to Home Depot and Walmart to get painting/cleaning supplies and then lots of painting and wallpaper scrapping. I am looking forward to some serious sleeping in this weekend.