Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day 5 of 30 Days of Mayhem: Cincinnati

Vacation is catching up with me. Last night I fell asleep while adding pictures to the Day 4 post. Granted blogging a post with that many photos is not a quick process, but still.

Today we slept in. Michael did not get up until 7:30 and I think the rest of us started moving around 9:00. Yes, we are slackers.

Today was the Cincinnati Zoo. I like that zoo. This is my second visit and I've enjoyed it both times.

We arrived around 10:45.

Elephant poop floats.  You learn something new every day.
Dust bath following her real bath.

Sabu the male elephant.  The way our family prononced it sounds exactly like Cebu from the Veggie Tales.  Which we went around singing until we got to the Manatee exhibit.  The we sang the Barbara Manatee song.  I'm thinking I know what we are listening to on the way to Niagara Fall tomorrow.

Another animal it its natural habitat.  They tell us this one is called a Rehm.

Giant mist fan.
A native animal.  We saw lots and lots of these today.

 Game that required team work to complete.

Cici, he loves his hat.
Nia the Cheetah after the Cheetah show.  

Ruby and her favorite animal.  She was so happy they had penguins.
Around 1:00 I declared it lunch time. Michael who is not a big bird fan volunteered to trek back to the van for the cooler containing lunch while I took the maniacs thru the Wings of Wonder exhibit. Honestly, I was thrilled with this arrangement because it was considerably less walking for me and somewhat air conditioned and those two things offset the stench.

Lunch was a salad for me and make your own pizzas, like lunchables with our own ingredients for everyone else. This lunch was Charlotte's suggestion and worked great. I'm trying to keep things changed up so they don't revolt.   

I had to laugh at lunch though because we were using our reusable cheap plastic plates and silverware meant for a dorm. Charlotte took her plate to the trash to dump trash off of  it. Someone trying to be helpful grabbed it out of her hand and threw it away. We only brought six plates. We made her go get it out of the trash. She was mortified.

After lunch we continued our tour.

My favorite part was some good old family competition that we all participated in. I was slow but I made it across without touching the ground. We all had some great laughs doing this.

By 3:00 I was D-O-N-E! Eliza Claire wanted to see at least 20 more things - she is so her Dad's child. He is not one to miss anything. The rest fell somewhere in between us. I left to find a cool place to sit and Michael took one for the team and took over the troops. I knew the gorilla exhibit was near the entrance/exit so I asked them to text me when they were headed that way as I wanted to see them.

I scoped out the gift shop to cut down on time there with everyone.

The gorillas were funny today. There were two and they were pretty active. Of course, the recent incident was on our minds while we were there. I found myself looking at the enclosure and trying to figure out how it happened - I have not watched any of the videos. It was obvious that the barrier had been modified. Even so, I had a hard time understanding how the circumstances unfolded as they did. I am NOT blaming parents, the zoo or anyone. And I can not imagine how terrified the boy and parents and any others there had to be. It is a miracle that the boy wasn't injured in the fall.

And in full disclosure I have to say that for most of the time we were at the gorilla exhibit I did not have all four of my kids within reach or necessarily within sight. I know mine are 9-15 but thinks still happen. We are not above something happening to our kids and were are so far from perfect parents.

Ruby asked right before lunch if she could have Dippin' Dots. I told her if she was buying she most certainly could but after lunch. Right After lunch she asked again and I again asked her to wait a bit knowing she had just eaten. She and her dad discussed that there was a stand right by the entrance so we could be sure she got them before we left. When we got there, the stand was closed. Ruby was furious. I ruined her day completely.  Bad Mom!

Someone needed some blanket time to recover from their disappointment.

After the Zoo and stopping for ice cream and gas - still not as good as Dippin' Dots - we took a driving tour to where both Helene and Dallas grew up. As we are driving I see a church that looks familiar, I've been to Cincy one other time 17 years ago, and ask if it's where Michael's parents were married. He said maybe, it is Lutheran. I texted Michael's parents to ask them and sure enough I was right! I was very proud of my observant self.

House Helene grew up in.
House Dallas grew up in.

On the way back to the hotel some how the topic of sex came up. The Bigs immediately acted repulsed and offended. Of course, I took that as my cue to open a "dialogue" one how backward our culture has become about sex. That in a family setting we can't talk about it or it's awkward but in pop culture it's everywhere. We talked about sex being a good thing when inside marriage and that it should not be a bad subject. The conversation was funny, serious, awkward, funny, hilarious, over the top and hopefully somewhat informative.  One of my children thought that a vasectomy removed the testicles, that one made me laugh so hard I cried. I explained that that was castration. All four of them now know what a vasectomy does and does not do. At one point we joked that none of them were ever going to come back to Cincy because the sex talk ruined it, or that when it was time to have a sex talk with their kids they would automatically plan a trip to Cincy. At that point, Charlotte informed us she was sending her kids to us for the sex talk.

I lied on my live video on Facebook. We did not go to Skyline Chili for dinner. We had baked potatoes in the instant pot at the hotel. Everyone loved them. The leftovers have been turned into German potato salad for part of tomorrow's lunch.

Tomorrow we will drive thru Michigan with a very brief stop in Ann Arbor at University of Michigan before heading to Niagara Falls, Canada side. This will be the three girls first time to be out of the US and Rehm's second, ever and this month.

States Visited so Far: 5 though we keep going back and forth between Kentucky and Ohio
Jenn - the over-sharer

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