Greetings from a beautiful late summer day in Iowa…

Temps in the mid-70’s, light breeze and clear skies… does not get much better then this….

On Saturday we celebrated my 44th birthday.  I woke up to the smell of John making breakfast and before I knew it he delivered it to me in bed.  Eating in bed is awkward – so carried it out to the kitchen and enjoyed it along with John.  Had fried egg, sausage, hash browns and toast.  Was way too much, but delish 🙂

John got me a fun birthday gift – a Sphero.  It is a robotic ball about the size of a tennis ball that you control with a smart phone.  This video shows it in action:

I thought Prince would be intrigued and play with it, but nope….  He just runs away from it and looks perturbed…. It is still lots of fun to play with and now I want to make little ramps for it and see if I can come up with clever things to do with it.

Next we headed off a flea market at the State Fair grounds.  We first stopped at the State Fair campground to meet up with friends (Dave/Mitch, Troy/Don) who were camping there.  We were invited to also camp, but John had a conference call for school at 9:00pm Friday and school work to be sent in on Saturday morning – so did not….  Wish we could have – the weather was excellent and the 1800 site campground was almost empty.

After visiting for a bit we walked over to the flea market.  John purchased a large briefcase type tool kit that had lots of little tools that you use to work on computers or copy machines for $25.00.  I purchased The Good Sam RV Cookbook for $5.00.  Has lots of interesting dishes to try – most use a can of this, a seasoning packet of that and other simple ingredients that are easy to bring along camping.

After the flea market we made plans to have supper with everyone downtown at Dos Rios.  We ended up with a party of 10 people.

Friends Peter and Larry meet up with us at the apartment building, which gave us some time to get caught up with their travels.  The last time our paths crossed was 6/14/2011 while we were in Portland, OR.  They are now full time -RV’er and are having a grand time touring around Canada and US.

We then headed downtown to Dos Rios and meet up with everyone.  This was our first time at this restaurant and I was impressed.  The food and service was great.  They were able to accommodate our large group with no problem (helped that I called for reservation early in the day).  The pitchers of margaritas on the rocks were just right.  I’m usually skeptical of ordering drinks by the pitchers – but these were quite strong and had a nice tequila flavor.  I enjoyed vegetarian enchiladas that were quite tasty with lots of mushrooms, squash and etc in it.  The ride served on the side had bits of pineapple in it that went well with it.

We then invited everyone to our apartment for cake and ice cream.  If it was nice of everyone to make the 15 minute drive to the West Des Moines ghetto.  I was feeling pretty good at this point since I helped polish off the margaritas before we left downtown.  At the apartment we did cake, ice cream and enjoyed watching stupid YouTube videos on the TV via the Apple TV.

This morning I woke up with a headache and all hung over.  Can’t drink much in my old age.  Seems like the hang overs come on easier and last longer.  Managed to make a quick breakfast of eggs, toast and microwave bacon.  Greasy foods usually help with the hangover situation – and it did…

Then spent most of the morning playing Warcraft, watching TV and being lazy.  Being such a nice day out I asked John if he would go to the local zoo with me.  He made a comment to someone on Saturday that he would like to go sometime… So off we went.

The Blank Park Zoo is located 7 miles from the apartment.  We are able to take some back roads that go behind the Des Moines airport to get there.  Easier/faster then dealing with city traffic and lots of stop lights.  We were able to find a parking spot right away (no charge to park).  Admission cost us $11.00 each – more then we expected, but guess the animals need to eat 🙂

The first area we checked out as the Australian Adventure.  Was neat because they had cute wallaby’s just wandering around along the side of the paths along with black swans.  They had a little train to ride for $2.25.  John was too embarrassed to go so I went alone…  I like zoo trains – so don’t pass them up.  The ride was not very long, but did give some nice views of the large cat area.  Was able to see lions and tigers lounging in the sun.  John refused to let me ride the merry-go-round or feed the Koi fish in the childerns area explaining that once you turn 44 certain things just become too creepy to do…..  sigh….

Some of the other notable exhibits were the sea lions, snow leopard, giraffes and Lemurs.    I paid $1.00 to feed a lettuce leaf to one of the giraffes from a special feeding deck.  John has a dog whistle app on his iPhone that emits high pitched tones.  He as having fun seeing how the different animals reacted to it.  You could tell that most of the critter definitely reacted to it.  Here’s a few pictures I took – will update with some of John’s later:


Pink Flamingos


Wallaby in the shade


Monkey reacting to John's dog whistle app...


In the Prarie Dog enclosure - hurt my knees crawling in there

Here’s some pictures from John:

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Big tiger

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Little monkey in a cage he shared with a vulture... I would be nervous too....

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Sea lion gliding by

After the zoo we stopped at a new Hardee’s restaurant for a late lunch.  I like their “$6.00  Thickburger” because it comes with lots of lettuce and tomato on it.  I need to remember to ask them to go lighter on the mayo sauce it because it is a bit sloppy to eat.

John then drove home and I went grocery shopping for the week right away.  Ended up spending $95.00 – not too bad…. considering it is for 21 meals.

Not much else going on here.  Will probably spend the evening playing Warcraft, watching TV and relaxing.

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