A Great Day at Louisville Zoo – Louisville, Kentucky

 

We recently had the pleasure of spending a day at Louisville Zoo in Louisville, Kentucky. We have lived in the Cincinnati, Ohio area for years but never took the time to take our kids to the Louisville Zoo because it was over an hour away. We have heard lots of good things about it. We decided to take the trip during our staycation and I’m so glad we did. It was a great day!

We had breakfast at home before loading all of us and our junk in my little hatchback. The drive to Louisville was nice. We had time to chat in the car. The girls were really excited. We hadn’t been to a zoo in ages. We found it easily and parking was plentiful since it was a weekday.

We bought our tickets and entered the zoo. The restrooms are right next to the entrance which was convenient after such a long car ride. We chose to start by going to the left. We brought the stroller for Octavia to sit in when she wanted and for our stuff. She walked for most of the day but we were really happy we had the stroller at snack time. It has a snack tray that is perfect for having meals and snacks on the go.

There were the normal zoo animals like zebras, elephants, and giraffes. This was Octavia’s first time at a zoo. Everyone enjoyed their time watching animals. The girls got a giggle out of the geese in the outdoor giraffe area. The rhino was sleeping. He reminded us of Jack because of the way he kept wiggling around and rubbing his head on the ground. The elephants were lively and playing. There was a zebra that kept rolling in the dirt and jumping up. We all thought that was quite funny.

“Butterflies and Blooms” was going on while we were there. There was an area set up that was full of flowers, caterpillars, and butterflies. Octavia squealed with delight to see all the butterflies flying around. There was a nice lady working the area that talked to Isabella for a while. She answered all her questions and explained the entire life process of a butterfly to her. It was very educational. We really appreciated the extra attention and the level of enthusiasm that the employee had for her work.

Next was the gorilla forest. This is one of Michael’s favorite things to see at the zoo. There is construction going on next to it so we just circled around. This area feels weird because of the construction work being done. I don’t want to comment too much on it because I don’t know if it normally is ok and we just caught it at a bad time. Ivy loved seeing the meerkats and naked mole rats that were here.

We went to the petting zoo next. It was just a lot of goats. One of the goats liked to nibble on people’s clothing. He really liked the pockets on Michael’s shorts and spent most of the time we were there trying to chew on them. Octavia wasn’t sure what to think of the goats and asked multiple times if they were dogs. This little area is fun if you have little kids but avoid it if you are wearing light colored shoes. The ground is a reddish dirt. Octavia was wearing white shoes when we started and wasn’t when we were done.

The polar bear was very lively and sitting in the window. It was almost like he was posing for photos with all the kids. It was a really fun moment for the girls to be right on the other side of the glass from him. Next were the seals and sea lions. They were fun to watch. They swam constantly in circles, occasionally coming up to greet us and make “fart” noises which Octavia thought was hilarious.

Next up was Lorikeet Landing. We bought a few cups of nectar. Ivy (17) had a great time feeding the birds. Animals always love her and it wasn’t long until she had a couple of them perched on her. Isabella (8) was afraid of them but did manage to feed one with help from her Dad. Octavia (2) thought they were hilarious. Michael held her to help her feed them. Birds always like him too so they were able to feed many of them. I am not a fan of birds and chose to take pictures of everyone else. As you leave Lorikeet Landing, you are right at the entrance of Wallaroo Walkabout. We waited to be escorted through to see the wallabies and emus.

Next, we stopped for a snack of popcorn and soft pretzels with cheese. We all brought our water bottles or travel cups which was a major budget saver. They had bottle refill stations. The only issue we had was that the water from some of these was really warm. Drinks at places like this can really add up. They have a cup that you can buy and refill for $1 all day. We bought one of these and put the ice in the little girls’ cups after we drank it. We refilled it a few times.

 

There was a bit of a stroll on the way over to the Herpaquarium. This is a building with amphibians, fish, reptiles, bats, and a white alligator. We worked our way through the remaining exhibits including penguins, an aviary, giant tortoises, tigers, and more. The orangutan was interacting with the little kids. He sat at the glass the entire time that Octavia and Isabella sat on the bench. They waved and talked to him. When they got up he climbed up into his nest area. The lady that works there said that he really likes young kids.

They had these wonderful lego sculptures throughout the zoo. It amazes me that people are able to make things that pretty and intricate with legos. The kids really enjoyed them. We skipped the carousel, train, splash park, and the playground. These are spread out throughout the zoo.

This is a great little zoo. If you live in the area or will be visiting, I recommend a visit to the Louisville Zoo. It is a great place to spend a day with kids. All of you can enjoy seeing the animals and the kids can run off some energy.

Price: Adults (12+) $16.25 x3, Kids $11.75, Under 3 Free, Parking $5 = Total $65.50 + tax

Happy Travels!

October Goals

October Goals

  • Pay off Credit Card #8
  • Save Money and Just Survive
  • Research the Best Time of Year to Visit Our Top Locations
  • Continue Decluttering
  • List Some Stuff for Sale on Facebook
  • Start a List of Christmas/Birthday Presents

I can’t believe I’m even typing this. After making our goal last month we’re feeling a little gutsy. We have decided to try to pay off credit card #8 this month. It has a current balance of $2,527.43. I want to throw up every time I look at that number. I can’t believe we are even considering doing this in one month. It’s completely insane. I’m not sure if we can do it but I think we need to set this crazy hard goal. Even if we don’t quite make it, we will still make a considerable impact by trying.

Our next goal goes with our first. We need to save as much money as possible in order to pay off that credit card. This month will simply be about surviving on the least amount of money possible. We are going to try to not buy anything that we don’t absolutely need. I am also planning to serve the cheapest meal options this month. I will be digging deep into the low-cost recipes that got us through being young parents.

I want to research the best times of the year to visit all of our top desired locations. This way we have a list made out to help guide us when we start to narrow down our travel plans. We have so many places we would love to visit. We plan to live where I take contract work in the United States and travel between contracts as we can afford. We want to make the most of our time off and conditions such as weather and holidays need to be considered.

I will be continuing my slow mission to declutter our home. We have a long way to go and this will likely be an ongoing monthly goal. We have a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house with 2 large storage areas in the basement, a master walk-in closet, and 2 car garage that were all full of stuff at the beginning of this year. The plan is to leave here in 2020 with the minimal amount of stuff we can. We are planning on renting a small storage unit to put our sentimental and non-replaceable stuff in while we travel. We would like to have a backpack/suitcase each for clothing, a couple of tech bags, a bag of toys for the kids, a bag of homeschooling items, purses/wallets, and a box or two of household items for when we are traveling in the United States. We are trying not to bring anything else into our home that is not absolutely necessary.

I plan to go through 1-3 boxes from the basement a week until it is all cleaned out and organized. I’m sure there are many things in those boxes that aren’t necessary since we haven’t opened most of them in years. Some of the stuff is sentimental. There are boxes of old photos and keepsakes amid the boxes of junk. I plan to scan all of our photos in the future so that we have a digital copy of them before we store them. I’m not there yet but it is something I am looking into.

I am currently getting out Isabella’s and Octavia’s fall/winter clothing. They share a room. The goal is for them to easily share a three drawer dresser, a small three drawer container (that’s in the closet), and a closet. I will share a post about this soon. We bought the girls a few items for back-to-school time (in last months post) and we are not planning to buy anything else this winter. After going through the tubs of packed clothing/shoes, their drawers, and closet, I think we are easily going to be able to make it through until spring with very minimal to no shopping.

As I am going through the basement and closets, I am going to try to sell some stuff online. I think I’m going to try to start by listing it on Facebook, either on my personal profile or a yard sale group. We are trying to pay off our debt and every little bit helps. We also have an excess of unneeded items and this makes getting rid of them easier. I have never done this before. I hope it is easy and goes well. We also plan to have a few yard sales before we leave.

I am also starting a list of needed or very wanted items to suggest for Christmas and birthday gifts for ourselves and our kids. I have brought the idea up to our kids and they are putting a lot of thought into it. We all know that we are planning to get rid of most of our possessions in less than two years. This really makes us consider what is worth spending money on.

It’s going to be quite a busy and frugal month. What are your goals this month?

September End of Month Review

September Goals

  • Pay off Credit Card #7
  • Start Our New Cleaning/Zone-Cleaning Routine
  • Check-ups for the girls & Michael
  • Research Health/Vaccines related to International Travel with Kids

Credit card #7 started the month with a balance of $1619 because we were able to pay $500 on it at the end of August. It was a bigger amount than we had been doing. I’m glad I listened to Michael about going for it instead of playing it safe with our goal. It was the mental push we needed to try harder. I’m proud to say that we completely paid it off and there are big goals coming for October!

We started our new cleaning and zone cleaning routines. We are still getting used to them but I think it has been helpful. It takes some of the stress out of keeping the house running. We continue to work on decluttering which helps to keep the house cleaner too.

Michael and the girls all had their check-ups. Michael got a Hep A vaccination because it has been going around in our area and it is one that is recommended for travel too. Octavia was due for some vaccinations and she had to have a lead test. They just took some blood from her foot. Her level was high so they sent her to have some blood drawn. She did great and didn’t even cry. We found out two days later that her lead level was normal. Her doctor said that it was likely her shoes. How scary is that? Ivy and Isabella did fine. Isabella got a referral to see an allergist again. She had a reaction to shrimp when she was three. She had a scratch test done and after having multiple positives they did blood work. It came back that Isabella had allergies to multiple different types of fish, shellfish, and shrimp. She also had a lot of food sensitivities to loads of things. She has outgrown the food sensitivities but we still carry an epi-pen for shrimp, fish, and shellfish. The allergist she saw when she was little said that she would likely grow out of at least some of her allergies with time. We are hoping for better results when they repeat her scratch test. Honestly, we’re afraid of traveling with her in areas where people eat a lot of seafood and we don’t speak the language. If she has grown out of her allergies it would make our plans to travel easier and less stressful.

I also found out about a local travel clinic from my girls’ doctor. I spoke with the doctor about what vaccinations were suggested for long-term travel to unknown locations. Also, I read a ton of websites and blogs. I’m working on getting a list together of all suggested and optional vaccinations.

Stay tuned! We have big plans for the remainder of 2018!

 

Family Friendly Berry Cocktail

Are you looking for a fun, family friendly mocktail/cocktail? This might be the one for you. This is the perfect drink when you want to make something for everybody.

  • Sprite
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Vodka, flavored or unflavored

Cut up the strawberries into bite sized pieces. Fill glasses 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up with a mix of the berries. Fill the glass with Sprite and serve with a straw and a fork for a non-alcoholic beverage that everyone can enjoy.

If you want to make an alcoholic version for adults, add the vodka before adding the Sprite.

This fun, easy drink was a hit at our house especially with our youngest, Octavia, who ate all her fruit and then ate her sister’s fruit when she sat her drink down for a minute.

Asian Place Chinese Restaurant – Fort Mitchell, KY

Shrimp Lo-Mein

During our staycation, we decided to make it more interesting by finding new places to visit and new restaurants to eat at. We looked around online and found Asian Place Chinese Restaurant. It had wonderful reviews and after eating there I completely understand why. It is off of a side street and if I didn’t know it was there I would have never seen it. It’s in a small strip mall. There is ample parking. The restaurant is cozy and very clean. We sat in a booth near a large fish tank and there was a highchair available for Octavia.

House Udon

The young lady who was working the front was very nice. We started with an order of crab rangoons. They were delicious. I chose the House Udon (pictured) and it was fabulous. Michael ordered the Orange Flavored Chicken with fried rice and an order of Vegetable Lo Mein. Both were amazing. Ivy got the Shrimp Lo Mein (pictured) and was raving about how great it was. Isabella ordered off the kid’s menu. She got chicken on a stick and rice. Octavia loves to eat whatever we are eating. We asked if she could have an extra plate so she could share all that food with her Dad. She was so excited to eat the oranges they garnished the plate of chicken with and a bunch of fried rice.

We took home a ton of leftovers to enjoy another day. It was a great meal. I would happily eat here again!

Price: House Udon $9.55, Shrimp lo mein $9.25, Orange flavored chicken with fried rice $11.25, Vegetable lo mein $8.95, Crab Rangoons $5.95, Kid’s meal unknown (The price wasn’t on the to-go menu and I can’t remember how much it was. An order of chicken on stick is $5.95.)

Happy Travels!