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Our 2007 Road Trip, Part 3: Mandatory Zoo Visit

elephant!

A zoo where elephants enjoy their own version of Walden Pond? Sure, why not.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, marvels, history, and institutions we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2007 we changed up our strategy a bit and designed an itinerary for what would prove our most kid-friendly outing ever. Granted, my son was now twelve years old and less kid-like than he used to be, but the idea was sound in principle.

Thus in this year of our Lord did we declare: the Goldens are going to Florida!

Longtime readers have seen the title before. If you don’t know the drill, it’s not hard to figure out. We had time for just one stop on Day Two in Atlanta, which gave us a nice option for crossing “zoo” off the to-do list. It was certainly one of the most sylvan zoos we’ve ever visited, and we had the privilege of seeing one set of very special guest animals that were only in town from overseas for a limited time. It was incentive enough.

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Happy 2nd Earth Day Birthday, Giant Office Plant Monster

Earth Day Plant!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On Earth Day 2015 as a fun perk, my employer marked the occasion by giving out free tiny potted palms to every home office employee. They were three inches tall, probably the kind that professional greenhouses give out to kids visiting on field trips. Most of them were probably dead within a week.

Just for kicks, I decided to conduct an experiment by seeing what would happen if I actually tried to take care of it.

Two years later, what was once a cheap greenhouse keepsake is nearly ready to audition for Little Shop of Horrors. Lucky for me it’s not empowered enough to escape my workplace or hitch a ride. Yet.

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Our 2004 Road Trip, Part 5 of 10: Soaking in the Cave of the Winds

Bridal Veil Falls!

Come on, folks, single file up to the falls. There’ll be plenty of chances for everyone to feel the deluge!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Once upon a time in 2004, Anne and I got married and had a honeymoon! A week later, we (and my son) embarked on our fifth annual road trip: a drive northeast from Indianapolis up to see the watery wonders of Niagara Falls and its adjacent tourist traps.

On our November 2015 trip to Colorado Springs I spent a few hours at an attraction near Manitou Springs called the Cave of the Winds. It was a genuine cave in which I felt actual winds, but it wasn’t my first “Cave of the Winds”. At long last we backtrack to our first encounter with that label on the other side of America.

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More Than Flowers at the Indiana Flower & Patio Show 2017

giraffe and greens!

If this giraffe were real, these plants could kiss their leaves goodbye.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Twice per year my wife and I escort her grandmother to one of two special events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Each November we visit the Indiana Christmas Gift and Hobby Show. Each March the highlight of her month is the Indiana Flower & Patio Show, which features numerous displays of colorful flora, booths where gardeners and homeowners can peruse and pick out their new seeds, plants, implements, and accoutrements for tending and cultivating their yards in the forthcoming spring and summer.

This weekend was that time again! After our previous jaunts in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, once more we walked the springtime labyrinth at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the intrepid Mamaw, showing her the sights and navigating the nature-loving crowds.

…and every year we come home with at least two entries’ worth of photos — one starring the flowers and one featuring the other outdoor decorations and often irrelevant vendors whose wares are off-topic but allowed in the doors anyway. Sometimes we don’t mind so much, especially if their product is food.

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Flowers Are Pretty 5: The Final Blooming?

Red Yellow Purple!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Twice per year my wife and I escort her grandmother to one of two special events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Each November we visit the Indiana Christmas Gift and Hobby Show. Each March the highlight of her month is the Indiana Flower & Patio Show, which features numerous displays of colorful flora, booths where gardeners and homeowners can peruse and pick out their new seeds, plants, implements, and accoutrements for tending and cultivating their yards in the forthcoming spring and summer. Assorted horticulturists and lawn care companies show off bouquets, sample gardens, and ostentatious flowers you’ll wish you owned.

This weekend was that time again! After our previous jaunts in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, once more we walked the springtime labyrinth at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the intrepid Mamaw, showing her the sights and navigating the nature-loving crowds. Thankfully spraining my knee last Saturday didn’t interfere with my wheelchair chauffeur duties. Mamaw, on the other hand, expressed some concern about how many more times we’ll get to share this outing. She’s 91 years old, isn’t beautifying the plots outside her house as much as she used to, and is finding the sensory overload more exhausting than ever.

She was also disappointed that her brother — a mere eightysomething whippersnapper — has exited his role working security at the show after its ownership changed hands last year. Now that he’s no longer hooking her up with free passes, she’s disappointed that we have to (*gasp*) pay our own way into the show. We assured her this isn’t a problem for us. It’s not an upper-class political fundraiser. As long as she’s still interested in attending her annual Super Bowl, we’re happy to keep seeing her there.

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2016 NYC Trip Photos #5: Central Park Walkathon

Conservatory Water!

Conservatory Water may have the most boring name of any body of water on Earth, but it’s a pretty place for toy boat regattas.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…

On our 2011 vacation we saw maybe 5% of the total square footage of Central Park, if that. We saw a feature or two, but were so drained by the time we got there that the oppressive summer heat burned away the last of our energy reserves along with any drive for exploration. After we finished with St. Paul’s Chapel, we decided another, longer tour through Central Park was in order. It wasn’t our first choice, but it was an inevitable choice.

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