Friday, November 21, 2008

The Wild Ticket

It’s lunch time. A giant salad with lots of colors and my new favorite treat (introduced to me by Sherpa Thomas)…

Raw brownies

Not kidding. These things are actually good. Here’s the recipe:

1 c medjool dates
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 TBSP coconut oil
Vanilla extract
1/2 c dried cranberries or chopped cherries

Food process the first four ingredients, add the cranberries and spread into a pan. There you go – healthy and raw brownies! Sure, it doesn’t replace the ooey gooey warmth of baked brownies fresh out of the oven but these are a pretty good substitute.

It’s been a fun day. It started with an early trip to Tempe Town Lake for the “Gatorade” swim. Hell no I didn’t swim! But Chris did. I “spectated” and watched the Ironman madness go by. It was quite windy this morning which made for very choppy water. The lake is very shallow to begin with so add some gusty winds and you get lots of chop. And the water is cold.

Anyways, watching the madness I will admit I had not one iota of Ironman regret. In fact, I was relieved because it just seemed cold, windy and…conditions making for a long day. And if I see one more athlete running or swimming in compression socks I will scream.

Afterwards we had some tasty coffee at the Coffee Plantation. I suggested a trip to the zoo for the afternoon. I believe in life when you start acting your age, you start looking your age. Allow yourself opportunities to play like a child to keep your mind young and your outlook fresh. And that is why I insisted we buy not just an entry ticket to the zoo but a Wild Ticket.


I am convinced that wearing a Wild Ticket bracelet is 100 times cooler than wearing an Ironman bracelet. I believe it was on the carousel that Chris said, “this is so much better than Iroman, isn’t it?”

I KNOW!

The zoo was awesome. First up we visited the sting rays. We actually got to touch and feed them! I’ve never done that before. Check it out. Some of them were huge!Then we saw the giraffes, wildebeests, baboons, tigers, meerkats.


And then...THE CAMEL RIDE!


Very exciting! I’m on top of a camel! It felt very high and sitting on the hump was not comfortable but it was a good ride.

We visited Monkey Village. There were a bunch of squirrel monkeys that were up close to us. Squirrel monkeys are fast moving and vocalize often. The zookeepers use squirt bottles to keep the monkeys away from the people (or really the people away from the monkeys). Chris said he was going to start using a squirt bottle at home to keep me quiet!


We went to the petting zoo next. It was actually a goat grooming pen. I groomed this goat. And apparently did not read the sign that said to leave the goat alone if they’re trying to get away from you because the goat kept walking and I kept following.


Then I completed the ritualistic grooming of the Sherpa.


The last exciting thing was the carousel ride. I got scolded by the attendant for entering the gate without her permission (my bad) and then chose the big bunny to ride.


Thomas took a ride on the cheetah. He tried to buckle himself in with the safety belt but it wouldn’t fit. I tried too and my belt wouldn’t fit and we decided it’s because it is the off season after all. Thomas tried to act like he was too cool for the cheetah but look at his face - that is the face of a grown man enjoying himself on a child's ride.


Chris chose…the hummingbird. Of all the masculine animals available – alligators, bears, lions, my husband chooses a tiny bird. I call this big man on tiny bird.


Regardless he loved the freakin’ ride. And then about 2 minutes into it told me he was getting motion sick.

No trip to the zoo is complete without a visit to the gift shop and a ceremonial tantrum. No one did tantrum but I really wanted to buy a stuffed monkey so does that count? And as we exited - a lesson learned for life. If you have to choose between general entry or wild ticket, it's worth the extra money. Get the wild ticket!

Now it’s time for a raw brownie and then later we will go out for dinner with friends. Tomorrow we are going to head up to a very large hole in the ground - the majestic Grand Canyon. I've never been there and I can't wait.
A little more sun, a lot less training...I could get used to this.

11 comments:

Andrea said...

How cute are you? All of you!!

Have fun!!!

Kim said...

Ok.. not sure about the raw brownie, but I'm going to mull it around and put it in the file called "if I ate healthier, here is a good receipe!" Thanks for sharing.. keep it coming just in case I ever need that file. So glad you guys are having fun in the sunny weather. It is snowing like a *%^&*#@ here and should be interesting for running tomorrow! I love "Big man on a tiny bird" HA! I am a huge Chris Farley fan!! Have so much fun!!

Dana Chance said...

I love it! And make sure you don't take those wild ticket wrist bands off all weekend!

Beth said...

I've been anxiously awaiting these pictures all day and they did not disappoint!! :) Glad you guys are having so much fun. IM would have totally ruined the trip. :) Regardless, have fun at the Grand Canyon - it's absolutely breath-taking!

Eileen Swanson said...

Fun times ;-) So glad we could give each other great advice this week ;-)

rr said...

YEA! Your fans love the sherpathomas photos :)

Sounds like a much better trip than any of that IM crapola. I can't believe you rode a camel.

Anonymous said...

Loved the pictures. Were you in the children's zoo? That camel did not look as big as I thought it would.
Mom

TRI-ROB said...

Holy CRAP! I love that Chris guy. The fact that he chose the hummingbird, put on a "gun show" while sitting upon said hummingbird, and THEN got motion sickness. Yeah. He's eternally endeared to me. Of course... all of this is said in a VERY macho, chest-puffing sort of way.

Breathe...

chrissy parks said...

have fun at the canyon... it's absolutely breathtaking.
i recommend the S. Kaibob trail... You could walk to the Colorodo river and back (14 miles round trip). just bring lots of water.

Marni said...

those brownies look great! And the zoo...what a great post! Looks like a great day.
-marn

TriGirl Kate O said...

Your hair looks great, liz. I don't think I've seen a picture of you without a hat or helmet on...

Love the camel picture.