Staycation – Day 5..I think? Wait, what’s today?!?!? ;-)

Now that’s a breakfast sandwich, huh? Darling DJ made a bacon egg and cheese bagel for me this morning and it totally hit the spot! Our big plans today included an errand that we had to run first. My brakes were acting funny….and David had made an appointment with the wonderful folks at Gran Turismo East. David’s suspicions were confirmed, in that my rotors needed to be turned. So we hung around and munched on donuts (thank you Mr. Toyo rep!) and drank coffee and chatted with the employees and other fellow customers. Believe it or not, it was my first time at GTE, and I really liked it. They did good work (brakes work fine now!) and they have great people. I likee. Oh, and here was a really nice M5 that was there. Marc – I took this pic just for you! In fact, here is a close up of the monster front brakes of this machine. To me, it looks pretty!

After GTE, we headed to the Grant Park area for our next destination…the ZOO! Lions and tigers and (panda) bears – oh my! David had never been before and it had been many years since I had been there. We enjoyed it! We got to feed parakeets, that flew freely all around us in a special aviary pen. Here are two that we got close to below:
The Meerkats were super cute and fun to watch. I had never seen them in real life before (other than Meerkat Manor on TV!). We enjoyed their antics. 🙂 From here continued through the path and got to see more cool critters – gorillas and orangutans, giraffes and zebras too!
We came upon a really pretty bamboo forest. The bamboo trees were some of the biggest I had ever seen. It was gorgeous. It even rivaled the bamboo forest that we discovered at Barnsley Gardens. The bamboo was a Chinese variety. In fact a lot of the plants all over the zoo were well-labeled and

we enjoyed learning about many of them. Back to the critters tho…. Check out this Komodo Dragon! He was HUGE! He was walking all around his pen and he seemed to enjoy checking out the people that were, in turn, checking him out. I wonder what he was thinking as he stared at this tasty morsel of a kid waving his hands in front of him??? (Komodo Dragons are omnivores, btw). One of our next favorite spots was the Reptile House. Often times it was really difficult finding the reptiles. They usually blended well with their environments, so it was a lot of fun seeing who could find the critter first! David definitely won this game. I know the pic isn’t all that great, but check out this crazy looking frog. Yep, there is a frog in this pic to the right, but he looks exactly like the bark of the tree! (You may need to click on the picture to find him.)

Of course, no trip to the Zoo is complete unless you see the baby Panda. His name is Xi Lan and let me tell ya, he is a CUTIE. It’s almost as if he posed when I took this picture of him!

We also got to see one of the elephants as it ate one of its meals.
There were just a ton of neat animals to see and today’s weather was perfect for viewing them!
After the Zoo, we went to (oddly enough) Northern Tool and Equipment!

I have been to Harbor Freight Tools several times, but had never been to Northern Tool. There was some cool stuff in there…my favorites were the wind turbine, the solar panels, pellet stove and the rain barrels. David needed some heavy duty tie-down straps for trailering his car to Cartersville tomorrow, so that’s all we bought. Here is happy DJ in front of the store after his purchase. 🙂
I kinda bonked after this ’cause I didn’t really eat lunch. Gosh, I feel like I’ve been eating constantly for days. Wait, I HAVE been eating constantly for days! Anywho, we drove home and David fixed up my leftover Pad Thai from last night. I felt much better after that! It’s 8:30pm right now and David still hasn’t eaten dinner. He had to do some work on his car and then get it on the trailer (without power) so we can bring it to Cartersville tomorrow for tuning. It was a one-shot deal and I went out to try to help him, even though he stated he didn’t need help. He had the trailer backed into the driveway and the truck was on ramps to tilt the trailer at the proper angle for loading the car (we have a steep driveway). David pushed the car while in the driver seat and hit the trailer ramps perfectly, but when he stopped part of the way on, the truck got pushed off the ramps and moved forward about 3 to 4 feet. It went out into the street and looked like it was going to hit my neighbors mailbox! I freaked out inside! I ran down the driveway and jumped in the truck and stepped on the breaks with both feet and pulled up the emergency break even further – both with all my might. Now we have a problem though. The car is partly on the trailer and LEVEL. We no longer have gravity working for us (can’t start the car because it has to get tuned first). I got out of the truck and got in the Mustang and DJ pushed it the rest of the way onto the trailer at which point I hit the breaks. WHEW! That was crazy! The crazyness only just started for David though. He went to go fill up the Mustang with gas, but it began leaking like crazy out of the car! Ohhh nooo. Some kind of ring wasn’t seated properly. It was something that required four hands to install when Matt was helping with the supercharger the weekend before last. After several hours tonight, DJ amazingly meandered through his roll cage (a few times) and somehow got that darn ring to seat properly. He trailered the car back to the gas station, and this time, it filled up just fine – no leaks! Thank goodness, because if he didn’t fix it, he wouldn’t be able to get it tuned tomorrow…something that he’s been wanting to get done asap. He came in the house stinkin’ of gasoline and filthy dirty, but happy that he conquered the job. Oh. Did I happen to mention he messed up his back this morning when he was getting dressed? Yeahhhhhh. I wonder if he will be able to walk tomorrow! ????

If there was one shining light among this stressful experience, it was finding that my Apple Blossom Camellia was BLOOMING! I had never seen it bloom before! I bought it when I moved into my house 14 years ago, but it never seemed very happy. Last summer I removed the trellis that came with it, and I think THAT was the problem! Look how happy it is now! I’m so glad that little things like this make me feel so good. 🙂

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