teton trek opens at the memphis zoo

IMG_2803We went to the Teton Trek at the Zoo this past weekend and it was great! The walkway leading to the Teton Trek was large and well marked. I think it used to be the route the Tram took around.

The lodge was a monstrosity and smelled brand new (as it should). The cavernous inside had several informative movies running.
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There is a geyser modeled after “Old Faithful” in Yellowstone National Park that erupts frequently. While the Memphis Zoo’s version of Old Faithful is impressive, it’s just 1/5th of the size. This is going to make a great place for kids to play during the summer months in their swimming suits. There were already a couple of children who were taking advantage despite the cooler weather. I feel sorry for the inevitable child who happens to be over the middle of the jet of water when it launches upward.

During the time we were there (maybe 30 minutes), the geyser erupted twice.

IMG_2815In this exhibit the bears have the option to catch their own food in the stream. Spectators can see the many attempts of the bears through the plate glass window on the far side of this photo and from above on a bridge on the opposite side. I think this idea is fantastic so that the bears can keep/develop some of their skills while still being in captivity. I could see the large fish zipping past the younger bears in the clear water.
IMG_2804Pictured are the three bears who are already out of quarantine, two males and one female. There are an additional two young bears in quarantine.

As you keep walking around the loop clockwise, you cross over a beautiful waterfall on the way to the timber wolves’ area, which is separated from the bears by what appear to be tall, thick, steel poles. The wolves were somewhat playful and one of them was chewing up the fresh sod. They were pacing a lot perhaps because they were adjusting to their new environment.
IMG_2816On the other side of the walkway from the wolves’ area (east) is where the elk will be. They were not out while we were there. I’m not sure if they’re still in quarantine or if they just weren’t out at that time. Teton Trek is a wonderfully accurate addition to the Memphis Zoo. I can’t wait to go back when it’s a little more settled and the elk are out. Our son is going to have a blast there in the summer in his swim trunks!

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cooper young night out

IMG_2674Cooper Young Night Out was last Tuesday night despite all the rain. Brett and Sharon Ammons were hosting again this year for our block. Again the Cooper Young Night Out was sponsored by Target. The reason it was so late this year is because last year the weather was so hot that they decided to move it to a cooler date. It was much cooler this year and rainy and wet, but that didn’t stop us from having fun! Diana, Elek, and I showed up a little early to help with the preparations. The picture above is of the Huseriks’ arrival.

IMG_2677Brett fired up the grill and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs while we talked about the neighborhood and last year’s party. Everyone entered for a chance to win a new bicycle from Target. I think our odds were better this year than last since not as many people came probably due to the gloomy weather. Target also left us with some early Halloween candy, beach balls, and reusable Target shopping bags. As usual the boys played together in the ball pit, tent, and with all the other toys with minimal involvement from the adults.

IMG_2678I am hoping that next year the weather will be a bit more cooperative. This year everyone is really sick of the month long monsoon. Our family is also trying to become more involved so we can participate in more family oriented and neighborhood oriented events. Ever since Elek was born (3 years ago!), it has been one continuous metamorphosis from one lifestyle to another. Because of get togethers like these, Cooper Young is a wonderful neighborhood to live in especially if you have children.

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elek’s 3rd birthday party

IMG_2570This past week we had a few celebrations for our son Elek who just turned three years old. We sent miniature cupcakes to his class on the day of his birthday and made Mexican layer dish for dinner since he loves chips so much. That night he got to open a couple of presents including a soccer ball and a couple of books from Mama and Daddy as well as several puzzles from Diana’s sister Kristen. The next day, Elek got a bright red retro Radio Flyer tricycle from Gran. Grandaddy also made a visit from Beaufort, SC. He brought Elek a small fishing rod.
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Thursday began his party preparations for Saturday. Nana gave Elek a ball pit (pictured to the above) that was a hit at the party. We bought ingredients to make our own pizzas. It was a great success. We used premade crusts, mozzarella, peperoni, sausage, and pasta sauce. They were quite tasty and there are enough leftovers to feed an army. There were cupcakes and single serving ice cream that the kids just loved. Annabeth was nice enough to come over and play a few songs for the children. There are some videos of that on the previous post. Elek also received a brown horse stick toy that he can ride around from Gran. Elek loves galloping sideways. Mama and Daddy gave him a small piano like in Peanuts and a whiffle bat and ball.
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The next night we went over to Nana’s house to celebrate with their family. I think at this point Elek was sort of worn out, which is a good sign that he had a great birthday. Dave gave him a soft rocket launcher that shoots the rocket when you jump on an air pouch. Elek quite enjoyed this toy, though at the party he seemed a bit overwhelmed by how many people were there. He was also a little sick or maybe it was due to allergies just like his Daddy. It seemed like Elek really had a great time for his birthday this year. We hope in the future we can think of constructive things for his birthday that he will enjoy.

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remove me from memphis city updates

myronSo somehow, and I don’t remember how, my secondary email address got on some distribution list for the city of Memphis’ pro tem mayor Myron Lowery. He is sharing so much information about what is going on and what he’s doing for Memphis. It appears he’s going strong to try to win over some votes. At any rate I thought the picture was amusing. I had forgotten that I registered the email address under my alias Pedro Gonzales.

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central bbq – best barbecue nachos in memphis

centralbbqnachosMy dad drove up from South Carolina Friday night to visit for my son, Elek’s birthday. He bought Central BBQ nachos, chicken, and ribs. While I think Central BBQ has the best ribs in the city hands down, their barbecue nachos were outstanding! I can’t tell if the picture looks good or not, but let me tell you, it sure tasted great. We munched on the nachos as an appetizer, then we started in on the ribs and chicken. I prefer wet ribs rather than dry ribs because I think I’m addicted to barbecue sauce.

DinnerwithfamilyMy grandmother, Mema, was able to make it too. I would love to learn how to cook ribs like Central BBQ does. I have a lot of the equipment now and just need to set aside four hours to cook some ribs. Every time I think of barbecue I think of Central BBQ. Another place never crosses my mind because if I’m going to eat barbecue, then I’m going to eat great barbecue. I hope you try them out.

Central BBQ
2249 Central Ave
Memphis, TN 38104-5507
(901) 272-9377

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snow patrol concert in nashville, tn

IMG_2429This past weekend, Oct. 2-4, Diana and I went to Nashville to see Snow Patrol. We left about 3:30 PM Friday and made it with time to spare to their 8PM show. Elek stayed with my mom (Gran) over the weekend and we prepared him for it by telling him a day or two in advance. To the left is a picture of the Tennessee River which is where traffic slowed down to almost a halt. We could not have picked a more scenic place for the traffic slowdown. It was beautiful!

IMG_2441We arrived in Nashville at 6:30 PM. We went directly to Jimmy John’s across from Vanderbilt to pick up our dinner. Our next stop was the infamous Frugal MacDoogal where they had Sailor Jerry (the best rum ever) on sale for $19.99 a handle. We obviously got two. At this point both of us are ravenous! We finally get checked into the hotel around 7:20 PM and made drinks/ ate our Jimmy John’s sandwiches. The Italian sandwich that I got reminded me of college.

IMG_2452We were ready to go to the concert at 9:45 PM. We stayed at the Millennium Maxwell House that we booked through Hotwire for about $59/night. I found this article on Lifehacker that shows you how to pretty accurately guess which hotel you will get on Hotwire using Trip Advisor, which was really helpful. That night we took the free shuttle down to 5th and Broadway where the Ryan Auditorium is. The Ryman is an intimate venue that is about 1/3rd or 1/4th the size of the Orpheum in Memphis.

IMG_2461We arrived at the Ryman right after the Plain White T’s finished, which was perfect. We were seated at the front right of the stage with a great view as you can see from the pictures. Snow Patrol was amazing. It was the best concert I’ve ever been to. The lead singer, Gary Lightbody, was more enthusiastic, humble, and funny than any other musician I’ve ever seen. He’s the type of person you would want to hang out with because you know you would have a good time.

IMG_2465Snow Patrol played from 9:25 to 10:50 PM, which was the perfect length. They came out for one encore where they played some stuff off of their new album. It sounded pretty good and I need to obtain their new album. Their use of piano and large four mallets was wonderful! They were equipped with two drummers, a pianist, the lead singer, lead guitarist, bassist, and an acoustic guitarist. During the show, the guy next to me who was very friendly (and intoxicated) gave me a hard time about not singing loud enough. IMG_2476He then befriended me and bought me a beer that I didn’t necessarily want (fat tire). I drank it anyway and it was great. He also returned my jacket that I tried to leave behind.

After the concert was over, we walked out onto Broadway and toward Decades where we met Dave and Ashley. Ashley has since moved in to Buckwild, which we did not make it to this trip. We went into the first floor of Decades with a $5 cover. I suppose this floor opens a little later than the upper floor. IMG_2480Last time we went to Nashville we were the FIRST people in the second floor of Decades and we were the ONLY ones there for quite a while. We played quarters for about 2 hours with Dave and Ashley. Good times. We had a good time at Decades and left a couple hours later to go home. We passed the trailer park bar, but decided against it and headed back to the hotel. The picture on the left is what the view looked like the next morning. B-E-A-UTIFUL! IMG_2491So beautiful in fact that we decided to eat breakfast/lunch at Noshville’s and head to Percy Warner Park. We were able to finagle some fries out of the cooks at Noshville’s with the help of our awesome 43 year old waitress Alisha. She is from Memphis and related to the Grisanti’s.

We drove through Belle Meade to get to Percy Warner Park. That street has the largest and nicest houses I’ve seen in Tennessee! IMG_2496Once we got there, we climbed the large staircase to the top where a wooded trail began. We started walking along it and came to a point where we asked a fellow hiker where it went. He said it was your standard 2.5 mile trail so we turned around and went the other direction toward the top of the hill/mountain. Once we were satisfied with walking along the trail, we decided to drive on the road that went around the mountain. It took us 30 minutes to get all the way around the trail, but it was so pretty! IMG_2499After we were done with the park, Chris came over around 5 PM to have a drink with us in our hotel. Somehow the topic of save a horse, ride a cowboy came up and I randomly blurted out “save a whale, ride a cheerleader”. Beats me. Afterward, we talked about where to eat and decided on the Rosepepper Mexican restaurant in East Nashville. Diana called her friend Cortney who met us there after we ordered. The food was great and you could tell it was at least somewhat authentic because there were a couple of Mexican guys knocking back some tequila at the table next to us. The portions were ample and the food was quite good. IMG_2504They brought out three different types of dip with our chips, regular, hot, and salsa verde. The dips were all very tasty though my favorite was the spicy.

After the Mexican food, we rode to Five Points in East Nashville and had a drink at one of their bars. Chris bought Diana and me a Bushwaker that was way too filling after Mexican. At that point, unfortunately, Diana and I had to call it a night. We went back to the hotel in utter pain and went to bed. The next morning ended our stay in Nashville. We headed back to Memphis at about 9 AM. Talk about a great birthday weekend! And remember, “Save a whale, ride a cheerleader.”

Also, below are two short clips that give you a feel of the Snow Patrol show. Enjoy.

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