Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Adventures: Smithsonian National Zoological Park

The zoo. A classic amongst kids and adults alike. Since Mason turned a year old it has turned into a yearly venture for us. The thing about the zoo, yes, the animals are same but you never get the same experience each visit.

Last year we saw panda cub Tai Shan (though not really a cub anymore) before he was sent back to China. This year, we met the baby Gorilla, Kibibi.
She was a hit. Playing it up for all the visitors plastered to the windows of the Great Ape House. While daddy sat watch.
The Orangutan under the blanket was funny and Sophie kept trying to pull herself out of the stroller just to see.
They don't allow strollers into the reptile house so we moved on to the Small Mammal house.
The highlight of the trip and by far the most entertaining (to the kids) were the meerkats.
Running around. Jumping. Scratching at the glass. Running again. They were high on sugar or something. (Though, yes, I did read the article about how sugar does not make kids hyper). Here is a video of the neurotic behavior.

At this point it was about noon and we were all getting hungry. So off to the Panda cafe for lunch. The food left something to desire. Let's just say McDonald's fries they are not. But the kids meals did come with a animal lunch tote.
We must have been a funny site sitting there eating our meals, some kids still in strollers, others on the bench table with us holding our big ass umbrellas while it briefly started to pour down rain. But hey, at least we weren't the losers getting all wet.

Next we saw the Pandas.
It must have been a lazy day because not many animals were out, and the ones that were, were not very active.
Though it seems that something funny happens each time we go. Last year it was the Orangutans that threw up whatever it was that they were eating right there up by the glass window and then proceeded to eat their vomit. All while James, Mason and the other kids watched with amazement and every parent within viewing distance gasped in horror, quickly turning our kids away from the mess. This year it was the Elephants
who peed right in front of us. We weren't sure what it was at first. Thinking it was his trunk he was squirting water out of. And once we realized...oh, the hilarity of conversation that errupted between us.
The, "I should have gotten that on video," and "OMG is that his...? Where's my camera?" "Did you see that?" And just as we were mid cracking up, the female peed too. And it started all over again. Mason thought it was funny too, trying to see. Sophie and the other kids just looked at the animals and us with quizzical looks on their faces. Oh in due time. YOU, too, will get the joke.
It was time to leave however, when the male elephant ate the pee off the ground and started flinging it. Our knowledge of these large mammals falling into the TMI category.

A few more animals to try and see, the sea lion/seal habitat was closed due to remodeling. The Zebras, Tigers, Lions, Praerie dogs, etc. I put Sophie in my brand new Ergo carrier (trying it out for our trip to the beach) since the rain stopped. It made the stroller sooooo much lighter to push up those hills.
She eventually fell asleep. I guess it's comfortable enough for her.

Finally it was time to call it quits. The kids getting tired, restless and wanting to avoid traffic. But not before getting some ice cream on our way out. Mason was introduced to dippin dots. Once again these two got along incredibly well. Isn't that just too cute? Last year they were reaching out to each other from their strollers, causing my friend Dani and I to collide every so often, making animal noises and laughing at each other.

I'm really going to miss this when they move at the end of the summer. :( So sad.

Overall, it was a really great day and look forward to all the events we have planned for the rest of the summer.
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  1. I have finally had a moment to read through your blog and saw this posting...I'm going to miss you guys so much too. I'm sad knowing that Mason and James have formed a relationship and now they're going to be seperated. I just know that they would make the best of friends in years to come...Hopefully they still will. We can still plan annual trips, whether it's to the beach or other places. Maybe we could do some cruises or something later on. Well, I want you to know that I have really enjoyed becoming friends with you and I'm going to miss you dearly. Thanks for always making me laugh!

  2. Oh Dani, you totally made me cry with that comment. It makes knowing and then seeing you all leave that much harder because we have become good friends. We will have to keep in touch. Skype, update blogs, etc. Love you girl!