So as part of the ongoing fun we are providing for our houseguest, we took a trip down to the National Zoo in Washington, DC. There our group (me, roommates, and their mom) met up with my mom and my brother, sister-in-law, two nephews, and niece for a group zoo day. Amazingly, this is the first time I have visited the Zoo and seen other animals besides the baby panda.
Yes! They have other animals! Who knew?
I think we saw pretty much the whole zoo, since the kids are really into it. We did not see the Bat House, which was closed. Apparently, it freaked my niece out the last time she saw it. She tried to tell me that the bats weren't real bats, and I told her I thought she was mistaken.
Crocodile or Alligator?
We also had the following conversation, which just proves what Starbucks fiends my brother and sister-in-law are:
Me: I don't like Starbucks.
Her (incredulous): You don't like Starbucks? Why?
Me: I don't like coffee.
Her: What about macchiata?
Macchiata? You're four!!
She also received a package of animal crackers that she then murmured, "My precious" over. This she picked up from Tolkien, via Peter Jackson and her older brother.
My family has started calling my older nephew "Aunt Vicki" for two reasons that were demonstrated on this trip:
- He was constantly far out in front of the rest of the group. I think he likes it when I am there, too, because then he can say he is with me, instead of having to go back and join the rest.
- When we entered the restaurant for dinner, he sighed and told my brother, "I should have brought my book."
This is indeed not only how I would have acted at 8, but how I continue to act now.
The kids were fascinated by the prairie dogs. It seems like they are continually digging new tunnels, and we watched one scoop up dirt with his paws, and then headbutt the ground to smooth down the entrance.
Seal or sea lion? No, I don't know my animals.
The tiger was pacing restlessly, and one guy I passed by speculated that he could smell all the tasty humans and was frustrated that he wasn't able to get to us."
But of course the star of the show was the Stick. Upon seeing him, the whole group agreed with my panda obsession. See, Buddy and Rob, if you visited the panda, you would be converts too!
My nephews were like, Why are you taking so many pictures of the panda? Yes, he's cute, but can we go now? So I only got to stay a little while. Fortunately, the Stick was performing for the crowd as usual, looking cute.
We met a lady there who had flown all the way from LA to be there for his birthday the next day. She was also planning a trip to the Wolong Panda Reserve in the spring. Mmm, mounds of chubby panda goodness! I want to go too.