diapers, budgets & paint

stay-at-home mommy by day
program manager by night
children's painter somewhere in between

new to the zoo

now that i've finished uploading a bunch of december pics, it's time to revisit emmy's first trip to the national zoo! we had been meaning to go for months now but we'd been a little skeptical as to whether it was worth the trek yet; juggling work/school/food/nap schedules can make any trip harder to plan, especially when you wonder how much your infant will actually see before catching some zzzzz's in your stroller. anyhoo, the recent mild temperatures finally cajoled us to head to the zoo and it was totally worth it - i recommend a quick stop here for all moms and dads, whether you're a local or just passing through.

[yes, if you're paying attention, you'd know that we live in reston, va. that's only about 20 miles from washington, d.c. and its cool touristy, sciencey, smithsonian-y stuff. sadly, do we ever bother to take advantage of it? since blair does the commute daily for school (and we both used to do it for work), it tends to become more of a chore than a treat. we need to work on that as emmy grows up; there's too much interesting stuff for her to enjoy... you know, before we finally move outta this area! sorry, i digress - point is, us suburbanites ought to stop taking this area for granted and see what it has to offer. you know, more than just those seedy clubs i've seen during all those bachelorette pah-tay nights out. heeheehee!]

anyway, blair and i had been eager to make it to the zoo ever since they opened the new asia trail; it's the wonderfully designed / renovated home to sloth bears, fishing cats, red pandas, a giant salamander, clouded leopards, small-clawed otters and, of course, three giant pandas. we started our trip with a lucky find: papa panda tian tian was comically scratching his tush against some trees, much to the great amusement of our fellow zoo goers. next door, goofy baby tai shan lumbered after mei xian, frequently rolling down a little hill to catch up to her and annoy the heck out of his poor (yet patient) mom. emmy was having a hard time viewing much from her stroller so i decided to carry her through the zoo instead - she seemed to perk up as soon as she could see over the crowds better (and my arms got quite the work-out). she was definitely interested to watch the older sloth bear pace across his rock while the cub got stuck in a tree ("bear! bear!"), and even seemed impressed to see the elephants in their home ("big!"). nevertheless, the best part of this trip were the two indoor facilities that we toured. not only did we warm up a bit, emmy could actually stand up against the glass display windows and see animals at her level. she was a hit in the ape house, where several apes and orangutans swung/walked over to sit/eat directly in front of her ("oooo ooo ooooh!"), and she ADORED the small mammal house and all of its petite occupants. the meerkat clan seemed to amuse her the most, so we'll definitely have to make a return trip in the spring when she can enjoy it more. we'll also have to see more of the zoo - we only made it through about half of the exhibits and i totally missed seeing the prairie dog enclosure - you can practically pet them!

of course, i'm pretty fortunate in the animal department - i happen to live with two of the cutest critters around:

don't be jealous - they really are that cute in person too.

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1 Responses to “new to the zoo”

  1. # Blogger Beloved

    SG and I visited D.C. the summer before last and when he found out that so many great places (like the Smithsonian) are free, he started scheming and planning to live in the area. He said it would be great for the kids (we don't even have any yet!). He still talks about it sometimes but the real estate prices have calmed him down a bit.

    We also loved Annandale, VA--have you been? Coming from Vermont (with zero Korean anything) we were just driving around with our jaws dropped marveling that there were actual store signs written in hangul. Yeah, we don't get out much and we really, really miss Korea!  

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