Sunday....our last day in DC, and possibly the hottest.
After an amazing dinner Saturday night at Ceiba (highly recommended) I decided to try and work off the 5,873 calories I consumed by spending a day at the zoo. I LOVE the National Zoo, and while I think it is eclipsed in size and animal variety by the fabulous Bronx Zoo, I try to never miss a chance to hit up the DC zoo. Love the setup, love the bird house (of course) and the zoo can be seen, if one sets a grueling pace, in a day. Off I went!
After lingering at Starbucks for a half hour (not realizing I could walk into the zoo before official "opening" duh) I began the trek to the animals. I went to "China" first, in hopes I'd catch a glimpse of the newborn Red Panda. Yeah right. That thing was not coming out in the heat. Actually, most of the animals looked like this Clouded Leopard:
Luckily I'm not one of those people who goes to the zoo looking for a performance from the animals...and given that the zoo was approximately the same temperature as the surface of the sun, I empathized with the sleeping animals. If I wore a fur coat 24/7, I would've been sleeping too. Of course I wanted to kick all the tourists who kept saying "Why are all the animals sleeping??" BECAUSE it's a MILLION BILLION DEGREES MORON!
Eh. But I digress.
So baby Red Panda (do we capitalize animal names like that? I don't know...) was nowhere to be found, but that's ok, there were plenty of other things to see. I was at the zoo right at opening, so it was fairly empty and glorious.
I decided to hit up the Bird House in hopes it would be deserted. It was....except for one family. The mom wandered around the bird house yelling "AM-burr, AM-burr, AM-burr, where you at? AM-burr? AM-BURR!!" I was losing my f*cking mind. She pauses in front of a hornbill, calling to its young in a nest:
"That bird's annoying!" she declares. "He's calling to his young" the zoo staffer said. Much like you, I thought. "Wee-eelll, it's annoyin'!" she insists. "YOU'RE ANNOYING!!!!" I say. I'd been at the zoo for no more than 15 minutes and my patience was gone and filter completely off. She continued calling for her spawn. I watched the hornbill 'til they had cleared the hell out of there. Ugh.
After that, I saw many other awesome birds:
Victoria Crowned Pigeon (and yes, the red eye freaked me out)
And then moved outside to see more:
Flamingo - they were nesting and hilarious
Some sort of threesome....I dunno lol
Baby Rhea - a-dor-a-ble I cannot even describe the level of cuteness
There were beautiful flowers outside the Bird House:
Then I checked out the rest of the zoo, small mammals, big cats, etc.
Very charismatic meerkat
I trudged to Amazonia to see if it was actually cooler inside the rain forest.
This bird kept an eye on me!
By the time I made it back from Amazonia, I was feeling a little bit like this:
So I trudged back to the Metro to hit up the FINAL museum of the trip, new museum #6, The National Geographic Society Museum, blessedly close to our hotel.
There's a cool shark out front:
and a number of fabulous things inside. First, I took a look at an exhibit on DaVinci (no photos at either exhibit, so sorry about the lack of photos here!). On display were his many inventions, rebuilt based on sketches. These were fascinating, though I was so tired that I skimmed through. There was also a detailed analysis of the Mona Lisa on display. You should definitely check it out on their website.
I spent a LOT of time in the second exhibit, Design for the Other 90%, especially since it touched on a subject that is of great personal interest to me, bringing appropriate technology to the developing world so people (especially women and children) have access to everything from as basic as clean, safe water to the internet. I believe *pause to step on my soapbox* that appropriate technology (check this out if you're going "technology? appropriate? wha?) is the absolute essential key to improving the lives of women everywhere. Its development and distribution in so-called "third world nations" is the key to shifting focus from sheer survival to education, sustainable housing, business and agriculture, and commerce. *steps down*
Obviously I loved every second of this display since I'm ranting here, and it was soooo reassuring to see that individuals and companies are heavily invested in their inventions. Check out the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's website (they're the group that arranged the exhibit) for more information and a look at everything that was featured in the exhibit.
So I did it. SIX museums in three days. I felt like a rockstar. I learned SOOO much. I saw such beauty. I was also very very confused at times (that melting crystal exhibit? really Renwick Gallery, really?!) but loved the exposure to fine art once again. My feet, however, were not feeling so rockin' I had mad blisters, though I have to say, my shoes were not exactly to blame, more like the *sweat* making me feet slide all around....normally I would not defend a shoe when I got blisters, but I invested in these privos at zappos.com, and let me tell you, worth every penny and then some. I was in these babies 12, sometimes 14 hours a day, and did not feel anything until day three, and like I said, it's only because I was so effing sweaty. I am totes buying another pair of these, they've all I've been wearing...but I digress....DC - DC was fantastic fun, and a great kickoff to my 101 things list. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go. The only drawback was the fact that Jam didn't have the chance to enjoy any of the sights. I'm psyched we're planning to go back. Next time around? Newseum, Spy Museum, and both the East and West wings of the National Gallery. Oh goody goody goody!!!