Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day Two - We head to the Zoo!

I have some very fond memories of going to the National Zoo when I visited Washington DC as a 14-year old kid in 1974.   Nixon  had made friends with China, who gave the United States two beautiful pandas - Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing.  Naturally, the pandas were the main attraction and the lines in to see them were very long.

My family was visiting my Uncle's family, who lived in Maryland.  The crew included my parents, my aunt and uncle, a total of 7 kids, and my grandmother who was in a wheelchair.   In my memory, there was a long ramp leading down to the panda exhibit.  The line seemed to be hours long.  Before we took even a few steps, a zoo official came to us and noted that it would be difficult to hold a wheelchair and inch slowly down the ramp.  He offered to take my grandmother, and our entire party (all 12 of us) to the front of the line.  We felt like royalty as we walked past all the other zoo patrons.

This time, I was all set to see the current pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian.

It was a hot day, as it had been back then, and many of the animals were in their dens trying to keep cool.  The pandas were in the exact same position as I remember them from 39 years ago......

We did see some other fun animals

Gorgeous Flamingos

Stunning Peacock

Hubby has a conversation with the Pelicans

We should have taken a video of this.   There was a random hat that had been left behind somewhere along the way, and the kids were stepping up close to the window and throwing the hat in the air.  The seal followed the hat, flipping around in the water and exhibiting all kinds of tricks.  It was very amusing for the children....and for us!  The seal seemed inexhaustible.  It seemed like he had been, and would continue to, amuse the kids and adults all day.

The weather in DC on the first three days was in the 80's and very muggy.  We enjoyed our day at the zoo, then went back to the hotel, had a shower and a nap, then ventured out to one of our favorite restaurants.....the Cheesecake Factory.

No comments: