on the train
I remember it taking a while, but we made it. The escalator out was HUGE! This picture doesn't do it justice.
After we emerged from underground it was a bit of a walk to the zoo. We don't mind a walk-we are New Yorkers and used to walking 10-20 blocks without a problem, but for those who aren't used to it-it might feel a bit far. On the way is more beautiful architecture!
And we saw a few Cherry Blossoms!
There was a line to pose in the zoo sign. LOL
It was Easter and the zoo was MOBBED. I knew it would be, but wow. People everywhere. We stopped for a bathroom break first....20 minutes later we finally went to see some animals!
They had some fun interactive exhibits for the kids. Here is Henry and I pretending we are gazelles hunting prey.
We did this twice. Henry could have stayed here all day hunting prey! He thought it was so fun!
After we made our way around a few areas we headed for the pandas. The pandas are really popular being there are only like two zoos in the nation that have them! The line to even get into the panda building was a good 20 minutes, with a security guard keeping the crowd under control and only allowing so many in at a time.
Pretty serious for a zoo!
Eventually we were in. And there he was. Chillin'. Eating some bamboo.
We checked out a few of the exhibits. Henry, of course, found the panda poo one to be the most interesting.
His belly must have been getting full, he had to lay down! Anytime he made any sort of semi-large movement the entire crowd would gasp. You'd think we had never seen a real live panda before. Oh...wait...we hadn't! :)
Joe was likely DONE with the panda well before I was, but eventually I peeled myself away from this adorable creature.
Red Panda (Firefox)
I tried to read him the details on the little pull-outs, but he was only interested in actually pulling on them as hard as he could...!
In the bird house.
Henry took a special interest in this guy.
For my Disney friends: Mingos! No watah!
Suddenly, some sort of alarm went off and the flamingos went CRAZY! Flapping their wings, squawking and running around. I have no idea what it was all about.
After we finished with the birds Henry reported that he was ready to go back to the hotel. I was a little bit bummed because I would have liked to seen the monkeys, but didn't push it. We were tired and still sore from the adventure the previous day - so we told him we'd find some ice cream and go from there. He was all game for that! We headed back to the front of the zoo and as we got closer we heard a loud crackling noise...as we left the zoo and started to head across the street to the frozen yogurt place I looked to my left and saw that the woods, just outside the zoo were on fire!
There were already a few police on the scene and a crowd was quickly gathering. Within a few minutes the DCFD arrived.
A few minutes later, they had it under control.
It was neat for Henry to see the fire truck arrive, the guys jump off and grab the hoses and put out the fire.
After the excitement died down we scurried into the yogurt shop to make our creations. We have a similar yogurt shop by our house that we love - lots of flavors and lots of toppings!
Henry's - Vanilla yogurt, strawberries and some crushed up waffle cone!
We all very much enjoyed our desserts. We sat there for a while, Henry met the mascot of the store (if I remember correctly, it was a dolphin? Who knows-it was a character and Henry loves to meet and hug them!) and we discussed our plans. We wanted to meet up with another one of my Disney friends, Lisa, for dessert after dinner - but it was a bit early for that, plus we just gorged on ice cream! However, we wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory (we don't have them in NYC, and missed them!), and that was quite a haul on the train. Plus, we figured there would be a wait--so maybe by that time we'd start to get hungry. So we eventually peeled ourselves off the chairs at the froyo shop and started the trek back to the train.
Some entertainment by the train
We got to the Cheesecake Factory and....there was a 5 minute wait for a table...so much for THAT plan. Ha! But it worked out. By the time we did bathroom breaks and figuring out what we wanted to eat, we were starting to get hungry. The food, as always, was delicious. When we were wrapping up dinner we called Lisa and she met us at the restaurant jut in time to order dessert! Joe, Henry and I shared a Banana Creme Cheesecake slice--and it was amazing! Lisa and her daughter got a slice as well. The kids had a lot of fun being silly together and it was GREAT meeting them!
Lisa knew of a park nearby, so the kids could run off some of the sugar and the parents could maybe even get a conversation in...what a thought! :)
They were fast friends
The kids played and Lisa and I had a chance to chat....and what did we talk about? Disney of course! She is also a Travel Agent specializing in Disney Vacations (for a different company though), so it was great to compare experiences, and that sort of thing. It started to get cool, so we decided to call it a night and Lisa was gracious enough to offer to drive us back our hotel! Henry was ELATED to ride in a car!
Lisa and I and the kids!
An adorable bag of goodies Lisa brought me and Henry!
And that was our day! One more day in DC!