Home Again

November 18, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Posted in Travel | 1 Comment
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We slept in on Monday and then headed to the National Zoo. I think it’s one of only a few Smithsonians that I hadn’t been to, and Jason hadn’t been there either. So we decided to go. JT was especially excited to see the Kimodo Dragons.

We took the metro to the zoo. The DC metro is amazingly clean, and it was quick and easy to figure out where we were going and how much the fare would be. I suspect this is only one of about a million reasons I think I could live there. I love the hustle and bustle of the city, the history, the free museums, the adorable brick row homes. Not to mention the variety of cuisine and the multitude of things going on.

Anyways, the zoo. It was a cold (by DC standards), but reasonably sunny day, and most of the animals were out. We saw the Pandas and read all about how they were unable to conceive naturally, but scientists were able to help them out. There were all sorts of graphs and whatnot, and being sciencey-types, JT and I *heart* that sort of thing.

The panda!


We saw the rest of the big animals – the cats, the hippo, the monkeys and oragutans – and even a bunch of the smaller guys thanks to Jason’s insistence that we visit the small mammal house. I am not a fan of small mammals. Except those little golden monkeys – they’re pretty cute. Of course, we had to visit the reptile house so that Jason could impress me with his knowledge of reptiles and amphibians. And that he did. Only, by this point in our relationship, we’ve been to lots of zoos and I’ve heard most of it. So I was only minimally impressed.

JT poses with some big cats.

We went inside one building and were surprised to see this sign:


The entire building was an exhibit on “animal thinking” – there were brains from different animals, signs that asked, “what is thinking? how do you measure thinking?”, and a video about chimps choosing between one grape or two grapes.  It was interesting to see how the concept of “thinking” was presented to the lay public – this is something that I’ve not seen a zoo exhibit on before.  And now, a survey question: can (nonhuman) animals think?  How do we know?  What is thinking anyways?  Kind of makes your head hurt just to think about it, doesn’t it?

After a few hours, it got cold and a little rainy, and we decided to leave. But! We hadn’t seen the Kimodo Dragons. So we asked a zookeeper where we could find them and he told us… only, when we got there, they were not on exhibit. Jason was even more disappointed than he was on Sunday when he couldn’t find popcorn! This was the 4th zoo we had visited that had Kimodo Dragons (Louisville, Honolulu, Cincinnati, and National Zoo), and 3 of those zoos (Honolulu, Cincinnati, and National Zoo) didn’t have the dragons out when we visited. Jason was bummed.

The rest of the evening was spent walking around in search of something to eat, then heading to the airport.  We again experienced the wonderfulness that is warm chocolate chip cookies on our flight home, I managed to get my ipod back during our layover in Milwaukee, and we made it back to our house sometime after midnight.  All in all, an excellent trip, a good mix of business and fun.  But I’m pretty happy to be back home.

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  1. Jason didn’t remember being there -oh say 29 years ago? He was just a wee babe when we used to go there.


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