the smithsonian national zoo...

saturdays are our thing. they have been since we moved here. they're our day of adventure, and we look forward to them each week- it's time we promised we'd set aside to go explore. we don't know how long we'll be here, so the way we see it, we have at least 50 opportunities to make the most of this area, and explore we shall! we usually take off after jude's nap (lunchtime), and party hard. we try and stick something fun on saturday morning like doing mounds of laundry, organizing, etc., and on this day- a girl date just elle and me. this particular morning was more of a fail on the execution front- elle begged to get our nails done, and siri led us in a giant circle to the nail salon which ended up being a mile away (we drove like 5 miles, which again, is like 25 minutes). once there, they were swamped, we'd already added money to the meter, blah, blah blah, so we eventually gave up and walked across to our favorite bagel place, only to see it fulllll of college kids. figures. 10:45 am. typical breakfast for these kids. (hashtag college down.) we waited until we could wait no longer- our 1 bagel and 1 muffin finally came 57 seconds after my phone timer told me our meter had expired (i hate being late), and we sprinted across the street 41.5 minutes after we'd parked, hungry and with dry cuticles, but relishing in the girl time and plentiful sunshine.
we grabbed the boys, and took off. this time, the kids were in the dark as to the plan. we made it to the metro- which we never take because it's awkwardly located and expensive. their joy was palpable.  "thub-wee! choo chooooo!!" screamed jude. elle's reply, "we're going to new york! you're the best mom ever!" i wish, kiddo, i wish. 
after making said metro exception, we quickly realized why we would rather drive and pay $22 for parking, than drag 2 kids through inconveniently the packed and awkward metro. we waited another 40 minutes in line for cards, only to find out we were in the wrong line. finally got our cards, caught our train(s), and another 40+ minutes later, exited at the proper stop and began our 15 minute walk to the zoo! 
 we were prepared: saturday afternoon. 80 degrees. april. free zoo. it spelled craziness, and delivered on every front!
 people evveerryyywheeerrre! the zoo was beautiful, and smelled very little (a rare but welcome surprise). i am impressed. the pandas though! oh, the pandas. why has no one told me how cute their little walk is? pandas. awesome.
^^ elle, a little south, me-lady. no pandas in the sky.
i am so impressed- i can't wait to go back, although maybe not on a saturday? it was one of the best zoos we have visited- tons to see (way more than what we visited). lots of animals, it was accessible, there were a million food options (although we brought our own little picnic), it was easy to navigate with our stroller, etc. the only thing i didn't love about the layout was the walk back was all uphill. i guess we didn't know walking (apparently) downhill as we walked in and around, but that walk back in the heat with 2 kids in our arms (stroller. useless by this point)? ... yah, we got our workout for the day:)
 ^^ jude was telling me why he was confident he was not going to ride the carousel. "eye-th cweem, pees. no wide."
 dippin dots sundae! works for me!
we stopped at 7-eleven across from the zoo to get slurpees before heading home- my gosh, that was an experience. dozens of people in line in front of me. dozens. it was sheer chaos! ok, and this is the thing about dc- no offense, but the people are overall, pretty inconsiderate. i've never been in another city like it- they're not cruel or anything, they're just not polite. ever. paris, new york- it's all a different vibe than here. here, they cut in line, don't say sorry, step on you, don't hold doors, or say "please" or "thank you." it's all very odd. anyway, as i was being trampled in 7-eleven (we all know i hold my ground when sugar is involved- BACK OFF, LADY!), i managed to escape with our $2 slurpee (in the only remaining super-size they had. tragic.), it made me realize how glad i am to be here. in this quirky, crazy place. and how much it feels like home.

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