Monday, July 20, 2009

We’re Going to the Zoo

We’re Going to the Zoo/We’re Going to the Zoo to See (Insert Animal Here)

                          -The Zoo Song, Miss Hannah herself 

So one of these days I will get around to telling you all about my trip to California…video included, but there has been so much going on lately I must  share.

This summer we’ve been doing a lot of family activities. Last week we did the pool, Friday we had a picnic, and yesterday- per my request- we headed to the DC Zoo, about an hour away from our house. And this was no small feat, because when I say family there is typically around fifteen of us in total. So all mentally prepared we agreed to meet at 8:00 on Monday morning at McDonald’s.

The first car showed up at 8, the next at 8:15, the third at 8:35ish and the last about 8:40. To say that our family’s big on promptness is the understatement of the century! So by the time everyone was fed, bathroom-breaked, and had situated the seating arrangement so we only needed three cars to make the trip, it was after nine.

I rode with my aunts Sherry and Tara and Tara’s two youngest, Eli and Cate…the birthday girl! Pink “Birthday Girl” ribbon pinned on her yellow shirt, Cate was unsure of turning another year older; she insisted she was still three and wouldn’t budge her pinky up when someone asked her age. But down the rode we went, Cate insisting on listening to that “boom boom boom song” over and over again.


We made good time and once we found our spots in the parking garage we started the second part of our journey the Metro. For most it wasn’t our first trip on the underground train, but with a stroller and a wheelchair and a ticket mishap it proved to be less then easy…starting to see a pattern with my family?


With a transfer to the red line, we finally arrived at the Woodley Park/Zoo stop. I was pretty familiar with the place, having been there in the fall, and took the lead as we rode the MASSIVE escalator. When I say massive, I mean massive. It is extremely steep. After a trek up the steep hill we finally found our way to the zoo’s entrance. It was GO time and it was noon.

Yes, it took our family, count it, four hours from our initial meeting time to end up only seventy miles away from home. And while it might be DC you say, it wasn’t entirely the city’s fault.


But we did it; we covered every single inch of the zoo. We saw every animal/animal house there was. I got to see the pandas, Cate got to see the elephants, Eli and Aunt Sherry got to see the zebras, and Aunt Holly got to see the octopus fed. By the time we had lunch at the Mane Restaurant we were starving!  DSC_0039  DSC_0048DSC_0146DSC_0255DSC_0268DSC_0274  

Rehydrated and peppy we headed back out to continue our journey until nearly six o’clock when we grabbed ice-cream and decided it was probably time to call it a day.

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but the zoo is definitely NOT family friendly; it is built completely on a hill. By the time we finished (at the end of the hill) we had to walk ALL the way back up the hill. Let’s just say our faces were all red by the end. 

Cate and Eli were asleep by the time we got back to the Metro to face all those government employees heading home. It wasn’t too much of a horror (who am I trying to kid- we had stroller and wheelchair and there was barely enough room for those of us walking). We kept a good humor about us and laughed the entire way, probably much to the displeasure of those around us.

Everyone was dragging by the time we got to the car, found a bathroom, and grabbed snacks. It was after all 8 o’clock; a full 12 hour day.

If you remember I rode with Cate and Eli in the way down and while Cate was awake again and happy as clam, retelling over and over again the story of how monkeys eat (disgusting!), her brother was not happy at all. For a three month old a twelve hour day is extremely tiring even with naps, bottles, and attention. But by the time we got into the car he wanted no part of it. DSC_0200

He screamed, I fed him, he screamed I played with him, he screamed, I talked to him, he screamed I tried to pacify him. It was a never-ending cycle. Finally, with much apprehension Tara had me hold him on my lap and try to get him to burp. After a few pats he calmed down, giggling and smiling and I strapped him back in. Not a minute later he was screaming again. As soon as I picked him up and started patting him he spit up on my shoulder and settled right back down. Worried he would begin screaming again, I laid him on my lap and let him stretch out-his favorite thing to do. And he laughed and talked to Cate and looked around. But as soon as his head hit the car seat he was a mess. Aunt Sherry eventually found an exit and his mom was able to get him to sleep for the remaining fifteen minutes of our journey home (13 hours from the start of the adventure.)

While our day was certainly not easy it was definitely a memorable one. We laugh constantly…especially at my cousin Logan and have a really good time together. How can you not have a good day, when you can be completely yourself,while with your crazy, monkey family??


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