Up today – Dawson walked Summer and then started his jump roping exercises in the front of the RV. The kids did some morning school work online, we cleaned up, rode around the camp site/park and then made lunches to pack up for our day. We headed out – today’s DC destination is the National Zoo. The Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institutes and is free to the public.
The weather was nice as we started into the zoo. We parked in lot D at the bottom of the hill. This served us well when we left and our walk out was all down hill. Strategic move for the end of the day, that wasn’t planned – just lucky. We saw so many amazing animals and took in many of the educational things in the exhibits. The kids loved the Reptile House. There was a super amazing volunteer, named Ken (I think) that enjoyed Q's deep knowledge of reptiles - so he enjoyed showing the kids several animals and telling Q some more indepth information about each animal. I personally enjoyed the “think tank” and all the information shared in that exhibit as well as the Orangutans that were there on Friday – 3 of them. They get to chose to come over every day around 11 am....they come over on a cable system build in the air about 3 stores up and you can watch from the ground. Pretty amazing.
We met a lovely couple, Shane and Willard as we kept crossing paths with them through several exhibits. While in the gorilla house we ended up sitting next to them to watch the gorillas. We were all laughing at some of the gorilla antics. Shane started asking us a few questions and she was super nice. They loved our story that the kids shared and were very excited to have met us. They loved what we were doing and the hands on learning and the expereinces would be so amazing for the kids. They were amazing people and so very kind. We shared a photo opportunity so that we could remember our friends made at the Zoo. Thanks Shane and Willard for being a part of our journey and story even if just briefly. If you read this reach out- I would love to keep in touch.
Dawson met up with us that afternoon after returning his rental car he took the subway and found us at the zoo. We met him at the Sea Lion habitat and we had a great time watching 3 sea lions mess with each other – I think their names were Mena, Franki and Quinten. LOL. But they were super fun to watch and there were multiple locations around their tank to see them both in and out of the water. Mena had a special bond with one and it continued to get her attention - no matter where she went in the exhibit. So cool!
While many of the indoor exhibits started to close around 4:30 the zoo was open until 6. At 5:30 we began our journey back to the car. We were up at the top of the hill at the Asian Trail. But many animals were no longer outside and the baby panda that was born here this summer is still inside with it’s mother and the others helping to take care of him. You can view them and many other animals online at the Smithsonian National Zoo website. Check it out: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/. Mrs Bain - Mena's class might enjoy this.
We were able to take in the lions again before leaving- they were our first stop when we got to the zoo and now our last. We had some whiney girls on our hands – Franki’s feet hurt and Mena was mad that I would not buy her any dippin dots. Q didn't really want to leave as he said it was the best day ever for him. He loves animals. The girls continued to whine so we headed out- they whined all the way back to the car, with Q and D making it worse! Once we got to the car – we enjoyed a scenic route through DC and all the folks out on a lovely Friday evening. It took us about an hour to get back to the RV with traffic. We did stop at a shopping area and picked up some groceries, slippers for D and some beer to head back to the RV for the night. The kids were really excited to get home to play with Kaia and Charlie the rest of the evening.
Once back, we learned more about the horrible tragedy taking place in Paris. Dawson had shared a little with me at the Zoo but we wanted to really have our facts and not share too much with the kids until we knew more. Our hearts break as another attack on innocent people takes place. Unreal and crazy and sad. Breaks my heart.
Dawson and I got everything put away from dinner and then headed out to walk and run Summer. Dawson had not seen the off leash area for dogs – so we walked over there behind the pond and played with Summer for a while. As we walked back we checked on the kids playing with there friends that had gone home but came back this evening. We ended up at the the Kaleen’s Airstream and what was left of their campfire. It was nice to met Tara Karleen and Ginger their 13 year old lab. They invited us to hang out so we sat and talked at their spot. It got to be a rather chillly night as the wind picked up and the sun was down. Cold but enjoying our visit with them, Dawson invited them up to our RV. At first, just us adults went up as the kids were in their airstream and at the playground -about an hour later – here came all 5 kids to hang out with us. The boys played mind craft the girls watched a movie and the adults enjoyed each other’s company. It was a fun evening - We learned more about them and enjoyed having new friends.
It was fun to host our first visitors on the road – in our RV. We were enjoying and at some point someone said it was 12:30. We were all surprised at how fast the time passed. We had some tired kiddos and bedtime was well overdue. They packed up and said good-night and headed out with their 2 tired kids. Night night to all. Here’s to a great evening of family fun – RV style.
Tomorrow we will finish Papa JR’s package for his birthday and get it shipped out to him soon! It will be the first family event at home that we will not be there for. Ugh!!! That will be hard.
Reflecting back on our Friday the 13th - it was one of our better days. Franki was mad earlier in day but it wore off as the day at the zoo went on. Quinten talked our ear off as he loves, loves animals and wanted us to know all he knew about various species in the animal kingdom. It was awesome for Dawson to meet up with us late afternoon. The kids love it when he can be with us too. Met many great people - Shane and Willard and of course the Karleen's.
God is good and we feel blessed.
Praying for Paris!
Tiffany & the Fercho Clan