Thursday, December 7, 2017

Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...The Smithsonian National Zoo

Megabus sped us to DC to stay with daughter Rachel and her husband Will, with whom we had a great if unconventional Thanksgiving dinner. A few days later Will and Rachel made it a long weekend in Scotland, and Vicki jetted to Chicago to visit Tawana and Wes and their new grand-daughter Elinor. I was left in solitude to care for the dog, Daphne, and the cats, Peter and Bianca. Not for the first time. After Vicki's return, we visited the National Zoo, another Washington site we had somehow missed on previous visits. Getting there and back is a snap via the Red line. And despite the cooler weather, the Zoo was fun, especially after our recent African experience.
Asian elephants; the one in the foreground kept pacing the same 30 foot circle,
over and over and over...reminding us that zoos are maybe not fun places for
animals (I note, however, that there are species surviving in zoos and nowhere
else, as the Smithsonian points out)

Mei Xiang dining on bamboo, the only thing pandas eat

In the panda research center

Now go do that kudu that you do so well...

Look alive!

After Kruger and Etosha, we've come to appreciate electrified fences


Day's worth of elephant turds

Above, the orangutang high-wire crossing


In the big cat area

Checking to see what the tiger is having for lunch

Checking us out for lunch

Sadly, there were no leopards, so we are still deficient in the (African) Big Five

Let's Go Bowlin', Dudes

We were the better part of a week in Knoxville with Marie and Norm and Stacey and the boys, James and Jason. Rather few pix, but some time for decompression for us and for family fun. Among the fun items were an afternoon bowling and a dinner at Blaze, whose pizzas, I swear, properly ordered, rival the better Italian pies. Thanks, once more, Norm and Marie, for the hospitality.
"So this was a valued, uh..." "Yeah, man, it really tied the room
together..." No one seemed to understand my rant...

Bowling one game was for me a wake-up call regarding loss of
arm strength, although I somehow managed to outscore the
rest; I passed on the second game...

At Blaze, photo by Norm; no, I am not seated: James is now 15
and 6'3""; Jason will be catching up soon; both very engaging
and able young men