Pandas and elephants and hipppos, Oh My!

Today wasn't too exciting... We slept late, had a leisurely breakfast, and then headed to church for praise team practice. By the time we finally finished Kylie was wiped out and fell asleep less than two minutes into our ride home. She napped, I worked on going through China pictures for our DVD that Adam is making, and Ian watched football. Then when our princess awoke we headed to Gateway to Athens for dinner. It cracks me up how Kylie will eat ANYTHING covered in tzaziki sauce! (of course that does lead to some belches from her that would wilt a vampire next door...)

It is funny how "vacation life" (aka: visiting Ian's dad) is so much more exciting than regular life. Last Friday everyone had to work, so Ian, Kylie and I headed into DC for our "day in the city." The weather was relatively nice, so we opted for time at the zoo. On the way from the metro stop to the entrance Kylie noticed this painted panda and thought it was pretty cool. (She also noticed it on our way back to the metro and insisted on petting it on our way by!)

"Hi Mr. Panda! You are really tall!"

I guess seeing the painted panda peaked her interest in panda bears because she wanted to stand and watch the real ones for about 20 minutes. I will say though that I didn't mind, the cool weather must be exciting for the pandas because they were up eating. I've been to the national zoo about 6 times and that was the FIRST time I've ever seen them awake!

"Look, a real live panda bear!" Seriously, look closely, it is there!

We continued along and spent time in the small mammal house, the monkey house, and in front of the wild cats. But Kylie's favorite (and I do mean FAVORITE!) part of the zoo was the elephant and hippo house. She was enthralled with the elephants and heard the zookeeper talk about the baby elephant. Before long Kylie had it figured out and would point to the "baby" ~ now six years old ~ elephant and sign baby.

That's one heck of a six year old weight!
The little elephant is passing between his pen and the mama's on a scale built for large mammals...

Then she'd point to the mother and say "Mama." It was so adorable! We stood and watched the elephants for over half an hour, each time we'd start to leave Kylie would insist, "No!" and so we'd stay a bit longer.

"Elephants are really big!"

Then we made up for leaving the elephants by stopping by the hippo enclosure. Kylie was really, REALLY excited ~ she has loved the hippo since we got Sandra Boynton's The Belly Button Book and then Aunt Traci got her a squirty hippo toy for Easter. Hippo was one of Kylie's first animal signs and it is one of the few words that she now signs and says at the same time. When that hippo surfaced out of his pool her little eyes lit up and she squealed "Ippo" while excitedly signing to go along with it. Oh to have had the video camera at that moment...

We finally got her away from the hippo by promising food. It was time for a late lunch, so we headed to a cafe for a quick bite. We still had a bit of time before our dinner plans, so we decided to go down to the ellipse to see the National Christmas Tree. Ian and I have been down to the tree every year that we've been married (except last year when we didn't make it to the DC area at Christmas), so we were excited to share that tradition with our daughter. Kylie enjoys lights, so she rather liked being there.

"Can we have a tree that tall in our house next year?"
It was so fun to finally have Kylie there for our annual picture!

Then it was time to head to the outskirts of the city to meet friends Jim and Anne for dinner. We had a long, enjoyable meal, lots of great conversation, and then topped it off with a cup of decaf and a donut from Dunkin next door. Our visit with them was too short, but we'll see them again next visit...

"I like these people ~ they share donuts with me!"

Saturday was a quiet day at Ian's dad's house. We left only to go to Fortune for our big dim sum meal. Kylie ate an impressive amount of green beans in chili-garlic sauce and we all feasted on many delicious dumplings! After naps all around, we took a walk down to the lake with Lucy (known as "Uuce" to Kylie) to throw tennis balls and let the energetic Lab burn off some steam.
The day finished with a great lasagna, good conversation, and an early bed for all...


C.C. said...

What a fun trip!!

Anonymous said...

Would love to have been at the zoo with Kylie and you. She gets so excited about my horses that I can't imagine how the elephants and giraffs must have thrilled her!
Love the picture of her looking up at the big Panda statue.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had fun! She is so cute.Hope to see you soon!