DC February 2016

The pace of life with five kids often leaves us scratching our heads over how we get from season to season so quickly.  We love going to visit Grandpa M up in the greater DC area, but with a birthday party this weekend, a swim meet the next, dance recital rehearsals, football games and the like, we often realize that months have gone by without us being able to take our chaos north.

Last year in February we decided to remedy that situation, even though we were going to have less than 36 hours to visit.  Traffic was a beast and we arrived late Friday evening...thankfully Grandpa held dinner for us.

Saturday morning looked a lot like what Saturday mornings usually look like when we're there.  A big breakfast with lots of side antics supplied by the kids.  (With encouragement from the grown ups...)

Grandpa has lots of fun old fashioned toys including walking robots, fire breathing dinosaurs and balancing birds.  And then there were the whoopee cushions, but we'll not talk about those...

Saturday we all took off to explore the Udvar Hazy Space Museum Annex.  So many cool planes and things to look at, but of course the highlight is the Space Shuttle Discovery!

not a bad looking group of M family folks

and of course we had to show ms. bethany was there...the girls just love her!
Our original plan was to spend the day on Sunday (which just happened to be Valentine's Day) at the zoo as my little China nationals wanted to see the recently born baby panda.

And then we woke up to temperatures in the teens with a high expected right at 20.

I suspect "normal" people would have just stayed home continuing to use Uncle Josh as a climbing gym.  But of course we're not what you would call "normal"...

So we layered and then bundled up and headed out.

Sometimes I think they enjoy the metro ride as much as the destinations!

yes, we were sitting in the reserved handicap seating.
remember those temps?
we were the only folks on the entire train...
While you don't have to worry about parking when you metro in to the city, there is this slight disadvantage of having to walk from the nearest metro stop.  By the time we got to the zoo entrance, everyone was frozen enough to agree to a quick photo stop.

Seriously, I think the smiles were frozen on their faces...

Kylie was in the middle of a big research project on the snowy leopard and so she was super excited to visit them at the zoo.

Except that it was super cold so we found a sign in their habitat instead of the actual leopards...

Thankfully the panda house is enclosed and warm and we didn't have to worry about them being off exhibit.

The wind had picked up when we stepped back outside so an executive decision was made to visit the large mammal house and the ape house and then cut our losses and run.

My boy was enthralled with pachyderm poop.
What is it about boys and poop anyway?

Thankfully at least one of my kids liked the elephant itself better than what it left behind!

There is something about gorillas that is so very fascinating.

On the way back to the metro stop we had to go searching for the painted panda.

Hopefully next time we are in town the fence will be gone and we can better recreate the picture from 2008.  We're just gonna need our friends from Indy to go back with us...

All too soon it was time to load up in the van and head back south.  We had a snow make up day the next day.  As luck would have it though, it began snowing on our way back and school ended up being cancelled again.  At least we had good memories of a great weekend to keep us warm!

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