Monday, September 29, 2008

September 29, 2008.

We still haven’t made it to an auto parts store yet, but it’s on our itinerary.

Yesterday was Christy’s birthday and she decided she’d like to go to the zoo. So we walked up to the Metro station and headed out to the Smithsonian National Zoo.

The zoo is laid out real nicely with wide meandering trails guiding you from one animal exhibit to another. The Panda exhibit is an indoor / outdoor pavilion. We found 2 of the 3 Giant Pandas lounging about in their outdoor enclosures.

The elephant house is laid out so that the elephants can come and go as they please. The only catch is that the

elephants have to walk through a section of cage work that is actually a giant scale. This photo is of the “baby” weighing in at a svelte 4700 pounds.

My favorite exhibit was the Gorilla house.
There are several huge indoor enclosures each housing some gorillas. The cages have interconnecting doors and the gorillas are free to amble from room to room.

There’s a separate enclosure for the orangutans. The people were lined up 6 deep to peer into the huge cage. Orangutans are known to be pretty disgusting sometimes; at times even flinging their poo at people. This crowd was drawn by a slightly different sight.

The orangutans were doin’ it. The orangutans weren’t the least bit bashful as the crowd watched them procreating their brains out. They moved from one position to another and at one time the male was still engaged while hanging from a tree branch. I saw several people taking notes and making favorable comments about the males technique. We only glanced into the cage, when we realized what was going on we moved along, but somewhere we lost an hour.

The zoo was a pretty cool way to spend the day and around 1700 hours the phone rang with an invite for cocktails at 1900 on a friend’s boat. We had just reached the far end of the zoo so we turned around to backtrack. That’s when we realized that we had been walking downhill the entire day. It was a rather spirited hike back up a steeper than we had realized hill. We were both working a light sweat by the time we were back to the zoo’s entrance. After a quick ride back to the boat we had just enough time to freshen up, grab a quick bite and head on over to Steve & Gloria’s.

There ended up being 7 of us there and a good time was had by all.

Today we decided to head back over to the Museum of Natural History. There was a new exhibit that opened up on Saturday. It was entitled The Oceans.

The exhibit encompassed so much more than we had expected. There was a great “floating” spherical screen to display the worlds movement. First it showed the movement of the Teutonic plates. Then it morphed into the prevailing winds followed by Gulf streams flow around the earth.

The display included life forms that were minuscule up to the largest of whales. The display also covered ground from millions of years ago up through today. The waters depths were covered from the 200 meter ocean “shallows” down to the pitch black deepest recesses of the sea.

On the way home there was an art display on the mall. An artist took dozens of huge canvases to Beijing for the Olympics. He had random people paint their impressions of the sea. He clumped artists together on the same canvas by geographic location. There was a European canvas, a Caribbean,

etc. There were dozens of completed panels. The American panel even included Sponge Bob Square Pants and his under the sea friends.

Another great day…….

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