tl;dr version: YES I KNOW I SUCK AT MY OWN LIFE. Don't you judge me.
We wanted to go to D.C. because it's close and relatively cheap and there are lots of things to do that are kid-friendly. Especially if your kid is like my kid, who managed to find pretty much an infinite number of sources of amusement, and who has pretty much demanded that we go back there sooner rather than later. I love D.C. -- G and I went there on our first "couples trip," way the hell back in 1994 for Spring Break, when our coupledom was still in its babyhood -- and we try to get there as often as possible, which is unfortunately not as often as we'd like.
OF COURSE we went to the zoo. Are you new here? We always go to the zoo. Everybody always goes to the zoo in D.C., because the Smithsonian Zoo is rad and has pandas and stuff. Duh.
(BTW, I would like to interrupt this long-overdue blog post to complain about the new Flickr layout, because it stinks out loud and I hate it. What was wrong with the way things were, Flickr? Or, in your own parlance: CHG T BCK!*)
Since my sister and brother-in-law were in Washington at the same time, we got to hang out with my niece, who is seriously one of my three favorite kids in the whole wide world who aren't my own kid, and I'm pretty sure I would say that even if we weren't already related. Although the fact that she is the spit and image of my baby sister (except with adorable little toddler legs) certainly doesn't hurt.
(Which is not, by the way, meant to imply that my sister doesn't also have adorable legs, but, y'know, she's over 30, so I figure she now officially no longer qualifies as a "toddler," even though I still think of her that way sometimes because she will always be my baby sister.)
While we were at the zoo, we saw the usual assortment of wild creatures, including some kind of alligator thingy that just lay there basking in the sun like he was auditioning to be my spirit animal or something. (Because, I mean, is there anything I like better than lying in the sun? Only possibly lying in the sun with bacon and a bloody Mary, maybe.)**
Also, we saw an unimpressed orangutan, sitting up there in his little tower, silently (but visibly) judging us.
Kid is all, "Pshaw! I'll show you unimpressed."
BUT! We also saw young cheetahs playing with a ball in their pen, and according to my kid this was approximately THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED EVER LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU. I mean, seriously, she still talks about it. Ask her what her favorite part of the D.C. trip was, and she'll tell you, "Oh, that time! When the cheetahs! Were playing! With the red bouncy baaaaaaaaaall!"
I don't know where that kid picks up some of her more melodramatic behaviors. I really don't.
But this was probably my favorite part of our visit to the zoo: getting to see my husband's face when he gets to spend time with us, with basically no schedule, itinerary, or agenda. (He and I had dinner reservations to celebrate our anniversary, but if we really needed more time at the zoo together, we would have cancelled them [even though I am glad we didn't, because that lobster ravioli was DIVINE]).
Oh yeah, we also did the typical dork tourist thing, which will never not be awesome.
* "CHANGE IT BACK!" with the vowels deleted because Flickr is missing an "E" ... get it? Ha ha?
** I am not joking when I tell you that I spent approximately 45 minutes on that paragraph, trying to make sure that I was using lay vs. lie and its various conjugations correctly. Grad school and studying for the PRAXIS have ruined me forever.