In Search of Pandas at the National Zoo

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In Search of Pandas at the National Zoo

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Happy Monday Everyone! This time last week I was in the middle of my second trip this summer to Washington, DC.   I went back so soon because two of my other very close friends from high school, Andrea and Rebecca, were both visiting my best friend Sarah, who is living in DC for a few months.

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It had been YEARS since the four of us got together and it was so nice to catch up.  We also reconnected with our friend Steve and his wife Marisa .  Pizza night out with the kiddos was pretty awesome.  This group has certainly changed over the past few years!

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When I was in DC a few months ago I saw most of the big sites, so I wanted to do something a little different this time.   The girls and I explored the Smithsonian American Art Museum and had a great time.smithsonian_american_art.jpgI was on my own for a day during the workweek so I decided to go to National Zoo.  I really wanted to see the panda exhibit

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Now, if you happen to be a local reader who watched WLOS you may remember the long running joke between my former co-workers Holly, Jay and I about pandas.  Holly and I always gushed about how cute they are and Jay refused to even talk about their cuteness.  He would only say how dangerous they are and that a certain number of people die each from from panda attacks. Our little friendly disagreement about pandas meant the morning producers would often put in panda stories in the morning news and we frequently watched the live panda cam from the national zoo, especially around the time the baby panda was born.

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To make a long story short, I was on a mission to find pandas.  I wanted to see them in person.  It only took me about ten minutes in the zoo to locate them. And wow! They were so cute!

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The baby, Bao Bao was so funny and entertaining.  He kept climbing up and down the tree.  It almost looked like he was playing a game with the mom panda bear.

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He would slide back down the tree and it would look like he was stuck.

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But then he would flip upside down and try it all again.  He also climbed and rolled off of the big log in the pictures

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Bao Bao was so stinkin cute and I watched her for a really long time.  It is probably a good thing I was by myself because I don’t think anyone would have stayed as long as I wanted to.  Sometimes it is great to spend a day doing exactly what you want to do.

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While the baby panda stayed on the tree the entire time I was there, the Mom walked around some and looked so majestic.

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As I was finally leaving I saw this sign at the edge of the exhibit and laughed.  Don’t tell Jay, but I guess he was right.  Panda’s are mean. But I still really love them. panda_mean_sign.jpg

While I was at the zoo I made a big loop and checked out the rest of the animals.  Some of the highlights were an elephant…

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…a tamarind in the small mammal area…

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…and the tigers.  I also watched the orangutans for awhile but couldn’t seem to get any decent pictures.

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For a late lunch I found a falafel place through my phone.   I was super curious when the Amsterdam Falafel shop came up as the top rated restaurant in the area, so I walked a ways until I found it.

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There was just one thing on the menu: falafel!  And oh yeah, fries.  In fact the owner was kind enough to give me a free order of fries.  I must have looked a little lonesome by myself. The highlight was this big bar of Mediterranean delights!  It was so yummy and second to the pandas, was the highlight of the day.

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Sometimes it is fun to go exploring on your own, especially when you want to do things at your own pace!  Panda’s and falafels might not be everyone’s choice of a fun day, but I had a blast!

Your turn!

Have you ever spent a day on vacation exploring on your own?

Pandas.  Cute or mean? vote!

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:23-05:00 September 15th, 2014|Friends & Family, Fun, Other US Travel, Travel|19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Walter Wright September 9, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Thanks Julie =) !

  2. […] got to visit my best friend in Sarah in DC again before she moves.  This would not have been possible with my limited vacation […]

  3. Libby Haire September 16, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Hi, Julie,
    I’m behind in reading your sends. I enjoyed this one about Pandas in DC. It’s a great city to visit, isn’t it – something for everyone. I have not seen the Pandas in person, but have always thought they ranked high on the CUTENESS SCALE. I don’t believe that cute and dangerous are mutually exclusive…. Roses have Thorns, Kittens have Claws, and Bears (Panda or otherwise) do have Teeth… none of these “dangers” makes me want to avoid enjoying the good parts.
    So, with all that said, Panda Cuteness Reigns. (Maybe Jay Siltzer will have a change of heart???) LOL.
    Hope you are doing well now that your life schedule has changed.

  4. Ginny September 16, 2014 at 7:42 am - Reply

    http://assets-s3.usmagazine.com/uploads/assets/article_photos/twilight2-467.jpg

    Hope you can look at this picture. This little girl looks exactly like a mini-you, Julie! Unbelievable!

  5. Ginni Terhune September 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    OMG, I too am a big fan of animals and zoos! It looks like the National Zoo has a lot of beautiful animals that are well taken care of. I loved the photos of the Pandas, just adorable. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kathy Boggs September 15, 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply

    So glad you had a great time! I also love Pandas and all other animals! I would have stayed as long as you wanted, I think they are adorable!!

  7. Heather @fitncookies September 15, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Those pandas are adorable! I think they look so cute and I’d want to hug one, haha. You got close to those animals! Animals are our zoo are pretty far back, but elephants are always my favorite 😉

  8. Blane Sherer September 15, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to DC to see your best friend and your other friends from high school. Friendship reunions often can give you a life perspective check as well as just being a fun thing to do. Loved the Panda shots !

  9. Joanne Shafer September 15, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply

    LOVE the pictures of the Pandas!!!

  10. Charleen Galloway September 15, 2014 at 8:19 am - Reply

    I love pandas. I went to Washington, D.C. when I was a Girl Scout and saw the first set of pandas brought into the United States. What a thrill! I still have my souvenir panda coffee cup (at that time, I hated coffee and that cup has never been used). Lol

    • JulieWunder September 15, 2014 at 8:26 am - Reply

      oh wow! That is so cool! I walked through the history of the exhibit section and it is very interesting!

  11. Crystal johnson September 15, 2014 at 7:38 am - Reply

    I looooove Falafels!!!!

  12. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie September 15, 2014 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I refuse to believe that pandas are mean, or any wild animal for that matter. Yes, I would be that girl who gets her arm mauled off for trying to pet a wild tiger or something.

  13. Linda E September 15, 2014 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Julie I too had to go see the pandas when I was in Washington DC they are beautiful took so many pictures. I so enjoy reading your storys.

  14. Terri Moore September 15, 2014 at 5:14 am - Reply

    Loved these pictures, Julie. I love the zoo.

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