We did not step on snek.
Living out in the ‘burbs now, I rarely get to enjoy much of DC anymore these days. When I can I try to walk the “scenic route” home, circling past the Capitol before heading for the train station out to my stop in Virginia.
Ominous clouds overhead and behind the Washington Monument this time, as Hurricane Florence, despite being centered far south in the Carolinas, stretches its rain bands up to here.
Having a Dunkin’ Donuts counter right at my workplace has certainly been good* for my eating habits. (* — bad) There was last April’s seasonal Cherry Blossom donut, and as September rolls along there’s now a “Festive Fall” Donut.
Over summer we also had a “Capitals Craze” donut commemorating the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup win…
…and for Shark Week, a donut with little blue shark-shaped sprinkles.
While I’m at this office I will continue to log my novelty donut consumption.
While at the National Aquarium we picked up a souvenir plush shark for Ezra. Amelia gave it a sniff.
Meanwhile, here is Martha’s face when presented with a catnip fish toy. She is such a goof.
Back to Amelia, who shows us cat circle theory in action.
Sad news: I’ve ended the cat-centric “JonesAndPond” Twitter account I started a couple years ago; if you were following it for pictures of Martha and Amelia, there’s always here, and the Flickr “companionkittens” tag.
Hopped over to the National Aquarium in Baltimore last Sunday. We wanted to be out of the DC area while the white supremacist rally was on (though it turned out to be a failure) — but even not counting that, we also wanted to take Ezra on his first aquarium trip to see some fish and turtles and sharks.
I’d forgotten how very linear — and exhausting — the crowd flow in the main “Blue Wonders” part of the Aquarium was, parading you past tank after tank after tank before depositing you in the Rainforest, then ramp down shark alley, and an anticlimactic underwater viewing area all in not-so-quick succession, with only a small upstairs cafe for respite along the way. We knew better and retreated back to the larger cafeteria downstairs for an early lunch when Ezra got cranky, but it wasn’t an easy backtrack through the mazelike layout, nor was the return trip via elevator to where we left off entirely intuitive.
Still, we saw a nice variety of aquatic wildlife, lots of sharks, plus some golden lion tamarins in the Rainforest. I also learned the giant sea turtle in the reef is named Calypso.
The main aquarium experience ends with an interactive guestbook where a touchscreen invites you to construct a phrase of up to six words selected from a limited, aquatic/conservation vocabulary, for display on a big projection screen. Ezra mashed at the touchscreen a bit to say SWIM HUMANS HEALTH HEALTH HUMANS.
I haven’t been to Baltimore for a while and have been terrible about keeping up with friends there. Must come back again.
Some shots from around Roer’s Zoofari (formerly Reston Zoo) last weekend, where Ezra had a lot of fun feeding animals (mostly goats).
Also saw some really exceptional snoots.
More photos in my Roer’s Zoofari photo album. (The old Reston Zoo appears to have had a sordid history of animal cruelty under its previous owners so I’m kinda glad our first visit to this place comes after that era.)
Back from Ocean City, MD for a seaside weekend. This was Ezra’s first trip to the beach and his first time to touch an ocean, which he found enjoyable. (I really thought he’d be scared and crying like I was at that age but he literally jumped right in to the experience.)
We stayed at Safari Motel on the boardwalk, slightly old but livable beachfront accommodations with a view of the ocean (if you look sideways from the room) — and a gorilla on the balcony.
Had a chance to walk along the boardwalk to Trimper’s Rides for Bill Tracy’s classic Haunted House dark ride, which I’ve wanted to ride for years. Would have been too intense for Ezra, however, so he did several rounds on the Wild West Train.
Not having had oysters for a while, I was also glad to try the Chesapeake Steampot, at Hammerheads to get my fill of briny shellfish. Ezra sampled some too.
GoPro Session video of the ride over Long Bridge out of DC into North Virginia, from the back of a VRE commuter train. In addition to the usual DC landmarks, watch for the WMATA Metrorail train, and an airliner on approach to DCA:
(It’s a view I’ve always wanted to capture on video, but I’ve always hesitated to actually stand up and do the recording. As it is, when I walked to the back fo the train to record the scene, one passenger did give me an alarmed look that seemed to express a sentiment like “OH NO THAT BROWN PERSON IS AFFIXING A SMALL CUBE TO THE TRAIN DOOR” — but she looked relieved when I said “It’s a camera.”)
We ate some Caucasian lamb chops and lavash wraps in Armenia (with some Kotayk lager beer), and artisanal gelato in Catalonia.
Ezra really enjoyed the wide open space on the National Mall and ran around a bit within sight of the Washington Monument — which he can now identify by name.
Happy 4th of July from these patriotic red, white, and blue shorts that I found in, of all places, Landmark Mall in Makati, Philippines, back in 2011.
They cost about PHP117, or US$2.65. Good deal.