Washington D.C. – Day Two

There are so many things to see and do in Washington D.C., but we all agreed that visiting the National Zoo was a must. We weren’t sure what to expect, but I can safely say that we were all pleasantly surprised. Rob and I had no idea just how big it was, and the variety of animals was incredible.

We went to see the pandas first, hoping to catch a glimpse of baby Bao Bao. She was sleeping in the window while her mama, Mei Xiang, munched on bamboo. She was hard to see, and with the reflection of the glass was even harder to get pictures of, but she moved just often enough to make her presence known.

Bao Bao

Bao Bao

We had such a wonderful day laughing at the tigers as they hissed at ducks in their pond, listening to the lion roar at anyone who would listen, watching the orangutans cross from exhibit to exhibit using their O-line, admiring a handsome male peacock strut his stuff in front of an attractive female (who didn’t seem care one way or another) and being absolutely amazed at just how much noise a stand of flamingos can make.

The animals all had such beautiful habitats and it was very apparent that a lot of time and effort went into making sure they were happy.

For the second day in a row, we had absolutely beautiful weather. The crowds were minimal again, making for an enjoyable day wandering around the park. We spent the entire day there, leaving only as the zoo was closing for the night. As we were walking back to the parking garage, the kids kept asking us what our favorite animal was, but it was really hard to pick just one. They were all so amazing in their own ways.

If there weren’t so many things yet to see in D.C., I would have voted for revisiting the zoo on day three. And I have decided that I would like an elephant for my birthday…

Life with Charlie B.

Two weeks ago today we were in Knoxville picking up Charlie. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it has been having Charlie around. He is quite the character. Curiosity is his main trait. He runs from window to window watching everything: birds, cars that come and go, the kids playing, other campers, squirrels. Nothing gets by him. He is such a smart boy, and very funny. He dances for treats, goes potty with a ball in his mouth, inches his way between us when we are going to bed, drops his toys behind the couch and then slithers under it to retrieve them, turns into the Tasmanian Devil when he plays in the water. He even loves Remington P. Cat, although he does tend to snuffle Remi a tad too much from time to time. We cannot help but smile every time we look at him, his wild and crazy nose hairs going every which way. He has officially inherited Bailey B.’s middle name, Boy, so he is now affectionately known as Charlie B.


Can we keep him?

I am so that glad my kids are not afraid to touch things. They stick their hands into dark, damp holes and don’t even think twice about it. I admire this about them. Their courage, their bravery. Or perhaps it falls more along the lines of craziness and insanity? I am not exactly sure, but must they bring home everything they find?

DSC_0309 lizard

I have gotten used to the various lizards, some living and some not so much. I am not sure how they manage to find some of the little guys, but they do have a talent for it. I guess they get tired of lizards after a while and feel the need to mix it up a little. I am not sure if I should be grateful for this or not, but it doesn’t seem to matter one way or another. They bring home their new “friends” regardless.

DSC_0815 critter

Isn’t he just adorable? All right, maybe adorable isn’t quite the right word here. I turned down multiple offers to pet him, and instead encouraged the kids to take him on home, to his home, that is. I am sure his mama was missing him.

DSC_0356 turtle

And then there was the turtle, which Nathan found just this afternoon. Unfortunately, this little guy must have had a rough winter, because he was dead. Learning this made Natie cry because he loves turtles so much. But he did what any turtle-lover would do, he buried him. And after a short service, he went off in search of a live one.

DSC_0360 turtle

I am sure that if he does not find another turtle, he will find something else worthy of bringing home. Another toad perhaps, or some more caterpillars, another bird or a baby bunny. And when the kids arrive home with their new-found friend, they will ask the age-old question:

“Can we keep him?”

Home Place

There is an old homestead here that was donated to Taylor County. Everyone is allowed to go out and walk around, visit the outbuildings, take the trail. There is an old cattle barn, grain silos, pastures, a tobacco barn. There are stalls with old farm equipment and even headstones. Some of the equipment is very old and some is modern, but it is a neat place to go to see how a working farm would operate. A fellow camper told us about it, and we were really glad that she did. We spent a wonderful afternoon out there and the kids have been asking almost daily to go back. Luckily it is only about five miles down the road, so going often is possible.

Letters from my Kids: Catheryn

Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside – children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to hear their voices. ~Cathy Nutbrown

Hi, my name is Catheryn and I am 7 years old. I like horses and cats. My favorite color is pink. I have two brothers. I have 6 Care Bears. I have two pets named Remi and Wiggy and I want to be a waitress when I grow up. I like to go camping and play at the park.