Visiting my Homeland

The New Zoo Review*

I'm back from my jaunt to Washington DC. Not only was it a good trip work-wise, but I got to spend the day on Saturday with a friend from college and his wife, and their son, Andrew, who I hadn't seen since he was about two months old. He's now three, so we spent the day at the National Zoo. Now, due to the fact that I don't have any kids of my own, I don't tend to go to the zoo that often, but I'm starting to realize that I should -- it's a pretty cool and educational way to spend the day. I saw some of the more "standard" zoo animals, like the lions, giraffes, tigers, elephants, and monkeys, but also got to see some animals that are more unusual -- a capybara (basically a humongous guinea pig relative that reminds me a little of the ROUS's from The Princess Bride), a pygmy hippo, naked mole-rats and, of course, the pandas. You too can see Mei Xiang and Tian Tian via the magic of the Panda Cams [on a side note -- the folks at Gothamist are a tad obsessed with pandas, so you can find plenty more panda-fun there]. The best part of the zoo, however, was having the experience of sharing it through the eyes of a three-year-old, especially one who calls me "Miss Laren." Thanks, Andrew!

(this, my friends, is a capybara)

* A nod to the New Zoo Revue, available on DVD!

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