Today was an intense day of walking- and we mean intense. We started off at the National Zoo, where we saw the pandas, nearly got run over by the stroller derby (moms with strollers), and ate a semi-dry, but still edible cheeseburger.
Overall the National Zoo is pretty nice, but is basically one huge slope, and with renovations you have to go to one end and then turnaround and go back the other way. KJ got to relive one of her favorite childhood pictures in front of the animal wall, and Chunk enjoyed laughing at a woman who tripped over a giant rock. It sounds mean, but it was kind of funny- this rock was giant, and we don't really see how she missed it (see photo). Please also note Chunk's reenactment of "rock lady". Oh, and his serious frog pose.
Funny things overheard at the Zoo:
"Hey Joey! Look at the thing!" - parent to child not knowing the animal or even seeing (apparently it's too hard to look at the signs next to exhibits)
"Look at the monkey!" - mom to children in a very annoying voice for every animal in the small mammal house- even the non-monkeys (go education!)
"I see the sloth!...Nope, that's someone's face." -dad to kid, trying to find the sloth and mistakenly identifying someone's reflection as the sloth (see sloth here)
We then continued to Arlington Cemetery. Very neat and peaceful- a must for any DC visitor. We were short on time as they close at 5pm, but we did visit JFK's grave site (along with Jackie O), the Arlington House, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We even got to see the changing of the guards there! Very cool. Fun fact: The Tomb is guarded 24/7 year round, and being selected to guard it is considered a high honor.
We also saw the memorials for the Challenger and Columbia memorials, as well as the grave of Pierre L'enfant who planned out Washington DC. Fun fact: His protege, Alexander Ralston, laid out the plans for Indianapolis.
Since we'd already walked a ton (trust us, it was a ton), we decided to walk the additional mile from the cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial. Tons of people and very nice. We even overheard a couple of Latvians speaking next to us, but we didn't recognize them, and by the time we'd decided to talk to them they'd walked off. We continued on to the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, and then walked by the WWII Memorial and the WWI Memorial (much smaller, and a bit forgotten, but we hear they're going to refurbish it).
Our last stop was at the Tidal Basin where the Jefferson Memorial and the cherry blossoms are. A gift from Japan in 1912, these cherry blossoms are celebrated each year with the Cherry Blossom Festival (going on right now actually!).
And so after an eventful and very aerobic day, we are now relaxing with an episode of The Office.