Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Zoo Trip - Part 1...

Last weekend we decided to celebrate the re-opening of the zoo (Thank you, US Government for finally doing your job!) by taking an impromptu Saturday morning trip to the National Zoo.  Our Friends of the Zoo membership is expiring at the end of the month, so we also wanted to squeeze in one more trip with free parking before that ends.  Unfortunately, the rates are going way up and free parking is not going to be included in our current membership level, so we don't plan on renewing.  

We bundled up knowing it was going to be a chilly morning in the city, but with rain predicted for the afternoon and Georgia's naptime, we knew we wanted to be in/out fairly early.  If you've ever been to the zoo here in DC, you know that it is built along one big hill, so we also loaded the stroller in the car knowing that little legs still tire easily!

Ready for the Zoo!

Unfortunately, as prepared as you can be with a toddler, you never quite know what situation you are going to encounter.  Georgia was happy as could be in the car, happy as could be walking into the zoo... and then lost it!  We spent the first hour at the zoo managing tantrum after tantrum.  She didn't want to see any of the animals that she wanted to see just minutes before.  Ahhh - the joys of parenting.  The good news... in the early morning chill, all the animals were out and about in their enclosures, so we spotted quite a few animals that can be elusive at times!

Good morning, Luke!!  He was in quite a mood and spent the whole morning roaring.  You could hear him halfway across the zoo.  Nick uploaded a video of them roaring on facebook - it was both amazing and terrifying!

No, you can't eat Georgia... even if she is screaming bloody murder and woke you up!!

Of course, the new-ish carousel is located directly next to the lion/tiger exhibit, so once Georgia spotted it, she had a one track mind.  The zoo was having a special that all kids got to ride the carousel for free that weekend in celebration of the re-opening and since an adult gets to ride free with the child, we took advantage of that deal and got in a few rides.

My carousel riding loves

Happy as could be riding her fox

Mommy & G

Kisses for Daddy

Of course, getting off the carousel is not always an easy task.  We had to settle that dispute with a pretzel/chocolate milk snack break.

While we were sitting there, we started hearing more roaring, but this time it was from the tiger enclosure.  So, we strolled over to take a peek and one of the tigers was all over the place - jumping up/down the levels of his/her enclosure and roaming around quite actively.  

Sharpening his/her claws on the log

We roamed up the hill to check out the orangutans and gorillas, but Georgia lacked interest in both places and threw another epic tantrum in the gorilla house.  It's always good when passing parents look at you apologetically and say, "We're so sorry!  Been there and done that."  We decided that maybe another break was in order and convinced her to take a time-out to regroup, eat a banana, and recharge her batteries.  Sometimes just a snack will help completely turn her around lately.

Hanging out on the frog statue

Luckily, that banana hit the spot and our normal, happy, and energetic child emerged!  Ironically enough, we next headed down to the elephant trail and as we arrived, the trainer was giving a quick talk about how their elephant youngster in the herd likes to throw fits at times.  Sounds familiar!

Following Daddy and the elephant footprints down to their area

Hi baby!!!

Begging for more tasty grapes from her trainer!

I always get the funniest/cutest/most natural poses from Georgia when she's on Nick's shoulders and today was no exception.  We were listening to the trainer talk about the elephants and Georgia was entranced just watching the "ellie."  

Clapping when the elephant turned on command in order to get a treat!

After spending some time with the elephant, we headed down to explore the American Trail...  In Part 2!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Random October Review ...

I uploaded pics from my iPhone and camera this weekend, which means I found lots of photos that I had already forgotten taking.  If you follow us on Instagram, you may have already seen some of these.  So, the past few weeks in review...

Thanks for my new pumpkin hat, stickers and book, Auntie Sherrie, Uncle Ken and Abby!

Georgia was overjoyed to discover that the new Wegman's has the BEST kid shopping carts - they are race cars!!  She literally beeped at everyone in the place and yelled, "Outta my way!"  Check out the bruises on the kid - she fell into the toy box a few weeks back and a nice bruise showed up in the middle of her forehead this week.  Then, she fell at school and scraped her nose and upper lip.  Definitely a topsy toddler!!

Beep!  Beep!  

We checked out the new Panera in town too and Georgia was so excited to munch away on her allergy-safe blueberry bagel...

Back at home, I finally discovered who was stealing our ripe strawberries...

Not only did this brazen guy steal some strawberries, he also scored some of my last tomatoes!

After our abnormally warm temperatures a few weeks back, last weekend was rainy and cold, so we hunkered down to watch a Disney movie and Mommy/Daddy enjoyed a few drinks...

I'm so glad we have fabulous neighbors.  I'm especially happy that they don't mind when my daughter helps herself to the items inside their garage (luckily, their son does the same in our garage, so it's an even trade!)...

Firefighter G!

Nick came home early one night last week to mow the lawn and Georgia was super excited to help out Daddy with the yard work...

Georgia has her last few dance sessions this month.  She was the only 2 year old enrolled in the class, so she got to move up and dance with the "big girls" in the 3's class.  She is always so proud on Monday mornings to wear her dance gear to school...

I scored Georgia a new monkey hat ridiculously cheap last week online and she was happy to wear it all around the house the day that it arrived...

Georgia discovered a new love for green beans...

We are still serenaded every night by our little rock star in training...

Don't worry, she gets lots of practice singing during waking hours too...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grape Stompin'

I'm still working on catching up on posts from our wild and crazy weekend back in the beginning of October.   Nick and I managed to sneak in a few dates since we had Mimi visiting.  We took advantage of the crazy warm weekend to spend as much time outside as possible.  That Sunday, we had another date planned with our friends, Kate and Chan.  They traveled up from DC to join us at a local wine festival where we got to jump in the tubs and smash some grapes!

Before we could hit the vineyard, Kate needed to hang out with her little buddy...

Kate & Georgia

The wine festival was being held at our local winery, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, which is just a few miles down the road from us.  Nick and I had recently spent an afternoon tasting their wines and enjoying a child-free afternoon when we spotted the brochure about their upcoming 7th annual Grape Stomp festival.  We considered ourselves officially invited!  So, we hit up the new Wegman's for some snacky goodness, packed up the cooler and chairs and hit the vineyard on a beautiful October day that felt more like mid-August!

It's hard to believe these crazy lovebirds just celebrated their 1st anniversary.  It feels like just yesterday we were in Connecticut celebrating with them!

Even harder to believe, we're rapidly approaching 4 1/2 years since our wedding!  Where does the time go???

It really was the perfect day to sit around, drink wine/eat cheese, enjoy the sights, listen to the music, and STOMP some grapes!  Kate and I may have waited in line to be one of the first sets up on stage when we arrived.  We quickly realized we were going to need a 3rd person in our competition, so we dragged Nick up with us and left Chan to photograph the insanity as we competed against each other for a free glass of wine...

Kate's face explains it all - eewy, gooey-ness!

Now, some might say that Kate and Nick had an "advantage" when the judge quickly realized that my hose was clogged and nothing was coming out of my barrel, but I'll let it go!  

Look at that form on Kate - high knees!!!

This may have been when I realized that this whole concept sounded a lot better on paper!

Yup, that's my look of disgust as I realize that this might be the longest minute of my life... and Kate and Nick were kicking my a%$!

Kate is clearing enjoying herself too much as I yet again try to clear away the debris from my hose!

Not so shockingly, the Thoman family did not win this battle (although Nick did much better than I).  Kate and her perky high knee antics took the victory, as well as the free glass of wine...

Always a great day when I get to spend it with my darling friend of 15+ years!