Called in slick to work on Monday and headed down to Woodley Park for a visit to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the best zoo this side of the Mississippi. (That's an arbitrary point; merely vs. the San Diego Zoo, natch.)
It was a very warm day, something of which I am not so fond, and the pollen count was high, and I was nigh constantly assailed with fits of violent sneezing, but despite climate and plant sex, I was able to have a very enjoyable time viewing fauna.
Of note, we saw Tian Tian, the adult male Giant Panda. I was fortunate to have seen Mei Xiang and Tai Shan playing outside last time through, and had to settle for seeing Dad lazily sprawled inside the Panda house. Would have very much liked to have seen TS again, but c'est la vie. Hopefully we'll reconvene before he returns home.
Being a big octopod fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the Invertebrate house. Had a stare down with an aggressive cuttlefish. Sensing my sinister nature he presented an imposing facade to frighten me off, to no avail. Also a Maryland Blue Crab (W00t!) seemed to fancy Big Sis Prinny, and put on an elaborate show any time she was within eyeshot of his tank. I postulated he had been conditioned to call attention to a "Save the Bay" placard that had since been removed.
We also had some great time with a Komodo Dragon (pictured above) that seemed to relish the company. Some excellent shots of him, def.
Oh, and due to what was described to me as an unfortunate incident, the National Zoo no longer serves alcohol. Boo-urns.