My Weekend: Flamingos at the Zoo!

flamingos_001 flamingos_002 flamingos_003 flamingos_004 flamingos_005 flamingos_006I took so many pictures of flamingos at the National Zoo this past weekend, I felt they needed their own post! They have always been my favorite exhibit. They are just so colorful and pretty!

When I was younger the entire bird exhibit was hard for me to get to, they were up a huge hill and I have pretty bad asthma. The temperature and humidity level had to be just right for me to make it up without an attack. I was so excited to find out that they have remodeled a few parts of the zoo and have made it super easy to get to the birds now. No huge hill! Just a nice little bridge that goes over the new elephant exhibit (which is cool and all, but now they don’t have giraffes and hippos, the elephants took over. But I won’t rant about that now)

I think we caught the flamingos during naptime, because most of them had their heads hidden in their feathers and had one leg up. That means naptime right? They also seemed a bit cranky, because a few were fighting non stop. Maybe CT’s loud voice was irritating them during their “naptime”?

I hope when we go back in the fall I can get even more photos of them, I seriously LOVE flamingos!

My Weekend: A Few Days Away & The National Zoo

This past weekend we took a short vacation! My husband was already off for 5 days because we had originally planned on going to Busch gardens or Raleigh. Both plans were cancelled and we were left with a 5 day weekend!

I have been working a lot more than normal lately and we haven’t really done much this summer due to colds and other illnesses. My husband, JC, thought we needed to do SOMETHING! So he used some hotel rewards points he had and booked us a hotel about a half hour outside Washington DC at no cost. It was only 30 mins away from our house, but it had an indoor pool, lots of neat restaurants close by and IT WASNT HOME! We spent the first day there kinda wandering around the local mall, eating good food and relaxing! For me relaxing meant reading the new Martha Stewart’s Living and sketching and for JC and CT it meant swimming. It was nice.

The second day away we spent at the National Zoo in Washington DC. One of my favorite places! It was supposed to rain, but apparently we had some luck for once and it was just a bit overcast. It WAS super humid, even though it was only 75*F out! My lungs hated it, but I pushed myself to keep walking. It was also CT’s first time visiting the zoo, I wanted to make sure she saw as much as possible.

Oh and of course I took a load of photos, so prepare yourselves, there are a bunch…

zoo_001 zoo_002 zoo_003 zoo_004 zoo_005 zoo_006 zoo_007 zoo_008 zoo_009 zoo_010 zoo_011I treat my trips to the zoo like photography challenges. It probably has something to do with the yearly field trips my photo class took to the zoo in high school (and the few times I chaperoned my siblings trips later on) We were let loose on the zoo for an entire day and told to take photos certain ways of certain subjects. I loved it! One of the nice perks of living near a big city growing up. We also did Baltimore trips, but nothing beat the zoo!

My personal challenge this time was to only use my 75-300mm Lens and the largest aperture my camera would let me. Nothing else. Its obviously not a hard challenge, but I still like the limits. This did mean that whenever I wanted to take a picture of something close by, I had to back up really far and look like a fool. The photos came out with such a nice depth of field that I don’t care!


(This ragged looking little bird wasn’t part of any exhibit, he was just wandering around. I just wanted to share a photo of him because he was so friendly and came right up to me!)

Anyway, back to our trip…

The zoo ended up being a huge hit with CT. Though her favorite part ended up being an orangutan who would throw up on the glass and eat it again. She’s STILL talking about that! I’m so happy we finally went. It’s hard to justify not going when we live so damn close to the city. I’m going to make it a personal goal to visit DC more often. We even live down the street from  MARC train stop that goes into the city every weekday!!! No excuses.

The rest of our time away was spent wandering IKEA and thrift stores. I ended up with some Blythe furniture from IKEA and a sweet Pyrex bowl from the thrift store. CT found a huge wooden modern dollhouse for $10!! SCORE!

I’m so happy we were able to do this and its made me a little more excited, and less nervous, for our NYC trip coming up in October. I’m going for BlytheCon, my family is just going for fun. Any of you guys going too?