Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Zoo

Lilly and I were in DC this week, after spending last weekend in Philadelphia at Carolyn and Jeremy's wedding. Jim took the train down on Thursday afternoon and then Edward, Joseph and Liana flew up yesterday morning so the family is almost all here. We're all missing Ellie this weekend, but we had a great chat with her on skype last night, over a few glasses of champagne, and for awhile, it felt like she was here. I'll post some pictures and stories at the end of the weekend, because as always, we're having a great time being together.

This morning, Mum went off to yoga, Dad was riding his bike, Joseph and Liana went into DC to do some exploring, Edward enjoyed the peace and quiet of an empty house and Jim, Lilly and I ventured off out to the zoo. Lilly was so excited to go. When Joseph and Liana left before we did, Lilly stood at the door saying, "Wiwwy, come...zoo...zooooooo" and was sure that they were going to the zoo without her. Jim and I convinced her that she wasn't being left behind and a few minutes later, we were in the car heading to Woodley Park Zoo.

It wasn't the nicest morning but the rain had stopped and it seemed to be warming up so we spent a couple of hours walking (well, if you're Lilly, running) through the zoo. It's not an amazing zoo, by any means. But seeing the zoo through the eyes of a two-year-old makes it the best zoo we've been to. Her eyes opened wider every time she saw a new animal. It reminded me of when we went to the circus. There was the same level of excitement, and the same amount of innocence. In the reptile house, we were looking for some sort of lizard who seemed to be hiding in his tank. I found it, and pointed it out to Lilly, who promptly pointed it out to Jim, repeating what I said. "Daddy, see lizard? On rock...soooo cute!" Well, it was a rendition of what I said, anyway. The highlight of the trip for Lilly were the Lions. She called them all "wion kings," apparently assuming that all lions are named after the movie. She was mesmerized by the lion cubs, tackling each other and jumping on their dad. She loved the "huge lion" and the "mummy lion". She would have been happy watching these lions all day.

Watching the Lions

After the lions, we saw the elephants, panda, gorillas, alligators, and turtles, just to name a few, but although she enjoyed them all, after each animal, she turned to us and said, "wion king again, peese?" The lions were definitely her favorite animal.

A crocodile, staring back at Lilly.

Lilly loved watching the elephant throw dirt on himself. In the words of Lilly, "eye-fant all dirty."

On our way out, Lilly picked out a "lion king" stuffed animal to bring home, which she promptly named, "Nala". It's a little bit confusing since the stuffed animal is clearly a male lion, but she refused to change his name to Simba so she has her new Nala, which she adores. When I tucked her in for her nap this afternoon, I had to tuck Nala in too. The two of them were all snuggled up ready to sleep. Before she went to bed, Papa told her that if Latoof and Nala didn't get along, then Nala would have to go. Lilly didn't seem too concerned. Papa did.

Papa added Latoof to the picture, and Lilly said an expression that has quickly become one of her favorites, "Papa's being siwwy!" (Papa's being silly...yes, Papa's always being silly).

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