GK got a week off and even though we had talked ourselves out of it initially, we decided to head down to Virginia to spend some time with good friends. And this time we took advantage of being so close to DC. We had a few significant experiences including Chuck E Cheese with some of the most genuinely enthusiastic and good-natured children I've seen.
But one of the highlights was going to the National Zoo and seeing the Pandas. I have been moderately in love with Pandas my entire life. I did my first report on them in the second grade and have received a Panda Calendar almost every year of my life from my mom for Christmas. My room was decorated in various Panda paraphernalia. Although the majority of my wall decor changed, my favorite animal didn't (I have the most recent Panda poster hanging in my kitchen right now). In spite of my... obsession?... I didn't see one in real life until my freshman year in College. In fact it was one of the pandas that is still there. But now, it has a mate and through the miracle of IVF, it has a 3 year old. Female Pandas are only able to conceive during two short days each year, and so they nearly never conceive in captivity.
The other memorable moment was watching a few peaceful demonstrators get arrested in front of the White House. They were part of a motley crew speaking out against the war in Iraq. It was fascinating to watch. And then there was this guy, not part of the other protest, but getting a lot of tourist attention. Hmmm. Interesting.