Washington D.C. Day 4 – Trolley Zoo Chinatown

The goal on Day 4 was to hit the National Zoo. I like zoos. No two zoos are the same and I love to see the animals, learn about them, see how many species we’ve managed to kill off or endanger since I visited last (*sigh*). Instead of taking the Metro up to northern D.C. we decided to buy Old Town Trolley tickets because they go all through the main part of the mall/downtown and have a line that swings up to the zoo, the National Cathedral and through Georgetown. Also, you miss seeing the city when you’re traveling underground :/

Oh the places you’ll go on Old Town Trolley!

We jumped on the trolley by the Freer and Sackler museums, which is fairly early on in the orange line. We rode around the Tidal Basin and by some of the national monuments and museums again. I snapped a few decent shots:

Lincoln Memorial through the WWII Memorial

White House, south side

The Newseum – dedicated to news and journalism. Word on the street is that it’s a hell of an experience and not to be missed. We missed it.

We transferred to the green line at the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center. We saw parts of the the city that we hadn’t seen much of before – Golden Triangle, DuPont Circle, Adams Morgan.

A silly thing about the zoo: The zoo is about six blocks from the metro and trolley stops for the zoo. I don’t understand it. I get that the metro doesn’t go right up to the front gate because…it just doesn’t – it’s not built that way. But I don’t understand why the trolley can’t get closer. The only reason I wonder about it is because the driver made such bones about it. He was apologizing and saying that the route just doesn’t go that way, sorry you have to walk, blah blah blah. But looking at the map I can’t figure out why the route just doesn’t go that way. But hey – we had our walking shoes on and whadya do at the zoo but walk around, anyway?

We stopped for lunch at a unique Washington D.C. institution called Noodles & Co. (It’s the Hubby’s favorite fast food and it made him happy. Sure, let’s get some f*cking mushroom stroganoff, my love. Why not? Let’s skip the cute sushi restaurant and the mom and pop creole place right next door. Sad trombone for me.) And then we trekked up to the zoo. Long story short, it was a zoo. It was a very hilly zoo – lots of walking up hill in both directions, it seemed. I’ve a bunch of photos up on my Flickr site, but here are a couple of my favorites:

Happy Elephant

Toucan – I’m getting so much better at adjusting my depth of field to make cages “disappear”. There were lines of wire between me and the toucan (you can see them in the back of the photo along the rear wall of the cage). Thanks to Mully410 for showing me how to do this!

Cormorant

Coy Flamingo

Cutest Northern Treeshrews. Ever. Anywhere.

Leaf-tailed Gecko. I love his big sticking out lower lip. Love it.

We didn’t get to the zoo until about noon and they were still on winter hours, so we ended up missing some cool exhibits, most noteably the invertebrate house. That came highly recommended, but I had to be happy with a shot of the sculpture outside:

We headed back to the trolley stop and caught the last bus of the day (phew!). We swung up a little to the north and the west to see the National Cathedral. It had pretty architecture. It was undergoing quite a bit of construction because it had been damaged during last year’s earthquake (alright, who was skimping on the tithing?)

We drove way too quickly through Embassy Row, Georgetown, Washington Harbor and Foggy Bottom. I would have liked to meander along Massachusetts Avenue and spent more time looking at the different houses and flags of all of the different embassies. The older historic buildings in Georgetown definitely merited more attention, and Washington Harbor looked like it had some neat waterfront walking. But all too soon we had arrived back downtown and debarked.

It was getting to be dinner time and we needed to figure out how we wanted to spend the evening. We decided to head over to Chinatown and the Gallery Place Metro area. It was hopping! There was another game at the Verizon Center and the restaurants and sidewalks were packed. We decided to take a rest from being touristy to go see The Hunger Games. We purchased tickets for later in the evening and then wandered into Chinatown for dinner.

Friendship Archway, marking the start of Chinatown.

We had dinner at a restaurant on H Street called Chinatown Garden (meh. I give it a five out of ten for food and service), but there were plenty of other not-quite-as-authentic Chinese options:

Back to the theater for Hunger Games – I liked it quite a bit. Yes, they left out some of the emotional nuances that made the book so incredible, but overall I thought it was well done. We stopped for drinks at a  bar called Clyde’s afterwards, then took the Metro back to Arlington and our comfy beds.

And that wrapped up another night in Washington D.C. Only one more full day left!