Sunday At The Zoo

This past Sunday, I finally re-visited to the National Zoo!

I hadn’t been to the zoo in several years, and had planned on going back in the spring with some local blogger ladies- but the weather just wasn’t on our side that day. Luckily, the weather on Sunday was perfect! It was a little chilly out, but the sun was bright and shining and made it feel warmer than it actually was.

After I got home from teaching and got cleaned up, Greg and I headed down 270 to the metro station to get into DC. Public transportation is wonderful… but I absolutely depise the Metro. There seems to always be track work going on, which makes the delays even longer on the weekend (they are already long enough anyway). We had just missed a train when we got to the station, and ended up waiting almost 30 minutes for the next one to leave.

But, enough complaining- we eventually made it there and the rest of the day was great! I met up with two of my favorite gals, Jenny and Sam at the Starbucks across the street from the zoo entrance. These two crazy kids are getting married soon- I’m so happy for them! :)

I got my “super high maintenance” coffee- which was a medium blonde roast with 1 pump of each of the syrups that are used in a salted caramel mocha (one is toffee nut… I guess the other is mocha?) and topped it off with soy milk. The ever-fabulous Kelly introduced me to the deliciousness that is salted caramel mocha- and taught me how to modify it. I prefer to have it with more coffee/less milk, so I order it as a coffee with “additions” instead.

Now that you know way too much about a cup of coffee that I drank on Sunday, let’s move on.

One more photo of us posing (Jenny and me this time!)…

Jenny is one of the wonderful friends that I have met through blogging. We’ve hung out several times and always have a blast and a ton of laughs, whether we’re touring wax museums or eating our weight in salad.

We walked around the zoo for a few hours and ooed and ahhed at all of the animals. I have mixed feelings about the animals at the zoo. Some look happy and like they’re loving life… but some look really sad, like this guy:

This ape had wrapped himself up in a blanket and was pressed up against a window just chomping away on some grass. I’m always fascinated by the primate house and just watching how they move and interact with each other.

We had a few panda sightings- but I never seemed to have my camera ready when she was close!

Warning: Pandas may look cute and cuddly, but they could pretty much bite your face off (according to the signs).

We saw elephants from afar…

And some wolves!

I was calling to him “heeeeere puppy!!” I think he heard me.

There’s also a kids’ area with farm animals that you can pet. Greg reached out to a donkey.

I tried to pet these guys, but they weren’t interested.

Aren’t they cute?!

The tiger was a little too fast for me to get a good photo.

But these ladies were definitely easy to photograph.

Of all of the animals we saw on Sunday, this guy (the one in front) was my absolute favorite.

He was absolutely beautiful and very drew quite a crowd. The poor guy was very hungry and/or angry (hangry?) because he kept pacing back and forth and let out these crazy loud ROARS that made me think he was going to swim into the water and climb up the wall at us!

I don’t think I had ever heard a lion roar (in person) before- I could actually feel the vibrations from how loud it was- and it made my stomach feel nervous!

After the show the lion gave us, we made our way out of the zoo and headed over to Chinatown to get some lunch at Busboys and Poets. I had pretty high expectations for this restaurant because I’ve heard good things about it, and the menu looked diverse. It’s also got cool, funky decor.

By the time we got there, it was already 3:00 and we were all super hungry! We ordered a plate of vegan nachos to start, which were delicious.

If I see a house-made veggie burger on the menu, I pretty much always order it (because I’m usually not disappointed). So, that’s what I got.

It was okay. The bun was actually the best part- which was advertised as whole wheat, but tasted more “oat-y” to me (and, uh… there were oats on it…).I ate everything on my plate though because I was super hungry.

Greg got a falafel.

I know it looks good, but he did not like it. Maybe it was bland? He did like his beer though, which was a Heavy Seas IPA on draught.

Jenny and Sam weren’t too crazy about their food either, so I don’t think any of us will be going back any time soon. Regardless, the company was stellar and we had such a good time just hanging out together. It was fun to hear about their wedding plans and everything else exciting going on in their lives- and of course, there was a lot of laughter. :)

‘Twas a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon- but I don’t plan on going back to DC for at least a few more weeks….


LAST ORDER OF BUSINESS!! The winner of the Trick or Treat KIND Snacks giveaway is….

Congratulations, Nicole!!!

Please email me at to claim your prize! :)


What’s your favorite animal to see at the zoo?


  1. That looked like a fun way to spend a day. For me the Meerkats win hands down every time. They are hilarious!

    Janice @ fit foot

  2. I went to Busboys & Poets the last time I was in DC. It’s one of my mom’s favorites. I need to email you about this weekend. What about Saturday brunch or lunch? You free?

  3. I feel like my sister used to always rave about that place? But I don’t think we ever went when we visited her in DC. Funny thing is, I usually avoid veggie burgers (unless I don’t have many choices) because I find them so hit or miss.

    • I think a lot of people rave about it, but there’s a few locations. Maybe that one we went to just wasn’t great.

  4. My favorite animals are the gorillas…but you already knew that. :) I WILL MISS YOU COME VISIT MEEEEEEEE!!

  5. What a fun day trip! Elephants are my favorite and I am actually allergic to them! haha I rode one at the circus when I was 4 and had an almost deathly allergy attack because of him! Still they are my favorite. The food LOOKS amazing, what a bummer that it wasnt that great! And I will have to try that Starbucks modification. Yummm ;-)

  6. I love to see elephants and giraffes!!! I refuse to go near snakes in zoos. Lol. I want to go to the Denver zoo sometime.

    • I ran a 5k AROUND the Denver zoo in July, but haven’t actually been inside. My aunt lives right across the street from it!

  7. How fun! And I love both your and Jenny’s coats:)

    • Thank you! I like both too- and it’s funny- on her post she commented that she didn’t like the way her coat looks on her. She’s nuts!

  8. So much fun! I love the zoo

  9. Awesome photos! I love love the zoo, but nobody ever wants to go with me. I also have mixed feelings, I adore animals so I love to stare at them but I worry that they’re miserable. I like the polar bears, and the pandas, they’re usually the most comical.

    The restaurant looks amazing, too. I love your weekend.

    • I’ll go with you! But let’s wait til spring. :)
      I wish the restaurant had been better. I had pretty high hopes!

  10. Ahhh fun! Going to the zoo is always a blast.

    I’ve heard/seen lions for real in Africa. And yes, SUPER scary. That lion is a beauty, like you said!

  11. Waaaah, so sorry I ended up missing out!!! Sorry to hear that lunch was kind of a bust. I WILL see you soon!!!!

  12. Heather @ Better With Veggies says:

    I always have mixed feelings at the zoo, but most of the time I love it! Now Disney’s Animal Kingdom I LOVE, those animals have it made!

  13. Yeah! Just emailed you.
    The blog re-design looks great.
    I’m a fan of the bears at the zoo. And the seals – I like to see them swimming around!

  14. Now I want to go to the zoo! And eat a giant plate of vegan nachos. Mostly that last one. But I haven’t been to a zoo in years, and I absolutely love seeing animals (especially llamas/alpacas, don’t know why).

  15. LOVE the new header!! My favorite is the lions and tigers!! I just look the big cats. I want one. ;)

  16. SO much fun! Just another reason we are a match made in heaven? Your coffee order…more coffee, less milk, but flavor, please!

    As soon as I saw that you got the veggie burger at Busboys I was thinking, “Oh no…” Although I love the vibe in that restaurant, their burger disappoints. My old favorite (obsession, even) was the veggie burger from Luna Grill in Shirlington (and I believe Dupont Circle). They also serve sweet potatoes and amazing BBQ sauce. That was my standing order. :)

    • We are kindred! :) LOL about your thoughts on Busboys. I’ll have to remember the Luna Grill… veggie burger and sweet taters in bbq sauce… yum.

  17. I’m so jealous that you have a panda bear at your zoo… the closest thing we have here is a red panda.

  18. What a nice way to spend a Sunday, minus the less than ideal food, of course. That lion was amazing looking, and I’ve heard them roar before. It’s no joke.

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!