Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Introduction: Room with a Zoo

At the beginning of April, my partner and I moved from Boston to DC. Although I didn’t regret the move, I was pretty sorry to be leaving Boston, my home of eight years, and the friends we’d made there (not to mention its proximity to the ocean). Luckily, we came here in spring, when DC—so everyone tells me—is at its best, with trees bursting from bloom into leaf, flowers beginning to blossom, and the air warming to temperatures that are dazzlingly, disorientingly balmy for us northerners. We also discovered that the apartment we’d rented in haste the week before was only two blocks from the back entrance to the (always-free-to-visitors) National Zoo.

Waiting for the moving van to arrive on the Saturday morning before Easter, we took a stroll and soon found ourselves in the “kids’ farm,” among alpacas, goats, and a surprising number of parents with children in strollers, all of whom seemed intent on exclaiming, “Look, honey, a [insert barnyard animal here]!” to their more- or less-interested offspring.

We went to one of my favorite exhibits, Amazonia, and wandered through the tropical forest, wiping our fogging glasses so we could admire the dusky Titi monkeys and other animals that roam free among the trees. We watched with what can only be called glee as an overly inquisitive child was threatened (though not injured) by a roseate spoonbill, which seemed quite ready to use its bizarre bill to ladle the boy into submission.

And suddenly I was much more reconciled to our move.

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