Sunday, April 26, 2009

Flip-flop season

MISSING: The mild season that typically occurs between "winter" and "summer" made a brief appearance in DC before disappearing - possible runaway, although kidnapping is suspected. Answers to the name of Spring, and a reward is offered for its safe and timely return. Left-behind tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs are very concerned.

Ok, so it's not that bad outside, but is it seriously already time for temperatures in the 90s and a rather persistent sun? I think I just safely tucked away my winter coat about a week ago. Yipes. Anyway, here's how I sweated my way through the city this weekend.

In order to test out new flip-flops and flats before taking them across the ocean to brave the streets of Munich and Prague, I really wanted to walk this weekend, and not just minor walking, but a lot of walking. All over the place. So I did. And I determined that warm temperatures dictate flip-flops so my poor flat feet can breathe and and aren't trapped in sweaty shoes. Ick.

My Saturday feet, once switched into flip-flops from the flats mini-disaster, continued the quest for Tex-Mex. It can't hurt to have a fellow appreciator of all things Tex-Mexican accompany you on these journeys, so Saturday night Erin and I met for dinner at Cactus Cantina. They make their own tortillas with El Machino (score one for fresh tortillas!), the salsa's fresh, and plentiful patio seating is appreciated once the beating sun relents a bit. It was tasty...but not amazing. I would say it was nothing to write home about, but by writing about it right now...well, I kinda am, so that particular phrase doesn't work. Anywho...we walked about two miles down Wisconsin (good flip-flop test!) with the intent of grabbing a drink in Georgetown, but we were attacked by sprinkles and then the surges of a good ol' thunderstorm, so we put our wet flip-flop feet into cabs and took them home instead.

My Sunday feet did a lot of walking - through Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, the zoo, the Natural History museum, and a meandering path home through Penn Quarter. I found lunch at Dos Gringos, which unfortunately had nothing to do with Mexican food, and walked my way through the National Zoo, playing dodge-the-stroller-and-crazy-kids the whole way through. Have I mentioned how fantastic it is that you can do so many great things here for free? Thank you, Mr. Smithson, for your generous and unexpected bequest. I basically walked straight through without stopping to see a lot of the specifics - I wanted to see the giant pandas, but not after catching a glimpse of the ridiculous line. Elephants are pretty cool, though.

The Museum of Natural History is conveniently open until 7:30 these days and also offers the refuge known as air conditioning, so I spent some time wandering and taking in the highlights - giant whale replica and the Hope Diamond and a T-rex, oh my! I tried to get a shot to make it look like the T-rex was eating my head, but this is a little tricky to accomplish on your own with museum lighting and tons of people around. Next time I'll just feel silly and ask someone to do it for me. Or preferably go with a friend. I'd also been wanting to go see Nature's Best Photography Awards Exhibit, and since it closes next weekend, today's the day! Then I flip-flopped myself to Teaism for a refreshing beverage, flip-flopped a few blocks home, and flopped on the couch. After cranking up the AC, of course.

Prehistoric ponies...

...and my second elephant of the day, although this one is quite obviously no longer...well...alive...

...and a rather intense kitty from the photography exhibit...

...and a ginormous whale. Go museums!

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