(* to be said in your best Janice voice)
To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.
— Jack Handy
So, my niece and nephew, heretofore referred to as the Princess and the Conductor, came up last Friday night to spend the weekend. Friday night, they helped me make a special Shamrock Cake – to be blogged separately – and then went to bed to rest up for the big day on Saturday.
We took the Metro into DC – which they love.
Decked out in St. Paddy's Day finest!
Everyone smiled when they saw Ellie with her shamrock deely-bobbers (that’s what I’ve always called them – what do you call them?). We arrived at the Verizon Center, and they were super, super excited because we were going to the circus, which they’ve never been to before.
I bought Adam a toy (Ellie declined) and we headed to our seats. The clowns came out for the pre-show, and the kids were laughing and clapping. Then, the lights went down, and were were asked to stand for the National Anthem. And then this happened:
After that, it was basically non-stop awesomeness:
And my absolute favorite:
But wait – it gets awesomer:
On a bike!
There was lots of other stuff I didn’t get pictures of – more clowns, tumblers, those guys who run around those giant hamster wheel things, oh – and the rope swingers, the ones who wrap the ropes (or fabric, really) around their hands or feet and slide down and back up. Amazing.
There were animals, too, of course, but aside from the elephants, watching them just made me sad.
I don’t know if it was the PETA assholes outside the entrance protesting making me feel guilty or what, but the horses and the tigers were just a let down. The tigers seemed almost drugged, and watching the horses run around those tiny rings, with their heads constricted so they couldn’t rear . . . it felt dirty.
Anyway, the big finale was a guy who set himself on fire and launched himself across the arena. It probably goes without saying that that was Adam’s favorite part – boys and fire, you know.
Afterwards, we took a break for lunch, then headed to the National Museum of Natural History on the Mall. On our way, we wandered through the Sculpture Garden:
Adam loved this giant bunny.
Once we got to the museum, we wandered around the ocean hall, where we saw the jaws of the largest shark ever known, and then the mammal hall, which had all sorts of animals from all over the world:
(Sorry for the quality; that one’s from my camera.)
Finally, finally, after a walk through the gems and minerals hall, it was time for the big deal, the reason we came in the first place – a trip through the Butterfly Pavilion. It was as neat and amazing as billed – walking through hundreds of live butterflies of all species, nothing between you and them but air.
One landed on Ellie’s leis, but I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture. This lady had one land in her hair:
Neither of them wanted to hold the paintbrush this big guywas on, so I took one for the team:
And then. And then. All of a sudden, Adam hollered, “Mel-mel, come here, look!” And this is what we saw:
Untitled from Melanie on Vimeo.
Yeah! A butterfly being born! And two more trying their hardest to break out of their cocoons! How cool is that?
By the time our turn in the Pavilion was over, the kids were worn out and ready to go home. We drove down to Fredericksburg (they both fell asleep) to pick up David, whose car had broken down, then had dinner and came home. Then it was time for the super special Shamrock Cake! I know you can’t wait to see it, but you’ll just have to tune in tomorrow!