A Day in Washington DC!


After our fancy night at the Kennedy Center, Piper and I took a day to relax. After all, I needed to de-stress after wearing a dress- AGAIN! What is it with occasions needing dresses and the wintertime?

I have a favorite place in Washington DC, and I needed to take Piper there. Where was it? You guessed it- the National Zoo! Home of not only red pandas, but the giant kind as well!


The National Zoo has an awesome panda exhibit. You can watch the researchers as they view the Panda cams, and you can even try out the enrichment activities. Here Piper and I are playing in a challenge crate!


Of course we had to see the pandas too- and they were so big and cute! Here's one of the pandas- either Mei Xiang or Tian Tian. Isn't it cute how it's sticking out its tongue as it eats the bamboo? Awesome!


Although the ballet was the reason for our trip, we couldn't visit Washington without seeing what I think is the biggest attraction- the baby red pandas! Shama and Tate, the zoo's two adult pandas, had twin baby girls this summer. This is either Pili or Damini, one of the red panda cubs. I had never seen a cub in person before- and they were so cute!


After viewing the giant pandas and red panda cubs, we went outside to see my old friends, Shama & Tate. It was a chilly day in Washington, so I wore my new hat (it was a Christmas gift from my friend Alaina).


Shama and Tate are the red panda couple at the National Zoo. They're probably my favorite red pandas in the whole world! Their exhibit is full of exciting things to climb on; I love watching them explore.


At the red panda exhibit, there is also a pair of cute red panda statues. Of course, Piper and I had to pose with them. Can you believe it was Piper's first time seeing red pandas? I made her pinky-promise to go see the red pandas at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Then she made me pinky-promise to come with her!


As visitors leave the Asia Trail part of the zoo, they walk through a beautiful path through a little bamboo forest. Piper took this photo of me there, because she thinks I'm part panda. Actually, I told her that if I ever go to Hogwarts, my patronus is going to be a red panda!


We wandered all over the zoo, but it was a cold January day- most of the animals were inside. Piper told me that one of her favorite animals is the meerkat, because they work together like friendly busy bees- so we had to go see them! Here we are with the aardvark statue in front of the Small Mammal House. Wouldn't it be fun to have animal statues in front of your house?


Good thing we stopped by the Small Mammal House, because there was a friendly meerkat just waiting to say hello! He looked at us for a long time, and then scurried back into his fake termite mound.


After the zoo, we had to accomplish another goal- Piper's first Junior Ranger badge! Luckily, Piper is very handy at figuring out subways, so we took the DC Metro. Here's Piper at the nearest station to the zoo. The farecards in Washington have giant pandas on them! I need to speak to Mayor Bloomberg about getting red pandas on ours in NYC.


We got off the metro at the Smithsonian stop. We each had a Junior Ranger book, and we'd been working on them the whole trip. Actually, we got most of the work done on the bus- Piper brought her laptop along.

We decided to visit the Washington Monument as our first stop before going to the ranger station. Did you know the monument was built in two phases? That's why it's two different colors. It was designed to look like an Egyptian obelisk.


My friend Violet and I have a tradition of standing in front of the official park signs, so Piper and I had to get a snapshot in front of the little ranger station. Here we are!


Inside the station, a friendly park ranger swore us in as Junior Rangers! Piper was very proud to earn her first badge in the nation's capitol. We both took our vows very seriously- Explore! Learn! Protect! That's the Junior Ranger motto.


After we left the ranger station, we had to leave to go back to New York. We walked back to the Smithsonian metro station so we could go to Union Station. Before we left, Piper took one last photo of me in Washington.

It was a great weekend! If you ever have the chance to visit Washington, take it!


  1. Oops, my human didn't realize the National Mall had a Junior Ranger program! That would've been a fun activity for Hodel to do, when she visited in 2010.

    I still haven't been to DC myself, but I'm hoping that will change soon. I've heard it's a nice city and that the metro is quite easy to utilize!

    Looks like you and Piper had a great time seeing the pandas - both giant and red! The baby red pandas look adorable! I also love the meerkats, which have been some of my favorite animals since seeing The Lion King!


  2. omigosh i'm so jealous! giant pandas are one of my favs and i've never seen one in real life!! i want to go there so bad now! i love the picture of you and piper on the giant panda statue! so cute!! :)

  3. Inky, your blog is fantastic and your adventures get better and better. The photos with your Mama's new camera are stunning. I love you and miss you!!

    Violet an Jessica.

  4. You and Piper are so lucky! That looks like so much fun. Pandas are so awesome and the colorings on the red ones are beautiful. Congrats to Piper for getting her first badge!

  5. You and Piper are having mega fun together while she is there, it is so awesome that you have the chance to get out and see things with your friends. I love the Giant Panda's and those Red Panda's are adorable, specially the little ones, soooo cute ..

    Congrats to Piper on her first badge, she must be thrilled to start earning badges with you.

    It would be fun to go into DC and see all the historical places, I love history. You and Piper both look really cute with the Washington Monument behind you, have they reopened it after the earth quake or fixed where it was hurt during it?

    Take care Inky,

  6. Inky,
    It looks like you and Piper had a wonderful trip! I love the photos of you guys in front of the Washington Monument. The zoo looks like it was wonderful, too.
    I'm so close to DC; I should hopefully be visiting soon.

  7. Yay! You and Piper saw so many amazing things. I haven't been to a zoo in ages and have never seen a panda. I have to ask if we can go soon!

    ~ Kiki

  8. Hi Inky! What are you doing tomorrow? Are you going o DC? I'm going to Ford's Theatre and wondered if you were going to be nearby! Loved the story! Thanks :)

  9. We saw the pandas when we went to China.

  10. You guys are so lucky to be traveling so much! What a wonderful life!

  11. I Love the photos! Can't wait to see what your next big adventure will be!

  12. Inky,

    Wish I'd know when you were coming, we could have met up with you. We live just outside the DC Beltway. I go to that zoo all the time. I was there after Christmas to see the zoo lights. Maybe next time you come, we could meet up.

    I love your blog!


  13. Hi Inky
    My guardian loves Washington, DC. Did you know she used to work at the zoo? She told your mom about the red panda statue. My guardian thinks the Giant Panda in your photo is Tian, the male. He's always ready to pose for pictures. Mei and Tian have different shaped eye markings but my guardian could never figure out which was which. She says Mei was always in the tree and Tian was always eating. My guardian could see Mei in the tree from her store window and one day the tree branch broke when Tian came climbing up too. Luckily no one was hurt! Sometimes the keepers would come in the store too and it was like seeing a celebrity! I'm happy you got to see the red pandas too. Come to Providence again and we'll go see the red pandas at the Roger Williams Park Zoo!
    Your friend, Susanna

  14. Congrats on the new Junior Ranger badge! It looks quite good on you both.

    DC is such an interesting city, especially in the snow. I hope the human takes me there to see the Cherry Blossoms, though, I'm sure that's gorgeous.

  15. I love Piper's pants and jacket. Where did she get them?? I want a pair!

  16. Hi Anonymous, Piper's jacket is from Ardently Admire on etsy. The pants are from Liberty Jane. I hope that helps!

  17. Thanks so much!! I love your valentine shirt, where did you get it? I obviously don't have very many clothes for my dolls! Also where did you get your hat and boots??

  18. Hi Anonymous,

    The Valentine shirt was custom-made for my by Dynamite Threads. My hat is from Germany (a German friend sent it to me) and my boots are Kit's Work Boots. I think the work boots may be retired now though. Maybe try eBay?

  19. Cool,thanks again!! I love your blog. And if you don't mind me asking another question, where do you find all your doll sized books and clothes and other things??
    I should probably tell you my name,

  20. Hi Mel,

    Thanks for the compliment! I get my clothes from American Girl and a few different sewists. I love to shop at Melody Valerie Couture on etsy, Liberty Jane, and Dynamite Threads. The doll-sized books come with the American Girl mini dolls. Let me know if you have any more questions! You can always e-mail me at inkymarina @ gmail . com!

  21. Inky-
    When Piper got her Ardently Admire jacket was there any more left? And do know where I can find doll sized headbands? I have the same doll as Piper and I've noticed that she wears lots of headbands so I was wondering where she got them.

  22. AWWWWW!!!! That baby red panda is SO SO SO CUTE!!!

  23. Inky I love your blog and wanted to know where got your coat

    1. Hi! Thanks for the compliment. My coat was custom made for me by Dynamite Threads.