Friday, December 26, 2014

Towpath Trail Part III (12/26/2014)

Friday, December 26, 2014
Unseasonably warm and sunny, so we walked another section of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail between the I-77 overpass and Quaker Steak on Canal Road in Valley View. (We hiked the "first" section of the Towpath Trail that follows the old Ohio & Erie Canal on July 6, 2014 from Harvard Road to the Marcy Trestle. We started at the Canalway Center near the trestle and walked to the overpass of Route I-77 on November 9, 2014.)
Pedestrian bridge over Warner Road in Valley View
Kent and Brynne on the bridge at Bacci Park
Under I-480 at the site of former brick factories
Cleveland Block bricks
Dried thistle seed pods
Dried milkweed seed pods

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Bit of DC (12/13-14/2014)

Saturday, December 13, 2014
We visited Erich and Carrie in Washington, DC, and got to see the grandsons, Dylan and Pete. After lunch at Blue Jacket, a microbrewery, we took the Metro to the National Air and Space Museum. There was some discussion about the age of the museum, which actually opened in 1976 while what Tamiko remembered as a child must have been the National Air Museum (before Space was discovered!)
Pete checks out an early era airline meal
Erich, Dylan and Pete went on a Cosmic Coaster simulator ride, then we took the Metro back to the apartment in the renovated Foundry of the Navy Yard, for a taco dinner.

Sunday, December 14, 2014
This morning the lights went up on the Christmas tree!
The whole gang took the Metro to the Woodley Park station, the second deepest station in the DC area, and it has one of the longest escalators.
Dylan and Erich on the Woodley Park escalator
It is a half mile walk to the National Zoo from the Metro station, so we needed a quick snack.
National Zoo entrance on Connecticut Avenue
The zoo entrance is flanked by two bronze lions (ca. 2002) made by artist Reinaldo L√≥pez-Carrizo, based on the originals (1906) by Roland Perry, that were made for the Taft Bridge.
The first Giant Pandas (Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing) at the National Zoo were gifted by China to the U.S. in 1972. They died in 1992 and 1999. Breeding of pandas has become more sophisticated, and with the arrival of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang in 2000, the National Zoo has had two successful live births.
Pete and Dylan with the Panda sculpture by Eric Berg
Pete (and Dylan)
    Pithecia pithecia/Pale-headed Saki
    right at the window
    Salix discolor/Pussy Willow 
    Melanistic Sciurus carolinensis/
    Black Eastern Gray Squirrel
    We had lunch at Chipotles before taking the Metro back home.
    A short but productive visit. Thanks to Erich and Carrie for the hospitality, and thanks to Dylan and Pete for showing us the Air and Space Museum and the National Zoo!