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Monday, October 1, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival and the zoo redux

Amber rides the Metro

Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋节, and to celebrate we sat around this evening munching on moon cakes 月饼 while gazing up the harvest moon in the night sky, all the while reciting poetry.

Who am I kidding? No one does that anymore, if in fact they ever did. Certainly in Taiwan, the modern-day custom is to barbeque meat and seafood, sing karaoke カラオケ「卡拉OK」 and set off fireworks, producing so much smoke that the moon can't be observed, were anyone actually to remember to look for it. We made an attempt yesterday evening to observe the Moon Festival Taiwan-style by doing some grilling down in the apartment complex's BBQ pit. This morning we met up with one of my classmates to have some delicious dim sum 点心 at a restaurant in Silver Springs, Maryland. The food was great, but I forgot to take pictures of the dishes, so all I can do is put up a link to the restaurant's website.

The rest of the day following lunch was spent at the National Zoo, our second visit since coming to the Washington, D.C. area at the beginning of summer. This time, we concentrated on seeing the animals that we didn't get around to the first time back in June. My daughter had a great time, and never lacked for energy, something that couldn't be said for her parents. A few of the highlights for Amber:

Posing with a Komodo dragon

Seeing an octopus and some nautilus up close and personal

Being eyed by a tiger and a pair of cheetahs

Beaver shot

We had seen the pandas on our previous visit, and considering the recent death of a baby cub at the zoo, it was probably for the best that we skipped the panda house this time. The visitor's center did have some live camera shots:

Our Americanized Mid-Autumn Festival celebration finished up with a hamburger and shrimp creole dinner while sitting outdoors across the street from the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro station:


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