Good times. Good vibes. Good company.

27 January, 2020

Ape Awe

Good morning all!!

Our day started bright and early in the hopes of getting as much done in my whiplash-like time in D.C. as possible.  Lina dressed me so I was extra funky, stylish, and overwhelmingly comfortable (bar breaking in my new trainers...poor, poor timing) for our day.  Keep an eye out for all the outfit deets in a later post ;)

We kicked off the sun-filled morning with a walk to the Lincoln Memorial, coffee in hand, braving the crisp winter chill.  I was lucky to have gotten my flight out of Boston as another 3 flights with my airline got cancelled en route to D.C. that day because of the weather there so as cold as it was in D.C., it wasn't as bad as Boston so I couldn't complain (too much).  Lincoln has become one of both Lina's & my favourite spots.  I think it might have something to do with the fact that we are European by blood and upbringing and are accustomed to seeing buildings, monuments and the like dating back hundreds if not thousands of years and while  America is such a baby in comparison it's still so surreal to go to a place that's been here so much longer than we have and soak in all of it's history and beauty.

From there, we cabbed it to the Smithsonian Zoo where we quickly inhaled a bit of breakfast to keep us going before, wait for it, my private behind-the-scenes tour of the ape house.  This was one of the most incredible experiences I've had thus far in my life and I am so grateful to have been able to have it.  Never did I think that I'd be able to say that I've been standing a mere few feet away from a silverback gorilla or baby Orangutan with no glass in between us.  The keepers and Lina filled my brain with all sorts of ape-related knowledge ranging from what a display is to R&R and I stood, wide-eyed, very much conscious of the fact that I had to keep my emotions and overall demeanour in check so not to frighten, confuse or offend these grand creatures, and let it all soak in.  What was very surprising was that out of all of the things Lina warned me about possibly happening, re-stated by the keepers prior to entry as well, not a single thing happened.  No one spat at me, threw anything, charged, displayed, or misbehaved in the slightest due to the presence of a very new and unfamiliar human.  Might I just add that in the face of them doing any of this you aren't supposed to  No jumping, shrieking, screaming, sudden movements--nada.  I guess the good, chill, very submissive vibes I was putting out were well-received.  Also, given that it's "behind-the-scenes", no photographs are allowed to circulate publicly so as much as I'd love to be able to share more with you all, I straight up didn't take a single picture so even if I could, I can't.

I still haven't gotten over exactly how incredible it is that Lina's been interning at the bloody Smithsonian these past few months and has been able to work so closely with these amazing animals. I was so, so proud before stepping foot into the ape house but walking out I could only do so with a newfound awe and respect.  Thank you so much to every member of the team I met for giving me this mind-blowing experience--first and foremost, Lina.  You're such a badass I don't even know how to fully absorb it but I'll be happy so long as I get be a part of watching it happen.

Mind-blown, we hopped around and got a few last minute items for Cayman before heading home to do Christmas presents and get all packed up.  It didn't seem logical for us to schlepp our gifts to one another all the way to Cayman when at least one of us could leave them behind at home.  I think Lina's favourite present from me was, hands down, her new Bose headphones.  Once we got them all setup she and I gave them a go with a full-on, damn-near heart attack inducing boogie so up-beat and passionate that the closest thing to a picture is the one below.

I think my three favourites are tied, all for very different reasons.  First up is the Fleetwood Mac t-shirt--no explanation necessary, secondly is a silver glitter eyeliner I've wanted for YEARS and somehow was always magically out of stock, got lost in the post, you name it....and thirdly, the Twilight serious (oh, yeah!).

Over the summer Mama and I did a Twilight movie marathon and one, they never get old and two, it reminded me of how obsessed I was with the books way back when and I suddenly got the urge to re-read them. "Breaking Dawn" didn't arrive in time for me to get it before our trip which I can only take great amusement in seeing as, in protest of the series ending of course, it's the one I never read!! In the spirit of using what's already out there, the books were purchased second hand and the wear and tear of these somehow just makes them all the more loveable.  I long for a time when I'm not reading to kick-start a legal career be it via a law degree or in preparation for a bar exam so that, in my free time that yes, I do have faith with exist, I might actually have the desire to reach for a book for a leisurely purpose.  When that time comes, I'm ready ;)

We finished off the night in brilliant company with sweet Osito passing through the district before also flying out for the holidays the day following.  It was such a bazaar feeling having him at Lina's dorm and just in D.C. in the overall but of course, amazing.  Every time I see this kid it's like I'm wrapped in a warm hug of love and laughs!! New of the impeachment broke which, although I'm not holding my breath for any tangibly successful turnout come January, was pretty special to have happen whilst in the capital.  The three of us ordered far too much Chinese food at Lina's favourite spot and while Osito and I had a proper catch-up sesh over Negroni's, Lina hopped on home to finish last-minute Cayman prep.

The only thing about my time in D.C. that upset me was that it was far too little time!  Hopefully I'll be back soon! Thanks for this time!



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