Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frankie Is Thankful

Frankie is thankful for Thanksgiving vacation.

Frankie is thankful for car rides.

Frankie is thankful for rest stops.

Frankie is thankful for cranberries.

Frankie is thankful for pie.

Frankie is thankful for games.

Frankie is thankful for kitties.

Frankie is thankful for leftovers.

Frankie is thankful for returning home after a fun trip.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy and the Girls

Long time Washingtonian Happy the Hippo is relaxing in the pool at his new home in Milwaukee. He recently discovered a couple of eligible hippo ladies right next door:

Puddles, 33, shorter and a bit heftier at 2,900 pounds, is the offspring of Pinky and Patti. She was born in Milwaukee. She and Happy seem to have hit it off. They have been seen licking each other, although hippos are also known to lick the floor.

Is a steel "howdy gate" enough to keep these two lovers apart? Read the article in the Washington Post for more juicy details!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

American History

Veteran's Day fell on a Wednesday this year. What do you do on a cold, rainy day off from school? Visit the Smithsonian Museum of American History!

We were welcomed by a protocol droid named C-3PO. He is fluent in over six million forms of communication, including Potamus. Hippo and C-3PO had a fascinating discussion about lunch etiquette, including where to stuff the napkin when you're not wearing a collar.

Hippo is a member of the V.I.P. (Very Important Puppet) Lounge. So we spent some time schmoozing with his old friend Kermit the Frog.

We like to visit the Room of Things That Are Bright And Noisy. It's fascinating to see all the clever things that people have invented in America. Hippo got a few bright ideas of his own.

No visit to a museum is complete without a pressed penny. Hippo posed with his "America On The Move - Winton Car" coin after the most important stop of the day to see the real, first Star Spangled Banner.

Friday, November 13, 2009

National Arboretum

Hippo likes to go out and explore nature, especially at this time of year when nature is so pretty. When he doesn't have time to travel far, he likes to visit the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

It was a little early on Hippo's visit in October to see much color in the trees. But he liked this bright orange one and thought it'd make a wonderful Jack o'Lantern.

These columns were part of the US Capitol for over a century. When the Capitol was expanded the columns were moved to an open field where they contrast beautifully against the sky.

In the quiet areas of the Arboretum, the trees act a little silly when they think nobody is watching. Hippo caught this one make shadow puppets with its leaves.

The wooly worms were busy getting ready for winter. Hippo noted a faint smell of grapes and apples emanating from their dens. They must be stocking up on food for months of cold and snow.

There's a Scratch & Sniff garden that Hippo likes to explore. Sometimes he rubs his paws in the mint and herbs so he can remind himself of the delicious smells when he gets home.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Sesame Street!

I just love shows with puppets. Especially this one!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marble Columns

Marble columns! Elegant, sturdy, and bursting with class.

Nothing says you've got money and power like marble columns! You put marble columns on your house and that place looks like a mansion!

Look at these columns! Look at this one. Look at that one.

You gotta get yourself some marble columns!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cake Wrecks

Hippo discovered that there are Web sites where people write funny things every day. One of his favorites is called Cake Wrecks. They show what happens when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong:

Q) What do you get if you cross Princess Leia, Dracula, and the Bride of Frankenstein?

A) This.

Hippo was excited to hear that the authors were coming to a bookstore near his hometown. They even brought along some funny cakes to share.

The cakes are so funny that they make him squirt root beer out his nose. I got him a book of Cake Wrecks so he'd stop getting my computer all sticky.

It was exciting to meet a real Web celebrity in person!

She wrote:

To Hippo
Under Neat That
Enjoy the "cake"!
- Jen Yates

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conservation Center

One of Hippo's favorite places in the world is Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC. He heard rumors that they have a farm where they raise endangered animals. So in October we drove out to Front Royal, Virginia to visit the critters during a special open house.

Lots of families with children were visiting too. But as far as we know, Hippo was the only hippo there.

It's important to protect delicate snouts from the sun.

Some big boys and girls played army on a hilltop. They galloped around, fired rifles, and hit targets with sabers while riding on horseback.

There was a long wait to see the rare clouded leopard cubs, so Hippo took the time to plan the rest of his visit.

The clouded leopards were worth the wait. They engaged in a wrestling match to keep us entertained.

Hippo found some chalk and left his mark on a wall.

He also left a message for the Zoo's recent graduate, Happy the Hippopotamus.

Hippo made friends with the local wildlife at the visitor center in Shenandoah National Park.

The view from Skyline Drive through the Park was spectacular.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Party

Hippo, Opie, Frankie, Squeaky, Flatopotamus, Grumpy Ducky, and a host of costumed acquaintances threw a wild Halloween party.

Opie won the prize for Best Costume. He looked so smart in his graduation cap that we kept mistaking him for Hippo all night!