I had a great time this weekend meeting up in Washington DC with Noelle and her kids, Aidan and Keira, who came up from Virginia. Aidan is my Godson and I consider Keira my unofficial Goddaughter by extension. We had a great time going to the Natural History Museum, where highlights were the bug exhibit (crazy big tarantulas and glow in the dark scorpians!) and the crystal and gem collection (turns out Keira is gem gal!). The kids tolerated my forced march to see the White House, even though it was dark already and we could only see it from a distance. On Sunday we went to the National Zoo and introduced the newest family member—Pandie the Panda–to Keira’s menagerie. The zoo has a new baby Panda, Bei Bei, but we could only see him on the video-cam because Mama Panda and baby were still not taking guests. In between we had fun hanging out in the hotel, swimming in the hotel pool, timing the super long escalators at the Metro and overdosing on deep dish pizza and ice cream shakes from Shake Shack. Aidan has grown up into a sports nut but he’s nice enough to tolerate Aunt Katja’s dumb sports questions like —“who won the world series” and “how many innings are there in a basketball game.” Since Noelle and her family live so far away, I don’t get to see them so often but luckily work takes me to DC often enough so we can see each other in person every now and then. Aidan is now almost ten and I can’t quite believe that this little peanut that I held in my arms not so long ago is now such a big boy! Its been a gift to be a part of Adain and Keira’s lives and to have a role model for such a great Mom in my friend Noelle!