Natural History Museum Instameet

(Photos in this post are mine unless otherwise indicated.)

I was selected to attend my very first Instameet today at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!


I was so surprised to be selected because I really only applied as a “couldn’t hurt!” type of deal, trying to go for opportunities and really get myself into the DC community. I only recently opened my own Instagram account to the public and, spoiler alert, the content isn’t really great. I know that I’m not a cool photographer on #igdc but hey, a girl can dream! So imagine my shock when I got the email confirming my attendance! At first I thought “Maybe not enough people applied so everyone who applied got in!” But I saw some people lamenting not being chosen — some of whom had way more followers than me and way better content. Who knows what made them pick me but I’m glad they did!

Even though it was ridiculously crazy cold. Remember polar vortex season from last year?

That is degrees Farenheit. Don’t even look at what that is in Celsius; you’ll cry and then your tears will freeze right on your face.

I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated when I showed up. A lot of these Instagrammers were very familiar with the DC Instameet scene. Several brought their DSLRs. A handful had multiple cameras with them. One even had a vintage twin-reflex camera with him!

Featured: Dave (@beingdave) Photo credit: Adil (@elektron9)

Along schleps me, in my panda hat and my Android phone. (Creative types always seem to have iPhones, so I was definitely in the minority here…) In answer to the most DC question you can hear (“So what do you do?”), people’s responses were wildly impressive: working for Facebook or Instagram itself, social media at NatGeo… and then there’s Starr and her panda hat.

I got some good shots though, and I’ll be sharing ones that I didn’t get to put up on my Instagram account because you are all very special to be putting up with my posts.

“Happy Year of the Goat, mofos!” – what I imagined this one was thinking
The famous Hope Diamond. Could’ve used a polish and shine, but I guess it’ll do.
This is the African Moon Moth. It has no mouth when it emerges from its cocoon, doomed to face death after just one week of life. During that week, their only purpose is to mate. 
I guess I’d look pretty sassy and mad if that was my fate, too.

The Butterfly Pavilion is easily one of my favorite parts of this museum. It’s warm and humid to keep the butterflies and moths comfortable, and they flutter by freely. People are generally really respectful of the butterflies, and I like that we as a species acknowledge the delicate majesty of these little creatures.

Plus, you get magical moments like this!
Featured: Andy (@andymstone) and a lacewing. Photo credit: Sarah (@smithsonian)

We were given time to roam about the museum freely, but it was nice to have the whole group gathered in the Butterfly Pavilion. It paved the way for us to see what Instagrammers are really like to get the perfect photo.

Instameets, am I right?
Featured: John (@johntassparker) and Priya (@onomatopriya)
This fella is pretty popular at the museum because a) he’s always willing to share and b) he’s in front of a bench.
Some Rothschild moths doing like they do on the Discovery Channel. The rest are awkward third wheels. (Third and fourth wheels?)

If I didn’t make it clear earlier, I was incredibly intimidated by everyone else in attendance. I have a “lifestyle” blog and Instagram account, just little tidbits from my life that I feel like sharing. I’ve never been a very visual or artistic person, so seeing these folks roll up with their DSLRs and their #igdc status (the founders of @igdc were at this Instameet, by the way) made me really nervous. I was also nervous that they’d be just so ah-tistic that they wouldn’t be terribly friendly. While some folks were quieter than others, there were plenty of extroverts and everyone was generally really nice! Phew!

Here are a few photos from the #NMNHphoto Instameet from my fellow IGDCers (check the caption for their accounts):

Henry the elephant welcomes all to the museum.
Photo credit: Joe (@jbano1)
Got buns, hon?
Photo credit: Holly (@golightly) (what a great name!)
Photo credit: Andy (@someguy)
Check out his great photography site: ihitthebutton.com
Photo credit: Kerrin (@kerrinsuzanne)

Starting to get overwhelmed by the photos so I’ll leave you all to discover the rest yourselves. I’m sure more will continue to be uploaded as folks edit their beautiful photos. (I felt like I was obligated to upload as I went along, it was pretty stressful. I wanted to read all the signs!)

I had a really great time and am looking forward to getting more involved with the DC Instagram community and beefing up my photography skills!

Not sure who took this one, but it’s up on the @smithsoniannmnh account with loads of other great photos. This is the closest we got to a group photo.
  • Have you ever been to an Instameet? If so, how was it? If not, where would you like to attend one?
  • Have you ever been to the National Museum of Natural History? What are your favorite exhibits?

 

Friday Favorites (6)

Haven’t done a Friday Favorites in a while, so let’s just jump right in:

Hot Noodle Soups

We had a sudden drop in temperatures, from mid-60s to mid-30s, here in the DC area. And really, what satisfies you like a hot noodle soup? Specifically, I start to get very consistent cravings for pho, ramen, and jjampong.

Some of the pho and jjambbong I’ve had this past month

I also love going home to my parents’ house and eating bone soup with some rice noodles in them. (You know those big pork bones that you can just slurp the marrow out of? Yah, those are the ones.) There are so many comforting feelings that come with hot noodle soups: the smell coming up with steam, the first sensation as you take your first slurp of hot soup, the feeling as the hot soup goes down into your belly.

If you eat with me in the colder months and ask me what we should eat, there is a good chance I will suggest some form of hot noodle soup. I haven’t been able to have too many this week, but with another brutal winter up ahead, you can be sure I’ll have plenty.

Cooking Videos

Some of you may remember that I had a brief obsession with makeup tutorials a few years back. I never used any of them, but I felt like I was theoretically armed with the ability to create these stunning makeup looks. (I’m not.)

These days, I spend a lot more time watching cooking videos. Again, I’m not actually applying the stuff I’m watching, really, but I feel like I can apply this theory later on. This has been a lot more productive for me, as I do cook but I don’t wear makeup. Usually, I’ll end up watching Sorted Food or Gordon Ramsay. (I guess I just like watching British guys cook food? The accent makes it more compelling.)

Here’s one of my favorites by Sorted:

Warning: This chocolate cake looks sinfully good. You probably will drool watching.

And here’s the iconic video from Gordon Ramsay:

If you aren’t making eggs like this, apparently we’re wrong. Very wrong.

Big Hero 6 Easter Egg

I won’t spoil it for you, but, this is a Marvel film. And if you know Marvel movies, then you know Stan Lee shows up in [nearly] all of them in some way or another. (Since he didn’t have a hand in the Guardians of the Galaxy, he is not in that movie and likely will not be in any future GotG movies.)

So, with Marvel’s first animated feature, we do have a Stan Lee cameo! You might miss it for just a moment in the middle of the movie, but if you stick around after the credits, it’s a confirmed Generalissimo appearance.

Jasmine Tea

I don’t know why, but I put off buying new jasmine tea for a while. Partially because  I already have tea, partially because I could’ve sworn I had some at my parents’ house, partially because I’m lazy.

Finally got myself one of those yellow tins of looseleaf tea and I am so glad I finally did. Jasmine is maybe my favorite variety of tea because of the fragrance. (I love the smell of jasmine.) Drank maybe too many cups today but that’s all right, I have a bathroom, it’s all good.

National Museum of Natural History

After 8 years of living in Maryland, I haven’t been to a Smithsonian museum since the 3rd grade, when I lived in New Jersey. So, for Veteran’s Day/our anniversary, Ben and I went to the natural history museum. It was SO nice! Even though the dinosaur exhibit was closed for renovations, which really disappointed Ben. BUT BUT BUT the live butterfly room is free entry on Tuesdays and I got to just be enchanted by all these fluttering little butterflies. It’s so great, I love museums and the Smithsonians are cream of the crop. AND THEY’RE FREE.

Spending Time with Ben

This week had both our anniversary and Ben’s birthday, so I got to spend a lot of time with him and give him gifts! I feel like we got to spend some really quality time together and I am just really grateful to have him in my life. Spending time with my better half always makes me happy!


What have you been liking lately?
What do you crave in the cold months?
Any fun weekend plans?