Tag Archives: museum

Evading cabin fever

I had the best intentions to blog yesterday, but it didn’t work out.  It shouldn’t really be working out today, either, but I’ve bought Simon’s silence with an oatmeal cookie (we baked them this morning.  Pecans, dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries. Yum!)

So here we are.  Better make this quick!

Our weekend was pretty darn close to perfect.  On Saturday we went up to Cleveland to check out West Side Market (I had SUCH a fun time there last fall with Megan and Marin, and wanted to share it with Jeff) and play tourists for a while.

I love that place; it’s well worth the drive!  Of course, it’s completely different on a Saturday morning than it is during the middle of the week (DUH), and crowds are, err…not our favorite thing.  But Simon was snug in the Tula, so Jeff and I dodged the crowds and bought all the pastries our canvas bag would hold:

And fancy olives.  And dolmas.  YUM.

So crowded.  So neat!

Then we walked over to Great Lakes Brewing for lunch.  I had fish and chips; Jeff had a ridiculously good beer, one of their brewery exclusives (I had a few sips) and a really good brat with pierogis (he alleges.  Like hell I’m touching a flesh-stuffed intestinal tube.)  Simon made do with scraps from home, like usual. Poor baby.

We weren’t quite ready to head back to Akron after lunch, so we decided to check out Cleveland’s natural history museum.

And there we saw OMG DUCKS!

Pretty sure this was the highlight of Simon’s little life; he was absolutely captivated.  And chilling there with his sleepy eyes in his little stroller, it was more than a little reminiscent of an old man sitting at a nursing home (and would’ve been sorta sad if it hadn’t been so cute :-P).

We eventually dragged him away, though, and he quickly resumed his ornery toddler-y ways:

Little stinker. He’s my favorite.

As one might expect, he conked out on the drive home and was OK with a quiet evening with Mama Daddy.  On Sunday we just hung out around the house and did some chores; pretty quiet.

Yesterday was “challenging”.  Someone was in full-on Toddler Mode all day, and it wasn’t necessarily the person you’d expect.  By 5:00 I was ready to scream, so we escaped to the post office and the grocery store (exciting!), then picked up Jeff from work.  Jeff made the very wise decision to entertain Simon almost all evening, leaving me free to unwind (you know…do dishes and laundry. :-\)  It was actually a pretty good time for everyone.

He determined earlier today that sleep is for babies and since he is a big boy, naps are completely unnecessary.  See how well that worked out:

We worked on a nap for 2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission in which I took a nice long shower while he stood at the baby gate and talked to me.  I warned him that his days of endless pacifier boob are numbered, but to no avail.  Toddlers are not well known for their foresight or appreciation.

So, bedtime tonight should be interesting. I predict he’ll either  go down in 5 minutes, or 75.  Who wants to take bets?

I’m starting to feel guilty about parking my butt in front of the computer for so long, so I’d best be off.  Simon and I have been reading “Where Is Your Nose?” off and on as I write.  He can now consistently identify his eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, hair, tum, hands, knees, and feet.  Even when the book isn’t in front of him.  Big smart boy!  Tomorrow we start calculus.

DC Saga: Saturday

Saturday morning we decided to do the tourist-y thing together (so much more fun than doing the tourist-y thing alone):  Smithsonian stuff, the national mall, and a boat ride.

So we had to have a POWERBREAKFAST! at Founding Farmers:

(Nothing says “hardcore” like egg whites, fresh veggies and whole grain toast.  Amirite?)

Jeff also let me sample his buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon-infused maple syrup:

Seriously delicious.  And look at that little syrup distribution system!  So cute.

 

And since we’re on the MAGICAL INTERNET and you don’t have to watch our 10-minute walk and train ride…

 

Ta-da!  Look!  We’re at the Mall!

Here’s my first artistic portrait series, inspired by the works of art at the Smithsonian.  I call it, Annoying one’s husband as you walk down the Mall.

“1:  Studiously ignoring the wife.”

“2:  About to sneeze.”

“3:  Post-sneeze nose rub.”

I AM AN ARTISTE!

I don’t even know.  He’s gonna yell at me for putting this up:

Can anyone tell me why I took this picture?

Ooh but this was the most exciting of all.  Behold:  a tract in the bathroom at the Washington Memorial!

I tried to dry my hands on it but the pages were too slippery and non-absorbent.

(Has anyone cornered the market on towel tracts yet?)

Here’s Series 2, entitled Annoying one’s husband while he waits for you to finish taking pictures of tracts in public restrooms.

“1:  Observing from a distance.”

(And look at that guy in the blue!  I’m so good, I’m even annoying *other people’s husbands*!)

“2:  About to make the kill.”

[“3:  Here Jeff, have a soggy tract.” has been temporarily removed for cleaning and restoration.  Our apologies for the inconvenience.]

And now, a quiz:  Am I standing at the base of the Washington Monument, or in front of a nondescript office building?

Answer:  YOU’LL NEVER KNOW.

We walked over to the White House next:

Though I can understand the reasoning, I don’t really like that they keep the public so far from the building.  Makes me pine for those days ’round 1902 when the T. Roosevelt children and I would play and tumble about on the lawn, and have secret picnics in a copse of trees.

Y’know.  Those days.

This isn’t just an empty signifier of abstract philosophy.  It’s me saying “fuck war” as politely as I can.  I told Jeff that I almost wish there was a draft on, and that women were eligible, just so I could register as a conscientious objector.  I don’t think he believed me.

This is what got me so pissed off at pointless fucking wars started to line greedy bastards’ pockets:

Not to get too political (hahahaha who am I kidding?) but I mean, did we – as a country – learn NOTHING from Vietnam?  Ugh.

(I hope we do move to DC, just so I can take part in any number of protests.)

(I tried protesting here in St. Louis once, but Jeff said that ranting at him in the living room isn’t the same thing as protesting.  Especially when he already agrees with me.)

If there was ONE THING I wanted to do in DC:  hug Jeff.  If there was ANOTHER THING I wanted to do in DC:  see the reflecting pool.  So, of course, they drained the stupid pool:

Very impressive, huh?   I’d worn my swimsuit and eb’rything.

My favorite stop on the Mall was (big surprise) the Lincoln Memorial:

Fantastic:

I tried to read the whole Emancipation Proclamation and Second Inaugural Address as carved on the monument’s side walls, but there were just too many people jostling around and hitting my ankles with strollers (seriously, who carries a stroller up those steps?!) and brushing me with their sticky Banana-Boat-scented shoulders.

Though I guess that’s what you should expect at a tourist destination on a Saturday in June.

(Digression #2 – see that guy off at the left, with the striped shirt and backpack?  That’s a “Harold”:  the quintessential obnoxious, clueless tourist.  By the time I left DC, I was SO FUCKING SICK of the Harolds, and their female counterparts – the Irmas.  Everywhere you go, Harold and Irma are standing – rather than walking – up the left side of escalators, or asking for directions, or gawking at street corners.  Goddamn.  Sweaty, overweight Harolds and Irmas fanning themselves with brochures, or blocking the sidewalk to take family photos, or trying to parallel park their Dodge Grand Caravan.  Fucking tourists.

“Harold and Irma” is a designation Jeff and I came up with several years ago in St. Louis, for the idiot suburbanites who would ride the Metrolink once a year to attend a Rams game, who would jostle about on the train and giggle helplessly and get their purses caught in the doors.  The term translates nicely to all tourists, everywhere, who happen to be in my way when I’m just trying to fucking go someplace.  I can’t stand Harolds and Irmas.)

We escaped the crowd inside the Lincoln Memorial after just a few minutes, and retreated to the back portico where we could sit and swing our legs and watch traffic and drink Diet Fanta.  It was my favorite.

It was getting pretty warm and crazy sunny, so I busted out my parasol (if by ‘parasol’ you mean ‘umbrella purchased at CVS *after* the Thursday night rainstorm’) as we walked toward the Smithsonian buildings:

Contrary to Jeff’s initial statements, I was *not* the only white girl doing this on Saturday – I saw at least two others.  (and about 40 old Asian women tourists, but that’s beside the point)

We decided to see the museums piecemeal rather than try to catch everything in one go, so we just hit up a few exhibits each in the Natural History museum and in the American History museum.

This was my favorite:

Clearly.

Yes, that’s THE Stephen Colbert portrait.  Err…one of them.

Lol.  “Portrait.”

(See what I mean about thorough placards?)

And here’s its prestigious location in the American History museum:

Right by the staff offices and restrooms.  Only the best for Mr. Colbert.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the famous ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz:

When I was a kid – 11 or 12, maybe – Mom and Dad took us to a traveling Smithsonian exhibit when it stopped in Kansas City.  I remember going, but I even more distinctly remember being way too cool to look at anything, choosing instead to stand off to the side and look aloof and awesome.

God I wish I could go smack my preteen self.

The hat that Lincoln was wearing the night he was assassinated:

Have I mentioned my little Lincoln obsession?  No?

Oh!  But THIS.  This was the best:

JULIA-FUCKING-CHILD, guys.

This is about as close as I’ve ever come to a religious experience.

You can’t actually go in (duh), but you they did set it up with plexi-glass “bubbles” that you can step into so you can see the kitchen from all sides.

It was amazing.  And I would’ve been able to appreciate it even more if Irma and Harold’s 20,000 obnoxious grandkids weren’t screaming and running around the whole time.

But still.  Damn.

From there we went to the Natural History museum, where we sat outside and I ate the best damn soft pretzel of my entire life.

And then we went in and looked at dinosaurs:

I wanna know what this giant sloth and sabre-tooth cat were talking about:

“Hey man, my breath stink?”
“Does your breath stink? Seriously?  It’s so bad my nose just fucking fell off!  You smell like a dead animal.”

I decided to perform a little social experiment.  I stood next to the fish tank for two minutes, and counted the number of times some Harold came by with his stupid kid and said “Hurr hurr!  Look Aiden!  Nemo and Dory!”

8 times, y’all.  8 times in 2 minutes.

When I couldn’t handle the Harold-ing anymore, we decided to leave and go someplace that we could be Harold and Irma.  Jeff had bought a Groupon for a 2-hour cruise thingy on the Potomac, so we did that:

And that’s the only evidence.  It was fun, though.  Even if I did spend the whole time thinking we were traveling east, while it turns out we were really going south (Fucking maps.  How does it work?!)

Good thing they didn’t let me drive the boat.

After that, we went home and… (guess?)…watched IT Crowd, ate reduced-fat Oreos, and fell asleep by 10pm.

So help me, I love him

(Saturday 8/8/09)

In an effort to escape the rain on Saturday morning, we paid our $2.00 admission and visited the Two Harbors train depot museum thingy (probably not its official name).

While the museum itself left a bit to be desired – though really, I suppose, it was fine as far as small town museums are concerned – we really did have a great time.

And it’s all thanks to my wonderful, adorable, hilarious husband.

(Pounding all the buttons rendered me quite breathless from giggling)

(“Katie!  C’mere!  I can see….TINY BEARS!”)

But it wasn’t only Jeff – the museum itself was a good source of laughs as well.  There’s more to this sign than may first appear:

Poor, poor kittens of the day.  That can’t have been comfortable.

Und FINALLY! we eend our lesson on heestory vis a verrrrry eemportant deescussion!

Moose!

Net!

MOOSE!

NET!

**MOOSE!!**

*****NEETTTTTT!!!!*****

Zere.  Now you know ze deeference.  Zis VILL be on ze test!

Verrry gud.