Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Imported Cheese and Returning to Culture (Day 189)

I have to say, after yesterday's escapades and crying on the floor like a lunatic, today was much better! 

I stayed away from domestic cheese (and I had some imported cheddar and bleu cheese) and all doors (which are not TOYS, by the way) remained closed. In addition, there was no running in barefoot chasing an animal chasing a bike. And there was only one (well, breaking news, two) sibling fights. 

Oh and my laptop mostly stayed on, so I cancelled my sojourn to the Genius Bar. 

Apparently, my unicorn tears are magical and solve everything!

Besides the switch to imported cheeses, I also decided that instead of holding my children accountable for their insanity, I'd do the opposite and surprise them with an afternoon escape to the Aquarium. 

With the exception of the Philly Art Museum on Mother's Day, I haven't been to museum or zoo since 2019. And if you ask my children what I like to do, they will say "read, shop, peloton and go to museums." I love a good exhibit. I love a bad exhibit (like the penis study at the Contemporary Art Museum that is set up like a maze--a maze decorated with 147 drawings and paintings of one man's penis in a variety of settings. There is one way in and no way out. And you only have two hands and three children, so one of them gets to see it all.) 

It was so marvelous to be back exploring! The Aquarium in Camden is just about 10 minutes away. It is not huge, but the exhibits are great and to watch my kids--all three of them, even the miserable teenager and outraged tween--be so excited to visit the things they remember and explore new things was just what the doctor ordered after a rough day. 

Lily learned to walk at that Aquarium. We had a membership--Mike would take her on the weekends when I was at my yoga teacher training classes. I'd take her late in the afternoon, when no one was there and she'd run the halls with her therapy walker--laughing and excited to go from tank to tank. It is one of my favorite memories. 

As the world opens and maybe we all start returning to our regular things, I am definitely most excited about returning to culture! Here are some of my favorite museums:

1. National Archives: This is my favorite because each of my children got into trouble when we were looking at the original copy of the Declaration of Independence, including Nicholas, who was about 9 months old.

2. The National Postal Museum: We love it because there are approximately 150 statues to twin with and my children are obsessed with Owney, the post office mascot. 

3. The Tate Modern: This might be my favorite art museum in the world. Even the walk across the Thames to get there is incredible. Next summer, we are going back to London and this is top on my list for a repeat visit. 

4. Lesvos Archaeological Museum: This is a tiny museum on one of the biggest Greek islands. When I went, I could not believe how old everything was--and how there were remains of a temple for Greek God's right there. 

5. The Spanish Steps: This is a not technically a museum and while visiting the Vatican Museum (and doing the long, long walk to the Sistine Chapel was incredible), the Spanish Steps were just so incredible to me. We walked up and down and by those steps so many times. After our Roman pub crawl, we reached the bottom of the steps and knew we had been over served and would never make it to the top, so we took a taxi. I wonder how many ancient Romans stood in that spot, after being over-served and just decided to wait until morning or grab a chariot ride?

6. The Philly Art Museum: I grew up at the Philly Art Museum--taking Patco into the city with my Nana, riding the trolley and sketching what I saw. My favorite spot is the Japanese Tea House. It is still so magical today. My kids love the weird religious art. I love everything. 

7. The Rodin: I've never taken my kids to the Rodin and I have no idea why. But, I spent most of my Freshman year in that sculpture garden sketching for my architecture class. This is on the list for this summer, for sure!

8. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park: I always tried to explain the story of Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights era to my kids. But, this park does it better than I could ever do. Even inch of this place is filled with stories and inspiration and truth. Inside the building, there are statues of all types of people marching and peacefully protesting. You can walk along side this phantom, frozen marchers. I remember my kids seemed to understand--that they could fit right in, too, and that fighting for what's right is the job for everyone. This is definitely on the return visit list. 

I could go on all night. But for now, I am going to go grab some cheese (imported, of course!) and organize my to-do list for the week, using my laptop which now must not ever turn off, lest I cry, again. 


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