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I have actually spent most of the way away from the computer. Shocking, I know. My in-laws treated all of us to trip to the Natural History Museum. It had been quite awhile since I’d been; I was pregnant with Avery on my last visit, which was one of Braeden’s class field trips. My favorite part of the day was definitely the Butterfly Pavilion. I would happily sit there all day. If a place exists that transmits more of a feeling of zen than a butterfly pavilion, I am unaware of it. I just want to sit and watch the butterflies… everything else leaves my brain when I look at them. Today was a great day for it; there were more butterflies than I had ever seen in one place. If I can figure out how to upload a picture later, I will. It was just amazing.

I also enjoyed the dinosaur skeletons. I always have. I remember going to the Field Museum as a kid… I loved that place. Still do, but rarely have the opportunity to go. I like anything that provides an instant sense of history. I like to be able to close my eyes and imagine days gone by, whether it’s visualizing the earth populated by dinosaurs or imagining Pompeii as the bustling city it once was (a post for another time).

What I don’t care for is the taxidermied animals. Yuck and double yuck. I like all animals… alive, thank you very much. Animals frozen in time freak me out. I know they are trying to set a scene, but I just can’t get into it. Their unblinking eyes disturb me. If it’s something like a Woolly Mammoth, I can handle it, because I know it wasn’t killed for an exhibit. But normal creatures? Ugh. I walk past those as quickly as I can. I am too sensitive to derive any kind of enjoyment out of seeing them posed that way. To me, it defines “unnatural.”

Still, all in all, a good day. The rock and mineral exhibit was great, too. Watching Avery get excited by the dinosaurs made me happy. Watching Avery get excited by anything makes me happy. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious, which is definitely a good thing. Braeden is our resident scholar, so he loves any and all museums. He reminds me a lot of myself as a kid… except he’s thankfully much happier.

Sometimes I wish I were still in Chicago. Not in the winter, obviously. But Chicago has so many great museums. I would love to take Braeden (and eventually Avery) to the Art Institute. I learned to love art within the walls of that building. No disrespect to the Getty Center or LACMA intended, but the Art Institute has them both beat hands down. I remember the first time I was in the Louvre (I spent a semester in Paris, and went back on my honeymoon). It was impressive, but I realized that in many ways the Art Institute was its equal. Not sure about Musée D’Orsay, though. It’s probably my favorite museum of all time… probably because I am a huge fan of the Impressionists.  At any rate, if we ever get the chance to go back to Chicago for a long visit, I will definitely try to take the kids to as many museums as possible. Watching their minds expand is always a good time.

Sorry. Once again this feels a bit disjointed. We are still at my in-laws’, so this has been interrupted by Wii bowling, dinner and dirty diapers. Real life. I came in second in Wii bowling, not bad since it’s been ages since I’ve played. Oh, and I even found the time to edit my Mii character, which looked more like I did several years ago, short hair and all. The important stuff. Speaking of important, I finally made the time (hijacked it, even) to dye my hair. It was late… I didn’t wrap things up until after midnight. But it’s done, so I wasn’t walking around the museum sporting a white stripe down the middle of my head. I’d say, “It’s the little things” but I really hate it when my roots are bad. It feels like I’m announcing my age to the world. No, thank you. Vanity has prevailed once again.

Enjoy your weekend!