Tag Archives: museums

Plan B Urban Adventure

28 Dec

You’d think once you were connected to a person through blood or marriage that it would mean something, right. You’re family. You’re bonded. You’re interlinked. You wouldn’t necessarily get shafted. Especially during the holidays, right? With all that ho-ho-ho and Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings oozing out of people.

Not true.

At any age, and in my case, with any relationship it still happens. Hard to believe that someone of my George Costanza caliber would get the shaft. But yeah it’s true.

And I guess the normal reaction would be disappointment, anger, or disbelief at the WTF just happened moment. I mean you’re tied and bonded to this person right? So during this Christmas vacation when everyone is free and available to hang out why wouldn’t you assume that when someone has plans to go to the snow, to a parade, to an amusement park, to a light festival or to something involving fun, you’d think the ‘wanna come?’ was implied. You’re interlinked, right? You’re family right? Am I right? Am I right?

Dude … I was so wrong.

‘Twas the night before The Shaft and as they were making their plans I thought to myself … yeah I need to pick the clothes out the night before and wake up early the next morning to pack the kids their snack. I even charged the camera battery.

But as I awoke in the morning all I heard was the front screen door slamming shut. I looked around no one was home. Just me and the kids … still in our PJs.

Burn.

We could’ve wallowed all day with Nickelodeon, but instead I made plans for our own urban adventure … no snow, no parade, no amusement park, no light festival. Just us … Guat Party of Three enjoying a crisp Southern California winter day at 61 degrees with the sun shining.

Destination?

 

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The famous pits.

 

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Ready to check out some fossils.

The Biggest fossils we encountered.

The biggest fossils we encountered.

 

Checking out evolution. My son thought these were pretty cool, his sister was only interested in the Ritz crackers in her hand.

Checking out evolution. My son thought these were pretty cool, his sister however was only interested in the Ritz Crackers in her hand.

 

My son enjoyed his paleontologist moment.

My son enjoyed his paleontologist moment.

 

Checking out the real deal.

Checking out the real deal … where my son tapped on the glass, smiled, and then decided to loudly introduce himself, and say “I like your fossils.”

 

A reenactment of the past ... to which my son replied ... "wow he was very hungry mom."

A re-enactment of the past … to which my son replied … “wow he was very hungry mom,” to which my daughter replied “Raaaaaawr.”

 

After all those fossils and deathly carnage scenes we decided to check out the outdoor exhibits.

After all those fossils and deathly carnage scenes, we decided to check out the outdoor exhibits.

 

It was a good day for Operation We Got Shafted Better Get Out of The House and Do Something Awesome.

It was a good day for Operation We Got Shafted Better Get Out of The House and Do Something Awesome Plan B.

 

 

We found "dinosaur" footprints and decided to investigate.

We found “dinosaur” footprints and decided to investigate.

 

My daughter got a little crazy, so her big brother stepped in to save the day.

My daughter got a little crazy, so her big brother stepped in to save the day.

 

We finally made it to the famous Pit 91, where we found out that the tar was not hot, the pit was 15-feet deep, and no dinosaur bones were found in these pits, mostly dire wolves.

We finally made it to the famous Pit 91 and Project 23, where we found out that the tar was not hot, that Pit 91 was 15-feet deep, and that no dinosaur bones were found in these pits, mostly dire wolves.

 

After all that walking and all those discoveries it was time to go back home.

After all that walking and all those discoveries it was time to go back home.

 

However on our way back to the car we took a detour to the museum next door.

However on our way back to the car we took a detour to the art museum next door.

 

My kids decided to be "hands-on" experts with the outdoor exhibit. I decided to join in.

My kids decided to be “hands-on” experts with the outdoor exhibit. I decided to join in.

 

After our art detour, we decided to finally head home. But not before we did some rolling down grassy hills. Something that's been on my son's "sandbox bucket list" for a while. An awesome ending to our Plan B Urban Adventure.

After our art detour, we decided to finally head home. But not before we did some rolling down grassy hills. Something that’s been on my son’s “sandbox bucket list” for a while. An awesome ending to our Plan B Urban Adventure.

 

Being shafted still sucked, but after this day … not as bad.

 

I Felt Like We Had a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Adventure With Goldfish Crackers

27 Aug

As with any parent, your kids wake you up at the crack of dawn ready to conquer the world, when all you’re ready for is to lie in defeat, under the covers and wishing kids had a snooze button.

But I thought about my recent objective — my Happiness Project — my quest for a better parenting adventure and childhood experience for my son. I decided to go all out Baseball, museum and music. I felt like we had a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off field trip, minus the awesome car, but with plenty of Goldfish Crackers.

We played a little baseball on the grassy area down the street. I was pitching, my one-year old daughter was catching, and my son was batting. Apparently I need to work on my pitching skills. He hit many home runs and grand salamis and despite being on my team, my daughter gave him the baby high-five after each run.

Once we finished the game, we journeyed to the museum. I thought about taking him to a children’s museum, but seeing how it was the weekend I really didn’t feel like being overrun by hundreds of toddlers. A children’s museum is really a week day outing.

So instead I took him another museum, one that primarily features, paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs.

And I know some of you may be thinking, you suck. How could you do that to your kid? But this museum had three features I knew my son would enjoy.

My son … the conductor of the museum train ride

First and probably the best: a train. Well not really a train, more like a long tram ride from the parking structure to the museum itself. He’s never been on the subway or a train that didn’t house cartoon characters, so this tram ride was the highlight of his trip. He was so excited to sit on the tram, which we called a train. He decided to sit in the front car, so that he could be the conductor. We were fortunate enough to be his assistant engineers and check out the postcard views. We rode it twice.

Second: The Family Room, which is a small exhibit that features hands-on activities that expose kids to different types of art. We made masks that were supposed to be of artistic caliber, but apparently he strongly felt that they resembled Optimus Prime from The Transformers book we read at the library. He drew some creative squiggles on an art wall, then checked out the mirror display.

Building art with his sister and new friend.

But his favorite had to be creating the sculpture  that resembled the giant one at the front of the museum. He met a new friend, Jonah, in this part of the exhibit. They built, then destroyed. Built and destroyed. This cycle continued for about thirty minutes. His little sister participated in the destroying part.

After all this exploring in The Family Room we also managed to dive into The Art Lab where he created a fine abstract piece from colorful clay.

Third: The Gardens. My son is all about the outdoors and exploring it like he’s Go! Diego Go! so I knew he’d enjoy the gardens. But we were very pleasantly surprised and amazed by all the landscaping skills of these gardening architects. We wandered through the maze of flowers, plants, bridges, and walkways and felt very in tune and appreciative with nature.

The well-known maze at the center of the garden.

My son exploring the gardens in his four-year old way … racing.

The iron sculptures holding these flowers captured our eyes.

After exploring the garden and eating lunch al fresco we headed back to the tram ride, where my son rode in the front once more. He enjoyed it so much that he made a request.

“Mom, can we come back to the train museum again?”

I was happy my experiment worked. Everyone, including my other half  enjoyed something from the museum.

We ended our Ferris Bueller’s Day Off adventure with some singing and dancing. And no it wasn’t on a parade float singing Danke Shoen or Twist and Shout. Nor was it the Itsy Bitsy Spider. It was Payphone by Maroon 5 and something called You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful by One Direction. My son held his pretend microphone and rocked out.

Baseball, museum, and singing. Our day was done. Viva Ferris.