Monday, April 8, 2013

Gettin' All Cultural Up in Here

We needed to get away. For Dave and I both, it was one of those work weeks that got worse by the day. Knowing that I would be wallowing in a week off this week was a tad harder with his having to cover for several people at work, with me home with the baby. So, we needed to do something for ourselves over the weekend.

When Dave had heard that his favorite painter would be exhibited at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, it seemed like a no-brainer to hit up the farmers' market, grab some lunch, then test the baby at his first-ever museum trip. The fact that it wasn't in the midst of a crazy busy city and (after the hubs called in advance) was stroller-friendly made me a tad less nervous at the prospect.

See, it's neat. We're not really "beach people" (although I do NEED to stick my feet in sand from time to time, but I don't NEED the masses of people and beach bodies that go with it). When we travel, we seek out our interests -- which is why our past vacation posts include lots of antiquing, museum and historical site visiting, local food eating, and even a bit of nature walking and co-op shopping. Back B.H. (Before Hadley), we were also known to hit up Broadway, as well as take in more local theater. We'll get back into it when the little man's a tad less needy.

(Here's our first anniversary trip and our honeymoon. Thought I did a Boston/Concord post, but apparently not!)

It's awesome to have a partner who doesn't think you're a crazy person to prefer a museum to, well, almost any other place on earth.

So, after stocking up on veggies, meat, jam, and more, as well as testing some cheese, we strolled over to Doubleday Cafe. Unfortunately, Monkey turned into his obnoxiously needy (borderline breaking down) self, so lunch was a tad challenging. Lots of one-handed quesadilla eating and passing him back and forth.

After a stop at the car for a feeding and diaper change, we took the brief drive over to the gorgeous stone building that houses so many incredible art pieces and artifacts. We pushed Hads down a path to see if it would start to tire him out, but while spring had finally started, the wind was too much. And, that's when my stomach suddenly took a turn for the worse. I soldiered on.

We went inside, and since I had been to the museum several times of the years (between childhood field trips, family visits, and even a few years back as an adult -- I was raised with a passion for this stuff), it was neat to see Dave "ooh"ing and "aaahh"ing over all it had to offer. We chatted with the ticket lady over possibly purchasing a membership (there's one that'll get you into numerous museums all over the country...may not be worth the cost this year, but when we're a more mobile family, it sounds perfect) then took a map and went to it.

The exhibits we were able to take the most time with were the folk art and American Masters rooms. We were a tad disappointed that we only got a preview of the artist Dave was hoping to see more of, but overall the stuff was awesome. From learning more about everyday life (shop signs usually had fantastic, rustic art because in the pre-industrial age 90% of individuals were illiterate...kinda knew that, but the art was COOL) to viewing artists in a different light, it was well worth the trip. Even if my stomach distracted me (dizziness and nausea, ick!).

Dave did some quick cell phone shooting, then we headed into the room with Cooper artifacts, then to a cool blacksmith exhibit (the Farmers Museum across the street is my FAVORITE place -- their Candlelight Evening at Christmastime is so cool; their master blacksmith did some incredible pieces, plus there were some awesome artifacts from the 1700s) before going to yet another level and noticing that the baby was waking up in the stroller. The Native American artifacts, we suddenly realized, might be terrifying to him (lots of incredible masks...but they even scared me), so we decided to call it a day. Besides, the Fisherman's Friend cough drops weren't quite touching my sickness.

Aside from my short-lived stomach problems (probably something I ate) and a fussy buddy, the museum trip was SO fun and enjoyable. We even bought a Norman Rockwell coloring book (!) for the little man when he can wield a crayon someday. (We usually purchase a book or something else fun when we make such a stop; at our last trip to Concord, we bought a onesie with an awesome Thoreau quote that juuuuust fits the monkey now.)

And, just because I'm so proud of his work on this little "home video" (based on the famous "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" montage -- which we hope doesn't mind his borrowing of the copyrighted music!!), come along on a trip with us...

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