Friday, December 21, 2012

Fly Away: NYC Part 2: American Museum of Natural History

There were lots of surprises throughout our trip to NYC, but one thing mom and dad could count on was pretty consistent kiddo whining. Partially because we were tired, off schedule, and constantly on the go, but, mom and dad still frequently threatened to get a sitter to sit in the room with us and go off on their own. Sunday was particularly bad (likely because we got home so late from the circus, which was mos def worth it). We woke up to a cold, grey and rainy morning and mom's long list of outdoor activities was thrown right out the window and the crank settled in.

New plan. We hit up Bubby's in Tribeca (open 24 hours in case you have little littles that refuse to sleep) first for some killer brunch. Some NYC'ers in the know (and who have with kids) said it was "a must" and, now having had real center cut bacon and fresh pressed orange juice for the first time in my life, I would agree. It's not cheap, but Kane and I split a Griddle Special (with an extra side of bacon, duh) and it was plenty of food.

All fueled up, mom and dad decided to brave the subway with us. I can see how one might think that because we take the metro all the time in D.C., we'd cooperate just fine. Ha ha ha. It was like we'd never seen a f'in turnstile before. Mom literally had to shove Kane through by kicking his behind. I just bawled. And mom seriously thought about heading back to Bubby's for a hot buttered grapefruit toddy.  Eventually we made it to our destination -- The American Museum of Natural History, located just off Central Park on the Upper Westside. AND our Aunt V was waiting on the steps for us! With presents! And, most importantly (besides her company of course), with an IN. New York museums, like most other things in New York, are expensive. We get it. You're cooler, New Yorkers. No doubt. But we still don't want to pay New York prices if we can avoid it. And Auntie V, a quintessential New Yorker, worked it.

The museum is gigantic, but we decided to start at the dinosaurs. Who doesn't like dinosaurs? We don't, apparently. The only way to keep Kane from losing it was to let him take 8,799 iPhone pictures of his feet. Me, I demanded a continuous stream of black and white cookies. I'm no dummy. Fine, mom and dad decided, we hated dinosaurs, but who wouldn't love the Mammal Halls? Us. That's who. "Where are the f'in dioramas?," Daddy frantically searched. We finally found the Human Origin and Cultural Halls, which contain some pretty cool dioramas of different cultures. Kane got into it for a bit -- since mom started reading us "The Boxcar Children" series, he is working on making his own museum and was interested in all the little glass preservation boxes and Indian artifacts. That lasted for about 5 minutes.

Mom finally gave up on trying to make us happy and decided that they were going to see something they wanted -- the "Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture" exhibit, which "explores the complex and intricate food system that brings what we eat from farm to fork."  It took about 20 minutes to find it and then we were told we needed to purchase additional tickets for the special exhibits. Mom put her foot down. We weren't paying it. And we bounced.

We clearly did not spend a great deal of time at the museum, but we concluded a few things: (1) don't take cranky kids there, especially if you shelled out the money to get in; (2) the admission fee is actually a suggested amount, so give a small amount for general admission and doll out the big bucks for the special exhibits; and (3) for kids our age (preschool), it wasn't that much different from what we have in D.C., which is free. It's bigger and certainly larger in scope, but what it had beyond D.C.'s Natural History Museum, we seemed a little young to appreciate. It's impressive and beautiful, but we didn't really seem to notice. Just our two cents.

Five minutes after leaving the museum, we were both passed out cold on mom's lap in the subway. We were completely comatose the entire way home, including a subway line switch. But of course we refused to take proper naps back in the room. Mom and dad gratefully left us with Aunt V and headed out to check out the 9-11 Memorial (we were staying right next to it). They figured they were already in bad moods, so what the heck. Word was it was pretty cool (although, obviously upsetting, they report).

i'm getting my turn with the iPhone while we wait for the first train. Kane is really happy about it.

no, I won't sit down on the subway. do you want me to look like a tourist? i'll give you an annoyed eye roll instead.

dinos? what dinos?

i actually liked this part because it was "baby dinosaurs."

two cranky Camis

arrowheads just like in The Boxcar Children.

Kane took this picture of mom. at this point she was throwing a tantrum on the floor, too.

daddy trying to sneak up on the cheetahs - he has issues with them.


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