Friday, March 23, 2018

Back to Normality

It gives you some sense of how backed I am in this blog that I am finally getting around to announcing that we are back from vacation, only a full week late!  Perhaps I am being unduly paranoid, but I don't like discussing upcoming travel until I am back home.  On a side note, I've long felt that schools should push spring break back by at least two and ideally three weeks.  Most families cannot afford to travel away to warmer climes (not that we went anywhere particularly warm) and, even for those that travel, the odds of snowstorms disrupting travel is quite high.  In fact, we just threaded the needle this time, missing fairly major storms the week before and after our travel.  I'm not sure I can be bothered to actually put a petition together to lobby for this change (see my previous post), but perhaps I shall.

Anyway, I will go into more detail later, but we flew into Newark on Sunday, then did our absolute best to get to the hotel (which wasn't ready for us) and then hustled out to Brooklyn.  It was a real challenge (particularly dealing with the subways on the weekend), and so dispiriting that I am going to avoid traveling to New York City for quite some time.  It's a shame.

Monday was spent visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We went into the lobby of the Guggenheim but didn't actually look at the art (the kids were a bit tired of art).  Then we walked through Central Park.  At that point we split up; my wife and son went back to the hotel (where due to a malfunctioning card and a ridiculous security protocol, they were forced to stay in the lobby -- I can tell you that we will never stay at the Paramount Times Square ever again -- it was quite a horrible hotel!).  I went with my daughter through the American Museum of Natural History, but we did have to cut our visit short after my wife's texts finally got through to me.

Tuesday started off with a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian.  Then a trip out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I'd been to Ellis Island twice, but never the Statue.  No one else had been to either.

Great Hall at Ellis Island

Tuesday evening, I saw Albee's Three Tall Women starring Glenda Jackson and Laurie Metcalf.  Great performances all the way around.  That was probably the only good thing about staying right in Times Square, which we certainly won't do again.

Wed. we got up reasonably early and caught the train down to Philadelphia.  We got in at about 11:30 and had enough time to tour the historic sites, including the tour of Independence Hall and seeing the Liberty Bell up close.  We also saw Franklin Square and the outside of Betsy Ross's house (didn't have time to go in).

Independence Hall

I convinced my son to come along and the two of us went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is open late on Wednesdays.

Thurs. we all toured the Rodin Museum, and then again my son and I wandered through the Barnes Foundation while my wife and daughter did some shopping.  It was still fairly early, so I took the kids into the Franklin Institute (a very cool science museum) while my wife went back to the hotel.

Friday morning we had just a bit of time to kill before heading over to the airport, so we went to the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA).  I definitely saw the seedier side of Philadelphia on this trip, but I think I'll write about that later.  On the whole, it was a good trip, but we tried to squeeze in a bit too much (even though I cut most of the New York City museums off the list).  At this point, I'm glad to be back into my regular routine.  But I have to run now.

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