Spring Break for many was Florida or someplace warm and full of tropical drinks, swimming and relaxing. For us, well, we decided to play it by ear and take some day trips, maybe spend the night in Boston and just do whatever.
The weather certainly did not cooperate for a non-Florida trip, but we made do with no plans, no schedules and just a fly by the seat of our pants kind of week. In a few days we were able to cover a lot of ground at our own pace and just enjoy that fact that we did not have to spend a ton of money to entertain the kids for a week.
In the first part of the week, we decided a little culture was in order.
If you have never had the pleasure of strolling through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, I highly recommend it. And if you can do this with an impressionable nine-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister, it is downright hysterical.
We trained into Manhattan and jumped a subway to the Met. I have never been there before — at least as far as I can remember — and it was by far one of the coolest places on Earth. With so many things to see, we knew we wouldn’t be able to do it all, so we chose a few places.
We began in the Greek and Roman Art wing. From the moment we walked in, my son had a grin from ear to ear and could not contain his giggles as he stood in front of hundreds of naked Greek and Roman statues of various shapes and sizes. As we passed each statue and looked at it, he tried to contain his nine-year-old juvenile giggles but found it nearly impossible. Especially when the male stone statues were missing the most important of their guy parts.
So the downward spiral into bathroom humor began and this very immature mom and dad jumped right in. We ignored the fact the forms were thousands of years old and were sculpted by famous artists and made up stories about them instead.
Like that one guy who had no head, but his male part was intact. Obviously he couldn’t see where he was peeing. Or the other guy who could pee just fine as his unit was in tact, but since he had no feet, he couldn’t run away. Probably losing in its translation for sure, but my husband, son and I silently and not so silently laughed our way through. Such good role models we are for him, I know.
Then we came upon a statue of Hercules. My five-year-old daughter stood there flabbergasted at his height and girth. She declared he was the biggest man she ever saw. It really is a huge statue. The she peeked around back to see if he had a butt. And he did. And it was the biggest butt I have ever seen. We now have the butt to compare all other butts to.
Seriously, I think we probably are the reason for the name Ugly Americans. People from all over the world come to the Met to appreciate art. And we stand there and laugh at missing guy parts and the size of Hercules’ butt. I am so ashamed. OK, just maybe a little. It was funny, okay?
After we left the naked people of ancient Greece and Rome, we hit Egypt and were mesmerized by a giant Sphinx. Not thinking clearly, when my son asked if he could touch it I was like “Yes, sure.” So he reached out and immediately a museum guard said “Don’t touch.” Poor thing. I unintentionally threw him under the bus. I felt like an idiot. Of course you can’t touch a thing in a museum that is like 4,000 years old!
The American Wing and architecture area was really awesome. Fully furnished rooms by Frank Lloyd Wright and a Tiffany area as well. I wish we could have spent more time in the Medieval Art area where hundreds of different religious statues and paintings of Jesus and Mary were exhibited. At that point, the hard concrete floor had taken its toll on our feet.
On the way home we talked about the museum and we asked the kids what their favorite thing was. My son was torn between the Swords and Armor and the Japanese Samurai costumes. My daughter felt differently. For her, it was — hands down — the naked people. “Especially the big butt.”
One great thing about my kids is their ability to so honestly say that whatever they are doing now trumps what they did yesterday. Or even five minutes ago. My son and daughter both declared while on the train home looking out at the passing sights, that this is the “Best Vacation Ever.” Mind you, it was only Tuesday and they had said the same thing yesterday after meeting a ton of friends at the park.
Thursday was also the Best Vacation Ever when we hightailed it to Mystic Seaport to take in some old Connecticut history. We bumped into some of our friends who also happened to be in Mystic. So we bummed around with them, the kids climbed on ships, we had a little dinner in a great dark tavern (where the four kids had their OWN table, folks!) and shared a great memory.
And yesterday, we spent Good Friday hiking in a beautiful wildlife sanctuary here in our neck of the woods. We didn’t get the Best Vacation Ever from the kids, but their happy faces and skipping along the trails said it all. Plus, Checkers got to come too and run and swim in a dirty swamp. He smelled like a wet beaver. Bliss for a silly old dog.