as i said in an earlier blog post, greg has had this past week off from work and so, we have all been in vacation mode. which translates into a lot of cooking, watching movies before ruth wakes up, after she goes to sleep, and even some reading thrown in there. we didn’t plan it like this, but this vacation has turned into a sort of tour de detroit.
the first day in detroit, i already wrote about, when we took ruth to see the parade down woodward and she got a good cultural immersion experience into the city which eventually gave birth to our city and all of the outlying suburbs. the story of this area begins in detroit, all of our roots begin there. overall, she was underwhelmed by the parade, but enjoyed being a part of a big crowd and being surrounded by tall buildings.
the second day, the day after thanksgiving, greg had the brilliant idea of going to the DIA. well, ever since the millage passed back in the spring? summer? i can’t remember, the DIA is now supported directly by our taxes and so, as residents of wayne county, we get in for free (!!!!!!!!). i’m really excited about this. “i wonder if it will be more crowded now that it’s free,” i mused as we pulled up to the museum, only to find its lots full, valet closed, people streaming into the building from every direction. we took our place in line to get into the public lot, paid our five dollars, and then drove around for a good ten minutes before we copied another mother with small children and parked in an invented spot that could pass for a real spot in case anyone were patrolling handing out tickets. we took our place in another line inside the door and when we finally made it up to the ticket counter, i commented to the woman who took our i.d.s, “wow, you guys are busy today.” “it’s our busiest day of the year,” she said in reply. i looked at greg who smiled and shrugged his shoulders. and here we were thinking we had an original idea to go to the DIA the day after thanksgiving.
there was a neat kids craft going on and we all made popsicle stick puppets together. we then looked for things for ruth to do that might be somewhat interesting and that she wouldn’t destroy, but what she really liked to do most was run all over, weaving through the crowds of people (which the crowds of people did not look too kindly upon) and up and down the stairs. we didn’t stay long, but did stop to watch part of a real marionette puppet performance of “peter and the wolf” which was really very good. and ruth was just tired enough at that point to sit on my lap and watch.
the next day, we went back into the city once again, to visit the belle isle aquarium, which has recently re-opened after being closed for a number of years, but only one day a week: saturdays, from 10-3. and it’s free, but they take donations. the green tile of the place was very familiar, but the entire feel was different and had a sort of groovy, hipster vibe, as they were blaring bob marley from a speaker and many of the aquariums that once housed fish were now sponsored by different local businesses, like pewabic pottery, which decorated an aquarium with their merchandise.
the few relic fish seemed a bit world weary and cautiously optimistic about their visitors. people everywhere were commenting about the fact that it had been shut down for so long, and there was nary a person who left without depositing at least a few dollars into the donation bin. ruth got to make another craft: a fishbowl with stickers. she is getting more and more into art.
since the conservatory was right next door, we went there, too, for a breath of fresh rainforest air and some humidity on our dried out pale winter skin.
ruth liked all of the plants and especially taking her boots off and running around with just socks on, which people seemed baffled about. what? it probably feels good. or, maybe they were just baffled about why we were just sitting back relaxing instead of forcing them back on her feet. as a parent, you quickly learn to pick your battles. or else your life becomes just one big battle. and that’s no fun.
it has been a great family staycation that i am sad to see the end of. we are slowly getting into the winter mode of things. it is a process.