Monday, November 29, 2004

We spent Saturday, believe it or not, at an art museum. The amazing thing is, we spent a good part of the day there and I wasn’t ready to kill myself by the time we left.

We decided that we needed a family outing on Saturday, since the Thanksgiving weekend canceled swimming and Girl Scouts and soccer ended a couple of weeks ago. It was a beautiful late autumn day and after going back and forth on where to go, we decided on the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Salem, of course, is best known for the late 17th century witch trials, but the art museum is supposed to be first rate. They had a few things that sounded to be of interest, including one of the best exhibits of Korean art in the United States.

So we got out of the house early and headed to Salem. It had been years since A. and I had been there, and we missed a turn, but we eventually found a (free!) parking garage near the museum. We made a quick stop in the nearby visitors center and picked up a local guide and a map, then headed into the museum.

After we paid our admission fees we started out at the interactive kids area. There was lots of stuff here for the kids to do - puzzles, drawing, games - and we spent quite a bit of time in this room. We then checked out the Korean Art exhibit. The kids seemed really interested, which was good to see.

We had also bought tickets to tour a Chinese house that the museum had disassembled brick by brick in China and brought to Salem, reassembling it inside the museum. The house was occupied by a family in the early part of the 20th century and the museum had done its best to make it look like it did then.

After our tour of the house we decided it was time for lunch. The restaurant in the museum wasn’t appealing to us, so we decided to check out a couple of places we had seen on the map. We settled on Rockafellas and had a really good lunch. They were apparently having some kind of kids day, since Santa was there (the kids were unimpressed since Santa doesn’t come to our house), there was a woman who was doing these remarkable face paintings and the kids lunches were free! A. and I both had sandwiches accompanied by sweet potato french fries, and I was able to sample the new Samuel Adams winter brew, which was quite good.

We spent a bit more time in the kids area at the museum and checked out the maritime art exhibit (some amazing ship models there) and then headed home, as everyone was pretty tired out. I had forgotten what a great little city Salem is, and it was fun to spend time there. We’ll certainly be making another visit sometime next year.

The Red Sox earned another postseason honor, being named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsmen of the Year. The Sox are the first pro team to be recognized by SI. The last Red Sox player to be recognized was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Given the magnitude of the Sox comeback over the Yankees and the breaking of the curse, I think it’s a well deserved award.

I’m really looking forward to a vacation in just 27 days (not that I’m counting or anything). We’ll be taking our annual trip to stay with Mom and Dad in Florida during the kids Christmas break from school. We’ve got a visit to Sea World planned, along with our annual visit to Chef Mickey’s with the entire family. We’ve got something new planned this year, too - a pirate cruise for the kids that leaves from Disney’s Grand Floridian resort and takes them around the lake to the various resorts on a treasure hunt. The reviews of this I’ve seen online have been universally positive and I’m sure the kids will have a blast. They even get a pirate hat with Mickey Mouse ears attached! While the kids are off doing that, A. is planning to get a pedicure at the Grand Floridian’s spa and I’ll probably rent a boat or something.


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