It's so hard to get back in the swing of things. I feel like I've been playing catch up all year with school, work, this blog, my housework, you name it. Nothing helps one to get even further behind than to go on vacation for a week, but that's just what the Wifester and I did last week. Just in time too. We were just about to go stir-crazy if we didn't get a vacation in soon. We saved up our vacation for the arrival of our new nephew, Henry, so that we could go welcome him into this world properly, and welcome him we did.
As do most babies, Mr. Henry found my lady lumps to be quite the comfy spot and decided that whenever I held him in my arms, my soft, pillowy breasts were the perfect place to nap. I did, however contract a pretty severe case of babyitis from this holiday. Yeah, it's terminal.
After the third day visiting with Mr. Henry, though, the Wifester was reevaluating her position on becoming a parent.
"What if our kid wants to cry and keep us up all night like that?" she pleaded.
"babies cry, it's what they do" were the only words I could find to offer her in consolation.
Our vacation was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L! Not only did we get to meet our new nephew, but we got to visit with all the family that we haven't seen since last Christmas, go to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Zoo, and see the Cleveland Orchestra perform at Blossom, an outdoor ampitheater, while sipping wine and enjoying a picnic basket under blue skies.
I got to tour Amish country, and saw more horse and carriages than I've ever seen in one place, as well as debate with the Wifester over weather or not umbrellas are considered to be"modern technology". (considering that many of the Amish were carrying umbrellas, I say no, umbrellas are not "modern technology" but the Wifester says those Amish were cheating, and that umbrellas are in fact a modern technological advancement that should be prohibited by the Amish... I think she just wants to see how they look with wet bonnets!)
I did notice something peculiar while touristing around Cleveland, though. First, their art museum is phenomenal. It's enormous, with piece after peice that I've only ever seen in art history books and bibles. There were pieces from every corner of the world, of every genra, from every era. And it was FREE! Free to get in! Ok, we paid $3.00 for parking, but that covered four adults and a kid! Sure, you could pay a nominal fee and see other exhibits, too, but we spent several hours and never finished seeing everything that was FREE! Compare and contrast that experience with Nashville's Frist Center for Visual Arts, which costs $8.50 to get in, plus typically $5.00 to park as well. After you shell out your $14 to Frist, (and yes, it is that Frist, Bill Frist, the Republican senator from Tennessee) you enter the Frist center to find very limited exhibitions, in a very limited space, with obscure pieces that you will most likely need to conduct research to find information about. You will search high and low and possibly find two pieces that you remember from art history class.
The next stark contrast that I noticed was with the zoo up there. Cleveland's zoo ROCKS! It was enormous! We roamed that zoo for four hours, trapsing around monkey island, the polar bear habitat, wolves, kangaroos, girraffe's, giant turtles, sea lions, you name it, they had it.
We even had to take a train ride to get from one side to the other. We could have made 6 laps around Nashville's Zoo at Grassmere and stopped for lunch in the time it took us to make one round of Cleveland's zoo. And guess what? Yep, it was cheaper too. Grassmere = 12.00 Cleveland Zoo = 10.00
It got me to thinking, how does that work? I mean, surely an art museum with Van Gogh and Picasso and Warhol costs more to insure and maintain than one with unheard of artists. Surely the overhead costs, lights, maintenance, and security cost more for that huge complex that is the Cleveland museum than the little ole building that houses the Frist collection, right?
And the zoos... I know Cleveland is paying a LOT more for upkeep on that zoo than our little park at grassmere. Just the cost of feeding the animals alone has to be at least 5 times what Nashville pays. How is it that they can provide such a better complex, with more animals and bigger, better habitats at a lower cost?
Maybe more people in Cleveland go to the zoo and the art museum than do people in Nashville. If so, why is that? I don't know, maybe it's because it's just not enough bang for the buck here in the music city.
Who knows, who cares. I can't wait till vacation time comes around again. And I can't wait to see Mr. Henry at Christmas! He'll be 5 months old then and much more alert and active. Christmas is gonna be a lot of fun from here on out, now that there's a little one in the family!
I also can't wait for these awful calculus and statistics classes to be over with!
Last night the Wifester noticed my notebook on the coffee table with some math problems that I've been working on for homework. She picked it up, brows furrowed, studied the page a few minutes, tossed the notebook back down with resignation and said to me "So, whatcha got there? Russian or something? Cause I recognize some of those characters, but others, not so much, and I have no idea how to pronounce them or what they are even for"
Yeah, Wifester, you and me both.