Detroit Zoo

Last weekend, I went to the Detroit Zoo with my in-laws, sister-in-laws, brother-in-law and baby niece!  It was my sister-in-law, Julie's idea to go!  It ended up being a beautiful fall day.  

To make it interesting though, I actually had to use a wheel chair while I was there since I had just sprained my ankle less than a week ago.  The zoo is really a great place to go in a wheelchair as it is very handicap accessible.  Everything had ramps and limited stairs.  I really appreciated that as my loving husband had to push me around the zoo!

We made it to most of the big exhibits.  I really enjoyed the "new" Australian animal exhibit.  It was so cool to walk through the exhibit with NO fences!  A Wallaby hopped right in front of our path!  I felt like a kid again with how cool that seemed!

One of my biggest gripes about the zoo though is that when you arrive, you had to pay for parking.  I think that is quite silly as it is in the suburbs and there really are very few places you could walk there from!  Just charge me an extra dollar in my admission and I would not be left with a sour taste in my mouth when arriving!

Time spent in zoo: 4 hours
Times visited: 2+
Overall: B+


haags gemeentemuseum

We did a day trip to den hague when we were staying in amsterdam.  Haags gemeentemuseum is a little bit outside the downtown and we took a tram to get there!

It was a pleasant surprise!  We really ended up enjoying the museum quite  abit.  We get there about ~2 hrs prior to closing.  

We first walked through the exhibit, Asian Art and Dutch Taste.  It drew interesting connections of Art to the Asian culture.  I had never noticed the influence of the culture.  I loved how they highlighted the China and how the Dutch made changes and claimed it as their own.  This included jewelry, clothes, furniture, and painting.

We had to go to this museum since it had three paintings on 1001 Paintings list.  Two for Piet Mondrian since he is Dutch (who knew?).  One was a traditional classic landscape and the other were the geometric paintings.  We learned quite a bit about the movement and the other players at the time.  I finally will understand a little bit more what I am looking at going forward!

I will say that we did not necessarily agree with some of the newer installation art e.g. three leaning planes.  Not super special in our opinion!

I am definitely happy that Jason pushed us to go!

time in museum: 2 hr
times visited: 1
overall: A-


Rembrandt House

Jason and I decided to visit this museum, The Rembrandt House, since we were in Amsterdam.  I was hoping that it would be like the Musee Rodin where it is Rodin's house filled with his artwork.  Instead it is more specifically what the house looked like when Rembrandt lived there with very few of his paintings.

We got there fairly early in the day just beating a school group.  

It was pretty interesting.  They were able to recreate most of what it looked like based on correspondence and sketches that Rembrandt had written at the time.  You could see what were considered items of status back then.

I think we liked the "curiosity room" where Rembrandt would keep items for his students to practice drawing.  

They did have a number of paintings that Rembrandt used as inspiration.  Rembrandt used his house as a gallery, so there were a number of paintings on the wall.  We would have liked to see more of his works though besides just some sketchings.  They did have one of the many self-portraits he did of himself. It was fascinating to see the size and the detail in the sketch...

Time in museum: 1.5 hrs
Times visited: 1
Overall: B+

anne frank house

On our last night in Amsterdam, we went to the Anne Frank house, which has been turned into a museum.  The house was basically across the street from our hotel. It was a great way to end our trip -- it was a reflective pause at the end of the trip.

We made reservations about a month in advance, and really had a limited ticket selection.  It worked out for us, but if we had wanted to go during a more normal hour, we should have made reservations even earlier.

Jason really enjoyed it.  It was a museum that brought the entire rest of the trip together.  

The museum is in the original house.  They have bought a few of the surrounding house as well.  We learned the history of the house and how the Frank family ended up in the annex.  Jason had never read the book and found this to be very interesting...

I do think they could spend a little more time elaborating on how she had actually started re-writing her diary in anticipation of publishing it.  I think that makes the story even more interesting, but also adds another dimension to what was shared in the "diary."

It is definitely a "must-stop" if you are in Amsterdam.  With the ability to book tickets, there is no excuse!

time in museum: 2 hrs
times visited: 2
overall: A-