Cincinnati Art Museum

My husband and I went to the Cincinnati Art Museum to see the Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China.  We had a full day of the museum set up: visit the exhibit, lunch at the cafe and then listen to the curators discuss the exhibit.  

Cincinnati is the only place in the US you can see the army and the only other place outside of China (based on my limited research) is in the UK for all of 2018.  The Chinese only allow ten of the warriors out of the country per exhibit.  The exhibit was broken into two sides: other items and the warriors.  The exhibit has been quite popular -- we overheard from a guard that they had 150 people waiting for the museum to open at 11 AM to see the exhibit, so definitely worth checking on reservations before you arrive.

I really liked the tiger amulet, which was highlighted a few times in the museum materials!

The second room is where the magic was...the ten warriors (well, nine and a horse)!

Each of the terracotta warriors were custom and hand m…

Newport Aquarium

Today I finally made it to the Newport Aquarium.  I went by myself, so I can only imagine how much fun this would be with people and especially children.

The aquarium is set up as a route -- it does not have the ability to pick your own adventure.  The fish and animals are broadly structured in groups or clusters (e.g., seahorses, sharks, rays, alligators), but also a little bit around geographies.  

The path takes you through the entire aquarium with the cafeteria in the middle and you end in the gift store (feels a little like Disney World).  Great since you don't miss anything, but could be challenge if all your child really wants to see is the turtles.  

The aquarium has a variety of shows and interactive exhibits with plenty of options to touch different animals.  I took in the shark tank show involving divers in the tank.  

The signage was very appropriate and updated.  It definitely has been prioritized and is great for children.  The aquarium strikes a nice balance of conserva…

Cincinnati Art Museum

Over the last week, I had the opportunity to go the Cincinnati Art Museum not once, but twice.  My sister, brother-in-law and their two children were in town twice in a week.  

The first visit -- I thought we would visit the Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion.  They have a section of the exhibit that allow the kids the ability to touch the clothes and see the fabulous exotic garments.  My nephew really liked talking about what they were made of and what they reminded him of.  The shoes (which I had missed the first time I went to the exhibit) were also a topic of much conversation.  He spoke about how tall they were, how difficult they would be to walk in, again, what they were made of.  He even pontificated on which ones he thought my mother/his grandmother would like best.  

As you can suspect with a five year old in an art museum, he did get distracted eventually.  I remembered the children's room, which as I obviously had never been to.  Wow!  What a treasure.  Unfortunately,…

Detroit Institute of Art

Over Thanksgiving, my family went to do a day in Detroit.  We started with a delicious lunch at Slow's and then headed over to the DIA to go to the joint special exhibit, Monet: Framing Life and Church: A Painter's Pilgrimage.  

Monet really broke with tradition when he started painting in the outdoors.  It was really quite revolutionary.  

I always enjoy learning about the relationships that the artists had with one another.  In the picture below, you can see Renoir painting Monet.  Monet also has many paintings of this exact garden and landscape.

After the Monet paintings, we went to the Church side of the exhibit.  I did not know much about Frederick Church before the exhibit.  It was interesting to learn about the trip he took with his family.  He took his wife and child on the trip across the middle east.  He did a number of sketches, paintings on site, but also did quick ones to ensure he remembered enough for when he got back to the US.  He made his name painting the Middl…


Jason and I knew that we wanted to do a day trip to Nikko from Tokyo.  Unfortunately, Nikko had rain in the forecast for every day we were in Tokyo.  

To get there, it required that we took a shinkasen from the main train station and then get on a local train.  It turned out that the shinkasen we needed to take home was a major commuter option, so the original option we wanted was booked.  This is the only time we had any issues with booking the tickets we needed to.  

I have bundled three temples that we visited into one larger post for simplicity.  We visited:
ToshoguTaiyuinbyoRinnojiWe also visited the Kanmangafuchi Abyss.
I will start with Toshogu as this was the largest draw to Nikko and also one of the most impressive things we saw while we were in Japan (and it had pretty serious competition).  

Toshogu is the shrine and mausoleum dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, which united Japan under a single ruler and moved the capital to Tokyo (Edo).  His gr…