Showing posts from 2019

Cincinnati Museum Center

A few weeks ago Jason and I attended a Night at the Museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center with the University of Michigan Alumni Association.We had not been to the museum since it had been finished, so we were very excited about this invite.

The museum had been under construction since we moved to Cincinnati, but did finish about a year ago.It was an extensive renovation – from what we understand costing significant dollars and was over two years.They restored fundamentals in the building and also revamped also the exhibits.They even uncovered additional space that could be utilized for additional exhibit capacity.
U of M had brought in three different sets of faculty to provide short lectures in three of the key areas within the museum.
To start, we headed to the Dinosaur Hall to learn about fossils that had been found near the Licking River in the early 1700s.  The professor brought up a set of bones that had been found and brought to the King of France.  Once in France, they sat in a…

Morgan Library

I was in a suburb of New York City two weeks ago and had to get to the Morgan Library.  It has been a number of years since I have been able to make it there and it is probably my favorite place in New York.  This aptly was visit #10!

It is peaceful and full of light in the museum.  It was busy in there, but still quiet.  I continue to love how elegantly the museum meshed contemporary with the traditional elements.

I focused on my visit on three major exhibits: John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal, Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff-Highlights from the Ricordi Archives, and the main library wing.

I really like the John Singer Sargent oil painting portraits.  He is quite well known for these paintings that he completed in the early portion of the 1900s including many of the souls and their children.  He painted so many famous people of that time period.  He ended up switching to charcoal because it was faster and he could complete sketches of sitters much faster.  

He was also paint…


Over Labor Day, I headed to Lima, Peru to visit my sister, her husband, my nephew and my niece.  My niece and nephew had the day off school, so we headed south of the city to check out Pachacamac.  It was about an hour south of the city although we hit traffic so it usually would be a little shorter.  The site is just off the Pacific Ocean.    

The site is named after the "earth god" Pacha Makaq, which is a god we heard a lot about when we were in the Sacred Valley.  It was started before the Incan period, but they continued to operate throughout the Incan empire.  It continued as both a temple and an administrative center.   

The ruins were first discovered in the 1890s.  

The museum was re-done about three years ago.  Excellently, I might add.  

We headed out to the ruins first, but I think you might want to check out the museum first.  I may also feel like that because our tour guide spoke Spanish and while I understood some of it, I am sure I did not catch it all.  The guide…

Detroit Science Center

A few weeks ago, we were visiting my parents while my sister, niece (4.5) and nephew (6.5) were in town.  On the anniversary of Apollo 11, we headed to the Detroit Science Center.  

We chose to head downtown -- with my nephew so excited.  Obviously.  It turns out that the museum was free for the month sponsored in honor of Apollo.  

We headed to the basement first.  We did a lot of playing with pulleys and magnets and lights and gears.  They had a lot of fun with a 500 lb with the pulley. Depending on where the pulleys are, the weight "feels" different -- they thought that was amazing.  

They had water rockets -- unfortunately, one of them did not seal as well as the other one.  It seemed like there were a number of exhibits that were just not quite right.  Some of the gears had been stripped in one exhibit.  Another one, when you pressed the buttons, nothing happened.  

We did end up going to the science show.  We (my sisters) thought it started a little slow.  They did an expe…

Cincinnati Art Museum

While my sister was here, we also headed to the Cincinnati Art Museum. She had never been and heard my mom talk about how much she liked the Art Museum here.

We started our visit out by getting brunch at the Terrace Cafe.  I had made a reservation.  I like heading there first and then going into the exhibit; I find that you miss more of the "right as it opens" crowds.

We had two missions this Saturday -- review the Burning Man and Kimono exhibits!

I was so excited to see the No Spectators: the Art of Burning Man.  As my sister pointed out, this is probably the closest either of us will ever get to it, so it was time to soak it all in.  The exhibit was spread throughout the museum, so the crowds were not too concentrated.  I had some idea what an "ethos" Burning Man was, but whoa.  It has its own rules, patches and clubs.

Some of the engineering items were very cool.  I liked the lighting elements.  This room was really cool; how they used light and cut-outs.

You could a…

Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center

My sister came and visited over the Fourth of July holiday.  The day after, we headed to the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.  We parked at work and walked over.  

The museum is free to get into.  We headed all the way up to check the children's room first.  It seemed like it would be a good stop with kids -- they had different stations set up.  

We then headed downstairs to the exhibit, Creatures: When Species Meet.  What an interesting exhibit.  So, it definitely did not seem to be vegan friendly.  Animals were involved in the creation of art.  (Also it seemed like it was a lot of glitter in this exhibit -- a surprising amount).  Some of it was really cool -- some of it was definitely on the odder end of the spectrum.  I really liked the "art nests."  The artist left interesting materials around for the birds to make into nests. 

This was an aquarium with fish -- the water is tested daily and they even shift the lights to mimic natural light rhythms.  

They also elepha…

Quinta da Regaleira

Our last visit in Sintra was to the Quinta da Regaleira.  This was outside of the park system that the Mouros and Pena were a part of.  It is though considered part of the UNESCO heritage site.
Parking here proved to be the most challenging aspect of this visit.  There was a small parking lot close to the entrance that was full – otherwise, it was one way streets with very limited street parking.  We had to do a loop twice to end up finding a spot – and had a bit of walk to the entrance (which was fine).  We bought tickets to this when we arrived around 1 pm.  I think we looked to buy tickets in advance, but could not find how to do it.  The gardens were busy, but definitely not over-crowded.  We were able to get tickets right away. 
Then into the gardens to try to figure out where to go first.  I do wish they had given more of a path or guided route.  The signage was not great, so it was hard to make sure we hit the high notes.   

The gardens/land invoke gothic, Roman, Renaissance style…

Palace of Pena

After visiting the Castelo dos Mouros, we headed to the Palace of Pena.  

As I look back on this trip, we should have considered flopping these...potentially.  While we were able to get on the bus right away up to the palace, we ended up in a 30 minute line to get inside the palace.  We had bought tickets in advance -- through the same site we bought the Castelo dos Mouros tickets.  I am not sure if we had gotten there earlier, would we have been able to avoid the line.

To get up to the palace, we ended up purchasing the bus ticket.  It was about 2-3 EUR each and included a round trip up to the palace and back.  The buses seemed to be coming rather frequently.  After just climbing up to the Mouros, it was nice to sit on the bus for the fairly steep climb up to the Palace of Pena.  We did not use the bus on the way back, opting to walk down instead.  I was pretty pleased with that decision.

Jason waited in line and let me get out of the sun and rest my ankles for some of it.  That being s…