A tale of three museums

Here in the garden state we are in the full throes of summer and spending most of our day in the garden but my thoughts are still in the UK and sharing our photos and adventures. It was such a good vacation. I needed to physically hug all the people. FaceTime is great, I mean it’s fraking brilliant, but you can’t beat a hug and a cup of tea in someone’s kitchen. 

Aside from seeing all the people we knew that we wanted to do three museums in London, one for each of our interests. The British Museum for me, the London Transport Museum for Nomi and Zoey, and an excursion out to Bletchley Park for Alex. 

I toyed with going to The British Museum by myself so I could have a slow walk around the ‘Defining Beauty: the body in Ancient Greek art’, but the girls told me that they were interested in my interests so what could I do but have all of us go. I did not get a slow walk around the exhibit. It was dark and that threw the girls. 

I enjoyed the exhibit if at a slighter faster pace than I would have preferred. What I was not expecting was how busy the British Museum would be on a Wednesday morning. It was packed. According to by dad it is never quiet anymore. The Pingus aren’t the greatest fans of crowds so we couldn’t even wander but there you go, I’ve spent a lot of one there pre-Pingus and pre-crowds so I don’t feel like I was missing out.  

I think they liked running around outside the museum the most, and all the stairs. A top tip (or “life hack”) is to eat at the gallery cafe (turn left when you enter). That cafe serves the hot food and for every hot main course you buy your kid eats for free. That offer is only at that cafe. 

The next day we did the London Transport Museum which is amazing! If your kids love transport, like ours do, it’s a huge win. Hands on exhibits and an abundance of steering wheels. It’s all good. Also, fantastic family bathroom. 

And finally, we did a day trip to Bletchley Park. Less than an hour away on the train from London but quite far to go when your kids are little and can only manage 2-3 hrs onsite but I really wanted Alex to have a good look around and I was interested too. Bletchley Park is quietly simply brilliant.

Love. Love. LOVE what they have done to it. Multiple exhibits about the work that went on their during World War 2, and the huts have been brought to life. Well worth the trip out there and juggling the girls between us. We also met some friends there at lunch time so got a catch-up before the weather turned and the girls crashed out. 


Double decker bus – museum – park

Dude, we rode the top deck of a double decker bus twice today. 


We surveyed all we could see, and there were many questions and comments. They started telling me about how they were going to build houses when they become grown-up, and Zoey would drive the digger. Then Nomi started to get worried about what I would do when we all grew up, I reassured her I’d drive the cement mixer. 

They were chatting so much (Nomi especially) that the gentleman in front turned around to tell me that she could be a politian when she’s big. 

We went to a museum today. Busted out of my mum’s neighborhood for a stomp about and to meet one of my aunts. 


When we got home we unwound and headed to the park. 

It was a long day. There were bumps but the girls both bounced back from being upset faster than they use to, and Zoey reasoned herself out of two tight situations. 

At the end of the day Zoey was determined to go to the park that was further away, given how tired they were it was not the best idea but she was determined. I suggested going to the closer park now and the one further away tomorrow. But no she was determined. Since my mum was cooking dinner I told Z that we would walk to the further away park, I knew it would be rough but sometimes you just have to walk to the further away park. 

We started to get ready. I went upstairs and Zoey followed to tell me that we could go to the further park tomorrow. That it was okay to go to the round about park tonight. 

Such a big deal. Such a huge leap forward. I work really hard at keeping my promises about doing things the next day. I write things down, they see me journaling and if for some reason we can’t do it that day (force majeure) we talk about it. We talk about EVERYTHING a lot. 

Museums From Our Roadtrip Vacation

The days are long gone of Alex and I setting our own agenda. The Cylonettes run the show, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Did you know that Naomi means ‘must sleep in the big bed’, and Zoey ‘awake at first light’. No, I didn’t either otherwise I’d have called them something like ‘Sleeps Late’ and ‘Likes To Sleep Alone’.)

The heat and humidity were pretty extreme when we were down in Raleigh so there wasn’t much of a chance to go for walks, and explore the city. That was a shame as I love nothing more than an aimless wander around to soak up the atmosphere but that of course was pre-Cylonette, and now everything needs thought out. We can’t just wing it. (Okay, we can but there is a strong chance that it will end in tears, and the stress is just not worth it.)

We stuck to seeing museums, and that kept everyone cool (thanks to the AC) and happy. I love museums, especially art museums with nice cafes (and restaurants), wifi and a decent permanent collection. As long as we feed the girls and ourselves when we first get to the museum the girls will tolerate being wheeled and carried around for an hour or so. Bliss.

On the drive down from New Jersey we stopped at Annapolis (cue silly photos) and Virginia Museum of Fine Art which is one of the best art museums I’ve ever been to (we loved it so much we stopped there again on the way back) .

In the Navy

We thought about enlisting Zoey whilst she slept

VMFA slays, and a visit here was far more enjoyable than the Met or even the Lourve. Oh yes! Firstly, it has a great collection, and it’s so large (with automatic sliding Star Trek doors) that it was easy to manoeuvre the stroller.  Secondly, the cafe and restaurant are excellent. We had tasty, relaxing meals in both, and the staff were super friendly with the girls. And finally, a kick ass shop (I don’t get out much so it’s nice to look at pretty things). I would really love to come back when the girls are older, and with my mum (who also appreciates a nicely laid out museum with good food).

Relaxing lunch

Post lunch play

Cylonette on the loose

Taking in the ART (whilst checking Twitter)

VMFA grounds (too hot to explore but gorg!)

In Raleigh actual we went around the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the adjacent National Research Center (which has real scientists working away on show just like in Jurassic Park), and the North Carolina Museum of Art (though they don’t mention it on the website there is a little cafe there). All three NC museums were great. The science ones were a little more crowded as it is the school holidays but it still was fairly easy to wander around.

“To really appreciate ART one must be out of the stroller” Naomi

Road Trip: NJ to NC (hour-by-hour)

Hour 0: Barely light out

Hour 1: Sleeping

Hour 2: Still sleeping

Hour 3: Awake!

Hour 4: The meltdown

Hour 5: Breakfast

Hour 6: Enlisting (@ Annapolis)

Hour 7: Chewing

Hour 8: Don’t ask

Hour 9: Double downers

Hour 10: Lunch @ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Hour 11: Greek and Roman galleries

Hour 12: Post-museum slash milk crash

Hour 13: We all start to loose it

Hour 14: Post-last supper in a car park in NC

Hour 15: Staying up late and getting into trouble


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