Natural History

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Dear J-

We have a thousand different choices to head out to in San Diego on the weekends but we don’t often take advantage of the Natural History Museum (in their current faddish rename, theNAT) which used to be home to a few moth-eaten stuffed animals and perpetual showings of Ocean Oasis, but which has successfully made the transition to a semi-big-time show — not New York or Chicago’s Field Museum but pretty decent value for the money.

We had a membership but swore off it after they brought some extra-cost shows like Vesuvius (to be honest that wasn’t their problem but ours: figgy kept crying through that exhibit) and Body Worlds (we would have had to pay for therapy after that one, so no thanks). They must have raised enough money to renovate and expand because now all four floors are open and there’s rotating exhibits through the space on the second floor that used to be filled with charred logs. That one in particular piqued figgy’s interest today; for every time she dragged us upstairs to toboggan down a plastic slide or play “the chick game” (grabbing fish through a touch surface) for penguins I could have alternately cursed and praised their brilliant insight into the obsessive four-year-old mind.

Find something that works for you and if it happens to have free A/C so much the better. For a Fourth of July it was a surprisingly quiet day whereever we went from museum to restaurant to traffic. Dinosaurs and pendulums and penguins and polar bears kept the mainspring wound tight and running all day long until we got into the car four hours later and both kids crashed. That in and of itself was a small miracle. From this I learn that we should mix in new places carefully. Did we know it would go over well? Luck counts for lots.

Mike

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