Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great Attempts

Killing time at the unopened MAM, employee entrance style.

We were all set to take a day trip into New York and go to the Met on Thursday. We were up early and out the door to the bagel shop, minding our business eating our breakfast sandwiches, when we let the local news put a fright in us about winter storm Hercules… Ominous music plays in the background. When did they start naming winter storms!?!! We had planned to be on our way back before the snow started, and we weren't really buying into the hype, but we got scared about all the other people who would be fleeing the city before the snowpocalypse. We saw ourselves sitting in tunnel traffic and aborted mission before we even began.

We wondered what other museums we could visit. We entertained the Liberty Science Center but both decided it sounded lame. (This could be wildly off base, but I prefer art museums.) We ended up heading to Montclair to see the Montclair Art Museum, which also houses a nice collection of Native American Art. 

We got there at 10:15, ready to embrace our new day trip when -- wait for it -- we found it didn't open til noon. Ugh. 

Montclair is a pretty cute town to kill time in if you have to, but it was about 20 degrees, so we didn't want to wander around too much. Still, there are some beautiful neighborhoods and really spectacular homes that we had fun touring. We made a pit stop at the Van Vleck House & Garden, which was special even in the bitter cold. Mr. Van Vleck was an avid horticulturist who created a yellow rhododendron -- gasp! We very well may have to get our hands on one at their plant sale the first weekend in May. 

We went downtown for shopping and lunch and ended up at Raymond's, a bustling high class diner I'd heard about. It was pretty good, but the little one had a meltdown, you know, throwing crayons, screaming, going limp and floppy when you try to pick her up, the normal stuff… I carried her out to the back hallway and after what seemed like an eternity, managed to talk her down. The good news is that it was so loud that I don't think anyone really noticed. After that lunch experience, the car seemed like a refuge. Trying our luck back at the museum seemed unwise, so we decided to head home. 

Later that night as the snow fell, we debriefed and decided it was actually nice to explore a new town (the homes are really to die for) and get out of the house, but it was also about three-quarters of a rigamarole. 

So, if you're keeping track on my birthday resolutions: Go to the Met - 0, Eat more vegetables - 1 (I had a kale salad for lunch in the face of all day brunch). You win some, you lose some.

Wondering around the Van Vleck House.

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