Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NC Museum of Art and Other Rainy Day Things

The last two days have been rainy. Heck, this whole spring season has been rainy. I dare Greg Fischel or any of the other local weather people to utter the word 'drought'!"

Anyway, what to do with two kids on a rainy day to keep a mom from losing her mind?

Yesterday, we visited Triangle Town Center, wandering around the nearly deserted mall trying to keep occupied. We went to Cinnabon and shared a treat, then headed down to the Verizon kiosk so I could check out the phones and try for a second round of deciding which one I wanted to get. On to Claire's to check out their earrings (all Chinese-made and therefore nixed by me as an option), the fountain to throw pennies and make wishes, and finally, to Barnes and Noble to peruse the kids' books. Nothing exciting, but it kept the kids away from the television for a while and kept another hair on my head from turning gray.

Today, we had an eye appointment for M - she has 20/20 vision and a dark spot on her eyeball that is of little concern. Then to Michael's to pick up craft supplies for Father's Day, McDonald's for lunch, and on to the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Now, on Wednesdays, the art museum features a special event in the auditorium at 1:00 and although the website recommends buying tickets in advance, I did not do so, and paid the consequences - the show was sold out.

Add to this the mess that is the art museum grounds right now, and the scarcity of artwork and sculptures right now and I'd have to rate this option a solid D.

The museum grounds, including parking lots, are all sorts of torn up. They are building a new facility, started in 2006 and slated for completion in late 2009, open to the public in 2010. When it's done, it promises to be fabulous, with all sorts of great natural light to better showcase the museum's collections. But from the looks of it right now, it's a big mess. The only new buidings visible are some sort of boxy structures that look like large PODS storage cubes. And it seems that the museum has put away many of its exhibits as their just seemed to be nearly nothing on display. The American, Judaic, African, and Ancient American Galleries are closed, and only a small part of the Egyptian collection is on display.

The only saving grace was an arts and crafts area set up outside of the sold out auditorium. The girls enjoyed making south american breastplates out of construction paper, feathers, and beads, an idea meant to accompany today's presentation on birds of the rainforest.

Had the weather been dry, I would have let the girls explore the museum grounds on the other side of the building (the part NOT under construction), but it just wasn't an option this time around.

Though I'm sure the final version of the museum will eventually be fantastic, and I give credit to the folks over there for attempting to make the best of an unfortunate situation, it is simply not worth the drive all the way from Wake Forest (unless, of course, you are smart enough to buy tickets to the show in advance!)

So back home here in what is beginning to feel like Seattle, I am enjoying a cup of coffee and some toothpicks to prop my eyes open, the girls are watching - you guessed it - tv, and I am hoping, praying, for some sun tomorrow.

Now, if only that darned pool would finally open ...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fishing at Falls Lake

Went to the Rolling View recreational area at Falls Lake today with the girls. My husband and I had been out there last week while the girls were at their grandparents. We wanted to discover whether there were actually any fish to be caught, before bringing M and G.

There were, and so we went today, buckets of worms in hand, two old surf rods, and one pink and blue Barbie rod. (There should have been two, but one has disappeared into the abyss otherwise known as our yard, leading to a rather frustrated lesson on responsibility that should be a subject for another post).

There are many recreational spots along Falls Lake, near Raleigh, in which to fish, swim, or boat. I am not much of a lake swimmer (prefer the ocean, thanks!) and we don't own a boat, but the fishing is pretty good so there's that. Rolling View is up off of Highway 98 toward Durham, offers camping sites, a little marina, and hiking trails. We paid our $5 entrance fee and made our way to the fishing pier we'd found before - a nice little spot with a pretty view of the lake.

Upon arriving, we discovered the girls had failed to put on shoes before leaving the house. That's what you get for giving your kids a little leeway in the planning department. Luckily, we hadn't planned on hiking and so barefoot they went down to the fishing pier. We ate our picnic lunch, baited the slimy worms on the hooks, and proceeded to catch many, many fish! G was first, and the size of the fish got bigger the more she talked about it.

All in all, we caught probably 15 or 20 little bluegills before deciding to call it a day. Still can't decide if the fishing or the Chips Ahoy cookies were the bigger attraction. Nevertheless, the girls finally got to fish, something they'd been begging for since they got their rods at Christmas. And though I hate how fast time goes by, there's something to be said for having them be a little bit older - they can easily handle this sort of activity now. No one got hooked, no rods ended up in the water, no kids ended up in the water.

Who knows. Perhaps with a little more practice, they'll be ready to do some offshore angling in the future!