The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cleveland Hijinks

I have always loved the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and they have done a nice job of upgrading without getting rid of the really charismatic old stuffed animals and miniature dioramas. The central hall is especially great: the displays go all of the way up to the ceiling, with jaguars and other predators poised to attack you from above. This museum is notable because it houses Lucy the famous Australopithicus skeleton, and the stuffed remains of Balto, the sled dog that lead the 1925 diptheria serum run to Nome.

Poor dead Balto.

Saturday morning we visited the museum with David, Amy and Benjamin and Jonah. All of the kids had a great time. Jonah's favorite exhibit was the tunnel leading to the planetarium. Ben and Sam spent a long time at the simulated earthquake. (I have no idea why--my kids have experienced actual earthquakes.)

Fossilized golf-ball dinosaur? (Sam will have to help me remember what this is.)

Watch out all you mini-bison--Joseph could pinch you like that!

Fear the mighty Silurian Eurypterid!

The kids had a great time outside checking out the local wildlife. Because of the rain, there was no one else was outside, and the animals were very active.

Joseph stood out in the rain for a long time watching the otter, and the otter was delighted to show Joseph its tricks. It had a little pebble that it carried in its mouth and rolled around the edge of the viewing glass. Later it did barrel rolls and somersaults, dropping the pebble in the water and then catching it at the last moment.

After that, we stopped by Big Fun on Coventry. This place is the best retro/collectible/novelty store of them all. It has all the kitchy stuff of Archie McPhee in Seattle, as well as the retro Star Wars figures like Acme Comics in Normal and vintage Fisher Price toys. We only had a little while to spend there, but the kids could have hung out all day.

We got lunch from Tommy's, which used to be a hippie vegetarian place when I was a kid. It still has great food, but it has been renovated to be less patchoulli grungy and have more seating.

I would have to say that Cleveland has become a very live-able city with all sorts of fine dining, shopping and recreation. Both the Coventry Village and Cedar-Lee areas have added new restaurants and stores, and have eliminated some of the more seedy establishments. (You know, all of the places that I used to loiter at with my high school gothy/hippie friends.) Also, the Goodwill place where I bought my clothes in high school has been replaced by a high-end vintage clothing store called "Revive!"

Scenes from the Coventry Street Fair

Lee Road

The hideous new walkway from the Lee Road public library


No comments: