Right, pictures it is.
Friday, the whole pack of us (excepting my sister, who had to work!) went to Phipps Conservatory in Oakland. We'd mostly all been there before, though the trips range from 15 years ago to "it's not polite to ask" years ago. I'm no plant lover (just look at my botany grades from college for proof), but there's something very... satisfying about looking at the wondrous variety to them, from shape to color to smell (Chocolate! They have a plant that smells like chocolate!), even texture. The Conservatory is overwhelming to the senses, and in a good way. It's so- alive. Which is an obvious, yet appropriate, word choice. The highlight would be the fact that we took my mom with us. I haven't been out with mom to a "fun" place (like an amusement park, or whatnot) in probably 20 years, and it was great. It was so cool to see her out and taking in all the sensations of the place. She couldn't get around very well, but my niece Emily was more than happy to steer her around in a wheelchair. I think we were all tired by the end of the day, but it was a good kind of tired.
They have a wonderful Thailand display there, with all kinds of plants and flowers. They also have a pond-type arrangement with clear sides... and if you look close, it looks like someone's about to grab the fish. That jerk.
Saturday was a trip to the Carnegie Museums with my brother Mark and his son Jon. I'd been there earlier this year (also known as the 'Apocalypse Vacation'), but Mark and Jon hadn't been in some time. Enough had changed that it was worth the time to visit and snap some pics, including this one of one of the two T. rexes (rexii?) from the Museum's new 'T. REX VS. T. REX' display. Let me tell you, if you've not been since the renovations, it's highly worth the visit. Taking pages from amusement park playbooks, the information and education is well-disguised as fun. Sadly, though, as you walk through the rest of the museum, it's easy to see that not all branches of science and learning are equally appreciated. It is nice to see, however, that there were still plenty of people stopping to look at the rest of the museum, though maybe not with as much enthusiasm.
Worst thing overheard? "I don't get it- this is a HISTORY museum- why do they have modern animals? They aren't history!" *sigh*
We also hit the art museum pretty hard, but don't have any pictures of that. Sadly, most all of the 'modern' art is copyrighted, and thus can't be photographed. Because, after all, art is a commodity. *sigh, again*
Those complaints aside, it was a weekend of high culture for the Darrall clan, and another great chance to spend time hanging out. To cap it off, Mark, Jon and I went to Sean's place to watch Sukiyaki Western Django- I loved it, but I'm not sure that's a universal opinion...
Music: "Angels" - Robbie Williams