Yesterday was one of the rare days that no one in my house was working. Vacations have been almost non-existent for a few years so when the chance comes around for us to spend the day together, we not only cherish it but take full advantage.
My youngest son is currently obsessed with dinosaurs. Imagine a 2yr old running around roaring without pants on; that would be him. (*He’s potty training so a pantless O-man is not an uncommon sight*).
I decided a few days ago that it was time both boys could enjoy a trip to see the T-Rex like I did so many times as a kid. There was a slight difference when I went to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History website, the price. A family of 4 plus parking would cost roughly $55. When your kids last maybe an hour before wanting to go somewhere else, this is a significant investment. I asked online if anyone knew of coupons or deals to which I was told to suck it up and pay for a membership ($150). As I mentioned above, we don’t get a chance to spend a day together so I wasn’t going to spend 3x for something we’d only use once. I should say something I *think* we’ll only use once. People without kids are cute when it comes to rationalizing finances.
Luck would throw us a bone as we ended up with extra passes through my brother. Uncle Bob scores points with the kids yet again
The last time I was at the museum was in 2000 for a holiday party at my former company. There was more drinking than checking out the exhibits so I had some time to make up for. The first stop was the dino section and as if to walk into a toy wonderland, the boys both went “WHOOOOOOA!”. T-Rex was the obvious hit. Teaspoon had an odd fascination with the skeletons of fish while his brother just loved everything.
I’m starting to get sold on the museum thing at this point and then it happened. Interactive kids zone where they can pound away on rocks to find dinosaurs. The joy we saw on the kids faces as they played was priceless.
From there we went to the bugs. 2 little boys in a bugs section. We weren’t going anywhere now and I can see their eyes starting to get heavy. We were about an hour in at this point and after making a trip to the third floor I could tell nap time was starting to hit.
Teaspoon said his tummy was growling so it was time for daddy’s treat, Lu Lu’s Noodles. Rice for the kids, seafood noodle and rice dishes for us since it was Good Friday with the ultimate sacrifice was smelling the Pho at the table next to us.
I wanted to make one final stop to a place I’ve driven by many times but never stopped, the Forbes Field wall. The wife and I lived in Oakland when we first moved to Pittsburgh but not once did we make the short trip to see a remaining piece of baseball history. The boys knew that baseball was once played there but they won’t realize for a while the significance of the wall. Maybe it’s spring fever but I felt humbled to be able to touch this piece of the Pirates legacy.
We made an unexpected detour on our way back to the car and popped into the Carnegie library. I haven’t been in here since I was a child but plan on spending a few afternoons in the genealogy floor researching family history. This was also the first time my wife was ever in the main library and you’d think she won an all expenses paid vacation.
It’s amazing how differently I see Oakland now as a parent than when I was a student at Pitt. While walking through Oakland my wife commented “Did you ever think you’d be spending the day at the museum and library with your kids, walking around Oakland while your wife drinks a Starbucks? Its like your hipster nightmare.”
There is a lot more Pittsburgh has to offer I can appreciate and realizing that we need more family time is the start of it. Now the tricky part, how to make it.