Sunday, July 29, 2012

Portland Children's Museum, Take 2

These matching shirts from Water Valley's World's Largest Crappie festival were even cuter the night before, when they picked them as their pjs and crawled into bed.  (That sounds more voluntary/proactive on their part than it was...)

After a relaxed Saturday morning we headed into Portland again to give the children's museum another shot, and do some shopping for Portland specialties to take back to MS with us.  After Alexe's poor experience at the art class with Caspian, she wrote the museum director.  The result was three day passes waiting for us at the front desk when we arrived.

Brace for lots of pictures.  On three floors, with an outdoor area, there was lots to see, and the kids moved from one display to the next in a near frantic sensory overload.

Fire truck:

Garage, complete with a tool area, gas up station, and a register to pay the mechanic.  Caspian met a young lady...

I didn't fully understand this display, it was a sort of conveyor-belt hay delivery system for the milk cow.  It required collaboration to get the hay down the two different belts to hit the slide to get to the cow's bucket.  

Again, I didn't quite understand the real world inspiration for these set ups, but they resulted in sharing and working together.

Back to the fire truck, for costumes and the fireman's pole.

The museum has a fenced in courtyard area, with a pirate ship / fishing boat, and a nice series of active gardening projects, from a greenhouse to raised beds to cold framed.

Caspian in the hold of the ship:

Annaliese with her lobster catch:

I like this planter:

The kids made me a milkshake and hot tea at the café.  Annaliese channeling Miss Dixie:

A physics display, with gravity/acceleration/vacuum tubes kept their attention for a while. The best pictures in that room are of the kids' faces as they watch their balls flying up over their heads through the vacuum tubes.

We were in the whale display when an announcement came over the PA system saying the live animal touching station was opening up on the 3rd floor.  Caspian heard, and came running:


Annaliese had to get her shoes back on.  Alexe and I were joking the other day about how often we mention shoes in a get/find/put on/put back on context.  Dozens of times a day.


Tree house.

Turtles! (I love turtle.)

After a stop at Micucci's for a case of wine, pounds of prosciutto and salami, and good bread, an ice cream stop, (the feirie's had given gift certificates this morning,) and a stop at both Cape Elizabeth farm stands for corn/milk/butter/lobster, we made it home and the kids took a nap.

To wrap up the day's project of revising the first museum experience, we spent the late afternoon painting rocks in the front courtyard.

I had lots of fun, I think they did too.  Eventually the kids turned their paint trays into brown smoothies.  Annaliese was done at that point, and came to help me with my painting.  Caspian wasn't going to be discouraged, and had a whole pile of rocks he had collected at the beach that needed to be painted.  It felt a little less creative, and more like a brown-rock-making assembly line at that point, but he used up all his paint, and colored all his rocks, and seemed pleased with it.

Then:  We grabbed the rickshaw and headed out to Trundy's Point to work up an appetite.  (I had two lobsters waiting for me, and I wanted to be hungry.)

Both kids were in high spirits:

Isn't this a great sibling dynamic:

I don't know if she's licking or kissing or biting, but it ended in laughter, so whatever.

I took a quick dip, we walked out to the very end of the point and looked for crabs as the big waves came crashing in (high tide), and then we ran all the way home. The kids ran alongside for 20% of the way, rode in the rickshaw for the rest, and I felt great about myself when I made it wheezing back to the farm.

Annaliese checking her messages before we headed back: 

A delicious meal of fresh corn on the cob and good bread, both with Kate's Homemade Butter from Maine, took a very hot family bath, put my two pink and happy babies to bed, and came downstairs for an undisturbed meal of two lobsters, cooked just right, tender as could be, sweet, and drowning in more of that amazing butter.

1 comment:

scott davidson said...

Wow. Fantastic monster there. The urbanity monster striding forth, as it does in most cities of the world. Nice hand-drawn banner too. Something like this image, , by French painter Fernand Léger, maybe effective painted large on a wall too, acknowledged as a copy of course. It can be seen at and a canvas print of it can be ordered from there.