On Thursday my sister (the kids' Aunty B) came into town on the ass-early (red-eye for her) flight. I went and got her and then we waited for the house to wake up.
It was the third Thursday of the month, which meant that the Art Museum, History Museum, and Glass Museum in Tacoma all had free hours. (Art Museum 10am-8pm, History Museum 2pm-8pm, Glass Museum 5pm-8pm.) So of course we decided that was what we had to do. Even though the kids were being punks and kept it up all day. Really, really, really being punks. To each other, to me, to the sidewalk, it didn't matter. Equal opportunity punkage.
We stayed home for long enough to have lunch, and then ventured into Tacoma. Since I'm cheap enough to be unwilling to pay parking rates in the downtown Tacoma lots, we parked at the Tacoma Dome Station (free) and used the Link Light Rail (free) to get into downtown.
A little side-adventure while walking to the light rail stop:
And no, I'm not trying to smuggle a basketball into Tacoma:
On to the Art Museum, where there were no pictures because I stashed my camera in the lockers and because areas of the museum that allow pictures aren't plentiful anyway. So...I have to say that I like art, of course, but in a visual way and not in an artist-makes-a-statement kind of way. And it appears that several of the volunteer I-have-no-idea-what-to-call-them walking around talking to visitors were of the "what's the message" persuasion, and wanted to tell us - including the kids - all about it. Mildly disturbing in the "The Secret Language of Animals" exhibit. The kids then went to the art lab, where they played with materials we already have at home. Stress levels were somewhat high in the art museum but the kids didn't actually step out of line in any institutional fashion. They just fucked with each other the whole time.
On to the History Museum. Again, lots of punkage from the kids. Whining complaining "this part isn't fun" punkage. Rarely two kids whining about hating the same part of the museum, so just a constant rotation of whineage our whole visit. Maybe the only time all three shut up at once was at the Bigfoot exhibit.
Obligatory picture of kids in the wagon (they posed themselves and everything):
BittyPrincess was highly mesmerized by an agriculture exhibit:
I think she might have fallen asleep there if we had left her to stare for too long.
We decided that perhaps part of the reason for the crankassness was hunger, even though the kids weren't whining at all about food (oh no, just elbowing each other and constantly trying to run in inappropriate places, or doing that not-quite-headbutting thing to my arms to express their displeasure at waiting for other people to finish looking at an exhibit they didn't like). So we hiked off to The Rock Pizza, and had an excellent salad and fairly good pizza family style, while the kids happily enjoyed in near-complete silence. So much so that we kind of creeped out our server.
Of course when we left the sibling-poking and running towards roadways resumed with extraordinary promptness.
We decided to go to the Glass Museum anyway, with the understanding that all we'd be doing was watching the glass workers in the Hot Shop. Which worked out fairly well despite Boyness deciding he was bored with it all about 20 minutes before anyone else was ready to leave. The pieces being made were going to be fairly boring finished products, but the whole process was really cool, it was well narrated, and two teams were working at once; there was a lot to look at.
We arrived back home well after 8, me murderously ready to, well, murder the children, and the children ready for round 57 of bothering-each-other. I can't seem to get them to understand that if they're little frigging pains in the ass when people visit, people aren't going to want to visit. Nobody LIKES watching them fight, even though yes, it does get them attention; but the people visiting WANT to pay attention to them, ferfucksake, and would be happy to pay attention without the complete fucktardedness that they display when we have visitors. Crossing my fingers that they pull out of their collective funk.