Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some brief tourist notes

So with school holidays on, we have been doing a few touristy things of late:
  • Boston Segway Gliders: I took Child No.1 on a Segway tour of Boston. We had a groupon which made it cost effective. The main skill appeared to be the possession of weight and its application front and back. It took about five minutes to get used to the Segway before we were road worthy. The tour we took lasted an hour. When it comes down to it, it was a less of a 'tour' and more of a ride. Nonetheless, it was a fun way to spend a morning.
  • Mount Vernon: we visited George Washington's home in Virginia. This is a first class tourist and educational experience. His estate is very well preserved and the museum is spectacular. It included a 4D movie experience about Washington's American War of Independence Revolutionary War battles. Not surprisingly, the undisputed thesis was that without Washington the course of US history and the possibilities for democracy and freedom in the rest of the world would have vanished.
  • National Aquarium: this is located in Baltimore and is overpriced. Not that it was bad and they had replicated a good portion of the Northern Territory of Australia in there which was very well done. But at $30 a person, this isn't the aquarium to see.
  • International Spy Museum: this was in Washington DC. It is really for older kids who can experience an interactive spy situation while the museum does its best to make you very suspicious of anyone with a camera who is either doing something that is out of the ordinary or something very ordinary. Message: if you don't want to be tagged as a spy be slightly less than ordinary.
And a final note on a Guggenheim museum experience in New York that you will not want to repeat.  Our 5 year old daughter decided that that was the place to assert her divine right to be able to take off her coat and swing it around her head near expensive Piccasos. This prompted a removal request which she disputed forcefully. Suffice it to say, for all Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural genius he had not factored the acoustic effects of a parent carrying a screaming five year old down round the long, continuous, spiral, viewing platform. This is not a parenting situation that I would care to repeat.