I do miss the mountains of rural Virginia, the scenic farms and gorgeous landscapes. But the kids and I are grateful for some aspects of living in a city. We knew there were free museums in town, but only just yesterday realized that the museum of natural history is relatively close to us! After the kids had walked an hour to the library with me, waited for me to do my internet stuff and find my “grown-up” book, then walked to the farmer’s market, then lugged the heavy groceries another 20 minutes, how nice it was to enjoy a museum of their favorite things: animals!
We saw huge dinosaur skeletons (including T. Rex) as well as skeletons of many other animals. We admired beautiful butterflies and a huge variety of birds (including one called an umbrella bird because it has a tuft of feathers that act as an umbrella for its head!) We got to touch a Shetland pony (so soft!), a cheetah, snakeskin, fox and hare. I told the kids at dinner that they’d surely never get to touch a cheetah again!
We only just scratched the surface today, and the kids are thrilled with the prospect of returning on a regular basis. It definitely helped them appreciate size, as they stood staring straight up at the huge skeleton of an African elephant (which they were sure was a dinosaur at first!) I have vivid memories of going to a similar museum with them in Scotland, but Naomi and Josiah don’t. To them, this was all new stuff. They were in awe and their joy made me smile. =)