Grammy's presence also gave me an unheard of opportunity. On Saturday evening, I left the girls with Grammy at the hotel (where they could watch Netflix and take baths) and I walked the six blocks or so from our hotel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Let me be clear, I did this all by myself. I love taking my kids to museums. I love trying to find the things that will pique their interest in art, science or history. But I also love to explore a museum on my own and it has been a very long time since I've done that.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is open until 9 p.m. on Saturdays and it is clearly date night central. And who can blame New Yorkers. What a wonderfully romantic date that would be. While in London for our honeymoon, my husband and I explored the British Library, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Churchill Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was fantastic couple time. Still, there is something to be said for being completely on your own. I rented the audio tour, because I could engross myself in the lecture since I didn't need to keep up a conversation with anyone. I could explore the vast collection of the museum completely at my own pace because I didn't need to take anyone else's interest into consideration. It sounds selfish, I know, but please remember how rarely I get to do anything completely on my own.
The Met's collection truly is diverse. There are Egyptian relics (including an entire temple) and rooms taken from European palaces; there are Medieval armor collections and gorgeous Oriental rugs; there are numerous pieces of Chinese art as well as an unbelievable collection of European paintings. It was in the European paintings that I had one of those museum moments--a "stop in your tracks" type of moment. I was taking my time looking through the numerous Van Gogh paintings displayed at the Met. Their collection includes First Steps, which I've long loved. Hanging close to First Steps was the painting below simply entitled Cypresses. The vivid colors and the beautiful dreamy clouds simply made me smile. Several times I left the room and then returned for one more look at the painting.