Monday, July 19, 2010


While I love living in Orange County, sometimes I feel the need to get out and experience some urban "texture". Geez, that sounds pretentious! Honestly, Orange County is a wonderful suburb about an hour south of LA. I love it here. But I sometimes miss what bigger, metropolitan cities have to offer -- the grit, the vibe, diversity in ideas and people, funky boutiques and restaurants... oh the list could go on and on. So this past Saturday my sister and I decided to take the kiddos to the Natural History Museum near downtown Los Angeles. Thought it would be a fun and cool thing to do on a blistering hot summer day.

I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised at what the museum had to offer. I figured it probably wouldn't be as large as other metropolitan museums (Chicago and New York come to mind), but it wasn't any less awe-inspiring. Among other things, they had some very impressive exhibits showcasing dinosaurs, and ancient mammals of North America and Africa. The imposing fossil re-creation of a tyrannosaurus rex and stegasaurus were definitely astounding.

And then there were the large, scenic dioramas showcasing different animals in their natural habitats, which were so life-like that my 4-year-old daughter, Mia, refused to even enter the rooms in which they were housed. Part of the this is also due to Mia's intense phobia of large furry things -- doesn't matter if it's a giant teddy bear, Elmo, the Easter Bunny or a sabertooth tiger museum display. If it's humongous and furry she ain't goin' near it. And I can't say I blame her. I mean, a giant, buck-toothed bunny dressed in a pastel tuxedo can be slightly disturbing. But large dinosaur skeletons with their rigid spines and spiky teeth? No problem! She'll sit there and pretend to taunt it and pose all hammy in front of it till the cows come home. Stick some fur on those suckers, however, and she'll be running around like a headless chicken looking for the closest exit. I guess it goes to show that texture makes all the difference.

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