Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Phoenix Art Museum

Master J had the day off from school yesterday and contrary to what he told his father, it was not for "Student Appreciation Day". He's such a goof sometimes. Anyway, we decided early in the week that we should try and go to the The Phoenix Art Museum. We'd never been before and I know how much he has enjoyed other museums we have visited so I thought it was a good choice. We also decided that afterward we would head to one of our favorite places to dine, MacAlpines Soda Fountain in Glendale. I also knew that at the end of all of this I would need to meet up with my client, Texas, to show her a house that her husband had submitted an offer on the day before. I figured that after hanging out at the museum and eating a good lunch, Master J would be fairly low key for the house tour. More on that later.

The museum opens up at ten a.m. and our plan was to be there right when it opened up. We left the house at nine thirty but then decided to stop at Fourbucks for a coffee and bagel. I left the decision up to Master J of whether he wanted to sit inside the store with our coffee or just go through the drive-thru lane and drink it on the way. After discussing the pros and cons, he decided that since we rarely sit down in the store that that was what we should do. We enjoyed our vanilla lattes with whip cream (mine a venti, his a tall) and shared a bagel. It was very nice to just relax and talk over coffee. It is a little odd that I'm enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation with my nine year old but it's pretty cool.

After we finished our coffees, we headed to the art museum. It was really easy to find and the parking was plentiful. It's also in a neat neighborhood of million dollar vintage homes so we got to "ooohhh" and "ahhhh" on the way in and out. Anyway, if you've never taken your child to an art museum, you definitely should. Master J had a fantastic time.

When we paid at the front desk, they handed Master J a sheet of paper that had eight pictures on it. Each picture was a part of an exhibit that he needed to find. It was an art scavenger hunt. How cool is that? Of the eight pictures, we found seven. One of them was behind an exhibit that weirded us both out and neither one of us wanted to get too close to. It was a life size statue of a woman with a huge, bald rat covering her face. Master J said he didn't think he'd be able to sleep with that piece of art in his room at night. I agreed wholeheartedly. But we still found the other seven and it made the whole experience even more fun.

Overall, the museum is very child friendly. Especially with a child like Master J. It's very peaceful in an art museum. There is a lot of open space, soaring ceilings and nooks and crannies hidden away on the edges where you can go sit quietly and look out at downtown and the mountains beyond. The walls and floors are white and the art work is spaced out so that every piece is able to be enjoyed without another infringing in your peripheral vision. And people are just naturally more subdued in a setting like this. It's a perfect place for Master J. We ended up spending a solid two hours there before deciding that we needed to go eat. We will be back.

We headed over to MacAlpines, which was about two minutes away. Master J had his usual: the big beef hotdog, lays chips and a chocolate milk shake. I had my usual: a quarter of my turkey club, potato salad and a chocolate milk shake. He also had a quarter of my sandwich. We got lucky in that both Miss Lee and Mamoo were working yesterday so we got to visit with them while we ate. Master J also chatted up one of the regulars who informed him that the worlds first and only musical instrument museum was opening up today in Phoenix. We decided to put that on our list of things to do this summer.

So okay, now we've spent several hours walking around a museum and had a good lunch. Now we should be able to go show a house for fifteen or twenty minutes right? Not so much. Evidently Master J had brought along a peppermint candy, the hard kind that every restaurant and barber passes out as you leave. Master J should not eat such things, but he did. About ten minutes before we got to the house I was showing. Which means that for the first five minutes or so, he was fine. But then it kicked in.

At first, it was just a little annoying that Master J was running from room to room talking loudly. But it got progressively louder. And more annoying. The house we were looking at has a lovely front patio with a pony wall and an old iron gate. While Texas and I were checking out the kitchen, Master J decided that he needed to "fix" the gate. I knew he was out there and I knew he was looking for a missing screw for the latch. No problem so far. But when Texas and I went out front to look at the landscaping (or "weed-scaping" as the case may be) we realized that he had completely taken the gate of it's hinges. And he couldn't get it back on. In order to not leave the property worse than when we arrived, we had to fix the gate. So my client holds one side, Master grabs the other side and I attempt to guide the gate back onto the hinges and put the bolts on to hold it in place. It took a bit but we got it done.

But remember how I said it was an "old, iron gate"? Yeah, we were all three covered in orange residue wherever we had touched the gate. And by this point Master J was talking a mile a minute and flitting about like a hummingbird. I went and got water from my car (note to self, replace water before it gets really hot). I used it first on Texas (she had the least amount of rust), then myself and then Master J. He was, of course, the worst and had the most rust on him. All over him in fact.

After he was mostly clean, I sent him to sit in the car so I could wrap up with Texas. He went, but it wasn't long before I could hear him starting in with trying to get my attention. I wasn't really sure what he was saying, just that it was getting louder. And then, Texas looked over my shoulder, started laughing and said "I think it's time for you to go, he's starting to undress!" I turned around and sure as shit, there's my son, hanging halfway out of the car window with no shirt on hollering about something or other. Truly, the child was one can of Budweiser away from being a redneck. I turned back to my client and said "You're right, he's his mother's child and once the clothes start coming off it's definitely time to go home!"