Almost like we were Curious George and his friend, the Man with the Yellow Hat, Mitch and I set off today to visit the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. No lie, I had not been there since I was 10, for a 4th grade field trip. Even walking in, I really had no recollection of the place except maybe the gift shop. I was 10 so I can imagine I cared more about hanging out with my friends than the dino bones that graced the place.
But dinosaur bones there still are. As soon as we were through the big doors, Mitch looked up and exclaimed in amazement, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! MOMMMY!! DINOSAURS!! ROOOOOOAAAAARRRRR!!!!" And off he flew like a bird. It was definitely the equivalent of a child on Christmas morning -- amazed, astounded, in love, overwhelmed, excited.
We saw dinosaur bones, animal exhibits, more beast bones, the Butterfly exhibit, and the children's nature exhibit. Mitch got to dig for fossils and sift sand. He saw pandas, antelope, gorillas, birds, an auk (they DO exist people), turtles, frogs, and more. I thought surely he was on information and sensory overload but the entire drive home he told me everything he saw and did and ate.
Naturally, I couldn't let us skate out without a trip into the museum store. This is bad of me because now is the time to skate out...when he doesn't know. Instead I saw the tiny rubber frog and thought, what a cool souvie from his first time here. It snowballed into a Critter Case with a few more rubber reptiles that we carried out of there to the awws of older folk around us: " Awww...That is so sweet...a critter case..." And sweet it was. There were are, hand in hand, with Mitch's other hand clinging his critter case. In his coat and snow hate, he looked like an adorable toddler. It is a cute plastic case I have to admit. Even if I do cringe at the thought of what interesting creatures he and the dog will find to put in there this spring and summer.