When we pulled up to the public parking garage in DC, I discovered it was valet, which is always a little upsetting. Have you seen the inside of my van? I could paint a picture for you, one complete with banana peels, apple cores, spilled coffee and plenty of runaway trail mix, but I think we've all seen enough grimy mom-mobiles to get the idea. While trying to strap Alamae into the stroller and shove our things into the bag I brought, I discovered that Arlo took off his shoes and that the van, with the shoes, was gone. Luckily the attendant very graciously collected the shoes from the car, and we went on our way with nary another hitch.
We walked to the Renwick Gallery, which I have been wanting to go to since seeing it pop up over and over again on my Instagram feed. It seemed to me like everyone in the DC area had been but me. Its popularity since it installed the Wonder exhibit has actually been its greatest detractor. Strollers aren't allowed during weekends, and I heard that the lines were painfully long. However, on Monday morning, the crowds were thin and the kids had time and space to explore the installations in the manner they are designed to be.
Truthfully, I haven't taken my kids to that many art museums. But this exhibit was perfect. The nine site specific installations were built from all sorts of surprising materials: index cards, marbles, tires, and nets. The kids spent ample time in each place, but were excited to move on to the next. While Sena and I probably could have spent even longer in each space, the boys allowed us enough time to soak in magic of these pieces. If you haven't been, you need to go. (The second floor closes in May. The first floor in July.)
Like I said, I felt thoroughly accomplished. And also inspired. To go and do. Maybe even to create. But definitely to explore.
* Also, if you have any thoughts on good art museums between here and Boston, please let me know. The kids loved the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore, and I want to take them to the Hirshorn. If there are some hidden gems, I want to know about them.
The morning ended with food trucks and take home fancy donuts. Because you can't leave Southern Maryland and not take advantage of the variety that exists in the great wide world beyond these small towns and suburban strip malls.