Sunday, August 7, 2016

Toronto, Day Three

The third day we got a very late start.  We slept in a bit, and then it just took forever to get out of the hotel, make our way into the city, find a place to park, and walk to the Royal Ontario Museum.  Of course, by the time we got there we realized it was nearly lunch time, so we tried to figure out if there was anything nearby to eat.  Alas, our app wasn't working right again and eventually we just gave up.  We ended up doing one part of the museum and then attempted lunch in their café.  It went OK, but not great...fruit and yogurt for Jacob.  But by this point I was getting concerned again about not making it through the museum before closing time.  There was so much to see!

This dinosaur right inside the entrance was pretty impressive!  I must say, too, that I loved the juxtaposition of the old building with a modern section built on to it. 

This hallway/lobby section was so pretty.  It seemed like something out of a movie.

The rotunda on the one side of the building was absolutely beautiful.  The mosaic tiling was amazing. 

I found it interesting that the center of the ceiling had the phrase, "That all men may know His work."  At first I thought the building must have been a church or something, but no, it's always been the museum.  Interesting...

After lunch we ventured into a hands-on area, where Jacob tried on a couple pieces of armor...
Chain mail!

A helmet...and yes, his eyes look freaky!
...and Carter opted to do some fossil digging...

I liked seeing the dinosaur skeletons.  It's been a while since I've seen ones like this, particularly since the Night at the Museum movies.  This guy reminded me of the one that comes to life in those movies...

There was a giant fish like this at the aquarium and the picture turned out blurry, so I was happy I could get this one...
So many bones!

Pterodactyl...so few bones!

Stegosaurus!
This wood carving was in with some Southeast Asian pieces.  It was so intricate and beautiful.

In the Egyptian area, there was a replica tomb...

...and a real mummy.  The mummy was pretty gross but truly impressive.

There were also mummified hawks (left and center), and a cat (right), along with a bunch of other animals.  So strange, but cool.  You could see the hawks' beaks poking through the bandages!

The museum also included First Nations, Canadian, Italian, and Greek exhibits, as well as African and European pieces.  We had already seen a ton by mid-afternoon, but I hadn't yet figured out where the Chihuly exhibit was.  It was the thing that sold me on doing Toronto in the first place, as Dale Chihuly is my absolute favorite artist.  In case you've forgotten, I made pilgrimages to see his stuff in Pittsburgh, Turning StoneTacoma, and even here in Rochester. We were starting to get shorter on time and I figured that we needed to find that exhibit before we got too rushed.  Unfortunately, once we got there I realized that there was an extra charge to see it.  I wondered but never saw anything indicating that on the website.  Still, I was going in no matter what.  Carter was free, so it was just a matter of deciding if Craig and Jacob would go in.  I wanted to share it with them, hoping they'd fall in love with the stuff upon seeing it in person, so eventually they opted to do it.  It was a little challenging having the kids in there, not surprisingly, but I did my best to take it all in.

The first room had two boats...
I've seen ones like this before, but they're always striking, particularly when you look closer at the colors.  In Pittsburgh it was actually in water!

This one took my breath away.  I've never seen one quite like this, and the picture doesn't even begin to capture how vibrant the colors were.
 The next space had a variety of different pieces...


These pieces aren't the most impressive, but the chunky glass on the sides of the cylinders is pretty.

I've seen pieces like this in Tacoma and Pittsburgh.  I loved them integrated into the plants in Pittsburgh best, but they're still striking.

The next section, a room with a glass ceiling, was the thing I was looking forward to most, and it was breathtaking.  I saw one of these in Buffalo during my first Chihuly experience, and again in Tacoma, but it never gets old.


I loved that they had giant cushions on the floor to lay down and stare up at the beauty.  Of course the boys took advantage (as did I)...

I've seen pieces like this a couple places, too, but never in this configuration...

These types of pieces are usually my favorite, though more in the curly version than the spiky ones, but I still loved these...


Even his smaller pieces and his paintings have their own beauty...
You can see the glow from the glass ceiling room from this angle, too.
At the end of the exhibit, I sent Craig and the boys upstairs for a few minutes so I could have a little bit of uninterrupted time to wander back through and take it all in.  I was happy I did it, not just for a few extra minutes to soak in the glass ceiling, but for looking at the pieces from different angles and in more detail. 

One of my favorite moments on the way back through was when I was back in the first room with the boats and a woman walked in who clearly had no idea what Chihuly was all about.  She let out an audible gasp upon seeing the boats, which made me smile.  A kid did much the same with the glass ceiling room.  It made me want to stay there all day and watch the newbies!


Back out in the museum, we checked out a few more spots before closing time, once again fending off Jacob's constant requests to get to the store.  I loved this wall of blue and white china.  It was set up so beautifully.

There was also a room full of rocks, gems, and minerals.  It was pretty, even though I practically ran through as Craig's patience was wearing thin.  I loved this geode...

All day when we ran through the lobby area I showed in the second picture, I kept seeing this giant concrete mound off to the side.  Just before we left we ran into this section (we skipped most of Asia due to time constraints), and I discovered it was a burial mound.  Yep, it's a tomb.

Around the corner was this striking structure...

Exhausted, we finally retreated to the store.  The toy Carter had been eyeing up when we got there had sold out, but he opted for a dinosaur-themed cement mixer (the other one was a dino digger).  Jacob agonized but left empty-handed.  I bought a tiny piece of glass that had flowers formed into it.  It was just a couple bucks and not quite a Chihuly, but it is a nice reminder of our visit.  And I couldn't help but snap this shot of Carter as we walked out...

There was one more Chihuly near the front door, and now we have one more piece of photo proof I was on this vacation...

Back outside, I snapped a picture of the eclectic building façade...old and new.

We made the walk back to our car and opted to just go back to the hotel room and ponder dinner.  After a couple failed possibilities, we ordered pizza again.  Parents of the year, no? 

Only one more day to go.  We were exhausted with sore feet and frayed nerves.  But that was probably our best night of sleep yet, and we aimed to get out on time in the morning, as we had another long day ahead.  We didn't know just how long, though...

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