Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Mommy-Son Getaway, Day 1

A couple weeks ago I realized that my window to get out and do a fun weekend away was rapidly shrinking, as Craig's season starts very soon and that pretty much eliminates any chance I have of getting out of town without having to drag both kids with me.  It's one thing going to Buffalo, but it's another when I want to spend quality time with a friend.  My college roommate Mary is visiting this coming weekend, thanks to a concert, but a while back I had told my oldest friend Heather that we were long overdue for a weekend together.  Suddenly my window to fit that in was shrinking, so I did some checking and determined that this past weekend was our only shot.  Luckily she was available and I was able to take off on Friday to get a head start on the drive down to Binghamton, where she lives.  The only catch is that I had to take Carter with me, since Craig had one work-related thing planned and taking both of our kids to anything in public is pretty much non-advisable these days.  But I was happy to have my little buddy along for the ride, and I figured he'd be pretty good.  Three, of course, but pretty good.

I was a bit concerned about the drive, though, since he's used to the trip to Buffalo and this would be close to double that.  Without a built-in DVD player or his brother to distract him, I wasn't quite sure how he'd do.  So, I decided to build in a nice long stop on the way down and visit the Corning Museum of Glass.  Aside from a quick stop in their store five years ago, I haven't been there since Heather and I met for a day there (with Jacob in tow) seven years ago.  I just realized I didn't post pictures of the glass back then (just Jacob), so maybe I'll have to do a throwback post on that soon!  Anyway, they have a new wing now and I figured Carter would probably like looking at all of the colorful pieces.  We got on the road just about on schedule and had a lovely drive down into the Southern Tier.  Carter was pretty good on the way down, though he had a couple grumpy moments when I couldn't attend to his every need while driving.  But by the time we got there, he was excited to go in.

And of course, the first thing that greets you upon entering the lobby is this magnificent Chihuly...

We wandered through the history of glass section and Carter was fascinated by this giant orb that distorted everything when you looked through it.  I couldn't help but laugh when I caught this picture that reminded me of a "mad scientist"!

There was another spot in that area where we had to stand in one spot, then walk toward a mirror.  Our image went from being upside down, to walking through a hologram-type projection, to seeing ourselves right in the mirror in front of us.  I can't even really explain it, but it felt so odd to walk through some sort of three-dimensional projection.  Carter thought it was hilarious and wanted to do it over and over again.  I took our picture because it was fun, but even the video I took didn't do it justice.

Once we got into the exhibits, there was such a feast for the eyes. 


There was a special exhibit on these sea models.  They were scientific models, and the detail was amazing.

This bowl is from the B.C. era, and the detail and colors were gorgeous.

All of the gorgeous glass pumpkins were very festive, though given the price of the ones they were selling, I'll keep my pretty little $10 one I got at the Hilton Apple Fest.

These paperweights were stunning.  The designs within the spheres were so detailed and three dimensional.

This one is hard to see, but there were a couple of these Q*Bert-style figures in this blacklit, mirrored case with glass beads on the bottom.  The mirrors make them look like they go on forever.  It was so interesting.

Carter was obsessed with this ramp down to an exit door.  Luckily for me, it had a Chihuly guarding it. :)

This bowl was made up of tiny strings of glass.  It was pretty and really cool.

For some reason I just loved this mosaic.

More Chihulys...

This bowl was lit from the base.  It was striking.

The new wing is full of super contemporary large pieces.  This one was at least six feet in diameter, and the entire rope was made of tiny glass bead braids.

The wing was really white!  Here's Carter taking a quick snack break.  Out the window behind him was gorgeous orange-red foliage in the hills nearby.

And we tried for a selfie...pretty successful, I think!

This one was weird, but intriguing.  It was a broken chandelier with crows flocking around it.  It's supposed to be akin to roadkill, I guess.  The crows were a little cheap looking compared to the gorgeous chandelier, but it was interesting.  The broken glass was a little shocking, too.

I just liked the color here...

These are just hundreds of glasses on shelves, but I didn't realize what I was seeing until I looked at it through my camera.  Look, trees!

Up until this point Carter had been really great.  He got a little antsy before lunch, but he was fine until we got to this space and I could see that he was starting to reach his limit.  It wasn't anything major, just minor meltdowns over little things, but luckily the only thing left on our agenda was to watch a glassblowing demonstration.  I've seen it before, but it was awesome to see it again.
The glass making area

Standing at the furnace
They took a hunk of molten glass and made a gray and black vase that was about a foot tall.  Awesome.  Carter was content during the show but didn't seem as impressed as I thought.  It might have been hard for him to visualize what was happening because it was pretty miraculous.

After that we spent way too long in the store, between me looking for a little gift for Heather and Carter wanting something for himself.  Everything for the kids was either overpriced or not particularly useful.  In the end we found a tiny little prism scope (little plastic thing that makes everything look sort of pixelated, like a kaleidoscope without the colored beads) for $2, and that seemed to appease him.  I got Heather and I matching necklaces, and even found a Christmas gift!

We took one last picture on the way out, and we were back on the road.

All in all, it was a great stop.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful pieces and being in the presence of some Chihulys.  I think Carter liked it, but probably couldn't appreciate it quite like me!  As for the rest of the trip, the colors along the way were surprisingly pretty.  I thought everything might be well past peak, but there were still some beautiful areas.  These pictures don't really do it justice, but the hillsides were glowing in their own unique color palette.

Carter slept for most of this leg, but it was great to finally get to Binghamton and see Heather.  We had a nice evening catching up and getting settled, and Carter did pretty well.  It took a little while for him to fall asleep, but it really could have been so much worse.  We had another fun day ahead, so stay tuned...

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