Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Whale Of A Time

The day after Christmas always has a bit of a strange energy to it. Some people go shopping, some are hungover, some continue with holiday cheer, and since it was a Friday this year, some people even had to go back to work! Stupid capitalistic United States... Happily, I was not one of those poor unfortunate souls, and in fact, had a full day of events in store. Now, we all know how insanely obsessed I am with my nephew, but I also have a little fairy sprite of a goddaughter too. She is just a few months younger than Nephew and lives just a couple of towns away from where I grew up. The obvious conclusion of course was finally getting these two crazy kids together. After much debate and brainstorming, the parents, kids, and Auntie Slash Fairy Godmother finally decided on the West Hartford Children's Museum for our afternoon adventure. This was a particularly delightful conclusion because my brother and I spent many a field trip at this location when we were growing up. Most people our age who grew up in this area have a great amount of nostalgia for this spot, especially because there is an enormous whale situated on the lawn out front. Several years ago there was actually a devastating rumor going around that they were going to tear down this piece of childhood history, and a facebook petition was created to combat the impending despair. Needless to say, the idea was either nonsense or we scored a big point in the name of childish whimsy.

At any rate, we spent a lovely time frolicking in front of the building, running through the whale, posing with velociraptor, and engaging in piracy around a replica of a ship. Inside the building was an entirely different bag of tricks. There were all sorts of animals, ranging from lizards to bunnies to owls to fish. One of my biggest memories of the building was a live water tank where you could actually touch things like manta rays or skates (Or whichever one actually fits in a tank where a child can touch it). There were all sorts of rooms with games and activities to explore. My favorite, of course, was the ball tent, which Goddaughter, her cutie little brother, Nephew and I conquered and made our own. We jumped and swam through the balls, me encouraging them to romp about in complete opposition to what their parents would probably prefer. But of course, that is always the job of Auntie slash Godmother. There is even footage of this classic piece of mayhem.

After the museum, it was time to head home and transform from a darling little urchin to a lady of the night. Well, more like a sassy 20's looking minx who in no way sells her wares for money but still creates an aura of mystique as she cocktails and dines in classy West Hartford, CT... Anyway, one of my best friends from college had long since planned to drive down to Connecticut from Massachusetts and head out on the town with me. We also planned to meet one of my best friends from doing summer musical theatre growing up (Goddaughter's mother), and another great friend from high school and younger theatre years. Visiting home always wows you into recalling that we are all now old enough to have had friends for upward of a decade or two. Crazy. Regardless, my friend from MA joined me for primping since she drove down straight from work. She had also bought herself a brand new fancy dress for the evening and consequently became my own personal stylist, toting with her two dresses for me to choose from. Finally, we left the house and went to a fun tapas and wine bar to meet the others.

The tapas were tasty, the cocktails divine, and the 4 of us had a fantastic time catching up and telling ridiculous stories. Even better, we had a surprise visit from two other of our amazing musical theatre slash high school friends later in the evening. The table was too small too accommodate all 6 of us, but once we had cleaned our plates, we met them at the bar and spent a happy time reminiscing and sharing all the news from months and years of separation. It was a truly nostalgic day all around, beginning with a whale, ending a tad closer to those who can drink like a fish. All in all, a wonderful day after Christmas.

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