For the past twenty years, our family has celebrated birthdays with trips, mostly to museums in Michigan though we've ventured as far as John Deere headquarters in Illinois. Dad and Mom plan the excursions and when we pull out of the driveway in the van, most of us don't know our destination.
We celebrated my birthday on Friday since that day fit everyone's schedule. The first stop was the Woolen Mill in Frankenmuth to pick up Betsy's wool quilt battings. From there we drove south and passed the Oink Joint Diner (Sorry, we didn't stop for pictures.)
We arrived at the Flint Institute of Art in the early afternoon. We'd been to the museum twice before on previous birthday trips, but it was renovated since our last visit. It was brighter with colored walls and not so much ancient Chinese pottery.
We went through the counting routine with the lady at the cash register--how many under eighteen, how many college students and how many adults--with just one mix-up. (I remember the Fredrick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids--by the time we all made it in to see the display I wasn't sure the lady could even count anymore.) We clipped on our yellow museum passes and Dad and I snapped on our photo permit badges.
The first exhibit was a collection of Mexican art, some pieces two or three thousand years old, on loan from a museum in Oklahoma. We also saw displays of lithograms, glass paper weights, American paintings and Euorpean tapestries. The last part of the museum was divided by content--masks from Africa were in an orange room, the native American beaded tobacco pouch was in the golden yellow room, while the carved polar bear from arctic region was displayed in an icy blue-gray room.
My brothers acted maturely--they didn't complain, though they were bored. My Dad, an engineer, is a logical/mathematical guy, not endowed with much artistic creativity. Art museums aren't his thing, but he knows I enjoy them, and he did have a good time collecting data about the different pieces of art. He was the one we waited for through the museum, because he read every information card on the walls.
On the way home, we stopped at TSC for cat food and other farm necessities (it's not a complete birthday trip unless you stop for tractor parts or farm supplies). We picked up Aaron at home and headed to the Old Country Buffet in Saginaw.
I positioned myself where I could watch the self-serve ice cream machine. Once I saw a little kid lick the ice cream right from the machine, but this time I only saw people swish their beverages on the floor as they returned to their seats (Wonder no more about why the floor is so sticky--obviously it's impossible for some people to walk and hold their cups level.)
My favorite part of the Old Country Buffet is the ice cream machine. I love twirling ice cream in bowls and shutting the machine off at just the right time to make a little curl at the top. After I served my siblings ice cream, we waddled next door to the Christian bookstore before we finally returned home.
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