Friday, April 5, 2013

Education and Entertainment -- Fri., Apr. 5

It's Friday, a day we like to think about entertainment for the weekend. Will it be movies, a walk, museum or scenic drive? So many options and so much information.

I started out writing only about entertainment, but then I felt guilty because education is important. Education made the cut too.

Really, wouldn't it be wonderful if school education could be considered entertaining? Throughout my school years only a handful of teachers made history come alive. Elementary school was the most fun. We made Indian villages, forts and missions out of Popsicle sticks and glue. In order to do that, we had to learn how the people lived in order to accurately recreate their life in Popsicle sticks. Am I saying I want to do history with Popsicle sticks now? Absolutely not. It was fun while it lasted.

In 9th grade I learned more about the Civil War reading and watching "Gone with the Wind" than I did in class. How sad is that?

I love learning, so it's great to be traveling the country, going to historic sites and museums. In museums I want to read everything and look at all the displays to make up for high school history which left me cold.

Mission Concepcion, San Antonio, TX
Missions tell the stories of the Indians and the Roman Catholic Church, how they were interrelated, and what happened to the people. You can walk the grounds and feel how people lived. The movies tell their stories.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Bob tying one on, er, I mean,
trying one one.
Cody, Wyoming's Buffalo Bill Historical Center impressed me so much the first time I saw it on a familiarization tour, I "dragged" Bob there in 2012. Buffalo Bill Historical Center is five museums in one: Buffalo Bill, Western Art, Firearms, Plains Indians, and Greater Yellowstone Natural History. Allow five to six hours if you plan to see all of this in one day. You will be exhausted! This museum's staff definitely combines education and entertainment under one roof.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK
With the same high standards and quality of the museums mentioned above, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK, is a stand-out. This museum also requires many hours. Their permanent collections include: American Cowboy Gallery, American Rodeo Gallery, Art of the American West, Fine Firearms Gallery, Museum of the Frontier West, Native American Gallery, Silberman Gallery, Western Performers Gallery (think John Wayne, Tom Selleck), Prosperity Junction (indoor, life-sized replications of old cities with rooms furnished the way they would have been in the past), monumental sculptures and, for the kids/grandkids, a Children's Cowboy Corral and an inspiring sculpture garden outside. Also, don't miss the five triptych (three panel) paintings of Western landscapes in the large meeting room.

Triptych painting of Grand Canyon in huge conference room
at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. You can't
appreciate the scale until you stand in front of it.
I have learned so much about the WW II  and War in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (now called World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument) and the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas (allow two days).

Bob in front of National Museum of the
Pacific War, Fredericksburg, Texas.
As for entertainment, wow, again so many choices. Entertainment for us can be an evening in watching movies/TV, playing games/cards or reading books and magazines, but we also love to get out and about. Going out to national parks, the ocean, hiking, movies, dinner, a play, festival, Volksmarch, concert, sporting event or just walking keeps us happily in each other's company. We like being near a large city from time to time, but nature is near and dear to our hearts too. 

What are your favorite museums, historical sites and entertainment? We haven't spent much time in the midwestern and eastern states, but I have a bucket list going.

Welcome to new followers Mary and Kevin at Heart of Carrot who are semi-retired. They have a Jayco Eagle travel trailer, their kids are grown and gone, but they have a dog. Until last month they also had a precious cat named Neerah (for 16 years) who has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Currently they are in Austin, TX. Maybe we'll get a chance to meet!

Have a great weekend. Travel Bug out.