Whew! Ben had a weekend full of firsts. His first time at a museum, an aquarium and an Ikea! He also went swimming for the first time. It was a busy Memorial Day.
We went to visit my college roommate Arianne and her husband Jeff. They live in Oxford, OH which is home to Miami University and not much else. So we spent a lot of our time driving around Ohio... and Indiana... and Kentucky... The Cincinnati area encompasses many states.
We visited the Creation Museum. As an atheist and a science nerd, Heath got giddy just thinking about it. It didn't exactly deliver what he was expecting, which was apparently more science and less "Bible crap." I was actually surprised by how MUCH science there was and how little it was politicized. Of course, there were a whole lot of incongruities to their "science," such as how supposedly dinosaurs all died in the world-wide flood, and yet they were included on the ark; and the Bible is okay with natural selection, but their definition of natural selection sounds a whole lot like the traditional definition of evolution. Regardless, it was at least interesting to see the creationists' arguments against evolution in a somewhat reasoned way. The most interesting thing to me was how much they played up dinosaurs. They were adamant that dinosaurs DID exist, they just lived side by side with humans 6000 years ago. They were even in the Garden of Eden! The only reason we could think of that they were pushing dinosaurs so much is that dinosaurs are cool and kids love them. There was a t-shirt in the gift shop that said, "Taking dinosaurs back!" so I think we were right.
We also visited the Newport Aquarium, which was fun because it was something Ben could enjoy, too. He seemed to like watching the fish. Unfortunately, by that time we were well past lunch and he started getting cranky. Frankly, I was feeling a bit cranky myself. There's only so much of museum crowds I can take before wanting to kill them all. I suppose at the Creation Museum that would've been acceptable, because they just would've assumed it was the rapture, but it seemed a little harsh at the aquarium. So many innocent fish.
On Sunday we were planning to make a picnic and go to a park to hang out, but there was rain in the forecast, so we decided to celebrate our fallen soldiers with rampant, mega-store consumerism instead. Very American, right? We visited Ikea, a first for the Borders family. Then after lunch we headed to Jungle Jim's, the hugest freaking grocery store I've ever seen. It seems lame to visit a grocery store on vacation, but seriously. The place is amazing. The liquor department alone was the size of an entire grocery store. The international foods department was ANOTHER whole store. It'd be a work out just to do your weekly shopping there.
We ended our day by going for a swim at the hotel. It was Ben's first time in a pool and after his initial unsureness and death grip on Daddy, he really seemed to enjoy himself. He splashed up a storm and by the end he was kicking his legs when we floated him around. He even intentionally put his face in the water a couple times, I think because he saw us do it. So that was a great success, which is good because he starts swimming lessons next week.
Ben is turning into quite the little traveler. It was a 6 hour car ride each way and overall he did really well. His eating and napping schedule was messed up all weekend, but he took it in stride. I think I was more thrown off by that than he was. And since he was so tired from activities all day, he even slept in in the mornings, which is unheard of!
So we had a great weekend. Arianne and Jeff are wonderful hosts. As an added bonus, Jeff is also a great cook. And their cat Jiji was very adept at avoiding Ben at all costs. He has good survivial instincts!