King Tut is visiting Houston, and we made a special family trip to see him, and perhaps even better, see my parents.
Due to Spring Break traffic and a severe downpour, it took us seven hours to get the kids and make it to Houston. Usually it’s about a three-hour trip, but we spend a few extra hours stuck in traffic in torrential rain on Highway 71 and Interstate 10. We made it to Houston a couple of hours past the girls’ bedtime, but everyone was in good spirits and happy to see Noni and Grandpa Phil.
Ostensibly, we made the trip to see Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs at the Museum of Fine Arts. When we got the tickets a few weeks ago, Claire’s interest in ancient Egypt was at its peak. Since then, her interest has waned some, mostly in favor of dolphins and puppies. When we pulled up to the museum on Saturday morning, Claire said, in a joking tone, “I don’t know why we have to go see this King Tut thing. You thought I was interested to see it, but really it’s Dad who’s interested. I mean what’s the big deal? He’s dead.” This really cracked me up.
Once inside, we waited in line for the big show. There was a short introductory movie narrated by Harrison Ford, and then the exhibit doors magically swung open. The crowds slowly entered and began to examine the ancient treasures with quiet awe. Within the first minute after entry, Molly had broken the near silence with loud crying and yelling. She really wanted the museum sticker on my shirt, but I could not let her have it since it served as my proof of admission. She got frustrated and began screaming. So I headed with her to the exit, which was all the way through the large exhibit. By the time we got to the exit, Molly was calmed down, and we did the exhibit in reverse. There were some really cool things. Some of Claire’s favorites were the ancient toilet seat used by the pharos, and the ancient cat coffin. She also liked King Tut’s bed, a colossal state of him, a small decorative coffin used to preserve his stomach, and an equally disgusting reproduction of the Tut’s remains. I am happy to say that Claire was pretty engrossed after all. We have no pictures of the exhibit since they were strictly forbidden.
The main attraction for this trip was really the grandparents. It had been a longtime since we had been to Houston as a family. We mostly stayed around the house to maximize face time between the girls and their Noni and Phil. Claire had woken up very early Sunday morning and went down to get Noni. She and Claire drifted in and out of sleep until 7:00 or so and then got up and hung out until the rest of us got up. This is Claire in her element… hanging out on a lazy weekend morning with a grandma. As interesting as King Tut was, this kind of morning was probably even more fun for Claire (not to mention Kit and I, who got to sleep in a little). We got home on Sunday afternoon, where our tired Claire fell asleep on the couch watching Finding Nemo, thus accomplishing her first nap in years.