This day was one of the biggest, bestest highlights of my summer. A friend of mine, who lives just far enough away that we don’t often see each other (Miss B), had a mutual friend of ours from quite a lot farther away (Miss N) staying with her for the week. Miss B graciously invited me to meet them in a not-quite-so-far-away city and spend the day, which of course I most delightedly agreed to. Of course I also managed to get lost and miss my exit twice before actually finding our rendevouz, but that was OK. I made it at last.
We started at the beautiful botanic gardens and enjoyed a walk in the heat among the various flora and fauna, only closely avoiding a Very Scary Squirrel (Miss B, it turns out, has a decided aversion for them, especially at close range in close quarters) and even learning the name of a pernicious vine that has been overtaking Miss B’s yard.
We then proceeded to Miss B’s car (although I had upon arriving assumed that it must not be her car, since there was a sprawled-out stuffed chicken hanging from the rearview mirror, I was wrong) and made our way to one of the art museums in the area. There just happens to be a long, churning pool along the front of the building, and we decided our hot feet needing a bit of cooling off, so we slipped out of our sandles and in quite undignified fashion went up to the edge. It was delightful.
The exhibits inside were delightful as well: a whole one devoted to the Impressionists, and then the general collection. We ate lunch in the middle and of course shopped in the store. Miss N bought matching keychains which she later shared with Miss B and I as a memento of our day. Mine has come in very handy indeed.
After several happy hours there we tripped across the street to the modern art museum, since Miss B had heard that such great works as half-squeezed tubes of toothpaste are to be found therein and she thought we could all have a nice laugh at them. As we approached we noticed a tall sculpture made of iron, almost teepee-shaped, standing at the corner of the building. I decided I had to go inside it, and as soon as I did, I noticed that it made a tremendous echo-chamber. Very interesting! On to the museum proper we went, only to find out that the exhibits are not free, and as we did not want to pay for our entertainment, we had to content ourselves with a view out the back wall of glass which looked out over a wide, serene pool and two twisted metal “trees” beyond.
Out we came again, and decided we sould go back inside the “teepee” and– since no one else was inside– we ought to sing. We tried a round or two, then just dove in and started singing hymns. It was awesome. It was wonderful. We would conclude a song and then stand there grinning at each other like kids. Then we’d start another. We must have stayed at it for ten or fifteen minutes, interupted once by a lady who delightedly peeked in to see what was going on. The beauty of our voices blending, echoing up and up and out the top of the sculpture, combined with the beauty of the words themselves, was just… beautiful.
We tried one more museum, but it was getting late and our three sets of tired feet were ready to call it a day, so we only stayed a little while– long enough for Miss N to see in person a painting she had been looking at on the cover of one of her schoolbooks for months, and to trace our hometown locations on several nineteenth-century maps.
Miss B drove us back to the gardens, where my car was waiting, and we exchanged hugs and farewells and a few gifts (including the keychains). Driving home, I was enveloped in a sense of happiness and thankfulness. It had been a wonderful day, the kind that makes you happy for days afterward.
And I only missed my exit once on the way home!