Friday, August 10, 2007

Van Gogh and Lilo

A couple new friends of mine--hello Tyler and Sally!--just spent a few days with our family here in Cowtown, and I took the opportunity to revisit some favorite sites and restaurants. We took in the new Ron Mueck exhibit at the Modern Art Museum (my favorite museum in Fort Worth) and were completely blown away. He does hyper realistic sculptures of human forms ranging from a miniature seated woman (a permanent exhibit and my favorite piece) to gigantic newborn infants to a particularly poignant undersized figure titled Dead Dad, which is, in fact a rendering of Mueck's own father. If you have a chance to see the show, definitely do. This is another top pick, for me. Can't you just see them on a city corner, gossiping?

We also ate at Angelos, a historic barbecue spot, and took in an afternoon exhibit at the Kimbell which has an impressive touring collection of portraiture influenced by Picasso.

It's a humbling experience to see a self-portrait of Van Gogh and realize it's not a print but the real thing. Weird to imagine him holding a paint brush, staring at himself, and transferring that intensity onto the very canvas hanging before you.

After being all artsy fartsy, we decided to decompress with an evening at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. I don't know how those guys do it, but they hammer out everything from Top 40s pop to Queen to Air Supply to college fight songs to a Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham rap (with the crowd shouting Sam I Am!) all to make for a great time.

My friend Sally is from London and she cooked us a real English breakfast yesterday, complete with tea and "baked beans." It looked like this:

I'm no food photographer, but we gobbled this down (even my kids cleaned their plates) and felt extremely cultured. We spent yesterday chilling poolside, floating around and talking about the differences between America and England. I did learn, among other things, that a floaty is called a lilo, which is way more fun to say.

Speaking of lilos, I'm leaving tomorrow for a week-long cruise that stops in Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Jamaica. My goal: to chart as much time in a lounge chair as is humanly possible. I'm digging through my to-be-read stack for cruise reads, which is trickier than it sounds as I'm usually so busy people watching it's hard to stay focused.

I'm off to pack, but am leaving you with a question: What's the strangest thing you've ever experienced on a vacation? [In Mike Myers' Coffee Talk Voice]: Discuss amohngst yehselves...

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