Last year I vowed to visit all of the museums in Ottawa as my New Year's resolution. I'm kind of still working on that but although I only made it to about half the museums on my list we did visit our several of our favourites more than once. In fact, we probably averaged going to a museum once a week!
Anyway, Thursday we planned to go to the Museum of Civilization to take advantage of our new membership but they were closed for maintenance. Great disappointment! Aunt Yukiko braved rush hour and out of province roads only to find out that we really should check whether our destination is actually open before heading out.
"Let's go visit the cows instead!" Erika suggested. The Museum of Agriculture is closed for the season but the animals still need to eat, the barns are all open and the colouring area is available for eating a quick snack. There seemed to be a lot of new rabbits since the summer... We understand from a very talkative and helpful employee that quite a few more are expected due to a failure of the fence between the males and the females a couple of weeks ago...
Erika and Maria were absolutely terrified of the animals in the horse barn. It was pretty noisy - Eeyore the donkey was hee-hawing loudly, the cows were mooing and the sheep were baaing because it was dinner time! The further we got into the barn, the slower Erika walked and the more tearful she became until I was practically carrying her. Luckily there was a cow about Erika's age that had recently had a calf and Erika was so interested by the idea of a nearly five year old mommy cow that she mostly got over her fright.
The pigs were scary too ("Auntie Mary, what if they get out!") but we averted that crisis by looking to see if they had curly or straight tails as described by the plaque on the wall. Of course it turned out that most of the pigs had no tails at all, but just looking took Erika's mind off her fear. I didn't really want to get into a discussion about the tail docking controversy with Erika or how people clip off piglet tails without anesthetic. Particularly since I couldn't remember why! I've since learned that it's to prevent tail biting by other pigs. So we didn't linger with the pigs.
Goody the bull was "too frightening to like", but the sheep and goats were interesting enough to pet. After that Erika seemed to relax quite a bit. Maria took longer but eventually stopped looking like something was about to eat her. We were in time for the milking and calf feeding. Erika petted one very small cow born on Auntie Janice's birthday. Then we went for a snack and colouring before heading home. The girls' personalities are fairly evident from their respective entries into contest for the Sesame Street concert coming up later this month (sadly, we didn't win!)
Mom and I ate supper real quick and then bolted to the National Arts Centre (NAC) to see the Canadian Brass. They were amazing and we really enjoyed ourselves - if you have the chance to see them in concert, I highly recommend them. After the concert we wandered around the NAC and admired the enormous chandelier in the Salon (it was featured on the concert program so Mom wanted to see it in person). We admired the fountain and then blew on the chandeliers in the stairwells which are supposed to rotate if there are enough people moving up and down the stairs. Sadly, two people blowing at the lights isn't enough to move them.