Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Freer Galley of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Date of Visit: February 5, 2019

We finally actually visited the Freer/Sackler after years of meaning to and ending up doings something else including at least once that we left home to go there and ended up at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden instead. I had visited once before, but this was Mik's first visit (and certainly not likely last as it's mostly temporary exhibits and even those he slept through half of this time...).

We started our visit on the B1 level with the "Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran" exhibit. Mik's favorite item in this exhibit was the sword. Visiting this exhibit first turned out to be the backwards way to do the museum as the way over to the Freer is through the back of this exhibit. It wasn't a big deal to backtrack and go through again. It just would've been more efficient to go left from the elevators and go counter-clockwise through the exhibits.

We next went through the "Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia." Again, we clearly were doing the museum backwards as the way we entered was designed as the end and we exited where the signage was more introductory.

Next we went through "Resound: Ancient Bells of China." This was my favorite exhibit as it was interesting to learn about the history and evolution of bells in China. I was going to just go home after this exhibit because Mik kept falling asleep through the Buddhas and the Bells, but Mik still wanted to see the Peacock Room, so headed over to the Freer next.

To get to the Freer, there is an elevator behind the stairs at the end of the gallery to the right of the gift shop (currently "Feast Your Eyes"). That elevator takes you to G. You then go down a hallway to another elevator past the stairs on the left. That elevator goes up to to 1 where the Freer Gallery of Art is located. This elevator is also the way to get to the accessible exit for the museum ("S").

We walked through the America exhibit on the way to the Peacock Room, which is mostly some paintings.

The Peacock Room was the main point of our visit and was definitely work seeing. Usually it has ceramics on display, but currently it's empty. Thus, you can really see how the room itself is a work of art and not just a place where art is displayed.

Before leaving, we wandered through the Korea and some of the China rooms. At this point, Mik admitted he was done for the day and we backtracked to the elevator to exit. (I also think you have to backtrack and go around building the other way to see everything as it appears there are stairs on the north side hallway that make it impossible to just roll all the way around.)

Overall we really enjoyed the Freer and Sackler. If we hadn't been approached by the lady at the info desk and given a map along with an explanation on how to get around, I'm not sure we would've experienced more than just the Sackler as the way to the Freer is rather hidden (and it's only accessed through the Sackler). There's also a "hidden" way over to the National Museum of American Art on B1 (currently the Bells exhibit), but that one does have its own entrance from the Enid A. Haupt Garden and a more obvious connection on B3.

Destination Info:
1050 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20560

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Walt Disney World - Disney's Wilderness Lodge: Storybook Dining at Artist Point

Date of Visit: January 8, 2019

The day before our annual family trip I was reading the latest DVC magazine and discovered that you could meet Grumpy as part of the character dining at Artist Point. I was surprised to find I actually could get a reservation for one of the days on our trip and we went back and forth on whether we would keep the reservation or not because it was also the day we had booked the character breakfast at Chef Mickey's, which was something we overall preferred to keep. In the end, we cancelled our dinner reservation in Disney Springs for later in the week and went for a splurge dining day. It particularly made sense to not push this back to try next year since this year we stayed at Boulder Ridge Villas and we have not enjoyed our experiences getting to dining where we're not staying.

When Mik got the menu, he thought he needed help opening it because it looks like it's through a loop, but it's actually just a magnet.

We really enjoyed that the appetizers were shared as that meant we got to try them all. For the appetizers, Mik's favorite was the Hunter's Pie.

The winter squash bisque was also fun in the little cast iron bowls.

For his entree, Mik enjoyed the Magic Mirror Slow-braised Veal Shank.

The desserts are also shared, which in the end we really appreciated because it meant we didn't choose something that sounded good and end up disappointed as we didn't really enjoy any of them.

The meal ending with The Hunter's Gift to the Queen (cracked maple popcorn and ganache hearts) was not a disappointment, though, and good highlight to end the meal.

Overall we really enjoyed this character dining experience. Of course, the best part was Mik meeting Grumpy. Kirsten, Nora, and I also enjoyed visiting the Evil Queen.

Destination Info:
Artist Point at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
901 Timberline Dr
Orlando, FL 32830