So, yesterday, we discussed adventures I went on with my dad in the summer. Listen, I don’t want you to think I DON’T want to go on adventures with my dad! No no. I love going on adventures with my dad. Because, listen. There are very few things I love to do in life more than I love laughing until I cry. Dad makes me laugh until I cry on a regular basis. He is FUNNY AS HELL. You know how he seems funny when I talk about him here? He’s actually funnier in person. I can’t put ALL his good stuff here. Because a lot of it wouldn’t make sense because it’s inside-jokey and stuff I can’t talk about because (I KNOW SHOCKING) I don’t tell you guys EVERYTHING. What? SHE DOESN’T TELL US EVERYTHING? Nope. Some stuff is just for me. So, just in case you were thinking, “GAH, Amy doesn’t even APPRECIATE hanging with her dad and he is the BEST DAD EVER!” you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not that I don’t enjoy hanging with Dad. And yep, he’s the best. No question. It’s that a., we don’t have much of a choice for cool places to visit when I go home, so the places we bon vivant to are a little strange, and b., we tend to have wacky times when we’re there, because wacky times tend to find me. I don’t know. I’m a magnet. A magnet for the wacky.
OK, so yesterday we discussed visiting the otters (which ended up just being AN otter) and the vats of fish that are being bred for slaughter. ADVENTURES! BON VIVANTERY! (Oh, I mentioned the phrase “bon vivantery” to Dad a while back on the phone. He thinks I made it up and it’s not a real thing. But he doesn’t ever remember it, so he’s always all, “What’s that assassin do? That thing you made up? Vontery? Von vontery!” And that makes me laugh EVERY TIME. I’m easily amused. And I always say, “BON VIVANTERY!” and he says “whatever, that’s not a thing. Vontery. I’ve never even HEARD that before.”
So next, one year we went to the Adirondack Museum. Once, we went there when we were kids and there was a WHOLE ROOM DEDICATED TO PEOPLE WITH MY LAST NAME. So my brother and I call it the…shit, well, most of you know my last name, but I’m not putting it here, because then when someone searches for me, my blog will be a result and I don’t want that to happen. Let’s say my brother and I call it the Lucy’s Football museum, because at least one of you thinks my name is Lucy’s Football anyway. (I’M KIDDING KEN I KNOW YOU DON’T REALLY. Oh! Side note SIDE NOTE! I mentioned that to my dad, that Ken thinks my name is Lucy’s Football. I was KIDDING. And he was quiet for a minute, and then he said, “Amy, I think you’ve known that guy long enough you can tell him your first name now. It’s ok.” Which made me laugh SO HARD. I love that Dad thought I really hadn’t told anyone my first name for all this time. Like I was all, “NO NO! I CANNOT! You must continue to refer to me as Lucy’s Football! IT IS DECREED!” But also, aw, Ken passed some sort of weird Dad-test! I’m not sure what the rubric of said test was. How long I have known him? That he is an assassin, but he refrained himself from killing me as-yet? Who knows, Dad makes up rules as he goes along more than I do. Where do you think I got it from? Not the mailman. (Mom always says “not the mailman” and one time I was all “who WAS the mailman when I was little? you talk about the mailman a LOT” and she was all “I think it was a lady back then” which was just very confusing, reproductive-wise. Anyway! KEN PASSED SOME SORT OF WEIRD NEBULOUS DAD-TEST! Congratulations, Ken, A+! Gold star!)
So anyway, my last name is kind of a big deal because people WITH my last name built the railroads and built super-fancy lakeside camps and also wrote some famous history books, and that’d be exciting except we apparently were the black sheep of the family because we never saw a single DIME of that money, yo, and when I was little there was a period of time we ate government cheese. But Dad likes to call those people our relatives. “Oh, yeah, that’s Uncle Billy!” he will say. (Just so you know, there’s no proof we’re related to these people, other than they lived in the same area as we do, and we have the same last name. We’ve tracked our family name back a little way and those people don’t show up in the family tree at all. We still pretend they’re ours. It’s one of our things.)
So Dad and I went to the Adirondack Museum. Here are things you can see at the Adirondack Museum:
- historic log cabins which are really just recreated from drawings of REAL log cabins!
- a billion canoes!
- many dioramas of Native Americans!
- many dioramas of logging and loggers!
- so many different types of wood! (you can take that as a euphemism if you want.)
- many photos of fancy lakeside camps!
- many trains and photos of trains and things that are used while driving and riding trains!
- much furniture made from sticks!
- things you can play with like hats and pieces of fur and samples of wood! (again, maybe a euphemism.)
And even though I was all “WHERE IS THE LUCY’S FOOTBALL ROOM?” I had remembered it wrong and it was really just a small section of a wall in one room that talked a little about my “ancestors” but it was still kind of fancy and I was all “THESE ARE MY PEOPLE” and Dad glowered at them and shook his fist, probably because they were drinking champagne in their photos and he was still thinking about that government cheese. (Which, for the record, I remember fondly. It melted so smoothly and made the best grilled cheese sandwiches.)
Dad liked the interactive children’s activities like “guess what type of wood this is!” and “look at this bin of hats and you can wear them and pretend to be things like an engineer or a woodsman” (I called that bin the “bin of lice” because seriously, you’re going to let your KIDS wear HATS that a BILLION OTHER KIDS have worn? But Dad wanted the engineer’s hat because he used to wear those all the time and now you can’t find those anywhere and he was all “THEY WON’T EVEN MISS IT” and I was like “you can’t STEAL from a MUSEUM” and also “LICE LICE LICE, Dad!” so he grumpily left the children’s room. Dad was the best at guess the wood. He was all, “ash! maple! Tell me if I’m right. TELL ME!” and it made me giggle. The kids were glad he was gone, though. He was playing with all their good toys and he wasn’t ever ever sharing. He was giving them dirty looks and everything.
The rest of the museum – um, well, it was the kind of museum your parents would drag you to and say “THIS IS SO EDUCATIONAL!” when you were a kid and mostly it just made your feet hurt. I mean, it was interesting to learn about the Adirondacks and see old stuff, but mostly I kept going into each room and saying, “oh, look. MORE CANOES.” So, I don’t know, I guess if you have a friend visiting from like another country who wants to learn about the history of the Adirondacks or something, it’s a good idea, but otherwise…eh, go for a walk in the woods instead. Oh, but the gift shop was pretty kickass, I got a pillow stuffed with pine needles and it smells like the FOREST and I love it so much.
Finally, we went to Almanzo Wilder’s boyhood house. You know who that is, right? He was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband. From Little House on the Prairie? Yep. He grew up in the town right next to mine. So one summer, I was all, Dad! I never went to see that, let’s do that this summer! And he was all, yeah, ok, fine, whatever. So I read Farmer Boy again so I would be prepared (what, I’m a total nerd, I always do the recommended reading) and then we went to the Wilder Homestead. So it’s like an old-timey house and barn. Fun, right? All the fun?
Things I learned at the Wilder Homestead:
- the tour guide didn’t want to be there. I kind of feel like maybe she was doing court-ordered community service.
- I knew more about the Wilder family than the tour guide did from having read the book a couple weeks before taking the tour.
- the tour guide was getting basic things wrong in her tour.
- back in the day, houses were very small, and people’s beds were minuscule, and a billion people lived in these teeny-tiny houses, and I would have had claustrophobia and died. Oh, also, everyone worked like ALL THE TIME. No, thanks. The only time you got to relax was when you were asleep, in church, or dead.
- when the tour guide asked questions like, “does anyone know why the wallpaper here is a different color than the rest of the wall” she doesn’t want you to SAY “because that’s where Almanzo and his siblings had to repair the wallpaper because they got the black crap they were polishing the stove with all over it and they did it on the SLY! Before their PARENTS got home!” because apparently, the questions were RHETORICAL, and they don’t WANT you to answer them. Well, then don’t ask them, then.
- If you ask the tour guide a lot of questions she can’t answer, like, “what is that silver thing shaped like a heart?” she will eventually start to hate you. In addition: TOUR GUIDES SHOULD KNOW THESE THINGS.
- If the tour guide starts to hate you, your dad will start muttering wacky things under his breath to cheer you up and you will get the giggles at inappropriate times during the tour, which will make the other people on the tour give you quizzical looks.
- If you want to buy books, maple syrup, or honey, the gift shop is for you. If you want to buy something else, well, I guess go to the grocery store. It’s a very small town. The grocery store’s like ten minutes away.
We were super-disappointed with the Wilder Homestead. What was even sadder was that the tour guide of the group behind us that we could hear in the distance seemed SUPER into it and we were missing out on a fun tour if we had just been a little later in arriving. Our lady was cranky-pants, yo. Plus, it was a farm, and there weren’t even any ANIMALS. Where are the animals? Sigh. I always want there to be animals.
We have run out of places to visit now, I think. Like I said, there really aren’t many places to go that you can go in a short daytrip. Sometimes we go to the movies and if it’s the summer I try to convince him to take me fishing because I like fishing. Otherwise, we have run out of events. Which is quite sad. Because he really is the best to go places with. Filled with whimsy, that dad of mine! ALL the whimsy. I didn’t get THAT from the mailman. Or maillady, I suppose. STILL VERY CONFUSED BY THAT.