For Thanksgiving, we boarded the Amtrak Vermonter and headed to Norwich to see one of our favorite families.
We left a pretty cold New York for a very cold Vermont. Snow started falling about an hour after we arrived. By morning, we had enough for sledding. But no clothes for Bama as I'd planned to get her snow gear up there as I had last year.
Luckily, the Ms are dialed into the town. Friends offered to let us use a suit, a jacket, and boots (ours wouldn't arrive from Lands' End until after we returned to New York). Wow! Bama wore the pants every day, even as the snow began to melt and drip in the warming air. There was enough on the playground to make snowpants feasible. I think, though, that it could have been 90 degrees and she would have insisted on wearing the suit she was so excited. (The friends, it turned out, didn't just loan the suit, they gave it to us. BaMa says there's a great tradition of handing down in town. The kindness of strangers.)
The village green is about a block from the house, next to the school, adjacent to the park, and all things good.
At Monshire Museum of Science, Bama explored airplay. This is one of several tables with tubes and airflow thrusting balls about. There's also a very cool table that does something similar, but with a maze inside. By opening or closing windows on the edge of the table, The child's choices affect the path the balls take. It's pretty cool, even if she doesn't get what is happening right now.
Rabbit explores one of the bubble tables.
And here, he spins the wheel to make the caldera flame up or cool down.
Baby snapping turtles, part of the rotating water exhibits on the first floor.
Insane and amazing leafcutter ants. Did you know there are multiple sizes and jobs? Soldiers are freaky big, with powerful heads and bodies that tower over the workers.
Montshire is one of those local spots that make you feel lucky to have it. In the bay area, the Exploratorium, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, and even Habibot are similar (the latter are not quite the same, as they are more strictly play spaces)
Montshire is worth a visit if you're in the area. For girls, it's an especially important destination. Dr. Ladyfriend, with a PhD from MIT, a postdoc with the NSF, and now a position at Carnegie Mellon, said she was on a diversity outreach board listening to presentations about potential fund allocations. The problem, we agreed, is that college is too late. Girls need to be encouraged early to pursue math and science (even if they don't choose those areas for a career) because they continue to track out of it by high school. By the time they get to college, many of them lack the math or science background to continue — unless they are serious about science and doing additional coursework as some friends have done.