Tuesday, August 20, 2013


My parents, sister and I went to MASS MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and stayed at the adjacent inn, The Porches.  It was great fun.  My mother is an artist and has been wanting us to go see the exhibit of huge Phoenixes they have on display right now.  But it is a long drive for them to do in a day trip so we decided to make it a family trip and spend the night.

We hung out the first day at The porches, what a lovely place! It is directly behind the huge museum and is a row of houses that have been fixed up into hotel rooms.  The girls swam int he heated pool and went in the hot tub and sauna.  Lily has been wanting a head full of many tiny braids so I thought it would be perfect for my mother, sister and I to all braid her hair at the same time in an example of an ancient practice done by women and girls for millennia. Instead, Georgia felt sick and I tended to her, while my mother got all the food together.  My sister ended up on hair-braiding duty alone, but she did a great job.

Georgia's mild cold suddenly was making her feel terrible and all she wanted to do what sit with her blanket.  Uh oh.
Here's the common room in the house that has the reception desk and eating area. Isn't is great?  There's even a genuine cat! My mother came once in the winter and a fire was burning in the fireplace. I love the colors; makes me want some red chairs!

We were getting ready to go get Mexican food and celebrate my sister's birthday, maybe to come back and watch the full moon rise while we sat in the hot tub or around the firepit.  Eastern Equine Encephalitis in mosqitos has caused a ban on dusk activities at home, but not in North Adams!  I was ready to hang out all night under the moon (The heated pool and hot tub are open 24hrs!)

But, alas, Georgia felt even sick and she and I had to stay back at the room while everyone else went out.  The people at the front desk came and tucked her in with a fresh duvet, gave us several kid DVDs, and some handmade chocolate mints!  Lovely.  She and I watched Night at the Museum.  By the time everyone else came back with the food, it was late and everyone was tired and scared of getting whatever Georgia had, so everyone went to bed.  No moonlight hot tub.

Here's Georgia in her nest, feeling bad.

I did get to sneak out at 10pm while my Mom sat with Georgia for a few minutes.  I got to look at the phoenixes and their glowing lights through the windows of the museum with the full moon rising.

Sunny day after a night a precious little sleep as Georgia got feverish and vomited every couple hours.  Arrg! No bucket and I didn't want to sully their weird carboardish trash baskets.  But, in a miracle of the resilience of children, her fever was gone and she was fine and eating by 10am.  Huh? How do they do that?

We had my sister's b-day party while the children swam.

And then we went to the museum.


We visited the Sol LeWitt wall drawings again.  We've been here a few times before, but they are so fun to move through.  They'll be there until 2033 so you've got plenty of time to see the rooms and rooms of color and back and white drawings covering the walls.

Someone had mentioned, when Georgia was feeling ill, that she could maybe go to the museum for a short time in a borrowed wheelchair.  She was thrilled with this idea, so even though she was feeling better, she insisted on being pushed around the museum.

Luckly Lily was game to push her around the huge museum with all its stairs and long hallways.
Here we got a family pic and one of me and my sister (our husbands were working so they couldn't come)

A sketch of the make and female Phoenixes.  The Chinese artist Xu Bing wanted them to look like constellations at night, so he covered them with hundreds of tiny lights.  They are made from construction debris and weigh 12 tons each!

The huge birds and a detail of the lights lining a piece of curved metal.

My Dad explaining the original use of  the colorful belt covers that decorated the tails of the birds.

 The phoenix's head.

In another room was a huge "tiger pelt' made entirely out of cigarettes.  The room smelled of tobacco. 

That one would be hard to move from place to place!

From the huge room that held the Phoenixes you could see The Porches across the canal.  It was a great trip and I'd love to go back again.

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