Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Museums, Weather, and The Nutcracker

We visited the Natural History Museum of Latvia on February 25.  Since it's located at the corner of K. Barona iela and Merkela iela (just across from the Music Academy), we didn't have a long way to walk!  There were Palaeontology, Geology, Zoology, Entomology, and Anthropology exhibits broken into two sections; those specific to Latvia and the Baltics, and those from around the world.  The presentation of artifacts was very well put-together, and there were lots of fun interactive rooms for the kiddos...
Very interesting, and quite affordable!
In case this seems like a gigantic 6-month vacation, Bill must point out that most of his teaching and playing takes place in the late-afternoons and evenings.  Since we're not into a lot of "night-on-the-town" activity, this works out pretty well for everybody.

We had a spell of warmer, above-freezing weather in which the temperature and light-rain melted a great deal of snow.  When this happens, falling ice is a bit of an issue.  We're taking care to watch for potential problem areas and trying to avoid them, if possible.  Here's a picture to demonstrate.
We know that this happens in big cities around the globe, it's just that we don't see the following in Maryville, Missouri, U.S.A.
And here's the shot zoomed-out!
That's got to be a rough gig.

On Saturday, February 27, we attended a matinee performance of The Nutcracker at the National Opera house.  The dancing, music, and scenery were amazing, and we had a fantastic time.  Tickets were quite affordable for this as well!
Big fun.

Today, March 3, we walked through Central Market to look at various stuff and then visited the Dolls Art Museum in the Spikeru area, which is kind of like a newly-refurbished "warehouse district," much like the 18th and Vine area in Kansas City, Missouri (for you Kansas City jazz fans out there!).  Although pictures weren't allowed in the actual museum, we took a few shots in the main lobby.
There were some fun interactive art games, mostly involving sand.  We had a little bit of drama when, as we were just about ready to put on our coats and leave, some military police and a K-9 bomb-sniffing dog entered the museum!  As they proceeded to perform a security sweep, we were informed that Valdis Zatlers, President of the Republic of Latvia, was taking a tour.  We stayed an extra 20 minutes for an opportunity to meet him, but decided to leave and get home before dark!  Anyway, his security guards (and dog) seemed friendly and business-like.  All in all, a fun week for the Richardson family.