With Terry away, it's been generally rough around here. The bright spots include my 2 mornings when the babysitter comes. Rather than do chores - as I was our first few times - I ventured out with my new friend and her (much older than Alex) daughters to the Hermitage. It's free the first Thursday of every month so I decided it was a good time to check it out.
First, this lovely lady got me there, for which I am extremely grateful as those who know me know I have gotten lost going in a straight line (that was only once, but it makes a point). Second, she showed me the "secret no-tourist" entrance, where there was no wait at all and we walked right in. We also discovered an automated kiosk that will show you where you are, plot a path to where you want to go, and if you wait long enough print out a map. The Hermitage is enormous - over 3 million pieces of art - so the map is more precious than one might otherwise think. We got bored of waiting so we tried to fix the map in our minds and set off.
We headed toward the Impressionists area, where they happened to have a series of Rodin sculptures that I enjoyed much more than the Rodin Museum in Philly, and Picasso ceramics, which I had never seen before anywhere. I had no idea he had done anything with ceramics, and I was desperate to find a way to fit a few pieces in my purse to take home. As I'm not a Picasso fan, this is saying quite a lot.
On our way out, we got lost and wandered through ancient artifacts from middle Asia. The references on the pieces were from kingdoms and nations I'd never even heard of. We will definitely be making our way back as often as possible