We bought a membership to the Hermitage last spring and have definitely not used it to its potential. I had an epiphany that Z is getting much better about being able to sit in the stroller or otherwise behave when he's out and about so I decided on a Friday - my day off work - I would take him to the Hermitage. If the weather's good it's a nice walk, and because of the membership if we only make it 1/2 hour it's still worth it.
Today was the inaugural visit. As I didn't know about getting up and down the stairs or where exactly those elevators were, I took the umbrella stroller. It was raining so we caught the bus, totally by accident got let off exactly where we needed to (Moika) and easily got ourselves there. It was an absolute madhouse inside though, and the woman at the entrance told me I'd need to check my jacket if I couldn't fit it in the stroller basket. I looked at the line of people checking things and decided if I couldn't make it fit we weren't going in. Somehow I got the jacket, Z's sweatshirt and the diaper bag all in the tiny little basket.
When we got inside, Z wanted to walk. So we start going up the main staircase baby pace. I was bumping the stroller up behind us with one hand - no way I could have done it with the Phil & Ted. At one point a Russian woman was energetically trying to say something to be about a "detskaya kortka" (child's jacket) and I figured she was yelling at me for not dressing Zoltan warmly enough. After pondering what she could have possibly been saying, I realized that Z's raincoat had fallen out in the bumping so I ran down and luckily it wasn't too far down the stairs.
Z was amazing. He wanted a walk a while but was happy to hold my hand. Then he wanted to sit and eat his snack. We were there an hour and only left because it was getting close to nap time. We got to get back to the Annie Liebowitz exhibit, which Terry and I had seen on its opening day with massive throngs of people. Today was a much more leisurely pace. Z especially loved the photos of Sarah Liebowitz (granddaughter?) and in each room we looked for the photos of "the baby" (his words).
I will absolutely be repeating the experience.