Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Really Overrated Museum (ROM)

As a "suburbanite", I have always liked living just outside the city. The trafic and congestion is less, as are the number of people. The downside is that kid-friendly venues such as the Toronto zoo, Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum are all located in Toronto. I have been to the zoo many times, in fact we have a zoo pass - the kids really enjoy it (much more than I do). I still remember the ad (as my dad reminds me everytime we go there) - "There's a place for you in the Metro zoo." I have been to the Science Centre once and it wasn't that bad overall. The worst part was trying to watch a movie about insects on the IMAX screen with a four year old. What a joke. Needless to say we were "outta there" in no time.
When I was in a student in school, I remember going to the ROM. I found it fascinating to see a dead person embalmed and preserved in the Ancient Egyption section of the museum as I studied Ancient Egypt in class. As an adult, going back last week to see the same dead person (many years later) still preserved made me head in the other direction. It's fascinating what a few years can do to you.
My trip to the ROM last week during the March Break was quite the opposite of what I expected.
As we arrived at the ROM we were greeted by a line up outside the building and around the corner. Several ROM people were on hand to greet us and offer us solace by asking us to buy a ROM membership for $140 dollars (or something astronomical like that). You see, by buying a membership, you could bypass the line, and some people did. As for myself and the kids, we were getting in free anyways (some of the perks of my profession). As we finally entered into the building, we were greeted with yet another line up. Tickets finally in hand and 2 hours later (or so it seemed) we went up the elevator to the second floor. Stroller and kid in hand I attempted to see some of the lavish displays but was stopped by a staircase with no elevator or help in sight. Okay I can handle this, I said. Finally some respite, a kids area dedicated to kids. Well they play and then they little one is hungry. I offer him a bite of something as a security guard comes by to let me know that there is no eating here on this level. Down we go to level one again. Find a place to eat, up to level two. Uh Oh. Now we need a diaper change. Find a bathroom - oops no change table - WHAT!! NO CHANGE TABLE!!??? Okay, do diaper change in his stroller. Let kids run about in an open area. Security again - don't touch the poles in the open area - they are painted with special paint. Okay down to the gift shop to get a souvenir - oops line-up again.
Okay we are almost out - phew Daddy is here to pick us up. What a day at the Really Overrated Museum. I think I would have been happier going to the Markham Museum. Sometimes, being a suburbanite isn't so bad after all.

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