Monday, June 19, 2006

Travelogue 2
Day two found us rising early and leaving St Louis a little after sunrise. Brittany and I are still on our school sleep schedules, so it was easy for us. We paused in Terre Haute for a lunch break, stopping at the Swope Art Museum for a very pleasant visit. I love art museums, but for some reason, I can only digest in snatches of an hour, or maybe two at most. This museum focuses on American artists of the past 150 years or so. A bit of the Hudson River School through Impressionism and to the present day, with a liberal dash of regional artists. Over on the left is a depiction of one of my favorite works, Hummingbird Hunters
A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, James Farrington Gookins became one of the leading painters in the Midwest. Though well known for landscape paintings such as Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado, Gookins' fame rests on his charming paintings of mischievous elves and fairies such as Hummingbird Hunters. Influenced by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gookins created a fantasy world in which tiny beings hunt and capture hummingbirds. The exactitude with which the artist depicts rare plants suggests that he had access to hothouse specimens.
Small art museums like this are definitely worthy stops. After a Mexican lunch, we "enjoyed" road work on I-70 in Indiana, arriving at my aunt's home in Bellbrook, Ohio in time to jump back in the car with her, motor to Xenia, and have a nice dinner with my cousin Sandi. Brittany enjoyed playing with her young cousins. It was our first time with our Ohio relatives in almost five years. Last time was for my aunt's 80th birthday celebration, the reason for a very nice family reunion, and Brit's initial introduction to my side of the family. We spent a quiet Friday in Ohio. Brittany's right tennis shoe appeared with a hole in the front--her third outgrown shoe size since last August. Vacation with us, you'd better have good footwear, I guess.

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