Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt's Night Watch at Rijksmuseum Netherlands by Arun Shanbhag
For as long as I can remember, a visit to the Rijksmuseum was on my short list. For nearly a decade, it was closed for renovations. When it reopened a few years ago we started planning a long trip. We planned an entire day for the Rijksmuseum. Nothing else would do it justice.
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Keukenhof Gardens: Tulips Overdose

pic of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens Lisse Netherlands by Arun Shanbhag
When we were planning a trip to The Netherlands, I was thinking of immersing myself at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, while M was dreaming of the tulips, i.e. the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, a quick bus ride from Schiphol Airport. Of course we did both, and much more.

It was a bright, cool day in early May. Apparently they have more than 7 million tulips over ~80 acres of well maintained grounds, and they were all in bloom! The colors and fragrances were simply overwhelming. I was close to getting a “Tulip induced migraine!” For a break, we stepped into the gift shop(s) and of course, more tulips.
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Video: Meera Loves Boxes

When we go for a walk and Meera sees a cardboard box in someone’s trash, she wants it.  One time she made me carry a big water-heater box back home.  With some box cutters, duck tape, paint, binder clips and a big dose of Meera’s creativity, we made a Rocket Ship!  She and her friends have more fun with this Rocket Ship and many, many expensive, store bought gifts.

This girl is ruling my life! Love her.

Meera at the Harvard Art Museum

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag

For many years, Harvard’s Fogg Museum showcasing a beautiful collection of 19th century French and American art, was one of my favorite past-times in Boston. Harvard also hosted a unique Degas at Harvard exhibition – Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers. A few years ago, Harvard undertook a major renovation of the Fogg Museum, expanded it, and brought together collections from the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Arthur Sackler Museum and Fogg Museum. This was my first visit to the renovated and renamed Harvard Art Museums with Meera as a curious companion. Thankfully, they did not change the main layout and courtyard, but extended the side wings and added a Louvre-style, roof top glass pyramid.

Meera had a wonderful time reading the layout map and leading me from section to section. She was particularly intrigued and recognized the portraits of American Presidents. Obviously this first grader thought all the renaissance paintings with scantily clad women were “gross”. She was terrified of peering into the courtyard from the upper level verandahs. This is not the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum and I was not expecting a plethora of Indian art – they had a 13th century Chola bronze of Shri Rām, a few pieces of Buddha and other miscellaneous artwork.

We had a wonderful meal at the cafe and ended our visit at the gift shop – Meera’s favorite. She did say she liked the Harvard Museum of Natural History better and I promised her a return trip this week.

This day I loved this work by the 16th century, Italian Baroque painter, Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin and the Sleeping Christ; see how kindly she shields the child with her diaphanous veil.

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag
Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin with Sleeping Christ, 1610


Meera at the Cape

pics photos of beach at the Chatham Bars Inn Cape Cod by Arun Shanbhag
The views were soothing

Meera was thrilled to be visiting the Cape. She looked forward to this all spring and finally it happened. The weather was perfect – warm days and cool nights. She loved the Lighthouse, collecting shells on the beach, playing in the pool, catching up with friends, soccer on the beach, scoping seals lazing on sand bars, riding the boat and toasting marshmallows by the bon fire. As in earlier times, the food was spectacular. Overall, a great time.

The lighthouse is beautiful.

pics photos of Lighthouse at the Chatham Bars Inn Cape Cod by Arun Shanbhag
Lighthouse at Chatham

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