On Friday I was looking up things to do this weekend and noticed that the Pompeii exhibit was ending Sunday. Tickets were already sold out for the whole weekend but there were a limited number of walk-up tickets available first come, first served so the kids and I hopped on the morning train and hurried downtown to the Melbourne Museum. We got there just as it opened but apparently many other people had the same idea so we waited in a rather long line. Luckily we managed to snag tickets...
The Pompeii exhibit was wonderful. There were many beautiful frescoes, statues, and every-day household items; there was even the iconic loaf of bread. They had very good and engaging descriptions of every-day life that really brought Pompeii to life. (Did you know they gathered urine to use when they did laundry?) The kids enjoyed a 3-D movie that recreated the day of the explosion and another movie about the current geology of Vesuvius and how it could bury Venice any day now. (So you'd better go if you want to see it before it is buried under 10 feet of ash!) Nikki was engaged and well-behaved and things were going great until we got to the room with the plaster casts of the bodies. The exhibit featured many of the famous ones including the chained dog. As if the body itself was not sad enough, they gave a lengthy and dramatic description of how the dog died trying to climb out of the ashes but then suffocated when it's chain ran out. Why did I read that description aloud? I have no idea. Ben and I were both crying before I read read it; afterwards Ben started shaking and sobbing thinking about the poor dog. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?! As we sat down to lunch Ben said, "Mom, next time can we please skip the last room?" Good idea. Or maybe we will just skip expensive exhibits about tragic historic events entirely.
We had a really nice lunch at the sit-down restaurant:
Then we explored the rest of the museum. Ben finally got to see a live jumping ant (inside the log):
The boys got to ride an echidna:
And Nik found a really cool pine-cone-like-thing:
We had fun playing in the gardens outside the Exhibition Hall:
There is so much more we want to see at the museum -- the dinosaurs, the bugs, the minerals. I am glad we got a membership because we will definitely be going back!