Violins, Bugs, Tacos, and Dinosaurs

Today was a perfect family day in Raleigh:

  • Bugs, violins, and ballet dancers
  • Tacos and sangria
  • Dinosaurs
  • Around the state capitol
  • On a sunny day in March
  • With Patrick, Mom, and Dad
Jim and Patrick on the Capitol steps

Jim and Patrick on the capitol steps

See? Just perfect. One to savor.

We started the day with the NC Symphony “kids series” concert Bug Songs. (I recommend opening another tab to listen to Flight of the Bumblebee while you read this.) Jim and I enjoy going to hear the symphony, and it has been a treat to take Patrick to the kids series this year. His admission is free while he’s under age three, and today was his second show.  It wasn’t quite as engaging for him (it’s hard to compare with Rob Kapilow) as the last one, but he said he liked it.

Before the show started, Patrick had the opportunity to investigate some real bugs, courtesy of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Looking at a hissing cockroach

He even touched a Madagascar hissing Cockroach:

Touching the hissing cockroach

Touching the hissing cockroach

And he shouted, “stag beetle!” when he saw this model:

Stag beetle

STAG BEETLE and proud dad

The pre-show also includes an “instrument zoo” which gives the kids an opportunity to play instruments from the symphony. Patrick was mesmerized by the experience of playing the violin:

Playing violin

Patrick playing the violin

We didn’t get the program for “Bug Songs”, but I remember it included Flight of the Bumblebee, Roussel’s The Spider’s Feast, a tarantella (maybe this one by Rossini?) with a dancer in an effective 8-legged spider costume “courting” another beautiful dancer, and a sing-along of La Cucaracha. Ballet dancers from Triangle Youth Ballet performed as ants, butterflies, a spider, and a mayfly hatching from a cocoon.

After the hour-long program, we walked from Meymandi to Dos Taquitos Centro for lunch. On Saturdays they serve a brunch menu (with eggs from Fickle Creek in Efland!), and I recommend the veggie tacos with chipotle slaw and house sangria. If you ask, they’ll make a kid’s quesadilla with rice and beans. Patrick devoured it. He even asked for more rice and beans.

Dos Taquitos Centro kids meal

Enjoying Dos Taquitos Centro kids meal

We walked on to the state capitol. I asked my fellas to pause for a photo shoot and suggested a shady spot so they wouldn’t have to squint. Patrick had his own idea. Even with squinting, these photos make me smile:

Patrick chose to sit by a tree

Patrick chose to sit by a tree

I love that big dimple on the right:

Patrick's dimple

Patrick's dimple

Trying a better angle to limit squinting:

Patrick and Dad by a tree

Patrick and Dad by a tree

Finally in the shade on the steps of the state capitol:

Capitol steps

Capitol steps

Next we were on a mission to see dinosaurs at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Dinosaurs at the museum

Exploring rauisuchians (First I said this was a dinosaur. I was informed it is not. Now you know too!)

Patrick is lucky. Not everyone at the museum gets to learn about dinosaur phylogenetic trees from an evolutionary biologist dad:

Dinosaur phylogenetic tree

Dinosaur phylogenetic tree with Dad

Speaking of his dad, this next photo makes me smile. They are both looking up, gazing at dinosaurs and pterosaurs in the atrium, and even have a similar posture:

Atrium gazing

Gazing at dinosaurs and pterosaurs in the atrium, with the same posture!

Patrick liked climbing around the dino footprint. And he was appropriately dressed in an adorable dinosaur sweater thanks to Honey:

Dino sweater

Thanks for the dino sweater, Honey!

Once we got back to the car, Patrick had one more idea for what to do next. He declared we should go to a “museum for art” before heading home. That’s my boy! But we’d had a very full day, and it was time for a nap. The art museum will have to wait… for the next perfect family day in Raleigh.

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