Hometown Tourism: Royal Ontario Museum

Monday was Family Day in Ontario, and I firmly believe that friends are the family you choose, so I went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) with my good friend Elyse. She and I both wanted to go, and the men in our lives are far more likely to rush around the exhibits, barely looking, and definitely not getting childish glee out of the number of phallic symbols we encountered.

The morning went something like this:

9am – arrive at GO train station with time to get snacks

9:20am – watch as train is first delayed, then cancelled due to equipment malfunction, text friend to let her know I’ll be late and stand around reading a book (this is why you should always have reading material handy)

10:40am – finally get into Toronto, then attempt to navigate the subway while it’s under construction

11:15am – Get to the ROM, check coats, meet up with an old friend who happened to be there on the same day at the same time by some weird coincidence, begin adventure!

We began by visiting the feature gallery, where wildlife photography was being showcased. There were some amazing photos from some really talented people, and then there were a few that had me wondering who these people knew on the judging committee. A blurry picture is a blurry picture, no matter what “technique” you try to tell me you used.

IMG_1686After we made our way through that exhibit (and it’s accompanying gift shop) we decided to check out the Canadian exhibit. The First Nations clothing and art was neat, and I started to think that maybe I should have worn my moccasins instead because my feet were already starting to hurt.

From there we went to see China and Japan, which led us to the conclusion that most of the stuff in these galleries could fall into four different categories:293536_10150337518632561_1777542156_n

  1. Stuff people pooped in
  2. Sharp things that likely stabbed people
  3. Random junk given to you by your in-laws
  4. Things for dead people

301107_10150337519867561_430565939_nAfter following the sounds of drums (a Chinese New Year celebration) we found ourselves in the dinosaur exhibit. Although I’m not a fan of the giant crystal stuck on to the side of the original building (see above) it does provide a great space to show off all the fossils. Previously there were a few dinosaurs on a wall and some fossils… done. Dinosaurs! So good on them for finally highlighting the one thing most people go to the museum to see.

Before moving on we had to visit my favourite part of the museum… this guy!312904_10150337520927561_411072818_n

IMG_1697After checking out many better examples of taxidermy, we found a hall full of beautiful rocks and minerals, which we decided was the surprise hit of our trip. Seriously, seeing how many different ways the earth can crunch bits of matter into odd shapes is pretty awesome. Then we had to leave because the fire alarm went off… but only for a bit.IMG_1709

On the third floor we found many stunning examples of early artist’s obsession with male genitalia. Elyse and I decided to embrace this phenomena, and took far too many pictures of the various paintings and sculptures highlighting this feature.

By the time we reached the European Gallery I was done with standing, so I found a few benches and contemplated whatever happened to be in front of me while I sat. This usually meant I was staring at a wall… (for a place that has so much art in it, they have a lot of empty walls)IMG_1719

In the end I was tired, sore, and all cultured out, so I made my way home to snuggle with my dog and start work on this very long blog.


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