And all too soon, I'm back home. I actually arrived a couple nights ago, but between unpacking, work, the ol' Post-Trip Blues, and general exhaustion, it's taken a bit of time to work up to making this little post. Still, for all of that? I feel pretty damned good about how things went, overall. As per usual,
and I had just a ton of fun, and even managed to get some real Good Luck along the way. Case in point? The forecast before my arrival was mostly rain 'n' cold, but, with one exception (which itself yielded some VERY impressive sights thanks to
's apartment being high up 'n' with a wide, fairly unobstructed view of the surrounding area), we got sun 'n' warmth. Meanwhile, I got a REAL nasty scare the day before I left: a nasty-ass fever that I was terrified would last the entire trip, but which thankfully mostly dissipated overnight. And with that playing field nicely evened out, we got to do lots of fun stuff like...* See "Mad Max: Fury Road":
I'd actually seen this movie already with my brother about a week prior to my trip, but a.) it was seriously so great
and b.) we'd been hoping to see a movie together. Originally the thought had been "Age of Ultron", but a bit before I was set to arrive,
saw it with a Marvel-Fan friend of hers, and we realized it'd be a bit silly to go to a movie we'd both
already seen, and "Fury Road" was about the only other thing playing at the time we could both muster up enough interest for. I was, admittedly, nervous, given how...intense...the movie gets at times, but I needn't have worried.
enjoyed it a great deal too (because seriously, it is so great
) and we spent the whole rest of the trip making little references to and jokes about it. Time well spent, methinks. <3* Go to the Dinosaur Park:
During my last trip to Maryland, an accident of Timing prevented me from getting to see the Smithsonian's Dinosaur exhibits/materials, save a scant handful, since that area was in a state of transition (and still is, actually, but we'll get to that). Thus, when it was suggested we give a local Dinosaur Park (basically a small little set-up located at an area where Fossils have been found and where Fossil Seekers are still working) a shot, I leaped at the opportunity. It was, perhaps, a pretty simple overall experience (after a brief introduction going over the site's history, we were allowed to explore a marked part of the area to see what Fossils we could find), but a pleasant one; the weather was great for it, and it actually was genuinely interesting to see what we could find (which mostly amounted to fossilized bark called Lignite, a few pieces of which we took back to the apartment as our prize <3), as well as the overall enthusiasm of the children at whom the whole thing is primarily aimed.* Go to the Smithsonian's Dinosaur Exhibit:
Going to the Smithsonian was one of the big highlights of my previous trip to Maryland, so I was naturally inclined to revisit it this time anyway, and lucky me, this time around there was actual Dinosaur Stuff on display! It's still not the full Fossil Exhibit the museum used to have, but that's apparently under extensive revision and isn't due out until 2019 (but hey, I can pretty easily picture these trips still happening four years down the line, myself <3), and besides, what they had to offer was pretty great in and of itself. Some GREAT Dino-skeletons (primarily the Classic Duo of Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex), lots of interesting information, and even an adorable Vintage Arcade Game about how exactly Fossils are created, and just how much luck is required for that to even happen. Not only that, they actually had a Dinosaur Movie playing at their IMAX Theater, a decent little documentary called "Dinosaurs Alive! 3D", which maybe shows its age a bit (it's from 2007 and the budget clearly isn't all it could have been, so not only are the all-but-obligatory CGI Dinosaur sequences a bit on the chintzy side, but it's visibly clear the camera people are still kind of figuring out how to work with an IMAX-sized aspect ratio) but is also ultimately fun to watch. We also swung by the Mammals Exhibit, which I'd missed last time, and admired the exceptionally well-crafted animal recreations on display.* Draw!
Maybe not as much as we might have wanted, and it didn't amount to TOO much; I only finished one full pic (you'll be seeing it soon enough), got a bit of sketch and design work done for another, myself. Even so, it was actually a profoundly contenting experience, at least for me;
's presence is quite inspiring, and it felt really cool to be able to instantly bounce thoughts and feelings about our respective works back and forth with one another. I sincerely hope to do it again some time. ^_^* Movies, Movies, Movies!
In addition to "Mad Max", we did a few movies at the apartment, too. The first was "My Little Pony: The Movie", a perfectly enjoyable bit of 80's Fluff (with some truly hilarious Celebrity Voices like Rhea Perlman and Danny friggin' DeVito). The second was the Silent Film classic "Metropolis", which is maybe a bit...long in its mostly-restored cut, but is an impressively-ahead-of-its-time (seriously the effects work and directorial eye feel, like, three decades ahead of the curve for a 20's movie) piece of work with a strong narrative throughline. We also watched some Steven Universe on the "Gem Glow" DVD. ^_^* Spend Time Together:
The highlight, obviously. As always, it was just too much fun to simply be with
my friend 'n' laugh 'n' talk 'n' hug 'n' walk 'n' all that good stuff. Here's to next time.