After spending all day yesterday laying around Harirot and Larry’s house watching football and eating Harriot’s famous “3 year” chili (She only makes it for special occasions every couple years), early this morning Harriot was kicking us out. She wanted us out of the house before 10. We were allowed to come back after 4 for dinner. So I whipped together an activity for us. Not far from the house is the new MIM (Musical Instrument Museum). I’m aware that it sounds pretty nerdy. When mentioning the idea to Liam he scuffed at it and insisted that we go for a hike instead. After we ate breakfast at the good egg with full bellies we decided a museum was more of our pace. Plus it rained the night before so the hike coulda been a little muddy. The plan was to go hiking after the MIM if we had time. The MIM turned out to be way better then we expected. It houses thousands of different instruments from every country, region and culture from Oceania to Canada. The instruments are arranged by country within six major rooms (US/Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania). From simple deerskin drums to intricate indian sitars to steinway pianos this place has it all. There’s even a couple stops along the way that show you the entire process of making Martin acoustic guitars, Steinway Pianos, Chinese gongs, and Zildjian Symbals. Theres also a section thats dedicated to certain musicians. The museum is new so I’d say about 30% is unfinished. Most of the US/Canada room is unfinished with only a native american, hip hop, and country section finished. I know, I know it sounds a little dry right? Thats because I didn’t tell you about the best part. Being that its a brand new museum it also has the newest in technology. With the purchase of admission they give you headsets and an audio tour. This isn’t your regular audio tour tho. Theres no typing in numbers, theres no pressing pause while following a certain pattern. These headsets know where you are and play audio accordingly. So if you are standing in front of a brazil exhibit theres a berimbau playing, If your in Ireland then there are bagpipes. Amongst all the wild instruments from past and present from simple to artistic are flatscreen TV’s showing numerous videos of people from that culture playing music on those instruments. All you do is walk around and view while the music in your headphones adjusts for you. Its genius! It will no doubt be the next big thing to hit Museums everywhere. With all this music playing, we couldn’t help but dance. There were numerous times where the 4 of us randomly broke out into dance. Oooo I forgot there’s also a section where you get to play some of the instruments you saw upstairs. We had a blast in that room as well. After about an hour and a half or so we had a bit of a sense overload and did the “drag your feet through the museum” thing. But the awesomeness of the instruments and the easiness of the headphones kept us going. The greatest hits list for me includes the Indian Sitars, Haiti’s ghetto stick, string, and paint bucket instrument,full body goat skin bagpipes, a grand harmonicon, a cajun frottoir, the video of the yelling native americans and their big drum, South African oil can guitar, and, my favorite, the air guitar.
We went back to the club house and the girls helped Harriot cook a wonderful meal, while the dudes hung out on around the pool and watched the sunset with Larry. Let me just say that Larry is the man! A 93 year old with the best attitude of anyone I know, absolutely hilarious, with plenty of charm to go around. He was hitting on my jillian the entire time. After dinner we had to drive Liam and Kanya to the airport and thats where their road trip had ended. It was so nice to have the company and we were sad to see them go. We probably should have kidnapped them.
As we drove away from the airport we realized that Kanya and Liam’s misfortune of having to leave and go to work the following day awoken a sense of freedom, privilege, and excitement in us for not having anything thing tying us down. For the next 30 days we’re free to do as we please. Wake up when we want. Go where we please. Eat what we want. The world is ours. We drove towards a Walmart passing palm trees and cacti with a new sense of excitement for the road, smiles as wide as our faces would allow.
Next stop: Meeting up with Uncle Jim and Mari in Phoenix