Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Erie Canal Museum

Gavin had a medical appointment this afternoon, so I informed him that we would be stopping at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse after the appointment ended. I had wanted to get him to the Erie Canal museum since his class field trip in June, but somehow it was pushed to the side. Today he wasn't going to get out of it especially since this was the time when they did the Gingerbread house displays.
Before we headed into the city we had to wait for the Falso Heating guy to finish up the annual check on the heater. He was suppose to show up between 9 and noon. He came slightly after noon, and Gavin's appointment was a little after 1pm. We waited by playing with the pups outside. I asked Nick to be available just in case we had to jet before the heater guy was done.


They all had great fun. Riley loves the snow.
Peanut, not so much.

Gavin's medical appointment was successful, but even the Dr. couldn't tell what was going on with the rash on his arms so a culture was taken and we were recommended to start with some antifungal cream. The roads were awful with all of the snow, add those morons that are overly cautious and its even worse. We made it despite the snow and the snow might have been the factor in why we found front row free parking at the Erie Canal Museum. At least I think it was FREE, well we took the change that no one would come and ticket me considering you could barely get to the sidewalk with all the snow.

The Erie Canal Museum  was once the spot and home of the Canal's weight station when the Canal was fully functioning which was once right along side the building we were entering. Now called Erie Blvd. The canal once ran past Syracuse along this now active street in the Syracuse's city center.

Admission to the Museum is Free, but the Gingerbread Gallery cost me $7- for both of us. We took the elevator upstairs which was interactive with a narrator telling a story of the canal. The one flight up however limited what information we could gain from the trip, it was still pretty neat. Once up we lead ourselves through some of the museum exhibits and straight to the Gingerbread houses.

 This was my personal favorite. Candy Land
 This one was pretty cool.
 The Mine Craft design was Gavin's favorite.
They were all so much fun.

At the end we could vote on our favorites. They had already been judged for certain titles, but the family favorites would be announced at the end of the gallery display. We were offered the opportunity to make our own display for next year. Yeah as fun as that sounds....No thank you.
It really was not what I expected, I had hoped for more elaborate houses I guess, more like the ones you might see in some bakery or skilled shop. I didn't realize these were family made by local families who had very little baking skills. My own Gingerbread houses even with the kits have failed miserably. 
 Gavin with a top hat on.
How about a drink of sassafras? Forget about if you had fat feet, these narrow shoes would have killed me.

With the gallery of Gingerbread houses done we took in some of the 2nd floor displays about life during the Erie Canal days.
A photo of the elevator doors. Pretty neat.

 After a quick bathroom break and bet on who would get to the first floor faster the stairs (me) or the Elevator (Gavin), I won with reading room to spare, we were back on the first floor for some Erie Canal history. Back on the main floor the Museum offered a movie on the Erie Canal, we skipped it as Gavin was only willing to tolerate a quick skim through the museum in the first place.

I caught this sign and wondered what it meant? How fast is a walk anyways? Would you get fined if you ran? Still a little confused and would love some information.

The first room we entered as we skipped some areas rather quickly was a room all about what had come out of Syracuse, as a direct result of the cities popularity along the Erie Canal. Gavin also found himself something to enjoy and played or rather attempted to play Smoke on the Water.
Some things that came out of Syracuse are; The traffic light, the thing that measures your feet at the shoe stores and lacrosse.
There may have been more but that is all that I remember. It was also the home of this Blues musician named Elizabeth Cotton.

Back to the Erie Canal, we took a visit in the office of the weigh station's management. He is thinking very hard about something.

Gavin and I cannot get an answer as to if our boat weighs the appropriate amount so we take in a game of checkers made from corn cobs.

Onto the replica canal boat. Gavin loved this and decided right away that this was no longer a canal boat on the Erie, but his personal Pirate ship. Here comes the Pirate.

The room is surrounded by windows that face onto Erie Blvd. and across the street is the statue of the mule and his runner. (I am so bad I forgot the name of this guy). Adjacent to the museum is this small park with yet another canal boat. To snowy to enjoy the park today.

Gavin takes control of his boat with the rudders.

Taking a look inside the boat, we explored what and where this tiny bathroom was all about. I concluded that all waste went directly out of the boat. Gavin simply felt it would be pretty stinky.

Some more inside the boat fun revealed just what pirates drink...it comes in a jug and Gavin took a pretend slug with an "Argh" after it.

But, really...even with his pretend he did learn that boat living was not all that it was cracked up to be. He really had more information about it then I did from his 4th grade learning. Life on a canal boat was pretty tough. Just check out this woman who clearly has a terribly backache from all the hard work.

Or maybe it was from sleeping on these beds.

Whatever it was Gavin was sure that just having this guys style of mustache was painful, and most certainly not a man of his pirate fleet.

I concluded that this kids parents must be related to the Beale parents; referring to Mark and myself. Why? Because this seems like just the thing our little Gavin would be doing while the rest of his family worked hard on the canal boat. Okay...maybe a little harsh, but true.

As we headed to the exit and back to the snowy streets I was surprised to learn that The Erie Canal museum is one of the places to obtain a National Passport Stamp. We didn't have our book, but we did get one and I was excited to add it to my overflowing Eastern USA section.
A late lunch was on Gavins mind, and we decided to hit up a diner just kiddy corner from the museum. CLOSED, bummer. It had closed at 2pm. What is with that? So then I thought what about Stella? It's got awesome food and is always packed, maybe the traffic would be lite on a cold snowy Monday afternoon. CLOSED too.

We ended up at Wendy's, so much for different in the city. Gavin enjoyed his Baconator and we both had frosty's. What else would you have on such a cold day?
Concluded that it was a fun filled day, even Gavin agreed we headed home full bellied and ready for the evening to begin.  GREAT DAY!!