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It is Mr. Cleaver and I’s longstanding tradition to get outta dodge at least once in midwinter – usually late January/early February. It’s been overnight trips to Boothbay and Lake Geneva, or as simple as a day trip to FunSpot. This year we returned to a place we’ve played hooky in a few times before: Boston.

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This year’s excursion was specifically inspired by the current special exhibit running at the Museum of Science, A Day in Pompeii (still around until Feb 12th – if you’re interested).

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I’m a bit of an ancient history geek, having minored in Classical Studies in college, and while my Latin is sadly a bit rusty these days my love of classical art and history hasn’t diminished.

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The Pompeii exhibit was very well done and if I were to describe it in a single word, it would be “striking.”

The preserved artifacts are incredibly well preserved and cover a wide range of items from the sophisticated plumbing pipes and fixtures to intricate statues to wonderfully bright colored frescoes.

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Of course the most striking of all are the body casts, which are really a punch to the gut that bring home the tragedy in an all too effective way. I was most shaken of all by the two chained figures – one a man and one a dog, that had no way of escaping the volcano.

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We spent a little over an hour in the Pompeii exhibit before enjoying the rest of museum, including a collection of Geckos and a fun exhibit on model-making, which included making your own fish and seeing how long they survive in the environment  (Mr. Cleaver’s far out-survived mine.)

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The other museum highlight for me what a photo exhibit called “What I Eat: Around the World in 25 Diets.” The exhibit featured a series of portraits of people from various countries and that day’s food intake, along with a calorie count – which raised some interesting connections, such as the model, cod-fisherman, and refugee who all had similar calorie intakes, though wildly different food choices.

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It certainly made not want to think about the bacon and onion ring-covered burger I had for lunch (Yes, there’s a burger under there, it’s from the 21st Amendment and it was delicious, one the best burgers I’d ever had).

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All in all, it was a fun trip, well worth the pre-sunrise train ride down.

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