revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Totoro)
My ankle has been feeling much better lately, to the point where I can limp around in my huge, padded boot/cast without a cane a good bit of the time (as long as I'm inside or on really level ground with hand-holds available should I need them), so I was able to go along with my sister and two friends on a short trip to nearby Racine yesterday, to take advantage of the free art museum admission there on the first Friday of the month. I took my Dad's old walker along to use in walking to and around the museum, just in case, but limped around okay without it for short excursions from the car later in the afternoon.

My sister had been planning this trip as a treat for me for some time, so I was especially glad that I was well enough to go along and get so much enjoyment out of it. Several of the exhibits involved depictions of pop culture or mythical characters in various media, and even though the upstairs galleries were closed yesterday, we enjoyed the exhibits we did get to see -- especially those with sci-fi/fantasy/superhero connections.

We only got to see the Ruffo Gallery portion of the exhibition of pop-up books and art-works (for instance, there was a wall plaque depicting "A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros" for George R. R. Martin/"Game of Thrones" fans), but what we did see was wonderful, reminding us of our favorite pop-up books in childhood (we had one about Robin Hood from 1969, and another from 1968 for Alice in Wonderland, and still another from 1970 on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

I really enjoyed the gallery notes on this exhibit, as well, tracing the origins of pop-up books back to medieval monks working on ecclesiastical manuscripts! :)

Popular Culture that really POPS )

Here are some of my favorites (photographed by my sister) from the other main exhibit on the ground floor of the museum:

Pop culture icons in ceramic, glass, and needlework )

On the way out, we took some time to enjoy the museum's window exhibits of Charlotte Kruk's 'Consumer Couture' recycled art (see also gallery notes here).

'The Politics of Having' )

Then we had a mid-afternoon lunch at Kewpee's Hamburgers, a well-preserved example of the 1950s 'Malt Shop', complete with home-made root beer and incredibly affordable but very tasty burgers and fries that don't start cooking until after you've placed your order.

Pictures of the Racine Kewpee's )

Since Racine is the home of malted milk, I figured I ought to order a chocolate malted as my beverage/dessert, but I'd have been better off going with the much larger and less-expensive root beer float chosen by the rest of our party. The malted was tasty but somewhat gritty in texture, as though the soda jerk had simply smashed some malted milk balls and stirred them into a regular chocolate milk shake as an after-thought, rather than properly dissolving the malted milk powder in the shake. Well, if we ever go there again, I'll know that the root beer with free refill is the local specialty to order instead.

Most of the rest of the day was spent driving around, sight-seeing some Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, enjoying the breeze from Lake Michigan, and window-shopping at the unique shops in downtown Racine.

Even the pouring rain on the drive home couldn't dampen our spirits after all that. :)

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