And our visit was packed full of experiences! N.'s favorite part was getting lots and lots of time to play with the children in the family we visited. It is so fun to see like-minded, creative kids get to know each other. It was rejuvenating for us to have meals and long talks with our friends (and friends of our friends!) -- and I got some much-appreciated tutoring in both knitting and chicken-keeping.
We toured the Woodruff-Fontaine House in the "Victorian Village" area near downtown Memphis. We spent hours at the Zoo. We saw some of the excellent permanent collection and a special exhibit called "Angels and Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art" (review here) at the Brooks Museum of Art. We took a gorgeous walk through the Old Forest in Overton Park where our friend introduced us to woodland poppies, may apples, trillium, and other beautiful wildflowers in bloom. We went to a performance of As You Like It (N.'s second Shakespeare play!) at Rhodes College. The adults (but not the kids) went to lecture on "Walt Whitman's Civil War" by Randall Fuller at Rhodes. We drove through downtown and caught glimpses of the bizarre Pyramid Arena and tourist-thronged Beale Street from the car. We spent a couple hours on the banks of the Mississippi, where the kids drew pictures and we watched barges churn by. We drove across the river just to say we'd been to Arkansas. We ate fried chicken (and lots of other good food).
It was a stellar visit, rich with learning, socializing, and intellectual stimulation for all three of us. We feel lucky to have such good people in our lives and to have had the chance to spend a few days with them on their home turf.