Alone in Pompeii

Saint Paul Travel Blog

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So normally the art exhibits are in Cities farther away than what I'm in and I either have to drive there (Like Edvard Munch at the MOMA in 06 or King Tut in Philly) or not go at all (like now at the MOMA in NYC there's a Seaurat exhibit and he was one of my favorite artists)... but in December I found out that a Pompeii exhibit is touring cities in the US and until Jan 6th it's right here in the twin cities... what luck I have.  But since that first week in December I've been trying to find someone to go with me... and alas nobody would... so I went by myself again... See, all the other times I wanted to go somewhere it was always somewhere else (well, except for the Ansel Adams exhibit in the Pittsburgh Museum of Natural History... but that's because most people don't recognize the name Ansel Adams... and if you're reading this now and don't know the name google it and it'll click.  His photo's are everywhere.  But I figured since everybody studied Pompeii in school and people atleast appriciate the history of it then I could find someone... but since it wasn't nigthtfall and alcohol isn't included I got a big fat "NO".  So alas I went by myself once more.

So before I headed over to St. Paul I went to Lakeville, MN to go to see Enchanted with my friend and let me tell you that that was a funny movie if you get a chance to see it... you have to see it!  But that's not really part of this story.  But the part that does pertain is when I called today to make reservations I made them for 3:30PM and Jeff... the guy from the museum ...told me to arrive at the museum between 3 and 3:15PM to make it for the show at 3:30.  The movie ended at 2PM and I dropped Christina off at her place (who lives 10 minutes from me) and typed in the address for the Science Museum of Minnesota into my GPS and it said that I would get there at 2:45PM so I decided to stop off at home because I wanted to get a little bit of food in my stomach and I decided that since my hair dried I'd straighten it.  Well, I look at the clock and it's 2:55 so I dash out the door.  On my way to the museum I thought that when I called the earlier in the day to buy the tickets I should've asked Jeff how the parking was there because I didn't know what to expect... is it a lot, how much does it cost, do I have to park on the street etc.

So I find the parking lot and yikes it's a 6 story tall circular garage.  I get to the second floor and I see 2 girls stopping me so they can flag their friend out of the parking spot she was in... score I thought... a spot.  Well, the 2 girls hopped in the outback wagon and they drove off.  I went to go into the spot and stopped... I figured out why she needed someone to help her get out of the spot... there were 2 cars, well large black SUV's, that were parked too far over the line so the spot was really, really tight to the point that I think the girl in the outback wagon had to climb out of the moonroof otherwise she was a complete toothpick because of how the doors couldn't have opened. Finally on floor 4 I found a spot and it was 3:18... right on time. 

Well, when I got into the main lobby I asked the woman at the info desk where to go to get my ticket for my reservation.  She told me to look over at a line that had to be 20 minutes long... Oh no... what am I going to do now... am I going to lose my $25?  So the sign next to it that says will call was my line and there was nobody in that line! I got right in and out and found out that the real time for the show was at 4PM and the line formed at 3:30... so I had a lot of time to spare. 

The first part of the exhibit was an Omnimax film called "Greece: Secrets of the Past" and it was narrated by Nia Vardalos, from My Big Fat Greek Wedding... so from the other Omni Movie I saw I think that they use famous people that the younger crowd can relate to so they pay attention because I saw the Mysteries of the Ocean at the Pittsburgh OmniMax and it was narrated by Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp. 

The main exhibit was 6 rooms and one theater room with a narration of Pompeii.  The first 4 rooms had artifacts and replica head busts depicting the history and what the natives used.  Like the fact that the women used face powder, had curling irons, used fragranced oils and when there was a new hair style they all had to have it.  Also that they wore bleach white robes and to get them to do that they didn't have bleach but had to use amonia and to do that they use urine to get the clothing that white.  Also, another thing I thought was interesting is I always wondered why my favorite italian restaurants used dipping oils with their breads... and it's because it's a tradition that was brought about 2 centuries ago because the flour that was used made the bread too hard and they needed something to soften it up!

The best part of the exhibit was seeing the room with the cast molds of the people of the town during their last second.  The acrheologist found air pockets and figured out they were the airpockets in the formation of the people of the town and and their dogs and preserved their pressence as their bodies decomposed.  The archeologist poured plaster in it and out came the emotional aspect of what happened.  It was very surreal.  There was one figure with both his hands covering his mouth with a piece of fabric and a man trying to protect a woman in his life and a dog that looked like it was in so much pain during it's last second on earth.  If you get a chance to see this exhibit when it is in Charlotte, NC in July of 08 I would recommend going to see it... that room was so powerful and it really made an impact.  This was probably one of the better exhibits I've seen!

So as timing is perfect my roomates boyfriend called me as I was leaving the exhibit.  This morning I told my roomie that I was going to be downtown for the exhibit and told her if they would like to come or meet me for dinner afterwards her and her boyfriend, Adam, would be more than welcome.  She told me that she was picking up some Over time at work and that I should give Adam a call... but he probably wouldn't want to go see the exhibit because they already saw it.  Well, when she said that I was wondering why she didn't tell me that it was in town or invite me to come along because she knew I liked those type of things.  But I just brushed it off.  So I called Adam and told him that I'd be getting out between 6 and 7PM and for him to call me if he wants to grab some dinner somewhere because Ihaven't really been anywhere downtown yet.

So I go over to Adam's place and we walk down the road (he lives 5 blocks from the museum) and we go to DeGidio's, which serves Italian and American Food.  There was a 30 minute wait so we go and sit at the bar to order some drinks and decide to stay there and order our food there too.  well, we got the menu and it was only 2 pages with a section on american, italian, salads and appetizers.  Adam really wanted Lasagna and was dissapointed it wasnt't on the menu but settled for meatballs and pasta and I got beef ravioli and we got garlic cheesy bread as an appetizer.  Well, we waited for what seems like ever for the cheesy bread to come out and finally we saw a server with a plate of it... no I thought... they took it to the group of guys at the end of the bar (closest to him), who got there after Adam and I.  Well, about 5 minutes later the bartender who took our order came over, looked at us and asked us about the appetizer and he looked over at the guys at the end of the table and apologized. 

During dinner Adam and I were talking about up coming travels... he and lindsey are going to Asia the day I'm coming back from my 2 weeks on the east coast.  I also figured out by talking to him that when Lindsey said they saw Pompeii that she meant the real thing... not the museum... Man I wish I worked for the airlines like they do! 

But that's the story of my first day out of the tri-city area that I'm in for living, work and hanging out at night.  I finally got out during the day and got to experience some cultural aspects of the Twin Cities.

alyssa_ob says:
I didn't make it to the Pompeii exhibit because it never worked out with my scheudule. Besides, I was determined that one day I would see the real thing. Turns out I got my chance three months later!
Posted on: Apr 05, 2008
petrarchanprincess says:
Ooooh, I LOVE the Omni theatre....everyone goes crazy for the IMAX, but Omni is BEST!

Also, be on the watch for exhibits at the MIA and Weisman and Walker...Minneapolis has a fan-flippin-tastic art and music scene...really. Have you found Cities 97 yet? (radio)
Posted on: Apr 02, 2008
fancynancy says:
I went to the Pompei exhibit when I was home. I love the Science Museum and St. Paul. I miss the culture of MN and there's so many things to do there!
Posted on: Mar 08, 2008
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