Man, it all makes some sense as to why Americans are uncultured, TV-obsessed idiots. Ok, that’s harsh, and not true, actually, but after this weekend, it’s sort of how I FEEL, which means…it’s real to me.
But the back story to my rant and rave is that firstly, I’m so lucky enough to have the friends I do. Like, AMAZING, amazing friends. And sometimes they come to see me in my home State of California, which is the best thing almost ever. (Actually, going to visit them is usually much preferred because then it means I’m traveling, which is the very essence of my being, and also I’m traveling, which is everything to me and more).
And, of course, when friends of mine come over, I want them to experience the USA and California for all its beauty, charm, excitement, grandeur, and excellence. There’s a lot of it to be found over here.
But apparently to do that in this blasted place takes a LOT of cold, hard cash.
You see, I’m jaded. When Roy and I went abroad last Christmas visiting England and Morocco, we were whisked away on day one to the Victoria and Albert museum for a nighttime visit, just to look and see and touch and discuss and imagine and play. But more than how “cool” we felt cruising around a museum in the early evening when we could be working or drinking…or something else…we did it for FREE.
YES, PEOPLE, FREE!!!!
So it seems that places around the world often host, offer, list, and permanently have services to educate, discover, share, and participate in the gifts of this Earth for the dollar/pound amount of ZERO.
Child Care Activity.
Family Day Out.
And that makes it awesome.
So when I tried to return that favor to my dear friend who just came for a visit our way, it ended up being a very expensive day out. (I should mention that Roy and I are moving, which translates into all our available funding is tied up in this process, so I’m freaking out about every penny, even cultural pennies). I decided to take him to Golden Gate Park to the famous DeYoung museum on a gorgeous Sunday in September. When it’s a beautiful day in the City, everyone has the same (right!) idea of where to be.
The general breakdown of trying to be worldly and cultured, Cali-style:
Lunch – $30 (café food…)
Tickets- $44 (for both)
And that didn’t include parking, which would have added another $30. Thank the universe that all of the lots were full, otherwise that was my go to.
The total for just a few hours of fun for two people was around $75…not cool. And it raised a great worry in me that I can’t imagine the average family having enough spare cash to take themselves or their kids to see things that truly engage the spirit and lighten the soul. This serves as a giant reflection on how we are as a Nation. (Insert comments about the government shut down right here….close the National parks and museums, my ass).
And look, I know that there are ways to go around all of the cost issues. Buying a membership, attend the ONE FREE DAY a month that’s offered, bus in, ferry out, yadda yadda. But where is the spontaneity? Where is the, “ohhhh look, it’s gorgeous out, let’s go to the Botanical Gardens this afternoon”? Nowhere, because it can’t be. To get it cheap or free or easy, one has to jump through more hoops than there are show dogs.
We, as a country, have to figure out how to offer the finer things in life to EVERYONE. Not those that can pay, but EVERY SINGLE PERSON. The more we can educate, involve, inspire, ask questions, find answers, dream, believe, be amazed, wish and hope, the better we are as a whole. We want to want to improve ourselves as indivduals and as a Nation. We can’t continue to be stupid, ignorant, or behind because we are not offered the chances to be otherwise.
We have to make a change. And I say start with the museums…
BUUUUTTTTT, just so you don’t think that I just complained the whole time my homies were here (I DIDN’T, thank you) the trip was amazing, even with me being a curmudgeon. We hit up a Niner game (and got our asses HANDED TO US), tailgated, ate MEAT with MEAT, drank beer and tequila like water, and bought 49er jerseys. I also did manage to slip in a trip to Muir Woods to see our lovely Redwood Groves ($7/person….free parking…) which was a real treat for me since I hadn’t been in so long. Nature…God, it’s SO GOOD HERE.
And we ate well. Like Super Tasty BBQ, Mexican, Breakfast Joint, well. *le sigh*
So now we’re a bit broke(r), fat(ter), and sad (WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO LEAVE?!?!?) but it left me with a priceless piece of memorabilia; me. There is NOTHING more solidifying and uplifting for me than being with a part of my bubble. Seeing Stu reminded me why I am the way I am, why I like the people I like, why our relationship is so important, and why I fight for each friend in the same way.
You just can’t do better than this.
I can’t do better than this.
Worth every penny.
Now put that in your next Visa Card Commercial!