With Evan’s open-heart surgery cancelled, Kendra and I have suddenly found ourselves with a lot of unplanned free time this week. Her mom, Jane, flew up here to help take care of Addison and Kate while we were in the hospital, and is with us until January 4th. Having spent the last three weeks in a self-imposed quarantine to keep Evan from catching anything prior to surgery, we were all ready to spend some time out of the house. We also figured Addison needed a little moms time, since our attention has been heavily focused on Evan. So, we left the twins at home with our super-nanny-friend, Tina, and headed to my alma mater, Phillips Academy, for a day of hiking and drawing.
Our first stop was the Addison Gallery of American Art. (No, Addie is not named after the gallery – though she loves visiting because she has the same name.) Addie and I love to go to the Addison to check out the latest exhibits, sketch, and read art books. Jane has never been and was excited to check out the gallery. She and Kendra wandered through the exhibits while Addie and I searched for inspiration. We started by exploring the Lorna Simpson exhibit on the second floor. Addie dug Players, a combination of 19 digital photographs and 19 aluminum boxes. She was delighted to figure out how the boxes connected to the photographs.
Eventually we wandered down to the first floor, where we bumped into my friend Jamie, the Addison’s Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to catch up, because Addie wanted to keep exploring. I followed her through each room on the first floor, but Addie wasn’t finding inspiration, so we headed to the basement which is filled with 22 model ships. Addie was intrigued and after making me take a picture of her favorite ship, she sat on a stool and began to draw. I sat on the floor next to her, sketching in the moments she wasn’t asking me to hand her a different colored pencil.
A half an hour passed, and we decided to head back up to the first floor. We found Jane and Kendra, and they told us about a painting with chickens, so we set off to find it! (Addison loves chickens… and farm animals in general.)
We also found a cool Jackson Pollock. I asked Addie how she thought he made the painting. She giggled and motioned the flicking of a paintbrush. I was impressed. Even more impressed when we headed to the art library within the gallery, and we found a kids book about Jackson Pollock!
While we waited for Kendra and Jane to finish exploring the museum, Addie and I read a ton of art books. It was awesome. The Museum Learning Center is probably one of my favorite places on campus. It’s bright and filled with comfy chairs that overlook a green rooftop filled with Chihuly sculptures. If I could bring my lattes, it would totally be my go-to spot for writing!
After we’d had our fill of art, we headed into downtown Andover for a quick lunch at LaRosa’s, then grabbed lattes at Starbucks and headed back to campus for a walk through the Cochran Sanctuary. When I was a student, I loved running the trails here. It was neat to introduce Addison, Kendra and Jane to one of the treasures of my teenage years.
Date: December 30, 2014
Distance: .95 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 121 feet
Our Hiking Time: 38 minutes round trip
Trail Blaze: None
Because it was so cold today, we only did a short loop. Jane was impressed with the rhododendron and hemlocks. She had a lot of questions that, as the product of the inner-city I couldn’t answer, but I did my best. The sun was sinking low in the sky, which made for beautiful light against the bright blue sky. It was a great way to end our day at Phillips Academy.
Both the museum and sanctuary are free and open to the public.
Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, national holidays, December 24, and the month of August.
The Cochran Sanctuary is open daily from 6am to 6pm.
Directions & Parking
The museum is located at 3 Chapel Avenue in Andover, MA. Parking is available along Chapel Ave., as well as on nearby Bartlett Street. The sanctuary is located on Chapel Avenue as well – at the end between Nathan Hale and Fuess houses. Parking is available on Chapel Avenue.
From Rt. 93N: Take exit 41, turn right onto Rt. 125, go 2 miles. Turn right onto Rt. 28 north, go about 3 miles and turn right onto Chapel Avenue.
From Rt. 495 N: Take exit 41A “Andover” and proceed south on Rt. 28 through the town of Andover. In approximately one mile, turn left onto Chapel Avenue.
From Rt. 495 S: Take exit 41 “Andover/Lawrence,” go right at end of ramp, and proceed south on Rt. 28 through the town of Andover. In approximately one mile, turn left onto Chapel Avenue.
The museum is the first building on the right. To reach the sanctuary, continue to the end of Chapel Avenue. You will see the stone gates to the sanctuary on your right between Nathan Hale and Fuess houses.