Welcome to the toy box

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

A little while ago I wrote about my (small) collection of international toys and the fact that I wished to add to it when I visited Los Angeles and New York with my grandchildren. I received a few suggestions:

Sarah suggested anything I wouldn’t want to stare in the eye

Irene thought maybe a rattle snake, coyote or woodpecker

Charli wondered if a bison or grizzly bear would do, and

Geoff suggested a snake.

Many requested I share my choice.

I have now returned from that quick visit to the US, and did indeed bring back a small collection of toys to add to my toy box. (Four-year-old granddaughter informs me that 2 can be a collection, 3 is even better, and 100 is definitely a collection!) I have three to add to the toy box. A fourth got confiscated along the way.

When we visited Los Angeles, we went to the La Brea Tar Pits, a fossil site with an active excavation and museum. For a family fascinated with prehistoric creatures, the museum was a must visit. We were not disappointed.

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

Outside the museum we saw life-size sculptures of a mammoth family succumbing to the sticky entrapment of the tar pit. You may wonder why the sculptures are fenced. The mammoths may not be real, but the tar pit is! We saw much tar oozing up through cracks around the site as well as in the pond.

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

Inside the museum we saw skeletons and depictions of many of the animals trapped in the tar pits. These are skeletons of a mother and baby mastodon who fell victim of the tar:

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

We also viewed a 3D movie that provided information about the Titans of the Ice Age, including stories to explain the fate of animals whose fossils were found in the tar.

In this short of the movie, you may sight Smilodon, a sabre tooth cat.

I discovered that Smilodon is California’s State Fossil, so it was the first toy to add to my collection.

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

Unfortunately, Smilodon was confiscated by my grandchildren and didn’t make it home with me. I am assured it is very happy at their place with its competitor Dire Wolf, also seen in the movie trailer.

Of course, I couldn’t leave the store without some books as well.

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

In New York my choices turned to fiction. I discovered that an exhibition of works by Mo Willems was being held at New York’s oldest museum, the New York Historical Society Museum and Library, not far from where we were staying.  I have previously shared my delight in Willems’ books. His books are humorous, and his illustrations, with their seemingly simple line drawings, are very expressive. Of course, I had to go, and had to buy.

I came away with Pigeon and Duckling, and two of Willems’ books.

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

I thought I was done adding to my toy collection, but when we visited the American Museum of Natural History, granddaughter insisted that I purchase this T-Rex because it was my favourite colour. How could I resist?

© Norah Colvin

© Norah Colvin

Now that I am home, I have introduced Pigeon, Duckling and T-Rex to the other toys in my toy box.

welcome to the toy box

© Norah Colvin

They are settling in quite well, though everyone is complaining that it is becoming a bit squishy. However, I think they are rather pleased that Smilodon got waylaid along the way!

So I didn’t end up with any of the suggested choices. I hope you don’t mind.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts. 

 

36 thoughts on “Welcome to the toy box

  1. Sarah Brentyn

    Ha! “100 is definitely a collection!” Yes, that would be. Three is good. Sorry about your 4th but I’m sure he has a happy home. I love your t-Rex! And his turquoise color, too! But I especially love the Mo Willems stuffies. My kids are a bit older but we still read his books. So fun. Sounds like a fantastic trip! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      It was a great trip. Thanks Sarah. Mo Willems is such fun. He does so much with few words, few lines, but lots of emotion! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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      Reply
      1. Prior-2001

        Oh cool!!
        If I come across anything else I will do the same thing – post here and come let you know –
        I thought I had a couple more resources – and I do have a teacher bin in the attic – so just maybe – in the meantime – hope u have a great rest of August !

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I remember my daughter giving my Mum a small teddy bear a few years ago. She loved it too – said she’d never had one of her own before. Who’d have thought. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Charli Mills

    Wonderful additions! I was born in California and didn’t even know there is a state fossil! I’m always learning from you. I think your new additions add a splash of color! Great books, too. I’m so glad you had a good visit to LA and NYC!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. A. E. Robson

    What a creative way to collect memories, Norah. They each have a story to be told about their (and your) adventure in getting to the toy box.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Ann. I do like to collect the toys. I don’t know what I’ll do with them when the grandchildren outgrow them though. I’ll have to find another home for them. 🙂

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      Reply
  4. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    So glad you shared your choice Norah. Loved Smilodon and can understand him being purloined by your Grandchildren. The three additions however are admirable and have so much meaning for you apart from being a stuffed toy. Glad the others have let them in but I guess they are hoping you don’t go travelling anytime in the near future.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Irene. I don’t foresee any more overseas trips in the near future, though d-in-law has said that Mexico City is on the cards for July next year! I’ll have to start considering that. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  5. Daal

    I live in L.A. but am glad I didn’t suggest anything, as you came up with the cutest! Did you already mention where you were visiting from? Your pix make me appreciate my city once more. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for saying I came up with the cutest, Daal! 🙂
      I’m from Australia. It was great to visit LA and New York. I was very impressed by the friendliness of the people. Everyone was very happy, pleasant, polite and helpful. I was blown away. I hope that helps you appreciate your city even more! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. Daal

        Thanks for visiting! I find people always nice when I’m on vacation – must have to do with me being more relaxed. Australians are famous for friendliness, so that’s quite a compliment. Hope wasn’t too sad to go home, back to daily life.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          I think that’s what surprised me most about the friendliness. I thought we are supposed to be friendly, but we’ve got nothing on you guys over there!
          It’s always good to get away, but then good to be back with the comforts of home. Thank you. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
  6. thecontentedcrafter

    My favourite colour too Norah – just as well I wasn’t along for the ride, or he may not have made it to the toy box either …… I like that the fluffy toy versions of the huge, old dear-departed mammals are so much friendlier looking 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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