So the other day we took a “business trip” to the great city of Philadelphia. We decided to end our visit by running up the steps of the impressive Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Cue the theme song to “Rocky”.)

My family and I went charging up the steps, trying to imitate Rocky Balboa as best as we could. After arriving at the top, huffing and puffing, we decided to go in the museum for a look around. Holy. Cow. I was not prepared for what I saw in there.

Room after room after room of Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Delacroix, Pizarro, Cassatt. . . ALL the great impressionists (my favorite style of painting). I saw paintings I had only seen in books. Then I turned a corner, and there was “Sunflowers” by Vincent Van Gogh. . . one of my all time favorite painters. I almost cried. Seriously. And then I turned another corner and there was another one of my favorites. “The Moulin Rouge” by Henri de Toulouse-Latrec. I was just shaking for joy.

You see, when I was a little boy I asked my mother for a Time-Life series of books I saw advertised in the back of a magazine. She bought them all for me. “The World of Michaelangelo”, “The World of Cezanne”, “The World of Rembrandt”. They were doors to other worlds of beauty and peace that I didn’t mind getting lost in for hours. And hours.

And there in that museum all that I had studied 45 years ago and only dreamed of seeing, was bursting on me in full color. I could live there, I think.

We saw the Medieval and Renaissance exhibits, as well as exhibits from ancient China, Persia, Turkey, Japan, and India. All beautiful. All impressive. All make you think and wonder.

If you’ve never been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (or something equivalent in your neck of the woods), please go. It’s well worth the trip. And your family will thank you for it.