Thursday, March 29, 2012

Night at the Museum

Not everyone can say they have spent the night at a museum, but my husband & I can!  It's probably not even crossed most people's mind, even after seeing the Ben Stiller movie.  A couple years ago two of our friends wed at the Historisch Openlucht Museum (Historic Open Air Museum) here in Eindhoven.  It was an incredible experience.  I wish I could say the point of this blog was to fill you in on the details of their wedding but actually it has more to do with what happened the next morning.  Yesterday morning my daughter & I were out for a long walk, and when we passed the museum I couldn't help but chuckle thinking of the fun we had there.  I've told the story a million times, but now I actually have pictures to better explain it.  Our friends married twice that day, once in a traditional Dutch ceremony and again in a Wiccan ceremony at the museum.  (The museum is based on a glimpse of what Dutch life in the middle ages would have been like.)  After the ceremony, and a few fun events like wood chopping and bread baking, it was time to celebrate.  The museum allows you to borrow clothes & dress in character, sit around bonfires playing guitars, and eat & drink well into the evening.  A small group of guests were even allowed to spend the night, what a treat and privilege.  I had packed a bag, like we were supposed to, but my husband thought he'd wing it.  In the wee hours of the morning it was finally time to retire; everyone had returned their middle-age costumes, everyone except my husband.  After quite a few drinks he decided the comfy loose costume was going to be better to sleep in then his Hugo Boss suit (I had mentioned quite a few times he should pack pajamas).  But according to the rules of the museum the costume had to go back.  So at some time after 2AM we head to the sleeping quarters.  The sleeping quarter was a thatched roof building (much like the ones in the above picture), dirt floors, sticks for beds, animal skins for blankets, and a chicken walking around.  Awesome, if we had maybe thought to bring more than one sleeping bag.  Luckily the alcohol helped the sleeping situation, especially when other wedding goers started filtering into the wooden hut an hour or so later - everyone slept in the same open building.  The next morning we were up early, maybe it was the cold, maybe it was the rooster crowing.  We were supposed to stay for breakfast, eating the bread we had helped make the day before, but we missed our young daughter.  Not wanting to wake anyone, we decided we would find a way out of the museum ourselves and explain things later.  We packed up our things and headed for the exit, but it was locked.  We walked a bit further to the emergency exit, but of course it too was locked.  The museum overlooks a large pond, so we walked to the edge and looked to see if there was a way around, but there was a fence all the way to the water.  Apparently part of the deal is if you stay the night you get locked into the museum, and one of the guests holds on to the key until the staff return the next day.  We didn't know who had the key, and like I said, we didn't want to wake everyone up.  So my husband had the brilliant idea to jump the wooden fence lining the museum.  Here's a picture of the wooden fence.  It's easily almost 10ft tall!  We were on the inside so there were slats we could use to climb up, but once over the top it was a long drop, not to mention the stakes at the top!  As I clung to the top I panicked, I didn't want to hurt myself.  Maybe 10yrs ago I would have jumped but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  All the while my husband is encouraging me do it, pushing me up by the butt trying to help me over.  At some point I started laughing, kind of hysterically, I laugh when I panic.  Refusing to do it I try and climb back down but my husband will not let me, he didn't have the view of the stakes like I did.  I start squealing (and laughing), we're making quite a commotion at this time.  Assuming (you know what that does) everyone was asleep we kept on at this for a good few minutes, then we heard one of the wedding goers behind us, "is everything o.k.?"  I was mortified.  My husband then let me down, and I began trying to explain how I ended up clinging to the side of the fence in what looked like a prison escape.  Luckily she knew who had the key and within minutes were outside of the museum.  I'm sure she had an odd story to tell everyone over breakfast, I can't imagine what we looked like!  And if our friends who hosted this event happen to read this blog, we truly did have a wonderful time at your wedding and party, this is just another notch on things we've gotten into together in the years we've been friends!!!


  1. Great Photos, a beautiful place to tour.

  2. I couldn't help but LMBO when I read your story. It was like a story right out of a book. Teenagers getting into mischief of course. Ha ha ha. That wooden fence sure looks like a prison wall and how fun is that, sleeping in costumes in a museum and all locked up too. Wow! I don't blame you for not being able to jump over. Heck, the tip of those woods looks sharp enough to pierce a guinea pig. LOL. Too funny. I loved reading this post and can't help but laugh all the way through. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Chochay & Sela, thanks for your comments. It truly is a beautiful place and a great experience to add my list. One I'll never forget and always laugh about when I think of it! :) Danica