“You know your lifestyle is really of out whack when you’re not having any fun,” I was whining to a friend last week. She looked at me as though I were insane. “Even if I did have the time and money, I don’t think I’d even know what to do.”

“Are you kidding?” she asked, aghast. “I can’t believe you’ve forgotten how to have fun. Come on, what’s your favorite thing to do?”

“Well, I love going to fine art museums.”

Her brows furrowed in concern and…pity.

“No, seriously. Hear me out. There’s more to it than that.”

The truth is, I love―looooooove―nothing more than gazing at priceless works of art…especially when I have a good buzz on. 😉

My very favorite place to―um―practice this activity is The Museum of Fine Arts Houston. I like going on Thursdays best because that’s free admission day. Free admission means I can afford an extra glass of wine during happy hour. And since they’re pretty swanky over there at MFAH, they serve it in a little carafe, which makes me feel like I’m getting a glass and a half―fantastic.

I typically begin my forays into art appreciation with two chardonnays. To me, there’s something exquisite and delicious about standing close enough to kiss a Rembrandt and knowing that the person staring back at me from the painting―if they were still alive and breathing―could smell my boozy breath. And they would like it.

I always make it a point to hang out with this guy for a while. The Yellow Scale by Frantisek KupkaIt’s Frantisek Kupka, staring out from his own self portrait. I imagine he’s saying, “Well, hellllooooo, Rena. Nipping the chardonnay again, are we? And you forgot to bring some for me again. Such an inconsiderate girl, you. [Sigh.]”

I also enjoy observing my fellow museum visitors. Along with the typical assortment of tourists and schoolkids, there’s always some guy trying to impress a captive audience with his “extensive knowledge” of art history. As he blathers on and on, making up parts he knows nothing about, his guests roll their eyes and look like they’d throw themselves on their swords, if they had any. I think they’d be much happier joining me on my slightly inebriated art walk.

The last time this happened, our “wannabe docent” was spewing inaccuracies about the use and reasons for grisaille. Appalled by his butchered explanation of this lovely and practical time-honored technique, I sidled up to his posse, ready to impart my own factual and fascinating data.

What came out instead was a resounding hiccup that echoed off the 30-foot walls.

(Obviously it was time to head downstairs and find the Sargent.)

Hmmmmm…you know what? I’ve got some chardonnay in the fridge and several coffee table books in the living room. Maybe I don’t have to go to Houston to appreciate a Sargent after all. 😀

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Do you have any ways to tap the feelings a favorite activity or vacation invokes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!