Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Mini scientists

The girls had Friday off from school for the last day of the quarter. My friend Julie came up with the grand idea to take the train to Chicago to attend the Museum of Science and Industry since it had free admission during January. The agenda didn’t go quite as planned due to some unforeseen circumstances, but the kids and adults had a blast and got to see some really cool stuff. We couldn’t see nearly everything there was to see in just one day. The place was gargantuan with several levels where each floor seemed a mile long.

The train ride was a lot of fun for the kids, but it did start to get a little long during the 1.5 hour trip causing bickering, hunger, and just plain whining. Julie was under the impression that the museum was in the heart of downtown, so we figured we’d take a cab there after the train. When we noticed the downtown leaving our sights we got a little worried and were a little miffed at the $30 cab tab. Whoops! Fortunately, we were able to all squeeze into one cab van and each pay for one leg of the trip.

On the way home we were all set to exit the train at our stop and went and stood by the nearest door just like all the passengers getting off at the previous stops. However, the doors never opened, and some lady kindly informed us that at our particular stop only the very front door opens. So we frantically grabbed our stuff to try to make our way there before the train started moving again. Since I had to carry Violet Julie was helpful enough to carry the stroller. Halfway there the train started moving, and we got a little panicked. By this time Julie had abandoned my stroller and practically everything else in order to get to the door. By golly, she was making it to that door even if it meant jumping off the moving the train minus all our belongings. I had already given up hope that we’d make it to the door in time, but it was still fun following Julie in her determination to “not miss our stop”. (Sorry Julie, I still can’t help but laugh.) Of course, my cell phone had long since died, and there was no cell service on the train as well. So we had to wait until the next stop to give our husbands a call to come get us. The day was saved by our heroic knights. Even with all the mishaps it was still a fantastic day. I think all our drama adds more spice to the story and gives us something funny to tell folks about our experiences on our trip to the Science of Museum and Industry.

Now on the with the pictures. I really tried to not over-do it, but I’m actually only posting about a 1/3 of what I originally picked out to post.

On the train. The kids switched up their seating very very often. 2 in a seat, 4 in a seat, 3 in a seat, across from each other, side-by-side. It was enough to drive us batty.

This is one of the first sections we came across which was a circus theme. I think we could have spent hours laughing at ourselves in those mirrors. Mimi and Alex were the perfect height to get this effect.

Violet loves balls! She was happy as long as there were balls.

This was a virtual combine that the kids got to “drive”. It had a life-size screen in front of them harvesting a row of corn.

There were actual trains, trollies, submarines, commercial planes, horse-drawn carriages, and many other vehicles.

I’d have to say my favorite part of the day was the tornado. There was also some real lightening that would go off up in a dome near the ceiling, but we never could catch it on film.

Another fun part of the day was seeing how each kid looked bald.

I want my future living room to look like this.

It was hard pulling the kids away from these floating balls.

Annie loved the pulsar ball. She was so excited to tell me about how they also sell smaller versions in the gift shop. Really, Annie, I’ve never seen one of those because I NEVER ever stepped foot into a Spencer’s Gift Store during the 80’s.

And lastly, the human hamster wheel.

I really wished we could have spent more time there, but we still saw a ton of cool stuff and filled up an entire day. Maybe, oh maybe, we’ll make it back just one more time before we move.

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