Jasmine and Jahnu Visit the Museum of Science and Industry
On Friday, we had a slow start to the morning. As everyone was getting ready to head out to breakfast, Liz and Jasmine were working on a small project (Jasmine had brought along some yarn because she wanted to learn how to knit).
Since knitting is a lot more involved (and requires two needles), Liz started Jasmine off with crocheting.
Meanwhile, I snagged Jahnu because I wanted to take a photo of his t-shirt. I love the fact that it’s a tie-dyed shirt, but also has a F-22 Raptor on it. One small nod to the hippies, one small nod do the military-industrial complex.
Liz and Jasmine, showing off some of their work.
Jasmine with a small scarf she had crocheted for her giraffe.
Fast forward a bit to the Museum of Science and Industry! On the main floor, we spotted the room for Month at the Museum 2. We didn’t catch Kevin, but I checked out his schedule and made a note to swing back later in the day.
Shane, Stacey and the kids checking out the model train exhibit. I remember the display that used to be (may still be?) at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum… and how amazed I was, every time I saw it. Seeing the size of the display at MSI always takes me back to that early memory.
Jasmine and Stacey, watching the trains go by.
A small detail I had nearly missed – some beach goers, near the edge of the display.
A couple on a bench, sitting and watching the train go by.
I wonder how long it must have taken to set this display up.
An awe-inspiring bridge, near the middle of the display.
Hopefully, this gives you some perspective as to how large the display actually is.
No visit to MSI is complete without visiting the baby chick hatchery! It’s a combination of small, fluffy cuteness… and sleep deprivation. Most of the fun is watching these little guys nod off, only to be woken up moments later. They must be so incredibly tired during the day.
Jasmine, looking in on a newly hatched chick.
Another guy who’s looking pretty pooped, after just having moved out of his old apartment.
Jahnu and Jasmine, peeking in a the hatching eggs.
Shane, talking with the kids near tsunami exhibit. This was very near the tsunami wave tank:
Checking out racing cars, powered by sunlight.
Jahnu, taking the wheel at the Avalanche Disk.
The disk is a very mesmerizing display – I should take some video of this thing in action, next time.
Jahnu, posing next to the Spirit of America.
Jasmine, looking down at Jahnu.
Inside the Omnimax theater.
During the pre-show, we were told that the screen was full of perforations. This was to allow the sound to come through – and the host showed us all the speakers, hidden behind the screen.
The massive and amazing U-505 Submarine. Sadly, all the tours were sold out by the time we arrived.
An amazingly large and complex torpedo.
Jahnu and Jasmine, checking out the periscope display.
I have to take a moment here, and talk about how awesome Shane is as a father. While the kids were patiently waiting in line to use the periscope, there was a kid who had slowly crept up alongside them… and was on the verge of cutting them off. When the periscope freed up, Shane interceded and blocked the kid, letting him know that Jasmine and Jahnu had been waiting in line the whole time.
The kid knew better, and was just trying to sneak in. But it was awesome to see Shane in action. He did this on more than one occasion, while we were there. He was never aggressive or mean, but whenever he saw other kids trying to cheat skip the line, he got involved. I knew Shane was a good dad, but seeing him in action today was great.
I love the look on Jahnu’s eyes.
Up on the top floor, looking out at some of the planes suspended from the ceiling.
Looking down on the model trail display.
Near the very end of our visit, we spotted Kevin inside the cube! The kids were pretty shy at first, but got their courage up and asked a few questions. Kevin was giving out a lot of yellow chick rubber bands, which the kids were all over.
I shook hands with Kevin, and he recognized me. We spoke very briefly, but I felt a little awkward and didn’t say very much. There were a good number of other folks around, so I backed off very quickly.
It was interesting to watch him inside the cube (there was a reporter inside the room as well, a guy who was shadowing him for the day) and talking with all the museum guests. At times, I’ll admit – I felt a few twinge or two of sadness. I’d look around the place and think – man, I wonder what it would be like to roam around here alone, at night. But those were few and fleeting.
As the museum closed and people were filing out, I watched Kevin field a ton of questions – from kids and adults alike. I wondered how many of the same questions he had to answer, over and over again. And I wondered how tired he must have been, after having a full day of people and events and activities. Like the kids, I bet he was going to have a good night’s sleep after a very eventful day. The only difference being that he might be sleeping on a submarine, or in a coal mine.
Here’s a small tidbit you should know about me and my sister: we both have been trained to go after the check, during meals. It’s kind of a Chinese thing, and it’s kind of a family thing. We tend to compete to see who gets to pay for the meal.
Growing up, whenever we met up with our cousins and uncles and aunts (usually some place like MCL), the adults would always argue over who got to pay for everyone. It was kind of a pride thing. Usually, the adults would jockey to be the last in line so that they could pay for everyone else’s meals.
As is customary, the kids would always be sent down the cafeteria line first. Someone (not sure who) devised the stratagem where they’d give their kids a wad of cash… and had the first child pay for all the other family members. I remember being a part of this plan on more than one occasion, and it ingrained in me a desire to be the “person who pays.” The same goes for my sister.
Earlier in the morning, we went out to Lula Cafe for breakfast. Halfway through the meal, I called the waiter over to get more coffee and to try to slip him my credit card (under the table). When he saw what I was trying to do, he told me It’s already been taken care of.
My sister, as we were walking in to get seated… had already gotten word to the hostess, and arranged to have the bill paid for!
To make matters worse, I discovered the above note (and cash) in our medicine cabinet. This was hours after my sister and her family left to head back to Indianapolis. She got us not once, but twice!
Though it was a whirlwind two days, I had a blast with Stacey, Shane and the kids. They’ve got a great multi-museum pass that gives them free access to a lot of spots around Chicago… so hopefully they’ll be back to visit us again in the future.