On Tuesday we headed to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Grammy was supposed to come with us in a wheelchair, but she was not feeling well and decided on another day of rest back at the hotel. I went ahead and drove to the museum as planned, since taking public transit would have been a 4 hour roundtrip with multiple transfers. We were paying by the day for the rental van, so might as well make use of it. The fact that I had to pay $20.00 to park the van was offset by the fact that my Pacific Science Center membership from Seattle would get us in under reciprocal privileges -- otherwise admission would have been $47.00 (plus tax) for the 3 of us.
I love how the kids are crowded around the computerized model "patient," trying to observe his eyes fluttering in a simulated seizure. This was a timed group activity, where a museum staff member would bring the dummy "to life" and with a few commands from a nearby laptop, simulate different scenarios, such as heart attack or stroke. They try to make it as authentic as possible, with variable respiration, pulse, etc.
I always opt to take the stairs when I can, and I'm so glad I did, because the enclosed stairwells contained even more exhibits!
We opted not to see the Animal Inside Out exhibit as the girls were a bit squeamish about it, however A was all over the human development exhibit, which showed 28 real human embryos and fetuses throughout gestation. The specimens were originally donated to the museum in 1939!
While in the gallery I heard a lot of gasping, parents stumbling over answering their children's questions, and other parents saying, "Let's go" and turning on their heels and rushing their kids toward the exit as soon as they realized what they were looking at. I looked in awe, thinking about how if these babies had been born and lived, they would all be elderly now. What kind of lives would they have had?
Standing inside a tornado simulated with swirling vortex of air and vapor.
Another discovery that we made at the museum was that my daughter A has a long-lost twin brother. Above is a photo I attempted to casually take of the two of them together. All day we kept crossing paths and the two teens would stare at each other while trying not to be obvious about it. At one point I noticed the boy go up to a mirrored wall, with his back to us, and yet he was looking at A in the mirror's reflection. I tried to convince A to go up to him and say hello, but she was mortally embarrassed and blushed deep red at the suggestion, despite her curiosity and attraction. It was all I could do to keep myself from going up to the boy's mother and striking up a conversation about how similar our kids looked. A told me she would run away if I did, so I restrained myself. It was really uncanny. Their hair was the exact same color, their foreheads, eyebrows, noses, and jawlines were the same, and they were the same height and build.
We were among the last people to leave the museum. By the time we were ushered out to the parking garage it was nearly empty, but of course we passed by A's doppelgänger and his parents on our way to our van, and the teens gave each other one last long look while at the same time A grabbed my hand and pulled me quickly onward so I didn't dare stop and embarrass her by talking with the boy's parents.
For anyone headed to Chicago with kids, I highly recommend a day devoted to the Museum of Science and Industry. It is worth the high cost of admission and parking.