Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Museum

Saturday night, after BJ got home from the race, we were laying in bed waiting for the kids to fall asleep.

"What do you want to do tomorrow?" BJ asked. I kicked around the idea of painting the living room, staining the chairs we've had since MG was tiny, and a host of other projects that need attention at home. He was, understandably, unenthused. I realized that we spend way too much time working on the house, and not enough time doing fun stuff, so I suggested that we drive to Chicago and visit the Museum of Science and Industry with the kids. BJ agreed, and so we did.

We took 94 in and got off at Stony Island to go to Al's Italian Beef for lunch. My grandfather used to ride along with a fire department across the street from the original Al's, and so it became a family tradition to eat there. Whenever any of my relatives would fly into Midway, whoever picked them up would grab a bunch of sandwiches and bring them home to Grammaland, and we'd feast. Eating at Al's took me right back to being a kid, sitting around my Grandma's table with my aunts and uncles. The guy who was working the counter asked us, as we were leaving, how everything was. "Just like I remember," I said, trying not to cry over a sandwich. (At the original Al's, the owner wears a huge gun on his hip. It's very Chicago.)

I love the way they've changed the parking at the museum, even though it costs a fortune. Everyone parks underneath the museum, so in the winter you wouldn't need to worry about coats and stuff.

In an express train from the 1930s.

Pirates! Argh!!

MG's plumber butt, for added authenticity in the "how plumbing works" exhibit.
I swear I did not stage this - she's just outgrowing all her pants.

It's a Moooseum!

Playing gears with Daddy.

In front of the German U-505 submarine. They've improved this exhibit 1000% in the 15 years since BJ and I saw it last. It used to just sit outside in the parking lot, basically. Now it has its own exhibit hall, and you can walk all the way around it (but going inside costs extra).

They've changed a lot, actually, in 15 years. I can't say that I love the "improvements" to the Coal Mine exhibit. The train ride used to be MUCH longer. I swear, when I was a kid I thought it took us all the way back to Indiana. Does anyone know if they had to shorten it to add the underground parking? And they don't do the demonstration with the methane detector anymore. Our guide showed us a couple different kinds, but she didn't "pop" the old kind.

You just can't go home again. *sigh*

Daddy's girlies love rockets!

This was their favorite exhibit:

The crazy little chicks would run around and around in circles, and MG said, "Look at 'em go!" and jumped around like she could hardly stand it. I think we may get a couple of eggs with chicks inside, raise them until they get too big, and then take them to Nancy's farm in a year or two (when the kids are old enough not to squeeze them to bits). Wouldn't that be fun??

After the museum, we located the nearest Giordano's on the GPS (hooray for mobile Google Maps!!) and arrived to find this:

I guess Google Maps doesn't know everything. No worries - we found the next nearest one downtown and went there. By the time we arrived, the kids were pretty strung out. We had to wait, which added to the chaos. But aside from the behavior at dinner time, it was an awesome day.

So, does anyone want to come wrangle girlies while I paint the living room? BJ has a business trip this week. Or, you could come teach me how to stain chairs!!

I hope everyone's Memorial Day was as much fun as ours!

Happy Anniversary, BJ! I can't believe you've put up with me for 8 years!!! I love this family, and all the memories that we've created together.


RobMonroe said...

Plumbing crack shot is incredibly cute! The one with BJ on the gears makes me worry that he was re-working all of the exhibits. :o)

Glad you had an awesome time!

morganna said...

It looks like a ton of fun -- wish we had something similar here (hundreds and hundreds of miles from large metropolitan area).