Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adventure and Me

Today we stayed in Birmingham and explored the McWane Science Center!

In the entry, there was a cool unnamed-musical-ball-thing-to-watch.  It was like a mousetrap game, if that helps explain?  The balls would bounce off ramps, into baskets, chime bells, clunk on metal, drop down wooden xylophone keys, all very cool! : )  Sometimes the balls would back up, and then take flying leaps, three at a time!

This was a Tornado Tunnel-with winds up to almost 100 miles an hour!  Once you are in there, you can't open the door!

SO thankful for these lockers!  We got to stow our coats, iPad, purse, etc. so we didn't have to carry all our stuff around.

Bed of Nails

Nervous, but loved it!  You control the raising and lowering of the nails yourself : )

Hoisting themselves with pulleys (hard, harder, hardest!)

"We all know your idea is crazy.  The question is, whether it is crazy enough." Niels Bohr

"It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves." Andre Gide

Can't explain how it works: light in four sections (like a kaleidoscope), and it throws 70's tye-die images of you on the screen!  That's Mary Claire on there now making prayer hands.

Couldn't figure out how else to get it on film!  It was a room that fools the eye (obviously!)  We were all in one space, but the boys were by a large window, and Mary Claire was by a small one..beyond that, I can't explain it!

..just because I've figured out how to live amidst chaos. : )

More than anything, I like the faucet, tile, and bubble bath!

Ches looks thrilled, huh?  Mary Claire is in the bottle vehicle for the "mice" to drive.

Ethan is driving the bottle car.  There are cat sirens and food alarms, and even a periscope for those cats with good noses. : )

Mary Claire challenging me in a brain contest.  We wore those bands with sensors on our foreheads, and the screen to the top of the picture shows our alpha and something-else brain waves, and the most calm wins as the ball moves towards the highest strung.  Surprised who won?  Look at that girl looking down, calmly relaxing.

The touch area.  This is a Bonnethead Shark, a relative of the Hammerhead.

Clay reaching!  There were also Atlantic Stingrays, Cownose Rays, and White Spotted Bamboo Sharks (but they were sleeping-they are nocturnal).  I gel'd after I touched them-do they carry germs?

He says this fish is sad, that all the others don't want to play with him.  (He's psychic.)

You could work his jaw and make him roar!

He loved it.  He's becoming an expert-he can tell real bones from the synthetic.  Is he too old...or too smart?

Digging for fossils!
How cute is this?  He found a GREEN mask! : )

The "sand" was so cool!  It is actually teensy pieces of colored rubber.  Like the brown rubber mulch we put around the pool, that wouldn't float or fade? It's awesome!  No dust flying up, and it doesn't hurt your eyes, or stick in your shoes!  I want some.

She's in the Lab, working on minerals and fossils.

He's examining a massive bullfrog skeleton (yes, real!)
We had to break for lunch (at 2!), and check out this cool pyramid!  From the bottom, Plenty (moving whenever you can), More (Making your heart work harder), then Enough (Stretching and building your muscles), and the top is Less (Sitting Around).  Love it!

And a keyboard (he's using one all the time now, and brought one with us on the trip.  He's playing all the old songs I used to play!)

Super Cool Huge Lite Brite! (Remember those?  We just got my old one out over Christmas break!)

Super Happy Boy looking at all the Lionel trains!

We used the pulleys to send stuff up, then the conveyor to deliver packages down below.

Little proud of this: Egyptian Pyramid (yep, all me!)  hahaha  Blocks are strangely calming : )

...and then it was destroyed.

Love this.  It's kinda like a mandala, kinda like the magnet toys in your doctor's office (um..your pediatrician's office where you drag around the cars or insects with the magnet underneath?).  You push start, and the magnet ball starts moving making these super cool designs in the sand. When you start it again, it makes a whole new design.  Symmetric and beautiful, and since it's a machine, it's Perfect.

This is pottery-wheel-meets-black-glittery-sand!  You pile up the shiny stuff, turn up your wheel, and make designs, super cool!  They had educational info on the "walls", but it was fun to play in too!  I can't tell you more about that face.  Just feeling spicy?

And in Birmingham, they FREAK out when it snows. They closed the McWane Center early at 3:30 due to a little dusting!  We were the last ones out, and only because security swept us out! (at 3:15!)

I have to tell you, we wanted to laugh.  They had police cars blocking (with lights flashing!) off the interstate (because of this snow dusting!)  We couldn't get on Interstate 20 to Atlanta, so we stayed here. : (
Seriously, we tried to go to Atlanta, but because we waited till the kids were really done (and till they scooted us out!), it was too late.  Birmingham freaked out at the 30 degree weather and some snow.  I promise, when I took this picture, it was just raining.  The rest of the city was equally freaked, and everyone left work early, therefore we sat in a traffic jam with only two roads out of downtown.  Argh.  We finally GPS'd our way to Sam's (and got there after DARK!).  Good dinner at Landry's, more card playing all through dinner, and then more swimming (back at the same hotel)!  We called them and requested the same room again.  Wish we'd known earlier-that's a lot of stuff to pack up, haul around, then bring back up again only hours later!

Sorry, Atlanta, we'll catch you next time.  We couldn't even decide between the Coca-Cola factory tour, Cabbage Patch Babyland General, Stone Mountain and The Great Barn, and of course, The American Girl Cafe and Store.  I mean, how do you decide? (and still get back on Saturday?)
We'll be in Birmingham till afternoon tomorrow, then make our way back to Memphis by bedtime.  Then make the trek back home on Saturday.  That's about 4.5 hours of drive time each day.  Not too bad.  We *heart* Red Box, and hopefully we haven't seen them all! (and I just found out about this Take 2 deal for Valentine's Day-we should have two free ones coming!)

Hope you aren't freaking out about snow or something. (or going in two hours late on Friday morning for rain!) (Ok, it's currently 33 degrees, but the low is 31 degrees tonight.)
I'm sorry, I should have sympathy.  If I lived here, I'd probably be excited to see some snow, and I'd want to go home early too. (or go in late tomorrow)  Yay for cities in the South-
Enjoy your extra two hours!


The Ware's said...

Looks like you guys had a fun trip - taking another one next week? This weather is crazy - snowed today, snow Sunday night and then a big storm Wednesday...

Holly said...

We have had fun, but the kids are actually missing our house! We only leave if it's going to be icy, with a chance of blackout! So, no-we'll be home next week! : ). Are you getting ready for a party-free weekend? ; )