The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorable Memorial Day

Today we somewhat spontaneously decided to go to Chicago. Actually, we had planned to go to Chicago today, but we had done absolutely nothing in advance to make this likely to happen. We neglected to wake up early, gas up the car or plan what we would do in Chicago. (Also, we had been out late the night before.) After replanting our shrubbery, we managed to haul out of Normal by noon.

On the ride up to Chicago Joseph's other ear tube fell out. He was so excited! There should be an ear tube fairy to give kids a silver dollar when they lose an ear tube! And of course Danny and I are excited: no more silicon ear plugs when Joseph bathes or swims!!!

People have been telling us to go to the Museum of Science and Industry, but I didn't have high expectations. I was way wrong--this was the BEST MUSEUM EVER! It is a huge place with massively high ceilings stacked with all sorts of eye candy. It is a(n) historic building that has been completely updated with a modern floor plan and flow. The exhibits are current, well-researched and very ($$$) high-tech. The museum also is a happy medium between being slow-paced and hands-on versus being high-throughput (Smithsonian, etc). There were many participatory activities but it was not congested and frustrating.
Also the kids got in for free for the Memorial Day holiday.

We spent as long as we could in The Hall of Transportation where there was a scale model of Chicago complete with working trains.

There was an exhibit called NetWorld which explains how the internet works, information is coded, transmitted, etc. The kids each got a little microchip necklace that codes and sends information throughout NetWorld. Both kids loved dancing around in the hall of 1's and 0's.

Sam climbing the quarterly earnings wall in the toy manufacturing plant.

Joseph enjoys the farm exhibit on poop.

The kids had never been to an IMAX show. They were frantically excited to see "Dinosaurs Alive!" in 3D. Highlights included several grisly life-and-death battles and a dinosaur pooping. There was also the story of a young geologist digging for fossils. For me, the 20-foot tall 3D grad-students in their grubby field clothes were kind of off-putting.

AstroJoseph busting out of his suit, and AstroSam being attacked by a strange alien.

The kids spent a long time in the Genetics exhibit watching the chicks hatch.

After the museum, we went to Reza's, the bestest Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern restaurant of them all! The food was truly fantastic! After having eaten at Reza's, I realize that I have never eaten good authentic Middle-eastern food. (Just crunchy hippie middle-eastern food.) The falafel was fantastic, and the sauces were way better and fresher than anything that I have ever had. The restaurant was historic, ambient and lovely. There were also all sorts of glamorous and dashing middle eastern people having an enormous graduation party with a live band which made things more festive.

Pictures taken by Sam:

The photographer himself.

Pictures taken by Joseph:

The angry young artist.

The ride home. My favorite apartment ad:
"Odyssey Apartments: if you lived here, you would be Homer by now."

Goodbye Chicago!

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