Wednesday, June 16, 2010

North Carolina Mountains: Day 3 - SciWorks, Part 2

Continuing our fun from SciWorks Museum Part 1....

Next was the "statue room." Yeah, statues. That's good enough for now. It was amazing to see them up so close, though. There was a polar bear and a grizzly bear on the top row that you can't see. There was also a huge "tree" in the middle with other smaller statues and a slide.

There was a small live animal exhibit, including a raccoon, some quail, and a boa constrictor (not pictured).

That little owl was so cute. It was maybe 8 inches tall. And Luke was so proud of himself for being able to identify *this* on sight, having only ever seen one in photos:

Next up was the sound room, which is exactly what you think it is. Make noise and bang on stuff, what's not to love? LOL

The ever popular foot piano (that worked via sensor beam, not pressure):

SciWorks Foot Piano

And the echo chamber. This was another one that I wish I had been ready for in advance. The look on his face the fist time he spoke into the pipe was priceless. This was after his second try.

And Nana having some fun with it:

SciWorks Echo Tube

Next up was another first for Luke: the planetarium. I've been meaning to take him to the one in Atlanta sometime this summer, but when this opportunity presented itself, and admission was included with entrance to the museum, we had to go. They had this outside to keep us amused while we waited for the show to start:

And then we went inside. It was one of the smallest planetariums I have ever seen, but still very nice. Luke wasn't quite sure what to make of it.

The show was about 30 minutes long and one of the higher level ones, pointing out the constellations but not putting up the outlines or anything, better suited for kids older than Luke, but he still seemed to find it very interesting. When they went from the light poluted sky to the non-polluted view, I clearly heard him say "wow." Having grown up in the city, it's not something he's ever come close to seeing in person. He hung on through about half of the solar system talk, but then started getting fidgety. Given that it had been 20 minutes by then, I thought he did very well.

There was one room left before it was time for us to leave: The Attic. They put older exhibits in there, old favorites and such that used to be other places in the museum. They had a putting green:

And a throwing cage with a radar gun. Luke supposedly hit 21mph, and DH got up to about 50mph.

SciWorks Throwing Cage

Luke's favorite part of this section was the building table. At first, they looked like standard building blocks or LEGOs or something similar. Upon closer inspection, you could see that the pieces are held together by snaps! So simple, but so effective.

We'd been there nearly 3 hours, and Luke was starting to crash. It was time to leave. We had packed a cooler with Luke's snack in it to have for the trip back to the cabin. Luke, strange child that he is, doesn't like his juice cold. He wants it at least room temperature, if not warm. We had intended to pull it out of the cooler before we went in so it would warm up in the car, but we forgot, so we only had cold juice. We had to get gas before heading back, and Dad hit on the idea of setting the carton on the hood to warm up. The gas station was less than a mile away, so it wasn't warm enough to make much of a difference. So we popped the hood. We started with the radiator, which helped, but we needed it to work faster, so we moved on to the engine itself. I decided to take pictures, because I knew no one would ever believe me that we had done this if I didn't!

Oh, the things we do for our children. The guy filling up his car next to us came over to watch me taking pictures. "I have to ask," he said to me, "is that for an art project or something?" I didn't know whether to be amused or mortified! When I explained what we were doing and why, he just laughed. "I have two kids myself. They want what they want, the way they want it, when they want it, and there is no reasoning with them. I completely understand!" LOL Someone who gets it.

It rained most of our way back, and Maggie (the family name for our Magellan GPS unit) decided on a different route for our return trip via some tiny back country roads. Not sure how that was "faster," but okay. It was very picturesque, though I didn't think to really take any photos (too busy having to help Dad navigate with Maggie, whose voice we had turned off while Luke slept the whole way home). We finished up our canasta game after Luke went to bed. Mom won, with 5 canastas in the final hand!

Currently feeling: a little silly

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