(Joliet, IL) Hi 76 Lo 58 – This was an exciting day, and one we were looking forward to. We left a little after 8am to head to son Rick’s. We had a big day planned with him and grand boys Jack and Joey at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Rick drove our car for the one-hour trip to the south side of Chicago. He drives this traffic every day, so we were more than happy to let him drive.
Before getting to the museum, we drove a little farther north on Lakeshore Drive and parked near a bike path that goes along the lake. It was a great spot to take in the beauty of Lake Michigan, with the Chicago skyline in the distance.
It was also a good spot to let the boys run around some.
After that nice treat we drove back south to the Chicago Museum Campus, which includes the Museum of Science and Industry, The Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium. Today our destination was the Museum of Science and Industry. We were lucky enough to find on-street parking, which saved us the $20 it costs to park in the underground garage. We walked across the street to the museum, which is in a beautiful (and big) building.
There’s too much to see in one day, so we had to choose exhibits that the kids would enjoy. The first area we encountered had some neat transportation exhibits.
The Boeing 727 you see up near the ceiling in the photo above is actually attached to the second-floor balcony, which is on the other side of the fuselage in this photo.
In that same area was an incredible small-scale reproduction of downtown Chicago.
Here’s Rick and the boys standing in front of it.
It included a large model railroad layout that simulated the cross-country rail system…
… which ended up on the west coast of the U.S. in Seattle!
Here’s how the layout looked from the second floor balcony. Downtown Seattle isn’t visible, it’s off the bottom of the photo.
It was quite a sight, and the workmanship on the buildings was amazing! Rick was even able to point out the building he works in. :)
A temporary exhibit we were anxious to see was “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition.” We’re all big fans of Mythbusters on Discovery Channel. The exhibition included props from the TV show, and lots of hands-on science experiments that allow you to but myths on your own.
Here’s the boys building a wood house to see if it could stand up to hurricane force winds.
For the record, it didn’t. :)
We then went to learn about the “Science of Storms.” It was fascinating to learn about, and see, tsunamis, avalanches, lightning, and tornadoes.
The neatest thing was this 2-story tall vortex, which simulated a tornado. I took this photo from a balcony above the floor.
In all we spent about five hours seeing as much as we could. Everyone finally got pretty pooped out. (And by everybody I mostly mean Grandma and Grandpa.) So we walked back to the car, and Rick drove us downtown to where wife Laura works so we could say goodbye to her. We’re leaving tomorrow, and we wouldn’t get to see her when she got home from work this evening. She works in a beautiful 1920’s-era building on Michigan Avenue, and her office has a beautiful view of the city. I wish I’d thought to get a picture from her office window.
After we gave her a goodbye hug, we drove back to Homewood where we reluctantly said our goodbyes to Rick and the boys. Then after a stop for some dinner (ahem, Culver’s… our last chance to enjoy our favorite fast food place), and another quick stop for a few groceries, we returned to our home on wheels and crashed in our recliners for the evening.
Our stay in the Chicago area was fabulous. We enjoyed our time with family and hate that we can’t see them more often. It’s now off to new places starting tomorrow. Tumbleweed was born to roll, and her wheels are itching to get moving!