The reason for the trip - The Harry Potter Exhibit! But, if you go, buy your ticket online before hand. Even though we got there 15 minutes after the museum opened (aka 9:45 am), the earliest entry time was 1:20 pm. Um, that's a lot of time to kill in a place that's not huge. However, we were quite lucky to meet the lovely British gent who let us in 2 hours early ("On you way" he said with a smile. He was awesome. And British. Which upped the awesome factor because he had that accent.). Unfortunately, they do not allow photography in the Harry Potter exhibit. (Otherwise I would have had pictures of hippogryphs, centuars, house elves, and all sorts of other amazing things.) But trust me, IT'S SO COOL.
This is The Smart House. It's completely green and eco-friendly. And although it sounded really awesome and we would have liked to go in and get ideas for our own home, we in fact did not go in because they wanted more money for that and we'd already paid enough to get in the museum and the Harry Potter exhibit. Looking was just fine. (And Hubby bought a really cool t-shirt, so that's something, I guess.)
Now, the Science and Industry Museum is also home of the Henry Crown Space Center. And I am a super-mega-huge space flight dork. As you will see.....
Nerd alert! This is the actual Mercury capsule that Scott Carpenter piloted (Aurora 7, in case you didn't know). He made 3 orbits of Earth on May 24, 1962. It took just under 5 hours.
Very tight quarters inside the craft. The Mercury astronauts did not get to enjoy the zero G conditions of space flight as they were strapped into seats that were literally molded for them. (Yes, I am a walking, talking nerd encyclopedia of space flight history.)
Close up on the instrument panel. How COOL is that? How not reliable (by today's standards) does this look? But it was totally cutting edge.
Super Duper Nerd Alert! This is the actual Apollo 8 capsule, which I might have gotten a bit misty over. But it's beautiful! This was the craft that took Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders on the first ever manned mission to orbit the moon. They broadcast live to Earth on Christmas Eve of 1968, reading from Genesis. (Yup, big huge nerd. That's me.)
Some close up detail of the outer door. I even think this is beautiful! Because I am a raging nerd.
This is the outside of the craft, which still bears the scars of it's journey to and from the moon, as well as it's insanely fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. And I think it's beautiful.
Frank Borman's seat inside Apollo 8. (He would have been, technically, lying on his back, with the instrument panel over his head.) While it looks tight for three men, once the astronauts were on their way, the seats were collapsed and stored, thereby creating more room to move. It's not like they were going to sit in zero G. Since, you know, you can't sit in zero G. There's, you know, nothing to hold you down.
Frank Borman's suit from the Apollo 8 flight, which was the first manned flight to the moon. Ever. (Did I mention that?) Note the mission patch, which creates an 8 around the Earth and the moon. Cool, huh?
So that was my Super Awesome Nerd Adventure. It was capped by and impromptu trip to one of our favorite places to eat. But that's another story for another day.