Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Chicago, Day 2 - Museum of Science and Industry

Our second day in Chicago, we hit the Museum of Science and Industry. We've been there before, but Eryn hadn't been on the U-boat since she was really little and couldn't remember it. It was a timely trip as we went to see Indiana Jones at the Trylon last weekend, so we could talk about U boats. Just a random observation, while we were sitting in the food court at the museum, I asked Pooteewheet, do you see any black people here who aren't working here? We eventually noticed a family, but there were virtually none. The reason it was strange was that we had just come from The Original Pancake House only a few blocks away, where we were definitely a minority. So at least on the day we were there, it seemed as though the museum was a favorite of tourists, and not of the people in the neighborhood. Maybe it's just because we weren't there on a school day. But the contrast between breakfast (delicious, by the way) and the museum was a bit dramatic.

The U-505. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside. The tour guide was very enthusiastic. The tour I had of the sub (non-Nazi) in Australia was much better. I liked getting a tour from an actual Aussie bubblehead better than the 25 year old at the museum. Primarily, the U-505 capture is a story about incompetence (failing to throw the plug over the side, etc.). But I did find it enjoyable to see that the submarine had a great big plug in the bottom, just like a bathtub, so that it could be quickly scuttled. It reminded me of people in Monticello that used to claim there was a big red button in the nuclear power plant that could make it explode. Except the plug in the sub was real.

The line before the tour. The perspective is correct. Eryn was playing rock, paper, scissors. The tour guide asked us all where we were from. We said Eagan. The woman next to us said, "China." And the people next to her said, "Right next door." Pooteewheet replied, "To China?" The Chinese woman did not even crack a smile. She didn't seem amused one bit.

There's a ship tagging game in the periscope. Eryn had to wait about ten minutes for a guy to make space, so she made sure to spend some time enjoying it.

She's the right size for a berth.

Submarine simulation. We made it through safe and sound. It's a little less complicated than the Wii, the only options being spin toward each other, spin away from each other, or really get mixed up and do something else.

Engima machines are not little girl friendly. This is why they shouldn't let someone else encode what you get to decode. It was a step up from the drunk guy in our hotel screaming in the hallway at 2:00 a.m. "Your sister's a fucking whore!" Pooteewheet was amused when he was yelling "Don't touch me! Don't fucking touch me!" And someone put a hand over his mouth. "Don't touch me! Don't fucking touch mfphfh!" Security eventually arrived to quiet them down, but not before they left behind a leather trash can full of vomit for the morning cleaning staff. That was a real treat to smell in the hallway as we were checking out. He's probably the guy who left this message for Eryn to decode.

I think I published a picture of this guy a long time ago. I know I'm supposed to be reflective, but he makes me smile. It looks like someone took his puppy or ice cream sandwich. It's the same face Eryn used to make when she was annoyed/sad, except she added a little nostril huff as she made the face.

Eryn and Pooteewheet in the wind tube. Gusts of up to 80 mph. Yet their hair seems strangely unaffected.

Avalanche exhibit. Not really worth watching unless you're trying to hyponotise yourself. Visitors control the spin of the exhibit. The various video games around the hall were more interesting as they encouraged a kid to be a forest fire fighter, fireworks display coordinator, and jet fuel/car fuel creator. They were little adventures with numerous endings and Eryn spent quite a bit of time checking out what a mixture of marshmallows and oxygen would do to a car, and learned that dumping fire retardant near a river is a no-no.

You could control the light mixture in this exhibit. Eryn was fascinated that by changing the colors she could make certain flowers on her shirt disappear.

Train! Gave me flashbacks to the locomotive at the park in Sidney, Montana. I used to play in that thing all the time. I think it has wire around it now because it's not safe for modern children.



Pooteewheet and Eryn in the circus exhibit.

After the museum, we went to Tsuki for dinner. As I mentioned yesterday, Eryn thought she'd prefer Friends Sushi. But when we got to Tsuki they told us Sundays were for kids and their meal was free and available in a bento box. Eryn picked the Hello Kitty bento box. The meal wasn't some kid-sized knock off, but a full chicken meal and free ice cream. They gave her a balloon when she left as well. The chef, the owner, or someone involved in the restaurant really likes kids.

Bubble gum flavored soda. Ugh. There's a little glass ball in the top that comes with many warnings about not trying to extract it.

My food! And Pooteewheet's. The two pieces in the foreground are smoked duck. Yum.

Spicy Pinenut Tuna Maki roll. Delicious. A great mix of crunchy, spicy, and various textures. One of the better rolls I've ever eaten.

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