Sunday, January 23, 2011

The second coolest part of our excursion to Chicago was definitely getting to meet up with cousin steve-o 'the evolutionary biologist' at the Field Museum where he works.  He actually takes part in the 'ask a scientist' question and answer period there. He's the real deal and he got us in to see the exhibits at both the field museum and aquarium for free - even the ones that cost extra money. 

My favorite exhibits were a tie between the DNA lab and the Evolution section.

Here I am trying to get the kids equally excited about the double helix as I am.
 And if you look extra hard in this one- you can see me giving a great big hug to strand of DNA.  I just love DNA. It was my very favorite subject to teach when I taught Biology. I think it's fascinating and exciting and just plain wonderful.
 Here's the evolving planet exhibit.
Zeb loved the exhibit, except for the fact that we had to pass through five 'mass extinctions' to get to the present day.  Really and truly Zeb was devastated at each and every one.  Hear we are after the third, I believe.  He couldn't figure out why all of the plants and animals died off.  Check out his eyelashes!
After the meteor struck and killed off the dinosaurs, he got down on the ground and wouldn't budge.  He kept asking the same questions over and over:  "But why did they all have to die?  I really like dinosaurs, mom!  why can't they live on the Earth today?"

Ike decided to get down and copy him even though he had no idea what was going on.
 Ike got a little nervous next to this giant dino- but loved everything else.
 When all was said and done and Zeb got to see the woolly mammoths and then the early hominids and humans- I think he was okay with it all.  He got a good bio lesson and I think he actually learned some stuff.  He was, in fact, almost named Charles Darwin.  And is still named after him with the 'Charles'.

And here's one more really funny kid picture.  Both kids were MORTIFIED of the mummy tomb.  Zeb was begging to get out.
Ike's favorite part of the museum was the wrestling match he and Zeb had under 'Sue' the T-rex.  We lucked out with a near empty museum and the boys took full advantage.

Here's the beginning of round 1.  Ike is pretty quick and efficient with his take-downs.
 The museum really is beautiful.
 Zeb's very favorite part of the day was the soil exhibit.  This earwig is about twice as big as Zeb.  We went through a 'shrinking machine' and got to see everything that happens under ground.  Neither kid would sit still long enough for a picture.  Isn't the earwig disgusting? it's thorax would fly up at you and the pincers would go crazy when you got close.  Earwigs are truly disgusting.

And here's the giant penny. Zeb won't stop talking about it and wants me to post the picture. It was three times his size.
 We also checked out the aquarium next door.  It was pretty cold right here on the Lake!  I think Zeb was pretty ticked I was trying to get a picture.
  This museum has a GIANT circular indoor aquarium full of sting rays, little sharks, giant turtles, and tons of fish that the kiddos just sat and watched forever.
Our day of museums was fabulous! and our new Christmas GPS (thanks nannie annie and gramps!) saved our lives by rerouting us around some pretty crazy chicago traffic and keeping us unlost downtown!


Steve and Hailey said...

You really got some great pictures of Zebby! What a cutie with that sad puckery lip face! :) It's kind of fun that we get to be one of your unbelievable free connections. I mean who knows an evolutionary biologist? You of course!

Jessica said...

I love Zeb's face in the DNA pic! Sounds like a great trip. We are thinking of heading there this summer.

Michelle said...

That museum is amazing! What a cool experience.

M- your favorite said...

Looks like you guys had a great trip!