Adventure Science Center

This summer, we have really been taking advantage of our membership to the St. Louis Science Center, and we haven’t even been to the Science Center since May! On Memorial Day, we used our reciprocal membership to get into the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago for free, and in June, we were able to obtain free admission to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville!

Our favorite exhibit was the first one we walked through…Body Quest. What’s not to love? You can walk into a brain, play a laser game to defeat germs, and explore the interior of ambulance:

But the children’s favorite part of that exhibit was learning about the digestive system. There was not a tooting slide or anything:

Moving on…Turkey loved getting to use a lever to lift an entire car!

And because we’re Markels, we all loved the space exhibit, as well.

I even found some more space propaganda:

And who doesn’t love a plasma ball?

There was also a giant tower to explore and climb:

Our Science Center in St. Louis is still our favorite science museum, but we’ve really enjoyed getting to visit other museums this summer!

Nashville Skyline

When we visit a big city, one of the things I like to do is find the best place to view the skyline, so when we stopped in Nashville last month, I did some research, and decided we needed to take a walk across the Shelby Street Bridge by Cumberland Park. It was a great view!

We also walked down closer to the Cumberland River, where the view was also excellent:

And we discovered that the Adventure Science Center’s Skyline Café offers a great view of the city, from a completely different perspective!

It might not have the towering skyline of Chicago, or feel like home like St. Louis, but it’s a pretty city, and we’d like to go back and explore more someday!

Shelby Street Bridge

We only had a few hours in Nashville earlier this month, but one place I knew I wanted to go was the historic Shelby Street Bridge. It is over 100 years old and was renovated and turned into a pedestrian-only bridge in 2003. It provides a fantastic view of the Nashville skyline and the Cumberland River. We picked a good time to be there…while the Predators had just lost the final game of the Stanley Cup finals the night before, the  banners celebrating all the players were still flying proudly down the length of the bridge. And to cap off our Nashville experience, we saw what might be the most Nashville sight ever: a man walking down the bridge toward the historic downtown, under the Predators’ banners, carrying a guitar!

Museum Mosaics

When we went to the Museum of Science and Industry last month, I needed to see Lake Michigan. I wasn’t sure exactly how that would work out, so since we arrived at the museum early, I worked my way through the parking garage and up through the labyrinth that is the entrance, and when I got outside, pointed myself toward the lake. As I made my way to a good vantage point, I waked through a few tunnels, and was surprised to find that the walls were covered in museum-themed mosaics!

I love the details like these that are so easy to find in a big city…it just adds to the city’s personality!

Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle

There was so much we didn’t get to see, or even see well, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The last thing we really did take a close look at before we left, though, was Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle.

Colleen Moore was an American actress in both silent pictures, and in the then newly popular sound films. The dollhouse was built by her father in 1928, and has been on display in Chicago since 1949.

Far from being “just a dollhouse,” this creation is a true marvel. There are 11 individual rooms (as well as an unexplained treasure room), and an outdoor garden. The castle contains tapestries with impossibly tiny stitches, vases that are over 500 years old, statues that are over 4,000 years old, the smallest Bible in the world, and fine materials including alabaster, amber, gold, and crystal throughout. There are depictions, as you would expect, from many fairy tales, including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur.

I’m not going to lie…it’s kind of a weird thing. When you consider the value of all of the miniatures and the castle itself, it’s mind-boggling. The original price tag in the 1930s was almost a half a million dollars! But even thought it’s strange, it’s also breathtakingly stunning, and when you consider the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating it, the mind boggles further. It’s truly something that shouldn’t be missed!