This was not part of our initial summer vacation plans:
It was a possible Plan C that turned into Plan A that turned into one of the most well-received five hours of our family vacation in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Introducing, Exhibit A:
The initial Plan A was the zoo, but it was both rainy and hot Saturday morning. So, we changed courses and found this stuffed version of the real thing.
Not being the hot-weather-loving types, our bunch of seven found the Science Museum a little slice of paradise.
From the get-go, fun was in the air. Here at the entrance, Nick and Adam are transformed into pirates -- a preview of forthcoming attractions.
But first, we had to go exploring a little.
I always seem to find the highest spot. Like Nick, I just love the bird's eye view, and this little tugboat gave me what I long for.
Eventually, the kids found me and enjoyed the view, too...
Even the descent had its high points.
Many of the exhibits were fun and fantastical.
They taught us things, like what the inside of a fingernail looks like. Fascinating!
I especially loved the perceptions theater, which was filled with optical illusions -- my photos don't do it justice.
The kids also had their debut as television news reporters -- something that brought me back to my own television news days as an intern at KXJB-TV here in Fargo in the late 1990s. I think Daddy found a lost calling, too.
Nick hammed it up for the camera. Here, he's pretending to be scared, but in reality he loved being on camera. I can see him back here someday, truth be told. He's made for the stage.
We did end up buying extra tickets for the pirate exhibit. This waxed fellow was a little too convincing, down to his facial hairs.
We learned about a real-life pirate ship called the Whydah....
This was the real-life story of a pirate ship that harbored a young lad, name of John King, who lost his life when the vessel went under.
The information board nearby reads, in part: "These are the remains of young John King...The leg bone and these fashionable items are the only physical traces of the rebellious boy who defied his mother to run off with the pirates only to meet an early death with the Whydah went down."
Moral of the story? Listen to your mothers, kids!
And what young lad can't leave a place like that without feeling the burning of a $10 bill in his pocket? He exchanged it for this pirate hat and a boomerang. Here, he and his brother size up their new treasures.
The day ended at the Cheesecake Factory..
...where we enjoyed a decadent meal -- a rare treat for our large brood.
My French Country Salad had fresh greens, beets, goat cheese and sugared pecans with balsamic dressing. With a little bread and butter on the side, it was a lovely close to the evening.
And yes, I did have a slice of cheesecake -- red velvet variety. They will serve this in heaven, I know it.
I'll be back later with some more trip postings.
Q4U: What's your favorite memory of your summer so far?