Since Maddie is in Iowa this week with her Grandma Murphy, and I'm sure she's getting spoiled because that's what grandmas do, I thought it would be fun to do something special with Jake. So, I decided we would visit the Star Wars exhibit at the Science Museum (he's really the only one in our family that would be interested in this). I told Jake at the beginning of the week that on Thursday we would be having a "super secret adventure". He had several guesses: we were driving to Hawaii, we were going rock climbing at REI, we were going to the airport to board a plane for Hawaii (after we told him you couldn't drive to Hawaii). My dad came with us. I don't really know if dad is a huge Star Wars fan, but he is a museum fan. Being that I'm navigationally-challenged he probably also wanted to ensure that Jake and I actually arrived there and back.
So we headed to St. Paul and all the while Jake was trying to guess what we were doing. He didn't really guess until we got inside and he wistfully looked at the Star Wars banner and when I just nodded his jaw literally dropped open and he just said, "ohhhhhh...yeahhhhh."
We headed inside at our appointed entry time and at first I didn't think it was that big an exhibit. Then we actually started walking around and I realized - it's a pretty good size. We got to see the Millennium Falcon, whatever that "car thing" was called that Luke Skywalker drove, many of the costumes and models. I'm not a gigantic Star Wars fan (can you tell from the above descriptions) but it was pretty neat to see these things that are such a big part of pop culture history. Jake continually amazed me. I don't know that he's ever seen a Star Wars movie; I know he hasn't seen one when I've been around. But, he could name so many things - the ships, the characters, their weapons. At one point I was really excited to show him the robots that were so popular (and two of the few I actually recognized) so I said, "Look! Jake - there's R2D2!" He just looked at me and I swear he wanted to roll his eyeballs back in his head as he said, "Mom...that's C-3PO" Of course it was. But to be honest, from childhood I've never been able to keep them straight. The "beeper" and the "talker" is really the only way to clarify them in my head.
Throughout the exhibit they tied in fantasy robots with "real world" robots and the strides that have been made in prosthetics and medical procedures. Jake was able to "build" his own robot and program one to move. They did have a little hover-craft type thing that we got in line to drive. Jake thought this would be really cool - until we got to the front of the line and the guy said, "You can't ride because no sandals or open toed shoes are allowed." I explained to Jake why we had to get out of line. My dad just stared at the guy and pseudo-mumbled, "you've got to be kidding me." I agreed with dad - there was absolutely nothing a person could even get their foot caught on so it was kind of dumb. But - for anyone going, wear tennis shoes. I kicked myself because walking out of the house I almost had Jake change his shoes. But I thought, "these are artifacts worth a ton of money - what's he possibly going to be able to climb on?"
The exhibit actually took us about 2 hours to walk through. I'm pretty sure we saw everything. We didn't necessarily read everything - though dad tried his best. We spent another 45 minutes walking through a few other general exhibits and at 12:30 I asked Jake if we could please go eat lunch. Honestly, I was scienced out. But, rumor has it that my brother-in-law has some of these movies, so we may have to ask to borrow some and actually view them to complete this whole experience.
May the force be with me to get through them. (You knew that was going to be in here somewhere!)