Monday, August 23, 2010

Turns Out, It IS Rocket Science

*This is the last vacation recap. I promise. Last recap FOREVER.

Thursday morning we loaded up the van, said goodbye to Galveston and the beach and "that guy with all the clothes on in the pool", and headed back to the mainland to the NASA Space Center. We decided to take the scenic route instead of the interstate, unaware at the time that the only scenery between Galveston and NASA consists of oil refineries and the oldest gas station known to man. The irony of almost running out of gas in front of the oil refinery was not lost on us.

We came upon the Space Center from the east this time, instead of from the interstate to the west, and turned into what we thought was the NASA Space Center entrance. The boys were very excited about seeing the Star Wars exhibit, playing laser tag, and watching the "fire show". My first clue that perhaps we had arrived at the wrong place was the beefy armed security guard at the gate wearing the bullet proof vest. They instantly pegged us as "not rocket scientists" and sent us on down the road to the visitor's center. I thought about getting offended that he just assumed we weren't there to work at NASA, but then I noticed the wayward Buc-ee's Beaver Nugget on the front of my husband's "Save a Tuna, Eat a Dolphin" t-shirt. And all the kids in the backseat were probably a dead giveaway, too.

Fortunately, it was only a chilly 90 degrees when we finally got to the visitor's center, so Harper and I sent the boys on a tram tour so we could scope out the gift shop in peace. Because look what Harper picked out to buy for her mommy?
It's pink. It's sparkly. And I'm sure it's an actual relic from some outer space mission, where they kept their space coffee. There have been girl astronauts, right? I learned so, so much from my day at NASA.

The boys got on the tram with a few minutes to kill before leaving, which left me with several pictures that looked like this:

(Don't worry, Dane got a hair cut before he started school today.)

And this little booger:

And of course this:

And that was all before Dane got ahold of the camera.

Finally the tour started, and the boys were treated to classic NASA sights such as the Space Longhorns. What are cows doing at NASA?

I'm hoping this one was taken with a zoom lens, because none of my three boys need to be this close to the fuel. I have to confess, I saw this Liquid Nitrogen tank and I instantly thought to myself, "that's what they use to freeze warts off with at the doctor's office." This could be why we did not see a single wart on a single astronaut in any of the exhibits on our visit.

By the time they got to the good part of the tour, my boys were OVER the picture taking. Don't they look thrilled?

They came back from the tour, just in time for all of the fun and line-waiting to commence. Ugh. If I weren't so determined to "get our money's worth", the crowds of people would have sent me running for the van then and there. The boys played laser tag, walked through a house of mirrors, and "climbed" a little rock climbing wall. Harper got to join in when they all went to play in the 40 foot-tall indoor play area, but she was content to stay with her daddy in the little baby area while the boys saved the world 30 feet above her.

Before we left, Dane and Aidan wanted to ride the simulation game, and get to wear the cool goggles. I'm pretty sure Aidan didn't care what he was looking at through the goggles, he just wanted to wear them.

And of course, a picture of three of my rocket scientists in front of the character cut-outs, which one of these three may or may not have asked if they could have for their bedroom when NASA was done with them.
I'm sorry, Brandon, maybe they'll let you keep one next year.