Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making Amends

I need to start with a story.  Eight years ago Chopper and I drove past Waco, Texas on one of our many moves.  Chopper really wanted to stop and visit the Dr. Pepper museum and I refused.  It's been one of the biggest fights of our marriage to this day!  So I decided I finally needed to make amends for my behavior, and yesterday we drove to Waco specifically to go to the Dr. Pepper museum.
 Mind you, this was a 2 1/2 hour drive (exploring Texas is going to take a lot more driving than we anticipated!)  But at long last

 A dream come true -- although Abby looks less than thrilled . . . 

 Chopper wishes they would still bottle the stuff like this.

The museum is not that big but we saw old bottling equipment, learned about the origins of Dr. Pepper and their marketing (as a health drink -- take it at 10, 2, and 4!), peered into one of the original Artesian wells that furnished the water for the soda (all 2% of it), and took lots of pictures of Dr. Pepper stuff.

 Like this horse made of bottle tops and cut cans

 And Chopper and Megan both posed as a Dr. Pepper driver.

 We found a giant cardboard bottle of Dr. Pepper but couldn't find the giant can that's supposedly somewhere in the city of Waco.  

After the museum, I didn't want to just turn around and drive all the way back to Dallas so we decided to check out Baylor University.  A few years back Chopper really wanted to go to law school (well, he still wants to) and Baylor was his top choice (not that he ever applied -- it was just a dream).  The school turned out to be quite lovely.
 We were "serenaded" by the bells in this building's tower while we ate our lunch (and Abby ate dirt -- that's her in the bottom left corner making a break for it)

 We admired the flowers and the grounds . . . 

 Documented our trip . . . 

 And then went searching for the law school building.  We found it!  And right next door was a museum that we thought, why not?
The cashier told us there were 2 parts to the museum: the Natural History Exhibits and the Discovery Rooms.  Ok.  Well, it turned out to be better than Ok.  It was amazing!

 Apparently Waco has been the site of some major archeoligical finds.  Like mammoths (that's an actual skull apparently), pleisaurs (I think that's it -- swimming dinosaurs -- someone help me here!) and a whale!
 This skull is so big . . . 
 I hope it's well bolted in!

 The exhibits weren't just displays, there were designed to put you in there.  Like the room with the glass floor and the mammoth skeletons underneath as you walked through.  And the life-size replicas of grass houses, teepees, and cabins in the "Texas Lifeways" room.  They're putting together an Egypt exhibit soon that I would love to see.

Then we went over to the Discovery rooms.  I've been to a few children's museums but I'm not kidding when I say that this one was the best.  Every room was devoted to something different and had directions and questions on the walls to guide the kid's learning.  It would be fabulous for school-age children but I tell you what, Megan had to be drug from nearly every room.  And Chopper or I would go ahead while she played with something and inevitably would come back -- "you have to see this!".  It really was that good.  There were 20 (yes, 20) different themed rooms and a train diorama in the middle of it all.  I didn't post pictures of all 20 but these are some of our favorites.
 They had a great little tree craft that I'm going to recreate here at home this week and then post on my other blog Lightbulbs and Lemonade.

 Abby enjoyed crawling into vehicles in the Transportation room.

 And Megan enjoyed DRIVING vehicles in Mrs. Moen's neighborhood.

 This is the only tornado we ever want to get close to but it was a really neat machine and demonstration that you could experiment with in the TV News and Weather room.

 Megan loves to build with blocks (community room).

 A view of the trains from the second floor.  Oh yeah, there was also a train track on the ceiling of the second floor.

 Megan loved drumming in the Native Americans room and Abby was fascinated by the buffalo.

 The teepee was great too.

 I love this Beatles shot of Megan and Chopper walking on the giant piano in the sound room.

 And we saw a replica of Grandpa Gasser in the health room!

 Chopper blew bubbles in the water and bubbles room . . .
And Abby just held on for dear life (at this point she was getting pretty tired).
 He is in a giant bubble!

 In that same room they had a pool (I guess) that you could build channels in and direct the water.  Megan made sure all the ducks rode safely in boats.

 We tried Abby out for a cowgirl in the Pioneers room.

 And Megan dressed up in international costume in the People of the World room (she loved this sombrero and wore it the entire time actually).

And this is the People of the World Room.

Every room had several displays/experiments/things to do and I haven't even mentioned about half of them.  My favorite was the tea room where the kids could play tea party and learn how to set a table but then there were cabinets on the walls containing collections of glass children's dishes and old hats.  It was lovely.

So we ended up spending the whole day in Waco and are very sad that it's so far away!  We may have to go back on occasion though -- it was that fabulous.  If you're ever in the area you need to put it on the list.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

So, where are all the other kids at this place? It looks totally deserted except for you guys! Is that the case?