Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vacation Report #5

We're on the plane, headed home. It seems cruel that we're leaving 80 degree weather to be greeted by a blizzard. But I guess it would be worse to have the blizzard keep us from getting to the 80 degree weather...

Yesterday we visited the Orlando Science Center. It was kind of a cross between our Science Museum and our Children's Museum. The girls loved it.

The bottom level featured a swamp, complete with fish, turtles, and small alligators. HeyMama was not so thrilled with the gators, but she did toss some gator kibble into the tank at feeding time. MeToo actually petted a baby gator. We learned from the Swamp Lady that the gators came as hatchlings from Gatorland. And when they get too big or too frisky, they'll go back there again. You don't want gators in the wild that expect handfuls of kibble every time they see humans...

The downstairs also had a great kids area, with a giant play kitchen, some water play features, a computer, and an orange grove. HeyMama loved picking the oranges (balls) off the trees and puting them in the hopper to go on the conveyer belt. The installation was supposed to explain the orange juice industry. The pedal-powered tractor made the conveyer belt move the oranges overhead, and it eventually fed the oranges back into the trees. Honestly, HeyMama could have spent all day there.

But Messy Time was calling. They joined the group and made play dough. We'd done this at home before, but we'd never flavored ours with Koolaid before, which they thought was really cool. Now they're begging me to buy Koolaid.

The swamp had a few large trees that stretched up into the upper levels of the museum. As you rode the glass elevator up, you could see different animals at different levels of the tree. The upstairs exhibits were more for older kids, but the girls still enjoyed running around. They dug in the sand for dinosaur fossils. They enjoyed riding an earthquake, and HeyMama loved the hurricane chamber. We never made it up to the full 74 mph wind, she consistently bugged out around 50 mph. Can't say I blame her!

In 3 to 5 years, the rest of the museum will be perfect for the girls. But they were content to leave early and head to the pool back at the hotel. We spent a few hours there with our friends, and the day was made perfect.

The only imperfect thing? Prepping to come home, especially with the knowledge that there was a winter storm bearing down on Boston. The welcome home wouldn't be warm, but it would likely be memorable.

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