Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: American Museum of Natural History & Hayden Planetarium

For Valentine's Day weekend, a very special someone and I stayed in New York City and visited the Museum of Natural History. I've never been to anything historic like this so I knew it would be an experience! Plus, the planetarium is right inside the museum! At the entrance we used on the Central Park West side, this guy (or gal) right here is one of the first to greet you! That arm you see belongs to a rearing Barosaurus. I personally have never seen a dinosaur skeleton with my own two eyes before and seeing it that day, really put in perspective for me just how big they actually were. In case you're wondering, they were HUGE! I was nothing below them, something they would have stepped on and kept walking. 

Standing in line isn't usually a highlight in anyone's day, yet this time it gave me a chance to appreciate the room I was standing in. It isn't just an entrance but a State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt. The architecture is amazingly detailed and crafted, still in excellent condition however, the best part were the words carved into the stone walls. Words of the former United States President that were spoken so long ago yet still rang true today. Or at least most of it should. Here's a link if you'd like to read them for yourself - Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda.

Finally walking through the museum was great. Several times I had to slow down and remind myself that what I was looking at were ancient artifacts, never to be duplicated, one-of-a-kind stuff! Going through life with so much technology it was weird looking at such primitive tools and clothing and imagine them in actual use. Yeah we see it in the movies, but it's just not the same. 

That's an ostrich egg shell container! This blew my mind, it was so cool!

These next two exhibits were my favorite. Makes me think of knights in shining armor!

Click here if you'd like to see the rest of my pictures of the Museum of Natural History! Please don't expect detailed captions or descriptions of what you'd be looking at because, well honestly, I haven't a clue; and if they're out of order and all jumbled up that's because it's late and I don't feel like organizing them. Sorry, I'm being lazy.

The rest of the weekend was just as much fun. We played pool, ate at fantastic restaurants and as a special treat just for me, we went to a Barnes & Noble with FOUR FLOORS! Of course it's not filled top to bottom with YA, but just being around that many books brings me such calm and happiness. Are you drifting off thinking about four floors of YA?  I know, me too! At this B&N, I was told to pick six books, to which I gladly complied. That's the part where I rub my hands together like a greedy little monkey! On top of all this, I was also given the Nook as a Vday treat! I haven't downloaded any ebooks to it yet but I have found a few to start with, like Reaper by Rachel Vincent and Beasts and BFFs, Bonus 13 to Life prequel by Shannon Delaney. Here is what I added to my actual bookcases: Throat by R.A. Nelson, Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston, Cloaked by Alex Flinn, Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri. I think I've been spoiled!

Are you still with me? Good, because I almost forgot to tell you about the best part!-the planetarium! I would not say that the Hayden Planetarium large in size but the show we saw, Journey to the Stars (narrated by Whoopi Goldberg) made me feel so tiny in restrospect.
Bronze statue of the Earth's Moon

Falling into the illusion that the stars and space were all around me, I realized that I never really imagined how big space actually is. My mental image of outer space was way off! The show was educational and awe inspiring for star lovers everywhere!

I can't wait to visit the museum again and show my daughter these amazing exhibits! If you're ever playing tourist in NYC or if you live there and you've never been - GO! It's very kid friendly and it holds pieces of the history from all over and then takes right out of this world! A must-see!

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