Thursday, March 19, 2009

Best. Musuem. Ever.

Confession: I love a big truck. Perhaps this buried facet of my essentially hippie personality stems from the boys’ childhood, when we read The Truck Book a million times a night, and rides in the car came were punctuated with cries of either “Look! Cow! Moo!” or “Look! Big truck! Vroom!” Of all the trucks we marveled at, the giant tortoise of them all, the most massive and inspiring is the Off-Highway Dump Truck.

On Spring Break this week, the boys and I drove over to Cartersville to check out the recently re-opened former Weiman Mineral Museum, now the Tellus Science Museum (Tellus is a cool name for a science museum until you learn that it means “Earth Goddess,” which turns the name just a tidge towards the cheesy side). As we drove up the winding drive, I caught a bit of bright yellow hardware gleaming in the sun. Then I heard angels break into song, for lo, before us, parked in all its construction site golden glory: “Look! Boys! Big truck!”

I have been to the Prado in Spain. I’ve spent hours wandering through the High in downtown Atlanta. One weekend in college, we drove over to the Art Institute in downtown Chicago and hustled our way in. I know all the Smithsonians. I saw the Museum of Natural History in New York the same way you did—in that movie with Nicholas Cage and Owen Wilson.

But when Tellus decided to gird their parking lot with this colossal yellow beast, that was a stroke of museum genius.

The rest of the museum makes for a great afternoon with two boys who did not get to go on a Disney cruise or to New York or to Florida like all the “cool kids” for their spring break and who need to get out of the house. In addition to the awesomeness gracing the sidewalk of the museum, they also have one of these:

And a Periodic Table of the Elements wall, with examples. Poor Francium:

And most ridiculous of all, they have one of these:

Which I think is a dinosaur called Puffballus Ferocious Gigantus. I think I read it killed prey by walking up behind it and nibbling toes. When the T-Rex looked down to see what it was (What the…?) it invariably tripped over the lumpy beast and cracked its big T-Rex head. I think that’s what the sign said.

Of course, the museum kept all the good minerals and gems associated with the original museum. They also added a planetarium and seem very proud of the digital status of said planetarium “There are only two digital planetariums in the whole state of Georgia! And this is the only one in Northwest Georgia!” Not that it matters to the average museum goer, because once they turn out the lights and show all the sparkly stars on the ceiling I’m still going to get dizzy, digital fanciness or not.

We stopped by the off-highway dump truck again before leaving. The boys, suddenly full of all the things they needed to “take care of” at home (mostly Wii related), encouraged me to leave. “Come on, mom—say goodbye to the big truck. Bye bye big truck! We can come see it again another day….” Sigh.

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