Sunday, March 18, 2012

3-18-12 Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Zoo

Since Kris arrived Friday morning and I had to work all day, and then I spent all day on Saturday driving to New Mexico and back with Nick while she and Bob took in Garden of the Gods, Sunday was the big day for sightseeing with Kris. Since her field is Museum Studies and Education, this was right up her alley.

And Kris played along with our antics from our arrival outside of the museum, so we knew we were a good fit.

I'm not sure why I keep trying to call it the Denver Museum of Natural Sciences, since it is "Nature and Science," except for it being ingrained from the countless Houston visits.  It's the Dinosuar+ Museum, how about that?

There are three levels to explore and our favorite from the first was the Space section, naturally.

First up, the docking of the Space Shuttle using pitch and yaw. Both Kris and Sam declared theirs broken. Then when Kris walked off, a guy came up and docked hers in about a minute. Show off.

Bob took over Sammi's station and, after considerably longer than a minute, there was much rejoicing.

Meanwhile, they have a very cool globe slideshow going on with 10 different things projected, each lasting about 3 minutes long. Of course, the moon was the last of the 10 and we were showing up on something like the second. 

The Sun (and accompanying information on the flat screens on the wall, which Sammi was happy to point out including information on her solar AKA Sammi flares.

And yes, of course we waited around for the moon to have her turn. 

Also on Level 1 are the Rocks. Call them what you will, it's the Rock Section. I found quite a few I'd love to have for the coffee table.

I do think this one might be a tad heavy and or too tall for the table. It's about three feet in height.

This, however, I would gladly wear around my neck. Black opals are just fascinating. It looks like the universe created inside a stone.

We headed upstairs next to what, Sammi would discover, was going to be not her favorite level.

Most of the second floor is taken up with animals: stuffed and posed ones, probably dating back from the turn of the 19th century. Sam was horrified. For some reason, bone displays are okay, particularly when the animal died naturally and decomposed back to the earth before the bones were removed. But something about the unnatural state of the glassy eyes and worn pelts, stuck behind glass, made her crazy.

She tried to focus on everything except the taxidermy displays, but there wasn't a whole lot else to see.

Bob, on the other hand...

We did find a puzzle to put together.

Frozen in time with really good invisible lines, this little guy will never finish his flight to the next branch:

So it was with a sigh of relief that we moved on, through the atrium, with what would be a beautiful day if not for the wind:

and into the smaller wing of Native American artifacts (with nothing stuffed). This turquoise piece was as big as my forearm and the patterns were amazing.

Sammi, the llama, and coffee man.

The Mummy room was small, but then I've been a little spoiled after getting to take in the Metropolitan's collection.

And, finally, we hit the third floor's dinosaur collection.

Let the age jokes begin...

Sammi-sized dinosaurs:

Sammi signing "turtle". She's hoping Kris will bestow on her a sign name, which only a deaf person can give, before she leaves.

 One last stop at the gift shop:

And then we moved next door to the zoo. Well, not exactly next door, but kind of the same distance between the Houston MNS and Zoo. But now it was noon and everyone in Denver seemed to be out enjoying the sunshine (despite the wind.) Bob spotted a space very close, in the Gorilla lot. How fitting.

The blooms are beginning to finally appear! Hopefully we won't have a late hard freeze.

 Sammi was supposed to be working a project but I asked her to bow out this time around since we couldn't work out all the timing without having to drive across Denver twice. This was fine by her in terms of getting out of manual labor, but she was still worried her zoo buddies would see her and give her crap, hence the disguise.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Guess which one I choose?

We took in the Primates first.

Baby orangutan was the only one not feeling the nap. Momma was insisting.

The little dudes and lemurs seemed to be plenty active.

But outside in the sunshine, this Gibbon was trying to get comfortable for a snooze. Maybe he should have chosen some spot a little further away from the people-side of the glass.

First daffodils!

And from that point on, around 1:30, it turned into communal nap time. Remember in kindergarten when the teacher turned the lights down and made everyone lay quietly and eventually, even if you swore you weren't one bit tired, you drifted off?

Only this Mongolian wild horse didn't get the memo.

To revive, we cooled our heels and dug into some ice cream.

Although Sam tried to combine napping and snacking, the melting helped her wake up.

Over by the tigers we spotted this breed, which is totally foreign to me. How, I ask you, how in the love of spinal health, do you walk around the zoo in these things?!?

The tiger was looking at those shoes, too

On the way out we spotted the cutest little things imaginable.

One of them was curled up under some tree branches being just ridiculously adorable. Kind of like Sam.

The big daddy lions had wisely chosen a spot out of sight to nap, but the ladies were hanging around near the glass to watch the human exhibits.

And, of course, our last stop was the gift shop.

I did come up a little short on pocket change for these two handsome fellas. Only $240 and I could've given them a good home.

(Post zoo we tried out the napping concept for an hour, which, FYI, just makes you feel ten times sleepier after you get up.)


Post a Comment