It IS Rocket Science.

I'll be perfectly straight with you... this stop was for me, Momma.  The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama was everything I always imagined it to be!  A childhood dream fulfilled!  I can't even describe how happy I was all day here at the museum... oh, and Aaron and the kids enjoyed it as well. ;) **I'll go ahead and apologize for the long post, but I'm about to nerd out on all of you.**

Besides the few groups of Space Camp kids, we were practically the ONLY visitors that day, which was amazing because I loathe crowded attractions!  Apparently Wednesday during school time is a great time to go!  We got to spend as much time at whatever exhibit we wanted to, like this "Mind Control" station that translated your brainwaves into the movement of the ball.  Essentially, it showed Aaron is MUCH more "calm" than I am.  No surprise there.

Crystal = Player 1... Aaron = Player 2

This eye reading/control station was really cool...

And there were several other awesome exhibits that we got to enjoy all to ourselves!

They had a rock wall, so we all had to climb it.  I hadn't climbed a rock wall in over a decade, or worked out in over a month, but I managed to make it to the top!  Woot!

 It was the kid's very first time climbing, and the both got about halfway.

 Aaron of course made it to the top no problem, and looked good while doing it. :)

The kids took the next portion of the museum pretty seriously, in that they got to play make believe with the best toys ever while their daddy and I got to enjoy the tour of the space station replica!

How did they even know that was a phone? ;) 
I wish you could have heard their dialogue, it was hilarious!

The space station's toilet reminds me of the toilet in our tiny house ;)

Aaron found the Stephen Colbert treadmill...

The next portion of the museum housed an entire Saturn 5 Rocket, as well as all the engines NASA has used for space missions.

This sweet old docent (below) reminded me of my Grandpa M., and I could just tell he had a wealth of knowledge just waiting to share with some curious mind.  He pretty much gave me a personal tour of the entire building!  During this time I learned that my docent, Bill, held 3 PhDs, did lots of work for NASA, and even hired somebody from Purdue back in his day!  I feel like Americans have a tendency to take our elderly for granted.  But just imagine 30 years ago, and how privileged we would have felt to hold this man's attention...

Here Bill was showing me an Apollo return module, and explaining how it gets so hot during reentry that it burns off some of the exterior.   I'm just so glad I captured his reflection.  You should have seen his eyes light up every time he would show me something awesome and I'd exclaim, "Wow"!

The mysteries of outer space have always fascinated me, as well as the magic of physics and engineering.  I also love learning about the great achievements of humans when they work together.  My own Grandpa was a manager of a research team for the first manned lunar landing amongst many other great accomplishments.

Here is the lunar lander...

And here is the Lunar Module Descent Engine...

And the Lunar Module Ascent Engine....

Outside is the Saturn 5 rocket with Aaron and the kids in the foreground for some reference for it's size.  I had to blend 2 photos together to capture the whole thing...

I'm sure Huntsville has other nice things to see, but we only stayed in town for 2 nights as we try to match our trip schedule with the weather to make sure we're traveling in safe conditions.  So far our plan has been working!  The day we left Kentucky, we got a local severe winter weather storm warning coming up for the next day.  We made it through Tennessee just before their winter weather advisory warnings, and we left Huntsville just as it was about to get nasty out there!  SOUTHWARD BOUND!  We've just now made it to SouthWest Alabama, where the forecast looks promising!  

January 22, 2016