|Saturday, April 13, 2019: We awoke to a gorgeous sunny spring day.
|We headed into town and were envious when we passed a public transit station. We dream of having something like this in Indy.
|We passed St. Ignatius of Antioch Church on our way to ...
|... McDonald's, of course.
|It was a little distressing to us to see the name Lorraine spelled without nearly enough letters.
|There's downtown Cleveland!
|We passed Progressive Field for the first of what seemed like a hundred times.
|We saw our first of many Cleveland script images.
|Here's a glimpse into Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.
|As we drove into downtown, ...
|... Debbie suddenly recognized the building she had visited on a business trip here in July 2011. It's the brown building on the left barely visible here.
|We drove around the downtown area a bit and passed this lovely sculpture in the Fountain of Eternal Life.
|Here's a great wall mural. How appropriate that it is right next to a steakhouse.
|The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has a money museum, but it is only open Monday - Thursday, so we'll have to plan accordingly in the future.
|We parked our van in a lot next to Public Square and went on a walking tour. There's the massive Key Tower, currently the tallest building in Ohio. It dwarfs the Old Stone Church in the center of this photo.
|Here's a closer look at the church.
|This bell served in the Old Stone Church's belfry from 1865 to 1982.
|A nearly lifesize sculpture of a beggar sits outside the church.
|The Society National Bank building now houses KeyBank and this gorgeous streetlight attached to the corner of the building.
|This jolly fellow is Tom Johnson (1854 - 1911), who was a mayor of Cleveland.
|Here's the back of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse.
|As we walked around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, we got a look at Public Square.
|Here's the base of the monument.
|These spikes do a good job of discouraging anyone from taking a nap on the walls that surround the monument.
|This square of spikes surrounds a U. S. Geological Survey Bench Mark. Having previously found discs like these in the Grand Canyon on the South Rim and by the Colorado River, we now had an official collection.
|Here's a look at the actual monument on the top, ...
|... and here's a look at one of the four sculptures on the building at the base of the monument.
|Finally, a larger shot of it all.
|Tom tried to figure out what all the symbols meant. We should really look that up.
|We headed along Euclid Avenue, where the historic May Company building was undergoing renovations.
|These beautiful planters lined Euclid Avenue.
|This was the first of two similar sidewalk art installations.
|This art piece says "Change Things." Perhaps start with quitting smoking, because that's a smoker's receptacle in the center.
|The Cleveland Visitor's Center features the Cleveland script sign. With a packed day of activities, we didn't stop in.
|This street featured a bowling alley on the left.
|The neon bowling sign is adorable.
|What's this? A guitar statue? Could there be more? We can only hope.
|This the first US-based skyway we've ever seen that featured stairs in the middle.
|These Free Speech metal structures stood in front of ...
|... the City Club of Cleveland, which features the same logo on its doors.
|We were heading to this imposing structure: the Cleveland Trust Company Building.
|It now houses Heinen's Grocery Store.
|It's completely unexpected to encounter a grocery store in a building this grand.
|The second floor featured an extensive wine and beer selection.
|The main floor featured a food court with a deli and a bakery.
|We passed Cleveland Indians-branded peanuts and wine. As much as Tom is tempted by MLB-branded peanuts, we had a long walk ahead of us, so we couldn't buy anything bulky.
|But oh, we would have loved to try a few interesting things in the bakery display, such as these Snoogles, whatever those are.
|The main part of the grocery store was in space adjacent to the rotunda. It was filled with many wonders, such as this impressive display of many flavors of sauerkraut.
|There were many different Heinen's-branded products we would have liked to try, so we'll definitely do some shopping at a Heinen's on a future visit.
|Outside of Heinen's, these creative bike racks mimicked Cleveland's famous bridges, ...
|... as did these nearby benches and planter.
|We didn't make it quite as far as Playhouse Square before we turned around.
|Downtown Cleveland feels really revitalized, and anything old or rundown appears to be actively being restored. It's really quite impressive.
|Here was a similar piece of sidewalk art to the hand we had seen earlier.
|This interesting piece was a trash bin.
|Here's a huge, colorful mural.
|This C-Line trolley moves tourists around town for free.
|More street art.
|Our next stop was the Cleveland Arcade.
|It looks pretty on the outside, ...
|... but it really doesn't prepare you for how gorgeous it is inside. However, it's pretty quiet in there, with many of the storefronts standing empty.
|We returned to Public Square to visit Terminal Tower.
|This gentleman is General Moses Cleaveland, founder of the city in 1796.
|Here's the top of Terminal Tower, ...
|... and here's the base. This building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
|It's fancy inside with a fancy ceiling.
|More fancy ceiling.
|We set out in search of the food court.
|What's that at the top of the escalator? Two guitar statues! We now had confirmation that this was a thing.
|Here's one, featuring a Beatles theme.
|The other one had Cleveland scenes on it.
|Cleveland's public transit system has a station in the lower level. Again, Indy needs this.
|We finally found the food court in the back and wolfed down some Philly cheese steaks.
|At noon, we had tickets to go to the observation floor, which was temporarily open to the public for April and May. Tickets need to be purchased online in advance, and we saw a family turned away who thought they could buy tickets there. We joined the noon group at the elevators, ...
|... then took them up to the 33rd floor.
|On the 33rd floor, we walked to a smaller elevator bay and took those elevators to the 42nd floor.
|The observation floor is roughly round, with groups of three windows.
|We started with the set of three windows facing southwest. According to the helpful poster next to each window, ...
|... we were seeing the Innerbelt Bridge (top) and the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge (Hope Memorial Bridge) over the Cuyahoga River at Collision Bend.
|There was a boater out on the water in the skinniest boat ever invented.
|Slightly further south, Debbie zoomed in the camera ...
|... and got a solid win of Maersk.
|Slightly to the west, we were looking at the West Side Market in the distance, the Regional Transit Viaduct, and the Carter Lift Bridge (the two bridges in the center of the photo closest to us).
|From here, we could zoom in to see the Foundry area, with the Columbus Road Bridge (left) and the Cuyahoga Viaduct (right).
|We zoomed in even farther for a photo of one of the Cleveland script signs we would be seeing the next day.
|The next set of three windows faced northwest. This view reached to Edgewater Park in the distance and included the west bank of the Flats in the center.
|This view included the Main Avenue Bridge on the left, and the warehouse district in the center.
|The third view included the Cleveland Browns stadium on the water and Key Tower. We zoomed in closer ...
|... to see the Great Lakes Science Center on the left and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the right. Then we zoomed in closer ...
|... to see Voinovich Bicentennial Park. Then we zoomed in as far as our camera would go to ...
|... to see the one of the Cleveland script signs we'd be visiting later in the day.
|Looking down toward the ground, we could see the recently redesigned Public Square and our minivan in the parking lot on the left. (Look closely for Septimus at the bottom end of the third column of cars from the street.)
|Here's the view to the northeast, with a glimpse of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the bottom of the photo and Euclid Avenue and the Arcade in the lower right.
|Looking to the southeast, we see Euclid Avenue on the left side, ...
|... and Progressive Field (back) and Quicken Loans Arena (front), which had just been renamed to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse a few days earlier.
|We got in the van and headed out of the downtown area, past the Cleveland Browns Pit for tailgating, ...
|... and past the Cleveland Browns' stadium, currently named FirstEnergy Stadium.
|We passed the very cool Hilton Cleveland Downtown, ...
|... and the Cleveland Public Power site that features a whale mural painted in 1997 by Robert Wyland, the 75th of 100 whale murals he has painted.
|Our route took us through the Cleveland Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park.
|The gardens are located along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, which passes under several lovely stone bridges.
|Time and energy didn't permit us to get out and walk through the park this time, so instead, here's a photo of as many gardens as we could get. Here's the Azerbaijani garden, ...
|... the Serbian garden, ...
|... another pretty bridge, ...
|... the Ukrainian garden, ...
|... the Latvian garden, ...
|... the Finnish garden, ...
|... the Indian garden, ...
|... and the Pakistani garden (well, the sign, at least, because it is still in the planning stage).
|We passed one last bridge ...
|... and Rockefeller Lagoon on our way out of Rockefeller Park.
|We were now in the land of the many museums, starting with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
|We made a note to visit there someday ...
|... and to figure out what these zoo-like structures are next to it.
|But we were here to see the Cleveland Museum of Art.
|We aren't normally art museum fans, but we had heard great things about this place.
|The exterior is a distinctive grey/black stripe, which proves important later in our story.
|We sailed right on past the museum because we missed the parking garage entrance, but that gave us a chance to see more places we'd like to visit someday, such as the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
|We found ourselves on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, ...
|... where we saw this very cool place, ...
|... the Peter B. Lewis Building.
|We passed a pretty mural.
|Here's another museum: the Museum of Contemporary Art.
|A giant hand sculpture stands guard right outside.
|Check out the interesting sculptures and parking garage in front of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
|We passed Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra.
|Finally, we parked at the museum and headed in around 1:00 PM.
|The center of the museum is awe-inspiring. For a moment, we were overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. So we crossed the atrium and worked our way around.
|We started in the Art from the Islamic World exhibit. This tilework on this piece was exquisite.
|This gorgeous photo shows a woman and a man at prayer facing each other but unable to see each other because of the curtain separating the groups.
|Then we moved through time and cultures pretty quickly. This is an embroidered circle from Italy, 1459.
|Here's a very, very old throne for a king and queen.
|This shiny thing is an Italian belt for a lady's dress, late 1300s.
|This elaborate structure is a French table fountain from the 1300s.
|Here's a German portable altar from the 1200s.
|Here's a great sculpture for your front yard.
|Oooh, pretty mosaic.
|This byzantine box from Constantinople was made from ivory around 1000-1100.
|Sure, he's headless but he's still imposing. This is the Emperor as Philosopher, a Roman sculpture from 180-200 AD.
|Tom: "This is a coffin." Debbie: "No, it's not." Tom: "Yes, it is." Yep, it's a Roman sarcophagus, according to the sign on the wall.
|This piece from Iraq was part of a palace destroyed in 612 BC and rediscovered in 1845.
|Here's a 1740 painting of Piazzo San Marco in Venice by Bernardo Bellotto. We were totally there in 2004, no big deal.
|This 1606 painting of tulips is from Dutch artist Ambrosius Bosschaert.
|This amazingly lifelike 1615 painting of food by Flemish artist Jacob van Hulsdonck was very cool.
|This gorgeous Dutch wood wardrobe is from 1625.
|Here are some tiny Russian imperial family portraits.
|This peacock enameled cigar box from ~1900 is from the House of Fabergé, ...
|... as are these enameled boxes.
|These are some lovely Tiffany glass pieces, ...
|... as is this beautiful stained glass window, created for the Howells Hinds house in 1898.
|This 1905 casement window was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Darwin D. Martin house in Buffalo, New York.
|This stunning, nearly lifesize portrait of Lisa Colt Curtis was painted in 1898 by John Singer Sargent.
|We recognized this as a Frederic Church painting right away, after visiting his home, Olana, in upstate New York last year. This is "Twilight in the Wilderness," painted in 1860.
|Here's another painting by Church: "Storm in the Mountains."
|This huge gilt frame held a fairly small painting by Henry Bone in 1808, ...
|... but it is impressive for its detail and technique of creating a miniature enameled version of a larger famous painting, "Bacchus and Ariadne" by Titian.
|These are colorful porcelain French tureens dating to the 1750s.
|This exquisite silver French tureen features a huge shell in a large lettuce leaf base, with a lobster, a pigeon, and turnips on top.
|The galleries on the top floor were huge atriums.
|The natural light was offset by subtle pinpoint light on the ...
|... wall-mounted weapons.
|This impressive suit of armor covered both horse and rider.
|The detail was incredible, ...
|... right down to the finger armor.
|This German sword from 1574 was larger than Tom.
|Check out the gorgeous handle on it.
|These are basket-hilted broadswords from the 1700s.
|This is a 1578 German wheel-lock hunting pistol.
|This handle on a 1630 pistol featured an elk design crafted from elk horn, ivory, and mother-of-pearl.
|By 2:00, we had made it back to the atrium before heading into the next round of galleries.
|This 1886 Rodin sculpture is titled, "The Heoric Head of Pierre de Wissant, One of the Burghers of Calais."
|Let's put Tom next to him for context.
|Here's some pretty French porcelain from 1903.
|And here's a pretty French wood cabinet from 1910.
|This gigantic 1919 painting is "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet. What? Is this THE Water Lilies painting? Um, no. The dude painted 250 variations on water lilies.
|This is "The Large Plane Trees" by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889.
|Here's "Mount Sainte-Victoire" by Paul Cézanne, 1904.
|Study for "Bathers at Asnières," by Georges Seurat, 1883.
|"Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue," by Piet Mondrian, 1927. Debbie loves this stuff.
|Here we go with the Pablo Picasso paintings, the artist responsible for driving Debbie out of the art world. This is "Bull Skull, Fruit, Pitcher," 1939. Obviously.
|"Harlequin with Violin," 1918. Sure, whatever.
"Bottle, Glass, Fork," 1911-1912. How was this guy so famous? It makes no sense.
|This wood relief is more to her taste: "Forest," 1916, by French artist Jean Arp.
|This is Salvador Dali's "The Dream," 1931.
|Here's Debbie photographing the details for ...
|... "Cliffs Beyond Abiquiu, Dry Waterfall," by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1943.
|"January," by Grant Wood, 1940.
|This colorful piece is "Power Plant II," by Charmion von Wiegand, 1949. We photographed it primarily because of her last name.
|This is "Sky Cathedral-Moon Garden Wall," by Louise Nevelson, 1956. She once described herself as an architect of shadows, and that is evident in this all-black piece.
|This stunning glass piece is "Matrix Series: Catenary Ellipsoid...Bi" by Cleveland artist Brent Kee Young, 2010.
|This gorgeous Art Deco screen was created in 1930 by Paul Rehér, an artist at Rose Iron Works, a Cleveland company.
|Debbie was too busy making this art piece a backdrop on her phone to remember to photograph the details that went with this. Perhaps it was a Lalique piece? We don't know.
|Oooh, we do love a nice wooden sculpture.
|This one made us seriously consider art theft. It's titled "Treasure Box," by Ai Weiwei, 2014.
|Here's "Marilyn x 100", one of Andy Warhol's large series of Marilyn Monroe prints, 1962.
|Here's a closer look.
|These Kehinde Wiley portraits immediately brought to mind his portrait of Barack Obama, which we saw in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery last year.
|This cool 2004 image by Chris Levine was a lenticular portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which looked three dimensional as you moved past it.
|This beautiful image of a son with his father's arm around him is titled "Aiyal (Generations)" by Maitha Demithan, 2012.
|This slide projector projects an image of a light switch on the wall. Unfortunately, our photo didn't pick up the light switch image, but it was really fun how realistic it looked. The notes for this work, appropriately titled "Light Switch" (Ceal Floyer, 1992), indicate that other versions of this work reflect the range of light switches that are found around the world.
|This huge piece is titled "Last Judgment," by Greg Parma Smith, 2016.
|Next up: an entire gallery devoted to Swedish design, ...
|... starting with this Swedish glass.
|A closer look at the vase on the right shows intricate zebra designs in the glass. It was created by Victor Lindstrand at Orrefors Glasbruk in 1939.
|Here's a 1937 wood cabinet with floral designs on it, created by Josef Frank.
|This 1952 linen piece is based on a wall painting from 1801.
|Next up: Japan. This is a cooking vessel from about 2500 BC.
|Here is one of several beautiful Japanese screens.
|By 3:00, we were exhausted. We returned to the atrium for a little rest and some water. On our way out, we took a closer look at this garden which featured wavy surfaces. How do they water this thing evenly?
|We spent a little time in the gift shop before leaving. Debbie bought the grey and black striped t-shirt shown here, because it mimicked the exterior of the museum.
|We had seen these wooden bowls two months earlier in a Scandinavian shop in Red Wing, Minnesota, but hadn't gotten a photo of them, so here you go.
|Debbie had noticed the Ohio license plate design on Tom's mom's car the day before, and the words "Red Carnation" had jumped out at her. That evening, a sign at our hotel noted that the carnation is the state flower. We hadn't known this before, so hearing it twice in one day was pretty surprising. We snapped a photo of a car in the museum lot to remember this.
|Here's the t-shirt Debbie bought. it turns out that the stripes on the back and on one sleeve are much wider than the ones on the front and other sleeve. This is very deeply distressing, and not at all visible on the packaged shirt. Sigh. No wonder it was on sale.
|Our route to our next destination took us past the Cultural Gardens again, so here we go!
|Here is the Ethiopian garden (currently in development), ...
|... the Irish garden, ...
|... the Syrian garden, ...
|... the stairs up to Hebrew garden, ...
|... the Estonian garden, ...
|... the Croatian garden, ...
|... the Hungarian garden, ...
|... the American garden (in front), the German garden (on the hill), ...
|... the Lithuanian garden, ...
|... the Greek garden, ...
|... the Italian garden, ...
|... the Slovak garden (up the hill), ...
|... the African American garden, ...
|... the Romanian garden, ...
|... the Armenian garden, ...
|... the Vietnamese garden (in development), ...
|... and the Albanian garden.
|It's been 10 years since our daughter and our money went to Kent State, but this sign reminded us.
|We headed to Euclid Beach Park. It used to be an amusement park from 1895 to 1969, but now it is a city park.
|A few structures still exist from the amusement park rides and roller coasters that used to be here, but this pier appeared to be very newly built or renovated. The arches featured scenes from the old park, such as a carousel and the famous entrance arch.
|This one depicts some rides.
|We were here to find one of the Cleveland script signs. We looked all around and couldn't find it ...
|... until we peered much further down the beach.
|We were so tired of walking but somehow we trudged down there. It helped that we got off the sand and onto a sidewalk up the hill.
|We made it! Debbie got a photo of the sign.
|Here it is.
|This is the one Debbie posted to Facebook with the caption, "I am in Cleveland!"
|We then headed back toward town on 90, which is noted as being part of the Lake Erie Circle Tour.
|Birds covered a manmade breakwater in the lake.
|While heading to our next destination, we passed another GuitarMania statue.
|We passed Goldhorn Brewery, ...
|... and Sterle's Country House, en route to ...
|... the Apple Cart.
|It's a small ice cream shop that specializes in soft serve ice treats.
|We both went with the blue raspberry dip for our ice cream cones, ...
|... but Tom chose the chocolate-vanilla mix and Debbie went with strawberry-vanilla inside.
|Next, we headed to Burke Lakefront Airport, where these F-4s were on display.
|Tom took time out of his busy day to explain to Debbie that F-4s are the only plane with tailwings facing down and wings with edges that go up.
|We arrived at the airport but couldn't find any parking that looked available, so we parked at a paid lot a block away. We later saw lots of cars just parked curbside.
|So, we walked past the USS Cod Submarine Memorial (more on that later) ...
|... and this extremely millennial software company in a boat, complete with Agile-style Post-it notes stuck to the windows.
|We were here to visit the International Women's Air and Space Museum.
|It is a series of exhibits arranged throughout the airport terminal, so there's no entrance fee or specific hours outside of the terminal hours.
|The gift shop has specific hours, but it was closed.
|We were the only people there, and we only saw one or two people pass by during our visit, so we had the exhibits to ourselves.
|This wall featured female astronauts, ...
|... with a second display to include the newer ones.
|There was an exhibit on Katharine Wright Haskell, sister of the Wright Brothers.
|LEGO's Women of NASA collection had its own display with additional information about each of the four women included in the set.
|One of her quotes was displayed overhead this Sally Ride display: "I can't remember a single time my parents ever told me not to do something I wanted to do."
|Of course, there was an Amelia Earhart display.
|This was a display on Bessie Coleman, the first African American and first Native American women to hold a pilot's license.
|There was an excellent display on the women in the Mercury space program.
|Here's a vintage flying outfit, ...
|... and here's another.
|Additional displays covered various women in military service.
|We were here primarily for the space stuff and we were not disappointed.
|This NASA exhibit was geared toward kids but it was fun.
|Here's how to eat, ...
|... exercise, ...
|... sleep, ...
|... poop, ...
|... and move in space.
|Mmmm, delicious space food.
|This machine was the first soft drink dispenser used in space. In 1995, it flew on the space shuttle Discovery and the astronauts on board tested how space affected the taste and how well the carbonation held up. If we can have Diet Coke in space, all we need are French fries and Debbie will happily accompany Tom into space. Just kidding! That claustrophobia is going to be a showstopper.
|But it's a shame, because she looks so good in a space suit.
|By 5:00 PM, we were heading back to our van and checking out the USS Cod again.
|Here's a closer look at the decoration on the side. What does it all mean? I guess we'll have to take the tour to find out.
|A rabbit hopped by the other side of the fence from us, so we included him in this photo. He's hiding under the shrub on the left.
|We moved our car from one parking lot to another one less than a half mile away, but at this point, our legs were shot so we were keeping walking to a minimum. Here's the view of downtown Cleveland from Voinovich Bicentennial Park.
|Of course, we were here to collect another Cleveland script sign.
|It was now Tom's turn to be in Cleveland.
|We got a closer shot of the cool Rock and Roll Hall of Fame building ...
|... and the Great Lakes Science Center.
|Here's a happy bird.
|Here's an unhappy fish.
|We were starving and decided to spend our next free hour at the single restaurant here, visible on the left in this photo.
|Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar was packed, but immediate seating was available outdoors if we were interested.
|You bet we are! Cheers!
|Tom figured out that he could make art by photographing the sun and the fencing through his beer.
|Debbie followed suit ...
|... and was able to just barely capture the Cleveland script sign in her beer. In addition to creating beer art, we agreed that we would amend the Bundlings Helsinki Rule to apply to domestic travel locations as well: if you have the time and the opportunity to have outdoor beverages, do it.
|We had an expensive appetizer each to go with our beers, even though we were just an hour away from prepaid all-you-can-consume beer and food. That's calamari on the left and empanadas on the right. Tasty.
|It was after 6:30 PM when we left the restaurant.
|We drove past the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame, which did not go under photographed this trip. Don't be concerned because we did actually visit the museum with our kids in 2002.
|We passed this very cool firefighter sculpture ...
|... on our way into the Great Lakes Science Center parking garage.
|We changed clothes in our van, then headed in.
|Yuri's Night! This was the main reason for our weekend trip - to celebrate all things space-related in honor of Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space.
|The stage was set, ...
|... and the balloons and rockets were suspended, ...
|... so it was time to stand in line, ...
|... pick up our tickets, ...
|... and get this party started. Platform Brewery was one of the sponsors, and we had a nice selection of beverages to choose from.
|Debbie went with Seltzer Project Strawberry Lemonade, a hard seltzer, and Tom got Ritual in Repeat, an IPA.
|Our party tickets included admission to the entire museum, so off we went to go play.
|Debbie had a seat in a mock Mercury capsule.
|Tom got to live his astronaut dream for one brief moment.
|Food buffets were set up around the museum. We passed on these sandwiches, fully expecting to have some later, but there was so much other food that we didn't come back to them.
|Instead, we got in this line, ...
|... and loaded our small bamboo plates, ...
|... with veggie meatballs, beef Wellington bites, ...
|... bread, and veggies.
|We smiled when we saw similar life-in-space exhibits as those we had seen just a couple of hours earlier. Here's how you exercise ...
|... and eat in space.
|Tom played with a wind tunnel, ...
|... and a rocket launcher, ...
|... and a flight simulator.
|He also got to drive this rocket. Correction: he got to stand behind a window-shaped hole in this rocket-shaped wall.
|Oooooh, pretty International Space Station model! Tom immediately started analyzing it to see how current it was.
|There were some fantastic costumes on the attendees, and they were happy to pose for a photo on request. This guy was wearing really cool pale contacts and Debbie's biggest regret in life is not getting an in-focus photo of him.
|Hey, this is also the location of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, so this counts as an official air and space museum! We're doing our best to visit an average of one per vacation, and this was our second already on this trip. Score!
|This room had a really big Apollo command module.
|There was also a smaller one next to a space shuttle landing simulator.
|Let's get a closer look.
|Much closer. Can you imagine being trapped like this for nine days? Nope nope nope.
|Here's a model of the Apollo lunar module.
|We love seeing moon rocks (AKA lunar samples). This one was in the same acrylic pyramid as the one we may have seen (but did not photograph) at Kennedy Space Center in 2013. We know this only because a friend posted a photo of it on social media a few days later.
|Tom tried his hand at a lunar module landing simulator.
|We met Steve and Joyce who were in excellent Space Balls costumes, ...
|... but normally, they can be found in their Ghostbusters costumes doing charity events.
|We spent a few minutes in the gift shop but didn't end up buying anything. After a few dozen air and space museum gift shops, you run out of things to buy.
|But don't think for a second that we didn't stare at these for a while.
|It was starting to get dark outside. We couldn't leave the building but it might have been nice to sit outside in the nice weather for a little bit.
|Meanwhile, it was getting more colorful inside.
|These adorable little satellites appeared to have been made out of paper plates and cardboard. Fun craft idea for kids at home!
|This one looked like a replica of a Soviet LK lunar lander.
|Speaking of homemade satellites, here are some excellent costumes.
|Here's another great costume.
|There was a photobooth for attendees. These two were dressed as Arthur Dent and Trillian from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
|Here are Buzz Lightyear and the Terminator T-1000.
|When it was our turn, we realized that we had no idea where the photos were going to go - could we get a copy? Would they be posted? Did they just get deleted?
|So we went through a second time and took a photo of our photo. Low tech wins the day!
|We were wearing our Zero-G jumpsuits from our weightlessness experience last year. It's nice to get some more use out of them! It was also nice that they have lots of pockets, including a front pocket large enough to hold a can of beer.
|By 8:30 PM, the atrium was hopping ...
|... a master of ceremonies was on stage, ...
|... and some folks had taken to the dance floor.
|Meanwhile, Han and Leia were at the photo booth, ...
|... and were joined by our Space Balls acquaintances.
|Oh, if only we were nerdy enough to identify these great costumes.
|Star Trek representin'!
|Hanging over the escalators was this replica of the Mars Pathfinder, which was the first spacecraft to use airbags as a landing system on another planet.
|Part of the fun was a series of challeges throughout the museum, each marked with an Infinity Stone ...
|... and a sign explaining the challenge.
|The Reality Stone challenge involved throwing three balls into red buckets with Chris Pratt's face on it. If you got a ball in one of the buckets with the real Starlord inside, you got an Infinity Bracelet.
|We played some more.
|This maglev train display reminded us of our maglev ride in Shanghai in 2008.
|Tom's future is so bright.
|We picked up our next Infinity Bracelet at the Power Stone station, ...
|... where we channeled static electricity through our hair and tinsel wands like these people did.
|While we waited in line, we got another photo of some great costumes.
|After claiming our bracelets, we ducked into this mirrored triangle to get some cool photos of ourselves. This selfie was fine ...
|... but this one was the clear winner.
|As you can see, much fun was being had.
|Here's a hexagon marble display ...
|... and a refractory angle marble display.
|Sorry, ladies, this guy is taken.
|We were on the third floor by now, so we were much closer to those balloons. We don't known when they finally dropped, but it was after we left.
|The view from up here was great.
|Here's the winning shot of the night.
|The dance floor was heating up. And is that an Infinity Stone station down there? Patience, gentle reader. We'll get there.
|The Time Stone challenge was up next.
|You had to get the ball into the bucket, which is even easier than it sounds.
|We loved these jerseys, especially the number on them. Nerds know why.
|Tom fell in love with the Mars Rover. No, Tom, you can't take it home. Leave it on the surface of Mars where you found it.
|Here's a display of astronauts from Ohio, similar to the list of astronauts from Wisconsin we had seen the previous month.
|This fun infinity stone station involved hitting a golf ball into a black hole at the end.
|There were science shows ...
|... in a great mini-auditorium that featured mini-science activities in each section. We didn't stay for one but it sounded fun.
|We got our photo taken in our excellent jumpsuits with our brand new friend.
|This infinity stone challenge was a science trivia contest where you used pieces of putty to complete a circuit to buzz in.
|We worked our way down to the dance floor, ...
|... and found the Soul Stone station, ...
|... then we busted a move on the dance floor to earn our final Infinity Bracelet.
|Here they are! So good looking.
|Speaking of good looking, here we are.
|It was 10:00 PM by now and we were exhausted, but we made another trip into the Glenn Visitor Center to catch what we had missed earlier. This John Glenn quote is pretty great: "We have an infinite amount to learn both from nature and from each other."
|This display included (l-r): an Apollo chamber suit, a space suit worn during a skywalk to repair Skylab, and a Skylab flight suit.
|This timeline of the exploration of space was pretty up-to-date, much to Tom's delight.
|Here we have it: the main reason for Yuri's Night celebrations across the globe. This guy went into space before we were even born. Cool.
|The party continued to midnight but we were headed out by 10:15 PM.
|Cleveland was brightly lit in purple on Terminal Tower ...
|... and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
|We passed Progressive Field again, ...
|... and were back at our hotel for a well-deserved night's sleep.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy