Our Trip To New England, August 2004


The Boston Museum of Science adorned with the One Ring. To my great regret, though not to my surprise, there was no photography allowed in the LOTR exhibit, which was amazing. I swear that my heart flipped when I saw the model of Boromir in the boat and I might have had sniffles were it not for a couple of girls who could have been no more than 18 squealing, "Ohmigod, this is, like, the closest we are ever going to get to SEAN BEAN!"

Other highlights: the various green-screen and effects demonstrations, the Middle Earth measurement wall (I'm a dwarf, as is Daniel; Adam is a hobbit, and Paul "might be human"), the detail up close in Aragorn and Theoden's costumes, and all the armor of the Rohirrim.

Looking up at the space exhibit, which includes models of the International Space Station and Shuttle Discovery and a walk-in capsule, though we missed the planetarium.

A model of the shipyards in Boston Harbor of bygone days. The museum also has dinosaurs, an impressive collection of mounted insects and stuffed animals, half a floor devoted to human anatomy and fetal development, a display of models of everything from how the pyramids were built to how Mount Everest was first climbed, and a section of hands-on science where kids could build and test miniature solar-powered cars.

Here are the kids in the mathematics area that Daniel loved.

A jellyfish and Adam's reflection at the New England Aquarium. We came here in part to see Prisoner of Azkaban on the IMAX screen, which was also amazing...partly because I noticed things in Lupin's office and the Great Hall and Hagrid's hut that I had never been able to see before, and partly just because the experience is so all-encompassing with that kind of sound and scope that it feels less like being in a theater and more like being in the movie -- flying a hippogriff and riding a broom!

The aquarium has three species of penguins in large open tanks, including these African penguins...

...the Little Blue penguins, Adam's favorite, which caused a great crisis inadvertently as he got one of those flattened pennies with a penguin etched on it which he then promptly lost and cried over...

...and these lovely Rockhoppers that parade around looking quite snooty compared to the other browless swimming folk.

A phosphorescent sea walnut from the jellyfish exhibit.

A Mandarin fish, one of the loveliest reef-dwellers I have ever seen, though the other kids were more interested in finding Nemo in the tank.