Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spring Break Saga: The Finale

On our last day of Spring Break Vacation, we traveled down to Ogden and went to the Dinosaur Museum.  The kids loved it, and so did Andy and I.  There were to scale and some life-sized statue replicas of many different kinds of dinosaurs all over the park.  Each one had a sign telling you if the statue was to scale, or if it was the true size of the dinosaur, and then would also explain when the dinosaur lived, and where it's fossils are found, what it ate, etc.  It was very interesting.  We spent several hours here wandering around reading and taking pictures.  
 
We started with the T-Rex of course.  And another thing that made this place amazing for the kids was that it had speakers placed all over outside along the walking paths with sounds imitating what scientists believe the dinosaurs sounded like.  So, as you were walking along, you could try to imagine that you were walking through Ogden canyon millions of years ago and listening to the sounds of dinosaurs. 


At first I don't think Lainey knew what to think about everything.  The dinosaurs were so big and looked so foreign to her!
 

I can't remember the scientific name of this dinosaur, but it was something about "mother."  This particular dinosaur would stay near her eggs until they hatched, and watch over them fiercely if needed.

 

And here is Taylor, continuing his trend of posing for silly pictures.  He was so entertaining this trip.
Here is the gang next to the "Sarah" dinosaur.  The kids were so funny, they would refer to the dinosaurs by name if they were the kind of dinosaur's that were animated in the movies "the Land Before Time".  This Stegosaurus is a life-sized adult.  It was huge.


Okay, now we all had to get a little silly.  We couldn't help it, we had to stand right under this one's mouth and scream.  I love Brooklynn's expression the best.  What a fun, silly group of kids!


There were also water dinosaurs displayed.  This one in the background looked to us like a modern day dolphin.  But the science didn't make any sense to me, because dinosaurs were reptiles, and dolphins are mammals.  So...if we go with the theory of evolution then the dolphin used to NOT be a mammal?  Well, it was a pretty neat statue anyway.
 

I forget all the names of these, and I know this one is not a triceratops even though it looks like one from the front horns.  We just had fun taking pictures in front of all of them.
Lainey really liked this small blue one.  She kept coming over to it, I think she thought it was pretty.  This one was life-sized as well.  Whenever I think of dinosaurs, I always imagine the big huge ones...there were a lot of small ones as well that looked just as dangerous!
This was a fun little area.  There was a small stream coming through, and they had old pans and lots of iron pyrite.  So the kids "panned for gold" for a little while.  Rachel actually found a stone that is either a small diamond or a small cubic zirconia.  It's about a quarter karat-sized and she was SO excited.  I felt really bad for whoever lost it from their ring...and who knows how long ago that was.  We told her we'd take her in to a jeweler to see if it was worth putting into a setting for her.  She was estatic!


Matthew also really liked the fossil dig area.  There were different sets of skeletons under the sand, and they had brushes for the kids to use to gently brush away the sand.  Matthew uncovered a bunch of bones, as well as a nest of eggs.  (All cast stone of course, not real fossils!)




Soon he recruited Taylor to come help him.  I love watching my two boys do things together.  Taylor is 7 years older than Matthew, but they seem to have a lot of fun together in spite of the age difference.

And of course little stripey-pants Lainey had to get in on the fossil-digging action.
She had to have her Taylor help her out.  Lainey loves her big brother Taylor, and often takes things to show him, or asks him to hold her hand, or to help her with something she's working on.  A lot of times it's like 11 year old Taylor is 2 year-old Lainah's "knight in shining armor."  I love it.
And before we knew it, Rachel and Brooklynn had had enough panning for gold and wanted to try fossil diggin as well.  Again, after watching all 5 kids enjoy this so much, I thought to myself that I really just needed to go buy a load of sand, throw some rocks in the bottom, and give them each a tiny paintbrush and tell them to find the rocks.  I'd have at least a couple of hours free time to....read, or nap....or blog!  Ha ha!
Whenever we go somewhere where ther are these funny wood scene cutouts...my kids HAVE to get their pictures taken in them.  So here we go.  Matthew and Rachel...
Matthew and Brooklynn...
Yes, Taylor is STILL being a goof.  He just cracks me up!  He was even doing sound effects for us all.
Hey!  How did I get into that picture!?  Hmm...maybe I'm the reason my kids love these so much!  I love them too!
This one is my all time favorite of this trip.  Lainah would not leave until I took her picture with this one.  She LOVED the pink dinosaur.  I just can't stop laughing each time I look at little Lainey-Lou...the Cavewoman with her pet Dinosaur...Pepto! 
Here are some actual fossils that the kids could touch.  I thought that was really neat to see them in the rocks before they are dug out.  Pretty weird to touch them and know that you are touching the literal remains of these ancient creatures.
Yes.  I might have to agree with the sign....They may try to look innocent, but watch out!
Next to one of the play areas, they had Fred and Wilma Flintstone's house with Dino at the side window!  Matthew was the first to meet and ride Dino.  (And truth be told, I really wanted to jump on for a ride myself...)

Lainah had fun climbing up and then sliding down the shell of this turtle guy.  The play areas were really fun here, there were plenty of things for the kids to climb on, that's for sure! 
And inside they had these fossils on display.  I loved this part.  The lighting inside made it difficult for us to get any decent pictures with our camera so we don't have very many, but we spent a lot of time in here, it was great.  It reminded me a little bit of the Natural History Museum in Washington D.C., it even had a woolly mammoth...but this was a lot less busy!


On the upper level of the museum, they have a room full of glass displays filled with different precious stones.  Taylor, Rachel, and I especially enjoyed looking at all of them.  They had everything from diamonds, to amethysts, to turquoise, to jade.  It was amazing to see all of the different colors and samples.  They had some that were set into jewelry and that had been donated over the years to the museum, and they were absolutely beautiful!  In this room they also had salt crystals from the Great Salt Lake on display.  They were really neat too.  Overall, it was a fun and amazing place to take our family!  I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area!

After our day at the museum, we spent our last night of vacation in Eden, Utah at the Wolf Creek condominiums (which the kids loved) and then headed home for Nampa the next morning.

I think it was the best Spring Break ever!