Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Virginia Air and Space Museum

On our way back from Virginia Beach we had planned to make a stop at the Virginia Air and Space Museum. Although we have visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC so many times, we were curious as to what other such museums had on display. We were not certain the visit would be worth it, but we stopped anyway, tempted by the lack of crowds, the free admission and the need to stretch our legs at least once before making our long journey to Columbia. Looking back after having sat in traffic for four hours we were glad we made that stop.

The museum was much smaller than the one in the nation's capital, but I felt the space was much more open. I attributed that to the fact that we were not bumping shoulders with tourists the whole time which was a nice change. We toured at our leisure and the kids were able to experience almost all the displays, many of which were hands-on. Their journey started with the kids' area, the heart of which was a hot-air balloon.

Then there were the slides and the model airplane.

There were real airplanes, of course. Some you were able to ride in and fly,

and others to guide through the take-off. 

Once done with the ground floor, we headed up to the second which housed even more kid-friendly activities. There we inspected space shuttles, model aircraft carriers, and a collection of old fashioned radios that was housed in the Amateur Radio satellite station.

JR and Yousef rode the treadmill,

built rockets,

and drove the space racer.

But the best part of the visit, in my opinion, was the ladies' room.

Before we left the museum, JR and I went to the bathroom. On our way in, we saw a lady heading out shaking her hands dry. Trying to make conversation I asked, "isn't there a hand dryer in the bathroom?" "I didn't see one," she answered, "unless it is hooked to the sink," she completed. And she was right! There was the Dyson's Airblade Tap Dryer floating above the sink.

And we spotted it after seeing it on the flat screen TV hung on the bathroom wall playing the "How-To" video of the faucet/dryer contraption. Yes, the TV was there solely for the purpose of guiding bathroom users to the hand dyer.

And to assist them even more, there were printed instructions by the sink. My guess is that the museum had quite a few confused people walking out of their bathroom!

It was certainly a museum of discovery, down to its ladies' room.

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