5/50 NYC Adventures: American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History.

I understand that it's the first day of Spring today. While that's precious news to most of you, I hate to admit that its still 30 degrees where I live. I'm not exactly feeling the springtime yet. And what's a gal to do when its freezing in the city? Visit the zillions of museums! We live really close to the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side in NYC, and every time we walk by, Stevie gives me the puppy eyes. He always wants to go in. Ugh, such a life-long learner.

So a few weeks back, we made a day-date plan to visit and brush up on our, well, natural history. (Side note: Since getting pregnant, I have really been digging the "day dates", AKA, the "I'm too tired by 6pm to even think about going out for an entire evening" date. It's been a really fun alternative to those wonderful days of yore, when we used to get dress up and go out for a cocktail and dinner. Sigh.) But back to the dinosaurs - Okay, I have to admit: It was kind of cool. There are FOSSILS. Of serious dinosaurs. I don't know about you, but I just never think about dinosaurs. Like, I haven't even considered their existence since I heard about them in elementary school. But dinosaurs! They used to roam this Earth! And man, were they BIG. It's actually pretty fascinating. I sound like a big dork right now, so just let me show you:

// Baby got back. //

// Doesn't it hurt just to look at it? //

// That turtle is as big as a VW Beetle //

// I can't even. //

// Why the surprise? Um, they found two cow-sized remains inside the stomach of this dino when they dug it up. COW SIZED. //

// Kind of glad these don't roam anymore. Just sayin'. I'm about to have a kid, you know? //


// He's cute isn't he. His hair fluffs. //

// It's funny to me that this is a decor trend right now. IT'S AN ANIMAL HEAD. //

// Raar. //

// Stuffed critters. //

Death and All It's Friends.

Huge, right?? And to be honest, the museum itself is pretty impressive. It's beautiful and old and everything you would think about a New York-ish museum. We toured through the gorgeous Akeley Hall of African Animals that inspired Night at the Museum (and for you Friends buffs, also where Ross and Rachel first... well, you know.) and marveled at the impressively real-life looking stuffed animals. No, I don't mean like the fluffy ones you take to bed, I mean like taxidermy. Like Norman Bates.

Exhibits of Nausea.

The other element of the museum that could have been really cool (but maybe not the best choice for 1st trimester pregnant ladies) is the Heilbrunn Cosmic Pathway. This swirling path centers around the Hayden Sphere, taking us on a 13-billion-year historical journey through space, big-bang style. Yeah, it was a little yawny, I'll admit, but not nearly as nauseating at getting to the Hayden Planetarium. Stevie REAAAALLLY wanted to see the 3D Exhibition Dark Universe, which turned out to be a movie that you watch by looking directly up. Like, crane your neck and watch the ceiling for 30 minutes. Tickets to see the film cost $25 a piece, but we thought it would be a really amazing/educational/life-changing experience (oh, stupid advertising). Unfortunately, Dark Universe did not live up to the hype. Cuz it made me want to die. The interactive film moves you through the Milky Way like you're on a ride at Universal. Ugh I get dizzy just writing about it... I had to close my eyes to keep from tossing my cookies. And then, with my eyes happily closed, I couldn't help but drift... off to sleep. Oops. Probably the biggest waste of money we've spent since coming to New York. (Ha, did you believe that?! Everything here is overpriced.) But seriously, that one was a big bummer. And obviously, my opinion is completely skewed because I was still in my 1st tri when we visited. It could have been a better experience, perhaps... if you're into space stuff? I realized that I'm not. And Stevie? Now he wants to travel so space more than EVER. So maybe the Dark Universe charms worked on him.