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Entries in Museum (10)

Sunday
Jan292012

Glasgow

We had a far better night's sleep and woke a lot fresher this morning. We had breakfast around 08:30 to avoid the 09:00 rush and as we were heading out at 10:30 we were amazed to see a large queue to get in for breakfast. It looked like some people would be waiting for 15 - 20 minutes before they could be seated for breakfast.

We took a taxi to the Riverside Museum to see the contents of the transport museum. I believe this used to be situated by the Kelvin museum but it had been closed the last two years when we had visited Glasgow.

Contrary to our taxi driver not being too impressed by it, I thought it was a wonderful exhibition. I absolutely love old street reconstructions with shops and other building you can go in to and thought this was really well done. There was an impressive collection of cars and bikes, mostly on shelves attached to the walls. It would have been nice to be able to look closer at these cars as it was harder to see the ones on the upper shelves but I suppose space constraints would have made this difficult. Make sure to check out the upper level of the museum as the lift and the stairs aren't very obvious and easy for some people to miss.

We took another taxi to the Glasgow Quay area where we had a Chinese buffet and a few beers before spending the next few ideas watching a couple of films in the Odeon cinema. I managed to fall asleep and snore during both The Descendants and Sherlock Holmes films.

Saturday
Mar262011

Birmingham

My wife wanted to look around more shops this morning. This obviously didn't appeal to me, so I set off on foot to find the Thinktank science museum with he aid of Google Maps on my iPhone.

It was about a 30 minute walk from the hotel and I soon found it. It was a huge place and I noted the IAMX cinema for future reference. The entrance to the science museum was on the second floor and from what I could see it seemed to be aimed at children. After checking with the ticket staff that it wasn't just for kids I paid the entrance fee and headed in.

I was beginning to feel suckered as there were mainly children looking at fairly basic science exhibits. At one stage I was looking at the fossilised remains of some ancient crocodile or alligator and there was some wheel with attached teeth nearby and you were expected to work out which animal had attached the crocodile.

"Can you work out which one bit it yet?" said a bright young assistant, skipping up to me. "Err, no" I replied, suppressing the urge to tell her I was old enough to be her father or grandfather, and I wasn't really that interested, but it was better than shopping.

"You just turn the wheel and press the button" she said, encouragingly. I refrained from saying "What? The wheel which has probably been handled by dozens of nose picking, bottom scratching, willy squeezing kids already this morning" and said nothing. By now she probably thought the whole concept was too complicated for an old duffer so she kindly showed me how to do it and it turned out that some giant dolphin type creature had been brave or stupid enough to take a bite out of the crocodile.

I politely thanked her and was beginning to feel that perhaps shopping was a better alternative when I saw through an opening in the floor a huge steam engine, a Spitfire, a Hurricane and more on the ground floor. Spotting another your assistant I rushed up and asked "There? How do I get there?" while pointing excitedly at the exhibits two floors below. It seems that there is a child in all of us.

The next hour or more was spent marveling at huge steam engines, land speed record holding cars and more before I eventually broke away and headed back to the Canal Side Cafe at Gas Street Basin where I'd arranged to meet my wife for lunch.

During the afternoon we decided to go to the IMAX cinema at Millennium Point, the complex that also housed the Thinktank Science Museum I had visited that morning. I tried booking tickets online using my iPhone but it seemed that the tickets were going to be posted to me, not much use when I wasn't at home and it was for tonight's viewing, so I decided not to chance just getting a reference number that would maybe do instead and buy they tickets on the door instead.

We'd thought we'd be "brave" in the evening any try Yo Sushi! for the first time. During the afternoon we had a look at the menu to see if there were vegetarian options, which there were, so we ventured in before going to the cinema, declared ourselves Yo Sushi virgins to the person who showed us to our seats and had a crash course on how it all worked. I really enjoyed the experience, probably helped by the large bottle and giant can of Japanese beer I had during the meal. We then took a taxi to the IMAX cinema.

It felt strange finally sitting down to see Avatar for the first time. We had meant to go and see it plenty of times in the past, but had never got around to it. We had also bought the DVD when it first came out and I'd even ripped it into iTunes and it was sitting on two of our three Apple TVs but we'd still not watched it. Needless to say the film was enjoyable, if slightly predictable, and I was left in awe of James Cameron's film making abilities.


Monday
Sep292008

Bradford & Bingley

After a large breakfast we packed and checked out. The news that morning was all about the trouble that Bradford & Bingley were in, so after visiting Bradford yesterday we decided to head off to Bingley this morning. We didn't stop for long in Bingley and our next stop was Keighley. We found we could just about fit in a return rail trip on the Keighley and Worth Valley Light Railway but we then discovered it would be by diesel train and not a steam train so we decided to leave it until we had another short break in the area.

Photo: Keighley Station, Keighley and Worth Valley Light Railway

We then headed for Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. We're not literature fans but it looked and mildly interesting place to visit. After finding a suitable car park where we wouldn't be clamped we walked to the museum only to find the cameras weren't allowed inside so as we weren't that fussed about the museum anyway we thought "bugger them" and walked around the church and steep street instead. The sun was nice and warm for a late September day so we enjoyed a coffee outside before returning the the car.

Photo: Haworth Cemetery and the Bronte Parsonage

We had the obligatory stop in the Arndale Centre in Manchester next, but not before enjoying some of the beautiful scenery of the dales on the way. After shopping in Manchester we returned to Liverpool for the return ferry crossing back to the Isle of Man.

Footnote: I later found out that a previous work colleague, Julie Gibson, died today. She was diagnosed with cancer only a few short weeks ago

Sunday
May112008

Route 66 (Day 11) - Santa Fe

We had a good breakfast in the hotel and then walked up the street, past the park, to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi and then went to The Institute Of American Indian Arts Museum.

We then took a open bus tour around Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. After the tour we headed back to the hotel. My mother rested for a while before going to church for the evening service. My wife went shopping (naturally) and I walked back to the park to sit in the sun for a while and watch the world go by. I was really getting to like Santa Fe.

Photo: Harley Davidson in Santa Fe

After a good while I started to walk back to the hotel when I met my mother walking to church. As she was far to early for the service we sat in the park for a while and then I walked her to church before heading back to the hotel. My wife was still out shopping so I headed up to the rooftop pool and hot tub. I sat in the tub for a while and was just getting out when my wife arrived back. We then headed back to the room and rested for a while before meeting up with my mother and going out to an Italian restaurant for our evening meal.

I’ve enjoyed our stay in Santa Fe, it’s been very picturesque and relaxing.

Photo: Porsche in Santa Fe

Thursday
May082008

Route 66 (Day 8) - Okalahoma to Amarillo

Despite the thunder and lightening we had a fairly good night’s sleep in the Hilton. Watching the news and weather channels it seemed that they were a few tornados passing through nearby areas and also lot of heaver rain. We had a buffet breakfast in the hotel and then loaded the car in the car park and headed off in the torrential downpour. The rain was far heavier than I’d ever seen before and driving on the highway was more than a bit scary. I used to think that Hollywood always exaggerated the amount to rain on can windscreens in movies but even with the wipers on full speed I could hardly see to drive. Luckily all of the other traffic on the interstate was also driving along at around 30 mph instead of the usual 60 – 70 mph.

We stopped at the Air and Space Museum in Weatherfield. The museum was better than I’d expected it to be and I was surprised that a museum like that would be in what I thought was a small town. We could hear a lot of thunder and heavy rain while we were inside and it continued when we came out. Rather than chance driving in those conditions we sat in the car for a good while for the storm to pass. When it eventually did pass we headed off through flooded local roads to the interstate where we briefly stopped at to Clinton before heading on the Elk City.

Photo: National Route 66 Museum and Old Town Museum, Elk City

We stopped in Elk City to visit the National Route 66 Museum and the next door Old Town Museum Complex and Farm and Ranch Museum. After having another Subway we headed off down the interstate for the two hour drive to Amarillo in Texas and our stop for the night at the Big Texan.

Photo: Big Texan Steak House Accommodation

The accommodation was laid out like a street in an old cowboy town and the famous Big Texan Steak House was just across the parking lot. I decided not to try their free 72oz steak challenge and settled for a 16oz steak while my wife and my mother didn’t have any meat at all. I made up for it though by having two very large beers. One bloke tried the 72oz steak challenge but he failed miserably.

Photo: Big Texan Steak House