New York – Day At The Museum

Its certainly not a dream we’re having.

Even if it was, it wouldn’t be a nice dream.

It wouldn’t even be a decent nightmare. It would just be an annoying one. Throughout the entire night, we have been showered with sirens bleating through the faintest of spaces surrounding our window frame. We’ve both been in an out of sleep. Not to mention that I was wide awake till about 2am, with my mind running wild with business ideas and possible opportunities for us to pursue in the future.

The alarm goes off at 7am, but after not very much convincing, Bec resets her alarm for another half hour. That works just perfectly for me. I nod back off to sleep, and it is glorious sleep at that.

Today’s plan is to head to the American Museum of Natural History. The cool thing about this, is that this is where Night at The Museum was filmed. This, I was more excited about, than anything else. We attempted to get in here with Micky and Damo a few days ago, but spent too much time dicking around and trying to come up with a way to get in for free or cheap, while still avoiding the mammoth queue, so we had to leave. This time, we would drive at around 9am, so there would be plenty of time to see the whole museum.

By the time we had boarded the train, I was ready for another kip. So, kip, I did. And I kipped again and again and again, and I would wake up each time surrounded by new strangers from a new subway stop. Quite the interesting train ride, I had. Meanwhile, Bec was taking photos of me, and offering up a smug grin each time I would awake to find her staring at me. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I should have known better.

Bec wakes me as we pull into the Museum’s station. We walk outside, and it is raining. We were meant to arrive by 9, but the train was delayed a further 45 mins during our trip in from Brooklyn. We get to the front of the museum, only to be greeted by a queue that rivals the conga line at your socially inept friend’s 26th party.

…and that was a REALLY long conga line.

It literally takes us minutes to walk to the end of the line. When we get there, we realise we are standing where we were the other day when we wanted to get into the museum. We look down to the door where the mammoth queue was the other day. There is a small crowd of about 8-10 people standing out the front. Bec wanders down, soon followed by me. It is bout 10 mins before they open, and we are standing there, and then this guy from inside unlocks the doors and lets us in from the cold.

I look back outside, and still, I am in wonder than nobody is abandoning ship, even though they have just seen a few people go inside.

“We’re not open yet folks. Just stand to the side. We didn’t want you out in the cold. Just wait on the side please”, the guard tells us.

I chuckle every now and again at the thought that there are literally hundreds of people waiting in a line, when they could just waltz straight down and be inside in a matter of seconds. Herd mentality, hey? The announcement is made, and we are down there. We are the first people at the counter to get our tickets. The other day, we would have been there for a good half hour, just to get tickets. Its great. We get to the counter, and we ask how much it is for two adults. “The recommended price is $44, but you can pay whatever you want”. We knew this already, and we only had like $10 left in the budget after making a few necessary purchases.

Bec asks “Can I pay $1 please?”.

“Sure”. The lady extends her hand. I feel so bad, but I kinda cant believe that we actually are able to do that. I love that it is accessible for people who don’t have the money to visit hey. Its an amazing idea. I just feel a little bad that the first people that the lady got to serve was probably the stingiest couple she would experience that day. Kinda makes me laugh when I think about it though.

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We don’t even know where to start. I didn’t realise at first how bloody big the museum really is, and it actually covers every thing you can think of when it comes to natural history. Everything from the Earth & its structure, through to the way CO2 effects the climate, through to fossils and the history of mankind. It is truly amazing. It doesn’t matter what your interest it, there will be something that catches your attention.

We explore the exhibits on african culture and life for an hour or so, and then it hits us again. Our eyelids are like lead, and we need to sleep. We wander through, and get side tracked every now and then at the exhibits (they have done a marvellous job of designing this whole Museum), in search of a bench to sleep on. We don’t want to get kicked out, so we just want something that we can sit upright and sleep against. We finally find this seat, nestled under a quote, “The earth wasn’t given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children”. I think I saw 10+ people stop to take a photo of that alone.

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A real tree

We positioned ourselves in the most unsuspecting way possible.

It was still easy to suspect that we were trying to sleep.

A few guards passed us by, and gave us the courtesy to not hurry us along, but none the less, I could hardly sleep, and I needed sleep. We tried for a bit, and then migrated to the food court, in search of a table and chairs. It should be a lot easier to sleep this way.

Nope. I sat wide awake.

Bec got a good sleep though, which is great, but I was wide awake by now. Not ideal at all. She wakes up, we tuck into the sammys for lunch and get on our way.

“Where do you wanna go next?” Bec asked.

“The dinosaurs”, I say, like the 12ie I am inside.

She just laughs. We jump into an elevator at level 1 and a heap of people cram in at level 2, so much so that by level 3, the people waiting for us have had a guts full and make a few under their breath comments as the doors close on them yet again. #dontevenfeelbad.

Level 4. Land of the dinosaurs.

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We start the dinosaur exhibition, at what we thought was the start. Turns out that it was the end, and we were working our way back to the start. But, to be honest, it was a great way to do it, because by the time that we arrive at the start, we’ve got all the boring stuff out the way, and now we just have these epic skeletons that they would usually use to entice people into the exhibit. We got to touch actual, real dinosaur bones. That was crazy. We got to learn all about the way we assume dinosaurs lives and moved and ate and everything else.

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Regardless of whether you think they are millions of years old, or thousands of years old, these skeletons are a sight to see. Its incredible to looking at these skulls and think that something once walked the earth with that skeleton in front of us. Its seriously unreal.

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We explore the area for another good couple hours. Learning about all the different discoveries throughout palaeontology’s history. Some of them, intentional, some of the most amazing discoveries, accidental. One of the best was this behemoth of a dinosaur, which was found while a farmer was looking for his sheep. It is 120ft long, and it’s head pokes out from it’s exhibition room, into the welcome area. It is absolutely mind blowing.

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I knew this would be the case, but now that we have spent a couple hours here, and we’ve done the really cool stuff, we’re kinda ready to go home. So, go home, we shall. We jump back on the train, and between various states of consciousness, we arrive back at our stop in Brooklyn. We head upstairs for a belated afternoon nap. Its 3pm by this point, and we are in need of it.

The alarm goes off.

We make dinner.

We chat with my adorable niece and family, and get to see my nephew for the first time in a month and a half. All of them are champions.

I try and book a little more of our trip for Washington, and it is bed time.

Come back tomorrow,

Billy

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