"How cool!" thought Mommy.
"I'm not going unless you go," said Michaela.
And thus our plans were made.
March 23rd was the date and we headed down in a minivan stuffed with excited, chatty girls and slightly anxious moms.
We got there just as it was getting dark, and walked to where we would be sleeping: the giant-sized hall of Ocean Life- or something like that. It's the enormous two story room with the life sized blue whale hanging from the ceiling. The room was filled with hundreds of cots- our beds for the night- all arranged in long rows. We dropped off our stuff and headed for the exhibits.
Our sleeping quarters
We saw tons of neat stuff!
I loved the dioramas of the different animals and they even had one featuring Pilgrims and Indians. And you KNOW how much I groove on that.
They even turned off the lights in some of the exhibit halls so that you were walking around seeing the dinosaur skeletons only by your own flashlight. Totally cool.
Some of the girls goofing around in the gems area
T Rex!- in the dark
After seeing a good chunk of the museum, we ate a late snack and had the opportunity to get Girl Scout patches and t-shirts that you can ONLY buy if you are doing the overnight program. I even bought a patch for myself. Hey, I'm a Girl Scout, too, technically.
We finished the night by watching a movie about the migration of monarch butterflies. It was beautiful. Then we headed back to our room with the cots to get ready for the night. Unfortunately, the closest bathroom to this gigantic room had three bathroom stalls and about 400 women and girls fighting and waiting and complaining about waiting and hopping very dramatically because they had to go pee SO BAD. Quite a scene.
Thankfully a friend of mine who had gone with her sons the weekend before stressed the importance of bringing earplugs. Because it was LOUD. Then, at about 12:15 am, it was like a giant sound system volume control suddenly turned the sound down, waaaay down, and within about 5 minutes, all 400 people were finally asleep. And it was eerily quiet.
I slept pretty well until about 2am when I heard one of our girls trying to wake up another girl.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"I have a really bad nosebleed," she answered, and my 11 and a half years of being a mom- and being woken up in the middle of the night for things ranging from pee, vomit and/or blood to fevers to colds to insomnia to being told that there was 'not enough space' in one's bed- kicked into action and I was instantly awake and helping her to the bathroom to clean up. We got that taken care of, though I admit to being a bit startled by the fact that this 11 year old girl was clearly taller than me and quite more developed, if you get my drift. These are girls I've known since kindergarten. And now some of them look like grown women. Incredible.
The other 400 girls decided that 6:15am was a good wake up time, so we got up and ready. In the three stalls. Then it was off to the museum gift shop and a trip across the street to Central Park for a nice walk. The weather was sunny and breezy and lovely. We explored much of the park and then headed back to the Museum to finish out our trip, after hitting a NYC Starbucks. Clearly caffeine and sugar were fueling the moms on the trip.
We finished up touring around the museum and headed back to the cars to leave. We were happy to get home to our own bathrooms and beds.
All the girls loved this Easter Island head and wanted their pictures taken with him
So much to see!