The Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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A show of hands, please.  When you were kids, how many of you wanted to be an astronaut?  I sure did.  Together with being a paleontologist, vulcanologist, musical theatre performer, and everybody's favorite, a doctor.  Obviously, I'm none of that now.  Kids tend to dream bigger than adults.  Right now, I just want to get a bigger paycheck and free stuff.  LOL.

Speaking of free stuff...

It was Museum Free-for-All Day on January 25.  It's one of my favorite city-wide events.  This is my second one so far and I'm always on the look out for the next one.  (Thank you, Yelp!)  I've always loved museums and I can spend HOURS getting lost in them.  During my time in NYC, I was literally 5 blocks away from the Guggenheim and The Met.  There were days when I stayed there almost the whole day, from opening to closing.  That place is so HUGE.

Here in LA, we don't have The Met.  But we do have many other museums spanning different interests.  Last time, my mom and I went to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.  It was an eerie and humbling experience. This time, we went to the California Science Center to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

I've been here before when they had the Mummies of the World exhibit about 3-4 years ago.  The latest I've been to the area was KCON 2013.  Before my we went to the museum, we took photos at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games will always hold a special place in my heart.  I was born exactly on the date of one, the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.  Same year, same date.  :)

There were many people waiting to go into the Science Center.  Some were lined up but we just cut the line lol.  We went early - like, opening hour early - to beat the crowds.  And it was a good call.  By the time we left the Endeavour hangar, the volume of people waiting to go in had tripled.  (I heard you couldn't even get into LACMA so our crowd wasn't too bad.)

Guys... it was overwhelming.  Not the "idk what to do at IMATS" kind of overwhelming.  I mean, the thing in front of me had been in OUTER SPACE.  299 days to be exact.  This is the closest to space travel that I'll ever get.  To touch the tires that have been into space... to see an actual craft that housed astronauts... to hear stories (via exhibit videos) from people who spacewalked.  It's an incredible feeling.  I have a hard time believing that there are people who exist who are not enamored with this.  (Sucks for you.)

The volunteers were super helpful and passionate.  Yeah, it felt nice being with a bunch of fellow geeks.  I must've heard their information pack three times... I think I may be able to volunteer too!  XD  It is just so fascinating to think that this thing in the room was one with the stars and planets for almost 300 days. 

(Please understand, I'm geeking out as I write it.  If you're a geek, you'd know how this feels.)

For two hours - yes, we stayed there just walking around the shuttle for TWO HOURS - I soaked in history and facts and tons of information.  There was so much to know!  My favorite moment would have to be a conversation I overheard between a dad and his 4-year-old son at the engine display.  Or at least I thought the boy was 4 years old.  Young.  Like, pre-school age, okay?

First of all, for the parents to bring their young son to a science museum earns them major plus points from me.  Instead of wasting away on the couch watching Disney Channel BS on a weekend, they found themselves in a room full of scientific history.  Second, the boy looked so into it.  So whatever you're doing, mom & dad, I'm all for it!

Kid (climbing up the barricade surrounding the engine display): Dad, what's that big thing?
Dad: That's the engine, buddy.
Kid: What's it do?  How's it work?
Dad: Well, see that thing full of wires?  Fuel gets in there to create forward thrust to make the space shuttle move forward.
Kid: Yeah? How can I drive one?

How adorable?  And "forward thrust"?  Wow, I'm not sure if the kid understood that but it looked to me that he did.  Great job, dad.  I would've done the same thing to my kid (because my parents did the same thing to me... none of that Disney Channel BS).  Majority of the crowd were older people, those who were alive and adults when the Endeavour was first launched.  And of course, kids.  There was a troupe of scouts on a field trip.  And of course, families.

We explored the rest of the museum after that.  It's a small-ish space but with many different sections.  The California Science Center is definitely kid-friendly.  There are tons of things to look at and explore.  I can't imagine ever being uninterested in science.  A lot of the shows I watch still revolve around science -- CSI, Criminal Minds, Mythbusters.  Even cooking shows.  And science museums are so much fun.  It's one thing to walk around and look at a framed artwork or sculpture.  It's a different experience to actually hold an insect in your hand or activate a simple machine just by the heat of your hand.

My mom and I already sort of scheduled our next trip to the Science Center.  They're having an exhibit featuring the ruins of Pompeii.  Not even a fiery fever will keep me away from that!  But for now, here's a few pictures from the California Science Center.