Sunday Stealing: Funky Twenty-Five Meme
5 Trades Away: Please Help! #5TradesAway

Sundays In My City: Miami Children's Museum

Unknown Mami
Straight from Unknown Mami's mouth, er, fingers: "Share your city/town/suburb/you name it! Think of this as a photography carnival or photography meme (with or without words) that not only lets you share your part of the world, but lets you visit other parts of the world virtually. If you link up, please link back or post the Sundays In My City button either in your post or sidebar to let people know that other bloggers are sharing their communities too. Happy trails!"
Link up here if you're sharing today, too!
On Saturday, Team Odette had the opportunity to head up nearly to Miami Beach to visit the Miami Children's Museum. Disclosure: We were given five free passes to go as a family, courtesy of the Museum staff. Though we received tickets as compensation for this post, all opinions remain 100% my own.
We had a little difficulty getting into the museum with our passes, because the ticket seller did not recognize the code on them. But, it was a minor snafu that turned out to be completely worthwhile, because the children were enthralled and engaged throughout the museum, from beginning to end.
(Oh, I need to take a moment to apologize for some of these less-than-stellar photos. The combination of interesting lighting inside the museum and my apparently faulty attempts to adjust my Nikon accordingly was not such a good one.)
The first exhibit we encountered was "My Green Home," regarding energy, conservation, and sustainability. The raging environmentalist in me enjoyed that. The kids got right into it.
I loved the wind turbine, but it was hard for the children to see what was happening on top from down below, where they were operating it.
One thing I really liked seeing, here in this culturally rich city, was that all signage was posted in both English and Spanish. Good thinking.
This thermal imagining piece helped demonstrate how insulation works.
Next, we visited the bank! Bank of America - my least favorite financial institution in the world - clearly sponsored it, but I got over myself quickly and followed along with the fun.
Jack and I solved the riddle together to crack open the safe. {It isn't that it was too hard for him to do by himself, it's just that the kids were too spazzed out, having fun, that they failed to read all the signs posted everywhere. One of the pitfalls of edutainment, I think.}
SCORE! We're rich!
There was so much kiddie eye candy at the museum, we couldn't decide where to go first!
The fireman's pole was super fun. Jack refused to go, naturally. He's my chicken.
Sophia's going to be a speed demon when she grows up. I just know it. (She comes by it honestly.)
Guess where this silly girl was next?
Did you guess "veterinarian's office"? Sophia was all about the x-rays. That was a cool touch.
The other part of Pet Central had to do with adopting a new pet. This was a child-sized play tunnel. You guessed right, didja?
Chloë couldn't resist her turn, either.
The Construction Zone received our next visit. Of course, Jack was in his element there. I couldn't believe how much fun this kid was having... even more than he did at Legoland Florida, I would venture to say!
There was a whole room dedicated to Pirates. Jack started digging for treasure right off the bat.
Miami Children's Museum
{Click picture to embiggerate.}
The Pirate section was fun. The kids all swabbed the poop deck, which is something I'd love to see them do more of at home! ARRRR!
The Ocean Odyssey was just my cup of tea. The live coral and related fish species were like old friends of mine, from my marine biology days at University of Miami. It was quite relaxing for me there, too. As you can imagine, the hyper (at that point) children didn't stay for too long. Rats!
Yup, I was there, too! Forgive the heavy bags under my eyes. I hadn't slept well. By the end of the day, I was yawning my head off! The other moms grinned at me knowingly; they were feeling it, too.
What do we have here? I found a Jack!
We visited the USS Holtz Kids after that, but of course, Jack disappeared immediately. That was another cause of my not-amazing photography: The kids - mine and others - were just moving too fast, and either they whizzed out of my viewfinder too quickly, or another child whizzed in! Oh, well.
And then boom, back we were in the dentist's office. Jack did a great job brushing those teeth. Made me wish he was so spectacular at it at home!
In the Health & Wellness Center, the kids on crutches proved to be quite hilarious for moi
And then, we were off to the nation's second favorite grocery store, Publix! I had thought this was a vending machine, but Hubs informs me that it was actually a sniffer for different spices. He said it worked fine; Chloë, whose smellerator is broken, says otherwise.
I was terribly amused by the random lobster creeping along the floor, which I didn't discover until I was editing these pictures.
Miami Children's Museum-001
{Click photo to embiggerate.} 
"Publix" was tied for most-fun exhibit in the museum, for my kiddos. They had an absolute blast there, I swear. Jack had much fun cashiering and, since I loved working at the Coral Gables Publix while in college, I must say I was a little proud of that!

Chloë has "milk a cow" on her Bucket List. This cow didn't give any milk, so it didn't satisfy that need exactly, but it was still fun to make her moo!
Sophia is making my current favorite facial expression, which she and I both do to imitate "Lex" from Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom (which we saw on Earth Day), to show her disdain for the "bad" corn vs. the "good" one in her other hand. She cracks me up.
Every single day, I endeavor to make this child smile for real. Yesterday was definitely a success!
Sophia just having a little moment with the frozen pizza. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Chloë informed me that she was going to be the person at Publix who puts everything people don't want back. I always hated that job. Go for it, girl.
Uh-oh, we're back on crutches again! Bye-bye, Publix.
The green-screen room would have been pretty cool, except the monitors showing what they were doing were kind of sketchy. If they were fixed, awesomeness would be restored.
And, we are back to the pediatrician's office for another check-up. Kind of like art imitating life for Team Odette, eh?
Jack wanted to check his own reflexes, but that didn't work. I couldn't get them going, either. Rob knew what to do and bam! out shot that leg. Nailed it.
With Pedal Pushers, Jack and Sophia competed against each other to be the first one to light up all the lights. They both admitted to being exhausted when it was over. Dudes. I need to get that for my house!
Back to Bank of America for the girls, who have just discovered the vault.
Jack joined in, just in time to play "Teller" with Sophia, with Chloë as "Customer."
♫ "We're in the moneyyyyy!" ♫
Well, hello up there, Curly Sue! Where are we now?
There's Chlo peeking out from the top story of the fantastic and beautiful Castle of Dreams. It was definitely worth an "ooh-ahh" moment.
Hey there, Sophie! Jack didn't follow up there. Again, chicken.
Y'all know we are huge fans of - and collect the work of - Romero Britto. So of course, I had to snap a pic when I found his son Brendan's donated seahorse on the wall.
Speaking of which... there was this gigantic Britto right up the stairs from all the seahorses. Come to Mama!
Rob was having some fun of his own. I found him and watched undetected for several long minutes as he piloted a remote-controlled boat around "Biscayne Bay."
On my way up the ramp from peeping at Rob, I found Jack playing Stevedore. This exhibit was the tie for "most fun," with Publix. They kept going back to it.
All three kids had a fabulous time loading and unloading "cargo" into the ships.
I really liked it, too, because it invited teamwork between siblings and friends old and new. One person manned the controls while the other hooked and unhooked the cargo.
Above that, we found ourselves aboard a Carnival cruise ship, as we all have in real life more than once. This was the noisiest place of all, since drums could be found here. And oh, my word, they found the drums. I got an instant headache; so did Hubs. But, they were having fun, so we stayed as long as we could possibly stand it.
When we stepped off the ship, of course it was time to visit some World Cultures! Where else would you go on a cruise?
Jack stayed back to captain the ship. Not surprising.
Ahhh, here in this reading nook, Chloë found her element.
In these fun mirrors, diminutive Chloë found herself growing taller. She stayed there for a very long time. Broke my heart a little bit.
"Hello? Hello?"
This moment cracked me up. Jack, my cuddliest child, snuggled with this giant teddy bear in the World of Bears. And then...
...he pounced on it to hug it some more! So funny!
Oh look, Jack finally found the RC boats. I can't believe it took him that long.

There was a dance party at 1530 in Kidscape Village. It was cute. None of the kids joined, though, so we didn't stay for long.
The Sketch Aquarium was pretty freaking amazing. Chloë never found it, but Jack and Sophia were able to color on and digitize their own drawings to have them become part of an animated undersea environment: 
The Littles got a pretty big kick out of it, too. I loved this exhibit, the first of its kind in the US.
Right after that, we were invited into the auditorium for showtime. The actors played Pig and Gabriel. It was a pretty cute show; even though it was for the younger crowd, my kids giggled quite a lot.
By that time, we had pretty much seen and done everything we wanted to see and do, so it was about time to call it a day. I rounded up the troops, and their "aww, Mom" groans were relatively short-lived. We decided a visit to the gift shop was in order before heading home.
Jack selected this metal plane model, and the girls each chose this ball that bounces on water. I tried to steer them in different directions for everyone, but Sophia wanted none of the arts and crafts sets in which I tried to interest her; she was stickin' with that ball! In a move that should have surprised no one, she asked to take a bath as soon as we got home, so could start bouncing that ball! Haha.
Special thanks to the Miami Children's Museum for our fun outing, and don't forget to visit the Unknown Mami for more of Sundays In My City!