The Trek Adventure (Or Where No Bri Has Gone Before)


Star Trek the Experience leaves the Franklin Institute tomorrow.  It had been there since May,  so of COURSE today was the first time I found time to get down there.  I wanted to take Stace, since her favorite is TNG, but we didn’t have the money and she’d be just as happy to be home by herself for a couple hours.   So, Brian and I get up early and drive into Philadelphia.

Side note–every time we go into Philly, Brian declares it to be the most amazing, most beautiful city he’s ever seen.  Everything he sees is fascinating to him on the way.

So, we find the Franklin, no problem.  Finding the GARAGE at the Franklin, that’s a little problem.  The entrance to the garage is on Race Street.  Race street is a one way street.  So, after twenty minutes of looking for a way to get in, we get in.  We go upstairs, see the Ben Franklin statue which kinda creeps my son out since it’s so big, then get our tickets.  On the way to Geek Central, which I’m certain is going to bore him to tears, he sees an area with all sorts of machines set up, including a crane.  He loves to build, so I tell him we’ll check out the Trek stuff and then we’ll check out everything else. 

At the top of the ramp, there was a photographer with a green screen.  He explained he could take our picture and they’d superimpose us onto a transporter room background.  Didn’t wanna do that, since I could actually do that at home and be in uniform at the time.  We go into the exhibit, and the first thing I see is a movie radiation suit.  I’ve had the patch from one of those for years, but seeing the whole suit was nifty.  Montalban’s movie costume was in the next display.  Along the back row were display cases with Enterprise models from the carriers up to the Enterprise-E.  There were also display cases with various props, including one with several phasers.  Brian thought it was pretty cool since we had the same ones in a box at home.  I didn’t point out that ours lit up and made noise and that ours cost way less. 

Against another green-screen wall was the center seat from the original series.  Or a mock up of the center seat.  I sat down and found it surprisingly comfortable and  natural feeling.  That’s right, I was born to be a captain, or at least that’s what it felt like while I sat there.  Right next to me was one of the movie burgundy jacket uniforms, one of the few I don’t have at home.  (Told ya I’m a geek.)  Then, I look across and there’s a full mock-up of a Galaxy-class bridge.  Brian and I OF COURSE go in there next.  He goes right for the center seat.  I of course check out Tactical and the Science stations.  I don’t know if the rail was the original from the series, but it did have all the initials of the cast and production staff on the controls.  We looked around some more.  Brian sat at Ops.  There was a woman walking around in an original series uniform with a phaser toy from the movie.  Brian pointed out that he had one at home.  That’s when I noticed that there were a LOT of people in costume of one sort or another, and they didn’t work there.   I felt both underdressed and a little afraid. 

We kept exploring.  More costumes, more props.  In plastic cases were the different alien head make-ups that I think scared Brian some since they looked like heads in boxes.  There was a simulator that you could sit in, but apparently I was too big and they wouldn’t let Brian do it alone.  He was actually fine with that, since he’d seen it go upside down and wasn’t too keen on the idea.  Right next to the simulator was a fifteen foot model of the Enterprise-D saucer.  I told Brian that once we get our house that was going into the living room. 

We checked out the rest of the museum.   We went through the human heart three times, and he did it once alone.  I explained some of the heart parts as we went.  There was a projector that showed blue blood cells being oxygenated back into red blood cells.  I explained that, but Brian looked nauseated.  We checked out the x-ray/mri/gamma scan machine.  He thought that was really cool.  There was a display of what color blood different animals have.  Interesting note:Octopi have blue blood. 

After that we checked out Foucault’s pendulum.  Brian was actually pretty fascinated by that for a good while.  Right next to that was a model of Galileo’s telescope.  We went into the Space exhibit where Brian and I flew a simulated ship to Mars.  He was the navigator and I was the comm officer.  We did all right until our power ran out.  Right past that was the flight exhibits.  There’s the T-33 jet to sit in, got Brian’s picture in both seats.  He didn’t want to do the sit-in simulator again.  He thought the 1911 Wright Brothers plane was good, and he really liked the simulator for that.  He was, however, disappointed that he couldn’t hit Wilbur in the head. 

We played with the crane for the third time.  He was starting to get tired, and I had to work tonight, so we decided to call it a day.

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~ by Sean on September 19, 2009.

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