The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL

RoadTripLogoMost of my 2020 summer travels have been to roadside attractions and haunted places simply because  they have been away from crowds and have been free to enjoy. Museums were one of those “tricky” ones to try during these Covid days, but being here this summer, I really wanted to see the Museum of Science and Industry again.  LOVED it as a child, lots of school trips here from WI, and many with my own kids. I knew that it wouldn’t be the same with Covid, but I am learning that NOTHING is, and you just have to find the good in each day and then run with it. So that’s what I decided to do, booked online my date, Saturday, August 8th, 2020. Ticket were free during this time (just needed to make a reservation for the day and time), as they were just in the process of reopening, but alas parking inside their connected garage still cost me $22.00 The Garage entrance is located right in front of the Museum and was easy to find. Before you leave your car, remember your mask, its required at all times!rsz_img_8507rsz_img_8592Now, let’s get the uglies out of going during these Covid times, everything that you probably enjoyed before, is more than likely closed.  Just accept and know that ahead of time, so you don’t have upset kids the rest of the day.  What’s closed? Well for me, the Submarine, the Coal Mines, Finnegans Ice Cream Parlor, and the Café inside. They DID have set up a tent just outside the front steps where you could buy hotdogs and hambugers, along with chips and drinks. Tables were spaced away from each other, and it was a nice option other than nothing.  I have noticed the more touring I do, the hungrier I get, go figure. I mean, who looks at a Fairytale Castle and says “Boy, I could use a hot dog right now.” But alas, this is how I was imperfectly made!

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Speaking of the Fairytale Castle, THE best thing in this Museum and my ALL -TIME FAVORITE thing to see here, it WAS open and I was more than happy! I skipped in, I stared, I squealed with childlike glee at all of the tiny, elegant furniture. They used to have phones that you would pick up at each station around it and hear the stories of each room- they have now modernized it more to be told in speakers above you with motion sensors. It was a nice touch, and Im sure a happy one for them now with the virus concerns and the phones. It’s something NOT to be missed!!rsz_img_8554rsz_img_8587rsz_img_8547rsz_img_8543rsz_img_8515 (1)

There’s so much to explore here, from the real live Tornado, to the full size Sub, to the room full of stages of pregnancy, this Museum is rich with science and I LOVE that! With every turn inside this Museum, it’s goosebumps and excitement. I mean, how cool is it to see a Tesla machine making lightening while you stand feet away? Or see right inside the human body with real examples? I just love this Museum and I think it’s so vital to share with our children on the whats and whys of how life happens and exists.  Check it out, even with everything closed, it’s still worth the stop! Enjoy!SCIENCEtornadorsz_img_8624

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Hollywood Palms Cinema, Bar, and Eatery in Naperville, IL

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Overture, curtains, lights…this is it, the height of heights…well, you know the “toon.” Honestly I didn’t know if I would ever head back to the Movies again post Covid, so many people packed into that small space! I had a day open and had heard about this really cool Theater in the area I have been staying in. Located at Westridge Court in Naperville, Illinois, it looks like your normal movie theater. My thinking was that they had JUST opened that week, so they would probably have low attendance, at least for the matinees anyways. So I booked a ticket online, $9.00 for a Noon matinee of “The New Mutants” for Theater 7, on Friday, August 28th, 2020. When you book, you can see who has booked for the same show, doesn’t include walk-ups, but it gives you a small idea, and there was noone but me headed to that flick that day-sweet!

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The entrance lined with palm trees, you come upon the ticket area which is housed in a sort of hut. Confirmed my ticket with her on my phone, then was handed a menu for dining at my seat- LOVE IT!! A bar on my left and right, (no concessions stand) this was no cinema, this was an experience. Movie posters lined the walls, and they were done classy, they weren’t just thrown here and there. They were eye-pleasing, so much that AFTER my movie was done, I stayed another half hour just reading and looking at them all! As you enter what can only be described as the door from Jurassic Park or King Kong, you’re transported to waterfalls which start you on your adventure, but will path will you choose?

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Hollywood Palms has a total of 7 screens, with an additional screen upstairs for private events. Depending what movie you’re headed too will choose the fate of your screening experience! YES each screening area is themed differently- the coolest thing ever! If you head to the left of the waterfalls, you head to screens 1-4. Screen ONE is JUNGLE/ADVENTURE themed, screen TWO is ANIMATED themed, screen THREE is ASIAN themed, and screen FOUR is UNDER THE SEA themed.

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If you head to the right of the waterfalls, you head to screen FIVE which is Egyptian themed, SIX which is Oscars themed, and SEVEN…..my heart almost exploded from it…..an entire theater dedicated to THE WIZARD OF OZ!!! Seriously my heart couldn’t take the excitement, I made a video I will post on The Relocated Tourist FB page to better show the feel of it, but I will be posting as many pictures here and probably in seperate posts because of the number of pics I took. Sorry, but it’s THAT COOL of a place! This is something like a Cinematic Museum, an ode to Hollywood, a nod to the greats of past and present. AND you get to enjoy a movie, dinner, AND a cocktail from the relaxations of a reclining chair and moveable table.

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It’s not every day you get to watch a movie surrounded BY your favorite movie, but I was IN HEAVEN!! I had to wear a mask inside the Theater walking around to and from my seat, but once seated, I could remove it. Now, if you feel safer leaving it on, leave it on! I was handed a menu upon check-in, but I also noticed that under the table attached to my chair were more copies, in case you don’t get one at the ticket booth. They have everything from cocktails to full meal food,including this is the ONLY WAY you order your popcorn! I checked out the menu of every Hollywood delicious namesake and went for the Kevin Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato, with a side of the Lord of the Rings Onion Rings….one onion ring to rule them all AND my digestion…huzzah! Along with a Diet Coke (they carry Coke products), I had ordered and recieved my food by the time the previews started running. Now, I was the only one in there, so the food was probably going to come fast, but it was still impressive. I have been to the dine and watch kind before and wound up getting my food near the end of the movie (yes, seriously, think it was “Malificent” at Disney Springs AMC- horrible). For safety reasons, they give you your food in closed take-out containers, which I found were just fine. I wasn’t expecting real dishes like at “Be Our Guest.” The KBLT was delicious, I don’t like mine toasted (why toast it?? It’s like sandpaper across the top of your mouth!) and my LOTR OR were yummy! It’s the kind of dining experience where you’re sad when it’s over- like he came out to see if I wanted a refill on my soda and I really didnt need one but I wanted to keep the feeling alive, so I got one.LOL

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Now, I can’t tell you how hard it is to pay attention to a movie when there is SO MUCH to look at around you! I literally had flying monkeys around me, I was as giddy as a girl on Christmas morning. Probably why they put MOST of the decor BEHIND you where the projector lives so that you aren’t focused on it the entire film. Seriously, the ANIMATION themed one, HOW are kids watching the movie?? The imagination and creativity it took to put this place together is just amazing, pretty sure my mouth never closed! After “The New Mutants” which was EXCELLENT, I asked Management if it was ok to peruse the other Theaters and see the different themes. Yes, only if they were empty, which unfortunately due to Covid and it being a matinee, all but one, were empty. I was able to look at all of the detail, take in the beauty of what this man created, and again, it was just a sight to behold.

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Like the movies? Go here. Hate the movies? Go here. Scared of getting Covid? Go during a matinee. They clean everything down, seats around you are meant to be empty, and the next row in front of behind you is already a good 6 feet- these are SPACIOUS seats! The staff was incredibly kind and attentive, and I would go back in a heart beat. Actually probably am for “Bill and Teds” before I head back to Florida. So if you’re in the Naperville area, check out Hollywood Palms- you won’t be disappointed!

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The Distracted Parent at the Parks

rsz_img_e6378Recently on a trip to the Parks, I was waiting in line at Slinky Dog with the family.  As we all know, the culmination of tired guests at the end of a long day, can make those lines seem even longer. I GET IT.  But that being said, I watched as a couple were in deep discussion over a map or kissing, whatever, as their small children of probably 5 years old, played around my family and I behind them… at first it’s cute. You tell yourself that kids will be kids and let them have their fun.  Then they step on you….they don’t mean it so you try to keep your cool and again convince yourselves that these little humans don’t realize they can be jerks.  But as I watched the parents, time and time again over the next 90 minute wait we had, my blood began to boil.  If you say something, you’re the bad guy.  PLUS you get the added bonus of waiting in line with the people you just asked to stop for however long and that’s just as uncomfortable. At one point we had moved forward a good ten feet and their kids were playing on the poles and Mom and Dad didn’t even notice they were a good 4 parties behind them. Nothing. It wasn’t until the kids ran up to join them that they even looked down.

I get it folks, people want to celebrate with their kids in this happy place.  But you know what doesn’t make it happy anymore? When I constantly have to watch your child for you because you are too distracted.  Parenting is rough, many of us have been through it or are still in the trenches. And yes, it does take a Village. Here’s an example of when I was more than happy to help. I have found that the parade environment, at Disney especially, can be a very toxic place. The reason is that EVERYONE feels entitled to see, have the perfect spot, and it doesn’t matter who around them has to deal with it.  I have sat hours beforehand to get a perfect picture or that “just right” experience and I don’t mind standing to let little ones sit or stand in front of me.  When parents ASK ME I have totally ok with it- as long as the kids are going to sit still and I am not having to babysit. But when parents decide to SHOVE their little human in front of me and yell “Its just a child, it’s just a child” I truthfully want to shout back at the parent “It’s my foot, it’s just my foot.” Read into that how you want.  I was sitting on Main Street with the family on a vacation back in the day and a stroller came behind us, parked, and the child’s ice cream dripped down my back.  Nothing like getting my spot early only to have to deal with a sticky backside and parents who didn’t care as I looked back at them with “the look.”  Or holding a place for hours on end just to be made to feel like you’re a bad human because you got there first and did the time and they can’t believe they can’t just walk up and sit in your spot. Oh and on a side not, for Pete’s sake if you need to put your child up on your shoulders to see, stand in the BACK.

What people get wrong about the Parks is that they are for EVERYONE. Not just families, not just the single rider, and certainly not just for the kids- EVERYBODY. So it just takes a little time and respect to watch your kids in line, say sorry when your kid does something to a stranger, and please don’t play it off when they do and think “It’s just my kid being a kid.”  Most people, like myself, will give the benefit of the doubt repeatedly because we don’t want to come off looking like jerks either.  We want your kids and your family to have a GREAT time, just be aware that you’re not the only one enjoying the magic.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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What’s In a Name?

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For those who don’t know our story, back in 2009, Craig and I were on our nightly walk when we not only came up with the name “The Relocated Tourist”, but also our mantra and life statement, which is “Going from what if, to why not?” Still love that to this day. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that has applied to our lives.

When I started blogging that 9 years ago, I was thirsty to share with the World what information we had collected for our big move to Florida. There wasn’t anything out there that talked about “REAL” life here, and that concerned us both.  Thus a building of a beautiful community of friends that I have had since that launch day, oh so long ago, that I wish I had realized that I didn’t have to stay in the box that I had created for myself back then.

People will tell you if you want the numbers, stay on target. Focus on what you want to talk about and go with that subject in mind.  But I have learned that I have lots I want to talk about and share with people, and I am definitely not “normal.”  The reason I LOVED the name of my blog was for the fact that I could talk about travel, relocation, Disney, Universal, Sea World, Florida, Wisconsin, road trips, life mishaps, etc… and why I hope that when the day comes that this isn’t all about Mickey and Main Street that you STILL follow along my adventures.

I can guarantee you we will relocate again down the road…but for now, the magic of Disney, the frustrations of Florida, and all of my road trip goodness will hopefully keep you tucked in at night.  Stay tuned!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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So This Happened on Spaceship Earth Today…

rsz_1img_8441I am blessed to be able to frequent the Parks when I want to during the week. I enjoy going alone as it gives me time to really enjoy the small stuff and share, like I did today. (I share LIVE from the Parks on Facebook if you want to follow along.) But there have been times, that albeit Disney comes off as a safe environment, I didn’t feel that today.

On most rides, they want to fill them as full as possible because the more on, the merrier the line is. I get it. Being alone many times, I am a “single rider” and for the most part, I wind up sitting either alone or I am paired up by MY choosing (like Test Track). But there are some rides, as I discovered today, that should NEVER be ridden alone with a stranger because of the close proximity you are and also your surroundings.

Que Spaceship Earth. We all love this ride, the new and the old, we have a relationship with it. It’s that familiar one that just makes us feel “home.” I was in line today, end of my adventure, and there was a guy behind me that was just too close. Several times bumping me, and like a good person, I ignored him.  We get to the top to load the ride and the CM is shouting “2 to a row” which I freaked out on (in my head).  I didn’t know who is behind me, I just knew I saw some random guy when I turned the first time in line to see who kept bumping me.  Normally I make Craig stand behind me in those situations, but I was on my own with this one.  So I panic, and just decide that the only thing I can do is sit in the left seat, or first seat, the minute I climbed in, thus making it near impossible for the guy to sit next to me unless he wanted to crawl over the top of me. Trust me, I had thought maybe they would make me move over, but I timed it enough that I knew we would hit the climb soon so he had to take what he could.  So he sat…alone…behind me on the other side.

People, I don’t normally get “creeped out” on the attractions, but I was definitely uncomfortable.  I am literally answering the questions on the map in front of me giving this guy what State I live in, then when I am answering all of the questions on the way down, he can see them clear as day and all I can think is he could use them to talk to me after the ride.  I know some of you may think this is a stretch, and I WISH we didn’t live in a world that this could happen, but all I could think about was WHAT IF he was sitting right next to me the entire ride? It’s dark, there isn’t anywhere for me to “jump out” (safely) and run from him. It’s actually a scary thought that I never even thought of until today.

I got off the ride and quickly walked out of the building and took a couple detours before exiting the Park in case I was being followed. I watched my back to my car and obviously I am safe and sound. My point is that in today’s world, we just HAVE to think about these things now to keep each other safe.  He could have been just some random passholder like me riding alone, but my spidey senses told me otherwise. Stay sharp my friends.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00