Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Trip to Andrews, Texas, and Wichita, Kansas

Just a warning, this post has a lot of pictures!  It will be long-ish.

So this summer during the last two weeks of May and the first week of June I went on a road trip with my mother down to Andrews, Texas, then up to Wichita, Kansas, for a wedding, and then back through Colorado to get back home to Provo.  One of my cousins was graduating from high school so we went there to support him.  On the way there we stopped in Santa Fe, New Mexico and got lost a little bit.  I used my great direction-asking and map-reading skills to get us found again a couple of times.  When we got into Texas we saw a fantastic dirt devil, but I didn't think to get out my camera and take a picture.  It was very large and tall and beautiful.
While we were in Andrews I did a lot of just sitting around on the internet and flat coloring some comic pages for the amazing Jake Parker.  One of the days I went to Midland and Odessa with the cousin who graduated and hung out there for a while with one of his friends.  We ate lunch at Burgers, Fries, Cherry Pies in Odessa, which was pretty good.  The barbecue sauce on the hawaiian burger I had was weird, but I could tell that the meat was still delicious despite that fact.
On the way out of Texas I took some pictures of some oil derricks.  I like to watch them move as they go up and down and pump the oil out of the ground.  I think it would be fun to take a saddle and ride one sometime.

Two oil derricks from slightly different angles.

A grain elevator somewhere in Texas.

On the way to Wichita, my mom drove us through Elk City, Oklahoma.  This is where she graduated high school from her seventeenth grade school.  Her dad was in oil exploration, so her family moved a lot.  I got to see the trailer park she lived in and the Kentucky Fried Chicken she used to work at.  The town is a lot bigger now than it was when she lived in it.  She even showed me the drag the kids would drive on lazy boring nights since there wasn't really much else to do.

This is the building the Route 66 Museum used to be in.

Sign for the Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Then we made it to my beloved Wichita, Kansas!  Sadly, we'd missed the fantastic amazing thunderstorms.  They'd been through the week before putting hail damage on cars and wrecking havoc on everyone.  It did thunderstorm one night, but we slept through it.

There were still pretty clouds there to look at, though!

While we were in Wichita my mom ran around visiting people while I went adventuring with one of my friends to most of our favorite museums and the zoo!  The Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita is one of the absolute best zoos I've ever been to.  It's in the top 15 of all the zoos in the country.  The exhibits are both animal and visitor friendly, so you can pretty much always see the animals if they're out.  (Except the Mexican wolves.  I've never seen them and they've been there for the entire time I lived in Wichita.)  We went to the Underground Salt Mine Museum and the Cosmosphere Air and Space Museum in Hutchinson, Kansas, which is about forty-five minutes away from Wichita.  And then one day we went to Exploration Place in Wichita, a science museum/center-thing which is mostly for kids, but right now they have a Star Wars Exhibit!

I finally got to see the tigers!

They are such powerful and beautiful animals.

There's a spot to feed the giraffes.

Where you walk in to the salt mine museum.

The museum isn't the only thing down in the salt mine.  There's also a business called Underground Vaults and Storage that stores important document, information, props, and other sundry things.  The above is the "noisy cricket gun" prop from the movie Men in Black!

Batman costume from one of the older movies.

Mr. Freeze costume from the same batman movie.  All of these plus more are being stored in the salt mine.

They have real rockets at the Cosmosphere!

There's an ejection seat you can sit in.  It actually was fairly comfortable.  And yes, I wear those pants on a regular basis, along with many of the other patterns.  Army pants are the best pants!

And this is the real Apollo 13. :D

They had a bunch of the ships and a couple different-sized Millennium Falcons at Exploration Place.  This one was far too big for them to do what they wanted to for the asteroid field scene in Episode V, so they built a smaller one that could more easily move on the lift.  If you pay attention, the Falcon moves very differently between Episode IV and V.

Wookies are gigantic.  Apparently Chewbacca was a runt!

It's Chewy!  These are all the actual costumes used in the films.

X-wing Fighter prop used in the films.

Tie-fighter, with a star destroyer in the back.  The sound used for the star destroyer was a broken loud air conditioner the sound guy had to listen to all night in his hotel room.

Leah's costume, R2-D2, and C3-PO costumes.

Sand people female.

Tuskan Raider, or male sand person.

See, I was there, and I pose weird.

Luke's sand speeder actually had wheels!  They hung a mirror under the car so that it reflected the ground beneath it and all you could see was sand!

They also have a castle play area for the kids, complete with a rack.

The Star Wars exhibit was full of different activities and talked a lot about how they made the movies possible, along with exhibits talking about how scientists today are trying to make the technology in the movies possible for us in real life.  There was a robot that tries to recognize faces, hover-craft technology explained, an exhibit that explained prosthetics, and one where you made robot legs walk across a certain distance.  It was easier than QWOP, but hard because the feet on the robot wouldn't always keep traction and would slip back on you even when you were doing the right things.
 Then on Saturday I was a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding!  It was a beautiful wedding and I am very happy she found a great guy.  I know they're going to have a great life together.

I had to get my hair done up all pretty!

Then we drove through Colorado to go home.  We stopped in Glenwood Springs for the night.  The entire trip we kept an eye out for rock shops and stopped at a few of them.  I'll probably write a post about them some time as well, but for now this post is more than long enough!