The Franklin Insitute and Friends

Being part of a military family means that you make friends and then leave those friends or they leave you. Once in a while you make such great friends that no matter how far apart you are and no matter how long it has been, you can pick up right where you left off. Some of our very best friends from California are moving to Korea this summer. When we learned that they were coming to the east coast to visit family before their move and that we could see them on Saturday if we drove a few hours to Philadelphia, we were over the moon. As they were in a hotel and their flight departed that evening, we decided to meet and spend the day at the Franklin Institute.

As traffic was great, we arrived a little early and roamed around while we waited for them to arrive.  The rotunda inside the museum was beautiful.

Our first stop was "The Brain".

The girls particularly enjoyed the neural network.

And then they arrived!  There were tears and hugs and amazement at how much the kids had grown.  The girls really thought Ryan looked so different and we all think Kate is just a doll.  Unfortunately, Jacob stayed home with Doug, but I would have loved to have seen him and Kate together.  Trish and I were pregnant at the same time and Jake and Kate are only a few months apart.

When you move like we do, and as you age, it is difficult to make new friends.  It's especially rare to make great friends.  Trish is one of those great friends.  She is so kind, and funny, and a joy to be around.  It is hard to believe it had been 5 years since we last saw each other.

We had tickets for the Lego exhibition at 10:30 but we stopped quickly to make paper...

And to check out the huge pendulum.

We also were a bit distracted by Genghis Khan or perhaps it was one of his Mongols.

Then the race was on to "The Art of the Brick".

I'll apologize in advance for the multitude of Lego photos that follow, but it was hard to choose just a few.

The kids were all in awe of the T-Rex composed of approximately 80,000 Lego pieces.

Another favorite of the day was the Sky Bike.

In Sir Isaac's Loft, Lauren was mesmerized by Newton's Dream.

Kate was so strong.  She is like a little monkey.  While my kids struggled to lift themselves, she pulled herself up like she was lifting a feather!

I guess even Stormtroopers have to eat.

It was "Star Wars" day and there were a ton of costumed characters throughout the building.

Notice the Nervous Systems on the screen aligning to the kids' bodies.

Trish wanted to ensure they made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare and so we decided to visit "The Giant Heart" and then head out of the museum.

I thought the display comparing the hearts of different animals was really interesting.  That is the heart of a whale on the very top.  You can't see it here, but it went down to the heart of a canary.

Love these guys!

We had said not to get wet, but c'mon, it is always impossible to be around water and not get a little wet.

The last time these three were in the water together was around 2009.  Kate and Jacob were tiny and on the shore with us.

This is what they looked like back then.  My, how times have changed.

I am so thankful that we were able to get together.  They are such a wonderful family and I hope their trip to Korea and their time there are both fantastic.  I hated to have to part but we had a 3-hour drive home, which is really nothing when you consider that they had a flight to Seattle leaving at 8:40 that night, followed by a 6-hour layover, a flight to Japan, a 2-hour layover, and then their flight to Korea.  I think Trish said they weren't scheduled to arrive until Monday at 4.  Yikes!  We love you guys and hope you come back this way again soon!

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