My family and I are going on a long drive this winter holiday - long as in driving all the way from Southern Alberta to California. I have spent a great deal of time preparing for this holiday by studying websites and books about the different museums and sites we may see along the way and must say that there are a few that I really look forward to:
1. The Hill Air Force Base Museum in Utah - this museum comes recommended by a friend who also has boys. She told me how much they loved it (and the free admission/admission by donation). Since then I have read many reviews and this museum comes highly recommended by everyone. Not only that, when I emailed them an enquiry, the response back was so genuinely kind that I really look forward to meeting the staff and my expectations are for a very memorable visit!
2. In Nevada, my sons have encouraged me for months to go see Area 51. Expecting nothing to really see, I investigated what might be around there (along the Extraterrestrial Highway as it is fondly named) and I found the Alien Research Centre. While not a museum, this place very much intrigues me, in the same way that the Voodoo Museum in the French Quarter in New Orleans intrigued me.....I am expecting to see something created by someone who is very passionate, or wants to make money on the tourists like us. It may not be the best quality but the experience will no doubt be fun and memorable!
3. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum in Nephi has me curious. It sounds like a smaller, probably mostly volunteer run museum, about a religion that plays such a crucial role in that area's culture, as well as the culture in Southern Alberta. I don't know a lot about the Mormon religion so figure that I will start here, with a museum dedicatd to the pioneers of the religion.
4. Finally, having a very strong interest in war and pacifism, I am excited, but admittedly saddened and nervous, to go to The Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. I don't know if I want to know more about this terrible weapon but part of me wants to know the capabilities and past history that doesn't make the news every day.
Museums and sites on travels can be the big, well known ones that are in every guide and travel website, but they can also be the lesser known ones that you hear about through word of mouth or really digging through materials. I tend to go with the latter and am excited to learn more about the US Air Force, Aliens, Mormons, and Atomic Testing. I am sure I'll come back with plenty of memories and experience from these that will allow me to look at my job differently (don't think I don't pick up every volunteer application and brochure I see!! Or every event calendar...!) but also allow me to look at the world with fresh eyes - this is, after all, what museums are for, is it not?