My wonderful husband humored me by allowing me to spend our last day in DC at the Geology, Minerals & Gems exhibit of the Natural History Museum. (He came too, to be clear.) I enjoyed the heck out of it. I love all the bits about planets and extraterrestrial geology. I love the minerals. The gems are okay, but overrated and less interesting than the other stuff. This is one of the busiest times of year in DC, and one of the most popular exhibits in the Smithsonian. It was swarming with people, a lot of whom I caught saying really interesting things. A young boy, maybe 8 years old, as he stomped through the planetary geology exhibits:
I wanted to see the gemstones, and there’s nothing in here but meteorites. METEORITES!! I want to see the gemstones. Ooh, look at this… (as his attention was caught by a volcano display)
An even smaller girl, holding her mom by the hand and peering into one of the large mineral displays with eyes as wide as saucers, pointing at one mineral and then the next and then the next, etc:
Ooh, mama, look at this! And this! Mama, look at that one! And that! Ooh, look mama, look! And that one!” ( (I stuck around long enough to watch her point out individually at least thirty of the items in the display, each more wonderful to her than the one before.)
A twelve-ish-year-old-girl to her mother, coming away from a display of enormous topazes:
Well, now you know what to get me for my birthday.
A man coming out of the Hope Diamond display:
I thought it would be bigger. I mean, I guess it’s pretty big, for a diamond. (He’d probably also just come from the giant topaz display.
And my favorite, courtesy of a high school age girl:
They said this was a geology exhibit, not geometry. There’s way too much geometry in this geology.