Although a lot of other groovy stuff happened, the main reason for going to the Mississippi River Museum was to see the traveling DaVinci exhibit they are offering this summer. I'm a huge fan of both his genius and his art so was delighted with the treasures that were available!
They took a lot of the sketches of inventions that he had created on paper and put them together in real life. This is the uber-creepy underwater breathing system he thought up. I think the white makes it more slimming, no? The backpack mounted on the front covers a multitude of sins! did he really envision that the air bell would be a two ton heavy thing made out of wood? I swear I've seen this guy on Doctor Who!
Some of the exhibits you could touch and some you couldn't. This was DaVinci's armored tank. You could get inside. I did and tried to take a picture but the resulting photo looked very confusing from that angle! I think the shape sort of looks like one of the lunar space capsules! I think I would like it for a She Shed! I'd replace all the metal hardware with a huge soft cushion of course, so it would be a cozy place to nest up and read a good book! I'm pretty sure that's what DaVinci had in mind anyway!
Of course Mona was there. I love all of the theories! Was she a real person? Was DaVinvi himself the model? Was she pregnant-is that why her hands are that way? Mona just smiles enigmatically...she's not telling!
They also had a reproduction of The Last Supper. It was amazing to see it in its actual size! I've seen it in pictures all my life but I was amazed at all the things I had missed. I sat on a bench and looked at it a long time. I didn't get any great pics though because it was so big I couldn't get far enough away.
Of all the things, this was my favorite. I'm overwhelmed by DaVinci's notebooks. I've read every reproduction and also books about them. For a long time in my 20s, and as a keeper of journals myself, I had an unnatural obsession with them! The exhibit had 'archival quality reproductions'. I think that means 'really good fakes', but I loved seeing them anyway!
After the exhibit, it was lunchtime so I went down to the in-house cafe only to discover that I would have to put a second mortgage on the house to buy a hot dog. Diamond Jo Casino was across the street and I had noticed on the drive in that there were several restaurants in the complex (including a Subway), so I put $20 and my driver's license in my pocket, threw my purse in the trunk, and headed over. (This is the part where 'other groovy stuff' happened!)
I planned to buy lunch with the $20 and whatever was left over I would spend playing the penny slots for a few minutes before heading back to the museum to feed the stingrays. I got a lunch in a cafe and had a $10 bill and some change left over. I headed to the casino floor and put the $10 bill in a penny slot machine. Woohoo! That's a lot of pennies! Feeling flush, I opted for the max bet...80 tokens! .80 cents...big spender! I hit the button and as I did, I noticed that the machine allows you choose a denomination, .01, .02, .05 or .10 cents....and someone had left it on .10! Oh no! No! No! No! Undo! Undo! As I checked the display to confirmed that indeed-I had wasted $8.00 on one spin, the bells and whistles started. I just sat and stared as money started pouring into my account...a penny at a time. But by the time it was done....well....this!
I know right!? I didn't even give it one more go! I punched out, took my voucher to the cashier, got cash and hurried from the casino like I'd robbed the place. I kind of feel like I did! And I think I know why Mona has that look on her face. I had a similar one on my face for the rest of the afternoon!
All in all it was a lucky, lovely day and I had a wonderful time! Mona and I highly recommend it!