After a very long Monday we slept in on Tuesday (I did anyway). We puttered around a bit and then Jenn, Jamie, and I headed to Cracker Barrel for a consolation breakfast for the CB meal we'd missed the night before. While we were waiting around for service Jamie discovered a very amusing toy parrot that would repeat back whatever it heard. He derived great joy by calling a silly rabbit (I think) and having it "parrot" him. It also repeated my coughs. I had a very good breakfast of country ham, eggs, and various fixin's. I even ate the grits.
From Cracker Barrel we progressed to the Witte Museum. This appears to be something of a natural history museum. It included exhibits on the wildlife and archaeology/anthropology of South Texas including some very interesting displays of various digs and archaeological technique. It also had a mummy and an Ancient Egypt exhibit, a "Science Treehouse" which had several cool demonstrations of various scientific facts, both of which Jamie enjoyed, and an exhibition of photography dedicated to the vaqueros (Mexican cowboys) of southern Texas, that I enjoyed. Overall I enjoyed the museum but was not very impressed. I've been to the Field Museum and the Smithsonian and the Science Treehouse exhibits didn't seem as impressive as those I remember from the Indianapolis Children's Museum or CoSI in Columbus, Ohio. Of course, time and rain kept us from seeing other parts of the museum. Still there was some neat stuff and Jamie had fun except when I made us leave the treehouse so we could see a little more of the museum before heading to the airport.
We tried to find a parking place so Jenn and Jamie could come in with me at least as far as the security check but had no luck. There didn't seem to be a single space in the San Antonio Airport. I hope someone who had to park didn't miss their flight because of it. We said our goodbye's outside the terminal. Jenn headed home to discover her phone had disappeared and I jetted back to Chicago after a little while.
The flight home was uneventful but I can't say the same for the drive home from the airport. In a continuation of Monday's misadventures, Steve missed the on-ramp for I-55 off of Harlem Avenue. It appeared to be a two lane ramp. We took the right lane behind a white van. Very quickly we discovered that the right lane was separated from the on-ramp by a curb and did not, in fact, allow one access to the Stevenson Expressway. In fact it led down below Harlem to what appeared to be a frontage road. Frustrated we followed the van under Harlem and beyond, seeing no return access. Hoping to connect with Cicero further East we kept going. Eventually we came to a recycling plant where the road curved around and ran along the Chicago River. The van turned into the plant and we headed on. Logically since we had seen no turn or exit from our access road there had to be something ahead. The road, if I may call it that, kept going. Steve, who had planned to spend the evening after getting home playing video games, instead got to hone his driving skills by slaloming between potholes that could have footprints left some local Godzilla beast. The road got darker and rougher. It seemed to be narrowing and becoming less paved. It looked the kind of place where you saw wise guys dump bodies or do clandestine deals. Soon we were convinced that if we went just a little further there would be no road at all. That van we followed down surely wouldn't have come down if there were no way back up. So we turned around, figuring that if worst came to worst (from a driving, not a wise guys, perspective) we could risk going up the one way ramp we had taken down from Harlem. It didn't appear that there was any kind of traffic rush to where we were. Following the road back we saw a sign directing us back to Harlem just before we would have gone under it again. Cleverly, the sign was completely obscured from the other side by bushes so we had missed it and thus won a chance at adventure. We turned up the ramp and successfully accessed the Stevenson from the other side. In an hour or so we were home and my St. Antoine errantry was at an end. It was a good trip and I'm glad Jenn brought me down.