Girls on Wheels delve into science and nature

Girls on Wheels: Vicki Baker, Nancy Burns, Jan Lamp, Susan Hebert and Jan Sparks discover there is something to learn around every corner.

Girls on Wheels: Vicki Baker, Nancy Burns, Jan Lamp, Susan Hebert and Jan Sparks discover there is something to learn around every corner.

Vicki Baker

A rich man who ran for president, dinosaurs, stars, the human body, evolutionary cycles, these seem to be random topics without any unifying logic, but this is exactly what we encountered at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science during our April outing. The beginning paragraph may be a bit misleading. There was no special section reserved for Ross Perot, but it is through his generosity that this museum was established. And what a wonderful museum it is! Ever since seeing the grassy slopes, craggy exterior walls and people riding the escalator to the upper floors, Girls on Wheels has wanted to visit the Perot Museum, and we finally got our chance.

The Perot Museum, located near downtown Dallas, is said to be a “world of wonder.” Although it is conceptually a concrete slab square, its grandeur emanates the beauty of simplicity. Its extruding escalator and lower roof with various vegetation representing different regions of Texas make this building even more interesting. The design is especially impressive with its goal toward sustainability and the view of the Dallas skyline.

The place is huge with five levels of wondrous sites and 11 exhibition halls including 3D simulations, hands-on activities, interactive kiosks and educational games. Each level has a different themed exhibit with pretty much everything imaginable as it relates to nature and science. The museum tends to cater to the little folk, but there was plenty to learn and keep us adults entertained.

We explored technology, the human body, the universe, pre-historic Texas with fossils and dinosaurs and the aviary exhibit with a virtual flying game. In the Bio-Lab we participated in “laboratory studies” and analyzed our own DNA using cheek cells, experimented with the germ-killing properties of household cleaners and extracted DNA from wheat. We viewed two 3D films produced by the National Geographic: Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure and Tiny Giants 3D.

When hunger struck we grabbed some lunch at El Fenix Restaurant within walking distance of the museum. This 93-year old Dallas-based restaurant is credited with starting the Tex-Mex craze in the U.S. Still at its original location, the restaurant serves up good food with quick and attentive service.

With the day coming to a close we headed back home but not before making a couple of detours: a stop at Krispy Kreme for a fresh hot glazed donut and a stop at Dairy Queen for their signature Blizzard.

Girlfriends spent the day exploring the best Dallas had to offer. From the quirky and artistic structural design to the surprising variety of exhibits on display inside, the Perot Museum was a fantastic place to learn more about the world around us; to the flavors of Tex-Mex from a Dallas icon; and finally to the sinful pleasures of two Texas transplants, this day made us realize, “Your girlfriends will probably outlive your husband…so find good ones!”