Anyway. From the Discovery Dome, we walked to the Planetarium, which is the only manual planetarium left in the United States. This is pretty cool. It was a lot more realistic than I expected, but it too had its many moments of hilarity. For one thing, our guide got more and more caricatured as the tour went on. For another, the voiceover of the planetarium program was a guy’s voice and kept saying things like, “You can see the instrument I’m holding,” at which point a light would glow behind our guide who was unmistakable a woman. And then, of course, to make the program longer, the voice-over repeated LOTS of things twice for drama.
Towards the beginning of the program, there was a simulated storm which was totally lame. As the “storm” faded away, the voice-over said, “As we recover from this terrible storm…” It was just so cheesy that it was all I could to hold my laughter in.
From the planetarium, we wandered out into the grounds proper and the guide had another little talk, beginning with, “I get asked one question a lot—it’s the question I get asked most. I don’t know why, but I do, so I’m going to answer it before you ask it!” Now, you have to bear in mind that her whole manner is hyper in the extreme. She goes on to say, “And that question is, ‘Where are the restrooms? So they’re across the parking lot. You do have to leave the park to get to them. Can you come back? Sure! I don’t care! Come on back! Now, in the enclosure over there you’ll see a bird. She’s not an ostrich. So don’t even call her an ostrich. She’s a Rhea, named after the Greek Goddess of Brazil.” Now, if you think about it, you realize that she means that the Rhea is from Brazil, not the goddess. But it was still hilarious.
I can’t even begin to describe how extremely awesomely cheesy the rest of the park was. It’s only tangentially connected with archaeology and there appears to be a LOT of embroidery on whatever facts they possess. It was, in its way, as insane as the Coral Castle. It was totally worth the price of admission just for the cheese factor.