2 Big Ol' Geeks on the Bridge of the Enterprise

So Lucie is able to leave work a little early today, and we've got a few hours of rare weekday daylight time together. And to celebrate that, we decide to go someplace we've been meaning to go for a while, the Star Trek Experience at San Jose's the Tech Museum. Lucie's sort of a closeted Star Trek fan (Kirk, not so much Picard) and I'm a sci-fi fan (general all-around geek), so it sounds like a good time for both of us. It's only in town until the new year and we figure most people are either at work or our shopping, so it should be fairly empty.

I'm actually looking forward to this; I haven't been to the Tech since last year, when I went to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit they had (which was way cool in a mechanical engineer wannabe sort of way) and I figure it's high time I paid it another visit.

Parking is a little sparse, as Christmas in the Park is going on right across the street and the normal business parking lot is closed, but there's a public parking structure a block away where we find an open spot, so we have a small hike through the carnival rides that are set up for Christmas in the Park, and we eventually arrive at the Tech.

There's no line to buy tickets, which makes us happy. After buying tickets we realize that our scheduled time slot for entry isn't for another hour, which makes us grumpy. We sit for a few minutes by the entrance; there's hardly anyone nearby to get in, which makes us wonder why they're rationing the crowds so heavily. I eventually go back through the line and ask why we need to wait for an hour before entering, and the guy apologizes for typing in the wrong time -- we can go ahead and enter any time we'd like, he says, which makes me a little murderous and not at all Christmassy in spirit, but I get over it, he survives the day, and Lucie and I enter the exhibit.

It's a Star Trek geek's paradise -- costumes and props (some of them replicas; some of them the real thing) from a myriad of characters from all of the shows and movies. Everything from the outfits from all of the original series' characters (McCoy's shirt didn't look nearly as fuzzy when I watched it on TV), to tidbits and trivia about the actors (I never noticed or realized that James Doohan lost the middle finger of his right hand during D-Day and just tried to hide it on set), to a replica of the original bridge complete with Captain's chair where we get our picture taken by an official The Star Trek Experience Wants More of Your Money worker. We also get our picture taken in the Transporter Room, for a "holographic" picture where we appear and disappear (maybe it's just me, but for some reason the official worker here seems relieved that he can make the image of me and my tie dye outfit go away.)

Walking through the rest of the exhibit, we say hi to a tribble, ooh and aah at the assorted weapons, mock a picture of Wesley Crusher, get a headache trying to follow the huge Star Trek timeline display that takes up an entire wall and covers everything from Star Trek: Enterprise (hi, Sam Beckett!) to Star Trek Nemesis (so long, Bob Wheeler!), and buy several cans of Romulan Ale, a Star Trek themed energy drink which gimmick I wholeheartedly support. We also buy a picture of Lucie in the captain's chair (looking very commanding and in charge), me in the captain's chair (looking decidedly less so), and our holographic transporter room picture (complete with rocking picture frame to best view the disappearing act.)

Geeked out, poorer, and happy we came, we leave the Tech and wander back through the Christmas in the Park carnival toward the parking garage. We stop long enough to win a pink-frog-in-a-Santa-hat stuffed animal; buy a caramel apple for Lucie, a bag of cotton candy for us to share, some caramel corn on a stick for me (because it's caramel corn,on a stick) and a funnel cake in case the other stuff doesn't have enough sugar in it; and continue on back to Meg.

We pay way too much for parking (not surprising) and drive home. If you're near San Jose and like the show or movies (and dislike your money and want to get rid of a bunch of it), I do recommend going to the exhibit. I wouldn't recommend wearing your Star Trek shirt or Spock ears or anything, though, 'cuz that might be going just a bit overboard. And, uh, we didn't think of it.

Merry Geeksmas.


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