Visiting the Natural History Museum

(author’s note: If you haven’t voted yet for my next stop, go vote now!)

It’s been over a week since my last trip update.  I’m in Birmingham now after 2 weeks in London (amazing city) and a couple of days in Warwick visiting the castle.  I have several posts on London queued up for this week, starting off with my trip to the Natural History Museum.

It took me a few tries to get to the museum, primarily because the first few times I went I didn’t feel like standing in a 200+ person line in the rain.  It worked out fine, because each time I skipped it I ended up someplace just as cool (Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum).

The Natural History Museum didn’t disappoint.  They have an impressive collection of specimens ranging from butterflies to dinosaurs and everything in between.  For those of you with kids, the museum had a lot of interactive exhibits if you’re looking for a place to spend a day with the kiddies.

Rather than cover every exhibit in detail, I’ve cherry-picked my favorites with a brief overview and some photos from the exhibit.  Enjoy.


Exploring the Red Zone

The museum is set up in a series of colored “zones”.  The Red zone is focused on the natural forces that shape the Earth and evolution.  I particularly enjoyed the “Earth’s Treasury” exhibit which contained an extensive collection of gemstones, crystals, and other “treasures”.  Enjoy the photos:


The Blue Zone

The “Blue” zone is focused on the various life forms found on earth, including fossils, mammals, fish & sea life, and photography exhibits.  I spent most of my time in this zone, with the fish & sea life exhibit being the best of the group:


The mammals exhibit had a mix of preserved specimens, skeletons, and life-size models:


The Images of Nature exhibit contained photographs, paintings, and drawings of various plant and animal life throughout the last 200 years:


In total, I spent about 6 hours at the museum, and had it not been closing would have stayed for a few more.  Here’s a few photos from some of the other exhibits I got a chance to see:


Poker Update

I’m sitting at +$2,000 for my trip so far playing poker (London was a bit of a train wreck despite being up early on).  I got into a crazy mixed game that I ran badly in and took a $1,500 hit in a single session.  We were playing dealer’s choice, with the games including:

1/2 No Limit (2 card or 3 card) and 1/2 PLO (4, 5, & 6-card)

I played well ~95% of the time, with the last hand I played (3-card NLH) being the notable exception.  Lost with a set of K’s against a flush (other player had 3 diamonds in his hand).

Took a bunch of awful beats in the PLO games, losing quads over quads, FH over FH, etc.  Basically, any time my opponent had a 30% or less chance of beating me on the flop, they hit their card or cards on the turn and river.  I played correctly, so over time this evens out in my favor, but after losing the 3rd $1,000+ pot in 45 minutes I kind of lost interest in continuing play for the day.  I could feel the ’tilt’ coming and decided to head it off at the pass…

Anyway, I still had fun and learned quite a bit playing at the table, so despite the money loss I wouldn’t have changed the experience.


Next up – poker in Birmingham and Buckingham Palace.


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Goodbye for now,