Wow thanks ever so much and thanks for confirming my guess on the trip from Texas to Chicago.

I get the feeling I'm nuts going to Chicago from what's been posted above (which implies the Washington equivalents are better) but I really want to go to 2 Chicago museums I remember from 40 years ago and show my kids. Yeah I know the museums will have changed and probably lost their charm (maybe the shrunken heads have been taken off display) but I want to show the kids:

Out of idle curiousity if I'd gone from New Mexico to Chicago via Montana instead of Texas would there of been appreciably better stuff to see to justify the longer route? You see Texas is winning due to the much shorter more conventional route and the Dinosaur footprints at Glenn Rose which beats out the Montana Badlands and Yellowstone.

PS my wife just walked in and thanked you all for the help you've given.