First off, congratulations are in order for The Angel Forever, winner of the fabulous National Geographic 10 Best in Family Travel Book.True to my word, we headed over the Stern Pinball Factory for a quick field trip this morning. I was thrilled to learn about Stern’s in the National Geographic book. It’s the only remaining electro-mechanical pinball machine manufacturer in the world. It’s located a short drive away from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and not far from my house.Although my wizened 11-year-old announced the factory was boring as soon as we’d stepped inside, within minutes, he was wide-eyed and begging for my camera.We learned about the development phase from image licensing to design and observed all phases of construction and testing of the machines. The boys even got a souvenir to take home. Alas, they weren’t handed a $4,000 “24” themed pinball machine, but a cool surprise nonetheless.Stern Pinball offers free private tours on request; be sure to inquire about age limits.