Friday, November 21, 2014

Saturday at the 'Zoo

Hailey won our family tickets to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo by participating in the summer reading program at the library.  Even though it was a "summer" reading program - they gave us the tickets about a month ago.  The tickets expired at the end of December and we were a little worried that we wouldn't get to use them unless we pulled the kids out of school for a day.  Our weekends just seem like they have been crazy busy this whole school year - with no end in sight.  Fortunately some stars aligned and we found ourselves last weekend with a free Saturday. 

I was pleasantly surprised when we got there.  I had no idea what to expect and figured it would be crazy busy on a Saturday.  It was a very nice museum and not very busy at all.  At times it felt like we had the run of the place.

Hailey and Evan loved playing in the kiddie area.

They had a few smallish rides at the Air Zoo.  Hailey went on the spinning hot air balloons about three times.  She and Evan rode the other air balloons a couple times as well.

Spencer didn't want to ride any of the rides so he just hung out on the bench and watched all teenage angsty.

One of the highlights of the museum was getting to see the SR-71 Blackbird.  My Uncle Norm was one of the engineers of this plane back in the 60's.  There were only two ever made  - one crashed so this is the only one left.

I am not a "plane" person, but it was very cool looking.  It almost looked like something that would fly in outer space.

Hailey insisted on a souvenir when we left.  She bought that winged tiger.  They called him Kitty Hawk - she renamed him Lightening.

We left the Air Zoo and headed to Bilbo's pizza to quell my twenty year craving for cheese sticks and dill dip.  It did not disappoint.  Though Evan was a bit disappointed because he was picturing Bilbo's to be a lot more Middle Earth than it was.  

After "linner" we drove over to the Western Michigan University campus so I could show the kids my old stomping grounds.  Being there brought back a lot of memories - but the campus has changed so much in twenty years it also all seemed new.  I know that probably makes no sense whatsoever.

Hailey in front of "Rapunzel's" tower.  I don't even remember what that tower really is.  I think maybe the old hospital.

The bench they are by has a WMU etched into the rock that you can't even really see because of the snow. 

The library was just a few years old back when I went there.

We walked through the student union and I had to laugh when I came around the corner and saw the phone station that I used many times back in the day.  Those were the dark ages - way before anyone had cell phones.  When was the last time you saw a pay phone? 

It was funny because it wasn't that cold out, but the campus was virtually empty on a Saturday late afternoon.  Maybe everyone was napping before they were headed out for the night.

As we headed back to the car, I had a total catch my breath moment.  Spencer and Trent were walking ahead of me and it hit me that in only five years we could be leaving him here (or any other college).  The twenty years that have gone by since WMU was my home passed by so quickly - the next five years will be gone in a blink.  Just a vivid reminder for me to soak up every minute I can with these kids before they are gone.

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