Saturday we want to spend more time out of the car, but with the temps in the 90's, and high humidity, that means being indoors.
We collect the family and enjoy a tasty breakfast up the road at Red Rooster Restaurant (say that three times fast). Bill has been getting disturbing calls from his mother all morning, and as more of the family checks in he's not feeling like he can enjoy an outing. So we drop him back at home where he can focus on what may or may not be a serious issue.
Our destination this morning is the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder. Sounds like a strange place to have fun, but I'm hopeful that this family of geeks will find something to do.
|1968 poster of the center|
|The Table Mesa facility designed by architect I. M. Pei, and completed in 1966|
|Pei described the building as a futuristic adaptation of the Mesa Verde Ruins|
Although the center is filled with researchers and school children on weekdays, this is one of the rare places where there are very few others visiting on a weekend. Sweet!
There is no cost to enjoy the two-story exhibit hall. I don't see any staff other than security at the front until we are leaving and a docent is greeting several folks who appear to be arriving for an event.
Our first stop is a "cloud maker" that Ezra loves. What's not to love about having clouds pushed over you?
A lot of the exhibits are interactive and user-friendly. Wind and clouds and lightning and tornadoes and ocean tides and fire - and the challenges of predicting timing and impact. It is very well done.
|Sculpting sand by changing the wind's direction|
|Earth's rotation, oceans, how it all works|
|The chaos of randomness "demonstrated" by spinning three double-jointed pendulums - both educational and hypnotizing|
|Look Daddy - just like Thor!|
Next we watch how the city of Boulder has learned to live with the flooding of Big Thompson River. It is a very good film, showing how one man's understanding of living with the river, rather than thinking we can control it, saved lives and prevented major damage in the 2013 flood. The hinged bridge that swings to the side, and the use of concrete bike paths as flood control canals, are brilliant.
A large window frames the beautiful views and stream light on to a small scale model of the building and surrounding property.
|I can't find an angle without the window glare, but I want to remember this nice model|
|We do have a choice - I hope for Ezra's sake we pay now|
|The ice core sample captures Ezra's delight|
NCAR turns out to be a perfect place to spend a few hours. I definitely recommend it if you're in the area.
|Let's make sure we didn't miss anything.|
|Good Juju, Sawtooth Ale, Sawtooth Ale Nitro, Milk Stout|
Normally we like reds, but the Sawtooth is our least favorite. Both the Good Juju with a light ginger taste, and the heavy, sweet Milk Stout are very good. Brian adds a bottle of Wake Up Dead Stout to a six pack of each of the others, and we make our way home.
Ezra hangs out with his grandparents while the others are back at the hotel for a while. He is such a happy baby, so curious about everything, very fun to spend time with :-)
|Pop Pop is very interested in Ezra's story|
The temps cool down and the bugs hold off enough for us to enjoy the rest of the evening outdoors. I don't want it to end because I know they're all leaving tomorrow :-(
Sunday morning we sleep-in a little then pick up the family at 10:00. Renting the mini van worked out so well for this adventure - lots of room for everyone and everything!
This is Brian's first Father's Day as Daddy - such a great daddy! It's still hard to believe my son has a son.
We get them all to curbside check-in and with lots of hugs we say our "see-you-soon's". The time went by waaaaay too fast, I can hardly believe they're already leaving.
Monday I run some errands in town, but mostly we just hang around home. Laundry gets washed, food gets cooked. I try not to be sad :-(
Although the parting is no fun, we are really glad that we can share this life with our kids. Having them visit us in beautiful places is such a treat for all of us! We're fortunate that their schedules allowed for them to be here together this time as well.
We hope some day the other boys will be able to join us on the road as well. The second grandson arrives in August so Ezra will have a cousin to share the adventures with!
Bill's mom is doing fine, false alarm as anticipated. The Jeep dealer did a software update, and made a recall fix, but couldn't duplicate the problem we've had for months. So it's still not fixed. Oh well......
Thanks to Brian and Shalise for some of the NCAR pics!