Wednesday, July 6, 2016

de Jong Boys go to space camp: Day 1

Today's Drive:

Today's intinerary:

Niels' observations for the day:

Today was a big day. D and I embarked on our first ever multi-day boy's trip. We'll be gone for about a week driving to and attending NASA's official Space Camp at the US Space and Rocket Center (at Marshall Space Flight Center) in Huntsville, AL.

We started the day bright and early and were on the road by 8am. We wanted to get in some zip lining at the Hocking Hills Canopy Tours facility just outside of Logan, OH. They have 6 or 7 different tours and 1 separate zip lining course for the kids. As you need to be 8 and 70lbs for the adult rides I sat this one out and let D have an absolute blast zipping through the course twice. 

Since Jen is gimpy this summer with Achilles tendonitis, we had to get our hike in while we could. Hocking Hills a beautiful place to explore God's creation. 

D wanted to zipline 2 more times but we still had a fair bit of driving to do so we went on to our next stop...

The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park is a collection of 6 sites of burial mounds from the local Native tribes that settled the area radiating from the Scioto River Valley and Chillicothe from 200 BC to about 500 AD. It's good to see these places being protected by the National Park Service as 15 other sites have been lost to either development or agriculture. D read about this in one of the history books that he and Jen are reading over summer break and we saw it was on our way to Space Camp so he asked us to include it. Truth be told D wasn't too impressed when we got there so we didn't stay very long but did make a keen observation that these mounds were similar to the Egyptian and Mayan Pyramids in their burial function.

After lunch at one of D's favorite non-CFA restaurants (Five Guys), we made a manly stop at Lowe's to pick up some Duct Tape to fix D's headphones. We can't go to Space Camp without listening to The Martian for the 101st time! We wish that Andy Weir hadn't used so much salty language in the book, but as we told D, "If you find yourself stranded on Mars, it's probably understandable if you say a few bad words, but here on Earth, we want you to control your tongue!" At any rate, we can credit Mr. Weir for D's change of interest from rocket design to Mars surface operations: building the habitat and rovers.

While driving through Cincinnati we waved at Auntie Ashley as we drove by the Cincinnati Children's hospital. Maybe we can meet up with her for dinner on our way back home next week Monday. After crossing the Ohio river we continued on through Kentucky and made it to our hotel at around 6:30pm.

The hotel is highly recommended. It's brand new, has very fast free internet (35mpbs!!), very nice rooms, good beds (and a chair/ottoman combo that D wanted to sleep on) and of course... a pool! So nice to just kick-back and watch D play with some other kids while I got to unwind a bit after a day of driving. After a quick stop at BK for dinner we worked on this blog post a bit and hit the hay!

Day 1 in the bag...Space Camp awaits.

D's observations for the day:

What did I do: I went zip lining, I went to Old Man's Cave, I went to the Indian Mounds.

What was the best part of the day: The zip lining (and the pool at the hotel)

My favorite picture to remember today is:

More posts about Space Camp:

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