The Road Home: July 7, 2012

 (click here for today's pictures)

We slept in a little later than usual and while we were getting ready the boys watched the Tour de France.  They were so into it-I know that they will love the Olympics.  I will have to make them a chart so they can keep track of all of the US medals.  It didn't take us as long to leave the hotel today since we didn't have to load up.  So we even had a bit of time to let the kids go up and down the escalator.  It really is just the little stuff that makes them so happy.  As Reagan was looking at our hotel right in the airport, she said "when I bring my kids here, we will fly." 
If we are in the car for over 5 minutes, Campbell will take her shoes and socks off.  She sets them on the edge of her window all lined up with her socks sitting inside of her shoes.  It is cute when we are driving but when we stop, she insists on putting her shoes on-which takes forever in this heat.
As we were approaching the Space Center (also known as Space Camp), Anderson saw a big rocket.  He exclaimed "Daddy, we have seen a giant cow, a giant buffalo and now a giant rocket."  He said all of this in a my life is now complete voice.  We parked and unloaded.  A lady walking nearby saw the kids and was chatting with me about them.  She then asked "how do you remember all of their names?"  Um, well they are my children and there are only 5 of them.  Really?  I have never had anyone ask me that question before.
Robby said that he had always wanted to go to Space Camp as a child.  And it would be neat for the kids to get to go when they are big-maybe Robby will have to go with them.  Of course, I am not sending them here on a plane by themselves and I am not going to sit in a hotel room in Huntsville for a week either!  But when I review the costs of Space Camp, maybe we will just have Space Camp in the back yard!  Ha! 
The Space and Rocket Center was pretty big and some parts were a bit dated but it was still neat to see.  We actually bought a year long pass to the space place-not because we can go back but because it will give us free admission to the Museum of Discovery.  And if I go one time it will pay for my pass so that was actually a good deal.  The first part of the exhibit was about the German who started the Unites States' missile program and eventually helped start our space program.  Then we moved on to a traveling exhibit about Mammoths.  Then on to the rocket/space stuff. 
We came upon a ride simulator and me and the 4 big kids jumped on.  Robby can't do simulator rides very well.  The sign said it was about Mars and I told the kid we learn about Mars and kept talking it up.  Well, our Mars rover was driving along in Mars and then we ended up on a Martian roller coaster.  Seriously, a Martian roller coaster?  I thought it was going to be educational. 
Then we went outside and walked around some big rockets.  The kids played in a little playground and all got to ride one of those up and down rides.  They just laughed and laughed.  We then had popsicles and icees since it was so hot outside.
Next up was back inside for an IMAX movie.  I don't think that Campbell, Graham, and of course Keaton have ever been to a movie.  So we started them out with a bang-this IMAX was huge and domed.  We sat really high up and in the middle of a row-imagine all 7 of us crawling over you in the movie!  Ha!  The first commercial was about a polar bear movie and then the next one was crazy loud and about Batman.  When that commercial ended, Campbell shouted "where did that bear go?"  The movie was occasionally loud and most of the kids had their hands over their ears at least occasionally (Graham all of the time - Reagan even had to hold the icee for him to drink so he wouldn't have to move his hands from his ears). 
Our movie was about space junk and it was quite interesting.  Anderson was on the edge of his seat the entire time taking it all in.  Campbell was also on the edge of her seat but that was just because that was where she had fallen asleep.  Keaton was pretty interested in the movie but really enjoyed shouting "bye bye," waving and guzzling her milk.  Surprisingly, we all made it through the 45 minute movie without having to get up.
Next up was a walk through the newer section of museum.  We saw Saturn 5 and the kids enjoyed climbing in a few space things.  They had a really neat playground over there and since it was inside that was even better.  After a few more bathroom stops, we were headed out the door.  We did stop briefly in the gift shop.  I was looking for an ornament and saw the kid sized space suits.  I told Graham that if i had all the money in the world I would buy them all one.  Graham later asked "when we come back next year and you have all of your money will you buy me one then?"  I had planned on getting the kids a souvenir from there but just couldn't find anything that was worth buying (and that I couldn't find elsewhere cheaper).
Our next stop was about an hour down the road in Scottsboro.  It was the Unclaimed Baggage Center.  They buy all of the lost and unclaimed luggage from the airlines, recondition it and sell it.  We pulled out and I gave the kids a list of the rules.  Anderson asked "can a grown up just go in and we stay here."  He wanted to get out of going in the store.
It was quite the sight-think a big resale shop with lots of stuff.  Nice clothes-many with new tags, shoes, purses, fancy dresses, wedding dresses, tons of hats, books and electronics.  We weren't there too long but we did buy 2 little toy airplanes, 1 new sticker book, 1 pkg of trash bags (yes, I know you can get them for free at Walmart but these are pre folded and nice for the car) and one baby carrier.  They had a Baby Bjorn one like Amber/Aprils for 6 dollars-figured for that price I could use it once.  The kids did enjoy the free lemonade and they especially enjoyed the dipping dots that Robby bought for them while he was cooling off the car.  I tried to explain how that was astronaut ice cream-but they really didn't care. 
We made a few stops on the way back to the hotel-milk, bread and then pizza.  At the hotel, we had our pizza in the room and then loaded up.  Robby secretly wanted to drive back tonight but we didn't.  We did get all loaded up-roof bag-for the trip home.  So in the morning it will be easier to load up.
We put the kids to bed at 8:30 and Campbell slept in Robby's bed and Keaton in mine.  Of course, no one was used to going to bed that early so it took them awhile to go to sleep.  It actually took them so long that Robby and then I fell asleep while laying with our girls.  The plan was for us to get up after they went to sleep and do the blog/pictures but instead I am doing it now in the car!

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