We've been waiting for this day.
A day to take a grandchild on a special trip with Gramma and Papa.
We chose this day a trip to the WildLife Safari and the Air and Space Museum.
It's a couple hours driving so Zane came prepared with coloring pages which lasted until we got out of town.
His first, "Are we there yet", was not quite a hour on the journey.
Our first fill up stop netted Zane a new spiderman car to play with. Sadly, it was lost later.
I intended to start this trip paying attention to my photos for quality purposes. You would think the thing in the way would be a car seat, not my finger. I mean, a finger in the lens, after all these years!!
Our first wildlife was this herd of elk. They are magnificent creatures. It seems impossible that those bull elk can carry those enormous racks.
This was Zane's favorite, turtles sunning themselves on logs in this algae covered pond. He was convinced the water must be solid. He called it "frozen" and had to throw a stick it to see. I'm not sure he was totally convinced.
Pelicans have a dark band of feathers that isn't visible in repose.
The wetlands were populated with Canadian geese, sandhill cranes, and several duck varieties. I couldn't see any ducks, and I've seen too many Canadian geese, therefore no photos.
There is a little "petting zoo" and picnic area. We were there at goat feeding time. The keeper feeds them on the rocks so visitors get the thrill of watching climbing goats. She was letting some of the kids hand feed some and Zane thought that was a good idea until he actually had the grain in his hands.
We finally got him to pat a goat, but all he wanted to do was thump on the side of this soon-to-be mama. I hope the kids were already awake!
No trip with Zane would be complete without remembering his super-active personality. This shows it well.
Also, the day wouldn't be complete without a picture on the John Deere tractor. Zane made Papa's day by shrieking "a John Deere", as soon as he saw it.
Zane hardly knows what these are for.
I wanted photographs to remember this day by, and Zane wanted one with the antlers. He wanted the biggest ones, but he couldn't be still long enough for a photo. One thing done, and he's on to another.
It wasn't too hot that day, but eagles must like to be in the shade. I'm not sure what kind this one is, but the Bald Eagles are almost hidden. Look for the white heads. (second photoi)
This is Zane.
I would have liked to get a lovely photograph of him full face with the bright smile he has in the second one.
But, really, this is Zane, too busy, too quick to sit still long enough to record that little memory. What we get is the best we can get, action, and a memory in the heart.
Some birds of prey are caged, these screech owls for example, they are all huddled up blinking sleepily.
American Black Bear, this may have usurped the turtles.
We knew before we went that we would be seeing these scenes through the eyes of a five-year old. Sometimes that means very quickly, as he runs through the exhibits and we trot after him.
Even here, he reminds us of the simple joys of childhood running a hand across a fence to feel and hear that strange thumping sound it makes.
Many wild flowers were marked. These weren't
And what is a trip to any wildlife area without the buffalo, which are called bison nowadays, and perhaps always. Who knows why they were every called buffalo anyway?
A barn owl peeking out.
Next stop: Air and Space Museum
At the base of a missile.
The first thing Zane saw in this building were the escalators. He would have been happy riding up and down the rest of the day.
Except for one small break for the elevator.
It happened to be kid's day at the museum and I was afraid that would take Zane's attention away from the planes. There were all sorts of games and things to play, but he didn't have enough patience to wait in the sometimes very long lines. This was a bouncy house/space shuttle slide, and you can see by the photo, that he was moving quickly.
At last, something to get into and move!!
We ended our day with ice cream.
Except...we missed the featured plane of the month. So we went in. It was rather a bust for Zane, since we could only peek at things, not go the length of the plane and touch everything in it. It was a training plane for navigation. Instead of seat, there were columns of desks with equipment mounted on them.
Views from the museum. It was mind-boggling to see the size of these missiles.
Surface-to-surface missile perhaps?
Sometime in there when we were walking around under the planes, looking at bombs, the size of the planes and an air raid shelter that it hit me, this is war. These things are here for us to remember.
To remember a time we don't ever want to see again.
I can't describe the feeling that came over me.
It was a feeling that I was touching a piece of history that was long gone, yet at any time might come too close.
We need to visit these places; we need to take our children to them. We need to remember those who have given so much for their country.
Even to the ultimate sacrifice.
We need to remember what war means.
There was peace in our car on the way home.
The end of a big day that started with doughnuts and a new car and ended with ice cream and new planes.
A day that was in Zane's words, "Awesome!"