All posts by Chris

Day 5-6 Science Center and Boeing Museum of Flight

On Tuesday we walked from our hotel to the Vancouver Science Center. Since it was spring break it was incredibly busy. We have been there many times so we looked at the stuff that we hadn’t seen before and left. The coolest things were the outdoor area which was on sustainable living and a board that display cell phone signals. If you made a call or texted it would light up. We walked back to our hotel stopping for ice cream.

Former Air Force One
Former Air Force One

On Wednesday we drove the 3 hours to Seattle. We stopped on the way to visit the Boeing Museum of flight. Our time was limited mostly by how long it took to drive there and they were only open to 5pm. It meant that we did not get to see everything. The place is huge. There were two whole wings that we didn’t get too and the rest we easily could have spent more time at.

Shuttle Mockup
Shuttle Mockup

We started in the space section. They had a training shuttle. So basically everyone who flew on the shuttle practice in this mockup. There was a Soyuz capsule that had actually flown to the ISS. One of the space tourists was from Seattle. Part of the price for the trip was that he got to keep the capsule that he went up in. He chose to donate it to the museum.

Soyuz Capsule
Soyuz Capsule

The next section that we did was a history of Boeing. It was interesting to see the early days with basically a woodworking shop. I spent a fair amount of time explaining what the various tool were to Ian. It was also cool to read that during WWII they made a mock neighborhood on their roof in case bombers came over.

Large Gallery
Large Gallery

The third area, which we had nowhere near enough time to do it justice, was the main gallery. There was an area on earlier rockets and the exploration of the moon. They had moon rocks and that was cool. They also had a moon buggy. We also had a talk with someone that volunteered there and had a lot of the history of everything space. The way he talked I wondered what he had done for work. I would not have been surprised if he had worked on some of this stuff.

Buzz Bomb
Buzz Bomb

One thing he pointed out was a WWII Buzz Bomb and the tiny engine that powered it. The bomb itself was a little smaller than I though but the actual engine was about one foot square and 4 inches deep. He explained how it made the buzz sound but I can’t remember.

Ian Flying
Ian Flying

Next time we go down I think we add another day at the beginning to give us a full day at the museum. Even that I am not sure will be enough time.

Margaret Flying
Margaret Flying
Philip Flying
Philip Flying

 

We continued on to our hotel which again was attached to the convention space. We explored the hotel to get our bearings and got a late dinner.

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Vacation Day 4: Vancouver Aquarium

We got to our hotel driving through a downpour. It was a bit stressful but we got there safe. It was a decent hotel but I knew it wasn’t going to compare to the DoubleTree in Seattle that was to be our next stop.

Vancouver
Vancouver

We got up in the morning and had a breakfast of bagels with cream cheese. One advantage to this hotel was it had a kitchen. We then walked to the aquarium. It was only about 3 kilometers. Walking along the seawall we got a beautiful view of downtown Vancouver across the water. We also came across a old fallen tree that has been there forever. The kids climbed on it of course.

Fallen Tree
Fallen Tree

We have a membership to the aquarium so we got to skip the line. With it being spring break we knew it was going to busy. It turned out not to be to bad as the weather wasn’t perfect and people traveled as groups making it easier to move around.

Siblings
Siblings

The aquarium has expanded since I was last there. Somethings were the same others I knew to be new but most I couldn’t tell.

Margaret Macaroni Penguin
Margaret Macaroni Penguin

We started outside with the dolphins. The trainers put them through a training session. All of their training is to study and care for the animals. One of the things was trying to put a tube down the throat for a scope. We were able to talk to them and ask the question since I had no idea what they were doing with the tube.

Sea Otter Feeding Time
Sea Otter Feeding Time

Ian really likes the sea otters right now having read a book where the main character is based on the otters at the aquarium. One of them had picked up a rock and was swimming along the glass banging the rock. Fun making noise or an escape attempt?

Sea Otter with Rock
Sea Otter with Rock

Ian and Margaret are both doing science projects based on photos that they took at the aquarium. Margaret is going to be sorting them based on their biological classification like Philip did with pictures from the San Diego Zoo. Ian is going to be sorting them by characteristics.

Upside Down Beluga
Upside Down Beluga

We watched the Beluga show from the underwater viewing area. It was quite neat as you could watch them dive for a jump and the reentry; them holding themselves upright in place by effectively treading water. We also got a picture of one swimming quite contently upside down. I wonder if they do that in the wild or if it is a learned trait.

We had fish and chips for lunch. I know, ‘in an aquarium?’ but they have really good ones. The aquarium has a program locally called Ocean Wise about sustainable seafood.

Margaret Petting a Stingray
Margaret Petting a Stingray

After lunch we went to the stingray touch tank. It was packed and very difficult to get to the edge. We did and everyone got to touch a stingray. It was really cool.

We went through pretty much all of the exhibits. At one point I was separated from the group. I have been reading a book called “The Power of Pause” by Terry Hershey. So I stopped, paused and really looked at the tank. Eventually I spotted a crab motionless at the bottom pulling food into his mouth. It was cool. I showed him to a number of people that walked up.

Margaret bought a little stingray stuffy that is blue so of course she named it blu ray. Ian bought a stuffy shark that he named Blackie because it has black tipped fins.

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

We walked how via a slightly shorter was and were rewarded with a clump of blooming cherry trees. These are ornamental and don’t produce fruit. We had dinner in the room of pork cutlets that I need to lean how to make my own.

Vacation Day 1-3: Mom’s Celebration of Life

My mom’s Celebration of life was on Saturday March 19th. We went down to White Rock on the Friday and stayed with my dad and step mom. We had an early ferry to catch and it was the only way to make it work. Our drive down was uneventful other than passing the remains of the semi truck fire. The back-end was burnt down to the frame rail and a Bobcat was scooping up cans of what ever he was hauling.

Kid Climbing
Kid Climbing

It was good to catch up with my dad but it was short as we needed to get up early to get that ferry. The ferry ride was interesting as there were a number of groups that were also headed to the celebration. On group was my brother’s old scout group whom I also know. It was good to see them as well.

The actual celebration was perfect in my views. The reading was Ecclesiastes 3.

The Purposes in God’s Timing

  1. There is a season for everything, and a time for every event under heaven
  2. a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted
  3. a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up
  4. a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance
  5. a time to scatter stones, and a time to gather stone; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
  6. a time to search, and a time to give up searching; a time to keep, and a time to discard
  7. a time to tear, and a time to mend; a time to be silent, and a time to speak
  8. a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

It made me remember one of her favorite songs from when I was little. I would think that the Pete Seeger version would be the one she listened to but the Byrds one is more familiar to me.

There was a poem that I also remembered from my youth that I never thought of as a poem. I want a poster of it for my house. Anyways here it is as an image I found of Pinterest.

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There was also a beautiful eulogy that I can not possibly cover. The celebration ended with the sing with another favorite song of hers ‘The Saints go Marching in’. Overall the celebration fit my mom and she would have been happy with it.

There was a reception afterwards. Most of the people I didn’t know because they are from her life on Pender Island and that started after I was an adult and on my own. There was her scout blanket there that she had donated to the area scout house. With all the badges on it it was a living piece of history.

Scout Blanket
Scout Blanket (Click for Full Size)

We had dinner with my various family members. It was good as I haven’t seen Tony’s kids in like a decade. We talked a lot and the kids introduced Ticket to Ride to their daughter. Ian won by 2 points but there was only 6 points separating the top three players.

Church View
Church View

On the Sunday we went to church at the little Catholic Church. They have a great view on Magic Lake and with it being a small island they also knew my mom so we ended up talking after mass.

Kids on the beach
Kids on the beach

We spent some time at the house going through things. There are a couple of painting that were painted by relative like great and great great grandparents. I also grabbed my mom’s recipe box and discovered that she had my grandmother’s as well. I need to try some of those recipes.

We caught the late ferry back to the mainland and drove to a hotel in Vancouver for the next segment in our vacation.