I am going to do this a little different than my standard one day per post and cover the highlights.
We give our kids a lot of freedom at these. The basic rule is that Ian had to be with another family member but other than that they were free within the hotel / convention space. My wife kept track of the talks they planned to go to and everyone had the hotel room as a meeting point.
For my wife the weekend was largely about two of her favorite authors; Tanya Huff and Janny Wurts. So most of the talks she went to involved one of those two authors. For her the highlight was getting to meet these two authors. She got a lot of her books signed. She also got to buy artwork by Janny Wurts. She mostly bought prints but she also bought one original watercolor. The biggest highlight for her was being able to sit down with Janny Wurts and have her go through her sketchbook. I was there and it was interesting for me but for my wife it was ‘oh is that…’. To which Janny would respond ‘yes’. There was one that I got the impression was a location from a future book. No Spoilers. I don’t think my wife even got any spoilers from it really.
For Philip and Ian there was a film making track where they went through the whole process of making a movie over the four days of the convention. They started with coming up with ideas, writing a plot and finished with actually filming and editing a short movie.
Margaret was much more eclectic taking in talks on writing, arts, Doctor Who and a variety of others.
For me I went mostly to ones on writing with a few Doctor Who and Science ones thrown in.
For all of us the Masquerade was a highlight. All of the kids competed this time in the Rising Star class. Margaret and Ian went on as a team dress as Tiffany Aching and a Feegle. They had recorded a parody of a song talking about Feegles. It was hilarious and probably helped them win. They took Best in Class – Rising Star – Presentation. Philip went as a Ranger from a book series that he has read. He had spent a lot of time on making his costume and his bow. He won Best in Class – Rising Star – Workmanship. A win moves you up to the next class. It means that next time they will be competing with adults.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.