Monday, May 16, 2011

my life as a field trip

I rarely leave Natchitoches. No, really. I live, work, worship, shop, dine and do all my living in our small town. I used to travel to far-away lands on a very regular basis, between Northwestern Baseball and Claire's travel ball team, we were on the road all the time. Then Kelly made the switch to high school and we didn't make too many away games this year. Claire is taking a break from travel softball, in order to enjoy life as a 9-year old should, which keeps us blissfully at home on Saturdays and Sundays.

While we do save tons of moola on gas, I find myself getting a little restless. Oh, how I would love to visit Target (!) or dine somewhere rather than the usual Natchitoches fare. Well, this weekend, Claire and I left town big time.

Friday I was one of many chaperones on Claire's 4th & 5th grade field trip to New Orleans. We boarded the charter bus, and in true field trip fashion, found my seat at the back of the bus. Right next to the bathroom. I was hoping to leave my secretary voice at home {"walking feet!"} but I quickly became the bathroom monitor {"no, you slide the door. go sit back down. i said sit!" - i really am a nice secretary}.

After 4 hours of bathroom bliss we arrived at the Aquarium of the Americas. We enjoyed the morning with friends while taking in the sights and sounds. We ate lunch and watched the IMAX movie, "Deep Sea 3D". Johnny and Kate (Depp & Winslet) put me to sleep with their sultry voices before we headed to the Insectarium.

Five minutes at the Insectarium was more than enough for me. I'm not a big fan of bugs. I prefer to know nothing about them, pretend they don't exsist and hope they leave me alone {even though I KNOW we need them, they're important to our ecosystem, blah blah blah}.Claire, on the other hand, enjoyed the bug exhibits thoroughly, even enjoying a snack of cinnamon waxworms. None for me, thank you!

Afterwards, we enjoyed some free time and made our way to Cafe Du Monde with friends where we enjoyed frozen cafe au laits and fresh beignets. mmmmm. We headed back to the buses after a quick stop at a jewelry story and Pinkberry where we enjoyed pomegranate and coconut frozen yogurt. mmmmmm again. We made our way home to the soothing sounds of Tom & Jerry playing on the bus DVD.

"That's great," you're thinking. "She gave us all the boring details. And made us look at pictures. But at least she left her small town. Good for her."

But that's not all, folks!

Since I wasn't tired at all (you may have noticed that I'm feeling a little sarcastic today) I didn't think it'd be a big deal to pack up 8 girl scouts and 1 grandmother into a 15 passenger van and drive them 5 hours to Houston to spend the night at the NASA Space Center. That's right! My field trip weekend wasn't over!

We arrived at the Space Center just before dinner. We checked in, hauled our sleeping bags and pillows from the van and joined over 300 other Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts for a "Camping in Space!" adventure. The girls enjoyed participating in badge activities such as making air rockets and learning about astronaut food while I drank coffee and took ibuprofen, I mean, watched and took pictures. The girls really had a great time before we climbed into our sleeping bags on the floor next to the space capsules (no, really!) at midnight.

The lights came on at 7 and we packed up and headed to breakfast. We ate early "just like the astronauts" before watching an IMAX movie (2 in 24 hours - quite an experience!) and taking the tram tour of Johnson Space Center. We spent mad money (some girls spent their lunch money - oops) in the gift shop before we blasted off to lunch. We met up with my friend Holly and ate until we couldn't eat any more at Jason's Deli before heading home.

It was a wild, wonderful weekend. And now I need a nap.

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