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October 26th, 2002

A kids kind of day...

We started off at around 9:00, heading to Finch's for breakfast. Yum. Yum. Totally unhealthy. Totally Yum.

From there, we went to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Michael and Tyler had a ball. We started off visiting the butterfly pavilion just in time for the "11:00 butterfly release." It wasn't what I had imagined -- hundreds of butterflies being released from some area -- but one man with about a one-foot cube netted cage release about 30 butterflies, one at a time. Nonetheless, it was very cool. They were so beautiful, and some of them climbed on your finger if you held it up to them on a leaf.

From there we went into a room with a bunch of learning gadgets. The kids' (especially Michael's) favorite was a video-taping machine that encouraged you to flip your lips together, and then played it back for you in slow motion. It was pretty funny, making you look like you have "fish lips."

We took a train ride at 1:00, which was kind of lame, but evidently one of those things you just have to do when you're there. It traversed the track twice, with the highlight being the tunnel, in which you were encouraged to "scream at the top of your lungs." There was the cutest Asian kid, looked Korean maybe, standing up at the fence waving at everybody on the train as it passed him. He was so adorable; you couldn't help but wave back.

The animals there, to me, were sad. Two hawks in a cage were particularly disturbing to me.

The was a section with weather phenomena in it, which was pretty cool. And the upstairs section with that whipping chain and the ball that stays afloat and the bridge to build and that computer that says words you type in was pretty funny, too.

I was trying to "talk" to Lisa through the machine, typing in one word at a time and making the computer say it, but it took a long time to say a sentence, and she was so absorbed saying state names into the machine next to me, while it lit up the state that she was saying. I typed in "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." The computer sounded real funny saying that. It just wasn't quite right.

We shopped at the museum shop, where I bought "glow-in-the-dark stars" for Robert, a postcard showing the butterfly pavilion to send to him through the mail, and a butterfly magnet for my refrigerator. We left the museum at around 3:00.

Next stop, the NC State Fair. The traffic was horrendous waiting on the Edwards Mill Road exit. After I passed, where you should, I made a U-turn and got back on Wade Ave. I parked where Robert and I parked on Wednesday. It was a long walk, and I think it wore Tyler out a bit.

The first thing we did was ride that ride that Robert and I rode on Wednesday -- the one like the round-up. This was the first year that Tyler rode the "big kid rides," and he was a little scared to go on it. He caved in nicely to peer pressure, though, and got in the line with us. Lisa didn't ride this one. Tyler was a little ashen as we were sitting on the thing getting locked in. Afterward, though, he and Mike said they loved it. And, in fact, on our way leaving the fair, they wanted to go on it again. However, when we went to do that the line was so incredibly long that we ended up not.

We ate more nutritious food (not!), and rode a few more rides. Tyler and Michael rode the scrambler, and I watched several of the peoples' faces do what mine did on Wednesday, that is start off smiling and ending up quite not. The boys seemed to love it, though.

Next, they went on a roller coaster, which Michael called "lame" when it was over. After that, we all, including Lisa (her only ride) went on the ride that's like a huge free falling elevator. You sit down, it takes you straight up, pretty high, then drops you free-fall straight down. It was neat, but I do remember thinking as we were approaching the top, "Why, exactly, do we do these things to ourselves?"

The kids were exhausted (as was I!) when we left. I parked the three of them at the Shell station at the corner of Blue Ridge and the service road behind Hillsborough Street, and made the long trek to the car. I needed gas anyway, so I thought, "there's no need in all of us making that walk." Poor, Tyler, he's so short. I don't think his little legs could have made it. He seemed genuinely pleased about the offer to just sit at the gas station and wait for me to bring the car up.

We got back to the house about 8:00, and they left within the half hour. Both boys were very thankful for a fun-filled weekend and day. When they got about 5 minutes away, I noticed one of the toys the boys had bought at the museum on my coffee table. I'll put it in the mail on Monday.

I laid down to take a 2-hour nap thinking I'd get up and go out later. I woke up at 2AM, went downstairs, and turned off the lights, and went back to sleep.

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