Monday, March 31, 2014

Launching A New Decade for Sebi!

 For his 10th birthday, Sebastian knew exactly what he wanted: a trip to the space simulator up in Pleasant Grove. His brother and sister had both attended with Aunt Betsy's 6th grade class, and he'd wanted to have a party there for years. Unfortunately, they don't take anyone under the age of nine. I guess space exploration is only for the literate and mature crowd.
 We fed the boys lunch here, and went with a mostly Star Wars theme: Hoth Dogs, Fruit Sabers, Boba Fettables (carrot sticks), Darth Tater Chips, and Luke Skywater to drink (this is all from Pinterest -- don't think I came up with a thing). They played a couple of games, like shoot the storm trooper and the Star Wars trivia quiz. I failed miserably at the quiz and was shamed by a 10-year-old named Ryan.
Then they ate the cake and ice cream and were off to the simulator. From what I can tell, the kids are each assigned roles on a starship's bridge. Things such as captain, engineer, tactical, sensor, pilot, science officer, wing control, communications, and so on. Then they are given a mission to perform. I can only guess that these come from past episodes of Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century . . . The kids then have to try to perform their mission. Sometimes it's spying and sometimes it's a rescue. And they don't always succeed, but they always seem to have a great time.
I was hoping I'd find out what the magic is up there, but Rob, my eyes and ears, decided to go to Cook's nursery and check out what they were selling for spring plantings while the boys were there. The boys were thrilled with their mission and several of them said it was the best party they'd ever been to (this was not because of the Hoth Dogs, I can assure you -- they were Oscar Meyer cheese-filled jobbies). So I may get to find out when the next birthday comes around; everyone wants to go again!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Scout Overnighter in the West Desert

 I can barely write this post, it freaks me out so much. I should have Rob do it, or Will, but they are off on the next Cukoolicious scouting event right now. Anyway, scouts need 20 nights of camping. They're supposed to go once a month. This was to count as a night of camping. They stayed by these hot springs someplace out in the west desert that made Delta look like a teeming metropolis. The good news is that they springs were hot during a cold winter night. The bad news is that the boys stayed up until late thirty and then the natives came down to the springs drinking and whooping it up and kept everyone awake until 4am or so.
 Here they are the next morning. There are at least three adults in this picture, which should make me feel better. One of them is a doctor and one is a seasoned hiker, hanglider and daredevil. He held a world record for hangliding for about 10 years, from Frisco Peak to Park City. The other is a professor of psychology and he's the only one who might help me out with this trip.
 The breakfast spread. These people should be in the hospitality industry, don't you think?
 Once they struck camp, they had to go still farther out into oblivion to get to their destination. En route (when they may or may not have been traveling at speeds over 100 mph on dirt roads with scouts wearing no seat belts) there was a blowout. So they had to stop and put on the spare, and then they could only go 95 mph. Be still my heart.
 At least there was safety gear. Here is my poor baby who is claustrophobic like me. This whole trip freaked me out SO MUCH that it didn't even OCCUR to me that Will was going to have a problem with it. Not once. So embarrassing. This is the kid that I coaxed and coached all the way through the line at Disneyland to go on the submarine ride with me (piece of cake, we both decided). But heaven help me, I thought they were going into a cave. 
 Before their descent, they actually had to make or repair the rope ladder. That right there is a sign you're doing something unnatural.
 My honey was there too, with a strict injunction that no one was to get stuck in a cave on his watch. I told him I'd never recover.
 This was the so-called cave. It was really just a crevasse. A crack. A series of wormholes through which they had to crawl nose to soles with their elbows. I can't talk about it any more. It makes me stop breathing. Will made it a lot farther than I would have, but after half an hour or so he told Rob he couldn't go any farther. Thank heavens his papa is a can-do kind of a guy and they worked their way backwards by themselves. If Rob hadn't been there, I can tell you with great assurance, he would have spontaneously combusted.
And they all got out alive! Which is the only thing I care about. I hope no one is as scarred as I am by this trip. I can still work myself into a panic about it.