(is she ever going to be done with spring break?!)
i had hopes that spring would arrive in minnesota and i could move on to lovelier things. but as it stands, it's snowing. right now. outside. on may 3. holding on to spring break helps dampen the urge to curl into the fetal position under a blanket and sleep until june.
but this is it. i promise. last bit of spring break. and, as i said a month ago earlier: i saved the nerdy for last.
there were a handful of things we wanted to do while we were in puerto rico, and for several reasons we ended up not doing any of them. however, the one thing we DID do was check out the arecibo observatory.
now, geeks and nerds and sci fi fans may recognize arecibo from the movie "contact" with jodie foster.
we rented a car and drove an hour to arecibo, then another half an hour up into the hills to get to the observatory. the higher up and farther away from the highway we went, the more marc said it reminded him of ecuador. especially when we had to slow down for roosters to cross the road.
we paid admission then spent the next hour or so reading all of the information about the radio telescope, astronomy, astrophysics, physics, meterology, and other sciences that i bet would have made much more sense to us in high school and college. but the kids dug it, and henry reverted into mr experiment mode like he always does in museums and science centers.
we checked out a scale model of the telescope and read about how it worked, then watched a 20 minute movie in spanish about the history of the telescope (i caught about every 14th word ... harper was, shall we say, "a little bored") ...
once we'd had our fill ... and then stuck around to listen to the tour guide ... and then had more of our fill, the kids were ready to check out the gift shop. two electromagnetic knickknacks later, it was time to go. except it was raining. so we decided to wait it out before trekking back down that steep hill. once the rain slowed to a sprinkle, we headed out. only to get caught two minutes later in a downpour.
marc thought the kids would want to spend our last day in puerto rico swimming and soaking in a final day of sun and beach, so he'd booked our return flight for 4:30. but they didn't want to swim. they wanted to lay in bed and watch cartoon network.
we were flying a different carrier home than on the trip down, and marc didn't have any status with this airline and was told that the plane was full and the four of us would be sitting separated in different parts of the plane. that wasn't going to work. (i've told you about how fun harper can be? imagine being a total stranger on a four-hour flight with that sitting next to you. i would have allegedly felt really badly about putting someone through that.) so marc made friends with a ticket agent when we checked in, discovered the plane was not, in fact, full, and got us seats in the row just behind first class. tons of leg room. again, it was me and the kids ... and marc across the aisle. (i always get stuck with that job.) but we had some wiggle room. and a bathroom with a broken door was literally right in front of us, so i had fun watching a parade of people get stuck in the bathroom.
when marc changed our seats before leaving puerto rico, he opted to pay a little extra to get us all in first class for the trip from charlotte to minneapolis. settling into those leather seats at 9 p.m. after a long week, and a longer day, for a four hour flight was heaven.
and she slept the whole way home.
(and i was the lone pain in the butt passenger who kept her light on and read the whole time. not sure where harper gets the "doesn't sleep" thing ...)
and getting home was so, so good.