Field Trip - Day Three
No Workout This Morning. Strange.
Okay, I had learned my lesson after the first day. We walk plenty all day without worrying about getting another half-kilometer in before breakfast. Plus, I was carrying a ten pound laptop bag everywhere so I could access my lip balm at a moment's notice. Honestly. Such a good idea to bring it.
We had breakfast in the campus cafeteria and headed out for ocean study. I have to say I was thrilled to note that British Columbia's shorelines are not all dead zones. I was under the impression everything had been fished to extinction, but there were plenty of baby crabs and snails for the children to torture. I spent an hour stalking my son, attempting to get one photo of him that wasn't a Get Lost scowl. (Stalking the ever-elusive Hostilis Pre-Teenicus.)
I've been to the BC Museum several times in my life and the biggest change I noted there was that they now charge for admission (although checking my laptop was by donation. It was worth it.)
The kids had specific questions to answer there, so that gave us purpose and a reason to regularly round everyone up. I like Old Town, but I'm also a sucker for the diorama of the Haida village. It was interesting, but I was starting to fade. My group finished early, so I let them loose in the gift shop and went next door to the coffee counter. I knew we'd probably find a coffee over lunch, but I was in dire need of a pick-me-up. I ordered an espresso. No, make it a double shot. I have a headache.
"You're with a school group?" the gal asked. "I'll give you four."
We ate lunch in the sun, which was a refreshing surprise, then walked to the Legislature. When I was a kid, I remember moving silently into the gallery and listening to some boring debate below, but the chamber was empty. Apparently, our government doesn't sit anymore. They're afraid the entire province is going to show up waving pitchforks, demanding a retraction of the HST.
After the Legislature, it was time for the bug zoo. The bug zoo is amazing in a lose your lunch sort of way. No, I didn't hold anything. I pointed at a stick bug and accidentally dislodged one that had escaped and was sitting on the outside of the window. It dropped onto the pile of bags below, which included my laptop bag. We were five minutes into the presentation and I was wigged out and ready to leave. I wasn't the only one.
On the plus side, I learned there's such a thing as a cellar spider, which resembles a black widow without the red markings. Cellar spiders are harmless, so hubby can quit saying they're undercover or immature and stop killing them.
From the bug zoo we went on to Craigdarroch Castle. Are you exhausted yet? I was. Craigdarroch Castle was built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir and proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same. He died before the house was completed. His wife continued to manage the business while his children partied their tails off in the billiards room and dance hall. Twenty years old and home from college, they hosted many 'at homes.' Nevertheless, it was very cool and I could have spent a lot longer there, but children don't have that kind of attention span. They were hungry for Spaghetti Factory.
Oddly enough, at the Spaghetti Factory we had our choice of six types of spaghetti. Even more odd, every single adult looked longingly at the bar, at the table tents of wine and cocktails, at the pints of beer with the thick heads and even at the empty margarita glass with the messy salt on the rim. We were all feeling a little frayed.
However, it was nothing a plateful of carbs and a glass of pop couldn't fix. We stuffed ourselves and walked back to the Museum for the Imax. Avatar was only in 2D, not 3D, but it was still seven stories tall. We were in Pandora for two and a half hours.
Afterward, someone said, "Just think, tomorrow, after twelve hours, we'll still be on the bus." I thought, "Bliss!" I couldn't wait for my head to hit the pillow. As we walked back to the dorms, the over-excited children had to be reminded that even though the university was on summer break, there were still students here studying, people working, and other school groups trying to sleep. We had to respect that and keep our voices down.
We skipped the bulletin by the busdriver's son, got kids and ourselves tucked in, and I was just drifting off when party music erupted outside our windows. I flew to the window to see what was the clatter and saw a wedding or something in full progress spilling into the courtyard below. YMCA. People dancing in a train. Where the heck did they think they were? College?
I got back into bed, so tired yet so unable to sleep while the B52's sang about their Loveshack baby where we could get to-ge-ther. I whimpered. I wanted to go home.
Perhaps one of the stricter chaperones from one of the other school groups walked over and had a word with the festive group. They closed their doors, the noise receded, and I slept.