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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 2 in Boise

Friday morning after breakfast, I gave Kelly a call. She had kept Patrick (10) and Robert (8) home from school so they'd be able to spend time with Curt and me. As we talked, we decided to take a few more children out of school and go to the Boise Aquarium. So Curt and I picked up Annika (14) from West Junior High, and Kelly picked up Rebecca (9) and Wilson (12) from Compass Charter School. Heidi and Micah, who are both in the highly accelerated Treasure Valley Math and Science Curriculum, needed to stay in school all day. But the rest of us met at the Aquarium. What a great way to spend the day!

Before we went inside I had a chance to snap photos of some beautiful Boise fall colors:

The moment we were inside, the children's hands were in the water...which is exactly what the Aquarium is designed for.

 Here is our crew (all but Baby Chelsea) trying to touch the elusive fish... L to R: Dottie, Annika, Melissa, Patrick, Millie, Elin, Robert, Wilson, Mom Kelly, and Rebecca.

Robert, Elin, Dottie, Patrick and Annika feeding the fish.

The favorite tank was the one that held the Sharks and Rays. The Sharks were a little more elusive, but the Rays seemed to enjoy being touched and petted. They would swim right up to the edge of the tank where the kids could reach them easily.

Melissa reaching for a ray. 

Rebecca and Robert making contact.

As Elin was reaching for this Ray, I readjusted my iPad to catch the full Ray underwater. I got it on camera. Later when I was editing photos, I saw that I also caught an amazing triumphant grin from Elin after she touched him. Even though I didn't get all of her, there's no way I could crop her out of the photo. That grin says it all!

Rebecca almost had to climb into the tank to touch the shark:

While we were there, a little boy with Down Syndrome, named Henry, just latched onto Curt. Henry's mother said, "He's always loved the Grandpas." He took Curt's finger and led him all over the aquarium, wanting to share every experience with him. Our grandkids were so sweet to share their Grandaddy with Henry.

There were some non-water based critters there as well. Here's Patrick communing with a boa constrictor:

And we were told that the iguana was so nasty tempered that nobody could commune with he was kept behind glass.

Annika loves to take photos, so I let her take my iPad around the aquarium to shoot some of the more photogenic residents. She came back with dozens of beautiful shots, but I'll show you just a few:

Here she is putting a few more photos on her mom's cell phone:

As we wound up the afternoon, Kelly took most of the children home...little ones for naps and older ones to do a little make-up schoolwork from missing school part of the day. Curt and I took Annika and Rebecca back to Jessica's yarn of their favorite places! (We're not sure if they enjoy the yarn more, or the candy dish that Jessica keeps filled on the counter. The candy dish, I think.)

There's so much to see in the shop, that every time I go in I notice something new. This time I saw a beautiful hand-knitted dress on display. I was delighted to find out that our Jessica had knitted it. So I had to get front and back views with its creator:

We had a musical evening back at the Waterman household. I gave the little girls a ukulele lesson...

Annika worked on some folk songs with her guitar...

...the three oldest children, Heidi (16), Annika (14) and Micah (13), serenaded us with a lovely rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah...

...and then Heidi played some beautiful Gerschwin numbers for us. At 16, she already has several piano students of her own. She takes after her Grammie (though she got a much earlier start. I didn't  start teaching music until I was in my 50's!)

While the music was playing, Elin sat happily on Curt's lap, playing with a little elf doll I knitted for her as we were driving on our camping trip during the summer. It's such fun to see her enjoy it!

Another full day, and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy our children and grandchildren!

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