First Trip to the Arch

Today we went to the arch for the first time with Kyle and Ian.

In line on our way to the elevators

Kyle pulls the handle for the boat horn with some help from Mark Twain

Who weighs more?

Outside the elevators

Inside the tiny, egg-shaped elevator car. Ian fits in here a lot better than I do

630 feet down

A panorama of the east side of the Mississippi

Downtown St. Louis

Heading back down. At this point Ian told me he wanted to take the stairs all the way to the bottom (we took the elevator).


Someone throw a stick!

Proof that Hurley can run on water if he wants that stick badly enough


Why is everybody laughing at me?

Clean, dry and algae-free

Columbus, Ohio

At 2pm on Friday before Memorial Day weekend, we decided on a whim to take a weekend trip down to Columbus, Ohio.

Six foot tall concrete corn cobs: The main reason we drove to Columbus (not really)

Our next stop was the Graeter’s Ice Cream factory, home of some of the best ice cream anywhere

The production room at Graeter’s Ice Cream

Scoops & Chutes, the indoor playground at the Graeter’s factory

Kyle examines an antique ice cream machine

For lunch we stopped at the Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant for some authentic German food.

Our next stop was at COSI. Katra worked here for a time when she lived in Ohio.

This is a gigantic wire model of a human skeleton that is suspended above the atrium

Two against one, but I think Ian may win out of pure enthusiasm

Kyle standing in front of a scale model of COSI that used to be in the office where Katra worked

This was one of the best exhibits in the museum. It is an animated map of Mt. Rainier and the surrounding area. You can move the little cloud shapes around to see the paths water flows when it rains in that area, and the magnifying glass shape causes the map underneath to be dynamically zoomed in.

Ian lands on the moon

Our two newest astronauts

Kyle and Ian inside the submarine

Kyle pilots a tiny remote controlled submarine. The screen shows a live feed from a camera built in to the submarine.

Ian watching the remote controlled submarine move around

An actual antique horse carriage, in a very authentic recreation of an old blacksmith shop. Complete with authentic exit sign.

The latest in cooking technology

Probably the only time in Ian’s life when he will do this

Kyle lifts himself with the aid of some pulleys.

78 MPH wind tunnel test

Last we visited the replica of the Santa Maria along the river

Worn out from a busy weekend

Our Trip To Holland

Katra and I had the opportunity to take a kid-free vacation for a few days, so we headed across the pond to Holland. Holland, Michigan, that is. The Holland/Saugatuck area is a big vacation spot on the Lake Michigan coast of the lower peninsula. When we went at the end of March, the weather was starting to warm up but it wasn’t yet crowded with tourists as it is in the summer.

Saugatuck is on the north side of Kalamazoo Lake. Here’s a view along the lakeshore towards the eastern end of Saugatuck.

A panorama of the Saugatuck shoreline

This big old tree grows along the lake behind the Saugatuck Village Hall

We never did figure out what this building was originally for. It has some old, rusted, and very odd looking equipment inside that we couldn’t identify.

Windmill Island in Holland

Tulips and daffodils were already in bloom, about a month early. Not good news for the annual Tulip Festival the next month.

Along the Lake Michigan shore north of Fennville

Kollen Park in Holland, Michigan

The beach at Holland State Park

A NOAA weather station on the pier at Holland State Park

A trip to the city

Having a free weekend, we decided to make a trip into Chicago to do some touristy stuff. This included a trip to Millennium Park, some cupcakes, and an overnight at a nice hotel.