April 28, 2013

Huntsville, Alabama

After our cave tour in Mammoth Cave National Park we headed directly south.  That journey south was one of those times when we really floundered on this trip; we had difficulty figuring out what to do next.  We had planned to camp another night at the national park, but the forecast showed a certainty of rain, and we avoid camping in the rain (with kids) at all costs.  So we packed up that evening, not really sure where we would sleep, or even which direction we should go.  After some tears (on my part) we landed at a McDonald's with free wifi, got a bite to eat and figured it out while it rained cats and dogs outside.  Our kids are serious troopers to sweetly put up with all our craziness.

Late at night, at McDonalds, I got the kids into their pajamas and we drove and drove in the dark, pouring rain.  After about 4 hours of driving we stopped and dragged ourselves into a hotel.   We woke up in Huntsville, AL, home of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.  My boys (all 3 of them) love spaceships.  So, even though it was a bit out of the way it was a fantastic stop.

Our science museum membership got us into the Space and Rocket Center for free, so we went two days in a row and loved it the whole time.

Simon loves spaceships.  He's one of those boys with a passion for them.  He never sat still to look at a book until I grab some spaceship books from the library.  His favorite thing to say (after 'no' and 'me') is "Spaceship....moon..."  When we woke up that morning I told him he needed to get ready so we could go see some spaceships.  I've never seen that boy so motivated; he was ready, waiting patiently by the door for several minutes before we left.  I am in love with this little boy and his excitement for spaceships; it makes my heart happy.

He's looking into huge turbo thrusters (see photo above).
test pilot
taking a tour of space camp...so fun.
Climbing mountains on Mars

With Simon's limited vocabulary of "spaceship...moon..." I failed to fully understand his excitement.  Once we saw this spaceship (which I learned is more accurately called an orbiter) Simon kept declaring, "IN!"  "MOON!"  When I explained that we can't go in it and we, unfortunately, can't fly to the moon he was distraught.  Simon dropped to his knees, bowed his head, and sat silent and solemn for several minutes (no exaggeration).  I tried to comfort him, but his eyes stayed fixed on the ground, his little body was so heavy.  This little boy's big dreams had been crushed.  My mama heart ached for him (and still does).  

I wish I could say he snapped out of his funk and was a happy little boy the rest of the day...but he wasn't.  Yes, he still enjoyed what was going on, but his enthusiasm was gone, his bounce and spunk were repressed.  He was quiet and mellow (very unlike him) for the rest of the day.  It broke my heart.

Despite this sad ending to this post we did have a great time.  We got to see the annual Moon Buggy Race where people from all over the world bring their handmade moon buggies and race them through an obstacle course.  And I'm totally excited to send my kids to space camp there when they are a little older.  :)


  1. Oh poor Simon! That little boy has big, big dreams, and they'll come true one day! Who knows - maybe he'll go to the moon?

  2. My heart aches for Simon, too! When you come out here, we'll see what we can hook him up with as far as space flight. ;-)


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