Last weekend, he was all hot for his old buddy Will to come play. Will was a friend he'd made in kindergarden back in our old country. When I talked to Will's mom, she said they already had plans but perhaps THIS weekend would work out. So I called her on Thursday. Not home. Left a message with the babysitter. Friday, called and left a message on the machine. Please call me back. All the while, Z-boy is hopping up and down in excitement at the thought that his old friend would be here on Saturday. Called twice this morning. Nothing. As an adult, I get the hint. But how do you tell your little boy that someone doesn't really want to be your friend anymore?
So we went to our backup plan and called MamaKelly to see if William could come play. Struck out there too - William was off with his Daddy doing something else and she didn't know when they would get back.
Well, there are always alternatives. I searched around my brain and came up with a couple and off we went.
One of the cool things about our university is that it is home to the National Magnetic Lab Field Laboratory. And today, they happened to be having an open house.
First we had to have a good breakfast (?)
Then, on to the lab!!!!
Where we watched scientists with interesting accents feed electrons...
...wore funny glasses and looked at giant bugs through them...
...saw a comet being made and then saw why the tail goes out IN FRONT of it rather than behind...
We also saw what effect global warming will have on Florida, and the flood of the Black Sea millions of years ago at the end of the last ice age.
And even though the other exhibitors didn't have much to do with magnetics (at laest on the surface), there were booths from the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge House, St. Francis of Assissi Animal Rescue, The Birding Society, and the Tallahassee Museum of Natural History. Z-boy got to pet a baby alligator, some turtles and a snake. He also fixed their stamp for them.
The animal shelter was also there and I had to drag Z-boy away from the dog pens and myself away from this handsome guy.
Give him a white patch on his chest and a couple of white toes on his back left foot and he would have been Tux. Even had the same sort of personality. He licked my finger when I poked it through to stroke him. If I didn't already have four cats, he'd have come home with me.
We left the lab at noon and drove a couple of blocks to my TV station, where we were holding the Regional Spelling Bee, which was to start at 12:30. Z-boy has seen "Akeela and the Bee" and was curious as to what being there would be like.
They brought the 12 contestants in and sat them down, explaining how the taping was going to go. See the girl in the back row, far left? She had the most wonderful Southern accent. She's also a great speller, coming in as the second place finisher.
Half the spellers were eliminated in fairly short order. There were a couple of challenges, the last one coming as the one remaining speller was about to spell the winning word. (Excuse the blurriness - we weren't allowed to use flashes in the studio and my hands just aren't as steady as they used to be). The judges debated as the already-eliminated sat off to the side and wondered how long they were going to have to wait before they could leave. They had to stay until the whole thing was over, but the two challenges dragged things out considerably. I leaned over at one point and asked Z-boy if he thought he might want to to do this one day. "N-O," he answered. Then reconsidered. "M-A-Y-B-E."
Then, Z-boy got a load of the trophy. The boy who won it isn't that much older than he is. The winning word? Croquet.Z-boy changed his mind. "Y-E-S!"
Afterwards, we went back over to the Mag Lab for lunch.
And paid way more than we should have for two little hamburgers, one order of seasoned fries, a coke and a water. But it was a fundraiser and they were pretty good.
The book mobile was there too, and Z-boy cannot pass up a chance to go and peruse a stack of books - made all the more attractive by the fact that this library was on wheels! We spent about 15 minutes sitting in the bookmobile looking at books.
Z-boy thought the wall with the name of the building was very cool - blue tile with square holes in it...