Today is Saturday and it's the first day in some time that I've had some extended alone time at home with the family. My wife and I decided to celebrate this occasion with a plan: I'd leave. Well, I'd take Miles with me. This morning he and I drove out to Hood River to visit the Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum (otherwise known as WAAAM...and not to be confused with Wham!).
The museum is pretty cool, and I was surprised I'd lived this close to it for so many years and had never visited. A few months back, I had taken Miles to the Tillamook Air Museum. He loved climbing in the Super Guppy, looking in the cockpit of the F-14 and feeling the landing-gear of the P-51. So it was a bit tougher this morning when all the antiques we looked at were behind velvet ropes. It's like going to bed with a super-model locked in a chastity belt. The poor kid kept asking: "Can I climb on that one?" I would shake my head and tell him that there were a few planes in the next hanger that were set aside for kids. He and I repeated this exchange at least 60 more times before I distracted him with a snack. Actually...come to think of it...it was he who distracted me.
"I'm really hungry, Daddy."
I expected this. The kid didn't eat anything all morning. Hell, even when Rachel offered him the equivalent of a Ruth Chris Filet Mingon (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese), he turned up his nose.
"I bet. I think there might be some snacks in the car. They might even have something in lobby. You wanna go look?", I asked.
"There are snacks in the lobby. The lady said there was cookies."
A small fact that I had hoped he hadn't heard as I paid our admission earlier.
After a chocolate-chip cookie and some wandering around the gift-shop, we headed into the second hanger. To our immediate right was a small collection of exhibits for kids. Miles climbed aboard the motorcycle. After about four minutes, he made his way to a small airplane. And when he was tired of that, he found the helicopter that was "just right." It was like Chuck Yeager's version of Goldilocks.
As heartbreaking as it was to tear him away from the chopper, there were more exhibits to look at. And the cars caught my attention. I had brought my camera, but only one lens. It's my portrait lens, as I had intended on grabbing several shots of Miles as he defaced antique airplanes with chocolatel-covered fingers. My 85mm didn't really allow me to get full shots of the exhibits, so I opted for some close-ups.
We made our rounds for another half-hour or so and made one more trip to the helicopter.
I was determined to keep Miles awake for the drive home. We running close to nap-time and the last thing I need on a Saturday afternoon is my excitable boy running around on 20 minutes of sleep. He nodded off just as I pulled in to the fast-food place to get him a quick lunch. Fortunately some chocolate milk pepped him right up and bought me an hour or so before he finally settled into a long afternoon snooze.
And the day wasn't even half-over. Ah, Saturdays.