And to think I've completed two posts, but we haven't even gotten to our actual destination...Boise, ID!
11+ hours in the car with Emmy was so worth it to see Nate's grandparents and some of these other fine folks...
Some highlights of our trip are the two museums we visited. I get such a kick out of the fact that we were able to visit museums that had jets and birds. For Nate and Jansen, it doesn't get any better than that.
Here are two kooky kids at the World Center for Birds of Prey. Jansen has taken a fairly sudden interest in birds of prey. As you can see, he brought along his binoculars. Natalie on the other hand, brought along her strangest and silliest faces. Phew, I'd hate to have any pictures of her just smiling. :)
It's difficult to say what Natalie is holding. There were all manner of things in the room designed for kids.
Emmy was particularly vocal when she saw the birds. It was really cute. Although one of the museum employees warned me that she would probably be asked to leave during a live demonstration we were planning on attending because she might frighten the bird. That Emmy!
Tim's decision to look down at the last minute proved to be his demise. Only he and Emmy (who is a mere 13 months mind you and not well trained in picture taking) are looking away from the camera at this special moment.
I'm going to have Nate take over the reins from here. It's refreshing to hear someone else's "voice" on this blog besides mine.
To echo Jessica, it is awesome that within 25 minutes of my grandparents' house there is an Air Force museum and a Birds of Prey museum.... I think there were higher powers at play in that. Needless to say, I had a great time watching Jansen and Natalie solidify their interest in two of my passions in life.
The untrained eye looks at the picture below and sees a family enjoying a quaint historical museum. A closer look might reveal two rambunctious children enthralled in a video about the Army Air Corps' involvement in World War II (the Air Force did not exist as such just yet). But an Air Force eye notices the wing of a P-51 Mustang nicknamed "Hell 'er Bust" flown by the famous Capt. Ed Heller, who was responsible for sending many an Axis pilot to meet their Maker. I think he named the plane after his vision of his enemies' meeting with God.
The man you see below is Col. Von "Chris" Christiansen, AKA my Grandpa. The average man would not have survived a shower of large pulmonary emboli blocking the all major arteries in both lungs, and the massive strain that places on the heart muscle. But then, Grandpa is no ordinary man. Just as he fought through numerous life-and-death battles in the skies over Korea and Vietnam, he is now coming out of another battle for his life. And as always, he found a way to come off conqueror. It was great to see him again, and hear from Grandma how much progress he is making each day as he recovers. The silver airplane just behind Grandma is a T-28, in which my Grandpa received tactical training shortly before commanding the F-86 jet fighter over France and Korea.
Grandpa could literally spend days reading through all the accounts and journals on display in this museum. I would have loved to spend more time there too, but surely all these airplanes and notebooks and uniforms bear added significance to a man who was alive at the same time and fought in the Air Force not long after they did. He probably heard of and admired Capt. Heller as a young man during WWII.
Four generations in one picture. In front of one of Grandpa's airplanes. Now that is one great photo.
This little boy was in heaven at the Warhawk Air Museum. For the last couple months, he has been keeping his favorite book right by his pillow so he can read it every night. The title: "The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare". And if you know Jansen, that won't surprise you. He will tell you he prefers books about "facts, not fiction." Today during dinner he was talking about what his favorite word is. He was trying to decide between "aircraft," "war," "weapon," and "destroy." I think my Grandpa loved witnessing Jansen's fascination with airplanes.
Sorry if I bored you with my ramblings, I am definitely not as witty as Jessica! Well, over-and-out.