Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fabulous family field trips

            What a very cool weekend we had.  Well, actually, our weekend was sort of quiet and boring (for once) but the days leading up to it were pretty great.  

Thursday evening we got to tour the printing plant for our local newspaper.  Now, Tim and I joked that we would never, even if they paid us, read or support the local paper, as it is MUCH too liberal for our tastes, but we were more than willing to tour their facilities.  It was a cub scout “Go See It” (which is the fancy cub scout term for field trip) for our youngest son but we all went along because it sounded like such an educational experience.  It turned out to be that and more.  We learned a lot about all that goes into the printing of the paper each night as we sleep, and we had a lot of fun.   

We even went ahead and bought the paper this morning so the kids could see how it had all come together.  When our son pointed out that we had said we would not read or support that paper for any amount of money, I explained to him that we were not doing it for money.  We were doing it for our children, who are much more valuable to us than money (or anything else for that matter).  So, I was able to give him an extra little lesson, or at least a reminder, that hopefully meant even more than the field trip itself.

BIG paper rolls all loaded onto the printing machines
Printing out ads on metal plates, these will be used to print the papers

About 460,000 inserts just waiting for Sunday's edition to come out

The papers rolled by overhead on their way to be bundled for delivery to the distribution centers

And the completed paper being read in our very own home

Friday evening, we went to the practice session for the Honda Grand Prix, a car race around the streets of St. Petersburg, FL.  The tickets came to us free through cub scouts.  We took the kids and a picnic dinner and some ear plugs and we headed down to St. Pete right after our Friday co-op classes were over.   We were treated to an amazing opportunity to watch Indy cars, and street cars, and Ferrari’s race around the track zooming past us so loudly and so quickly we could hardly believe it.  

We got to see the Budweiser Clydesdales, a little taste of our St. Louis roots.  And we got to get an up-close look at the various cars and even watch the crews working on them.   We saw one car spin out right in front of us.  No one was hurt and, after a moment, the driver turned the car back in the right direction and took off again.   That was the boys' favorite part, I think.  We have never really been race car fans before, but today, when the actual race was televised, we all curled up around the t.v. and watched, a very rare occurrence at our house.    

The kids and I watch the cars zoom by

The "street cars" practice for their race
The crews hard at work on the Indy cars

My favorite of the Ferrari's

Tomorrow we have another exciting adventure planned, but I will share about that later……

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