Okay... about 3 weeks ago, Paula and I borrowed our son's car and drove from Colorado to the West Coast to visit our youngest daughter, Andrea, who lives with her husband, Anthony, in Lomita (just south of Los Angeles). They were married here in Colorado more than a year ago, but this was our first opportunity to visit them in California. The weather was absolutely perfect for the 1050-mile drive out, and was just as good for the trip back. No rain, no snow, anywhere along the way!
But it was more than just a holiday weekend for us. Believe it or not, there is a PROJECT BUCHANAN connection in this "trip report"! So please read on...
|Paula loves going to the ocean, where she likes to get the sand between her toes and dip her feet in the water. So Andrea took us down to the beach a couple of times.|
|Now me... I'd rather keep my shoes on, and scan the water for birds we don't normally encounter in Colorado--like wintering grebes and loons, or a Brown Pelican flying overhead!...|
|...or just watch the variety of west-coast gulls and terns that have gathered on the shore to soak up their share of the California sunshine!|
|One afternoon Andrea and Anthony took us to the Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California Science Center in Los Angeles to see the recently retired space shuttle Endeavour.|
|Of course we had to pose with Andrea next to this model of a rover that was sent to explored the surface of Mars. But most of the memorabilia in this fabulous exposition have to do with the era of the NASA space shuttles.|
|Finally... we entered the hangar that had been specially built for the 122-ft Endeavour. (By the way, this is the only space shuttle to have received its name, as the result of a competition among elementary and secondary students. It was named after Captain James Cook's ship HMS Endeavour that, in 1768, embarked on a voyage for scientific research and discovery in the South Pacific. Hence, the British spelling of the orbiter's name!) The Endeavour's first flight was in May of 1992. Altogether it successfully completed 25 missions into space, orbiting the Earth 4,651 times and flying a total of 122,883,151 miles! Endeavour's final mission was in May of 2011.|
|On the runway, the Endeavour stood 57 feet tall!|
|No fewer than 23,000 ceramic tiles cover the surface of the Endeavour, especially on its underside.|
|Thanks, Andrea and Anthony, for such a great experience!|
|So... to you guys in Mrs. Van Dunk's classes... just in case you're checking out my blog, here are a few picture that your teacher took while I was speaking. Maybe you can find "you", or a few of your friends, in these photos! You guys were the best!|
|"To quote Andy Stanley: 'My life is too small a thing to give my life for!'|
"Of course, I let him tag along. And then there was Timothy's moment of discovery... as his eye adjusted for the first time to the crystal-clear, close-up view of a bird through my 'scope!
|"'Yes, Timothy, that's for real! That's an African Pygmy-Goose!'|
|"'And those are White-Faced Whistling-Ducks!'|
|Timothy speaks English, Liberia's national language, and he goes to school in English; but his African language is Bassa, which is tonal. On this page from the Bassa New Testament is John 3:16--the verse that in just a few well-chosen words "uncomplicates" Christmas!|