Snow, sunshine and science

We went to the Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom on Saturday morning for what I expected to be a short visit yesterday that turned into 3 hours and included riding on a dog sled (I’m a total sucker for new experiences, even at a cost of $5 per kid and $10 per adult), posing at the Canada Aviation Museum’s display for the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada, walking by the army vehicles and tents, watching performers with an airplane the length of our dining room table and another who was outfitted all in white and moved sort of like a robot. The latter reminded me of the fellow in Battery Park who was decked out like the Statue of Liberty or one of the “Tin Men” on Sparks Street in the summer. We almost went ice fishing, too, but then I realized I had no idea what I’d do with a fish that was still in possession of its head, tail and innards.

Reid was eager for her first slide down the hill on an inner tube but I had to cajole her into a second slide and she refused all subsequent trips. She must not find them as exciting when we only wait 5 minutes or less. I, on the other hand, would have liked a few more runs now that Reid goes alone and will pull her tube back up the slope. Or, she did pull it up on her own once but as soon as I got close she tried to talk me into pulling it while she rode in it and held onto the tow-strap for mine. I wasn’t that gullible, though. We had hotdogs from a vendor to supplement what I’d carried in. The air was so cold that the hotdogs steamed from the first bite to the last.

After our lunch, Reid remembered the stage near the entrance and we arrived just in time to see a group of Innu do a bit of throat-singing and lots of dancing and gymnastics-type activities. There was a skit that involved a polar bear, seal and seal-hunter that made me a bit nervous of Reid’s reaction but she was okay with it in the end. My toes were cold by this point. Reid denied feeling any sort of ill effect but I mentioned the chemistry magic show at Carleton University and she agreed that it would worth leaving the Snowflake Kingdom to see it.

We saw the flypast of heritage airplanes we walked to the car. The older planes made a few loops but the Snowbirds didn’t hang about nearly as long. The Snowbirds are visiting 100 towns and cities this year as part of the centennial celebrations. I bet that means they’ll be appearing somewhere near you.

We worked our way from the parking lot at Carleton University to the appointed lecture hall for the Chemistry Department’s Magic Show. There were hands-on activities but we arrived just as they were wrapping up. We took a loooong tunnel to get to the show. After walking for several minutes, remember Reid has little legs for all she considers herself to be nearly a giant, she asked me how I knew we were in a tunnel. I pointed out the lack of windows and doors as indicators and Reid was satisfied. She didn’t ask *why* we were in a tunnel but as a native Ottawan, I’m sure she knew it was because of our extreme weather – like Siberia in the winter and Delhi in the summer as a favourite quote of mine says. The magic show – a free event – was packed! Reid and I got there before the crowds did, a benefit of having missed the hands-on activities, and each had a seat. Once it was obvious that there would be people sitting on the concrete steps, I brought Reid into my lap. Never let it be said that I didn’t participate in Kindness Week!

The first “trick” in the magic show wasn’t going quite as planned, or at least not as fast as anticipated, and so the fellow added more of the combustible to the mix and much smoke resulted. The smoke was impressive and there was flame, too, and to complete the trifecta, in the end there was a fire alarm. We all had to evacuate the building until the firefighters arrived and gave the “all clear”. Reid was happy to see the firefighters in their yellow helmets and the fire boss in his red helmet. We were back in our seat within half an hour. I’d had a bag for our things with us and had left it in place and we ended up back where we started. Many others hadn’t thought to save their spots and ended up separated or on the steps rather than sitting  together as they had been. Reid and I settled back in for the rest of the magic show. She settled in more comfortably than me and was fast asleep when I checked why she hadn’t responded to a comment. Since the way out was blocked and I couldn’t see lugging Reid all the way to the car, I settled back and enjoyed the chemical reactions, flashes, bangs and other “magic” tricks. I hope that Reid manages to stay awake next year to see more of the show.

All this to say that Saturday was brought to us by the letter “S” – we had lots of snow, sun and science.

One Response to “Snow, sunshine and science”

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