Monday, May 25, 2009
Yesterday I took my older son and three of his friends to Great America as kind of a pre-graduation ramble. It was an interesting drive. One of the kids brought his I-Pod with a car adapter for entertainment. I called veto power but was amused to find that his I-Pod was loaded with classical music and jazz. I guess that is what comes of hanging out with geeks! So we discussed the merits of Holst's The Planets and was it difficult to play a Bach piece on the drive north. Actually I did veto a bit of the jazz because I was driving and jazz tends to make me sleepy.
It was quite civilized. When we got to the park I handed over the cash and arranged a meet up time. Then I took off to ramble northward along the lake front.
I visited Illinois Beach State Park but high winds made it feel far colder than the approximately 60 degree weather would have indicated. After a while the numb extremities, runny nose and hacking cough got to be too much for me and I ambled farther northward in my car. I stopped at a couple of beaches to see the sights and hunt for interesting rocks, glass and fossils but each time the wind overwhelmed me. Just north of the Illinois border in Wisconsin, I found a delightful, sheltered little beach. I could have stayed there for hours but I'm not sure the beach was really open to the public. I was legally on the land if I was at the water line (if my recall is correct) but had to cross what might have been private land to get there. It wasn't posted but I was so anxious about running into an irate home owner that I didn't linger long.
Then northward again into the city of Kenosha and a good cup of coffee and sandwich at a little cafe. I froze my ears off again taking a photo of the light house and then headed south. The kids wanted to be picked up at 9 and I was running out of things to do (rural Illinois and Wisconsin are shuttered up pretty tightly on a Sunday evening) so I headed to the outlet mall at Gurnee Mills which was shuttered too. The only open store was Kohl's, open til 9 PM even on a Sunday. After a very boring purchase I grabbed a quick dinner in a crab house where the waiters are obligated to dance the Macarena on cue. Then back to pick up the kids.
We discussed colleges, music, and studying foreign languages. The kids are less geeky than most of the scientists I hang out with (who tend to do nothing but talk shop) and were quite mature. I almost miss the discussions of Pokemon and the preteen fart jokes--well maybe not the latter so much.
Life is good.