It dawned on me as I was driving home yesterday afternoon, that this field trip I took with Mikayla yesterday could likely be one of the last field trips I take in the traditional sense of what you think of when you consider field trips. Mikayla will be in middle school next year (Did I just type that? That is classified under "That which will not be mentioned"!) - therefore future activities run by the school will undoubtedly look quite a bit different than the neon name tags and 3-4 kids assigned to a parent chaperone variety.
So, for that reason, I'm glad I said "yes" to chaperone the Fifth Grade class trip to Newport, Oregon - specifically the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Mark Hatfield Science Center. (However, Thursday night, I was trying to talk Mikayla into playing hookey).
I opted to drive despite it being a 2 and 1/2 hour journey each way. It has some definite windy spots and with Mikayla having a definite tendency towards motion sickness, it seemed like the right idea. (Not to mention, I didn't want to ride on the school bus either). We had a good time, lots of Christmas music, admiring the beautiful day and country-side - and a little bit of nappy time for Mikayla.
Finally, we arrived - a little early than the buses giving us time to pose for a picture together.
Then, we were off - first stop - the sea otters. I LOVE OTTERS! (Even when the male grooms himself and his private parts directly in front of the viewing window). They make me happy and make me think of Brayden (grooming aspect obviously not included!).
Alas, the three girls I was in charge of (apparently they were chosen by hair color), weren't content to gaze at the otters for six hours straight, so we kept touring.
The trainers were having the sea lions do tricks. That would have been cool to watch - but, oh no, the girls wanted to keep going...
Harley, Ellie, and Mikayla - no flare for dramatics with these three at all...
The coolest part of the aquarium (not counting the otters) - the "Passage of the Deep" where rays and sharks swim above and below you.
This exhibit had me thinking of "Finding Nemo"...
...and the game Dory and Marlin played to get through the poisonous jellyfish.
The "touching exhibit" - annenomes, urchins, starfish
I pitched in $2 for the girls to go in the "Hurricane Booth" (shhh, don't tell Brayden, he's always wanted to do this and will be mad....) - Mikayla said it was so fun!
This isn't even all of the fifth graders, some were still gathering....about 120 kids ready to head into the Hatfield Science Center.
Our class got to do the "Squid Dissection" class first. Ms. Chinn is kneeling between Mikayla and Ellie. Sadly, she's leaving to teach p.e. at the school she just moved from before coming to Gilham. This was her last day with the kids. The teacher that will be replacing her seems like a very, very sweet gal - if Mikayla has to lose her original teacher, she seems like a great choice.
Those expressions pretty much lasted throughout all of the classtime.
Then, it was our turn to tour the Hatfield Science Center. I thought the octopus named "Squirt" was pretty cool.
Another benefit of driving in our own vehicle, we got to leave about a half hour early, bypassing the lining up of 120 kids, bathroom stops, etc. We ended up stopping off at Safeway to get some groceries and get gas, and still passed the busses again on the final stretch of freeway before Eugene.
This was Mikayla on the way - I beg her to use a pillow, recline her seat, or whatever as it practically gives me a headache just looking at her, but, she resists. Oh, to be so young and flexible!
A great day with lots of memories made. Gotta say, though, I was excited it was Friday- and driving back in to town, we were ready to kick off the weekend!