Grant & I returned to the US this summer to visit colleges ---- for him. It was a great trip -- lots of plane flights but also lots of fun and family visits as well. We saw three schools - New Mexico Tech, Colorado School of Mines and Iowa State. That gave us three different climates, campus sizes and airports. One thing was pretty constant throughout the trip -- we ended up staying at Holiday Inn Expresses almost every night. I must say, they were all very good.
No trip to the US is complete without eating at a number of old haunts...Whataburger, Pappasitos, Frontera Grill and Donut Delite to name a few.
|The New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro NM.|
|I had never been to New Mexico before so we did some sightseeing and saw these guys running in the scrub.|
We visited the Karl Jansky Very Large Array Radio Astronomy Observatory (if there's ever a place in need of an acronym, this is it). There are 27 of these dishes that capture radio waves emitted from objects in space. The dishes arranged in a Y pattern. They vary the diameter of the pattern depending on where they are looking and what level of clarity is desired. At it's largest, the diameter is 22 miles. Now you know why this is in New Mexico. All the data comes back to a control room where a supercomputer assimilates that data into a "picture" from space.
Even more interesting is that the site has been featured in movies like Contact, Terminator and Independence Day.
|The radio dishes are 80 ft in diameter. The silver ball is a sun dial.|
|This tractor is used to move the dishes along a railroad track to adjust the diameter of the Y.|
|We also did some hiking through the wild.|
|This is the rain storm that we could see from the top of the hill that we climbed.|
|That is our car that we needed to get to before the rain storm got to us.|
|We won. No rain on us.|
|A reminder of the NM climate.|
|This canyon entrance reminded Grant & I of the entrance to Petra.|
We went to a Colorado Rockies game in Denver. Another food we actively seek out in the US is hot dogs and there's nothing better than a hot dog at a baseball game. We each had three! Unfortunately, as they have done 60% of the time this year, the Rockies lost.
|Lori likes ribs, but she has a limit on how many she wants to eat....like 1 or 2. Normally rib houses sell them by the rack, not by the rib. So Famous Daves would have been great for her. She can get just two ribs|
|Colorado School of Mines is in Golden Colorado. And so is the huge Coors Brewery. All these people were waiting for a tour of the brewery.|
|We had some time before our flight from Denver to Des Moines so we visited another US favorite -- Taco Bell. Grant had eight tacos.|
|We flew on the day when United had their computer glitch. This is a shot of a very long customer service line. It was so long United was giving out sandwiches and chips to people that were waiting.|
Final college stop was at Iowa State. Here we broke tradition and stayed at the Union instead of a Holiday Inn Express. Bad move. Our room had a great view of the Campanile. Unfortunately, the bells chime every 15 minutes day and night.
|Carpenter House -- my dorm floor during Freshman year.|
|We visited Grant's cousin Amanda at her lab on ISU.|
|Friley Hall has been around forever. I think my dad lived there in the 50's. I know my sister lived there in the 70's. Supposedly it is one of the largest dorms in the US.|
|Managers Special donut -- a donut filled with brownie batter. And people (including my son) call this breakfast food. Grant ate four.|
|We timed our visit to Don & Joan's home well. Dave & Trish were there too.|
|Stocking up for the next year; when I saw this I had to buy it.|
|We brought Graber a toy.|
|Do you think he liked it?|