Remember back in May when I posted about how awesome our school is? Let me assure you, it is no less awesome this year! A few weeks ago we had some astronauts in town. Yup! Real, live space guys (and a gal). There was a group last fall as well. They go out kayaking, using our friends at Lazy Otter Charters as their water taxi. Last year we all thought, "Wouldn't it have been cool if they had swung by the school?". This year, when they called the Lazy Otter to book their trip, the lovely proprietress, Kelly, asked if they would be willing to pop up to the school afterwards. They were quite willing, so on the afternoon of September 18 we welcomed a group of international astronauts into our school. They were phenomenal! They did an excellent job of presenting information that was relevant to the kids and did a great job of explaining things for the younger half of the crowd. Some members of the team had been on flight STS-130 (Are they flights or missions? I have no idea!) and some members were training for the next trip to the International Space Station. They shared two cool videos with us from STS-130.
At the end they handed out all sorts of goodies to the kids, including autographed pictures. Each kiddo chose an astronaut who signed a picture specially for them.
It was such an incredible opportunity for our small school! And such a powerful example of the kindness of people if you just ask!
Crazy as it seems, the next awesome opportunity took place the next day when we were invited aboard the Island Princess during her last visit to Whittier of the season. It was easily one of the nastiest days in September weather-wise, but we loaded the kids up and headed down the the terminal. Princess went out of their way to be welcoming...it was so kind of them! We toured the ship, spending lots of time in the kiddo area where the kids were each given a stuffed eagle and a t-shirt. The ship was every bit as impressive on the inside as I had guessed it would be.
|up close to the Island Princess|
|looking up, just inside the entry|
|outdoor pool area in the kids area...apparently they only use this in the winter when cruising south to warmer spots|
|the HUGE TV we can watch from town|
|the kids were quite taken with the glass elevators|
|Whittier from the ship|
It was such a fun trip for the kids...so many of them will likely never get to go on a cruise (mine included!), but it was sure fun to see what it looks like inside when we see them tied up at the terminal all summer long!
And just in case the above evidence doesn't convince you, Scholastic recently named Whittier Community School one of the 25 coolest schools in the nation! We are so proud! Check out Scholastic's article--click on Alaska when the map comes up and there we are!
So yes...we do give up some things by living in a small town and attending a small school. But we also gain some other things...some pretty cool things!