The kids and I have arrived safely in Rhode Island after an 800-mile drive in which not much happened. We stopped after 500 miles to sleep. The Tiny Tornado has had some kind of developmental upgrade and is perfectly fine to drive with for long periods, except during the same stretch of the afternoon where he gets fussy at home--the time that was, until recently, nap time. One of those transitions.
It's possible, though, that my iPad did not make it safely to RI. Actually, tha'ts not true--we know it made it to RI because someone was watching a movie on it when we arrived at the University of Rhode Island. It just seems to have not made it safely to our dorm room. I checked the car last night without luck but am hoping that when we check again in the light of day it will turn out to have slipped down beside someone's seat. Because I love my iPad. I'm not worried about losing data--I'm backed up in the cloud for the most part, or on the computer at home. But it would not make me happy to have to replace the darn thing just now. And I will have to--I do most of my computing on the iPad.
At least I have my bluetooth keyboard with me, and so I can write on my phone. The Gathering is the kind of place where I will bust if I can't write., because so much is happening all the time.
Expect a dramatic uptick in uncorrected typos, though.
Our dorm room is wonderful. It's roomy and has a pleasant view of the campus. It also has a spiral staircase in it, which leads to another roomy pleasant room upstairs. This is just so nifty that we are all very excited about it.
Word Boy and the Lego Savant are living upstairs. Everyone has their own dresser and desk. The Tiny Tornado built himself a cozy nest for sleeping in the nook under the staircase, but was finally only able to go to sleep last night by crawling into my bed.
A few highlights of our trip before I go take my morning shower:
Word Boy observed that ever since we stayed at a Hampton Inn in Philadelphia, he's been seeing them everywhere. I told him that he is experiencing a common phenomenon, that is called the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon, or sometimes the Yellow Volkswagen effect, which is that once you become aware of something you hadn't noticed before--a new word, the Hampton Inn, a yellow volkswagen, you start seeing it everywhere.
Word Boy said that he had experienced this phenomenon other times as well.
Meanwhile, the Tiny Tornado heard us say "phenomenon" a few times, and started going, "ma-na-ma-na," to which we off course ended up replying "doot-do do-do-do."
After a long stretch during which no one had said anything, Word Boy piped up with, "I suddenly have a taste for broccoli. Do you think we could stop for lunch at a place that has broccoli?"
Later, after arriving on campus: "Today was a pretty good day. I never did get any broccoli, though."
And, in case you thought this trip wouldn't be educational: we came out of our motel room yesterday morning to head down to the free continental breakfast, and found a boy about Word Boy's age, who said, "come here and see this."
"This" turned out to be a butterfly with a wingspan of 4 or 5 inches, which was resting quietly on the back of his hand. He told us, "This is an owl butterfly," and explained how the eye spots on its wings can fool predators into thinking it's too big and scary to eat.
I commented that it was the largest butterfly I'd ever seen in the wild. He explained that, although it was indeed large, that it was not an especially large specimen of its kind.
We hung out with him, chatting about butterflies and marveling at this one's beautiful wings and fringed antennae, and tremendously large body, and then he put it back where he had found it, resting in a shady spot, and we all went downstairs to eat.
There really are wonderful things everywhere. Who knew we'd step out the door of a Super 8 in Danville, Pennsylvania, to find a Butterfly Docent waiting for us? I wonder what's going to surprise us today.