The Exciting Travels of Frigid and Paws

Travelling this holiday season also brought upon us a unique situation: the ability to show a little more of this fine world to both of our kids (Ellen and Kate) as well as two of our family’s more beloved familiars: Frigid and Tracks. They travelled with us to Houston to visit my dad and his wife, to enjoy the holidays with the family, and to be warm and safe. Here is their photo journal.


Here we were in Manchester, NH Airport in front of the Southwest flight which will take us to Chicago. From there we transferred to another flight to Hobby in TX.


This kids were always happy to help Frigid (the Penguin) and Tracks (a Lynx) to strike an interesting pose.


Finally the two were able to strike their own pose in front of the 737. Ready to go!


While in Houston, Frigid and Tracks were able to keep in touch with their fellow animal friends. This little owl surfaced on the gutter of the neighbor’s house and hung there while the winds kicked up a mighty blow.

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When in Houston, one of the big attractions is the Johnson Space Flight Center just south east of the city. It’s an easy drive, but we all discovered that modern-day GPS road navigation systems are just not modern enough to deal with the ever changing road system down there. Talking about bypasses!! Yikes! Here Frigid and Tracks took a tour of the facility. What used to be open to the public to meander around and enjoy at leisure, the campus is now closed. All visitors must enjoy the tour from a tram bus after going through a form of airport-like security.


With boarding passes in hand, Tracks and Frigid are ready to go! Where are those rockets?


No rockets just yet, but they did get to visit the might control room. Every shuttle mission ever launched has been done from this room. Frigid here thinks he might be good at CAPCOM. I have little doubt!


Ahhh, rockets! This is the bottom end of the Saturn-V launch vehicle’s 1st stage. LOOK AT THOSE NOZZLES WILL YOU!? Wow. The whole assembly is now inside a newly constructed hangar to protect the rocket from the elements. It is looking really good after its restoration.


That is one big engine. Glad it’s turned off.


Holding the two for the pose in front of the rocket.


A final family snapshot before heading back to the museum to check out the other exhibits. Here they sit under the command module and the escape launch system of the Apollo Saturn-V.


Kate and Frigid check out the Space Shuttle landing simulator. Frigid did just fine on beginner mode. Kate was successful at intermediate, and dad… well, you KNOW what dad could do 😉


Speaking of the shuttle, here Frigid and Tracks check out the flight deck of the shuttle training simulator used by the astronauts to learn the systems. I love systems training. Can you imagine CRM at space altitudes? Must be a blast!


The two were perpetually trying to find ways to stow away on the shuttle! Here they are stuck inside a bulkhead crack. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that this shuttle would never be launched into space.


I think Tracks and Frigid were a bit jealous here: They couldn’t touch the moon rock like us mere mortals. Here they have a small triangular piece of basalt to touch. Imagine how many people have stuck their hands into these slots to touch this … rock…


Frigid tries on a helmet. It didn’t fit.

About johnb

- Director of Grainger Observatory, Phillips Exeter Academy. - Variable-star-crazed astronomer, but have done research in other areas. - Drummer, archer, pilot, chef, friend, pet owner, husband, father, Train-nut.
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