Monday, August 21, 2006

"Planes . . . too loud"

Air Show and Zoo
Originally uploaded by The Gulde Family.
The air portion of the Chicago Air and Water Show started at 11:00 on Sunday. We went to early mass, ate our pancakes, and were looking for parking downtown by 10:50. All five of us (my mom's visiting).

We had been talking about the "Airplane Show" with Francis for days, and she was really looking forward to it. Francis is fascinated with planes and birds. She's always pointing them out, even when there are other obvious distractions. A firetruck could go screaming by, and Francis would be pointing to the sky, saying "plane! plane!" She picks out airliners that are tiny specks in the sky - invisible if you're not scanning the clouds with purpose.

When the time came, we joined a couple hundred thousand people on the lakeshore and watched the sky. By the way, if you're late, the Children's Hospital is a great place to park - ten dollars, but it's pretty close. The first couple groups of planes were propeller-driven aircraft. Francis watched happily as they looped and dove over the lake. She pointed at the helicopter that simulated a lake rescue in front of us.

Then the jets arrived. The roar that I've been hearing from my office all week was much louder up close. Francis grabbed my hands and put them over her ears. When the F-16s passed, she said "Planes . . . too loud. I want boats." I wanted boats, too. It really was deafening. Feeling like bad parents, we hustled Francis and three-week old George off to the zoo.

As it turned out, the Lincoln Park Zoo is the perfect place to enjoy the airshow. And they have otters. We enjoyed a quieter lunch at the zoo cafe - on an outdoor deck, so we could still see the planes. We spent some time with the otters and the beavers before heading home for naps. As you can see in the pictures, Francis didn't make it to the car before conking out. We're monitoring George's hearing. Seems normal.

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