Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day 2012!

Today is Father's Day, and as the good earth spins into the final hours of this day, I realize how very fortunate I am to have such a wonderful family.  We celebrated the day with my wife and daughter taking me out to a very nice restaurant for an incredible Father's Day brunch.  This restaurant started its life in the year 1900 as a major railroad station which was an important terminus for bustling throngs of passengers traveling across the U.S. by mighty chugging coal- and water-fed steam locomotive trains before the days of the automobile.  It has been lovingly restored and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  My wife took a few photos inside (these 2 shown below) to show the beautiful interior and dramatic lighting.  We had an incredible buffet with outstanding food, and really enjoyed our meal, the ambience of this stately and historic restaurant, and most importantly, our time together as a family.

1900 Train Station - 112 year old restaurant

Gorgeous windows letting sunlight come inside


Mid-way through our meal, I got to open two of my Father's Day presents.  These were a very nice hand-made card and bookmark from our daughter, and, from my wife and our daughter, a framed photograph of the astronaut Edgar Mitchell standing next to the U.S. flag at the Fra Mauro highlands region of the moon (Apollo 14 mission, February 1971), which is autographed by Edgar Mitchell!  I'm really interested in the history of (and the future of) manned spaceflight, and the Apollo moon, Skylab, and Apollo/Soyuz missions of my infancy through kindergarten age in particular (space geek), so I was of course thrilled to have something like this autographed by the 6th man (out of 12 total) to walk on the moon.   My wife then researched online to find a really nice mission patch for Apollo 14, and she put it in the frame just below the photo, to make a really gorgeous presentation.  The hand-made card our daughter drew has a launching rocket and a Georges Melies "A Trip to the Moon"-style moon with an artillery shell capsule stuck into it, just like the 1902 silent movie (or, in her case, the more recent movie, "Hugo")... she knew that would delight her wannabe astronaut Papa.

The 6th man on the moon, Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14)

Edgar Mitchell autographed photo from Fra Mauro, Apollo 14

Check out the "Hugo" Man in the Moon!



After we got back home, my wife and daughter had one more present for me, which was just as awesome.  They custom framed a  wonderful work of art our daughter had made in elementary school, which detailed what they had learned about the Colosseum in Rome.  I really loved this gift so much, because our daughter really spent a lot of time and effort making it and writing all of the (really cute) inscriptions describing the Colosseum and gladiatorial combat, and my wife really spent a lot of time and thought selecting the beautiful color of the frame and matting.   I know it was a brutal place in its day in history filled with carnage and terror, but nothing can soften the harsh edges of history like the thoughtful and well-meaning crayon drawings of a creative little 8-year-old girl LOL!  The "World's Best Dad" tie I am wearing is also a gift from our daughter.

I love the captions on these drawings!!! Click on pic to read it better.




Last but not least, my wife ordered from our grocery store's bakery a special cake to celebrate the day... complete with a launching Space Shuttle (on which the baker put a smiley face)!  Yum! 

Space Shuttle Cake


Finally, we decided to take some family pics, but didn't really want to take the time to get out the ol' tripod.  So we just took photos of each other, with the one missing from the photo being the photographer... the one of my wife and I was taken by our daughter!

My girls on Father's Day

"Lazy bones" lap dog

Happy Father's Day 2012

Our daughter on Father's Day

Mama and Papa (taken by our daughter)


We had a wonderful day together, and having a loving, happy, and healthy family and being together is the greatest gift of all.

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