Well, total weekend relaxation didn't quite happen after all, especially Saturday, when suddenly my day became full of wonderful hours, including outdoors and walking around downtown in sunshine and warm temperatures - so different from the previous weekend of snow and ice. We headed into town after reading in the newspaper there were exciting things happening at the Museum of Natural Sciences, namely, Astronomy Days, and it would be a chance to meet a real astronaut! We were ready and out the door for this one. . . . . .along with everyone else and their children from a 50 mile radius most likely. It was all fun.
Just a small part of huge crowds out enjoying perfect weather on Saturday - the line inside this museum was long for the presentation we went to hear - given by the amazing Christina Hammock Koch, one of NASA's newest astronauts. A North Carolina woman, and graduate of NC State University, she is one of just eight most recent trainees - apparently picked from a field of 6,372 applicants! We were absolutely blown away by Christina's hour long presentation, and all she has accomplished. Just learning what the training consists of was an eye-opener - such as piloting the T-8 Supersonic jet plane, learning the Russian language, swimming dressed in complete astronaut gear, and so much more. Because she also spent a year stationed at Palmer Station in Antarctica (which I viewed briefly from the deck of the expedition ship I sailed on in 2013), her stay included an over-Winter where temperatures dropped to -150F (-101C), I was also captivated by stories of her time there, and viewing her videos and slides. Christina's dream now is to be part of the Mars landing planned for the 2030's!
Leaving the museum complex, and yes we do have wonderful museums here, and we should come visit them more often, we headed through town, stopping here (below) to get a few photos of a favorite house nestled in between the huge modern buildings of the State Government complex.
The Heck-Andrews House ~ Built in 1869
Second Empire Style
Needless to say there are many stories and published articles on this historic
downtown property. This is a favorite recent one of great interest as it shares
fabulous interior photos which until now we never were able to view.
Click here for the story > HECK-ANDREWS House
Owned by the State for the past 30 years, the exterior was restored at a huge cost,
however, they put the property up for sale not wishing to spend more public money.
The house apparently sold last week and the new owners will now, hopefully,
complete the massive job of interior restoration.
This is a beauty too special to lose to a wrecking ball.
Last but not least by any means - there were plenty of very pretty blooming
Spring flowers on offer. We are in for a run of Spring-like days here - temps.
reaching 71F today. Hello and welcome to February.
~~~~~~~~~~oh, and as for Sunday, I did relax a bit by staying away from the laptop - cooking, going through family photos, and later watching some TV, including that really surprising episode of Downton Abbey! Anyone watching Mercy Street? If so what are your thoughts on that show. We're finding it interesting from a historical point of view, but rather gruesome seeing how archaic medical facilities and treatment options were during the American Civil War.