Thursday, March 5, 2009

Biosphere 2

This is my Grandpa Gurney. He loves all things photography. When he called me a few days ago to let me know that he was coming to Tucson from Phoenix to visit the Biosphere, I was really excited. I've been wanting to visit the Biosphere ever since we moved to Tucson but couldn't muster up the same enthusiasm in Clark. So this morning I packed some lunches, sunscreened the boys and headed north to Oracle. I had no idea what I was getting into...

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This was our group. My grandpa (in the wheelchair) and his two buddies from the camera club. Add myself, a toddler and an infant and we had quite the entourage. These were some of the nicest guys around (and amazing photographers), but not exactly kid conscious, if you know what I mean. I ended up simultaneously pushing a double stroller and a wheelchair, all while stopping to take shots of course. 
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We ran into this Back-hoe and Booker went nuts. The construction guys noticed him drooling over their machine and let him climb inside. Once again Booker ignored the activity at hand in favor of construction equipment. 
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He was even wearing his excavator shirt. 
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So does anyone remember that awful Pauly Shore movie called Bio-Dome? I remember it well because I thought it was hilarious when I was 12 and watched it at every sleep-over I attended in middle school. It was based on the Biosphere! 
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The interior is full of lots of stairs, underground passages and small tunnels- in other words, it was not stroller friendly. I spent the entire 2 hour tour with a 15 pound infant strapped to my front, a 10 pound backpack strapped to my back and a camera hanging around my neck. I think I undid hundreds of dollars worth of chiropractic care in one afternoon. 
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This is the "beach." Initially, it was meant to replicate the ocean life of the Caribbean. Fast forward nearly 20 years and its deteriorated into something more along the lines of the coast of Baja California. 
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This is the rain forest. Booker got tired and laid down on the ground for a second. When he stood up he was covered in ants. 
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The two hour tour, while interesting, was about an hour and a half too long for me. Booker on the other hand was amazingly well-behaved. We were in a group of about 20 people (19 of which had to have been snowbirds). They must have missed their grandkids because they got pretty attached to Booker and Ike, patting heads, squeezing cheeks and even offering their jackets when we went through a wind tunnel. It was such a relief to me. When Booker disappeared for long periods of time, I wasn't worried at all. 
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The tour guide talked extensively about the the "failed social experiment" and the unfavorable living conditions for the 8 individuals who lived there for 2 years back in the early 90s. Lack of oxygen, food and ipods really took a toll on the scientists. 
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Did I mention how good this guy was? I was shocked. He even begged me to take him to the bathroom so he could pee in the potty. I was annoyed at the time but now I'm so proud. I rewarded him with a hamburger on the way home.
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On the drive back home, this cow was hanging out right next to the road. I nearly wet my pants when I saw it. I had to stop and take a picture. I love seeing random "wildlife."
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The drive home was perhaps the best part of the day. A rare moment of silence. Check out the drool pool on the excavator shirt. That is a seriously exhausted little boy. 
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I nearly pulled over into an empty parking lot so I could take a nap too. It was a really fun day but very, very draining. 
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5 comments:

Carly said...

The Biosphere looks sweet! I, too, loved Biodome. And Pauly Shore.

Oh, and when you are guys going to be in Utah? Daniel will be gone all next week and I need people to hang out with!

Emily said...

That was suich an awesome post! Your grandpa and his friends are too cute!! What a fun day, especially for Booker! He looked like he was in heaven!

I'm having Proffitt withdrawals...we really need to get together!!

Joy said...

Oh Margaret, I can only imagine how exhausting that was. I think I might have done that when i only had two kids. Luckily now I know better!

Little Red said...

Carly, we're leaving for Utah on the 13th and staying a week. I'll call you when we get there.
Emily, we're totally have Matson withdrawals. If I hadn't been so exhausted from the Biosphere yesterday, we definitely would have joined you at the game.
Joy, it was such a rookie mistake. What was I thinking making that trip with two kids and no husband? It was so HARD.

Dan and Jan said...

Wow, the Biosphere! I had no idea it was in Tucson. It looks pitiful compared to what I had envisioned. I never saw the movie but I am sure what was in my head was much better. Sad when your delusions are replaced with the truth. Also, I am exhausted just looking at your pictures. You are one brave Mom.