No shuttle launch today. We made up for our disappointment by going miniature golfing. Miniature golfing with my family is quite a unique experience as we create a rather discordant melody of chaos out on each of the 18 miniature greens. I have one child who thinks she's a baseball player on the course; one boy is a scoocher--you know, the one who kind of scoots the ball along with the club until it reaches its target; the other boy is a hit and runner--he gives the ball a tiny tap, runs to it, taps, runs, taps, runs, taps; then there is the miniest of the golfers, and she frankly has no idea what's going on. She stands in the middle of each green and dodges the ball that's lobbed by the baseball player and then tries to avoid being knocked over by the scoocher and the hit and runner who come charging down the green after their balls like tiny hockey players. Her fascination mounts as she notes the ensuing collision of balls and little golfers, although this collision is surely what saves the baseball player's ball from skipping the green and landing in a fake rainforest or a miniature rapids. In the midst of all this chaos, however, we have a great time.
Today there were some added elements to our adventure: live alligators and a scavenger hunt. The alligators were intriguing for a moment, although they were so still the kids weren't quite convinced we were telling the truth about their being real. As for the scavenger hunt, the kind lady who emptied our bank account for this game promised us a prize if we could correctly locate a hat, a spear, jewels, a snake, a shield, and a mask along the trail. With visions of a special prize--perhaps from the gift shop--in mind, the kids were as excited about this added adventure as they were about the game. Unfortunately, until yesterday they have never knowingly been subject to gimmicks. The "prize" was a scratch-off ticket which awarded us $1.00 off of our next game. Somehow the knowledge that Mom and Dad will only have to pay $49 instead of $50 the next time we visit (no expiration date!!) does not equate into prize status--they're still asking for their well-deserved prize.