Sunday, April 28, 2013

RNASA Awards

This year the X1 Exoskeleton Team was nominated for an RNASA Awards.  RNASA is the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement and it is quite the honor to even be nominated.  I was fortunate enough to get to represent the team at the awards banquet last Friday night in Houston, TX.

There were 134 nominees from across the country in 4 total categories.  In the Team category there were 29 nominations, and although we didn't win, it was such an honor to even be there.

This banquet is like the who's who of space.  Charles Bolden, Gene Krantz, Gene Cernan, Colonel Tom Safford, Mike Griffin, Eileen Collins, Michael Foreman, Nicole Stott, Sandra Magnus, and more I can't even remember.  I was star stuck every time I turned around and it was really hard to contain myself from going up to some of these people and asking for a picture.  (I didn't)  Mostly we just eased dropped on their conversations and tried to pretend that we fit in :)

Because this banquet is such a big deal, it also meant that we had to dress to the nines.  Fancy fancy fancy.   Jeremy rented a tux, and I was in a long dress. (My boss even called me at 5pm to make sure I was dressed appropriately.  Thanks for the confidence Ron).

Since it was staged and presented like the Oscars, and since I'm sure you want to know, I will tell you all about my dress.

Designer: Unknown
Store: Goodwill
Price: $10
Alterations to fit a 34 week pregnant lady: $22
Total Cost: $32

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Planning a trip

A few weeks back I started looking at some books on Germany, and now that the excitement of the parents weekend and baby shower is over, I thought it was a good time to go revisit this crazy plan of mine.

I've decided that we are going to visit Germany at the end of August.  So far I have the trip planned out for 16 days, so that we can get home on a Saturday and only take 10 days off work.  (I can just imagine how that Monday would go after getting in late on Sunday with daycare drop off and work.  I'm guessing infants don't adjust well to jet lag and time changes).

I know people think I'm crazy for trying to do Germany with a 2 month old, but if not now, then when?  Plus, I'm hoping he'll be pretty happy in the Baby Bjorn that toting him around won't be too much of an issue.

Tentative Plan:
 - Fly into Frankfurt, drive or train to the Rhine Valley
 - Take 2 days in the Rhine Valley staying in Bacharach
    (Rhine boat trip, Visit St. Goar, wine tasting, tour Rhienfels castle)
 - Day drive down to Fussen 
   (or a train to Stuttgart then renting a car to take us the rest of the way to Fussen) (5 hours, yikes!)
- 2 days in/around Fussen
  (Castles! - Hahenschwangau, Neuschwanstein, Oberammergau, Linderhof)
  (Hiking and Luge Course)
- 2 days in Salzburg
  (Hellbrun Castle, Berchtesgaden Salt Mine, Mirabell Gardens, funicular to Hohensalzburg fortress)
- 1 day in Nurnburg
- 3 days in/around Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  (relax in this most awesome little town, and visit all the Christmas shops)
- 3 days in/around Munich
  (Hofbrauhaus, beer gardens, Dachau, Marienplatz, English Garden, 4 Gates)
  (Funf Hofe, Nymphenburg palace)

I know there's a lot of great places to visit north of the area, but with only 16 days I think that this will be enough.  Plus I wanted to give us a lot of down time just to walk around the towns and nap/feed when we need to.

If you have any suggestions of sights we need to see while we are in this area, please leave a comment. Also, any suggestions for how to cut down on that 5 hour drive from the Rhine to Fussen would be great.  Are there any cute little towns that we should visit along the route?