Monday, November 9, 2015

The Castle

I had the honor of chaperoning my very first field trip with Dawson recently.
We went on a tour of Glen Eyrie.
Dawson told me he wanted to sit by me on the bus. Now, a couple of things here. 
  1. Dawson's school is a charter school and does not have busing service. Parents are expected to car pool or find other transportation for their children to and from school. This doesn't bother me, but I'm explaining that tiny bit of information so that the amount of chaos on the bus ride can be understood effectively.
  2. Dawson got on the bus and immediately went toward the back and plopped down in the seat with his two buddies. *Mom Rejected*. I ended up sitting toward the middle of the bus with a student I didn't even know. 

I actually took video of about 19 seconds of the insanity that transpired on the bus drive, but I decided to spare you and keep from being sued for punitive damages.
Glen Eyrie is an English Tudor-style castle built by General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. Wow. What a great sentence. 
Now I know that it appears in the picture below that the castle is slanted. But I'm pretty sure that's your head.

Of course I needed to get a picture of Dawson to prove he was there. That I didn't disown him after he rejected me on the bus.
This is Dawson's class, and another 4th grade class from his school. As you can see, I have pixelated everyone but Dawson because I wasn't sure if it was legal to post their picture on my blog. But really, I think they should be paying me for making them look like characters from Minecraft. If you look to Dawson's left, you'll see a young girl in a red short sleeved shirt and a navy blue skirt on. She was cold. That information will come in handy later.
The castle is actually located only about 10 minutes from our house now that I think about it. Which basically means I'm royalty.

I told Dawson I wanted a selfie with him and I in front of the castle. I'd say that worked well.
My friend Stacie is the mom of Dawson's best buddy Ethan. She was also chaperoning on this trip and also rejected me on the bus. But guilt took over and she offered to take a better picture of Dawson and I. 
I'm wondering if you are wondering if we were ever actually going to go inside.
We went inside. In case you can't read Latin, the script above the door frame reads "Go Away".
The first part of the tour is a documentary about General Palmer and his family along with the building of the castle. None of the kids paid attention. But I did. I found it fascinating and no one could answer my barrage of questions during the tour.
You enter into a large room with old stuff. I love old stuff. Even old people. Unless you drive slow. 
I'm just going to say it. This castle would have been so much cooler if it was abandoned and left in it's original state. I'm pretty sure that the people who run Glen Eyrie read my blog and they're going to abandon it right now.
If you'll look at the suit of armor, you might be as amazed as I was that people who wear armor wear a velvet skirt around it. The altar around the very old fireplace is not for taking sacraments. It's for ladies who stoke the fire that wear dresses. They weren't to get to close and catch their dress on fire. How thoughtful! Equally as thoughtful is the fire extinguisher to the right. Also to the right, you will notice that I allowed the kids to go on to the next room and part of the tour without me.
This is a very old hutch. And I would like a silver tea set exactly like the one in the picture. Thank you.
Speaking of tea, one of the many events that Glen Eyrie hosts are tea parties. 
In the upper left corner of this picture is an old battery cell that General Palmer used. He buried it in a container at the entrance to his carriage house so that he could push a button and the gate would open. Diva.

We toured the upstairs of the castle but Glen Eryie rents out the bedrooms to guests. So we weren't able to view any of those because they were all occupied. If they had asked me, I would have said big deal, open the door anyway and if the people are embarrassed it's their own fault. Because I really wanted to peek inside those rooms.
In the hallway I found a picture of the room we were headed to as it appeared originally
One of General Palmer's daughters got sick. As a result, he had a solarium built for her so that she could get the sun she needed. I really want to go in there sit. Don't you? Only I don't want to be sick. I'm vitamin D deficient. That should suffice.
Eventually we made our way outside where we saw a fountain. This is where the royal deer would drink. I just made that up.
We were led to a secret tunnel. I love secret tunnels! I have in mind to dig one from my house to Walmart. 

And the kind man in the hat was our tour guide. I forget his name. But if you'll look to his right, you'll see the young girl with the super smart transition glasses on and she's wearing my sweatshirt. That's because she was freezing. Yes, she's the pixelated cold girl I mentioned earlier. I got my sweatshirt back, not until after the tour and hypothermic shock had set in.
It was finally time to bring the tour to an end. After taking this picture I realized this probably meant I was going to get the shaft on the bus again.
On our way out, I took this picture of the sun behind a huge rock formation. I'm not sure why I did. I guess everyone else was doing it.
I'll end this with the troubling picture I decided to take on the bus ride home. While I hoped I wouldn't be the one required to use the body fluid cleanup kit.