Monday, April 4, 2011

A Weekend in Ann Arbor

This last weekend our family, along with Rich's parents, went to Ann Arbor to see Rich's brother compete in a steel bridge competition at the University of Michigan. We haven't seen my brother-in-law since January as he has been a long ways away at college working on a Masters in Civil Engineering. He didn't make it home over Spring Break either because he was working on Habitat for Humanity homes in Florida. So, while he was somewhat close (a couple hour drive away), we took the opportunity to see him and watch him compete.
Before the competition, each team from had to have their bridge set up for display. (My brother-in-law is on the right.)

Team picture. (My brother-in-law is 4th from the right here.)

After the display, the bridge was then taken apart and put in the building competition area. Each piece, including the nuts and bolts, had to be set up very precisely...

...three guys from the team (my brother-in-law as the runner) had practiced at 6:30 in the morning every day to build the bridge in the shortest period of time they could.

Here is he is during the competition. He could only run one piece of the bridge at a time.

The other 2 guys built the bridge. They could not cross over the blue lines on the floor closest to where they are all currently standing. They also got penalized for dropping pieces (usually nuts or bolts). The judges would yell "Nut/bolt in the water" until it was picked up.

They finished their bridge in 8 minutes and 53 other team came anywhere close!


The kids watched uncle the whole time. Mostly quiet (the place was dead silence), but every once in a while Blake had a comment about uncle or the bridge that I'm sure the whole room heard-LOL!

The spectators, minus my father-in-law who was taking the pic.

There was also a concrete canoe competition that other's from my brother-in-law's university competed in. Here are the guys racing their canoe. (There was a girl's race too.)

The canoe.

I thought they did an awesome job painting it. Very fitting for the area that the university is in...about as far north in Michigan that you can go! :-)

Neat, right?!

And of course, we did other things while we were there. The kiddos got into the pool at the hotel as much as they possibly could.

I made sure to take books to help keep the bedtime routine as familiar as possible even though we were away from home.

One situation that I couldn't keep the same were the sleeping arrangements. Rich found the kids like this in the middle of the 2nd night. Found out the next day, from Morgan, that Blake kept trying to sleep on top of her and she ended up on the floor. There was a pillow on the floor, so she tried sleeping there, but it wasn't comfy, so she slept at the foot of the bed-LOL! The poor little guy was tuckered out though...he had went to dinner with my in-laws and fell asleep in the middle of eating a french fry...just tipped right over! LOL!

Rich and I made it out with some friends of his from college while we were in Ann Arbor too. They happen to live there and took us around and out for dinner. I'd go into details about the fun we had, but all I'll say is there was a lot of alcohol consumption (from the guys) and the 2 of us girls did a lot of laughing ;-)

I hope everyone had a great 1st weekend of April and is enjoying Spring Break (if yours happens to be right now like Morgan's is.) Hopefully it's warmer where you are!! (Thunder snow here last night :-/)

**UPDATE: Turns out my brother-in-law's team took 1st place in all seven categories they were judged in! The canoe team also did almost as well! :-)


Debby@Just Breathe said...

Yes the painting is awesome! That is so cool, I've never seen anything like that competition. Looks like it was a great weekend.
Great pictures and the kids look adorable.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Wow how fun! My friend was a mechanical engineer and they had to build a sub it was so cool!

That canoe is so cool!!! The bridge looks very cool also. I love Blake was commenting ... hehe

That sleep picture is so funny, this is how my boys look .. lol

P.S. yes the pool party is inside! lol Still rainy and cold here. Hope the snow doesn't come back there.

Alexia said...

Those paintings on the canoe are really neat!

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