Yesterday was quite possibly my favourite day ever. (so far)
Like many great adventures, it began with a trip to the Dollar Store, where nb and I wandered, aisle by aisle, in search of kite-building materials. $12.43 later, we walked out with:
- a six-pack of bubble blowers
- two packs of plastic animals and one of plastic dinosaurs (for a future plan)
- one yellow plastic table cloth
- a pack of bamboo sticks
- one roll of red duct tape
- one bundle of bright orange twine
- one pre-made kite (because it would have been just too devastating if our homemade one failed and we didn’t have a backup)
- one frisbee disc thing (like a frisbee, but no center) (like a donut frisbee)
After a few pit stops (after all, such a beautiful day practically begged for froyo and an iced latte), we made it to Christie Pitts park and set up our building station. The sun was shining, and there was a perfect breeze. Conditions really were just about perfect.
I felt really happy to have brought an aerospace engineer with me for kite-constructing, since I had no more than a basic sense of how it would work. I was more than happy to sit back and watch as nb tied together the two bamboo sticks and used his finest boy scout knots to hold them together. I was a little more helpful when it came to attaching the sail. I was the one who suggested, for example, that we duct tape the outline of the sail to give the edges some stability (to prevent them from folding in) and to make it easier to cut the tablecloth without fraying it. I also suggested that we copy the commercial kite in terms of building pockets to hold the bamboo sticks to the corners. It really was a glorious team effort, and I felt really special when my suggestions were validated by someone I consider to be an authority in air mechanics.
The first flight was exciting but slightly underwhelming. It got off the ground but required quite a bit of movement on nb‘s part to be sustained in the air. I suppose that’s for the best, since he had been complaining about our need to do active things together to burn off our froyo indulgence. Be careful what you wish for!
nb quickly decided that our best bet would be to run with the kite down the hill, so that it could gain enough momentum (and height, since he would be gradually running lower) to get and stay aerial.
This worked only marginally better than running with it on flat land, but it was positively exhilarating to see how much fun nb was having, running around with this ridiculously awesome homemade kite. Seriously, look at that smile? I can’t imagine a feeling so bad that this picture couldn’t remedy it.
Adjustments were made, including adding a tail for better stability, but the kite still needs work. I look forward to revisiting it later this summer.
I tired myself out with the kite flying, even though I did a great deal less running around than nb (I mainly flew the commercial kite, and it required little movement on my part), so we took a break to toss around the frisbee, and then sat back down in the grass so i could blow bubbles.
It truly was the most spectacular way to spend a beautiful day off in the city ♥