Friday, May 6, 2016
This is me with Miss Elaine and her grandson Calvin in Atlanta, Georgia, the capital of the state. Calvin was going to college in Atlanta and Miss Elaine wanted to visit him -- and she took me along. We did lots of fun things.
The first thing we did was take a Segway tour. I had to ride in the pouch on the front of the Segway.
Segways have two wheels and a motor. Before we could go, we had to take lessons. This is Calvin with our teacher Laura.
My favorite animals were the beluga whales -- this one seemed to be putting on a show for us.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
This is me on my trip to the Texas Hill Country. These are bluebonnets -- the Texas state flower. They're wild and bloom all over this time of year. They are very pretty and everybody loves to see the fields of beautiful blue flowers.
Miss Elaine and I stayed at a nice place on Lake Buchanan (Buck-anan). It is very rustic -- you can see the local limestone used around the pool. It was too cool for swimming but we didn't have time anyway. Can you find me in the picture? Look for my white tee shirt!
One day we took a cruise up the Texas Colorado River which runs into Lake Buchanan. Captain Shawn let me sit in the pilot house to get our picture taken.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Miss Elaine, Mr. Jack and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada. Once it was just a dry spot in the desert then some people decided it would make a great resort. They built some hotels and put up fancy signs. Some had glass tube lights called neon lighting. It took a lot of skill to bend the glass into different shapes. See all the tubing on the duck sign? At night it would be really bright and pretty.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
You just had a school holiday! It was called Presidents Day. Did you know that it was originally celebrated every February 22. That was George Washington's Birthday. The observance began in 1800, the year after President Washington died. It was because he was so important to our country and everybody wanted to honor him. Years later, Congress decided it would be nice if workers had more three-day weekends so they moved several national holidays to Mondays. George Washington's Day was one of them. Since it wasn't on his birthday anymore, they changed the name to Presidents Day.
Borglum chose four Presidents -- George Washington, because he fought for American independence and was our first president; Thomas Jefferson, because he wrote the Declaration of Independence and he expanded American territory through the Louisiana Purchase; Abraham Lincoln, because he freed the slaves and saved the Union and Theodore Roosevelt, because of his leadership in business and conservation and in building the Panama Canal. President Roosevelt is my favorite because Teddy bears are named after him!
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
I told you in one of my earlier letters that 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. We had national parks before then but they weren't properly cared for so the National Park Service was created to make sure all America's most special places were protected. Mr. Jack, Miss Elaine and I are trying to visit as many of these parks as we can. It's a big job -- there are over 400 nationally recognized parks, memorials, monuments, rivers, trails, seashores and historic sites. It's hard to pick a favorite but for many people -- and me, too -- it's the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon was carved 5 or 6 million years ago by the Colorado River. The running water simply wore away the soil and rocks and created this amazing canyon. Of course, it got some help from wind and rain, but the river did most of the work. The river flows 277 miles through the canyon -- that's more miles than from here to Dallas. At its greatest depth it is a mile deep.
One of the most amazing things about the canyon is that we can look back into the history of the earth by looking at the layers of rock in the canyon. The top layer is the youngest -- about 270,000 years old. The bottom layer of rocks is about 2 billion years old. That's 2,000,000,000 -- I can't count that high!
The park has two parts. One is the North Rim of the canyon, the other the South Rim. Most people just go to the South Rim -- it's easier to get to. It's only about 10 miles from one side of the canyon to the other -- but there's no bridge. It's about a five hour drive to get from the south side to the north. I've been to both sides and I love them both. I hope you like the pictures.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
This is me sitting outside the wall of historic Caceres in western Spain. Caceres is really a city in a city. The historic part is centuries old -- parts of some of the buildings go back to Roman times. It's such a wonderful place, it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In olden times, many cities built walls for protection and Caceres is one of them. Once there was no more room inside the wall, more of the city built up outside. Today Caceres is a large city with modern skyscrapers -- but the heart of the city is very old. That's where Miss Elaine and I stayed. Here's part of what we saw the first day there.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Have you ever been to a cheese museum? This building is over a hundred years old and it used to be a house where shepherds lived. They kept their sheep out in the hills and would watch them every day. And they milked them, just like people milk cows. And they made cheese from the milk.
We had lots of good food on this trip but I liked this cheese -- and all the desserts -- best!