Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fluffy and the Big Boys

Hi Kids,

I just went to Stillwater -- no, not Oklahoma -- Minnesota with Miss Elaine. Stillwater was an important town in the lumber industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We stayed in a house that belonged to the daughter of one of the most important men in town. His name was Isaac Staples and his daughter was named Aurora.

Stillwater is on the St. Croix (pronounced "croy") River. The loggers used to float huge logs down the river to the sawmills in Stillwater and beyond.

A bridge crosses the river -- Wisconsin is on the other side. It has two towers. The section of the bridge between the towers can go up like an elevator when a big boat needs to get under it. Drivers hate it because they have to wait for the bridge to go up and down but I thought it was really cool.
I got to go in a boat on the river. It was a gondola -- a special kind of boat that is from Venice, Italy. It was pretty surprising to find one in Minnesota but it was nice, too. The lady with us is Jean Friedl. She was our hostess and showed us around Stillwater.

Here's my favorite thing -- Stillwater has a Teddy Bear Park. Miss Elaine made me pose with the big teddy statues. I didn't mind. Then she put me on the slide. I was tired of posing so I slid down all on my own. I wanted to stay and play longer but Miss Elaine said we had to go back to work. Sometimes it's tough being a traveling bear!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fluffy Goes to Florida

Hi Kids -- and Mr. Wonderful, Vanilla, Teddy and Oso,

I'm so glad I have a name -- and I think it suits me. I AM fluffy (although I have to say I am a bit jealous that my brother bear got named Mr. Wonderful. After all, I'm pretty wonderful myself.) I'm getting ready to go on a trip this week -- to Minnesota. But I wanted to tell you about the trip Miss Elaine took me on right before school started.

You can see the beach in front of our hotel at the top of this post. We stayed at the hotel at Amelia Island Plantation. Amelia Island is off the east coast of Florida about as far north as you can get. The Plantation is on the south end of the island and has lots of places for people to stay -- or live. And the nice thing is, the people who built the area left so many trees. This is the oldest tree on the island. It's between 300 and 400 years old.

Miss Elaine thinks the beach at Amelia Island is wonderful -- she went out every morning to watch the sun come up over the water. I stayed in bed. I DO NOT LIKE SAND IN MY FUR!

She took me with her when she visited the nature center and I saw a turtle.

Miss Elaine took a Segway tour and she didn't take me -- she didn't have an extra hand to hold me with. Did you know that Segways were invented by a man who invented a wheel chair that could climb stairs?

One afternoon we went to Fernandina Beach, the main town on the island. Amelia Island was once a haven (that means a safe place) for pirates. We found several pirate statues and Miss Elaine made me sit on them. I would like to find some buried treasure -- but not if I have to dig in the sand.