July 2008 Archives
First, we drove over to Badlands National Park. Badlands National Park has small mountains made of sand and rocks called buttes. In addition to buttes, Badlands is also famous for its is fossils. The fossils are pretty easy to find because rain (and other kinds of erosion like wind) wash away sand and rock revealing fossils. Badlands is filled with mammal fossils, not dinosaur fossils, because it used to be an ocean and dinosaurs lived on land.
Surprisingly, Badlands is not famous for rabbits, but we sure did see a lot of them! They were everywhere. There was even a family of rabbits living under our cabin. Speaking of rodents, we saw prairie dogs. Prairie dogs live under ground and burrow. We also saw buffalo (or bison), which travel in huge packs called herds and at one point, were almost hunted to extinction. Strangely enough, we saw a camel on a cattle farm (notice we were in the prairie, not a desert), which we all thought was very random.
Now onto something that doesn't have to do with animals. We went to a ranger talk about the night sky. Did you know that any time now a star called Betelgeuse (pronounced like "beetle juice") is going to go supernova (or explode) and the scientists are predicting that we'll have two suns in our sky for one to two months! We also found out that the moon is actually drifting further away from the earth by an inch a year and in 1,000 years, we won't have it anymore. But don't worry, you won't be around then.
In Chicago, my Dad has a friend named Greg and he let us stay in his apartment. His apartment is so cool! He has skulls of different animals, rocks of different sizes and colors, and lots of different globes.
After the pizza, we met up with our friend Greg. He lives in an apartment in Lincoln Park. He is a really funny guy. His apartment is really cool because he collects things like turtle shells, fossils, rocks, old books, and maps.
The best part about visiting with Greg was the ride through the city of Chicago in his open-air Jeep, which felt like a roller coaster ride.
We went to a classical musical performance in Millennium Park. It was an outside concert, so I got to play in the park with some other kids. There was a big fountain we all played in.
I had lots of fun in Michigan. I was asleep when we got there and when I woke up, we were at the house, which made me very happy. The first thing I did was scope the place out. I found the basement and called Tyler. When we were down there, Tyler came up with the idea of putting on a circus. We practiced for hours. We performed our circus the second day we were there. There were three characters in it: 1) "The Genie Man," aka Tyler; 2) "Stefan," played by myself; and 3) "Monkey," also played by me. My trick was making water disappear. I was nervous that I was going to mess up, but I did not. The show was great!
We spent four days on Lake Michigan relaxing in a house that belongs to one of my Dad's friends (thanks Karen & David!). The house is shaped like the letter "A" and it is in a ski village called Nub's Nob. It was nice to have a house to stay in and eat home-cooked meals. But believe me, relaxing was not the only thing we did there.
Here's me at Petoskey State Park:
Tyler and I stayed in a bed & breakfast for the first time in Quebec. There were two queen-sized beds that were comfortable and a little table for us to eat our breakfast at. When I woke up in the morning, I would go downstairs to get breakfast. One morning, I got breakfast for my Dad and Tyler too. I was going up and down the stairs a lot. For breakfast they gave us croissants (which Mommy said was very French), apples, bananas, hot chocolate and tang. As for the food, I've had pizza in EVERY place we've been so far. Quebec's pizza was the best so far.
Quebec was the first, non-American city, and coincidentally, we stopped there the same week they were celebrating their 400th anniversary. They had lots of street performers, a music festival and all types of other fun stuff. Also in Canada, they have an Indian tribe called the Inuit and all throughout Quebec they have stores that sell things the made by the Inuits, like carvings, hats, trinkets and mini totem poles. I really liked the stone carvings and I bought a traditional medicine bag with special items in it, like a small carved turquoise turtle that is supposed to bring me luck.
About the street performers I mentioned earlier, they were the most amazing people there (in my opinion). There were magicians, musicians, jugglers, stilt walkers and moving statues (now all we need is a bearded lady!).
Here's a picture of me with one of the moving statues:
If I were to tell you about every little part of each day we spent this week, it would take hours, so I'll just tell you some of the highlights of the trip so far. On the second day we went to the Wellfleet Drive-In movie theatre, which is one of the few left in the U.S. We saw the movie, Wall-E.
The next day we went to Provincetown to rent bikes, but both places we went to were sold out for the day, so we decided to go to the beach instead. Stefan and I made a throne room out of sand and filled it with booby traps and called it the "Temple of Doom." We worked on it for hours. Before leaving on our last day, we went to the Highland Light, which is my favorite light house in the world ... so far.
Take a look at this picture of a storm cloud in Provincetown!
I am in Maine right now and I'm having such a good time. The night we arrived, I said that I wished we were just staying here instead of going around the world because I like it so much. I biked 12 miles around Bubble Pond, Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park. I love hiking in Acadia because there are so many rocks that you can climb on and I'm a really good climber. Yesterday I went whale watching, but it was really foggy. Too bad we didn't see any whales! Because we didn't see any whales, we are going to do a lighthouse boat tour today - if it's not too foggy again.
Here's a picture of me during our bicycle trip in Acadia National Park:
And, me on Cadillac Mountain:
Hello once again, people of the World Wide Web. It's Tyler here. I'm writing this post the day before my big, round-the-world trip. The last few weeks were spent packing, selling our house, saying "bye" to friends, and going to going-away parties (YAAAAAH).
So as you know, since I'm not going to have a real room of my own to keep clothes, and toys, and stuff of that nature for a year, we're pretty much living out of a suitcase and a backpack the entire time. We have to pack a lot of stuff! In our suitcases, we're keeping clothes with different capabilities. For example, some dry easily and some have bug spray built in. I could go on for hours, but I won't. Anyway, in my backpack I have stuff to entertain me like a Nintendo DS, the iTouch, and a book.
In other news, I just graduated elementary school. I got dismissed from my elementary school for the very last time (though I will still have to go to that school sometimes because my brother might go back to it as a fourth grader when we get back from our trip). I feel sorta good about not going to middle school this year because then when I come back, I won't be in the lowest grade.
Today, we have a 5 1/2 hour drive to Cape Cod. We picked Cape Cod to start our trip because it is one of my favorite places we've ever been to in the United States. We have gone there every summer since I was a baby.
So it looks like this blog is just about wrapped up.
Until my next blog ...
Hi, it is me Stefan. In 16 hours I'm going around the world. I am living out of one suitcase and one backpack. Here are some things in my backpack:
- Nintendo DS & lots of games
- NY Mets monkey
- Baseball cards & playing cards
- iTouch (so we can watch movies in the car)
- Travel pillow (for all of those long car & plane rides!)
- School supplies
- My journal for the trip
I'm sad that I have to leave my friends for a year. I'm happy that my house was sold because it had been on the market for 6 months. When we get back, I'm going to get a new house and one with a big driveway so that I can get a basketball hoop. I also hope we have a big yard to play baseball in.