Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boston, MA - again!

It is I your furry pal Chet and I have returned from a second fantastic trip to Boston, Massachusetts! I traveled with Ms. Hopfe's parents (Ms. Hopfe helps us in the dining room every day). They took me to so many great places. I was a little homesick, but I had a wonderful time!

While I was on my trip to Massachusetts, I visited the historic Plymouth waterfront. A place where some of the first settlers in America came! I saw lots of great boats, even one that looked similar to the Mayflower herself. I had a great time at the harbor and even saw Plymouth Rock, the landing place of the Pilgrims in 1620!

Nearby, I was able to see Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II. I journeyed to the Old House at Adams National Historic Park. Then I did some more sightseeing at a church where two of our Presidents attended, President John Adams and his son, President John Adams. My little furry legs were tired from all this walking, it was time to hitch a ride with the Ms. Hopfe's parents to continue our tour!

I decided to take a drive to Fenway Park, I liked my view on top of the car! What a time! I got to see a Hockey Game and meet a first grade Hockey Player. She wanted to give me a hug, so we posed for a great picture.

After all that sightseeing, posing, and driving, I had a great snack with Ms. Hopfe's parents at a local pizzeria. The cook there wanted to give me a hug too, I guess I am just too cute! So we posed in front of our tasty lunch!

On the way back to Ms. Hopfe's family home, we dropped by Harvard Medical School. My dad keeps telling me I should be a doctor. You never know, so I got my picture taken there just in case I want to come back! And just before I hit the hay, I posed for a few more photos with all my favorite team hats and flags, the Boston Red Sox, Patriots, and the Celtics of course!

The next day, I flew all the way back to Jacksonville, Florida where I am awaiting my next trip! I love to travel, but my little furry feet are glad to be at rest for now here at my home, Chets Creek!
ps. Check out my pictures!

Boston, MA

This past weekend, I had a chance to travel with Mrs. Ellis to Boston. We left on Saturday. Boy, I'm not sure about the take off and landing's in a plane. It makes me close my eyes. It was a little scary. But I was a big bear and I did just fine. Once we landed we took a taxi to our hotel. Our hotel was the Omni Parker House. It is one of the most famous hotels in Boston. They are famous for creating the Boston Creme Pie. Yummy!
When you walk outside of the hotel, across the street is the place where the first public school was located. Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams and John Adams were all students who attended the school. The school is no longer there, now there is a church in that spot.
I also saw Paul Revere's house. This is a picture of me and Mrs. Ellis outside his home.

I tried looking in the Boston Harbor to see if any tea was left from the Boston Tea Party. But I didn't see any.

Another great building I saw was the Meeting House where they read the Declaration of Independance for the first time in Boston. It was from the balcony in the picture.

I loved all of the great food. I had lobster, crab cakes, Boston Creme
Pie, and clam chowder. I hope I can go back again soon. Two days in Boston is not enough time. Maybe next time I can go with another friend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Swaziland, Africa

Guess where I am? Swaziland, Africa! Check out this hello from my new African friend.

Entry #1 Today is Friday, September 4th and I am in Swaziland, Africa with Miss Young. I think this should be a very fun trip with lots of new things to see! But right now, I’m all tuckered out! We just arrived at a small motel in Johannesburg, South Africa after traveling for 26 hours!!! Miss Young and I took 3 planes to get here. First we flew to Washington DC, then to New York and finally to South Africa.

Our traveling isn’t over yet, because tomorrow we are going to drive about five hours in a khombi (comb-bee) to get to the country of Swaziland. This vehicle is like a mini-van and a regular van mixed. Fifteen people can squish inside! The crazy thing is that we see them filled with a lot more people than that! I guess safety belts are not required, but it seems very dangerous! Many people here don’t have their own cars so they share a ride with other people in a khombi. Each khombi is like a taxi and people pay money to get a ride in one.
The plane ride from New York to South Africa was extremely long and VERY boring! Some things you could do on the plane were read (Miss Young likes that!), journal (Miss Young loves that too!), play cards, talk to a friend, watch a little movie on a screen in front, or you could sleep! Sleeping is what most people seem to do on such a long flight!
Talking about sleeping…Miss Young and I are going to have some pizza for dinner and then it is off to bed, for real this time!
Talk to you later when I have more news!

Love, Chet

Entry #2 Today was a great day! First it started off with a great view of the African mountains behind the little cottage that I’m staying in with Miss Young. Can you see all the rocks and trees? How about the little house on the side of the mountain? Our khombi driver told us that if we had binoculars and carefully looked at the mountain we would see lots and lots of monkeys running around and having a grand old time! How funny! I was excited to hear that every morning and afternoon a gang of monkeys also come to eat from some nearby avocado trees. Hopefully, Miss Young will be able to get some pictures of them! How cool would that be?
This morning I went to church with Miss Young and her friends. The church was a lot like an American service, but they sang songs in their language which is called Siswati. It was hard to keep up, but fun to try and sing along!

Afterwards was the best, because I got to meet many Swaziland children!!!! Did you know that many of them hadn’t seen a bear like me before? Miss Young had to sneak me out of her backpack just a little and show them that I wasn’t going to BITE!! (Can you imagine? Me? Bite? Hahahaa) They really thought my sunglasses were hilarious! Do you think they make me look funny or just terribly cute?

After church, we went to visit a special place with many many more children. This place is called a carepoint; and it is a place where children from the neighborhood can come and get a healthy meal everyday and have a safe place to play. They also have a school there, but the school doesn’t start until next week!

Guess what! It was supposed to start this Monday, but the King of Swaziland cancelled it until the next week! Did you know that Swaziland is one of last countries in the world to have a real king who makes ALL the rules for the country? In America we have president and all the grown-ups get to vote for who will be this great leader! Also, grown-ups vote for other people to help make the rules and laws that we have to follow. So, it is a lot different in Swaziland. Know what else? Do you know why he cancelled school? Well, it wasn’t for a tropical storm or a hurricane like that old Fay! He actually cancelled it because… it was his birthday!!! Can you believe it? He even declared his actually birthday a holiday and NO one had to go to work either!! I wish my birthday was a holiday, don’t you?
Once again, I stole all the attention!! Everybody just loved me like crazy! Miss Young had to hold onto me tight so no one would take me, because they loved me so much! Can you believe that none of them seemed to have ever seen a teddy bear before, either? I don’t think they have many toys or dolls, but they do know how to make their own!! Like playing a game of ‘jacks’ with a little ball and some rocks! The children also like to just climb a tree or play a clapping game with some friends! They really have fun together!

We all went on a very interesting walk into the village by the carepoint where all the children live! If you look at my pictures, you can see that their homes are very different than ours. Can you see that they have flat roofs and wooden walls? Did you see that they have one big bed to share? Did you see their little kitchen? Did you see that they hang their clothes out to dry, because no one has a washing machine or dryer? Did you see that they have to get their water from the middle of the village from a little pipe? Water doesn’t come into their house and neither does electricity. So, they use candles and cook on a fire, like they are camping; and they have no televisions or computers! What else do you notice that is different?

Miss Young will be going back to this same place to help the children. Many of them don’t have mommies or daddies, are sick, or maybe they are just very hungry because they don’t have a lot of money to buy food! I’m learning a good lesson with Miss Young and I hope you do too: I think I should be very thankful for my Chets Creek family, for my beautiful school, my nice teachers, for all the grown up who love me, and all the healthy food I get to eat! You know what else? Maybe you and I can do something to help someone around us too!! Would you like to help someone too? Maybe we can find someone to be extra nice to!!! Let’s try!
Thanks for checking in on my adventure!

Love, Chet

PS: Did you watch the video of my new friend Musa (Moo-saw) saying hello to you? He is in a lot of my pictures. Can you find him?

Entry #3: The game park day is finally here! Game doesn’t mean the games we play. Instead this game means animals. So it is an animal park we are visiting. It is sort of like a zoo, except these animals run wild and live like normal just in a very huge fenced in space. It is so big, they probably don’t even know there is a fence! J The park we are going to is called Mhalne (Heh-lawn-knee).
The first thing we saw was a friendly ostrich. Well, sort of friendly, we didn’t want to get too close! An ostrich looks really interesting close up. They only have feathers on part of their body, not all over like a chicken. Under their wings you can even see where the feathers each stick in. Kinda weird, if you ask me!

Once we all got into the jeep, we were ready to go. There are no seat belts and the road is VERY bumpy…it was fun, but also kinda scary at times. One time, we thought the jeep might flip! Good thing Miss Young had a good hold of me!

We quietly drove through the park keeping our eyes wide open. We saw lots of kudu and impala, which seem like deer. Finally we found a family of four elephants. They were all digging around in the dirt. Something very interesting was in that dirt, I guess…probably some kind of food.
We also saw a whole family of lions! We got so close to them! Good thing we had the jeep to protect us! We saw 3 baby cubs nursing, two lionesses and a male lion with a big fluffy mane!
Know what? That is all we saw! We hoped to see a lot more, but they were all hiding from us!
The good news is that later we got to drive ourselves through another game park! We found a bunch of other animals there! We even saw hippos!!! They even growled at us! We saw a crocodile, two families of zebras, warthogs, and wildebeest! Miss Young’s camera died, but we promise you they were neat! Maybe we can get some pictures later from one of our teammates!

Well, now my adventure is over here in Swaziland, Africa! Now we have to take that super long flight all the way back to North America! I hope you liked hearing all about my trip, especially my pictures. Do you think you will want to visit one day? I hope so, because there is so much more to see. Did you know that Egypt is in Africa too?

Love, Chet

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New York City, NY

Hi it’s me Chet, and I’m so excited about traveling to so many places this year. Now I’m going to tell you about my trip with A & L to New York. The airport was really cool. We went through security and I got to go through a machine just like an x-ray machine. Once we got through security, we had some extra time so we some got lifesaver gummies for the trip, and they were delicious. Our plane was late leaving, but A & L said that was normal for a flight to New York.

We finally got on the plane and put on our seatbelts and listened to the safety information. Take off was fun because it made my tummy feel funny. We flew through the clouds and I watched Jacksonville fade away through the window. I think I may have taken a nap on the plane because the next thing I knew, we were there. But I do remember having snacks on the plane, listening to A & L’s iPods and reading too!

While we were in New York, A & L did a lot of family stuff and I got to hang out some in the hotel. But, we did get to go into the city. We took the train downtown and then had a real adventure in a New York City cab! Wow – those guys are crazy drivers!!! The next thing I knew we were on a cool boat and this other guy was telling us all about downtown New York City and L was holding me while they took pictures of me in front of the Statue of Liberty! After they took pictures of me smiling my best, I got to see finally what I was waiting for. I got to see the Statue of Liberty! Wow – it is huge, and it was so cool. I was right in front of it. If my arm was super stretchy, I would have reached out and laid my little paw on it. It was just amazing!

On the way back to the hotel, we walked past Times Square and Broadway to get back to Grand Central Station. There are so many people in New York City and so many things to see. I hope I get to go back one day, so I can see more. My favorite part of the trip was definitely the Statue of Liberty because it reminds us of our freedom!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

St, Augustine, FL

Hi! I am Chet Morgan and I am so excited about traveling. I love Mrs. Morgan's class! I am so happy to share with everyone the wonderful day trip I took to St. Augustine to see Mrs. Morgan's new baby niece, Ava Grace. She is so sweet. I met two other relatives while I was at Mrs. Morgan's sister's house. They were really big and really wanted to play together. I got scared because they I have never met such big animals before. The two dogs are Sher Peis. The white one is named Liza and the tan one is named Jaxson. They were so fun to get to know. Soon I will be able to meet Mrs. Morgan's dog, Olivia, and tell all about my travels with her. Mrs. Morgan was so happy to have a day that she could spend with Ava Grace. She is such a sweet baby. I really enjoyed holding her while she was sleeping. If you look closely at the pictures you can see that Liza liked me so much that she decided to take me for a ride. It was so much fun. I really enjoyed my day visiting Ava Grace with Mrs. Morgan. I can't wait to see her again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tampa, FL

I got to go to Tampa with a set of sisters this past weekend, the younger one A., the older one E.!

Here is what I did with the little one:
I came back with my new friend A. in kindergarten from an adventure. We went to the football game in Tampa. I was cheering for the Saints. Next, we went to the hotel. In the morning, we saw A.'s Nana and Papa. They live in Lakeland, FL. After that we went to a hotel in Orlando, FL. A. and I went to the pool. It had a pirate ship and it had a slide. A's daddy and sister wet down the slide. I'm glad to be back to see all my friends at Chets Creek.

Here is what I did with the big one:
I am glad to be back with all of you. I had a great trip! I just got back with E. from going to Ocala, Tampa, Bartow, Lakeland and Orlando. We stopped to eat at Steak and Shake in Ocala. We had to eat fast because we were in a hurry to get to E.'s grandpa's football game. After we finished eating, we went to the Saints football game in Tampa. It was an exciting game. After that, we stayed at a hotel in Bartow. We got to the hotel at midnight. I tried calling for a pizza, but E. made me hang up on them and go to bed. I was really hungry for breakfast the next morning! It was a yummy buffet at the hotel, but E. didn't let me eat that much because she didn't want me to get a belly ache. The next day, we went ot see some friends in Lakeland. I met E's Nana and Papa, and her great grandpa. They were fun to meet. After we saw everyone, we went to a fun hotel in Orlando. It had a cool pirate ship and a water slide that went through it. I begged E. to let me go down the water slide with her, but only one person could ride at a time. I wasn't tall enough to ride by myself! Maybe I'll be tall enough next time! It was a fun and exhausting trip with E. I slept the whole way home, and through the night. I had to get up early the next morning to go to school with E. I was not happy about that! What a great adventure!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Disney World - Orlando, FL

Dear Friends,
I had an awesome time in Disney World! The first day was a good and tiring day. We went to school as normal, but at like 11:30 I was signed out early. Then, we drove all the way down to Disney. We watched movies and played games on the way. When we finally got to Disney World, we went swimming! But only for an hour! We went back to the hotel room and all got showers. Then, we went to catch the monorail to go to Chef Mickey’s. We were able to ride in front! For dinner I ate pork, soup, salad, and fruit. After dinner, we took pictures with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, and Pluto!

The next day we went to Hollywood Studios. We ate breakfast first. We got fast passes for Toy Story Mania. We went to Playhouse Disney, ate brunch, and went to Toy Story Mania. We saw the parade, went on Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground.

When I went to the Magic Kingdom with one of my friends I rode Buzz Lightyear, Small World (my favorite), Peter Pan, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Dumbo, Jungle Cruise, Aladin’s Magic Carpets, and the Tiki room. We ate dinner at Minnie Mouse’s restaurant! We stayed until 10:00 p.m. I was so tired.

This has been a great adventure! But I can’t wait to be back in the classroom.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New York City, NY

Hi kids! It's me...Chet the traveling adventure bear. I just got back from New York City, where I spent a lovely Labor Day weekend. Boy, did I have a great time! It was much different from my home in Jacksonville. Before I begin, I want to thank Miss Hoffmann and Miss Patterson for letting me write to you.Probably the best thing about my trip was what happened when I first arrived in Manhattan. I was walking around Chinatown, trying to find some food to eat for lunch, when I saw some baby clothes that were just my size. I got a great deal on a little Chet-sized suit. It says, "I love New York" all over it. I slipped it on and continued on my way, looking much more civilized.

The first day I walked around Central Park for a while and watched all the people playing there. People were playing football, frisbee, baseball, soccer, and many other games. Then I took a nap on a bench, near two young people playing mandolins. A little girl and her dad were dancing around to the music. It was hilarious!

After my nap, I was feeling very refreshed, so I walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at some sculptures. There was a new exhibit that focused on the clothes that superheroes wear. I got to see the real suit that Christian Bale wore in "Dark Knight." I spent a lot of time on the roof, where they have a rooftop garden. There are huge statues that look like inflated balloons. My favorite one looked like a giant dog! It was fun looking out at the view of the city skyline.

All that
walking really took it out of me, so I was happy to go out for a big dinner that night. I went to Palapa in the East Village. It serves Mexican food. Delicious! I ate so much homemade guacamole that Miss P and her friends had to carry me home. I couldn't even walk. I also ate beans, rice, and some very spicy chicken. Salsa verde is a little too much for this bear to handle!

The next day I woke up early. Miss P wanted to sleep in, but I squeezed her nose until she woke up. She wasn't very happy with me, but I really wanted to get out and experience the city. We ate breakfast at a small Italian cafe. I ordered banana pancakes and was not disappointed. Yum! Yum! After breakfast, I rode the train all the way through Queens, which is on a whole other island. Miss P had a surprise for me...I was going to the U.S. Open to see Nadal play. During tennis matches, you have to be very quiet during the points. This was hard for me because I like to yell and shout cheers of encouragement. Later in the day, I also got to watch Serena Williams play. It was very exciting. We were quite high up in the stadium but I could still see all the action down below. I have watched tennis on television since I was a cub, so this was a big moment for me. Wow! I still can't believe it; it was so much fun seeing all my favorite players in person! As if that wasn't great enough, I got to have ice cream for dessert after dinner because Miss P was so impressed at how well behaved and quiet I was during the tennis matches. We went to a place called "16 handles" where you get to make your own sundaes. You choose what kinds of different ice cream flavors you want to mix together, and then you get to choose what toppings you would like to have. I was so overwhelmed and excited that perhaps I didn't make the best combination. I chose chocolate, white chocolate, and cheesecake ice cream, and I got to control the handles and put as much in the bowl as I wanted. So far, so good. But there were so many toppings that I accidentally mixed strawberries and Butterfingers together. These toppings were good on their own, but not so good together. Still, it was a lot of fun, and I would love to go back.

On Sunday, I went shopping for some shoes to match my bear suit, in Soho. Most of the stores weren't open yet, so I just walked around and then checked out the neighborhoods around NYU (New York University). There are many interesting shops and cafes. I went into a record store on Bleeker street and met a friendly cat, who lived in the store, when I was browsing for new music to listen to. Next, I rode the train to Times Square to look at the billboards and lights. Yow! What a bustling place! The lights were almost too much for me, so we rode the subway home to take a long nap before dinner.

We had special reservations at a place called Ninja. It is a Japanese restaurant where ninjas
bring you your food. They also jump out and scare you when you are walking to the bathroom. I did not like this at all! The restaurant is below ground and it is decorated like an ancient Japanese village. We ate in a small room that looked like a jail cell. Miss P's friend ordered a first course called the "clam bombshell." When the ninja brought it to the table, he said it wasn't ready yet. It had a rope sticking out of it, which he lit on fire. There was a huge flame and the clam eventually opened. There were all sorts of pieces of seafood inside! We ate and ate and ate some more...four whole courses. When it was time to pay the bill, I hid in the bathroom...bears don't make much money, you know! I will make it up to Miss P by sharpening some pencils now that we are back at Chets Creek.
Monday was our last day in the city. I begged Miss P to take me to NBC studios, so I could see where the "Today Show" is filmed. I didn't see any of the hosts, but I did see cameras set up for a segment in the plaza outside. There were many people gathered around holding signs, just like you see on television. I was going to wait for the segment to be filmed, but I wanted to keep going so I could get to MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art) before it got crowded. There were many interesting paintings, sculptures, and models to look at. I didn't stay long though; I was pretty tired from walking around. Miss P thought it would be a good idea to recharge ourselves by eating some giant pieces of New York style cheesecake in Central Park, so we had a little picnic. We sat near a pond and listened to a man play the saxophone while we ate. It was very relaxing. Then we watched people riding in horse drawn carriages. Eventually we made it back to where we were staying, to pack our bags and take a nap before dinner. What a day. Miss P let me try some of her artichoke ravioli at dinner. It was much more delicious than the twigs and berries I am accustomed to. Man, what a trip! I just can't believe all the fun things we did in such a short amount of time. I can't wait to go on another trip soon! Who will be next to take me on an adventure? Will it be you? Where will we go? I just can't wait to start another journey.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Peachtree, GA

(As told to N. by Chet) Before our trip began, N., his sister and I posed for our first picture. (And yes, I did wear my seat belt once we pulled out of the garage.) We got to watch movies and play games. This was a very fun car ride!

Saturday morning, N. and his family took me to the Peachtree City Kids fest. I even got to ride on a brown and white pony with N. He held on to me very tightly so I did not fall off. He took me down a really cool slide and we got to have pizza for lunch.
Pizza is one of my favorite meals! Then we went home and took a nap.

On Sunday, we went to the Georgia Aquarium. N's Uncle Chris works there, so we got to see some stuff not everyone gets to see. I even got to see a scuba diver cleaning the tunnel in the Ocean Voyager Tunnel. There was a big window where we saw the four whale sharks and the manta ray. The window was 23 feet high and 61 feet long. There were guitar fish, sharks, and other fish. The tank holds 6 million gallons of water. There were 12,000 fish in this tank! It was really cool to see!

N. also let me crawl with him in a tube to get our picture taken with a penguin. We were so close, I could almost touch him. We also got to see a rivers exhibit. There were a lot of signs about the Amazon River. I even got to see real piranhas. They had really sharp teeth!

Before we left, Uncle Chris took us to the top of the Ocean Voyager. We got to watch them feed the whale sharks. Then, N. took me to the gift shop and let me pick out a cool new pin for my backpack. I think I am going to start a collection on my backpack of different souvenirs of places I have been. What an exciting trip!

I can't wait to see where I will go on vacation next!