Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Las Vegas, NV

I went to Las Vegas with J. and his family. We got to ride on FOUR airplanes! We went to Las Vegas to see J.'s Aunt Megan get married. We stayed at a hotel in Las Vegas called Paris pictured on the right. I also got to visit the Hoover Dam. On top is a picture I took of the family at the Hoover Dam which is really close to Las Vegas. I learned lots about the Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam is a concrete gravity dam.

It was built for flood control and for hydroelectric power generation.
It took four years to build the dam and it was built for $1,000,000 UNDER budget.

Boulder City, Nevada was built for the men and their families that helped to build the dam. It is located about 20 miles from Las Vegas, near the dam.

Ninety-six men were killed building the Hoover Dam and their names are on a wall to remember them.

The Hoover Dam was named for the 31st President Herbert Hoover.

J. and I had a GREAT time, but we were so tired from having some much FUN!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

What an adventure! I, Chelsea, traveled with R. and her Nana on an airplane to a tropical paradise. The trip started off with a lot of excitement, because one of the engines on the airplane would not start! I got a little nervous, but quickly was at ease as R. held me close assuring everything would be just fine.

We were on our way to visit R.’s Aunt and Uncle who live in South Florida to celebrate R.’s birthday. When we arrived we were a bit tired because the flight got in quite late, so we went to bed. The next morning I woke up and found myself in a beautiful home near the beach with breathtaking views of downtown Ft. Lauderdale. It’s was so exciting to explore a new home, with three levels! The patios on the third level were my personal favorite. R. liked the lower level gardens with fountains.

We went to the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science which was a blast. There are so many educational activities, actually over 200 interactive exhibits, including sharks, alligators and a simulated rocket adventure.

We also took a trip to the Ft. Lauderdale Beach. The white sands of South Florida are about as close to the Caribbean as you can get. The water was warm, although I never fully got in. I did not want to mess up my hair! I enjoyed soaking up the sun’s rays with R.

A trip to a beautiful garden center and nursery was also a lot of fun. There were so many different tropical plants with various bright colors to choose from. They also had all sorts of fountains and garden furniture. Auntie, R. and I sat in a hammock and it flipped over on us. It was so funny. We laughed and laughed. We even got a picture of it!

What is a trip without shopping? We strolled down the Ft. Lauderdale Riverwalk, where you can take a water taxi up and down the river with all sorts of shops, restaurants, arts and entertainment to enjoy. It is always fun to get a little souvenir of your trip. R. got a beautiful necklace.

The most exciting part was celebrating R.’s birthday. She got all sorts of nice gifts and Uncle bought her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Similar to the ones we’d seen at the garden center. It was a wonderful time traveling with R. and I so enjoyed getting to spend time with her and her lovely family.

Until my next adventure,

Charleston, SC

On October 18th the three of us were able to visit the USS Yorktown with the Cub Scouts troup. Since there three kids in one family going on the trip, all three of us were able to go with them on the ship.

We arrived at Patriots Point in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina about 6:05 pm.

We were able to board about 6:45 when all the scouts from the pack had arrived. (We found one other Chet had arrived for the weekend.) Once we boarded we went straight to the flight deck to receive instructions. The girls were assigned to sleep in the Officers Quarters (one rickety, thin stepped staircase) and the boys were assigned the Crews Quarters(one thin stepped, rickety staircase indoors and a second similar staircase outside - in the Dark Night). We were all lead up to our assigned sleeping areas by group.

The humans choose bunks, settled in and then left us behind for naps about 7:45 while they went to search for supper. They came back about 9:15, we needed to wait for the fire drill alarm. The alarm went off about 9:45. We met downstairs and we were counted (a few times) to make sure we were all there.

Afterward some folks went around looking at the Aircraft Carrier, others (like us) headed up to our bunks to get some shut-eye. The USS Yorktown sounded Taps at 10:55 and then it was lights out. Marcie was really tired, but I felt a little odd. It was hard to realize the type of lives these sailors lived as they slept in such close quarters, with very little space for any of their belongings. So far from home and in dangerous situations and just the waiting, I have a lot more respect for their situation and sacrifice now.

We got up at 7:00 when Reville played. (Mom had got up a lot earlier and snuck a shower/ it was a strange experience. Mom said she had seen worse showers.) Then we met the boys and bears downstairs on the Hanger Deck to wait for roll call. I was surprised to see it was raining outside, the ship seems so open tot the weather, but then you walk to a truly open place and find the design of the ship is not what it seems. Then the entire group went downstairs to the Mess Hall, our group ate in the officers Mess, we had French Toast, Sausage and grits for breakfast. After breakfast we looked at the displays on the Aircraft Carrier for awhile.

We watched a film called The Fighting Lady which was filmed entirely on the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier during the 1940's. It showed a lot of detail of how the ship ran, and how the men took care of the day to day stuff like cooking and laundry. The USS Yorktown had also retrieved the Apollo 8 Spacecraft when it returned to Earth after orbiting the moon. There was a very large model of the capsule on display with buttons on it to replay sounds that we remember from that event in history.

There is a large memorial, which lists all the sailors who gave their lives serving their country. Neither M. or M. were very interested, I think it is hard for them to understand.

Afterward, we went up to a radio room. We were able to see how the Short Wave Radio Operators do their jobs. It was fun. We spoke to a man living in Italy, he was not happy because we had accidentally interrupted a conversation he was having with someone else. Then we got someone in South Carolina nearby to talk to us, we were able to ask her questions and she was certainly asking us questions.

Then we went outside and looked at a real submarine. It was so small inside. I couldn't believe how fast everyone was running through the ship. I didn't get a chance to see a lot of interesting things.

Then we went back up to bunks for a nap while the family went to a scheduled Oceanography class, it was really a great class, but then they went outside and family didn't have enough heavy clothes on to finish the class because the weather had become rather blistery and cold.

They went out of the Ship for some heavier clothes, souvenirs and lunch (at Jersey Mike's.) They came back after lunch and were touring the Destroyer Lafferty when M. fell down a stairway and hurt herself. A volunteer saved the day and caught her arm before she could hit her head!

After that the day really slowed down, they found a hotel, packed up and stayed there Saturday night to keep from straining M.'s leg anymore on the stairways.

At the hotel we took an elevator, ordered Pizza and watched Alice in Wonderland on TV. It was nice and warm.

Sunday morning we drove around Charleston/Mount Pleasant area. There was a Plantation called Boone Farm that we were supposed to go to on Saturday also, but couldn't because we ran out of time.

We had a great time!

Hilton Head, SC

I visited Hilton Head, SC with A's family. We left on Saturday around lunch and headed to Hilton Head. I just hung out with A on the 3 hour trip. When we were there, I experienced many new and exciting adventures. I went biking almost every day because where we stayed has bike paths throughout the entire plantation. I also spent many hours lounging on the beach. I didn't swim with my friends, but I did enjoy hanging out and getting a sun tan.

One sunny afternoon I got to experience kayaking. I went on a short trip since they didn't have a life jacket that fit me properly. Another exciting part of our trip is A's Aunt MaeMae's bird, Lucas. He kept landing on all of our heads and shoulders. We loved feeding him sunflower seeds. Lucas loves many fruits, but sunflower seeds are his favorite. I had so much fun on my trip to South Carolina!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

London, England - part 2

Well, did not meet a princess. Oh well, I did get to see London. I took the London train (the tube) into Waterloo where the big gigantic ferris wheel is. It is called the Eye of London and was built to commemorate the millennium celebration in London. We also saw Big Ben, London Bridge, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace all from the top of a double decker bus.

I went to work with my friend, on Sunday before we went to downtown London. He was good at work, and there are a couple of pictures of him on the conveyor belts. I think he liked it!

London, England

I am in London! I got to fly in first class on the whole trip since the flight was so friends' company let us ride in style. I got to hang out in the Delta Crowne Room, had dinner on the plane, and had a really exciting cab ride to the hotel on Tuesday. There are lots of crazy round and round turns on the roads down here. I think my tummy got a little bit sick from the way the cab driver drove:) We think driving in a car over here is like riding the teacup ride at Universal!

While I'm here I plan to visit a castle while I am in London. There is one not too far from our hotel which is near the Thames River. Maybe I will find a princess to marry while we are visiting the castle? Do you think I am old enough to get married?

Our hotel room is really small but nice and cute. The perfect size for the two of us. My friends have been working a lot this week, so I have been back in the hotel room watching TV. I can't wait to see what I see!

Gatlinburg, TN

I just got back from a trip with Mrs. Jocelyn and her husband Bryan and I had a blast! We headed out to Gatlinburg, TN to see Jocelyn's son Jonathan get married to Jammie, his bride-to-be. We were all really excited about seeing them!

Our first stop was Charlotte, NC. Mrs. Jocelyn, Bryan and I flew there, had some lunch, and then it was time to hop back onto the plane and go to Knoxville, TN. All of that flying can wear a bear out, so we drove the rest of the way to Gatlinburg. It was such a pretty drive there. A lot of the leaves were changing to their Fall colors. Once we arrived there, I finally got to meet Jonathan and Jammie. They were very nice people, and we all had lots of fun traveling around the town, seeing the scenic views of the Smoky Mountains. We stopped by Ripley's Aquarium and it was fantastic! We saw coral reef, barracudas, sharks, sting rays, seahorses, piranhas, giant Japanese spider crabs, jellyfish, and so many more. Being a bear, seeing all those fish was making me hungry, but there was no time to eat because we had to get ready for the wedding at the Wedding Chapel in the Glades. I was a little nervous as I'd never been to a wedding before, but it was no sweat. The wedding was so sweet and beautiful, and the cameras loved me! I may be a bear, but I'm also a bit of a ham for the cameras.

After the wedding, it was time to relax some more and enjoy more of the attractions in Gatlinburg. The next day, we all went to the Wax Museum and the Sta
r Cars. We saw cool wax figures of a lot of famous celebrities, and the cool cars they drove in. After that, we took the sky lift, and it was breathtaking looking over the mountains. I was 518 feet above the city. Yowza! Once we were back on stable ground and I'd gotten my "bear"ings, we went to the Alewine Pottery Gallery where we got to watch them make pottery. They also had a 2-man band playing bluegrass music. They were very friendly and their music really gave a mountain flavor to the day.

The next day we had to leave to come home. I was tired from all the fun that I'd had, so I slept through most of the trip. It was a great time in the Smoky Mountains, but I'm glad to be back to Chets Creek to share my stories with all of you guys!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Biddeford, ME

Hi, everyone! I traveled to Biddeford, Maine today to learn how to make a newspaper.

A big fire happened at a local Dairy Queen overnight, so I got this new firefighter's uniform from the newspaper!

I was taught how to put together the pages of the newspaper using QuarkXpress, a computer program which allows editors to make newspaper pages on the computer.

I also took a few telephone calls, and checked pages for spelling mistakes.

Finally, I was allowed to say, "Start the presses!" when it was time to print the newspaper. The press is a very big machine and it was very loud! And look at that huge roll of paper I am sitting on!

I had a lot of fun in Maine. Time for the next adventure!

Portland, ME

Hey Everyone! This is Chet, reporting from Portland, Maine. I arrived here last week, to the offices of Stenhouse Publishers. I was greeted by some nice people who publish books for teachers, but unfortunately they put me to work immediately.
Check out the photos of me working hard and attending important meetings.

During the weekend I did get to travel around Portland and make some new friends. I visited Kettle Cove beach, where I saw some fishing boats on the water, along with lobster traps. I also went to Portland Head Light - look at that view behind me! The lighthouse is 80-feet tall and George Washington ordered it to be built in 1791.

After all the sightseeing, we had some lunch and I made friends with this huge lobster! He was friendly – even put his claw around me. I also met some other bears in Maine.
Later this week I am going to visit a newspaper near Portland and see their big printing presses. Should be pretty exciting!

St. Augustine, FL

Tonight I went to St Augustine. I watched the Providence Stallions play the Florida Deaf and Blind School Dragons football game. The game was very fun. We sat in the bleachers and my favorite part was the skittles. On the ride home we watch the movie Speed Racer

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey

I was so excited to go on an airplane again. “A’s” family picked her up early from school on Friday and we headed straight to the airport. When we got to the airport, I had to go through the security gate. “A” put me in one of the bins and I got to ride through the X-ray machine. I was not scared, it was kind of fun! Then, we hung out in the waiting area for our plane to come. It was a big purple and orange plane. I got to sit with “A”, her dad and her brother. When it was time to take off, “A” held on to me tight and off we went!

There were many clouds that we had to fly through and the airplane ride was a little bumpy. Luckily, we made it to Philadelphia a little bit early and “A’s” gramma was waiting for us at the end of the concourse. She’s very nice and took us to “A’s” Aunt Melinda’s house. We ate pizza and played with “A’s” cousins and brother.

On Saturday, we all got up early, ate bagels for breakfast and then got in the car to drive to New Jersey. We saw a lot of pretty trees. The leaves were orange, bright red and yellow. It was a great day to drive.

I met “A’s” great gramma at her 90th birthday party. I met a lot of “A’s” relatives and friends. I shared some pasta with “A” and then got to sing Happy Birthday to “A’s” great gramma and then we got chocolate cake and ice cream. It was yummy! The family let me get into the picture of everybody to mark this special occasion.

On Sunday, “A’s” gramma made us some blueberry pancakes for breakfast and then we went to a helicopter air show. I got to sit in the car and watch because “A” was afraid that I might get blown away from the wind the helicopters made. I saw many helicopters and skydivers. It was really neat.

Later, we went back to the Philadelphia airport. “A’s” dad bought me a Philadelphia tee shirt! Our plane was a few minutes late and we had to sit in the airport for a bit longer than we were supposed to do. We did get to watch our airplane pull up to the gate – that was cool! It was fun to fly at night and see the moon and the lights from the towns and cities. It was a fun weekend. I hope that I can go back to see some of the city of Philadelphia next time!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Austin, TX

Hi, Chets Creek Kiddos! It's me again, Chet the Bear, World Traveler Extraordinaire, and can you guess where I went this weekend? I boarded this plane right behind me in Jacksonville, Florida and traveled about 1,000 miles from my home at The Creek to the Lone Star State!

Do you know that the Lone Star State is a giant of a state, and the state's motto is friendship? This state leads our nation as the biggest oil producer, produces more beef than any other state, and is the largest cotton producer, too! The Lone Star State also has the largest of all state capital buildings, and I was there to see it! In this picture, you can see me driving right toward the Capitol Building! Have you guessed yet, which state it is that we call the Lone Star State?

That's right, TEXAS! And, not only did I go to Texas, but I went to the state's capital, Austin!

I had a blast! I went to the University of Texas, nicknamed UT, the night their football team, The Texas LongHorns, beat the number one ranked Oklahoma Sooners. And, guess what, their whole tower was lit up orange to celebrate their victory! How cool!
Do you know what else is special about Texas? They have a greater variety of reptiles than any other state! Luckily, I didn't encounter any reptiles, but I sure did see a lot of Longhorns. In fact, I even tried to ride one during my visit to a ranch! Do you see me holding on for dear life? On the ranch, I also saw a road runner and these long horns who were getting ready to eat! I stayed away from them, because I didn't want them to think I was dinner! Yipes.

The 140 acre C-View ranch I visited is 40 miles outside of Austin and you'd never guess who lives next door. Does this Live Strong bracelet give you a clue?

If you guessed Lance Armstrong, 7 time winner of the Tour de France, then you are right! Of course, you know I, Chet, couldn't pass up getting a glance at Lance Armstrong's ranch. I snapped a picture across the rugged terrain of Texas full of rock and dust, and small Oak and Cyprus trees to capture a long distance shot of Lance's ranch. Can you see it in the picture? It sits off to the right on top of the hill. You can see it off in the distance.
Long, long ago, all this land used to be under water. You heard me right, it was part of the ocean floor! But, as the water receded, people began inhabiting the land. They built rock walls around their land many of which you can still see today. I even found a fossilized sea shell on the ground and brought it back to Chets Creek with me! Here is a picture of me holding my fossilized seashell! I can't wait to bring it to school to show you. I bet you can tell from my enthusiasm that the ranch visit was my favorite. So, I thought you might like to see more. Take a look at the slideshow and when you see me at school, let me know if you have ever visited Texas, the Lone Star State.