Friday, November 14, 2008

Flea Markets and More

Today we didn’t get very far, because we had to stop at some flea markets. First we stopped at one in Imboden, and the guy asked where we were from. My mom told him, and he said “What are you doing way out here in Imboden, Arkansas?!” We stopped at another one in Water Wheel. (And we saw the water wheel for which the tiny town was named.) Then we had to stop in Hardy, when we saw all the little antique shops, and a sign that said Hardy was the antique capitol of northeast AR. We’d only made it to two shops when it started raining, so we went to one more then we had to keep driving.

More Driving...

Today we drove from Tennessee through the little southeast hook thing of Missouri, into Arkansas.


Today we pretty much just drove, but we went through Franklin and saw some of the old houses and plantations from the civil war. The campground we stayed at that night had a huge hill you had to go up to get to the campsites. Before the hill, there was one of those signs that show a semi truck going downhill, except this sign was turned so the truck was going straight up a hill!

Mammoth Cave

Today we drove up to the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. The Mammoth caves are the longest known cave system in the world, and the next longest known cave system is only a quarter of the size! Unfortunately, they only allowed babies to go on a tour in a front pack, which we didn’t have, so only Josie and I went. It was a really neat tour! At one point, the guide showed our group what people used to use to go on a tour—before they had lights put in—a lantern with an open flame. He told everyone to turn off cell phones and cameras and things, so the only light was the lantern, then he put out the flame. The darkness was amazing! You couldn’t see anything, and the guide said “If anyone had any questions, raise your hand.” Then he said, “Well, if we’re not talking, we’re walking. Follow me.” It was really funny. There were two places in the cave that had names—Fat Man’s Misery and right after that, Tall Man’s Agony. I liked Fat Man’s Misery—a very narrow passageway that went for 250 ft. Tall Man’s Agony was a place where you had to almost squat down to get through. Toward the end of the tour we saw a cave cricket, which looked very much like a spider, because it had very long, skinny legs, and antennas that looked a lot like it’s legs, so it looked like it had eight legs.


Today we drove to Nashville, and while Josie went to the County Music Hall of Fame, my mom and I walked to an old train station, now a hotel. It was a cool old building, and the railing was a pretty design.


Today we were planning to drive to Nashville, but we only got about an hour past Augusta. We first stopped at a cafĂ© in GA, and had lunch, and on our way back to the highway we bought some boiled peanuts. Then we drove some more, passed Augusta, and got off the highway again to go to a little vegetable stand. When we got back to the motor home, we found out Molly had eaten chocolate. I called an animal poison control center, and, after that, a vet. They said to give her some hydrogen peroxide to make her vomit the chocolate, so we had to go to a store and get some. Molly didn’t vomit even after we gave her the hydrogen peroxide, but she seemed fine.

Fun Science Museum

Today we went to the science museum that we passed by yesterday. It was really cool! There were two big satellite dishes, one at each end of the museum, and you could talk into one and someone at the other end could hear you! There was this funnel thing (I don’t know what it’s called, but it was kind of like a wishing well) with metal balls that were fun to watch going around it and down toward the hole and quickly back up. There was a volleyball ‘game’ that Josie and I played where you each have a screen and you can see you, the net, and the other person, and you have to hit the ball to your right (or left, depending on which side you’re on) and watch on the screen where the ball is and hit it. It was hard because the screen was a little messed up and it you could hardly see where your arms were, but it was fun. There was also a high wire bicycle, where you pedal around high in the air. which was pretty scary because it felt like it was tipping to my right. There was a 200 pound weight underneath that kept it balanced. There was a table that was hanging by four ropes, one at each corner. In the middle was a pole that had a marker at the end of it that could be raised and lowered. You put paper in the middle of the table (there was something there to hold it in place), start it swinging in a circle, lower the marker, and it would draw on the paper. There were two swings connected to each other, that Josie and I each sat in. I start swinging while Josie sat still. After I got going I stopped swinging. My swing pulled Josie’s, and soon hers was swinging and mine had stopped. Her swinging then pulled my swing and I started to swing again, and this made Josie’s stop. It went back and forth, and we didn’t have to do anything except at first when I got the swing going.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stress, Stress and Stress

These last two days have been hectic and very stressful. Yesterday Molly ate about 1/4 cup pure chocolate chips. And of coarse we hadn't learned from last time when she ate a half a pack of chocolate mint cookies. So we called the animal poison hotline, because we didn't know any vets in Georgia. The first time Molly didn't have any reaction. But they were mostly cookie and not much chocolate. This time we were told to expect a bunch of horrible stuff to happen. And that it may not happen for eight hours. So we waited. It has now been 28 hours since she ate those chocolate chips and we are still waiting for something to happen.

Today we were in Nashville, the Music City. Since the CMA Awards are in 2 days, it was a little hectic. And lots of preperation. So when I went to the Country Music Hall Of Fame, I could see some guys setting up white tents for the affair. It was really cool to actually be there. The Country Music Hall Of Fame was really cool also. They had two temperary exibits. One of Kitty Wells, who was considered the queen of country music. And one of the Williams Family. The exibit was of the whole family and three generations! First there was Hank Williams Sr. who started the Legacy in country music. He died. Then there is Hank Williams Jr. who is still living. He had a son named Shelton Williams. But now everyone calls him Hank Williams the third. It was really cool to look at. Especially since I'm a country fan.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today I went for a bike ride with Molly, since she was pretty hyper. We saw a fox, which was really cool. He was so pretty! I saw some deer later, not on the bike ride. I also gave Molly a bath, which she didn’t like one bit, but afterwards she was very energetic, so Josie and I ran around with her, and played ‘Find’ with her.

Today, when we got to the festival, I was supposed to work at one slide, but then I was told to go to a different slide, and from there I was told to go dry off a different slide. (There is usually dew on the slides, but today there was frost.) After that, I worked at the Barn Slide until my break. After my break, I worked at the top of Dino Slide, a huge, six lane slide. They launched 3 pumpkins into the pond.

11/1/08 (World Vegan Day)
Today we got up very early (for us), to go to D.C. We saw a deer right across the road while we were at the campground. He had antlers, which was really neat. We took the Metro into D.C., and first went to try to get tickets to the Bureau of printing and engraving so we could get a tour. They turned out to be closed on Saturday, which was disappointing, but then Josie and I hurried to try to get tickets for a tour of the Capitol, and our mom went to get tickets so we could go up to the top of the Washington Monument. While waiting for our tour of the Capitol, my mom and I went to the National Archives and got to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation. They also had a piece of the Statue of Liberty there, which had been chipped off when it arrived, to see if it needed cleaned. (They decided it didn’t.) The piece was part of an ear of corn from the torch. Then we went on our tour of the Capitol. First there was a room that is used for ceremonies like when former presidents die. The next room’s design made it so you could hear everything said very well, even when whispered. It was not intentionally made that way. The next room was supposed to be a tomb; they had wanted George Washington to be buried there, but it didn’t work out, and no one is buried there. We also saw the old Supreme Court, and that was the last thing we did in the Capitol. Afterwards, I went to the Library of Congress. I wanted to look at some books, but it turned out you need to be over high school age to check out books, and my mom was not there, so I didn’t get to do what I wanted there, but I got to go inside and look around. After that, we went to the Washington Monument. At the top, there are two windows in each direction, and there were four photographs there of each view years apart. In 1901, facing south (I think) there were no buildings there. The next photograph, I think about 25 years later shows the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool.

When we woke up this morning, we did not know what time it was, because of the time change. Our clock in the motor home, which does not change automatically, said 7:10. Our mom’s cell phone, which should have changed automatically, also said 7:10. We needed to be at work at 10:00, and we didn’t know if we should be there when our clocks said 10:00 or 11:00. We decided to get ready for work, and see if the clock had changed by the time we were ready. It hadn’t, and we didn’t want to get to work at 11:00 (by our clocks) and be an hour late (if our clocks were right and the time change had not yet happened). So we went at 10:00. When we got there, Josie asked someone what time it was. It was 9:00. We were an hour early. We though that was a funny adventure. This was our last day at work, which was sad, but I’d had fun. Today I was working in the Sweet Shack, which sold pies, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, hot chocolate, apple cider and coffee. Since there were only three days left for the festival, they didn’t have a lot of stuff left. We sold out of the cupcakes, pie, and cider, and there were only a few cookies left at the end of the day. What I did at the Sweet Shack was get what people ordered, and hand out samples of the cupcakes. Because the festival was almost over, they had what they called Pumpkin Madness. It is where they have all these pumpkin destroying activities. There’s pumpkin bowling (bowling with a pumpkin instead of a ball), The Wall Of Spikes (you throw pumpkins at a wall of spikes), Stomping Grounds (You stomp on pumpkins), and a pit where they were dropping pumpkins from a crane onto a raised board where they smashed when they hit it. They had this huge 1,007 pound pumpkin on display during the festival, and they had a sign next to it saying ‘The End for the Big Pumpkin.’ That was today, where they raised it with the crane, and cut the rope. It was funny how everyone at the festival seemed to be gathered around the pit when they dropped it, but it was kind of sad how they simply destroyed a huge thing like that.

Today we left to go to the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague on our way south. Because we had a lot of driving, we didn’t get to the north end of Assateague until about 3:45. We did get to see some wild ponies, and some Sitka deer, when we were driving around, but when we went on a half mile trail through the marshes, we didn’t see either. It was dark when we were leaving the island, but we saw some ponies still out, so we tried to take some pictures of them, and they didn’t come out to well, but the ponies started coming up to our vehicle. One came right up to the window, and she put her muzzle against the window!

Today we went to the southern end of Assateague, and the island of Chincoteague. We saw lots of herons in the marsh on Assateague, but we didn’t get to see any more ponies. On Chincoteague, although we had some trouble finding the spot, we saw where the ponies come ashore after swimming across from Assateague. After that, we drove south, and, to get from Cape Charles to the mainland, we had to go across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, a 20 minute drive across the bay that consisted of 3 bridges and 2 tunnels. The tunnels are, apparently, deep enough under the water that boats can go over them! We had been planning to see some of Jamestown/Williamsburg today, but it got to late for us to have seen much, so we were going to get to a campground a little early so we could get set up in the daylight. We stopped at the store first, which took longer than we expected, so it was almost dark when we left. We were having some trouble finding the campground, so my mom called the campground for directions. We had pulled off on a little road, so when we had directions, we had to turn around. There was a big grassy area next to the road that was a little lower than the road, and my mom was afraid we would get stuck if we went into it a little bit to turn around. We didn’t though and we went back out to the road the turnoff for the campground was supposed to be on. We only went a short ways before my mom was confused again; there was only a small driveway type road where the turnoff was supposed to be. So we went back to the little road we’d been on before to call again. After calling, we started to turn around again. And we got stuck. Our back tires were off the road, and it was muddy. My mom called the campground again, and told them we were stuck, and they sent two guys to see if they could help. They couldn’t, so my mom had to call a tow truck. We were told it would be about two hours before they would get there, so it would be about 10:45. We listened to the election results as we waited, and it was almost 11:45 before the tow truck arrived. They pulled us out very easily. We made to the campground without any more trouble.

Today we went to see the Jamestown and Williamsburg area. We first went to Williamsburg and went on a tour of the battlefields. We also went through a ship that was like the ones used during the battle. Then we went to Jamestown and saw the ruins of glassblowing structures used in the colonial days. We got to watch someone doing the glassblowing like how they would have in the colonial days. It was really neat how he made things. He made the glass look all cracked; by dipping it in briefly water. He also made a big ‘bubble.’ He said if the glass could stay hot enough, it could keep expanding, and, unlike a balloon (or rubber), it would never stop. However, it is impossible to keep it hot enough. Lava is made of molten rock, and glass is molten sand, except hardened.

Today we drove to North Carolina, and I got to meet my penpal for the first time! It was really cool. We didn’t get to stay long because we needed to get all the way to the South Carolina/Georgia border by that night. The rest of the day we drove…and drove…and drove.

Today we were given a ‘tour’ of the neighborhood around my mom’s friend’s house, which is near the Savannah river which is the South Carolina/Georgia border. We also went over to Georgia and walked along the river. There were a lot of canoers on the river, practicing for a competition. We passed a science museum that had a huge ball (more than half a ton; 1037 pounds, or something like that) out front. It was in a fountain that held the ball up with the pressure from the water. The water between the ball and the fountain was only five sheets of paper thick! You could push the ball and turn it in the direction you wanted because it was just floating!
Today we worked at Cox Farms. I was the slide attendant at the Barn Slide—one of my favorite places to work—until my break, and then I was the slide attendant at a different slide, Miners, which is a tunnel slide coming from a little ‘mineshaft.’
Today was kind of fun. When I walked to dino- slide where I was supposed to work, found out it was all icy. And two of my other co-workers Robbie and Tara were already trying to get the ice off. And we started at 9:30 am, and when we finally finished, it was 11:00 am! It was so hard to get all the ice and water off this 100 ft slide. Plus it was 6 lanes! After we finally got all the water off I went to the top of the slide to help with sacks, which you need to go down the slide. After about a half an hour after I was at the top of the slide, I was sent down to the bottom of the slide to hand out sacks. Robbie was down there also putting sacks in the bin. After a while we got a rhythm down. He would take the sacks from the people at the bottom of the slide and throw them to me. And I would hand them out to the people waiting in line. Every once in a while it seemed like he would try to aim for my head or make me miss. But only once in a while did I actually not catch the sacks even though there were a lot of them. We seemed to have good rapport as far as that went.

After my and Meggie’s shift was over, my mom wanted to take pictures of us and the stuff in the back round. In the end we not only took pictures but also went on some slides and on the hayride again. It was a ton of fun!
Today was a very interesting and fun day. It said on the schedule I was on Dino- Slide from 9: 30 to 4: 00. So I was at Dino and Aaron comes over the walkie- talkie and asks if I would like to be an alien after my break. (On the hayride there’s a place where there is an attraction with a spaceship, astronauts and space related stuff.)I said that would be great. I was starting to think I would never get to do any acting. So after my break I headed to the alien thing. It was kind of funny to see this guy I only knew by sight in a costume. (He didn’t strike me as the kind of guy to be caught dead in an alien suit.) The only thing I knew about him was his name was Juan and he didn’t know English. I was already worried about this alien job, and this didn’t help my confidence at all, because I wasn’t totally sure of what I was supposed to do. Fortunately when I got there he did know a little bit of English. So we had a kind of conversation, of him trying to tell me what to do and me trying to understand. All of a sudden a tractor was coming, and when I heard it I totally freaked like hyperventilating kind of freaking. At least it felt like it to me. I felt very ill informed without having someone fully explain it to me. Then Juan said go and so I did, waving and acting like an idiot, but that was all part of the job. The best part was the kids loved it.
The other day was soo nice! We didn’t do much of anything. The day before, we just got our new laptop, so most of yesterday was spent either trying to get online (which is harder than it sounds,) or trying out all the different gadgets. We got really lucky my mom got a job being a camp host because otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get online. It’s only available to camp hosts.

Right now I am loving my job!! It’s a lot of fun. The people are really nice, and my employer, Aaron is awesome! It’s too bad I probably won’t be here next year.
I was talking to some guys the other day, and one of them said he was working there for 10 years! And he’s only 23! I thought that was amazing.
And then there are some other guys who worked there for 5 years which is still a long time, if you think about it.

Most everything I do there is fun. My favorite is working in the kitchen. Especially at lunch time. Everything is so busy, people trying to talk over each other, getting a customer’s order, the people running to get the food, people making the food and they can’t make it fast enough.
This past Monday, I wrapped hamburgers and cheeseburgers, right during the lunch hour. Even though I was wrapping as fast as I could, there were sometimes 4 people in line. It was so crazy but I think that is the appealing part.