The Adventures of Flat Stanley (Feb 23, 2013)

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flat_stanley_coverSaturday, February 23, 2013

The first hint that Flat Stanley would be coming for a visit came from a TM from my sister. I think it read "JD has a surprise for you...he's sending Flat Stanley for a visit". My 8yo nephew JD, along with his entire 3rd grade class at Blessed Sacrament School in Alexandria, Virginia were reading the book and working their version of the Flat Stanley Project. My other nephew, Alex, has sent me his Flat Stanley a few years back and we had some great adventures then. I was looking forward to having Flat Stanley return. My sister warned me..."he's dressed like a Washington Redskin". JD and sports...

So Flat Stanley arrived earlier in the week. He came with a full pack of instructions. This was going to be fun. I'd have him for 7-10 days, show him around, then send him off to someone else to repeat the process. Flat Stanley would need to return to Blessed Sacrament School sometime in late Spring and the kids would wrap up their project before the end of the year. The only real stipulation was that Flat Stanley needed to stay in the US.

I sent a message off to my sister that Flat Stanley had arrived, a couple of messages followed before the weekend...Flat Stanley want some Chukar Cherries an send some postcards.

If you don't know about the Flat Stanley Project...you should. It's basically a letter writing project developed by the author of the series of books. Many classrooms, usually around 3rd grade, use it as a learning tool to teach kids about the world beyond what they are familiar with. I think it's a wonderful project and was tickled pink that my nephew sent me his Flat Stanley. It's special to be able to participate in a great project like this.

Since I only had Flat Stanley for a bit over a weeks. What to do? Where should we go? What should we see? I thought of Pike Place Market right away. There isn't really any other place that is more like Seattle than Pike Place Market. Several years ago when the entire family came out to visit (including the little JD at the time) we spent an afternoon at the market. JD sat on the brass pig, watched the fish vendors toss around fish (it's quite the tourist attraction at the market) and even managed to get his photo taken with a Seattle Mounted Policeman.

I drove into Seattle early, and we first stopped at SAM (the Seattle Art Museum). I managed to talk a nice gentleman nearby into helping out. He hid behind the sculpture at the entrance and held up Flat Stanley for me while I stepped back to get a photo. Next, Flat Stanley and I walked up to Pike Place Market. Even early in the morning (10am) the place was already crowded. FS first wanted to get his photo taken standing on the brass pig. Next, we stopped by the flying fish stand and one of the nice gents there helped me out by posing with Flat Stanley so I could snap his photo. Then we walked down the market a bit. Flat Stanley spotted the Chukar Cherries stand and made me stop. Another photo of him surrounded by chocolate. I picked up some goodies to take with me when I head east for a visit. A bit more of a walk down the market to check out some fresh flowers. Flat Stanley helped me pick out a nice bouquet of fresh tulips. Thanks Stanley! Then we back tracked a bit. I was looking for some Dungeness crab. It's in season. I thought it would make for a yummy dinner before Flat Stanley heads out on another leg of his adventure late next week.

Pike Place Market Slideshow

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Flat Stanely asked me to write this for him...

Seattle is kinda rainy in the winter. Well maybe not kinda, more like it IS rainy in the winter. The weather wasn't looking the best and the avalanche conditions were looking like to a trip to the mountains would be a good idea. Besides, Aunt Janet wanted to take Flat Stanley to another nearby touristy place that local people like as well...Snoqualmie Falls. Snoqualmie Falls is big! The falls drop 268 feet to the river below. Wow...we looked this up when we got back to AJ's house (that's what Aunt Janet likes to be called) and Snoqualmie Falls is more than twice as tall as Niagara Falls (which is about 100' tall). Niagara Falls is of course a LOT wider. AJ invited her friend Gwen to come with us on this adventure. Gwen is nice. AJ and I picked up Gwen at her house and then stopped by a small stand on the side of the road where the sell that stuff that big people drink called coffee. I think AJ called it espresso. She explained to Flat Stanley that coffee is BIG (I think she meant popular) in the Seattle area. So after getting her coffee, we drove south and got on a highway called I-90. Wow...I didn't know that this highway made it all the way out to Seattle. AJ told us that when she was little and growing up outside of Cleveland, Ohio that I-90 goes through Ohio and keeps going all the way to Boston. Wow...that is one looooong road. We drove a little way east on 90 and then got off in a town called Snoqualmie, just like the falls. A little bit later, we were at the falls. We stopped at the first overlook closest to the falls and my oh my...the falls are tall! We walked a bit further to another overlook and got a better view. That's when we found out the hiking trail down to the river below was closed. Flat Stanley was disappointed and so were Gwen and AJ.

What should we do now? Gwen had a great idea. She suggested we drive into Seattle and hike around the Washington Arboretum. An arboretum is kinda like a really pretty garden that is really, really big only this garden is so big it is a city park. There are lots of paths to walk around. We say lots of trees starting to blooms and it's not even spring yet! I like arboretums! Flat Stanley is happy because he got to have his picture taken next to lots of interesting things today. I also learned that Gwen likes to crawl all over the ground so she can get pretty pictures of flowers!

Snoqualmie Falls and the Washington Arboretum Slideshow

I wonder what my next adventure will be...


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