Tag Archive | Travel

Just Like Home… Kind of.

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Sometimes, when you have to go far away from your little house and your little bed, you have to stay at other places. I love my little bed at home, so I never sleep quite as well when this happens. I want to party and jump on the bed way past my bedtime, and my body wakes me up really, really early too. This means that I can be a bit grumpy on those mornings, and I can’t have that warm stuff called coffee to make me happy like Mama and Daddy.

What I can have, though, is a cold glass of orange juice and a giant waffle. In bed. Mama and Daddy never let me do at home, so it’s special. Those places are kind of like home, but with nice added things like breakfast in bed and cartoons in the morning. I like those special things, which Mama said you can call “perks.”

I like that, “perks.” Even though I don’t sleep as well in a giant bed that is not my own without my own fan sound and my own stuffed animal buddies surrounding me, the perks… they kind of make it all worth it. I’ll still be working on Mama and Daddy to have bed-waffles and juice at home, though, because why can’t we have relaxing, lazy mornings every day?

I am the Bird Whisperer and the Grand Maestro of the Sea Gull Orchestra.

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Come to me, bird friends. I have handfuls of sand and I am calling to you in my best shoutsinging voice saying, “birdies, birdiiiieeeessss” with the wind in my hair. It is so peaceful out here, and my shoutsinging voice is helping you while you search for food I am sure, birds of the sea. I will be your conductor, just like the ones that I have seen on t.v., and I will wave my arms and you can go here and there and here and there with the waving of my arms. Good job, gully friends… keep it up, and we might just make it onto that PBS station one day. You just have to keep flying and practicing.

The Wonderful, Magical Big, Big City of Pittsburgh

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A little while back, Mama and Daddy and me all got to go on a long car ride all the way up to a place called “Pittsburgh.” Pittsburgh is a really big city in a giant state called “Pennsylvania,” and we got to do lots of really fun things there. Mama and Daddy’s friends, Dave and Michelle, invited us to visit them and their son, Josh.

Josh is my friend now, too. Josh is older than me, and he’s a great snuggler and play buddy. He has something called “Cerebral Palsy,” so his movement is different than mine and he has a chair that helps him get from place to place. He doesn’t let that slow him down much though… he moves all around a lot and he likes to stay really busy, which is part of why I loved him so, so much, because I don’t like to slow down, either. We got to play and play and play and in the days that I was there.

They have a bird named Bo that talks to everyone and whistles too. I had no idea that birds could talk because the ones in the sky that I see all of the time chirp in their own language. Everyone kept telling me not to put my fingers in the cage because little fingers like mine end up looking like something that she should bite even though Bo is a really nice bird that likes belly rubs. That was really, really hard to do because I like to touch everything, especially pretty and soft things, but I had to listen because the word “no” was used in that serious and loud way that means that the big people mean business and that what they are saying is important. I stood in front of the cage instead and said “birdie” and watched her instead and dreamed about the day when my fingers would be big enough to rub her belly and her head like the big people.

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They also have kitties, although they did not seem to be giant fans of me running fast, but they didn’t run away from me like my kitty Jenga at home does. My favorite though was their giant doggie named Bruno that is a Pit Bull Mastiff mix, and he is one of Josh’s big protectors in life. Bruno is the biggest doggie that I have ever seen, much bigger than our little Mr. Django puppy. He is older so I couldn’t climb all over him, but I got to rest my head on him and hug him all that I wanted to. He was so sweet and gentle, and there is just something about putting your arms around a big warm puppy that makes your heart happy. Mama tells me that a man named Charles Shultz said that “happiness is a warm puppy.” That man was a wise one, I think, and Mama agrees because she said she loves this kid named Charlie Brown and this puppy named Snoopy, and Charles Shultz created them.

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Dave and Michelle and Josh took us to see the big city, too. We went on a “Duckie Boat” tour and I even got to drive the boat (I have a little sticker to prove it in my little travel book). We saw all of the water because it is a river city like Richmond, my city, is, and we got to see all of the giant buildings downtown and the inclines that go up, up, up.

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It was Memorial Day weekend, so we got to cook out and remember everyone who has fought for our country. At the end of all of the eating part, we went outside and got to play with these things called “sparklers.” It was the first time I had seen those and held them, and they are shiny but hot. Mama and Daddy were very careful to let me know that I could not touch the pretty light at the top. I thought that shiny and hot things and food are what Memorial Day is all about, but Mama and Daddy say that it is an important holiday to remember and that it is all about honoring those that we have lost. I don’t really get it yet, but Mama and Daddy tell me that when I am bigger I will know much more about Memorial Day and what it means.

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Josh’s got to play with some of them too, and his whole face lit up just like the sparklers because he was so happy. July 4th is apparently all about family and friends and happiness, too.

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It was so, so fun that time went by really fast, and before we knew it, we had to head back home. It hasn’t been long, but I miss them already, and I can’t wait to go back. I think that I might just be a big fan of Pittsburgh, and I know that I am a big, big fan of Dave and Michelle and Josh. 🙂

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I Have This “Driving” Thing Down Pat.

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You see me, Daddy? I am in your little house on wheels, our little Minnie Winnie (which is gigantic… it makes our little cars on wheels look like the toy cars that I zoom around the house). I am in the driver’s seat, Daddy, and I am touching that big, big wheel. I have seen you drive it, Daddy, so I know what to do with the it. I just have to turn it around when we need to go one way or another and keep it on the road, right? The only thing is that my legs don’t go down past the seat yet, Daddy, and I know that you do something with your feet to to make our house on wheels go and stop. If you just help me with that part, Daddy, I have this thing. I can do it, Daddy, just get those pedals with your feet and you can let me steer. No? Are you sure, Daddy? Please?

Okay, well I will just pretend in my mind, then. I will even make the loud engine sounds with my mouth, and I can do those really well to sound like a real car. Since it’s my decision in my mind, I think that we will go to the big water called the ocean. Okay, everyone? Alrighty then. Watch. Me. Go.

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Is This How This Thing Works?

We are on a little trip, and I am sleepy. Mama says that this little stuffed animal is called a “neck pillow.” I have seen it used before, but I can’t quite figure it out. Help, Mama, help. You are a pro at these types of things.

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King Kong, Look Out… Here I Come.

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I saw that big building everywhere– you couldn’t help but see it. The Empire State Building is what Mama told me that it was called. It was right there in the middle of everything. We saw it when we came in, we saw it in Sunnyside, Queens where our little house camp has been, and we saw it all over town while we were busy seeing all of the people and things around us (and we did a lot of running– Daddy says that is what you do when you are in a city as big and powerful as New York is, and he said that the people that live there are really busy everyday too).

We were running and running all day, but then Grandpa told us that we were going to get to go to the top of the big part of the Empire State Building and that he was getting tickets so we needed to get ready. Mama bundled me up and told me that it was going to be cold way up there.

The inside of the building was so bright and everything was really shiny. Mama said something about it being “Art Deco” style and that it was one of the best ways that they built things in the history of things being built. She told me that it took a long time to make it, and she told me that a lot of people worked on it really hard to build it a long time ago back when most people had very little and when it was harder to make giant things. She said it was the tallest building in the whole world for a long, long time.

Mama, me, Daddy, my big sister Addie, Grandpa, and Mama Linda all rode up and up and up and up in an elevator… then, when you thought you made it, we went on another elevator and went up even more. When we got out, I could see the entire world. The world was right there in front of me and everything else down where we were on the ground looked so, so small. Everyone looked like the Little People that I have to play with way down there.

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Addie looked down and held the bars, but I wanted to get higher. I tried to climb on the bars to get up and up more, but Mama and Daddy kept me down instead and told me that climbing the Empire State Building was not a good idea at all and that I was not King Kong. Mama looked very worried, but she should know that I have no fear. I don’t know who King Kong is, but whoever he is (I think Daddy said something about him being a big gorilla) he better watch out for me. I am Dorian, hear me roar.

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The Way Back Home… Lateness, Running, Trains, Planes and… Poop.

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The way home is never, ever as much fun as the way to your adventure, so Mama tells me, and I know that it is true because today happened. It’s always a let down to leave a place that has been so wonderful, but after having Fenway, the Public Gardens, and yummy noodle food happen today, we realized that we had been so busy having all the fun that we ran super short on time. We didn’t have long by the time that we got our luggage from the house to get all the way across Boston to get on our airplane.

Mama and Daddy were walking and jogging as fast as their legs would carry them when they knew what time it was, but I kept hearing Mama saying over and over that it was only a little over an hour before our flight and that we would “never make it.” She was crying a little even she was so sad, but she kept going because Daddy said to “never give up” and “we have to give it a try” because there was still a chance that we could do it. My Daddy must be a good motivator, because it helped Mama to just keep moving faster and faster.

We had a 20-minute walk, a 10-minute T train ride, and a 10-minute bus ride going to the airport with stops that took a while, too. By the time that we made the airport, we only had 25 minutes to get checked in and to get on the plane. The mass transit gods, as Mama called them, must have been shining on us, she said because the train and the bus were right there the moment that we arrived.

I didn’t fall asleep during all of the fast walking and running, I didn’t fall asleep on the T train or the bus on the way to the airport, and I didn’t fall asleep when we first got to the airport… I fell asleep right before going through security. Not only did I fall asleep right before having to be scanned by the nice folks in the blue suits, but I got sick, too, and I exploded poop all over my clothes, my Mama’s arm, and my stroller.

There was no time to run to a bathroom, though, because it was 10 minutes before the plane took off in the air, which Daddy told me is usually too late to even get on the plane. They started running again instead all the way to the gate. We got in, which amazed Mama because she had been saying the whole time that there was no way that we could make it, but there was still all of the poop in all of the places, and I was getting edgy because, well, poop is gross even for us little people that poop in our pants. Luckily for me and for my Mama, they didn’t want all that stinky to come on the plane because of “recirculated air,” whatever that is, and Daddy asked the Stewardess lady if they could change me right then and there, right outside of the giant plane that I love so much.

I got to look all around while Mama and Daddy changed me as quick as they could because I was holding up the entire plane from leaving and all of those people in it, too. I looked around and saw the bright orange and purple of the Southwest plane, and I knew that it was the same type of people who were nice and funny when coming out to Boston. The stewardess, Marie, told us that it was just fine and actually thanked us for taking the time to change me instead of bringing me on the plane. It took a while, but I got new clothes and a new diaper, and my clothes got sealed up in a bag and my old diaper went away to another place forever—Daddy said thank goodness.

Later on, Marie took care of us, gave me snacks and ginger ale, and gave Mama and Daddy special drinks of coffee and something grown up, again saying thank you to us because she said that poop had happened two other times but that those people took the poop on the planes and it was there the whole trip. I was edgy and exhausted, but I stayed awake and played games with my neighbors, still smelling a bit “stale” Mama said, the whole time. We made our flight, though, and so everything overall worked out just fine.

The funny thing that Mama and Daddy told me later is that I have a talent for combining poop and planes. On the way out to San Francisco, Daddy told me, I pooped up my whole back right before taking off, and they had to take that poop off the plane before flying away, too. They told me too that I pooped again during the long plane ride, and that one couldn’t be taken anywhere. Daddy told me that my timing was “pure talent,” whatever that means. It’s not talent, Daddy, it’s just my little baby system, which is smaller than yours, working overtime.

Sometimes things like today aren’t funny then and instead they bring tears to the eyes of Mama (not Daddy—he isn’t a big crier), but later on, when they are done and everything works out just fine, they become funny instead. This must be one of those times, because when I hear Mama and Daddy talk about those types of things afterwards, they always, always laugh. Poop, Daddy says, is always funny to talk about, and he says I’ve had some epic poop stories.

Bye, bye, Boston, until next time. You have been a wonderful city to be in, and I hope that I can see you again soon.

I’m Going to have a Tea Party, Too! Historical Boston and the Round and Round Machine

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Today was “history day” according to Mama and Daddy. Daddy tells me that Boston is a really old city and that it has a lot of history in the making of our country. All that I know is that where we went was beautiful all around us… both the old and the new.

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We went to the Boston Common, Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the site of the Boston Massacre, walking most of Boston’s Freedom Trail. There were a lot of fights a long time ago in Boston in order to make us our own country, and we walked over the ground at a lot of places where people fought and left the Earth in order to earn us that freedom. Our U.S.S. Constitution and our Declaration of Independence both came from this according to my Daddy, and he said that one day I would understand what those mean and that the things that I am able to do in our country came partially from the ground that we walked today. The spirit of Boston was here, and I could feel it, even though there were a lot of people walking around going to work who were so busy that they didn’t even seem to see everything around us. They appreciate it, though, I know, because are able to do all of those busy things because of the Founding Fathers, the fathers of all of us Americans, came before us and helped us to be able to do the things that we are able to do today.

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After going through the old buildings full of food and shops, we went to a carousel. I have ridden a carousel with my big sister Addie at the museum a long time ago, but this was a big one that was outside and full of different types of animals. It wasn’t old like the other things that we had seen—it was new, and bright, and beautiful in a different way.

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Mama, Daddy and me went on a ship that rocked back and forth since I am not big enough to go on the animals yet. It went really fast, but I wasn’t scared because I’m brave… well, maybe just a little scared, but I didn’t show it at all.

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Then we went over a big bridge that Mama and Daddy said was scary because you could see the water below on part of it. Right before the scary water part, there was a sign on the ground saying “Acrophobia Friendly Zone,” which Mama and Daddy said was funny because that means a fear of heights.

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We had to go over that bridge, though, to get to the U.S.S. Constitution and museum in the Charleston Navy Yard. Daddy was excited because he was in the Navy a long time ago and loves the history of the Navy, although he said that the boat that he was on was way newer and bigger than the Constitution and was called the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is an “air craft carrier.” He says that I’ll get to see one of those someday, too.

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All day I got to work on getting stamps in my little National Passport Book from the National Park Service. Mama and Daddy got me one in California so that I could have stamps from all of the National Park Places that I get to go to all the way through my lifetime. They said I’ll appreciate it one day, but for right now, it is in safe keeping with them because they know that I slobber on all of my little books from my bookshelf.

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Our day ended with us seeing all of the lights around the city light up as the sun went down and seeing the Bunker Hill Monument in the background. It was very cold but very pretty, and then we were on the way home on the T train so that I could get warm and rest. We appreciate you, Boston, and how helped to make us into the country that we are today. I really like being free—I don’t even like being held back from climbing—and the people who have come before us in Boston have helped me to be able to climb higher and higher, as high as I want.

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Big, Loud Trains that Go Under the Ground: The Boston T

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Mama and Daddy decided to do our whole adventure without borrowing a car and instead using their feet, my stroller, and big subway trains called the “T” the whole time. Boston is, from what I saw, way, way bigger than Richmond is, and they wanted to see a lot of things while we were there in just the few days that we had. We walked and walked and walked and walked and walked (well, I strolled and strolled and strolled in our wonderful big-wheel sitting machine Daddy calls the jogging stroller). Mama said we averaged about 10 miles a day of just walking, not even including taking the magical T trains.

The “T” is Boston’s big train system that goes all over the place fast so that people can travel from one part of the city to another faster than walking. Mama and Daddy says that many big cities have them but that Boston’s is one of the best laid out ones to use. You get a “Charlie” card to get on, although I didn’t need one because I am so little. Charlie, Mama told me, was the name of a guy in a song that got on the “T” trains but never was able to get off of them. I think that it wouldn’t be so bad to be on them forever if you had food, so that Charlie guy must have had it made. I didn’t see him, but he had to be in there somewhere.

I liked the trains because there were a ton of people on there, and I got to smile and talk to everyone that I saw on the train. Mama says I’m not shy and that I’ll talk to just about anyone and everyone who will talk back to me. She called me an “extrovert,” whatever that means, and she said that she’s one, too, so she understands.

Most everyone talked to me and helped to keep me happy on the T, and one lady even told me that I made her whole day. All that I did was smile, but my Mama said that smiling at the people that you see during the day really can make a difference to other people. I must make a difference to a lot of people then, because I smile at everyone.

With the magic of the T trains, we got to go under the ground and back up again, and we visited most of the major areas of the city. Daddy said that part of the T is the oldest subway train system in North America and that it is cool to ride on the parts that are really old because it’s like riding through the city’s history. I agree– everything in certain places just “felt” old but comfortable. All those people going from place to place for so long, and I got to be a part of it, too.

Mama and Daddy even bought me a little red t-shirt with a Boston T car on it at a little store down the street from where we stayed in Somerville, and now I get to wear it until I grow too much and I can’t anymore. Mama said that then I can make it a t-shirt for my little bear friend that I love to carry around, and I like that because then I can keep a piece of the Boston T for a long, long time.

Thanks, magical trains of Boston that take you to new places just by hopping on. Until next time, my loud friends.

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I Love Flying… The Buildings and Big Trucks Sure are Little from up Here.

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Mama and Daddy and Me went on a trip to a place called Boston, which is a giant city away from where we live in Richmond, VA. In order to get there, just like when we went all the way over to California when I really, really little, was to fly there in an airplane. I fly when I am soaring in my Daddy’s arms around the house and he makes me a bird, but this is way different. Daddy and Mama and all of the other people are all in this little building with wings called a plane, and we all get to fly—Daddy doesn’t even have to do any work to make it happen like he does when he makes me become a bird.

I know what airplanes are because I see them all of the time in the sky. I watch them and I love them, and I always point at them and go “whatisit?” which is what I say for most things even when I already know like with planes. I have seen them get really big when they are landing. When they are going away, they go up way in the air. And that’s just what we got to do – twice – because we had to go there, but we had to get on another one to get back.

First, to get on one, you have to get scanned in, and there is a long process just to get to where the plane is going to take off. Mama says that it is to keep us all safe. Then you walk and walk until you get to where you get in another line to get on the inside. There were a lot of different planes with a lot of different pictures on them, but we flew Southwest Airlines, which has a heart with wings. Everyone there was so friendly and they all talked and laughed with me the whole time every time that they went by. Mama and Daddy said that is why Southwest airlines is their favorite—because they have a good sense of humor and that everyone there seems really happy to be doing what they are doing.

It wasn’t a full flight, so they let us get in the very back of the plane and I got to look out the little round window as we took off and landed. I loved it so much I squealed with delight, and I even got my own seat most of the time after we took off and I got to move from Daddy’s lap. When I could, though, I didn’t sit still… I just couldn’t I was so excited. I got down and up and down and up, and I got to touch the little Southwest logo that was right behind us, which was shiny and pretty and I wanted to take it home with us, but Daddy told me that it was stuck up there and that it had to stay.

They gave us pretzels and I got a Ginger Ale, and before we knew it, it was time to sit again and land, and the ground got bigger and bigger and bigger and everything became normal sized again instead of looking like things from my little dollhouse.

Thanks, magical Southwest Airlines people, for keeping me safe and happy the whole time. I can’t wait to become a bird in the air again and again and again.

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