Monday, June 22, 2009

Chet and Chelsey's Travels

Now that summer is here, I thought I would post all the places that Chet and Chelsey traveled to this year with our friends. Maybe you will be traveling to these same areas. Don't forget to check out other great places their cousins traveled on the Traveling Chet blog.

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!

Ft. Laudrdale, 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,

Orlando, FL

Last week Chelsea went with M. to Orlando. She had lots of fun.

She went on the Merry Go Round.

She saw cars.

We took a picture next to a car.

Chelsea took a picture on a picnic table.

She took a picture with me on the picnic table.
Me and Chelsea had lots of fun.

Gatlinburg, TN
WOW...I just got back from a great trip to the Smokey Mountains. Last week I went with Mrs. H. and her family up to Gatlinburg. We had a great time. The first day we arrived after a 9 hour car ride. We were tired when we got to our cabin.

The next morning we got up and there was frost and ice everywhere. It was SO COLD. We even took pictures of the ice crystals on the car window.

That day we went to Pigeon Forge and in the National Park. I loved going down to the river and walking around.

By the end of the day we were cold and tired. The next morning they got up and went skiing at Ober Gatlinburg. They made me stay behind so I wouldn't get lost on the mountain. On Thursday we jumped in the car and got to go play putt putt golf in Pigeon Forge. That was a blast.
We spend the afternoon downtown Gatlinburg doing all the tourist stuff. The next day it was time to get in the car and come back home - 10 hours to get back. Here are some photos from the trip.

Dallas & Houston, TX

My trip to Texas with B. was so much fun! We left Jacksonville early in the morning and drove for 13 hours. When we finally arrived in Houston, it was very dark. I was so tired of sitting in the car all day.

We spent our first night in Houston at the Mainstay Suites Hotel. It was a very nice hotel. The hotel staff were very nice and made sure we had everything we needed……

After spending one night, it was time for us to continue our trip to Dallas. It was a shorter ride than our ride from Jacksonville. We were so excited when we got to Dallas. It looked so different from home.

Before we headed back to Houston, we decided to stop by and try Boba Tea. I didn’t want to try the tea but I did try the vanilla ice cream. It was so yummy…….

By the time we got back to Houston, it was almost dinner time. We headed straight back to the Mainstay Suites Hotel. It was so cool! We got the same room we stayed in on our first night in Houston.

The next day we went to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant before heading to the Houston Space Center. The food was so yummy! I had to sit in my own chair while B. ate his lunch.

The NASA Space Center was so cool. It had so many cool things to play with and see. I even watched a video about Space. I learned so much! The Space rockets at NASA were so cool. We went really close to a real space rocket.

After a fun day at the NASA Space Center, we had a wedding to attend. We had so much fun that night. It was a very nice wedding. After dancing all night, it was time to head back home to Jacksonville. We slept all the way home. We had a lot of fun but it sure was nice to be home again.

Atlanta, GA & Gatlinburg, TN

This is Chelsey. I was able to go with F. to Gatlinburg and Atlanta over holiday break. The first day at Atlanta we saw F.'s cousin. She was very nice. I saw her whole family that night. We went out to a restaurant that was called Slice. It was very fancy . When we got back we went to sleep. The next day for breakfast I ate hot chocolate and cereal. It was yummy.

I went in the woods with F. and G. and her cousins. We saw old cars and bottles and news paper and old houses. It was chilly. After that I met a new friend. His name was Bailey and he was smart too. He let me chew on his bone. Then we had a little nap. Then I played Guitar Hero with F. and everyone. I was rocking. I went to bed. In the morning I had breakfast before we went to Gatlinburg.

We got to our hotel and unpacked. Then we went to play in the snow.

It was cool looking. Then we went back and went to sleep. F. snored. Then we got up and went to explore. First we looked at candy shop. Then we saw a scarey girl. Then we went on top of the mountain and ate. We came back down and ice skated. Then we went back to our hotel. The next day was F.'s sisters birthday so we celebrated by letting her explore and then we went home. F. took me back to school. It was so cool. The end.

Budapest, Hungary
I left on a GREAT adventure to Budapest, Hungary with K. Mimi Jean and Great Grandfather. Mimi 1st flew to Chicago, Il. to pick up Great Grandpa. They boarded Lufthansa Airways to Munich, Germany then boarded a connecting flight to Budapest, Hungary. I met many family member while she traveled. I visited Town Square in Zalaergeszeg, Hungary. I visited Austria, Germany. I also Went to West Inn Cafe and picked out pastries with Mimi. I had a great time!

North Carolina

I got to go to North Carolina with C. When she heard she was going she was excited. We packed up a lot of stuff. When we were ready, we went.

We drove a lot. We all saw at least one deer on the way. Her dad got them a new movie and things for our DS.

When we got there, we got lost, but we found the office. We brought their dogs too. We chewed gum a lot. When you get up really high your ears pop. We lived at the very top of the mountain.

When you got in, you were at the top of the stairs and then you go down the stairs really quick because our bedroom is down stairs. We went in there was 2 bunk beds and a couch and a tv and a radio. Our tv didn’t work so we used C.’s Mom’s and Dad’s tv.

There were three bedrooms and 6 beds. C., her mom, sister, Sadie and Curtis and me slept in one bed and her dad had a big bed by himself. C. woke up and woke her mom up too so we watched some television, got dressed. We waited until it was the afternoon and it started to snow.

It was cool. It was my first time seeing snow. We stayed inside for a while and then we went out for dinner. Our dinner was…spaghetti and pizza. We ate so much of the spaghetti that we didn’t eat the pizza. Then we went to the store and we got toys and one candy each and then we went back to the place and we slept.

Then we woke back up and we ate breakfast. We watched some tv and then we went…tubing. C. went the first time with her Dad and then by herself. The last time she went on her sister’s lap. Then we went back to the place, watched some tv and soon it was night.

We packed up and left. We returned the key and they were happy, we were the first ones to return a key. Then we got McDonald’s and left for good.

Washington, DC
Over Spring Break I was lucky to go with Z. to Washington, D.C. We spent 13 hours in the car. We drove through many states. The first thing we did when we got there was to go the National Air and Space Museum. We saw lots of airplanes and fighter jets. Then we left and went to the White House and Washington Monument. The next day we went to the Museum of American History. We didn't like that one as much. Then we went to the Natural History Museum. We saw dinosaur bones and fossils. It was so big we are going back another day. On Monday we went to George Washington's house. We saw his grave. Then we went to Arlington National Cementary and saw the eternal flame. That night we saw Abraham Lincoln's Memorial. We got to stand where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech "I Have a Dream". Tuesday we to Thomas Jefferson's house. Wednesday we went to the archives. We saw the real Declaration of Independence. Then we finished the other museums from earlier in the week. Thursday we went to Thomas Jefferson's Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Library of Congress, and finally the wax museum. How awesome! It was our last day of the trip. Finally it was time to drive back to Florida! I had a great time with Z.

April 7
Yawn. Good morning, this is Chelsey at 4:30 am! I cannot believe P. woke me up this early but I am excited because we are flying to Mexico today. Yeah!

We flew from Jacksonville to Houston, Texas and then to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico! We drove from the airport to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco to Punta Mita, Nayarit where we stayed at Aunt L. and Uncle J.'s house. We were welcomed by the family with strawberry smoothies and went straight to the pool. After dinner we watched the movie Bedtime Stories but I still wasn't tired.

April 8
This morning we slept in (anything past 4:30 is great)! After breakfast we took a trip into Punta Mita to go on a boat excursion. The boats took us on a trip to, what we will call, the "Bird Islands". These islands, which were mainly rock, were full of caves and paths to explore once you swam over to the land. I understand the water in the Pacific Ocean is very cool! That is what P. told me because I chose not to swim. It was a great adventure.

When we returned from the boat, we took a rest while we waited for dinner. We had no idea there was a Piñata Party planned until after dinner was served. The piñata was filled with assorted Mexican and American candies. After the piñata was destroyed we had chocolate cake and played hide and seek. We had so much fun.

April 9
Today we spent the day at the beach a short ride from the house. We had lunch and hung out! The highlight of the beach trip was the discovery of the hermit crabs in all sizes. That was amazing!

April 10
We ventured out to Sayulita, a beach town just a short distance from Punta Mita. The streets and beach were packed because of Easter weekend. In Mexico, people camp on the beach and everywhere else as far as I could tell in celebration of the holiday. We shopped in the market and watched while some of the locals worked on crafts. It was very interesting.

April 11
Today was a short day in Mexico. P. and I went to the pool after breakfast and visited her cousins. I had time to reflect and rest on the plane trip back from Puerto Vallarta, through Houston and finally back to Jacksonville. What a lovely trip.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's the end of the year

So I have to admit, the end of the year came so fast that I dropped the ball on blogging for the last couple weeks. All good intentions were there but it was too crazy. One thing that I have been trying to add on though was our very own Julia singing at Flag Retirement. After trying to download this clip onto Vimeo from school, my many attempts were worthless. Now that the classroom is clean and ready for summer school, I decided to try again from home. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Flag Retirment 2009 from Debbie Harbour on Vimeo.