Traveling Turtle Tuesday: West Point

My dad went to West Point, the United States Military Academy, for college. We went there yesterday to look around, and so did Shelldon! There will be a post about West Point in a few weeks, but for now there is a picture. Shelldon is in front of the main barracks (the place where most of the Cadets live), and he’s wearing a shako (a traditional Cadet hat).




A few days ago we went to Philadelphia, home of the cheesesteak and Ben Franklin. I will give a short history of both.

Ben Franklin was our ambassador to France in the Revolutionary War and the inventor of many things including the armonica (an instrument made of glass rings on a spinning bar), bifocals, and the lightning rod.

He left home at about thirteen years old and tried his hand at many jobs, including: printer, candle maker, and writer. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The cheesesteak was born in Philly, invented by Pat and Henry Olivieri, who originally owned a hot dog stand and were experimenting with putting thin-sliced steak on an Italian bun with onions.

While pat was eating one, a cab driver pulled over and asked for what Pat was eating. After eating the sandwich, the cab driver told Pat to quit with the hot dogs and focus on these sandwiches.
The sandwich became more popular than the hot dogs and eventually Pat opened up his own restaurant called Pat’s King of Steaks which is still in business today.

Other restaurants have opened since, and you can find cheesesteaks of all different brands all over the city of Philidelphia.

Sadly, when we were in Philly we were kind of clueless about cheesesteaks, so we went to Geno’s which is said by the locals to be second only to Pat’s.

Food Eating Vlog With Anna and Gunnar

When we were in Maryland with some friends, Anna and Gunnar, we decided to make a vlog together. Here you go.

Also make sure to check out the video in the sidebar made by Anna and Gunnar.  the made a video of themselves making the recipe from my latest book on TurtleTells. If you would like to buy the book you can click on the “store” button at the top of every page.

If you want to make a video about the new book and send it to us, we will feature it on the blog.

Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware

We’ve been super busy these past weeks, and we will be for months! There are so many things to post about, and so little time! So we will be posting digests: lots of little paragraphs about lots of different things, all in one post.  So here’s mine:

Time With Friends in Maryland 
Last year in Kentucky we met some great friends:  Anna and Gunnar. We had a lot of fun with them, and we even spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together! But this spring they moved to Maryland, So we made plans to meet up and stay at the Dickerson’s house for a few days.
The new house had a porch with about 15 steps leading up to it. This made it the ideal base for games. We played one game where there were 2 people guarding the base (armed with swords), and 2 people attacking the base, and trying to get up (also armed with swords). It was really fun.
Gordon and Anna are both really good on a pogo stick, and Gunnar and I are okay at it. So he and I had a competition to get to Anna’s high-score first. It was 83. Neither of us got to it, but I got to 55, and Gunnar got to 50. I was amazed, at myself and him.
Another game we love to play with the Dickersons is Hide-&-Seek tag. We played it both outside and in.

Going to Delaware
While we were with our friends we went to Wilmington, Delaware. We left at about 10 o’clock in the morning, and drove for 80 miles. When we got there we saw a monument in a park. It was a statue of Caesar Rodney, the first man to cast his vote that Delaware should be a state.
We also went on a long river-side walk. At the end there was a nature center, and they let us use nets and try to find things in the lake. It ran in from the ocean, but it was fresh water by the time it got there. I caught a teeny-tiny fish, then 3 snails. After that I got a flathead with its head bitten off, and a 2-inch-long clam! We identified what was found after we were done, and then we looked at some other animals and walked back to the car.

Amish Country in Pennsylvania
A few weeks ago we went to Lancaster County, PA. More Amish live in Lancaster than anywhere else in the world.  There were a lot of buggies there. (Little metal carts pulled by horses that the Amish drive) We went to an Amish farmer’s market, too. They had really good apple cider, and really good popcorn.

Hershey, Pennsylvania
We also went to Hershey Pennsylvania, were Milton Hershey grew up and invented the Hershey bar. There is a big place called Hershey World, with a fake factory inside it. There is a moving floor going through the factory, with rollar-coaster-style cars going through. There is a recorded voice that talks about how the Hershey bar is made. When you get off the ride they give you a mini KitKat.
There is also a giant gift shop that is almost like a mall, all for Hershey-related items.

But Milton Hershey did other great things. He and his wife couldn’t have children, so they started an orphanage for boys. That eventually grew into a school, and got larger and larger. After Hershey died, he gave all of his money to the school. MHS, as the school is called, is still going. It takes girls now, and not only orphans but any kids in bad circumstances. There are people called “House Parents” who take care of about ten kids in a house near the school. Thirty percent of Hershey’s profits are still given to MHS yearly, and they give to local churches as well.

Monuments in Washington, D.C.

As Lillian said last week in her post about museums in Washington, D.C., we are now two years on the road and celebrated in Washington, D.C. by seeing some museums and monuments in the National Mall. These are some of my favorites.

The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is a spike (or obelisk if you want to get technical).  It is  555′ tall and has a circle of 50 flags around it. Some say it is haunted.

The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is home to the world’s largest stone Abraham Lincoln and is also home to the smallest gift shops in D.C . The memorial itself is 98′ tall.

The White House
The White House is along Pennsylvania Avenue and is the most iconic building in D.C. President John Adams had the White House built in 1792, and many changes have been made since the first version of it.

The Reflection Pool
The Reflection Pool is a shallow pool filled with shiny water to give dramatic effect to the monuments, but when we were there it was empty and under repair, so it was really more of an unreflective pit.

So there you go, those are my favorite D.C. monuments. Tell us your favorite monument in the comments.



Two Year Travel Anniversary: Museums

Wednesday, April 1st. was our 2 year anniversary of traveling. You can read about our 1 year anniversary here or here. If you haven’t read the other two posts, or you want to read them again, I would suggest going back and reading them all in order. But if you just want to read this one, than go on ahead!

At 6:00 in the morning Dad woke us up. Gordon was tired, as he always is when waking up before noon, but I wasn’t! I jumped out of bed and got dressed in a long sleeve T-shirt, jeans, a sweater, and a jacket. It’s cold here in Williamsburg, Virginia, and I’m not planning on freezing to death! At 6:30 we were all ready to go. Gordon and I grabbed blankets, and Mom handed us our breakfasts. (A chocolate-banana shake and a bagel with cream cheese for Gordon, and a shake and banana for me). We got in the car and started to drive. I brushed and braided my hair, and then we played the license-plate game. (A game in which you find license plates from different states). It was a 2 and a half hour drive, but it didn’t seem too long. At 8:30 A.M. we crossed the border and read the sign. It said:

“Welcome to Washington D.C.”

A Picture I Took of a Water Fountain
A Picture I Took of a Water Fountain

Soon after arriving, I saw the Capitol Building from the highway. I was a little disappointed to find that the dome was under construction, so we couldn’t really see it. But it was alright, because we could see so many other things! The first thing we went to was the American History Museum at the Smithsonian. There was one exhibit that had stuff from movies, like Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. That was fun to see, but in the upper floor there were things I liked better. I can’t limit my favorite thing to just one, so I’ll tell my top three favorites.

One thing I saw that was really exciting was Thomas Jefferson’s writing desk. It was the one that he wrote the Declaration of Independence on! There was a note in it that said that he knew it would become something of great value and something that people came from all over to see.

Another thing of Thomas Jefferson’s was a Polygraph. Now Polygraph means lie detector, but back then it was something else entirely. A polygraph use to be a brilliant device that had two arms with a fountain pen on the end of each. The idea was that you would hold one pen and write with it, and the other pen would copy your actions, because the arms were connected. There were also two ink pots. When you dipped your pen, the other pen dipped. It was a genius idea, and I can’t imagine why people don’t still use it today. Not only does it copy your words, it copies your handwriting!

The Polygraph
The Polygraph

Last, but  most certainly not least, is the most famous thing in the museum. Of course you’ve heard of it! You probably see at least one replica every single day! The last thing we saw in the American History Museum of the Smithsonian was The Original American Flag, sewn by Betsy Ross herself. The Flag!! The Flag That Francis Scott Key was looking at when he wrote the National Anthem!! How cool is that??? (Answer: Pretty Darn Cool)

The flag had fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, because at that time there were fifteen colonies. I saw “had” because somebody cut off one of the stars years ago as a keepsake. That was before the flag was in a museum, and since nobody really thought to preserve it, it was just fine to take a piece. There are little chunks cut off of edges, too.

When people were preparing the flag to be put in the museum, they had to cut 1.7 million stitches to get off the linen backing that was beginning to wear too much.

The other museum we went to was a Japanese drawing and tea museum.

I really liked looking at the tiny, detailed drawings to try to find people. Some were fishing, carrying water, walking, or hunting. Some were just sitting inside houses, or out on boats. Sometimes there were animals, too. Little birds, or a few rabbits. They were really pretty. Sorry for the size of this next picture. It would be impossible to see the detail if it was any smaller.

This is not a Japanese drawing, but it is similar in the way that it is very small and detailed. This was one of a dozen small drawings of the style.
This is not a Japanese drawing, but it is similar in the way that it is very small and detailed. This was one of a dozen small drawings of the style.

There were little tea bowls, in another room, and clay serving trays. Some were made with two different colors of clay, each taking up half of the space diagonally. Some were weird geometric shapes, and some had drawing on them or scratched into them. They were all beautiful, each in their own way.

I won’t write about the monuments, because I’m sure this is long enough already. Next week, though, Gordon will tell about them. So stay tuned!

– Lillian