Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hi From Los Angeles, California!

This is a special trip because I got to visit a TV studio! That is the name of the building where TV shows are made. When Mr. and Mrs. North went to Wheel of Fortune, they took me along. I met Flat Vanna White and Flat Pat Sajak in the lobby. It's nice that I'm not the only one who's flat!

Afterwards, we went drove around Los Angeles. It is a very big and busy city - the second biggest in our country. Only NYC is bigger. It has a lot of hills. We went up to the top of one and looked down. The tall buildings look small now because they are far away.

The weather is warm and sunny all year. It looks foggy, but that is not fog at all. It is smog. That is dirty air that looks smoky instead of clear. It is from pollution made by all of the cars and other vehicles, and by chimneys in buildings. Smog is not healthy to breathe. I'm glad that our air in Rock Hill is a lot cleaner than this.
Besides hills, California does have a lot of mountains too, but not near Los Angeles, where we are. Search on your computer for Yosemite Park, and you will see pictures of many big California mountains.
It is so warm that we left our winter coats in Rock Hill because we won't need them here. It hardly rains at all. Because it is so hot and dry, special kinds of plants grows here. They are called succulents. The leaves of succulents are fat, and filled with water. They are a lot like cactuses, except without the pointy spines that stick out. The plant stores water so it will be able to live for a long time between rains. Here's a picture of a succulent:
California has so many beaches because it is a big state, and one side is next to the Pacific Ocean. The waves are bigger here than the ones at SC beaches.  We rode on a ferris wheel at the beach, and took this picture looking down. Even though it is December, a lot of people are there, but not too many are in the water. Most are staying on the sand.
This will be a quick trip. It is almost over. We will get home on Sunday night.  Mrs. North and I will be back at school on Monday.
See you soon,
Flat Stanley


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving in Florida

Hi boys and girls,
Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving break from school?
I sure did! I just got back from my trip to Florida, and I want to tell you about my adventures.

It started with a big turkey dinner. I hopped up on the counter to get a look at the turkey as soon as it came out of the oven.
I'll bet it looks a lot like what you ate. Did you eat turkey too? Because Florida is part of our own country, most of the foods and traditions there are the same as ours.
After dinner, we went for a boat ride. Florida has lots of  lakes. This one is called Lake Padgett. I even got to help steer the  boat!

Florida is further south than where we live in SC, so the weather is warmer.  It NEVER snows, but it does rain a lot. It was so warm that we went to the beach one day. We collected seashells, and had a picnic. The best part was finding animals on the beach. I saw a horseshoe crab. Can you guess why it is called that? 

The first picture shows the top of its shell. We flipped it over to see the legs and body underneath.

Here is a sea star on the sand. Sea star is another name for star fish.
Florida has a LOT of beaches because it is surrounded by water on three sides.
Yes, Journey, Florida has a lot of people and houses. You know that there are 50 states in our country. Only 3 of them (California, New York, and Texas) have more people than Florida does.
Can you figure out how many states have less people than Florida?
Gage and Saul want to know if there are mountains or volcanoes in Florida. The answer is no to both of those. In fact, Florida is the flattest state of all.
I brought back something to show you. It is called Spanish moss. It is grayish green. It grows on all kinds of trees and bushes. It hangs down and sometimes falls off. Some people think it looks pretty. Some people think it looks spooky. What do you think?
It is an odd plant because it has no roots to get water out of the ground. It gets water out of the air.
On our way home we stopped in Lake City to visit your pen pals' school. Because it was Sunday, the school was closed, and we couldn't meet the teachers or children, but Mrs. North and I did stand by the school sign to have our picture taken.
I'm happy to be home again. I love to see new places and try new things, but it is always good to get back home.
Your friend,
Flat Stanley

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Switzerland again!

Hello again, First Graders!

This will be my last week in Switzerland. I have had some time to get out and see more things, so I will try to answer some of your questions. Let's see what is in the backpack!

Olivia wants to know about the animals here. The most unusual animal I have seen is an ibex. It is a goat with curly horns that lives in the mountains. They are not afraid of people, so if you go hiking, you might see one. I didn't take a picture, so I will show you a picture of a Swiss stamp with an ibex on it.

In the USA, we have a national bird whose picture you can see on money, stamps, and many other places. Can you guess what it is?    That's right, an eagle. All counties have national symbols.

Sahara asks if it is cold. Yes! It's a lot colder here than in Rock Hill. Switzerland is full of mountains, and tall mountains have snow on top all year---even in the summer. So, as you might guess,  it is quite cold here.

Talan asked about the languages that the people speak. I guess I answered that one last time. The main language is French, but many people speak German and English too.

Anna wants to know about the food they eat. Their food is mostly like ours, but Switzerland is famous for 2 kinds of food - delicious chocolate and cheese. I know that you have heard of Swiss cheese and Nestle chocolate. They are from Switzerland.
Nolexia wrote, "What do the houses look like?"
In the city people live in tall apartment buildings that look like the ones in American cities. Out in the country, they have a kind of big house called a chalet. Here is a picture of one.
It is right beside a mountain. Isn't it pretty?
I want to show you one more picture before I finish. It is at a downtown playground in Geneva. They had monkey bars and slides and a sand box. My favorite part was something that our playgrounds don't have - wooden rocking horses! I had to hang on tight!

Dr. Clarke is almost finished with his work here, so we'll be flying back to the USA this weekend. I'm glad that I will be back in time for Halloween!  Because I've been hanging out with doctors so much I decided that's what I want to be for Halloween. This is my costume. Do you like it?
Now I am Doctor Flat Stanley!

That's all for now. I hope that you have fun on Halloween, too. Remember to stay safe.

Your friend,  Flat Stanley

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bonjour from Switzerland!

Bonjour children!

Bonjour means "hello" in French, the language spoken in my latest travel destination. Do you know where I am? That's right, Switzerland!

I am trying hard to learn French, but luckily many people here speak English, too, so I am making lots of friends!  They help me understand signs in French, like this one:

It says "White Horse Street." 

Switzerland is a very small country in Europe, across the Atlantic Ocean. Can you find it on the map?

I am in a city named Geneva. It was built a very long time ago, before there were any cars, so the roads are narrow.

Do you see a flag here that you recognize?  The USA has a flag- it is in your classroom.  Every country has a flag, Switzerland too!

A lot of people ride bikes or motorcycles to get around because the streets are so small.  Also, the people care about taking care of the environment.  Motorcycles use less gas than cars, and of course bikes don't need any gas, just people with energy!  Do you like to ride your bike?

I love a bike ride, but my legs are too short to reach the pedals!  So my friends here are taking me on a ride!  Weeeeeeeee!

Well, I have more exploring to do so I'd better go!  Where did I put my bike helmet?  Got to put in on before we start!  OK kids I'll write more soon!
Your friend,

Flat Stanley

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello from NYC!

Hello first graders. I have been in New York City for more than a week now. I have been traveling around having so much fun that I almost forgot to post a message. Let me reach into my backpack and answer some of your questions.

Abigail wants to know if it is a big city. Here is a picture that I took.

After looking at the picture, can you answer Abigail's question?
That's right, it is a big city. In fact, it is the biggest city in the United States of America!

Ashlen wanted to know if I had a chance to see The Statue of Liberty.
Do you see the white boat in the picture? I took a ride on that boat to go and see the Statue of Liberty.
When we were getting close, I took this picture to show you. I think that it is one of the best statues ever. I like how they made the flame with gold to look like real fire.

Mrs. McGuire's class asked four really great questions, and I will answer all of them now.

Does it rain in NYC? Just like in Rock Hill, there are rainy days sometimes. The first day I got here it was raining, and I saw lots of people using umbrellas.

                                                 I didn't have one, so I got a little bit wet!

Do people ride bikes in NYC? Yes they do. There is so much traffic that it is dangerous to ride in the street. A lot of people like to ride bikes in the park. On Sundays, they close the roads in Central Park to cars and trucks. Only bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, scooters and walkers are allowed. That makes it a safe and pretty place to ride.

Are there flags in NYC?
Yes. I saw a lot of them. On Labor Day weekend, when you were having a holiday from school, I saw the biggest American flag in the world. It is hanging from the George Washington Bridge. Do you know who that bridge is named after?
And the last question: Are there schools in NYC?
There are lots and lots. So many people live there that they have hundreds of schools.In this picture, I am on the playground of one of them. I liked the painting on the wall because it was full of kids who are flat like me!

Do you see the pink balloon that says P.S. 321?  That is the name of the school! The P.S. stands for Public School, so it is Public School 321. NYC is the only place in our country that gives the schools numbers instead of names.
I hope that you liked hearing about my adventures. I will be coming home very soon. 
Your friend,
Flat Stanley


Monday, August 26, 2013

Hi to all my new friends!

Hi everyone!

My name is Flat Stanley!  Have you read my books?

I am so excited to start the new school year with you!  I love to travel- and people can take me in their suitcases because I'm flat- so I get to travel around the country and around the world!  If you give me questions to take in my backpack, I can try to answer them when I am on my trips.

I am getting ready to go to New York City soon.  Have any of you been there before?  I can hardly wait to tell you all about what I learn!

Your friend,
Flat Stanley