Our Road trip

Chapter 1:
Our first stop was Palm Springs, which is 2 hours East of Los Angeles. It is the sister city to Palm Desert. The average temperature ranges from 68 degrees to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. We stayed in the city of Rancho Mirage at The Mission Hills Country Club, where the ANA LPGA golf is located. The ANA golf used to be the Kraft Nabisco Championships, we have been going for 6 years running. Palm Springs was our first stop on our road trip across the United States of America. When we first got there we went to the Children’s Museum of Palm Springs. I loved the children’s museum because they have so much to learn about. They taught you how to run a shop or pizza parlour. You can paint a car, pull yourself up on a chair with weights, play dress up and make cars. I designed and made a car and raced it on a track. There were directions on how to make the fastest car or on how to make the sturdiest car. My car wasn’t as fast as I would have hoped but it didn’t fall apart… more than 3 times.

We drove from Palm Springs to The Cameron Trading Post. It was an 8 hour drive and we saw many different rock formations and different landscapes. After Palm Springs we went through Phoenix, Arizona. then Flagstaff, Arizona. In Flagstaff we went to my favorite cafè . I had a mixed mint tea and a burrito whilst my mum and granny had a chai and a hot water. When we got to The Cameron Trading Post it was the cutest little place ever. It felt like a little village with an inn instead of houses. There was a courtyard outside every room and on the back of the hotel we could see the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. You could stand on the edge of the western rim of the canyon To cross over the canyon there was a bridge. Next to that was the original bridge, which was the one you would have crossed in the olden days. It was like a small green version of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. We were lucky enough to have a room that over looked the canyon and the bridge. It was beautiful in the morning with the golden sunlight reflecting off of the car windows onto the red rock of the Grand Canyon. The Cameron Trading Post had 2 different time zones depending on where you were standing. Our room was on the invisible border of the time change. When we crossed over the bridge to leave, our phones changed and we had officially lost an hour.

We drove from The Cameron Trading Post to Santa Fe, New Mexico. On the way we saw The Four Corners National Monument. The Four Corners National Monument is a large copper plate in the ground with an X going through the middle. On each angle of the X is the invisible border for four states: Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico. You can stand on each state and do cool stuff like a back bend or lay down in a star shape. We got someone to take a photo of us standing in each state, Chai in one, my granny in another and mummy and I in the other 2 states. We also ran around the building that surrounded the monument and at each corner I shouted the state we were in. When we left the four corners we went into New Mexico, where we went into The Navajo Nation, then we went into Arizona, and then immediately went back into New Mexico. We also got to see real dinosaur footprints, dinosaur poo and a dinosaur skeleton and bones. One of the foot prints was larger than me! There were some that were quite small but they were still large for a reptile. I bought a bracelet made from silver and red jasper, it is said to keep away the bad spirits. After that we drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We didn’t do the Abiquiu route because of the storm that was happening. Abiquiu is where the artist Georgia O’Keefe lived. The storm was extremely scary, there was thunder, lots of lightning, rain and hailstones. We drove past all the different types of rock formations you could possibly imagine.

Chapter 2
We got up and went straight to the Georgia O’Keefe museum. Georgia O’Keefe saw interesting beings in everything, some times she painted the same thing 3 times with different colours each time. She also lived till she was 99. 1887- 1986. Her favourite shape was the triangle. She had a spiritual adobe house on Ghost Ranch just near her home in Abiquiu. She would go out and find skulls and bones that she would take home and paint. Her studio overlooked the triangular mountains. We also went to the San Miguel Chapel, other wise known as the oldest chapel in the United States of America. Inside was “The Famous Bell Of San Miguel.” I got to ring the bell and it is said that when you ring it you will always come back to Santa Fe. When I was filming Kepler’s dream I rang that bell, now I am back… It worked. We drove through Clovis, Lubbock and Post. There are lots of other places but I won’t bore you with names. We went through 1000000000’s of ghost towns…well…10. The landscape was flat, hilly then flat again. We have lost 2 hours so far since we have left California. We have been following a train line all the way from Santa Fe to Dallas and farther. Funnily enough, we passed the ranch where we filmed Kepler’s dream. The train line that passed the ranch was one that my mummy, my granny and I had taken 6 years ago. Nearly in Dallas, not far now, only 10 minutes to go…well…3 hours. Texas is the largest state in the USA. It is also the most southern point you can go to before Mexico. Texas is so vast and green compared to California and desert states. There are plenty of flash floods here, almost enough to remove California from its drought.

. Dallas is North-East of Austin, Texas by 3 hours. It is very humid there and so it feels like a rainforest. Dallas felt a lot like New York with the layout of all the buildings. There is a museum district and a tram that runs around the city. We went into a wild west store and we bought a cowgirl Stetson. There are two types of cowgirl hats. A Rei… and a Stetson. We also went to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy memorial because he was actually assassinated in Dallas. My favorite place was The Dallas Heritage Museum. The Dallas Heritage Museum was a layout of a miniature village made up of pioneer buildings. You could walk around on a self tour or a group tour and go inside of these houses and learn about the era. You were able to go inside an old shop and put on an apron, run the shop and post office. You can also run the saloon and other places that are open. There are historians in certain houses and they talk to you about the history of their character. They have sheep, chickens/roosters and mammoth jack donkeys. Mammoth jack donkeys can reach up to 6 feet tall in height. One of the historians taught us that Texas used to be its own country called “The Republic Of Texas.” The reason they are a state now is because in 1840 they were having trouble with the Native Indians. They went to America and asked them for help. America’s only condition was that Texas join the union. Texas agreed and the US sent down men to put forts around the border to keep out the Native Indians but they kept on moving away so the men had to keep on building forts all the way up to Colorado. After trying and trying the Native Indians eventually receded. The museum helped me experience what life was like in the Civil War era. We crossed over the invisible border to Arkansas and we are heading towards Tennessee. There is a city called Texercana which is what I call a “Border City.” A border city is a city that has a state border or any type of border running through it. Our next stop is Memphis, Tennessee.

Chapter 3
We drove to Memphis, Tennessee. We crossed the Arkansas- Tennessee border which runs directly down the middle of the Mississippi River. Our first museum was the Lorraine Motel which was where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He came to Memphis because of the sanitation workers strike. The sanitation strike was because all of the people who worked on keeping the city clean were, in those times, all African American. They wanted the government to agree on them being paid more for their jobs and for them to give them better working conditions. The sanitation workers didn’t accept their pay and working conditions for quite a while before the strike, but they didn’t do anything about it until 2 men were killed in a manufacturing garbage truck that they finally stood up. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee to support the movement. During Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s stay he stood outside his room at the Lorraine Motel joking with his brother and friends, he even threw a pillow at his brother. Just before he came down the stairs of the balcony, he asked his musician friend to play his favorite song, he said “Play it, play it real pretty.” About 1 minute after this request a bullet was fired from the boarding house just over 200 yards from where he fell. The bullet was aimed at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and it hit its target in the side of his neck. He was immediately driven off to hospital and at 7:00pm April 4th 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. passed away.
Our 2nd stop was “Graceland. The home of Elvis Presley.” I am pretty sure most of you know who Elvis Presley was. For those of you who don’t, he was the first major Rock ‘n’ Roll star. Elvis Presley was alive during the civil right movement. He died 9 years after the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elvis Presley was 42 when he died of heart failure. Elvis Presley died before his father and his grandmother. We took a self tour around the mansion with museum given iPads with an audio tour also. It took you around the living room, dining room, Elvis’ parents bedroom, his kitchen, his man cave, his jungle room/ sound studio, his raquet ball rooms, his stables, his father’s office, his garage, his pool, his record hall and his meditation garden/ gravesite of him, his mother, his father, his grandmother and a memorium of his twin brother Jesse. My favorite room was his record hall. His record hall was a hall of all his awards and his outfits worn at his concerts. My favorite cabinet was the one explaining his wedding. He met his wife Priscilla in Germany during the war, when he went to fight in the Vietnam War. She was the daughter of an air force pilot. Elvis said it wasn’t going to be anything serious… in 1967 Priscilla became Mrs. Elvis Presley… in 1968 Lisa Marie Presley was born. Memphis was quite poor then, so to see such a large house not that far away from the Lorraine Motel was incongruous. There were a lot of different self tours you could take around the grounds but we didn’t have that much time so we couldn’t do it all so I would go back again to do it. It was very interesting to walk around the mansion and experience what it must have been like to be living in that house. I would love to go back to Memphis, Tennessee to see everything else during the 50’s to the 80’s. That night, we drove to Nashville, Tennessee which was 3 hours away. When we arrived in Nashville, we drove straight to The Bluebird Café which is where you can watch country singers perform live whilst you eat and drink. We weren’t sure if we had to book a table or if it was ‘first come, first serve.’ We turned up and mummy bought a T- Shirt with The Bluebird Café written on it and a sparkly bluebird to. I wanted to play my guitar outside, I took it out and played quietly but then someone standing in the queue to get in asked me to perform for them, so I did and I was very nervous. I performed 2 songs. One from the T.V show Nashville by the two girls and one by Taylor Swift from the Hunger Games series. They all started going in so we got in the queue too and ended up going in. I got a seat at the front and my mummy and granny sat at the back. We stayed till it shut at 11:30pm. I really enjoyed performing even if it was outside. We are definitely going back.

We took a tour around the Grand Ole Opry which is the show that made country music famous. They had little videos with famous country singers explaining the history behind the Grand Ole Opry. Our tour guide showed us the dressing rooms, the performers entrance, backstage and the post office which is where you can send fan mail to the Grand Ole Opry with the singers name on and when they arrive, they pick up their mail and read it. We also went to have a look at downtown Nashville on a street called Broadway where every bar had live country music playing, the Rymans Theatre which used to be The Grand Ole Opry, the Pathenon and The Belle Meade Plantation. The Belle Meade Plantation is a large house with grounds, horses, tours and a babbling brook. I actually took off my shoes and played in the brook which was very refreshing. We didn’t go on a tour unfortunately but we did have a little look around Bob Green’s house. It was an old house that housed 15 people altogether. Then we left for Birmingham, Alabama and Selma, Alabama.

Chapter 4
Our first stop was The Edmund Pettus Bridge which is in Selma, Alabama. It was the bridge that all of the sanitation workers marched over in a non-violent protest led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was very emotional walking over the bridge knowing that fifty years ago men and women of all ages walked over it. It happens to be the 50th Jubilee this year so everywhere was sold out of bridge merchandise. When we were on the bridge we looked down to see the river and all of the old buildings that lined the shore. Some of the buildings were unoccupied with broken windows and run down bricks. There were boats racing down the river at high speed. Some of the buildings were leaning over by cause of their age. Most of the buildings were over 100 years old! There was hardly anybody in historic downtown Selma but funnily enough, new, modern Selma was buzzing. We also had a little look around The St. James Hotel and historic downtown Selma. We ate lunch in the cutest little place that reminded me of Southern France. With high ceilings and shutters, we wanted to live there. The St. James Hotel was General James H Wilson’s head quarters during the Civil War. During the Civil War the Confederates lived in The Gee House Hotel owned by Major W. H. Gee later to be known as The St. James Hotel. We then drove out through little towns that were ghost towns. Some towns had at most 5 houses in them. Lots of them had unoccupied stores and unoccupied homes to. Some of the house were like houses from Lincoln’s time, with their rocking chairs and fronts porches. Our next stop was Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Then it was Baton Rouge and New Orleans. In the morning we drove to the Baton Rouge, LSU Plantation and Rural Museum. This plantation wasn’t like The Belle Meade Plantation, you could walk around on a self-tour and look into all of the houses that the slaves would have lived in, they are layed out like this:

At the Top would be the overseers house: All around would be the slave houses: At the bottom would be the church: And in the middle would be kitchens, washing and plants.


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The Overseers were the bosses whether they had been slaves or were not ever slaves, they still were the boss. Inside the main building was also a museum showing you tools and materials from that era and explaining what it was like to be a slave, there were excerpts from the book by Soloman Northrop: Twelve Years A Slave which were extremely interesting. Inside the Overseers house were 4 rooms instead of 1, a wardrobe, a desk, a comfy bed and a bathroom. The slave houses had a bed, a tiny tin bath and a small chest. The slaves would have to work from the second it was light till it got dark. Sometimes, if the moon was bright, they would work late into the night with only a 10-15 minute break in the middle of the day to eat their ration of cold bacon. The museum still had the fields outside so as I stood in the hot field I, for the first time, felt that I knew what it must have been like to work in such high heat and humidity. In the grass were plenty of bugs, enough to feed at least 100,000 spiders… probably not that many but a lot. The only shade was under the trees, the slaves weren’t allowed to stand in the shade unless they were working on a task given to them by the overseer and if they did, they were beaten. The slave houses were cooler inside even though there was no air conditioning. After we had done the museum and were about to leave we walked out to find a lady working on a patchwork quilt. She was telling us about the different types of quilts you can make and all of the different types of seams you could sew. She showed us a part of a quilt that an old lady had sewn and you could see how she had cut up old clothes to make squares for her quilt but some of the squares weren’t full so she had cut up more material and sewn the 2 pieces together to make a square and then eventually sewed them all together to make a quilt.

New Orleans appeared to be still recovering from Hurricane Katrina that hit 10 years previously as thousands of people lost homes during this tragic event. From my opinion it was an alcohol based city and there were also a lot of people without homes, that was sad to see. The city had a large French influence in the city, it wasn’t every street that had the French influence, only the French Quarter. All of the French houses had their rustic looking shutters closed to keep out the heat. The little houses were painted welcoming colors such as, blue and yellow, green and pink and purple and white. The city smelt of beer and lager. I felt unsafe even with my family around. I didn’t want to walk in certain areas because of the amount of drinking. It was equally inhabited by Carribbean’s as much as native U.S inhabitants. It was directly next to The Mississippi River and you could go down to the waters edge. The water smelt very fishy and it was murky and brown. The center of the French quarter, next to the river had the prettiest little churches and squares throughout. Leaving New Orleans we traveled through the lagoons and marshes. We kept hoping that alligators wouldn’t eat us. All of the houses that were near the marshes and lagoons were on extremely high stilts, not only because of the floods but because of the alligators that might make there way inside. The houses were up on stilts with a large wooden staircase leading up to it, the cars had to be 4×4’s in case of floods and mud, they parked under the house/in between the stilts. Next stop, Pensacola, Florida.

Chapter 5

We visited Montgomery, Alabama. Montgomery is where Rosa Parks sat on the bus in the central section. In those days black people weren’t allowed to sit down in the white persons only section, not enter the bus using the front door (it had to be the back door) and if there were white people standing they had to stand up whether it was the back or the front which meant they couldn’t sit down at all. One day, Rosa Parks was coming home and she was tired so she sat down. Rosa Parks didn’t sit down at the back so the bus driver had to ask her to move but she didn’t, (what I found sad was that people who sat in the center of the bus whether they were black or white were not required to move if asked) after he demanded many times, he called for the police and Rosa Parks was arrested. During the same year of Mrs. Rosa Parks’ arrest, 1955, 3 women were also arrested for the same reason that Mrs. Rosa Parks was, just 5 months previously. To send out the original message about the boycott was a challenge. A writer wrote letters addressed to all black people who rode buses to make sure they did not ride the bus, even if it meant missing a day of school or work. They must boycott the Montgomery bus line. The Montgomery bus Boycott started when the arrest of Mrs. Parks happened. The boycott happened for 13 months or 382 days. Our tour around the Rosa Parks museum was very educational. The first part of the tour was on a pretend Montgomery bus time travel machine. The bus moved and jiggled us around as if we were traveling through time. It had videos all around that showed the history before Mrs. Rosa Parks’ arrest, from the little boy who danced “Jumped Jim Crow” to Mrs. Rosa Parks’ arrest. It also joked that if you stepped out during the ride, you would be stuck in that time period and it would be very hard for them to find you again. The second half of the museum/tour showed you things from videos about the first day of the boycott to the exhibition called the victory ride which was where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and 2 others sat at the front of the bus next to a white person to test their rights. The victory ride was a celebration when no-one asked the blacks to move from the white’s only section of the bus. When that happened the boycott finished, bus segregation was ended and the start of de-segregation began. They showed us pictures of when all of the blacks turned themselves into the law wearing their Sunday bests in order to be the bigger person, when that photo was taken they were all standing outside of the first Baptist church for black people. I took a photo where they stood exactly outside of that church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood. We also saw the memorial fountain for the civil rights movement and the State Capitol. The State Capitol was the building where the sanitation workers marched to from the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma to the State Capitol building which was known as the first White House, it was blindingly white with all of the sun, in Montgomery. We stood on the same steps that they had done on their victorious march.

We then traveled on to Savannah, Georgia. On the way to Savannah we saw all of the peach orchards and the air smelt peachy and fresh. It was a 5 hour drive to Savannah so we arrived late at night which meant we couldn’t look around until the next day.

Savannah reminded me of Europe, New York and 1950’s L.A. We were there for 2 hours but we saw everything. We saw Juliette Gordon Low’s house, the Riverfront, John Wesley’s memorial, old restaurants and James Edward Oglethorpe memorial.

Juliette Gordon Low 1860-1927: Mrs. Low was the founder of Girl Scouts U.S.A. We saw her birth house which was the same house that she got married in. Her house had windows with old shutters lining them. She had large steps swirling up to the main, front door. There were green plants almost falling out of their pots they were so long. You could smell the wisteria coming from the squares opposite. We sat in one of the squares for a minute or two and listened to the sound of the river, birds and people walking by. You could smell all of the different aroma’s of the city including freshly brewed coffee, flowers and freshly baked bread.

The Riverfront was the bank where all of the slaves were taken and sold to the Georgians who lived in Savannah. There was a memorial for the slaves and on top of it was a statue of a family, scared. The quote on the side explained what happened as they traveled in tight, compact spaces with 15 or more people squashed together. You could smell the fishiness coming from the river. All of the boats had cargo on coming from places around the world. When we saw the ships coming in it made me get a feel of what it must have been like with the slaves arriving.

John Wesley: Mr. Wesley was the founder of Methodism. Methodism is a form of Christianity. The statue of him was about 10 feet tall and not to wide. It had a grand feel about it and it also felt like he was about to start moving and wave to say hello.

Old Restaurants: We saw so many European looking restaurants and 50’s L.A look. Some even had the old signs up like an old ice cream shop called Leopald’s. You felt like you were about to turn a corner and meet a fifties character.

James Edward Oglethorpe: James Edward Oglethorpe was the first founder of the colony of Georgia. They had a statue as well as a board explaining who he was. He was wearing an English Generals Uniform and was holding his hat in one hand and a sword in the other. I felt as if he was about to yell “Fire!” He looked majestic and a bit scary if you ask me.

After Savannah we headed on to Charleston, South Carolina.

Our last stop of the day was Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston was beautiful. It reminded me of Europe. All of the buildings were either green, blue, pink, yellow and white. There was one street called rainbow row and all of the houses looked like a rainbow when they were next to each other. It smelled fresh and peachy just like Savannah. We saw the Charleston Market that had a store as well as stalls in it. The store sold everything from baby toys to Christmas decorations. We had dinner at a lovely fish bar called Amens. Amens originated because the street that it was on was called Amens street because when you were standing on that street you could here “Amen” from all of the churches near by, many moons ago, before it was changed several times. I had tomato sauce with mussels, I don’t think I have ever eaten anything so tasty. Mummy had their famous corn dog shrimps and my granny had a salad. We met a lovely couple who owned a dog shop called “Southern Paws” they also owned a dog called MoMo. He was so cute! We then walked down to the front to see Fort Sumter in the middle of the ocean. Fort Sumter is where the civil war started. It is a large fort on an island which you can take a ferry across to see. I had my camera with me so I took hundreds of photos. I took one photo of 3 girls taking photos of each other. I love taking photos of flowers, people and a photo called ” a dirty photo” A clean photo is taking a photo of a person without anything in the way. A dirty photo is where you are taking a photo of someone but you are pretending to hide behind something maybe a tree. All of the street lanterns and the ones outside of the houses were gas lamps. They actually had real gas flames burning inside their glass cage.

Chapter 6

We drove from Charleston to Washington D.C. Because there wasn’t much to see, I will tell you a bit about being alternatively educated. I love this type of education because I get to experience things I’ve read about in books. I can watch movies about the place we are going to, teach my mum things, then test her and she will do the same for me. I can run my own business with the support and aid of my mum. Instead of sitting in a classroom reading and learning about the Grand Canyon, there is nothing that is teaches you more than going there. I am learning, as I drive, things I haven’t learnt before. I will be writing blogs; online, photo albums; tangible ones and journals; that are hand written. I will have so many ways to remember this journey, I am so very grateful that I can. That is why I love being alternatively educated. To learn more about being alternatively educated watch my Ted X Youth Talk called “The World Is My Classroom.” It is on Youtube.

I can. I will. I am.

Chapter 7

We arrived in Washington D.C, the capital of the U.S.A. Whilst we were there we saw: The Washington monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Roosevelt Memorial, The Kennedy Memorial, The White House, The State Capitol, The Mall, The Police, The Archives, The Treasury and The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It was incredible to see The White House up close instead of seeing it in a book or on Google. I took a really cool picture outside The White House doing the splits. On top of the roof, they have snipers incase someone tries to get into the house by climbing onto the roof. Planes aren’t allowed to fly over The White House in case they bomb it. The State Capitol is the large white building with the dome on top. We got to go inside as far as the ticketing hall because we didn’t have enough time. I did take hundreds of photos of all of the statues in the hall though. The Mall is a large road with grass in the middle, it stretches from The Washington Monument all the way up to The State Capitol. The Washington Monument is a larger version of Cleopatra’s Needle in London. Cleopatra’s needle is a large 3D rectangle with a triangular prism on top. You can go up it but the tickets are given out at 8:30am so they go very quickly. The Lincoln memorial is the statue of Lincoln sitting on his chair and watching over everyone. The Roosevelt and The Kennedy Memorial didn’t have a big impact on me like I thought it would. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial were three rocks in a square shape with one corner missing. One of the rocks had an overly large statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. carved into it. Whilst we were in Washington D.C, it was national police week so police from all over America were there. We met policemen from Kansas and they said that when we drive through we can stop by the station and they will show us around. One of them gave us his card. The Archives and Treasury were very similar. The outside of the building was very Roman with its columns and triangular shaped roof. We didn’t get to go inside unfortunately but we did read the boards outside explaining their history. As I stood outside of The Presidents house I thought to myself, “I am standing outside The White House in Washington D.C.” I never thought I would see that in person… in house. It wasn’t as busy as I thought even though there were lots of school parties and tours. Outside the center of the city, it was poorer than I thought it would be, hotels looked grotty and as if they hadn’t had a paint job in years. I bought a DVD about Washington D.C for Kids, that was very interesting and it was fun to see all the buildings and say “I’ve been there!” You definitely need at least two weeks to see all of the museums so I would love to go back again.

We then drove from Philadelphia to Boston. We drove through New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. We went through so many states that at one point, we couldn’t remember which one we were in. New York had a junction that looked like a spaghetti bowl. There were lots of trees and reservoirs around which made me feel like I was in the countryside. I saw the New York downtown, high rise, silhouettes everywhere. When we arrived in Boston, Massachusetts we had a walk around the modern part of the city. The buildings were all high rise, just like New York. There were some parts of the city that had old buildings, such as The Old State House, The Old North Church and Harvard College. Did you know that Samuel Adams studied at Harvard College. We were in Boston for 2 hours and we saw all of the above and the original set for the show Cheers, you could go inside and see it, and we did.

Chapter 8

We spent some time in the old part of Boston at The Boston Tea Party Museum and Ships and The Children’s Museum. The Boston Tea Party was a major period in history. Its cause was the English taxing the Bostonians for everything; windows, doors, food, tea and more. The main cause of the American Revolution was The Boston Tea Party. It is called the tea party because on the evening of the 16th of December 1773, Bostonians of all ages disguised themselves as American Indians and boarded the 3 ships carrying tea; The Dartmouth, The Eleanor and The Beavor. The tour was like a show, there was a town meeting which was where they told you some of the pre- history prior to the tea party. The tour guides took us around The Beavor. When we got aboard they talked about the mobs and disguises and they had empty, canvas boxes with the tea logo on it with ropes attached so they could pull it back up from the sea…we got to push the boxes overboard as if we were the mob. They also showed us an old tea box that was called a half chest. It had been washed up 1 day after the tea party. It was found and hidden under the mans stairs and passed along the family line until it was given to the museum to preserve and show. It was very interesting to learn how mean the British were with all of their taxes. The Children’s museum was fun too. They had 3 floors and we only had 2 hours. We spent a lot of the time on the 3rd and 2nd floor but then we had to rush through the first floor because the museum was near closing time. They had experiments and games to play, they even had a main street with shops, a carnival, a bus, a barber shop and a hairdressers. I hope to go back to both museums and spend even more time there. We then drove down towards New York City through Connecticut, Rhode Island and finally New York.

We drove in to New York city via a really pretty route next to the Hudson river. We drove into New York and parked in a car park that they pack the cars tightly next to each other. Our first stop was Chelsea Market, Chelsea Market is the coolest place ever. My favorite part about it is that they give out samples. My first sample of the day was Chocolate Ravioli. It may sound disgusting but it wasn’t. It was crispy chocolate with a hot brownie filling. It tasted like banana and Nutella. There was a large fountain coming from a personal well so as not to waste any water. At night it has lights shining down. They also have archways with thousands of twinkly, fairy lights covering it. We walked around a bit and found lots of lovely clothes shops. I did end up buying a beautiful blue and white backless dress. We had lunch at another market and ate sushi. I had avocado sushi. On the way back to the car, we walked on an old train line that they had turned into a path in the sky called The Highline. It felt like a large garden. Along the way there were spots that you could stop and look at the world below. They had statues a long the way such as a thing called “Physical Graffiti.” It was graffiti made out of wire that stood in front of a wall to make it look like it was on the wall. Our hotel was in Queens which I was very excited about because I love the show Ugly Betty and that is where she lived.

Chapter 9
We spent today with friends and in Central Park. We saw friends in the morning and then had a picnic in Central Park with food from the Plaza. The Plaza was where a little girl called Eloise was brought up. There is a shop there for her and it is entirely pink. They play her movie all day so you can go in and watch it. Having a picnic in Central Park was magical. The sun was shining through the trees and the pond was shimmering. I had a yummy quiche and I tried my first piece of lobster, I loved it. That was the last day for my granny.

We had to pack the car because my granny had flown home at 8:00 am. We went to meet some friends in a lovely restaurant called The Penny Farthing. A Penny Farthing is a type of old fashioned bike that has an extra large wheel at the front and a teeny, tiny wheel at the back. I ate French Onion Soup with mashed potato’s. After that, we went to see a friends premier of a movie called “Leaves of The Tree.” It was a faith based movie about Love, Loss and Life. We met the Casting Director/Producer at the Houston International Film Festival at her seminar. Her name was Donna McKenna. There was a red carpet before where my mum, my dog and I had our photo’s taken. Afterwards there was a question and answer. There were 2 people in the audience who were originally from Sicily (which was where it was partially filmed), one who’s cousins were accidently in the film and another one who new where one of the locations was. After that we started our drive towards Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Chapter 10

We went through Pennsylvania which is covered in tree’s. We were heading to see our family. We got there in the evening. On our long drives, we don’t waste time. I write my blogs, draw and on this journey wrote a story. We were inspired by a town called Mifflinville. That is seriously what is was called. We also passed a river called Hemlock, another town called Bellefonte and we drove through one called Shippenville. We invented characters called the Mifflins, the Hemlocks, the Bellefonte’s and the Shippens. I won’t tell you their story yet, so as not to ruin it. You will have to read the book.

I spent the next day with my cousins and family. We collected them from school, had a sleepover and played in the garden…and climbed a lot of tree’s. We also made a fairy garden with a mini pool made out of foil in a hole in the ground, then we filled it with water.

Chapter 11

We then got into the car and drove towards The Faces in the mountain in South Dakota. The landscape was as flat as Kansas, as wet as England and as green as a tree. For supper we stopped off at an Amish market and had eggs with bacon. The gift shop sold bonnets and aprons and true Amish products. After 5 hours of the same landscape, we stopped off at a Motel 6 for a long night sleep.

The Faces in the mountain in South Dakota. Minnesota was the first state we drove through. The landscape was flat, it was the plains. It had big, red barns surrounded by trees. Whenever we saw clumps of trees we new that it was a farm. We past a very large lake with lots of little islands dotted around it. It felt like Swallows and Amazons. We also stopped off at a pioneer village. It was exactly as it had been in the pioneer times. With the general stores, saloons and houses. I felt like I could have lived back then. It was such a simple way of living, where nothing got wasted. Our last stop before the faces was an 1880 town. We got to wear a sheriff sticker and walk around the town. There was a gorgeous little yellow house with two rocking chairs outside on the front porch. The saloon had a stage and tables. They played music all though the town and sometimes there were fake gunshots. I couldn’t have lived then because I felt like a cowboy was about to come in and kill me. I sat in the back and played games for the whole journey and wrote stories. During the South Dakota part of the journey we were on the edge of our seats waiting to see the faces. We past through the Badlands before the faces. The Badlands are canyons that have many different colors, such as pink, orange, red, purple and yellow. As we gained height, our ears started to pop and we kept shouting at each other because we couldn’t hear. The faces in the mountain is actually called Mount Rushmore. There are 4 presidents carved into the granite and they are:

George Washington Thomas Jefferson Theodore Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln
When we arrived at Mount Rushmore it was covered in fog so we couldn’t see it. We decided to stay the night and go back the next day.

Chapter 12

We took thousands of photos and bought lots of things from the gift shop. I bought 3 books. One about Crazy Horse, one about Lewis and Clark and another one about the carving of Mount Rushmore. When we arrived the fog was covering the mountain and we were disappointed. As the fog moved away it slowly unveiled the famous faces. It was magical to see such a famous monument lit up with sunlight, surrounded by trees, with a backdrop of the bright blue sky. Our next stop was the Crazy Horse Monument. Crazy Horse was a Lakota Indian Chief. This monument was also in South Dakota and the largest one in the world. It is larger than the Pyramids in Egypt. We had to get on a tour bus to take us up to see it. The guide told us that the monument was not yet completed and they didn’t know when it would be. The payment for the carving is not government funded, but funded by the people who pay entrance fees and give donations. It is a family project, run originally by the father, then by husband and wife, then by 10 kids (5 girls, 5 boys) and parents. Our favorite photo was of a mega cute prairie dog. After Crazy Horse we drove straight towards Yellowstone National Park, The Wyoming Quarter to see Old Faithful. Old Faithful is one of the largest geysers in the world. It is the only predictable geyser. The eruptions range from 20-95 minutes with a duration of 1-6 minutes. The only stop we stopped at was Shell Creek. Shell Creek is a large water fall where you can see the path that it used to travel and then by cause of earth movement the water path shifted. Then we headed into the park. I saw my first Buffalo, it was suprisingly cute and fluffy. I felt like I was in the sound of music. We saw trees, snow and mountains. The most magical view was of the canyons, trees, mountains, snow and the vast land below. It started to get dark and Old Faithful seemed like hours away. We decided to leave the park, stay the night at a hotel and go back in the morning.

In the morning we headed back into the park. We drove straight towards the world famous geyser. On the way we saw fumerols, mud, paint pots and geysers.

Fumerols: They are a whole in the earths surface producing sulfuric gas. It is hot and stinky.

Mud, Paint Pots: They are large puddles in the earths surface also producing sulfuric gases but not strong enough to push through the mud. It boils, bubbles and make gloppy noises.

Geysers: They are holes on the earths surface producing sulfuric gas and boiling water. The water is boiled by cause of the magma at the center of the earth.

There was one puddle called a Red Spouter. It erupts the same way as a mud, Paint pot but it is red. It came to be by cause of an earthquake in Montana. The earth shook so violently that the earth cracked and Red Spouter was born.
Next stop Old Faithful. When we arrived at Old Faithful it hadn’t erupted yet so we went into the visitor center where there was a board telling you when the eruptions were. We turned around to see the geyser bursting up out of the ground, getting higher and higher, faster and faster, hotter and hotter. We took photos, videos and slow motion videos. Then we got in the car and drove to Salt lake city. That day we went through 3 states, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Chapter 13

Our last stop was Las Vegas Nevada. We stayed at Ceasars Palace and bathed in the pool all morning. We drove through Death Valley, which is exactly as it sounds. There was nothing there due to the high temperatures. But it was beautiful with sandunes and mountains and hills to get home we stopped off at a little store and bought a souvenir. We drove through nothingness for about 2 or more hours until we hit the main road and the end of our journey towards L.A began.