Stanley Goes to Space

January 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Stanley has had quite a visit with us in Orlando. Disney World, Sea World, the beach, and now the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral! The folks at NASA graciously allowed Liam, Stanley, and I to pose for a few photos without paying admission. Stanley could hardly believe his eyes at the size of this mock up of the space shuttle. Brady and Devin saw an even better one with Liam in Washington, DC last year. But at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, you can actually walk inside the shuttle!

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Stanley nearly lost his lunch in the G Force Trainer, which spins you around and around just like the astronauts in space. It makes me a little sick just typing that sentence!

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This is about as close to space walking as Stanley could get outside the Kennedy Space Center entrance. But as luck will have it, tomorrow night at precisely 7:38 PM a Delta 4 rocket will be launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We’ll definitely keep our eyes peeled for rocket lights in the Eastern skies tomorrow night!

Sadly, this will be Stanley’s last night with us. We’ve had a great time with him, and we can’t wait to hear how Devin’s class liked his Orlando adventures.

Stanley Hits the Beach

January 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today we took Stanley to New Smyrna Beach for some sand and surf. Well, sand, mostly. It was way too cold for swimming! He and Liam took turns building sand castles – Stanley and the grownups would build them, and Liam would unceremoniously knock them down.

Stanley Sees the World

January 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today we took Stanley and the family to Epcot Center at Disney World. Stanley got a whirlwind tour of countries from around the world, or Disney’s version, at least. Uncle Collin and Liam loved Italy with its bridges, towers, and gondolas. Posing with the Bell Tower from Venice reminded us of our trip to Italy years ago, before Devin was even born! Next stop, Paris, France, where we savored the smell of fresh pastries and pretended to thumb our noses at those, “Stoo-pid Am-aaar-icaans.” We passed exotic Morocco with its latticed architecture, strolled through a very ornate China, then headed to lunch in a Mayan pyramid in Mexico. We ate delicious enchiladas with chips and salsa by candle light under a convincing indoor night sky.

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Next stop, Great Britain, where we looked up the Fletcher name to discover our lineage. Apparently “fletching” refers to the the method of attaching feathers to an arrow, a very popular profession back in medieval times. After perusing the shops for football jerseys, Stanley wanted to strike a pose in an English red telephone booth. What a cheeky monkey!

Along our way we also saw Japan, Canada, Norway, Germany, and the United States. Liam got stamps at each pavilion for his paper Duffy Bear, and we all felt quite well-traveled!

After our world tour we took a relaxing ride on Spaceship Earth, an animatronic tour of the history of communication that’s actually inside Epcot’s iconic white sphere. We couldn’t believe they packed so much into that big white ball!

Stanley Goes to Sea World

January 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Today Stanley and the family took a trip to Sea World in Orlando. We had to bundle up for the unusually cold day, only 60 degrees for a high! Stanley wasn’t phased. As you can see he rather enjoyed swimming with the dolphins in that cold, cold water. The dolphins were Liam’s favorite animal today, too.

IMG_0696We saw a lot of sea creatures in the Arctic zone, including Beluga whales (in which Liam insisted I sing him Baby Beluga), sleeping polar bears, and a very bored walrus who kept swimming back and forth, back and forth in the same direction in his tank. We saw the dolphins, parrots, and humans strut their stuff in an impressive acrobatic aquatic show. And we watched pirates and sea lions perform an amusing play about a shipwrecked islander thwarting an evil pirate captain in pursuit of treasure.

One of the best parts of the show was the pirate mime who entertained the audience by making fun of all the people streaming in to find a seat. Grandpa Bob asked if he would pose with Stanley, and wouldn’t you know it, several kids in the audience recognized him, shouting, “Hey, it’s Stanley!” After his 15 minutes of fame, Stanley very nearly took a dive into the sea lion tank, thanks to the mischievous mime!

IMG_0699That wasn’t Stanley’s only brush with danger. After watching the dolphins for a very long time, Liam wanted to see the alligators. As they sunned themselves, our dare-devil Stanley fearless ignored the warnings to stay off of the railing. Good thing he didn’t tumble in!

Stanley and Liam also enjoyed watching all the thrill seekers on the two roller coasters in the park. They were both too short for the height requirements to ride, so they had to settle for riding the carousel, the miniature train, and the whirling Jazzy Jellies. I doubt either of them will be big enough for the roller coasters anytime soon.

A Day Trip to Disney

January 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Meet Stanley. Flat Stanley arrived in our mailbox last week, part of a class assignment of my nephew Devin’s. We’re going to be taking him around Orlando, posing him in pictures, then sending them back to his class with a little story about our adventures. Today we ventured to Animal Kingdom at Disney World. Here Stanley is with the Tree of Life, which does not do much justice to the immense size of this tree. It really is a sight to see.

poohLiam and I (and Stanley!) had ourselves a lovely day. We took an African Safari where we encountered several giraffes, hippos, baby elephants and their mommies, and crocodiles. We strolled along paths littered with gorillas, tigers, and flamingoes (not all together, of course. Think of the mess!). We even got our photo taken with Winnie the Pooh. Liam didn’t care much for that – he mostly stared at Pooh with consternation. And then, it turns out, he shut his eyes when the flash went off!

Liam even had the patience to stand in line for a ride, a spinning ride much like the Flying Dumbos, only this was flying Triceratops. (Not sure why they picked that particular dinosaur. I supposed Pterodactyls aren’t technically dinosaurs…but at least they are capable of flight.) Anyway, Liam very much enjoyed it. His favorite, though, was the Expedition Everest!

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Ummm, yeah, not riding it. Watching it. For, like, an hour. As you can see, Stanley didn’t mind. Seriously, I think this was Liam’s favorite part of the park. With the giraffes coming in a close second. He was pretty stoked about the tigers, too, especially when I told him it was like Jungle Book, which we’d just watched last weekend. In fact, the whole Asian part of the park reminded me fondly of that movie.

Stay tuned for more Stanley adventures this weekend when Grandpa Bob comes for a visit!

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