CIA and Roosevelt

We enjoyed a morning at the CIA. The Culinary Institute of America. The campus was beautiful.   They have a fresh bakery on campus. We bought cookies that were as big as our heads! Come of the treats were so wonderful looking. We had lunch at one of the campus restaurants. Our tour guide is going to be on a Food Network show later this year. He was so fun and energetic. We had a great tour. I wish I could share more photos but they weren’t allowed on the tour. Up next was the Roosevelt Mansion and Presidential Library. We had a young guide but he knew such a large amount of details. I loved the bird collection and the story that went with it. Roosevelt’s mother told him he could only kill one of each bird and he had to do all the taxidermy himself. Eventually she changed her mind and paid to have the preserving done due to the toxic chemicals. You can see the office just like it was when he was living there. Even with the dining room chair turned into a wheelchair. We loved the flower garden. The colors were amazing. This was one of my favorite art pieces. It was part of the Berlin Wall. I laughed and cried at all of the depression era and war time posters!

New York Day 1

We spent a lot of time on the tour busses each day. After a long ride we arrived in Battery Park for the ferry over to Liberty Island. After a grueling line through security we finally got the boat out to the island. We enjoyed a brisk walk around Lady Liberty.  We managed to complete our Jr. Ranger Books in record time. We got our badges and raced back to the ferry. We waved to Ellis Island but couldn’t stop since our tour was moving on. Lunch in downtown New York. We spent the afternoon at the 911 Memorial and museum. It was fascinating to learn about the buildings structures and what survived the terrorist attack. The new building frames the foundation of the old towers.We saw lots of ruins from the buildings. It was really scary to see all the photos and videos on the events unfolding. This was one of the firetrucks that was at ground zero. The iron in the building got so hot it just folded! The memorial outside was huge. They place flowers on the names of the people who died on their birthdays. The new tower next door is massive! The winged thing is the new transportation terminal. On the memorial each year the top opens to allow sun in for 86 minutes, the time it took from planes hijacked to towers falling. To decompress from all the heavy information we watched pigeons in the square outside. It was nice to see a little grass in all this concrete.

Week in Washington, D.C. and the 4th of July

We got to DC in the hottest week of the year. It was miserable with the heat. We bounced from place to place to find AC. The Botanical Gardens are always one of favorite places to visit. The heat was so bad Dad was scoping out more indoor things. We were able to get a last minute tour of Voice of America. It was really neat to see how the whole communication network around the world works. Up next was the Native American exhibit and lunch with fry bread and honey. We learned to read the khipu. The khipu was an ancient way to keep track of numbers. We took the evenings to cool off in the pool. We enjoyed a few rides around on the campground wagon before hitting the showers. The Natural History Museum had free admission to the butterfly exhibit. We got there early and spent a lot of time talking to the docents. The butterflies loved my hat. We extracted our DNA and made necklaces. They even have a special collections area you can browse and explore. The 4th of July was spent at Mt Vernon having a classic holiday. Ben Franklin read the Declaration of Independence. We saw George Washington’s false teeth. We wrapped up with daytime fireworks. We went to College Park the Univ of Maryland for the evening fireworks. Everyone was exhausted so only Mom , E and I went. We ate fair food and played cards to pass the time.  Our next to the last day we spent at the National Zoo. It was so hot the animals were all hiding. We visited the Air and Space remote building.This was way cooler than main building in the mall. We saw some amazing airplanes. I loved the SpaceShuttle Discovery! 

UF Entomology Field Camp – Bug Camp

This was my first year attending Bug Camp at UF. I had such an amazing time. I made lots of new camp friends and learned a lot about insects. We did field research. We worked on our team names and chants. For some reason we chanted RANDALL!In the evenings I worked a little on my chemistry. I also kept sneaking out at 3am to “go to the bathhouse” under the guise of hunting night insects. I caught many cool beetles in the dark. We had awesome guest speakers! We even got to dissect grasshoppers.  I worked on my collections. I grew my collection by over 100 insects when at camp. We learned about bees and the process of bee farming. We toured the Natural History Museum and watched the butterfly release. More curating! This is my favorite part. I don’t like the labeling part but I am getting used to it. I loved the nematology department. We collected soil samples, washed them down in filters, spun them in the centrifuge and then viewed them under the microscope. Aquatic collecting was the best! We loved using our new aquatic net. We visited Santa Fe River and collected hellgrammites, baby dobsonflies. They are really intimidating looking. At the end of camp we found a nitrogen ice cream bar called FogBox! It was awesome!  Next we are off to Washington DC for the holiday week.

End of June Update

The month has flown by faster than ever before. We have been so busy. Mom and Dad got all dressed up and went to a banquet for a class (Citizens Academy) that Dad has been attending.
I got all dressed up and rode in the car. We learned how to change out a stubborn faucet. It was all gummed up and turning weird. We had to really work to get it out. Everyone took turns doing the plumbing. 

We had a few trips to the bowling alley. I was in a smiley mood.
We came home to the FedEx delivery person playing Jenga on the porch again. We went to Homasassa Springs Wildlife Park with Grandma Susie. We enjoyed the boat ride in the rain. We saw lots of birds and turtles.  The hippo was wearing a tire. It was very odd.  What a busy few weeks but we are having so much fun on our summer break.