Places Stanley Has Visited

Sunday, July 4, 2010

This just in...

We just received a letter from Ohio! Unfortunately, I still cannot find the little cable that connects my camera to the computer.  Soon I will finish adding Stanley's trips to Lebanon and Turkey, I promise! (Most of his Lebanon trip is up, just not the photos of the items he sent home in the package.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stanley Goes to Labanon

My friend Jami lives in the Middle East.
It took Stanley quite some time to get there, but he finally made it. And the package he sent home arrived just before Easter.
Here is what Jami had to say about Stanley's visit:

"Hello, Amri!
My name is Jami and your friend Stanley has been visiting me way over here in the Middle East, in a country called Lebanon! We have had a wonderful time together! Thank you for sending Flat Stanley my way.

I wanted to share a little with you about what Stanley has been doing and has seen on his visit.

Stanley has mainly been staying with me in the capitol city of Lebanon, Beirut. But, we have also visited Tyre, Sidon, Baalbeck and Bylbos. There are many really old cities in Lebanon and Stanley really seemed to enjoy seeing ruins, some that were even thousands of years old! Stanley and I also went to visit my boyfriend in Syria. There Stanley saw Damascus, Homs, and Latakia. He really loved it there!

Amri, there are a few items we wanted to send you from Lebanon. I want to tell you a little bit about each thing we're sending...
(Special Note: I photographed the trinkets described below, I just cannot find the cable that connects my camera to the computer. I'll let you know when I have updated this post.  -Supermandy)

Stamp: This is a Lebanese stamp with a picture of our past Prime Minister on it.

White small paper with Arabic writing on it: This is a receipt from a restaurant.

Tan/orange menu: People here love meat. This is a menu from a butcher near me.

2 Flower beads: These are actually glass beads from Egypt.

25 coin: This is a Syrian 25 cent coin (pounds)

250 coin: This is a coin from Lebanon worth around 17 cents.

Picture of a tree: This is a cedar tree during the winter. Lebanon is famous in the Bible and throughout history for its Cedar trees. There is even one on the Lebanese flag!

Postcard with a camel on it: The Middle East is known for camels, but because Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East without a desert there are VERY few camels here- But in Beirut there is a lot of graffiti.

little white rectangle: Stanley liked to help me practice my Arabic!

Beauty and the Beast book: although this book is in English, it was translated here from Arabic, so some parts of it are pretty funny.

Domino's Pizza Menu: Even here we eat pizza! Look at this menu to see everything written in English and Arabic.

bullet: When many people think of the Middle East they think of violence and war, but the Middle East is a wonderful place and all of my friends and neighbors are always looking out for me. I feel safer here than when I lived in Dallas. This is a bullet I found when I went camping.

1000 Lebanese Lira: This bill is worth around 67 cents. Maybe you can use it as a bookmark or tape it somewhere special to remind you of Stanley's great adventures in Lebanon!"

Jami also stated the Flat Stanley made a great travel companion as he never needs to make bathroom stops AND he travels for free. 
Here are the photos from his trip:
The city of Baalbeck was Stanley's favorite. He told Jami three times.

Stanley thought about buying some scarves- or a random cowboy hat- in the ancient city of Baalbeck.  He also went to Tyre where he tried to look big next to this giant entry way. Stanley. . . such the kidder!

Stanley liked all the plants, but Jami thought he should consider getting a little more sunlight. Stanley started looking pretty pale.

He really liked all the ruins.

Stanley became good friends with Jami's roomate, Sarah.

And with the end of that journey, Stanley headed off on a new one (as is his nature.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Stanley's American Road Trip

Stanley recently went on a very long road trip with 3 generations of our family. We started here in Austin, drove to Dallas, passed through Oklahoma, then into Arkansas to meet Nana. From there we went through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, and then headed to Kentucky to visit the newest member of our family. On the way home, we snaked through Tennessee, back through Missouri, and on to Arkansas. There were lots of stops along the way, and a good time was had by all.
When we arrived in Arkansas, we went to Nana's house. She took us to the feed store to visit the new shipment of babies. Here's Stanley with the ducklings and the guinea fowl. After transferring our luggage to Nana's roomier vehicle, we set out on our week long trip.

As we headed East, we spotted another farm bird- a GIANT CHICKEN! Of course we stopped to take a picture (and to buy some taffy...)

Missouri is famous for having hundreds of caves. We stopped at Fantastic Caverns- a cave you tour by riding in a tram! We even saw a wild pipistrelle bat!

One morning in Missouri, when we went down to breakfast, we discovered they were shooting a commercial for the hotel we were staying in. They asked Amri to be in it! (If they ever end up e-mailing it to me, I'll post it here.)

Upon arriving in Kentucky, we spent a great deal of time hanging out with my brother. We visited with the new baby, hung out in a giant costume shop, and went to the Louisville Zoo. Apparently the zoo sits right on top of Louisville Mega Cavern (which we did not visit.) Stanley was feeling shy around my brother, so he didn't get any photos with him...

During our many, many hours in the car, Stanley spent a lot of time looking out the window.

After leaving Louisville, Stanley fell asleep in the car. When he woke up we were still in Kentucky- but it didn't look the same at all. He got out to investigate.

"A field of brachiosaurs?" said Stanley. "This can't be right."

Stanley wandered further into the forest. He probably should have stayed on the path...

"Oh, dear!" said Stanley. "Where is my host family? This can't be good!"

"Yikes!" he yelled. And that was the last we saw of Stanley.
No, I'm just kidding. Stanley and the girls had a great time at Dinosaur World.
We eventually made it back to Austin, and -after a good night's sleep- Stanley was off on another adventure...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Austin, Texas, USA

Last Thursday we took Stanley out to see the local sights before he headed out on his trip. We wanted him to have a few pictures of home for him to keep with him on his journey. It was cold, foggy, and drizzle-y out. We didn't get to do all that we had hoped, but I think the kids had a good time downtown.

First we went to the Santa Rita No. 1 oil pump. It's on part of the University of Texas' property. Before the pump was built, everyone said finding oil in this location was a ridiculous idea. Once the pump was in action, it was named Santa Rita- after the Saint of the Impossible.
Here's Flat Stanley outside the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. The bronze Lone Star sculpture is 35 feet tall! Just down the street from the museum is the state capitol. You can see the building from all over the city. Here are Amri and Stanley on the lawn.
" Wonderful views of the Capitol's dome from many vantage points throughout the Austin area are protected from obscuration by state law. " -a quote from the Texas State Preservation Board's website.

The Colorado River winds through the city. On the banks of it there's a city park called Auditorium Shores. We've only recently moved here, so I'm not fully informed about everything, but I've heard this part of the river referred to as "Town Lake" and "Ladybird Lake," but I know that it really is not a lake and is just a wider part of the Colorado River, which flows East, out of town and rather close to our house. Auditorium shores is a hot-spot for festivals and outdoor music events during warmer months. It also has an off-leash dog park. People often canoe in the river here. Plus, there's a giant statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn. Apparently he played a number of shows at Auditorium Shores.
Part of the skyline disappeared in the fog. I don't know if Austin is always so foggy, but this winter I've had numerous nerve-racking evenings attempting to drive through it. Sometimes I feel like we live on the moors of England!

East of Stevie Ray, and just down the street from the capitol building, there's the Congress Street Bridge. The bridge goes over the river and also happens to host the largest urban bat colony in North America. From mid-March through November you can view thousands upon thousands of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats blanketing the sky at dusk. We've gone to see this before- it's pretty cool. It's the wrong season for bat watching, so we just took a photo op with the bat sculpture, instead.

Finally, we stopped off at Barton Springs. Again, it's the wrong season for this destination, but we stopped by anyway. Barton Springs Pool is fed by a natural underground spring and stays about 68 degrees year round. The city's website says Native Americans called this the Sacred Springs and came here to heal their wounds. The size of the main pool was enlarged in the late 1920's. Barton Springs is also one of the 4 known habitats of the Barton Springs Salamander, which is listed on the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services as an endangered species.That was the end of their last day together. We went home, helped Stanley put the last of his clothes in his suitcase, and took him to the mail box. Let the adventure begin!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Host Families

We are presently waiting for our gracious host families to send in their addresses so we can get Stanley started on his journey. Amri has helped him pack his suitcase and there's an air of excitement in the house. In just a few short days, Stanley will set out on his year long globe-trotting adventure!