Adventures of Flat Aubree
This is the story of Flat Aubree. She is a little doll created by Aubree, a student in Ms. Blagoue's class in Creekside Elementary.
She was first sent to her Aunt Kristy and Uncle Kris in Texas. This is where her story begins...
February 14th, 2015
Flat Aubree made it to Texas. Did you know that Texas has been under six flags? We have a long and rich history.
State bird: Mockingbird
State flower: Bluebonnet
State dish: Chili
State motto: "Friendship"
State nickname: The Lone Star State
State tree: Pecan
State mammal: Armadillo
February 15th, 2015
Flat Aubree made it to the capital of Texas, Austin. The Austin Capitol Building is made of shimmery pink granite. Austin has a big music scene, and they have a motto that says, "Keep Austin Weird." It's a really fun city.
February 21st - 25th, 2015
Flat Aubree went to Arlington today. It has Cowboys Stadium and Six Flags Over Texas (the theme park). The sister city of Arlington is Bad Konigshofen, Germany. The sister City of Aurora, CO is Adama, Ethiopia.
Flat Aubree was surprised to find out that people actually eat rattlesnake. People who have eaten it say it tastes like chicken.
Rattlesnakes are venomous and are the leading snakebites in North America, but they rarely bite, and, when they do, the bites are rarely fatal thanks to modern medicine.
While common in Colorodo, Dallas, TX is not very accustomed to snow and ice. It shuts down the entire city when we have an ice storm. Flat Aubree missed school today, Monday, as it had to be cancelled for an ice storm. It was just too dangerous to travel since we don't have any sand and salt trucks. She had some snow day fun!
Flat Aubree got to go to downtown Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Stockyards today. She ran in the maze that was once featured on The Amazing Race. She also saw a lot of livestock. It was still icy outside, but it was fun!
The Texas Longhorn is a gorgeous and majestic animal. Flat Aubree got to see some in Ft. Worth, and she got to see another at Southfork Ranch in Plano, TX. This is where part of the old TV show Dallas was filmed. She enjoyed seeing the Ewing Mansion.
February 27th - March 1st, 2015 - San Antonio
Flat Aubree spent a beautiful day touring the San Antonio Riverwalk today. She also got to see the Alamo. In Texas, everyone in middle school takes a class called Texas History when they go to 7th grade. We all learn about the six flags that were flown over Texas, how Texas was the only state in the USA to have been its own country, and about the Battle for Texas Independence in 1835-1836. The Alamo was built in 1718, and it is a big symbol to Texans. Flat Aubree was glad to see it.
San Antonio also has beautiful missions that were built in the 1830s. San Antonio has SeaWorld and is home to the San Antonio Spurs. Flat Aubree enjoyed her four day trip, but the Wooden Nickel Museum was a definite highlight.
On the way back to Dallas, Flat Aubree saw an armadillo next to the highway. It's a five hour car drive from San Antonio to Dallas, and it was very rainy. Flat Aubree listened to an audiobook in the car. The armadillo is an interesting animal!
March 6th - 15th, 2015 - Spring Break
Flat Aubree drove to Houston today. It took 5.5 hours to get there. It is amazing how big Texas really is! She stopped to eat at a steakhouse called Texas Roadhouse. They give you peanuts there and let you throw the peanut shells on the ground.
Flat Aubree got to go to Mission Control at NASA today. It was SO MUCH FUN! There were ships and spacesuits. They have great photos of astronauts too. Flat Aubree even tried some astronaut ice cream, but she thought regular ice cream was better.
After NASA, it was time to go to Bush Intercontinetal Airport in Houston. Flat Aubree is joining Aunt Kristy, Uncle Kris, and Uncle Kris's mom, Terri, on an adventure in Europe and Asia for Spring Break.
Flat Aubree didn't have a lot of time to spend in Frankfurt, Germany, but she did get to marvel at the pretty buildings in the main square in Frankfurt am Main. It is very easy to get from the Frankfurt Airport to the middle of town by the train.
Flat Aubree made it to Turkey late on March 8th. So far she's been to North America, Europe, and now Asia. Turkey is an interesting country. Most of Turkey is in Asia, but Istanbul (the capital city) is split onto two continents. It is in both Asia and Europe.
3/9/15 - 3/10/15
A very early day started well before sunrise. Aubree had to wake up at 4am to be able to do a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey. The scenery was unfathomable!
Visiting Cappadocia is a bit like going to another planet. There are hundreds of volcanic rock formations that look like fairy houses, and people have lived in Cappadocia for thousands of years.
- In Cappadocia, you can see hotels, churches, and temples cut into the rocks.
- Even regular houses are made out of rock.
- It is hot in the summer here and cold during the winter, but the caves are naturally climate controlled all year. They don't need a heater or air conditioner.
- The ancient people had homes above ground connected to the underground city by tunnels, so, if invaders came, the people could run through the tunnels to hide underground.
- The underground cities had everything needed to live.
Part of the path Flat Aubree traveled on was once part of the Silk Road.
She also saw many Turkish stop signs and pool rules in Turkish and English.
Today Flat Aubree visited one of the most ancient cities in the world - Ephesus. Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, and impressive structures still exist there. These Roman ruins are some of the best preserved in the world, and there is a giant stray cat population.
Flat Aubree saw the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, and an ancient theatre and Odeon.
In addition, Flat Aubree enjoyed some beautiful scenic overlooks and ocean views from the hotel.
Today Flat Aubree got to see Laodicea (or Denizli) which is an ancient city still being excavated.
Later in the day, she got to travel to Pamukkale. The travertine (white rock) terraces at Pamukkale, Turkey are one of the most spectacular natural wonders! These white cliffs have been created from calcite-laden waters. They looks like snow or balls of cotton, but they are just mineral covered rock. Pamukkale means cotton castle. Flat Aubree understood why.
After a wonderful day, it was time to get on a plane to Istanbul.
Flat Aubree's time in Istanbul was fun. She saw neat mosaic artwork on a wall in an alley, kids playing in a local park, and a lot of street vendors selling roasted corn and chestnuts from a food cart.
The coolest stop of the day, however, was at the Yerebatan underground Cistern. It's massive! It is the largest surviving Byzantine cistern in İstanbul and served as a Roman water source. Flat Aubree couldn't believe how old it was. It was commissioned by Emperor Justinian and built in 532. Now it is for tours and fish live in the water to keep down the algae.
The day ended with a trip to the Grand Bazaar for some souvenirs and spices.
Flat Aubree was back on the plane early this morning to fly to London, England in the United Kingdom. It was only a quick trip in London to see the Queen's guards and London Bridge before hopping back on a plane at Heathrow to head home to the USA.
She made it back to Houston in time to celebrate Pi Day (3.14.15).
On Sunday, March 15th, Flat Aubree drove back to Dallas.
March 22, 2015
Brenham, Texas is only 20 minutes from Washington-on-the-Brazos where, on March 2, 1836, Texas signed the Declaration of Independence from Mexico. It is often called "The Birthplace of Texas". In a few weeks, the bluebonnets will bloom. Flat Aubree had to settle on going on a yummy tour of the BlueBell Ice Cream Factory instead of playing in a field of bluebonnets.
March 27, 2015
Flat Aubree stopped by the old Little Elm Post Office today. Little Elm began as a postal stop in 1845. The original post office still stands in the town, although it is no longer in service.
April 4, 2015
Flat Aubree made it to see Marble Falls and the Blue Bonnet Cafe. The Blue Bonnet Cafe has been a Texas restaurant and pie place since 1929. The bluebonnets are blooming outside! Flat Aubree had to stop for a photo. She'll be flying to New Jersey on Monday to hang out with special friends Marlene, Michael, and their seeing-eye-puppy -in-training, Austin!
April 11, 2015
Flat Aubree landed in New Jersey! The first place to visit was the Statue of Liberty. Some people think it's in New York, but actually it is in the waters of New Jersey. She is very beautiful, and a symbol of freedom. The statue was a gift from France to the United States. It looks like Flat Aubree is much bigger than the statue, but it would take about 7 of Flat Aubree's friends to be as tall as just the nose of the Statue of Liberty!
The next photo shows Flat Aubree in front of the New York City skyline. The tallest building is the New World Trade Center. New York City is one of the busiest, most important cities in the world. Eight million people live in the city. Compare that to eight million that live in all of New Jersey. Then compare that to less than 6 million in all of Colorado! That shows how crowded New York is!
April 12, 2015
It was a beautiful day here in the east, so Marlene, Michael, and their puppy, Austin, took Flat Aubree to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was an hour to drive there by car, but they walked all over the city when they got there. There's a lot to see. Philly is the largest city in Pennsylvania, with 1.5 million people. That's a lot less than New York.
Independence Hall was where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Some of the signers were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.
Philadelphia loves Benjamin Franklin. He was a printer, a writer, a politician and an inventor. Some of the things he invented were bifocal glasses and a coal stove. He was interested in science, weather, and reading. He helped to develop the first libraries, fire houses and post offices.
Here is a photo of a statue of Mr. Franklin. It was made with over 1800 keys, which were donated by schoolchildren in Philadelphia.
Betsy Ross made the first American flag. She was asked to do so by George Washington. Her house is visited by millions of people every year. Flat Aubree liked it, too.
There are a lot of ways to get around in Philadelphia, and one of them is horse and carriage. Flat Aubree liked the horse, and he thought she was delicious!
There is a lot of public and free art all over the city. This is a mosaic piece. Can you find Flat Aubree?
Philadelphia is famous for it's cheesesteak sandwiches, soft pretzels, and water ice. That is like Italian Ice, but more watery. You can find these foods all over the city.
After all of that walking, both Flat Aubree and Austin were ready for sleep. Goodnight!
April 14, 2015
Today we headed to the beach, but it rained, so we will have to return another day. However, Flat Aubree still managed to have an adventure...at Jenkinson's Aquarium! She had fun with the sharks and other fish in the tanks.
She got picked up by one of our penguins, and one of the monkeys tried to pull her through the bars. You know...just an average day.
Flat Aubree even got to go into the "nursery" with the penguin babies.
April 19, 2015
It was sunny and bright out today, so we went to the beach at Manasquan, NJ. Flat Aubree wore sunglasses and had sunscreen to protect her from UV rays.
The Atlantic Ocean was too cold for swimming or surfing, but she had fun finding seashells, reading on her towel, and watching the gulls.
There are many types of gulls in New Jersey. They live close to the ocean because that's where the food is plentiful. They eat fish, clams, mussels, oysters, insects, and even people food. They will sometimes take food out of your hand, and sometimes they will just steal your sandwich! If a gull finds a clamshell, he will fly to the rocks and drop it, breaking it open so he can get the clam. Isn't that amazing?
In the photo below, a lucky gull has some seaweed in his mouth. He will pick through the weed to find something that he likes, perhaps a small fish or seastar.
These gulls are checking out whatever the tide brings in. Different birds will eat different things, according to the size of their beaks, so they don't have to fight over food.
Maybe next time it won't be so cold, and Flat Aubree can try surfing!
April 23, 2015
Flat Aubree came to work with Marlene in another beach town, Ocean City, NJ. Marlene works for Scholastic Book Fairs, and Flat Aubree had fun hiding among the books. Do you see her?
April 25 & 26th, 2015 - Montreal, Canada
April 25, 2015 -
Flat Aubree made it to Montreal in Quebec, Canada for a weekend concert and sightseeing. Quebec is a province in Canada where they speak French!
They are known for their wood fired bagels, and Flat Aubree was only too happy to indulge. They make them in a wood burning stove like some people make pizza. She got to watch them making some bagels before trying an everything bagel with smoked meat. She also got some hot chocolate since it was snowing outside.
April 26, 2015 -
Flat Aubree went to the Montreal Olympic Stadium and the Montreal Botanical Gardens today. While at the botanical gardens, she saw a wild fox family getting some sun.
May 3, 2015
Flat Aubree has been staying in New Jersey with Marlene and Michael, who are good friends with Aubree's Aunt Kristy and Uncle Kris. Also in the home is Austin, a yellow labrador/golden retriever puppy. He is nearly a year old, so he is just about fully grown. The special thing about Austin is that he is a future Guide Dog for the Seeing Eye. Someday soon he will be leading and helping a person who cannot see.
The Seeing Eye is an organization that trains dogs for the use of people who are visually impaired or blind. People come from all over the USA , Canada, and even Puerto Rico for one of these helper dogs. They stay here in New Jersey for about 4 weeks, getting used to their new dog, and learning how to care for them. In return, the dogs will keep their new people out of danger, walking them around dangerous things, like low branches, garbage cans on sidewalks, and not letting them cross the street when a car is coming.
All of that training is done in about 4 months by the wonderful trainers at the Seeing Eye. Marlene and Michael are puppy raisers. They get the puppies when they are 7 weeks old, and have him until he is a year. If you've ever had a puppy, you know what comes next. Housebreaking ! Teaching the pup to go outside for his bathroom time. Also, teaching him commands, like "come", "sit", "down" and "rest". They take the pups everywhere, into stores, restaurants, movies, even buses and trains. All of those experiences are good for the dogs, because they will be going wherever the blind person wants to go, and this gets them used to different situations.
Today Austin and some of the other puppies walked on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant. Flat Aubree wasn't afraid at all of being near them, she loved their puppy kisses. There is a black lab, 2 German Shepherds, and Austin.
Remember, if you seeing someone with a service dog, that dog is working and shouldn't be disturbed. He or she is very busy keeping their person safe.