Friday, May 1, 2009

Day 34 - DC to New Jersey

Greetings from the Jersey shore. We started the day with a brief look at the World War II Memorial and then left for Jersey. Stopped a bit in Baltimore and the National Aquarium. A wonderful place. Don't miss it if ever in Baltimore. A little rainy, but uneventful. I'm spending time with my cousin Kathy Schmidinger and her husband, Bob at their home in Brick, NJ. Introducing Bob McClurg to Bob Schmidinger and his son Bobby, was interesting. It went something like this: Bob, Bob. Bob, Bob. Bob, Bobby. Bobby, Bob. (and then another guy showed up who said his name was, "Not Bob.")

I used to summer in this area when a tiny tot and lived for a year in Manasquan, NJ when I was a much older 9 year-old. Will be presenting at Manasquan Elementary (my third grade alma mater) on Monday.

Day 33 - Stanton Elementary, Washington, DC

We saw 133 little ones (kindergarteners, first and second graders) that were among the most enthusiastic and appreciative we've seen to date. Our contact, the science teacher, Hardett Taylor-Brown was most gracious and provided a terrific spread for lunch. It refused to rain, so all six classes were able to participate. We've been incredibly lucky as far as the weather is concerned: No rainouts of the program. It has rained only a couple of timesw during the entire trip and then it was on travel days.

We got to see some of the sights in DC, including the remarkable FDR Memorial...DC at night is a special place and hopefully the children at Stanton Elementary will be able to enjoy the unique things their city has to offer.

Today DC, tomorrow the world. Well, New Jersey anyway.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 32 - Lynchburg to DC

Visited the battlefields at Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania, VA (the photo was taken at Bloody Angle, Spotsylvania). The Battle was in May of 1863. Hand to hand, rifles as clubs (and spears), knives, blood and mud - brother against brother...and of course, it rained.

Tomorrow little ones (K and 1st graders) at Stanton Elementary School in DC get to experience the TPCruiser.

See what the Lynchburg paper had to say about the Great American Sea Star Trek:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 31 - Linkhorne Elementary School - Lynchburg

I love my job. Here a girl catches sight of the TidePool Cruiser's latest addition: a flying fish! Unfortunately it flew the coop and the kids in DC (our next stop) won't be seeing it. Too bad it was indeed a rare sight.

The students at Linkhorne (133 third and fourth graders) were exceptional. (In a good way.) I wish I could go back. One girl asked if we'd be back next year when she will be in fourth grade - she wanted to see it again.

Tomorrow it's on to our nation's capitol. Two more schools to visit before our last one in Connecticut.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 30 - Lynchburg, VA

Spent day preparing for Linkhorne Elementary School tomorrow. Got a chance to explore the Blackwater Creek Trail. We're staying at a great B&B called The Residence. It was the home of the first president of Randolph-Macon Woman's College (yes, Woman's not Women's). I'm in the room where Pearl S. Buck stayed (among others, including Liz Taylor...)

The wildflowers are blooming.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 29 - Virginia still

Had a GREAT day...I was carded at Luray Caverns. They didn't believe I was 62. But then again, compared to a 300 million year old stalactite, I guess I'm lookin' pretty good. Arrived in Lynchburg after a stop at Appomattox Court House where Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant. More Civil War site exploring tomorrow. We had dinner with an old friend, Cynthia, from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts days, and her husband, Walter, her daughter, Verity, her husband Jonathan and their friend, Craig. Delicious Yankee pot roast in Dixie. Couldn't have been better.

Met a student from Linkhorne Elementary today also. That's where the TidePool Cruiser stops next. Looking forward to it. Then DC, NJ and CT. Inching closer and closer to my new home and more teaching.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 28- Into Virginia

This was a day of gratitude - eastern West Virginia has some of the most beautiful scenery we had yet seen... but it was outdone by western Virginia. Beautiful farms with rolling hills, cattle grazing, silos and barns being reclaimed by the weeds and grasses overtaking their previous spots on the landscape...fields of wildflowers...bright sunshine with a few very white clouds scattered here and there...summer temperatures. I felt a wave of gratitude; thankful that I was able to see these wonderful things; grateful for the opportunity to travel these roads...exposing young people to the wonders of the Pacific and motivating them to act to preserve their local waters.

The day started with a visit to the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV. They were celebrating Earth Day and several organizations had exhibits there. (The masked figure in the photo is part of a sculpture outside the Center.)

We then headed for Virginia. Even when we experienced a flat tire I had a chance to be grateful...Bob was there to change it. (I helped, a little.) See the photo - well, someone had to document the event. Even when we found out that the tire could not be repaired, I was grateful. (I'm still not over my credit limit and could afford to buy a new one.)

And finally, I'm grateful that VMI was having a reunion of the Class of '69 and there were no rooms available in Lexington, VA because we wound up in Staunton (pronounced Stanton), VA a beautiful little town with a Bistro with the best food I've had on this trip (except for the home made crab cakes that Maggie Dearnley cooked for me in Little Rock).

But even Staunton has graffiti...See top photo.