THE HANSON FAMILY JOURNAL

               

           

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Table of Contents

December 2003

  January 2004

  February 2004

  March 2004

  April 2004

  May 2004

  June 2004

July 2004

 

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          December 2003

                December 18th, 2003

            Assuming Boston isn't hit with yet another Nor'easter, we plan to head out a few days after Christmas.   First stop, Asheville, N.C.  We already
miss our New England friends and are extremely grateful for the help we've
received from so many.  We'll be in touch.  Happy Holidays!
 

               Back to Top

          January 2004

               January 5th, 2004

            Next stop (after Summit, NJ) was Hershey Pennsylvania, where we spent a
couple of hours touring "Chocolate World."  That Night, we drove to Maryland, where we parked, bought groceries, made dinner, and went to sleep at a Wal-Mart in Maryland.   We slept very well, and did not get out until the following day around noon.

            January 15th, 2004

            In Maryland, we began to see an occasional mobile home.  By North Carolina, mobile home parks were quite common.  By southern Georgia, mobile home parks included the word ďEstatesĒ somewhere in their names.  In Florida, mobile home parks have grand entrances with fountains and meridians.  So far, RVs correlate with mobile homes.  Other RVs on the road were all but non-existent until Virginia.  RVs traveling northward were rarely seen until Georgia.  In Florida, the RVs are so thick that Wal-Mart stores prohibit boon docking, lest their parking lot be transformed into a campsite.  And campsite rates between Savannah and St. Augustine nearly doubled.  Billboards for ďadultĒ entertainment did not begin to pop up until South Carolina, around the same place where the ďJesus is LordĒ billboards began to emerge.  There seems to be a sort of arms race between those appealing to the spirit and those appealing to the flesh.  Patches of green grass began to appear in Tennessee Ė the same state where drivers are presumed gullible enough to fall for the ďSpeed Limits Enforced by AircraftĒ signs along the interstate.  We saw our first palm tree in South Carolina.  We first noticed flying insects Ė on our windshield, for instance --  in Georgia.  We saw our first tent camper in Northern Florida.  Our first encounter with wicked funny accents: South Carolina.  We sit tonight in the oldest city in North America (or something like that) Ė St. Augustine, Florida.  Sunshine and temperatures in the 70s is the forecast for next four days.  Single digits back in Boston.  Today, we store the winter jackets in the belly bays.  Two weeks of traveling, and it appears weíve made it.

            January 20, 2004

                           Hi,

              Iím Ian.  This is my diary entry.  Know whatís most fun about the Journey when weíre on the trip?  I get to play Game Boy.  But the girls  wonít get me the Game Boy.  Thatís so mean.  But the rest is really fun.  I get to reach the food, so I can get stuff from the pantry.  But know whatís the funnest about it?  I get to tickle my back with that new thing.  But the rest is kinda fun.  I got lots of new stuff, like Care Bear books.  I like the video player in the RV, but what we donít have in there is Sponge Bob Square Pants.  But the rest is kind of perfect.  My favorite thing to do is play with my Mr. Potato.  And Iím gonna find my potato heads.  Iím gonna find Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head.  I forgot them at Grandma Gaye Gayeís. 

We go to Hershey.  And we went on this big boat.  I thought it was a roller coaster thing.  But it wasnít.  It was really cool.

I saw Pat at Asheville and Megan, Claire, Bridgette, Auntie Erin, Uncle Jeff . . . all these people.  It was really fun.  We go to coffee shops and did all this fun stuff. 

And Iím four.  My birthday was really fun.  I invited all these people.  I donít remember their names:  Petee, Zack, Julia, Jack, Grace . . . oh man!  I didnít invite Sean.  Thatís ok, though.  I had good friends there.  I didnít have his address.

We go to Savannah.   We were at this different campsite:  ďWhispering Pines.Ē   I didnít really like it there, but it was ok.  I went to a park.  It was really really fun.  We were playing this game.  Dad was playing.  Mom was playing.  Emily was playing.  Erin was playing. 

St. Augustine was really fun.  We got a little cute koalas.  They were fun.  We were doing all kinds of stuff. We went on the ghost tours.  I didnít like that.  It was really bad.  I didnít like the job they did on it was really bad.  You just, like, looked at this stuff.  It was not that ghosty.  You should go there and see how bad it is. 

Cape Canaveral was fun too.  It was the space thing.  I didnít like the movies.  They were loud.  I didnít like them.  I didnít like moon rocket.  But the rest was really good.

At the Christmas house the dogs were so cute Ė Panda, TeeCee, and Reggie.  [Is that all?  One was blind.  Which one was blind?]  TeeCee was blind.  He was so cute.  You had to pet him very slowly.  Grandma and Grandpa:  we were going to ďSweet TomatoesĒ or ďSweet PotatoesĒ or something like that.  It was really good.   Swimming was really fun.  We did a lot of stuff there.  It was awesome.

Alinne sent me this card.  I liked it.  It had Sponge Bob and Arnold on it. 

Then Dad and I went to the grocery store.  It was funny.  I had to get away from the cart before it got me.

Emily and Erin are not cleaning up their mess.  Mom is doing the bills. 

Thatís my diary entry.  What do you think of it?

 

February 2004

February 4th, 2004

                        Hi,

             Iím Ian.  This is my diary entry for Englewood.  I live in an RV.  I have lots of books, but not really.  I have Care Bear books.  And I just got something from Barnes & Noble Ė this Cat in the Hat thing Ė and I really like it.  Itís this arts and crafts thing.

And we saw Ryanís dog named Heidi. Sheís really really cute.

 I got bitten by a fire ant, but that just kinda itched me; it didnít really hurt.  I was screaming so much we had to go check on it.  The ant was a bull ant or a red ant; I couldnít tell.  Ryan told me about those. 

 We have like a huge Winnebago.  Itís so long.  It can fit one, two, fee, four or five people. 

 I go to Pelican Petes, and I rided on a big race car, and the race car goed super fast.  Then we go to Sweet Tomatoes tonight.  That was fun.  We did all this fun stuff that I canít remember.  Iíll think of some more.

 And I played with Ryan.  And they had Playhouse Disney.  It was fun at Ryanís house.  We goed to the beach playground.  They had a little kidsí pirate ship.  That was fun.  And we goed in the woods.  And we goed down a path.  And right where we accidentally stepped in ant piles Ė bull ants and red ants.  THAT was not very fun.

 At Ryanís house and grandpaís and grandmaís house we watched the Superbowl.  And our favorite team, the Patriots, won.  It was so awesome.  So cool. 

 It was fun at Ryanís house.  We made up this thing.  He put lots of toys in it and calls it ďtoyland.Ē  And thereís the big road called ďHeidi Reiser RoadĒ that Ryan got to name. 

 Me and Ryan let one of the Patriots balloons go all the way up in the sky.  That was a beauty.  Itís going to go all the way to Massachusetts or Sarasota, or Michigan, or North Carolina.

 Weíre going to leave tomorrow.  Iím glad that Iím going to go in some ways, but Iím not in others.  Iím going to miss Ryan and Grandma and Grandpa.  But the good part is that weíre going to New Orleans and Austin, Texas.  I think that theyíre going to have the marathon there.

 Know whatís funny about this diary?  Itís on the computer.  Itís not like a real book.

 Thatís my diary entry.

February 8, 2004

 Hi,

 Iím Ian.  This is my diary entry from New Orleans. 

 Itís fun in my RV . . . Winnebago DL.  Itís really neat because I can reach the water, but I canít reach the cups. We went to a parade.  It was fun because we got lots of stuff Ė lots of necklaces.  We saw these marching bands and these big floats: thatís where the necklaces got throwed.  And I got new cups.   And I found two dollars when I was walking with Mom.  They were laying down under each other.  And I got to get a hot chocolate, lollipop, and lemon cake.

 And I got a new dragon.  I caught it.  Someone was throwing it from that top little like deck thing Ė like a big building deck.  I didnít like it because they just throwed one dragon.  I wanted two.  But it was fun.  New Orleans is the best.

 I get to lots of stuff here.  I got to make new things tonight with a road, and a person, and a house.  And at New Orleans, we goed to the Dragon Masters.  That was funny.  They flipped over lots of girls and one boy.  It was cool.  And one did the chicken wing.  It was funny.

 And we went to stores with feather masks.  There was lots of masks.  Like hard, metal masks.  And I got a cool one with feathers on it. 

 We went to a diner, and that was fun.  I got french fries, grilled cheese, and catsup.  And I got a balloon.  But it popped.

 We walked up to this guy.  He was all silver.  He was a cowboy.  And when you put a dollar in him, he would move and go chooo chooo chooo with his gun.  He looked like a real guy.  He was a real guy.  He looked like he was metal.  And there were three of them. 

 Weíre in an RV park.  Itís good.  Itís just that people are moving and we donít have cable and stuff.  If we had cable, Iíd watch ďSponge Bob Square Pants and ďLeave it to the Beaver.Ē  

 Thatís my diary entry.  Bye bye.

February 9th, 2004

We just arrived in Houston after a terrific trip out of Florida and several memorable days in New Orleans.  Happened to get there at the preliminary
stages of Mardi Gras, and kids enjoyed the (relatively sober) festivities -- including the Li'l Rascals parade.  We're now looking forward to three
(rainy) days in our old home town.  We'll see some old friends, visit some old spots, and eat lots of food from several of our old favorite
restaurants.  From here, we head to Austin.  Please sign our guestbook!

February 13, 2004

 Hi,

 Iím Ian.  The is my Houston diary.  Dadís dad died.  And we went to see his graveyard.  That was fun.  He was buried in a box or something.  And the rest are buried in caskets. 

 We went to this place Ė the Galleria Ė and they had bunches and bunches of koalas there.  And they had people ice skating.  And we goed to the place to see if there was a koala Ė a toy store Ė and the whole store was out of business. 

 We goed to eat at Molinas.  I got this yummy bequeso or something.  I donít know what it was called.  We ate some chips and something I donít like.  I like the beans, the rice, the chips, and the dip.  The salsa was kind of too hot.  But the salsa in our RV Winnebago is good.

 And we went on an elevator ride in the downtown.  There was lots of big tall buildings. 

 And we went to this grocery store and they had this toothpaste.  And Erin and me tried it, and it was soooo yucky.  It was bubble gummy.

 We went to Rice.  There was this really fun soap that comes out like foam.  It was cool.  Stuff like that was fun.  And we took some pictures of Fuzzy, and that was funny.  And it was raining the whole time, and I got to hold the umbrella. 

 We went to House of Pies.  It was my favorite.  They had this great sauce that I love.  And we tried to buy it, but they donít have it.

 We goed to Hansonís Frame Shop.  When Dadís dad died Ė this is my dad, and itís his dad, so I call it Dadís dad Ė he got a heart attack and he got buried.  And I think they burned him and they buried him different.  And the frame shop had like all these pictures.  They gave us a cool one for the RV.  Itís our name:  ďHansonís Frame Shop,Ē and so I like it.  We met Nellie, Ervin, Craig, and Janet, and I donít know the rest of their names.  We looked at some pictures.  We looked at some kid pictures, and there was like ďLion KingĒ and stuff like that Ė it was all Disney (no Nickelodeon and no PBS).  And I rode in this pickup truck.  I didnít know it was called a pickup truck.  It was different.  Ervin and Janet comed in the truck with us to go to the restaurant.  And they comed to our Winnebago thing after. 

 It was fun.  Is that a good one?  Is that a good diary entry?  Thatís it.  Thatís my diary entry.

February 14th, 2004

Made it to the great city of Austin!  Don't give up on us.  The website
will will have many additions soon.

February 19th, 2004

Hi Friends! We made it to Austin -- one of favorite cities on the planet. We've spent the last few days reuniting with family and dear friends. After surviving an Austin blizzard (almost 2 inches of snow!) on Friday night, Kathleen and I ran the Austin Marathon in perfect temperatures on Sunday morning. Kathleen ran despite a bad cold and an unenthusiastic knee.  It was one of our favorite marathon's ever, in large part because Pam & Bill brought our kids to cheer us on for part of it, and because Bill joined us for last third. We are grateful to all the people who helped us prepare for this marathon: Laura, Pat, Megan, Erin, Jeff, Grandma Gaye-Gaye, Papa Stan, Grandma BaBa, Papa Pat, Pam & Bill, Emily, Erin, & Ian, and to the many others who volunteered to help. We'll be back with more news soon.
Please sign our guestbook!

We are loving Austin!  Great city, family, friends, music, food, campground, weather, sunsets . ..                  

February 23rd, 2004

We finally have managed to pull ourselves away from Austin -- our favorite city so far.   It's been wonderful reuniting with family and old friends and meeting new ones.  Thanks to you all!  We're now off for San Antonio for two days, then up to Dallas to visit old New England friends: Debbie, David, and Amy.   (The kids are now as addicted to Tex-Mex food as their parents.)

February 24th, 2004

Hi,  Iím Ian.

 This is my Austin diary entry.  This is me.  I live in an RV and we goed to the campsite and we goed in the pool and had breakfast.  It was fun.  And I got my special ring.

 We goed to the grocery store and I got the best stuff.  I got raisin bran, and I really love it.  And I got salsa. 

 We goed to Uncle Billís and Aunt Pamís house.  And me and Miles and the two dogs (Murphy and Jewel) and we played this game in his room.  He had a huuuuuge pencil in his room. It was giant.  We put eyes and noses, a really funny mask, with a funny nose on it, and I tried to fight it.  And there was air guns that got air at you.  That was fun.    And we goed to a restaurant.  And it was so hot.  I was like really hot.  At Milesís house we did Nintendo.  We did the violent Spiderman.  The one for not kids my age.  We played a game where the girls goed away from Ian and Miles.  And we got some pizza.  I like playing with Miles and Amanda.     

 And we went over to Tammyís house, and Mike and Travis, and Hunterís house.  I found a foot on the street but I lost it.   Not a real personís foot.  It was like a toy foot. We made a video there.  I was an alien.  And we did buttboarding.  You sit on a skateboard and go down the hill.  And I did a huge part of the hill and I was like ďWhoaaa!Ē  It was so much fun.   We did fireworks, but not very big ones.  Hunter and Travisís Dad did them.  I liked the one that spins.  And I liked the stick thingys that I got to carry Ė they were like they were on fire.  We made movies, with credits and stuff, because we thought it would be funny.   It was with a video camera. 

We goed to University of Texas and we went in lots of buildings.  My favorite was the dinosaur museum.  And we walked up to the top of a parking garage and looked over.  It was fun.

We also goed over to see Ely and Aaron.  We played magic thumbs.  We played basketball.  And we played with this windup toy.  Iím the only one who played with the monkey, who gets his banana down, and then flips.   Then we played Nintendo, then we goed home.

Then the next day we saw these girls, Jemma and Mariah.  We goed to the farmersí market.  I got a balloon that popped.  We made it into a snake.  We saw Chicken Dog.  He was white with orange spots.  He bited the guy who was juggling Ė it was actually pretend.

 We goed to look at houses.  That was fun.  I liked the first one, because I liked the big closets.

 We also goed to the Capital building.  When you stand on the circle, when you clapped on it, it was cool.  It did like a big echo.  We goed upstairs and goed in rooms.  Rooms where they vote and stuff.  Something like that.  Not like a sleeping room.

Is that a good diary entry? That was my diary entry.

February 26, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 (Look, that has two ďDsĒ Ė you know, a ďDĒ and a ďDĒ). 

 I got a caramel apple today.  That was really good.  Anyway, we goed to San Antonio, and I got this really cool hat Ė a cowboy hat.  And I got a little hat for doodads.  The doodads have little heart-shaped legs.  And they have a little cotton ball head, and two googly eyes. 

 San Antonio was so fun.  That cool movie that I saw was awesome.  It was about lots of fights and stuff.  It was a movie of old people that didnít have any money.  They had to sew the clothes they need, but they didnít show that on the movie.  It was of the Alamo.  It was fun.  It wasnít scary.  It was fine. 

 Right now I have my hat on.

 We went to the market.  And we went to this restaurant.  It was like a Mexican restaurant. The chili con queso was so good.  I got this cool hat.  I think I already said that.  Erin got this really pretty dress.  What did Emily get?  I keep forgetting.  Emily got this lady thingy holding flowers and some flowers.

 We goed down through a hotel and we did the river walk.  It was so fun.  And I walked so hard that my foot got hot and my toes got itchy.  I didnít like that.  We saw like all this water and boats going by. And we saw these little cute ducks.  I wanted to take a picture but it didnít work.  I wanted to catch one and treat him really good.  Iíd take the whole family of ducks.  And I would catch all of the lizards in Florida Ė like sixty hundred.  And thatís how many Iím really going to get.  Iím going to putíem in a cage and giveíem some rocks and water.  Thatís what they like.  And Iím going to give them some lizard food and some flies for them to eat.  And Iím gonna put a frog in there.  And for the lizards, Iím gonna put a big snow globe around it.  And lights.  And a spinning light right on top.  Then on the top, Iím gonna say, ďDonít Touch!Ē  And then Iím gonna tape it.  There will be picture of someone touching it, and then thereíll be a big circle and line through it.  And Iím gonna catch a bird.  I have a net.  Maybe Iím gonna catch a bird.   And Iím gonna treatím really good.

 And I taked a picture with those band guys.  It was at the river walk.  

Can I tell a joke in this?  I have a joke for you.  Knock knock.  Whoís there?  A big koala.  We just got a new koala today. 

 Is that a good one?  Thatís all we did.  Thatís my diary entry.

February 29, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 I like this diary because sometimes I get to do jokes.  This time too.  Knock knock.  Whose there?  Kangaroo and Koala. 

 We went to Dallas.  We went to Amyís playroom and we played Legos.  I build like cars. They build like a huge thing.  It was a Lego school that had been a mansion.  And we did lots of fun stuff.  David and Debbie was there.  He was the one that was helping me. 

 We goed to Kennedy today.  There were lots of fun stuff.  But it was kinda grownup.  But I got these yummy yummy yummy Dorito chips.  They were so good Ė cheesy and stuff.  They were so tasty.  I went down with Mom to get them.  My taste is still going on.   We saw some pictures.  Pictures of him and his car.  I saw someone next to him.  There were cars that were like limousines and they were fancy.  And then one guy out the window shooted and got Kennedy Ė the President.  He died.  It killed him.  It was gun power.  They got the guy who shot him in jail.  He had a red hat.  He was just like a normal guy.  He had a gun. 

 And we goed to Amyís house.  And she got a sleepover.  Then she came to our house and we had a sleepover.  Amy stayed here.  We just sleeped over and watched ďThe Parent Trap.Ē  Then the next day, we goed to their house.  I pumped the dough.  I donít know what kinda dough it was.  It was pizza dough.  Not pizza dough.  It was spaghetti dough.  I pumped it.  Then, after that, we ate dinner.  I liked the shells better than the spaghetti. 

It was fun.  Then we goed home.  It was lots of fun.

 Thatís my diary entry.

"Filling Up" Summary of February

March 2004

March 2, 2004

We had a terrific time in Dallas.  Thanks Debbie, David, and Amy!  We're
now off to . . . well . . . we're not sure.  We're heading to Fossil Rim in
Glen Rose, Texas for a day or so.  Mid-week we hope to meet up with some
fellow, traveling home-schoolers at a ranch in Kerrville, Texas.  The
weather may change those plans.  Rain and thunderstorms forecasted for next
several days.   Thanks for checking our website!

March 3, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 This morning there were these chickens that cock-a-doodle-dooíd outside.  We feeded them sunflower seeds. 

 Then we goed to an animal park.  And there were these really gross kinds of ostriches.  And they had red eyes and black things.  They were gross.  And they looked right in our windows.  It was so scary.  And we saw this cool kind of deer with like wiggly horns.  We saw, like, some cheetahs, that could bite your head off. 

 In Florida Ryan told me something amazing.  There was this big blonde dog, and Ryan said it could bite Heidiís head off in like twenty seconds.

 We saw these big guys that bump their heads together.  They were like rhinoceros.  It was so cool.  There were these deer that had black and white on them and they had these cool wiggly ears.  I mean horns.  We saw zebras.  We saw like ten zebras.   They poked their heads in the window.   But they said if you feed them out of your hands like this, theyíll bite you.  But if you throw it out on the ground they wonít. 

 Iím going to tell a joke right now.  Knock knock.  Whose there?  Big Koala.  But there wasnít any koalas in that park. 

 We had such a long drive today.  I got car sick.  That was a bad thing. 

 Weíre in Kerrville. Weíre in a ranch, with people in it.  Itís cool.  Today, we meet these boys.  And Iím going to go horseriding.  And itís going to be really fun.   A different family is going to come too.  Tonight, me and the boys hanged out together.  We checked out their RV.  They have like a huge thing, like a timer, except it was gray and silver.  It was on the wall and it was flat and it was counting.  We went over to the gameroom.  There was one game that was broken, because the plug thing went on fire.  The side of the thing had a hole.  The other kids played ďevil ping pong.Ē  It was so funny.  We played this game where we passed the ball with their hands.  Then we played this game with soccer people, and you kick the ball and try to score points.  I liked looking at the broken one. 

 I have a lucky penny.  I keep it in my wallet.  I got it from a house place.  That guy gave it to me.  That guy that drived the truck. And Iím going to crush it in a machine.  You see that circle and then you crank it around.  You put some more money in it and then you crush it.  Itís going to turn into an oval thing and it changes, like, the symbol thing.  So then the penny is going to be double lucky.

 Right now, there is a lot of wind out there.   Thereís going to be a big rain storm tonight.

 Thatís my diary entry.

March 6, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 Weíre at a ranch.  New friends come.  And they were really fun to play with.   Weíre gonna leave tomorrow.  

 Yesterday, I rided a horse.  He didnít buck me.  He went around in circles.  It shaked a little bit.  It made me nervous but not scared.   I didnít fall off. 

 Today, we goed to the hot tub.  That was really cool.  The other two pools were FREEZING!  I was like jumping in a big circle pool.  It was a kiddy pool.  It was so weird.  It was cold and it wasnít even deep.  I goed from the hot tub like this to the tiny kiddy pool.  It was so cold.  I got in the big pool too. 

 We went on the hay ride.  The horses pulled us.  When the horses pulled us, it was really fun.  They took us to a place where we could eat.  We ate sausage, rolls, beans.  I had tofu sausage, but the rolls were my favorite.  They tasted good.  We did símores.  I had two, because they were so messy, and they falled off. 

 After that, I played Legos; we were making a ranch.  But we didnít even make it.  It was just like legos everywhere.  I played cowboys and Indians with Johnny.  I brought them over. 

 Then we had a campfire, and we had hotdog and potato.  And when we had potato chips, they were so good.  I breaked them in half so I could have more.

 There were ants outside our RV.  They already built their ant system.  It was totally flat.  It didnít have any holes.  I saw them moving at night.  They donít sleep in beds.  They donít even know about beds.   The only ants that are bad to you are bull ants Ė that Ryan told me about Ė fire ants, red ants, and I saw these tiny ants that bite you.  These ants are not good.  Maybe they were bull ants and maybe they were little tiny ants. 

 Bull ants actually fight like a bull.  No, they donít fight.  Ryan told me that the bull ants donít like the fire ants and the fire ants donít like the bull ants and the tiny ants donít like the other ants.  And the red ants are all in different families and they donít get along.  The carpenter ants chew on wood, not on bodies.  They can get inside your house.  Once I saw big black ants that looked like carpenter ants eating a worm.  It was a HUGE worm.  It was right next to our driveway, when Ermogenes was there.  The worm was so big and disgusting.  I like ants when theyíre not eating things.  One time I told Mom that there was something in my arm, and it was a carpenter ant.  It died because I squeezed it and didnít even know it.  The bull ants live in Florida in trees like this and theyíre like inside the ďvĒ thingy.  Iíve never been bit by the tiny ants.  Never ever ever ever ever. 

 I wanna get some ants at my ant place to put in these little things with holes Ė little tiny holes that they canít get out but so they get some air.  We need dirt. You could put little decorations from fish tanks in there.  And I have an idea.  Do you think I can get some red ants at the pet store?   Do they send them on a plane?  Do you ask the people at the pet store?  How do you get them?  Do they eat worms?  We gotta get some worms.  Letís read about red ants on the internet.  Not now, but when we go to a coffee shop or something.

 Now, Iím going to tell you everything I know about mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes bite people.  Thatís it.  The lessonís over, because thatís all I know. 

 Tonight, we played flashlight tag.  I was with Joey. We were good.  We hided in a building in the campsite.  And we hided under the merry-go-round.   My favorite part was playing flashlight tag.

 Our game boy goes in a backpack.   And when Iím going to school, Iím going to take it.  When I leave, Iím going put it right on me.  Iíll put this backpack inside my other one.  And when itís recess, Iím going to take it outside and sit on the merry-go-round and play gameboy.  And even when Iím not on trips, I want to play gameboy, because itís in a backpack.  Itís like itís for school.   You get to play it all you want at recess.  I saw it on the ďRecess Gang.Ē  Itís a cartoon on Disney.  I saw it.  Itís cute.  So, I can pull it out when Iím bored and Iím dying to play Nintendo or something like that.  Iím going to sleep with this on.  Itís not uncomfortable.  It feels good.  Because I donít want to have to put it right back on in the morning.  Iíll sleep like this so it canít, like, hit my back.  Or I could sleep with it like a teddy bear, right next to me.  It has a handle.  Itís cool.  Iím going to sit with it on the whole ride.  Iím not going to play it the whole ride, because I donít want to waste the batteries.  I hope they come up with a waterproof gameboy.  You know what?  The boys next store, they did the same experiment we did.  They attached the headphones to their gameboy.  They have the first gameboy ever made.  They donít have a pack for it.  Ours is SP.  Theirs is white.  And itís HUGE!  . . . Game Boy, Game Boy, Ga-Ga-Ga-Game Boy.   

I get to tell a joke right now.  Knock knock.  Whoís there?  Bear. 

 That was my diary entry.              

March 7, 2004

Howdy! We're finally coming to the end of our time in the Lone-Star state, and we're headed to New Mexico. First, a day in Fredericksburg to do laundry! We just finished three magnificent days at the Lazy Hills Ranch with two other motorhomeschooling families: the Oberholtzers and the Smiths. The experience could not have been more enjoyable. Making new friends is great, but we don't miss our old ones any less. Thanks for staying in touch!

March 11, 2004

Hi friends!  We're in southern New Mexico exploring mountains, deserts, and caverns.  Last night, high winds rocked our RV, and this afternoon, after
driving through miles and miles of yucca plants and prickly-pear cacti, it started snowing on us in the Sacramento Mountains.  In Emily's words: "in
an hour we've moved from the Chihuahuan Desert to the Swiss Alps."  Ian put it this way:  "this is weird."   We've landed in Alamogordo.  We'll collect
our mail here, visit White Sands and then . . . who knows.  Thanks for checking in.
 

March 11, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 When we were driving out of Texas, we saw these awesome ants.  They were red and black.  We stopped at a stop place.  The ant hills were all covered with little rocks.  They were walking on an ant pile.  They didnít bite me.  There were lots of piles.  And after that, we played Frisbee. 

 We go to these caverns.  They were really fun.   It was really fun because it was really cool and stuff.  We saw this thing that looked like Gollumís cave.  They tried to scare me, but I know it was the family and not really those Lord of the Rings people, because I saw Erinís skirt and Dadís hair and Emilyís hat.   So when they tried to scare me, it didnít work.  I didnít even jump.  I didnít scream.  I didnít laugh.  And I didnít cry.  I said ďThat canít be them.Ē  At Ryanís house, it was crazy, because he was trying to tell me there was a monster.  And it scared me.  

 I gotta badge.  And I lost it.  Now Iím, like, where is my badge?  I got it because I filled in my book.  Me and mom, worked on it.  I drawed my person and I drawed stalagmitzes and stalactites.   The badge was really cool.  If I find it, Iím going to sew it on myself.  Iím going to get a white shirt that has buttons, and Iím going to be a junior ranger guy.  Itís going to be cool.  Then Iíll be like that guy who gives you the badges.  And they walk around.

 I have a tiny bruise on my leg.  I donít know where I got it from.  Itís cool looking on me.

 Yesterday, we went to a Mexican restaurant.  It was called Lucyís.  They didnít have that much good chili con queso.  I didnít like the mild kind.  They had kinda good french fries.  And Dad told me about the one he used to work at and he told me that Iíd love those french fries.  But they went out of business, so we canít go.

 And we cleaned the RV yesterday.  That was really fun.  I cleaned it with a furry brush.  I cleaned the front where it says ďWinnebago.Ē   Dad and I did laundry.  They had a table.  I had my crayons and dad had his computer.  So it was perfect.

 And now I have a joke: Knock knock.  Whoís there?  Big Koala.  Oh yeah!!!

 Today, the drive was long.  For like the whole time I was playing Gameboy.  Mom had to charge it, so I had to use the old one.  I saw mountains that we bumped through.  I tried to lay down when we were going through the mountains to make it fun.  But it was nothing.  It was just like laying there.  I saw cactuses.  There was snow on the ground.  It was weird. 

 And after we got here we watched a video about these people.  And it was really cool, because it was about these people that walked into caverns.  They had backpacks and they explored the caverns.  It was cool.  We went to some caverns.  They talked about the same caverns, so that was cool.  And it was really funny.   They were swimming.  And their clothes would get the water dirty, so they swimmed naked in it or something like that.  It was so funny.  I saw, like, peopleís whole body . . . like their bums.  It was so funny. 

I saw a movie on a drive.  It was like a kidís movie and not an adult movie.  And it had Sponge Bob in it.  And they were ghostes, and they tried to scare everyone in town.  And that was the funniest.

 I like buying stuff at stores.  I get money by trading it at stores.  Like you get something and you have to pay.  So you give your money, and then you get some change, and then you put it in your wallet.  Then you have money in your wallet.  You know what I like to buy?  You know the things at the Totem Shop.  They are these googly balls and they have a string.  You put it on your finger and then you do that.   But they leak out, so you have to put them in the sink.  Maybe Iím going to collect them.  Iím going to put all the ones that I collect on my fingers and Iím going to keep them on there and walk around with them. And the light-up ones.  And Iím going to collect and buy them with my own money.  Every time I go to the Totem Shop or something Iím going to buy one and get two hundred. 

Is that a good diary entry?

         March 13, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 This is my Alamogordo diary.

 This morning we cleaned the RV at a Texaco or something.  We sprayed it.  It took a very long time.  It was really dirty.  I donít know why. 

We go to the dunes today, and that was really fun. It was White Sands.   We were sledding.  We had a, like, purple sled.  It was not like a sled that has a rope and then they pull you down.  It was like a circle sled.  We waxed it.  And after that we goed down on it.  It was like you were sitting on a mountain doing a picnic, and then you slided down.  And Erin goed down, and she hit her head.  We had to, like, flag somebody for help.  And we goed to the hospital, because Erin needed it.  Erin was fine at the hospital.  So we goed back home and we, like, went out to dinner Ė to Taco Bell. 

 When we were at Taco Bell, I drinked the wrong drink.  It was some fruit punch.  It was supposed to be water, but I liked it.   Then we went to a coffee place.  I winned Mom two games of checkers and I beated Emily at Candy Land.  Then we goed to the grocery store, and we got lots of stuff.  We got Snackwell cookies.  And thatís all I know that we got. 

Tomorrow, weíre going to leave.  I forgot where weíre going to.

 Know whatís hard?  Thinking about stuff.  Itís hard because, like, if you forget about something, but you know it, you have to try to think about it.  It gets harder and harder.  You canít feel it.  Itís like going down on a snowboard, but thereís not much snow.  Itís really hard.  Itís not like you banged your foot or something.  It is just tiring.  Itís like Iím hungry in the middle of it.  Thatís what it feels like.

 I want to tell a story.  OK?

 Once upon a time, there was Superman and Superduck.  They were doing their diaries, and evil was afoot.  So they goed to a Mexican restaurant and eated.  And there was bad guys in there, and they fighted.  And then Ian, Emily, and Erin showed up.  They were Superman, Superduck, and Supermermaid.  And they killed all the bad guys.  And then, they goed to a coffee place, and there was more evil afoot.  The people were making all the games weird. And there was a band, and the bad guys got the band ruined.  And the bad guys breaked all the glasses and they tried to kill all the people.  But Superman, Superduck, and Supermermaid got the bad guys.   And the policeman comed and shot the bad guys, and the policeman loved those good guys.  So the good guys went home. 

 I could be an animated writer for kids movies.  It would be like a story, not like a diary. 

 Thatís my diary.

March 18, 2004

We just spent four beautiful, warm days in the northern New Mexico.  From the well-named "Santa Fe Skies" RV park, we've explored Santa Fe and its environs.  To our delight, some of our fellow roadschoolers, the Smith family, checked into the same park, so we enjoyed a day playing with them.  Northern New Mexico is yet another breathtaking part of this country.  The broad, treeless sunsets are, by themselves, worth the trip.  Our journey takes us to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert for two days and then westward for as many weeks in Arizona -- that is, if current plans prevail.  Thanks for checking in!

March 18, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 This is my Santa Fe diary entry.  I got a charm necklace yesterday from a bubble gum machine.  It was in a bubble gum machine, but it wasnít bubble gum.

 We like this RV park.  Itís a good one.  You have a good view and stuff.  And they have nice people on the table.  And for kids they have mints that are free.

 We did the showers at this park, and I liked that.  Youíre nice and warm and stuff when youíre doing showers.  These showers have a mirror, so if youíre shaving or something you can look at yourself.  The handicapped shower is really big, but we used the little one.  The handicapped one doesnít even have a curtain or a mirror. 

 The other home schoolers came to this park.  They comed over to our house.  And we played a game Ė you have to draw something with your eyes closed.  I think thatís easy, but some people think itís hard.  I liked playing with Scott, because he was a boy.  I liked him because he wasnít mean.  We played this game, but it was for teenagers, but we werenít teenagers.  So it didnít work.  Yesterday, we played in the game room at this campsite.   We played this game that you had to make a tower, and then you picked one up. The top ones were easy; you just taked it off.  Once I won. So I got to go first, because the losers go after the winner.  And we played these magnet things, and you can build lots of towers.  After that they were playing other games, but they didnít include me very well, so I had to play their game.  And then we went home for lunch.

 We saw lots of tumble weeds, Scott and I did when we were heading to the game room. 

 Yesterday and today, we walked around Santa Fe a lot.  And we went to this color museum, and they had pretty colored pictures. 

 We goed to this Indian museum.   They had, like, Indian houses and stuff.  They were not houses.  It was just big holes Ė like a room Ė holes in the ground, but no beds are anything.  And we saw these pretend Indians.  And one was giving a shoe to the girl.  And we goed on this trail thing, and we watched a movie.  

 At Santa Fe, we walked around and looked at different outside markets and things.  They had like a little statute made of clay.  And it was a clay baby crying sitting on a leg.   And they had more stuff like that made of clay. 

 Yesterday, we went to another Indian museum.  And we were looking at pictures.  And then we go to a church.  And then we walked around on a maze.  You were turning and going on another path and turning again. 

 After that we went to the pizza place.  Thereís where I got my necklace.  The other home-schoolers were there Ė Scott, Stephanie, and Kelli.  Those are the only ones I knowed.  We goed in the game room at the Pizza restaurant.  And we ate dessert.  Then we went to the grocery store, and it was Whole Foods.  And we got Pirate Booty and different stuff.  Emily and Erin got flowers.  A man gave it to them.  He wanted to be nice and stuff. 

 The leprechauns came today.  That was exciting because they brought green M&Ms because itís leprechaun day.  And they gave me and my bear a leprechaun card.  And they got Erin like a black card.  Itís a different one, so sheís lucky.  And I got pennies.

 We were at Santa Fe tonight, and I got some rocks.  Dad told me that I couldnít get the rocks.  Then I asked Dad again.  He said, heíll look at the prices, but that heís not going to get them.  But then he did.  Thatís whatís funny.  I picked out a really sparkly one, and a rainbow one, and a yellow one with black thingies in it.  The rocks I put in a little bag that was blue.  Iím going to go get my rocks right now, because they are so awesome . . . .  Theyíre in this little bag. Iím holding my rocks right now, and I love them.  I got a see-through one.  I got a yellow with those things on it.  I got a pink one with lines.  And I got a little sparkly one.  And I got a green one.  And a little brown one with stripes and dots like the yellow one.  Whereís the bag.  Oh, I got it.

 And tonight, Erin got a Berenstein Bears book that sheís reading.  And I got rocks, but I just told you about that.  And Mom got some clothes at this, like, store.  And the woman at the store had a card, and we have a card, so she gave us her card, and we gave her our card.  I played with some toys Ė not the baby toys, but a Buzz Lightyear thing and some cars.   And I spied on the whole people there.  But Dad said I couldnít spy any more, so I did silly faces in the mirror.  Dad took pictures.

 Thatís my diary entry.

March 26th, 2004

We have spent almost one week in beautiful northern Arizona: four days in or near Flagstaff (Asheville's twin sister), and three days at the Grand Canyon National Park. It is no mystery why that park receives over five million visitors each year.   Truth is, the beauty is so powerful, it is exhausting.  We're strangely relieved to be out of there and headed southward, toward Sedona and Prescott and then to Tucson.  Still, we're already talking about someday returning to the Grand Canyon -- a time when we can trek to the bottom and camp on the lands of he Havasupi, the Native Americans who "are the Grand Canyon."  The two billion years revealed in the Canyon walls have us feeling humble and a little dazed.  But we haven't stopped missing our friends.  Please keep checking in!

March 29, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 This is my diary entry. 

 We saw this IMAX theater movie about the Grand Canyon.  We thought it was going to be scary, but I was making it up in my head.  I wasnít scared at all.  I loved it.  I saw a girl going on a rock and then other Indians coming and wanting to kill her or something.  It was weird. 

 We were in this campsite.  There was like all this Flintstone stuff.  There was a Flintstone Land.  There was a barbershop and a grocery store and stuff like that.  The best one that I loved was Bambam.  He was cute and he reminds me of someone who bangs stuff.  And there was this slide.  It went straight down.  It was this steep all the way down to the ground.  You climbed up the inside of the dinosaur, and you were going down like this. 

 The Grand Canyon was really pretty.  We goed on this little trail.   We walked down and up.  It wasnít scary.  I liked the mountains.  It was pretty.  I didnít like about it that rock climbers sometimes die on that thing.   We went on a hike, and Mom stepped in mule poop.  That was funny.  She said it was ok for me to tell people.

 We were coming back to the campsite at Grand Canyon.  And these moose things almost runned into the car.  They looked like mooses.  They were elk. 

 We got Junior Ranger badges.  We had to like talk to the lady to get our books.  And we had to do all this writing and crafts and stuff like that.   It was really fun getting it, because weíre collecting badges on our trip.  I learned, like, some stuff about Native Americans.  And when you see rocks, youíre not supposed to throw them, or bring them home.  Youíre not supposed to do nothing with rocks.  We didnít see the river. 

 Iím going to take lessons when we get home for clarinet.  My teacher for piano is going to teach me when I get home.  And I canít wait.

 Last night we swimmed.  We swimmed and then we went into the hot tub. We played this game.  You stay in the corners and if the person who counts picks you, then you have to go into the cold pool for a minute.  People comed, and we had to share and be nice.  We shared our floaties and everything. 

 This morning, this lady helped me when I fell down on my scooter and I bleeded.  She said ďare you going to live?Ē  That was nice.  I said to her, ďyes.Ē  Then I closed my eyes for a minute and she disappeared.  It was kind of weird that she disappeared.

 Today, we saw this little girl at a place.  She was six, I think.  And she was allowed to talk to strangers.  She was doing stuff like kicking and hand stands.  I thought she was nice, but I didnít like that she talked to strangers.  The parents should, like, get her in trouble or something.  Or she should stop it.  (But what if she finds out about our website and reads my diary?  I thought she was nice and stuff.)

 Today, we were in the red rocks.  We were on the Huckaby Trail.  We saw, like, mountains and bunnies and birds and stuff.  There were lots of ravens that we saw.  And we wanted to take a picture of these rocks.  They were, like, in a cage.  I walked with Dad and we talked about movies Ė like Sponge Bob, Mouse Hunt, and Misty.  Then we got lost.  We thought we were going the right way.  But then we had to jump on these rocks, and it was a really long trail. Then we saw a bridge.  The scariest part was that there was this cliff and it was right beside me.  It was like this and Iím, like, so scared.  We had to call a place for help.  And this taxi driver picked us up and took us to our car.   Everyone calls me a mountain goat, because Iíve been really good in those hikes. 

 Then we went to this Mexican restaurant.  I had french fries with ketchup and an enchilada.  I loved it.  For desert, I had sherbet ice cream.  I loved it.  It was ice cream and I love ice cream and this was really fruity.  And the person who gave us our food lived in Australia, and Erin loves Australia!

 Thatís my diary entry.

March 31, 2004

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, we went to this place.  It was a mine.  You go into this train thingy.  And you go inside this big mountain.  And they showed you how mules get blind in the dark.  And they showed you crystals in the walls and stuff.  And they talked to you and told you stuff.  It was like a dark cave.  But they didnít find it like caverns.  They didnít just find the big hole.  They made the hole.  They put something in it to punch a big hole in the ground.  It was dynamite, these stick thingies.  And you get to have these suits on.  They were yellow and had flashlights with a big battery on your bum, and it was SO heavy.  The flashlights were around your neck like this.   They were really cool.  On my head there was this hat.  It was a bright hat.  They were building hats.  But these ones they used for the caves they were working in. 

They didnít even know it, but I found crystals.  I couldnít take them out.  But they were in a little hole in the wall. I put my flashlight in the hole in the wall, and it had these little crystals on the sides.  I couldnít take it because it was stuck on the wall.  But maybe if I had a knife or a sword I could take it, but I didnít have one so I just looked at it. 

I liked the fake toy scorpion on the wall.  A kid or someone put it on there.  Or maybe a baby throwed it on.  Or maybe the parents didnít want the kid to have it.  I liked it because it was funny.  I knew it was fake.

And we went to a coffee shop at that little town.  The hot chocolate was really good.  I didnít drink it all because it stopped tasting so good.  And we got a Flintstone movie at that town.  And we got a different movie yesterday.  It was this old Western movie.  It was black and white.  They had fighting.  They had pushing.  They had dancing sometimes.  And they were riding horses.

Today, we checked out this campsite, and they had a little jacuzzi in your own front yards so you can play in the pool.  And tomorrow weíre going to go to that campsite. 

And, today, we almost got hit by a tire.  I thought it was a bird flying by.  Dad said ďduck!Ē  and I ducked, and I saw this black thing flying by.  It was a doosie.  It was bad.  It was actually a tire from a truck.   It flew right off.  It was crazy. It almost hit right on our Subaru Ė and we might have got killed.  It was off of a little truck, but it was a HUGE tire.   It was weird, like a bird flying so fast, but it was a tire.  We had to find it. 

I have a good a joke:  Why did the tire cross the road? 

Then we went to this chapel church, and it was beautiful. Mom went in first to see how pretty it was and she called us in.  It was pretty because it had lots of colors Ė like green, and red, and white.  They had holy water, and statues of God or Jesus in the church, and stuff like that.  It had a gift shop and public bathrooms and a museum.  It was a good church.

The rest of the family prayed for Betty.  Sheís the woman who was really old.  She lived in a house with lots of old people.  We would see her, like, at Christmas.  There would be lots of old people sitting down watching TV, talking, and doing stuff like that.  And we would give her things and talk with her.  She died recently because she was really old.  Everyone else was praying for her.  But, actually, I was praying for Kennedy, because he died too.

We saw big cactuses at a museum place.  It was a National Park.  They had long things and then, like, stick thingies coming out.  They were really big.  They were, like, big as a giant.  There were lots and lots of them.  I donít even know how manyThey were like arms Ė arms of a cactus.   I saw flowers on some of the cactus.  And we saw lots of ants.  They were walking everywhere.  One crawled right on my shoe.  I think they were red ants, but maybe not.  They were big big big Ė the size of carpenter ants.  But weíre bigger than them, so . . . .  They were nice because the one didnít even bite me.  There was rain and lightening.  Looking at the lightening was fun Ė it was going everywhere and it was so loud.  We were talking to the ranger.  He said how to get our badges for Junior Rangers tomorrow.  He said that weíre going to get backpacks.

We goed to a coffee shop tonight.  I didnít get a bouncy ball, but I wanted to.  We got a brownie and we did our Junior Ranger books while Dad was looking at the computer.  Sometimes Mom helped me with my Junior Ranger book, so I can get the badge.

 Thatís my diary entry.

April 2004

April 2, 2004

Hi friends.  We've nearly completed our tour of magnificent Arizona!  Southern Arizona may not have the large canyons of the north, but
we're pretty sure we've seen the tallest cacti we'll ever see.  We've even developed an appetite for western movies.  Another desert stop or two and
we should make it to Southern California, where we hope the folks are more welcoming to us than they were to Steinbeck's Joads.  We'll probably visit,
among other places, San Diego and Kathleen's childhood home, Palmdale, before heading eastward toward southern Nevada.  We've now completed 3 full
months on the road.  It's been wonderful so far, and assuming gas prices taper off, we have much to look forward to.  Thank you for staying with
us. 

Love, the Hansons

April 7, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 We went to Indio.  We were in this campsite that had a pool and showers.  And what we did there was walk to the pool. And when we got there, I jumped in.  I goed in without a bubble!  I jumped in without anything floatie, and I didnít even sink.  It wasnít scary; it was fine.  When I jumped in, it splashed this whole thingy.  It was like Pfffft!

 Then we came to this campsite.  Itís San Diego.  This campsite has an ocean and it has a beach.  It has motorboats and big ships.  And it has water skis and everything that goes in water.  And it has these cycle things with big wheels.  They go in water, but theyíre kinda slow.  And this campsite has a pool.  It has, like, three pools. 

 Last night, we roasted marshmallows.  And I got to do it by myself.  I was selling them, because mine were all getting burned, and I donít like them burned.  Know how they get burned?  The light on fire.  And last night, there was this guy snoring in our yard in a tent.  It was really loud.  It was, like, waking everybody up in the campsite.  It was so funny.  I thought everyone was going to come out of their RVs and say ďshut up!Ē  But, actually, they didnít. 

 We went to this zoo where there were koalas, and elephants, and giraffes, and bears.  It was the San Diego Zoo, and we celebrated Erinís birthday there.  I got this new panda bear, and I love it.  It has this booklet thing on it.  It says all about Pandas, about how they survive, how they get treated, how they get killed, and how they survive.  And they survive not that good.  But this one survived, and heís so cute.  And we saw real pandas today, and they were so cute.  We had to wait in line though.  I crushed my penny at the panda place; itís oval now.  Where is my penny?  I want to hold it.  Mom!  Do you know where my penny is?

 We saw some pink birds.  And we goed on that Skytram.  It was like you were flying in the sky in a little bucket, except it had a top on it with bars and seats and stuff.  We saw, like, monkeys.  The monkeys were flying everywhere!  They were so funny. They were like the awesomist thing ever.  They were jumping from tree to tree.  It was like a little forest and they were flying in it.  I wish I could have a monkey for a pet.   That would be awesome!

 After that we goed and got all the birthday stuff for Erin, and the birthday was really fun. She got a toy brat and a salon for it.  And Erin got these two dolls and a game called ďGobblit.Ē She got some horses.  And she got ďHello KittyĒ stuff.  And there were balloons and a sign and lots of decorations.  And she got a koala.  No, three.  I forget their names.  One is white with a pink nose and pink eyes.  Everything else was white.  And he died.  I mean, not the pretend koala, but the real koala died.  He got a cut and germs went in it, so he died.  The name of his sickness was ďinfection.Ē  He died of infection.  And one koala was like a bendy, but I forget his name.  He bends like this.  The other one is gray and he has white ears and a black nose. 

 And tonight we goed to a Mexican restaurant and I got a Coca-Cola and the rest got waters.  What I liked about the bathroom was that they had tracks going to the bathroom.   That way if you get lost, you can find your way back.  We almost went out to ice cream there because I saw everybody eating ice cream there.  But we came home and opened Erinís presents.  And we got a cake and ate it.  The cake was so good.  I loved it.  But it wasnít as good Mrs. Schirripaís. 

 That was my diary entry.

April 8, 2004 

We made it to California.   We spent a couple of days collecting ourselves and reacclimating to the color green near Palm Springs and then headed for San Diego, where we (yesterday) celebrated Erin's 8th birthday at the Zoo.   It was a perfect day.  Among other things, we spent two hours watching the koalas.  In case any of you were wondering, Koalas are extremely cute.  And San Diego is a beautiful city.  We're off to Malibu, where Big Beluga and Little Beluga hope to go swimming in the Pacific. 

April 11,2004

 Dear Diary,

 Weíre at Malibu right now.  Itís REALLY fun.  But the park doesnít have a pool or a park.  But they do have a beach. 

 We went over to these peoplesí house:  Uncle Chris, Aunt Liz, and Josh, I think.  At their house, we throwed up these balls when we said ďAtchoo!Ē  And we played with this red punchbuggy thing, with white wheels.  And it had a turner thing on the top.  And they had this motocycle that I rided on.  I loved that motorcycle.  You take the handlebars and press a button, and it goes by itself.  I loved it, even though it goed slow.  It was wicked cool.   And what you had to do is charge it all up.  At their house we had an awesome dinner.  And the little boy screamed ďCan I be excused?Ē so loud.  It was so funny.

 Today was Easter.  It was really fun.  We got lots of stuff.  I got a matchbox car, and a Sponge Bob deck of cards, and  Hello Kitty, and a chicky candy (itís like this chicken thatís a marshmallow candy).  Next time we have a campfire, Iím going to roast it.  Iím going to call it a ďroasty chicky,Ē and Iím going to sell them.  Iím gonna say ďwho wants some roasty chickies here?Ē

 This morning, we played with our stuff.  Then me and dad goed in the shower.  We were not at the campsite where Mr. Snorer was, so we didnít here any snoring.  The shower was big.  And we singed Easter songs in the shower.  It was really funny because it was like ďJingle Easter,Ē and ďBetter watch out, because the Easter Bunny is coming to town,Ē and stuff like that.

 Then we goed to this carnival.  It was like this beach but it had these rides on it.  Dad, Erin, and me went on the Ferris wheel.  And Emily and Mom went on a dragon thingy.  The Ferris wheel was awesome.  It went around and around.  I loved being at the top and then, when it went down, I thought the roller coaster was going to hit us.  It was awesome.  We only goed on one ride because they were expensive and it cost money.  It cost money means itís expensive, so why did I say both?

 Also at the peer, we didnít get cotton candy.   But we did watch this guy doing something.  What he did was take a tennis racquet and he put a pointy thing on it and then he took a soccer ball, and they were all spinning.  The racquet and all the stuff was spinning.  Then we went down to touch the water.  When a wave comes, you have to try to touch the water but then run away so you donít get wet.  Other girls Ė not Emily and Erin but the other girls Ė were running in and getting wet.

 Then we comed home and people came over to our house.  That was really fun, but the boy didnít much play with me.  I had the Easter egg hunt for him, but he didnít want to do it.  He was not old enough.   It was still lots of fun.

April 15, 2004

Hi Friends!  We've spent a dozen days in Southern California -- from Indio to Malibu and from Fontana to Palmdale.  We loved bonding with the koalas
at San Diego Zoo and reuniting with Cousins Chris, Liz, & Josh.  Erin had a perfect birthday, and we've loved the weather.  Unfortunately, some
mechanical difficulties on Big Beluga detained us in the concrete jungle ofsmoggy L.A. for far longer (and at greater cost) than we might have
liked.  OK, so we didn't love L.A., but we did enjoy visiting Kathleen's childhood stomps in Palmdale.  We're now off to Las Vegas area where we
can't wait to pick up Alinne for a week.  But, even so, we'll be missing the rest of you!

April 15, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 Our tires on our RV were like broken or something.  We went to the tire place and we talked about our tires.  At the Freightliner place we stayed in a little spot and trucks were there, RVs were there, games were there, TV was there, bathrooms were there, fish were there, sleeping rooms were there, and stuff like that.  Some of it was spots for RVs and trucks.  And they fixed our RV.  And then we went to the tire store. 

 At the tire store, I asked for candy, but I couldnítí get any.  I wish candy was good for you.  They had root beer and the yuchiest stuff ever: Boston Baked Beans.  And they had gum and all kinds of awesome stuff, but I couldnít get it.    And we goed outside and our RV looked like it had sticks coming out of it.  It didnít look like it had wheels.  And we saw the rims and everything thatís cool. 

 After the RV was fixed we went to Palmdale.  We saw Momís old house.  And we saw her old schools.  They had, like, basketball hoops.  And Mom accidentally walked into the boysí bathroom when she was a little girl.  And we went to the Panera Bread, and they had the best soup ever.  It was the best.  It was potato soup.  It doesnít taste like hot coffee, but it is really hot.  It tastes like potatoes, but not like the red potatoes.  I had the soup in a bread bowl, and I ate the bread and eated the soup.   So, you were allowed to eat the bowl.  It was not like those plastic bowls.  The Panera Bread had the best food. 

 And we named ďTrader JoeísĒ ďStinky Joes.Ē  Actually, I named it that because I thought it was funny.  So we put on these stickers that said ďTrader JoesĒ and pretended that they said ďStinky Joes.Ē  Weíre now working at Stinkies.  We were going to do advertisements with our videotape.  ďMom, can we go to Trader Stinkies?Ē  ďNo, honey, theyíre food is stinky.Ē  ďBut Mom, stinky food is good!Ē  Iím going to be the one that says that.  Emily is going to be the mom.

 And today we drove to Las Vegas.  On the trip here we watched an old movie.  The girls didnít like it, but I loved it.  They had ďflubberĒ in it. And what they did, they put the flubber in a car so the car could fly.  And you could bounce it and it would bounce all over the place, like phetew, pheting, phetew.  The girls thought it was weird, but I thought it was funny.  I forget the name of it. 

 And we drove to this good RV park, with a water slide and a pool.  But the slides were little, not big ones.  And they have these really cool Airstream trailers.  They were really really cute.  They were silver with bendy doors and stuff like that.  And then we drove into Las Vegas.

 Alinne is coming, so I canít tell about Las Vegas.  But weíre going to swim in the pool and do anything thatís fun.  Itís going to be five or six days that Alinne is here. 

 I have a joke now:  Pete & Repeat were on the top of a cliff.  Pete jumped off.  Who is left? 

 Thatís my diary entry.

April 23rd, 2004

Hi friends!   It's been a busy and different sort of week on the Hanson Journey.  Stationed in Las Vegas, we totally enjoyed our days with
Alinne.  She  fit in beautifully, which is not easy to do in 300ish square feet.  Our adventures with her included several long swimming romps and
trips to the Hoover Dam, the Red Rock area, a vitamin factory, and, of course, "the strip."  We also managed to fit in a day at an Emergency
Room.  It's a long story, but don't worry: Everyone is completely fine.  Today, Alinne returned to Boston, and, tomorrow, Jon returns to Las
Vegas from Baltimore (where he was participating in a conference for a couple of days).  We will now take a few days to recollect ourselves and
begin the second half of our journey.  We'll let you know where we're headed as soon as we know.  Thank you for checking in!

 

May 2004

May 2, 2004

Hi friends!  We've recovered from our stressful days in southern California and Southern Nevada.   We're currently at a beautiful campsite at the
entrance of magnificent Zion National Park.  We have fallen in love with southern Utah, particularly the Saint George area, where we intended to
spend just one day, but stayed five.  While there, the five of us went on a five-mile walk for diabetes, Ian turned five, and we began our fifth month
on the road.   That's five fives -- oops, that makes six.  (Someone has been on the road too long.)  Thanks for checking in.
 

May 2, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 This is my diary entry from Saint George.  I saw these tornadoes that were not erupting.  But once they erupted.  They were cool.  You couldnít see the hole at the top.  The lava was black and it was really hard and had little holes in it.  They used to be fire.  We picked up some little pieces of it.  (We werenít in a park, so we werenít breaking any rules.)  Iím going to send some of it to Peter or Ryan.  Definitely.

 We did a long walk.  It was called the diabetes walk.  It was really fun.  It was long, really long.  And I got this yummy bread.  She said it was simon bread.  I think she said that.  It had raisins in it.  And I got Gatorade.  And I saw mountains and one of those hot air balloons.  And I saw one on the ground and one flying.  They were real.  The perfect part was seeing them not flying.  There was this girl that walked with us.  She was talking about what she was going to do.  She had on her brother shoes, so her feet were not comfy that much. 

 After the walk, they gave you lots of goodies, like chocolate chip cookies and balloons.   Tomorrow Iím going to play with the balloons.  I like to play with these rubber gloves.  Dad has them, because Dad works with the sewage.  I like to put water in the gloves and then throw them on the ground, and they explode everywhere with water splashing out getting everywhere.  Iím going to do that with the balloon.

 At the pool, a girl helped me swim.  You try to put your hands like a cup, and you do this with your feet.  If I go on my knees, I would sink in the water.  So, every time I swim, I need goggles. 

 We got a new banner that says ďHansonjourney.comĒ and we got t-shirts.  We went to this store that you can make shirts and hats and stuff.  The t-shirts were buyed by us.  We didnít sew them.  We made a shirt that says ďHansonjourney.com.Ē  It was really cool.

 We went to Taco Mikeís. They had the best tacos in the whole world, I thought.  But my water tasted funny, so I drank Momís.  And today, we went to this coffee place, and we got a hot chocolate.  And Erin got a koala chocolate that we never got before.  She didnít get to eat it, though. 

 We went to this chapel church.  They showed us around and all that stuff.  They showed us a room with lots of lights.  And they showed us the bumpy windows.  

 Today, I got a ring candy that lighted up.  It was lemon flavor.  It was delicious.  It lighted up, because they were trying to make it cool.  I think the space rocket was watermelon or strawberry or apple.  They all lighted up.  

 Today is my birthday, but weíre going to celebrate, not tomorrow but the next day.  My behavior was little off.  Iím going to be good.  Iím hoping to get a Cat-in-the-hat movie cartoon.  And I want a toy space rocket.  I want lots and lots of balloons and a good cake.  And I picked out a great theme at Party City.  I got Sponge Bob. 

 Tonight weíre at a campsite.  They have a small pool.  They have a little park for the hotel.  And there are mountains at our campsite.  Theyíre real pretty.

 Tonight I thought that dadís camera thing Ė his tripod Ė and I thought it was one of those big kind of telescopes.  We played ďGo FishĒ at our campsite, outside on a table.  And Erin won.  

 Thatís my diary entry.

May 5, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 I had a birthday!  It was really fun.  We didnít find a cake, so we made one out of M&Ms, cupcakes and Twinkies.  I never had Twinkies before, but they were good with M&Ms on them.  I had to go on a walk with Dad.  We went all the way down to town. We saw the moon, and some people, and a light on a sign that was changing colors, and we saw all these mountains, black mountains because it was night. 

 After that we goed home.  And I saw balloons, and they sang happy birthday when I walked in.  It was a surprise party.  They had streamers and balloons and plates and everything.  I got for my birthday a new scooter and two bubble blowers and a new computer Ė a Leapster Ė and two games.  And I got Legos Ė basketball players and a truck.  And I got a ninja turtle swimming outfit; it squirts things out of its glove.   And I got some videos:  the Cat-in-the-Hat animated one and Sponge Bob.  And I got a backpack and a new bear.  The bear is named ďBirthday BoyĒ and the backpack is ďZion.Ē  Theyíre both pandas.

 I have a canker sore right on my tongue.  It really really hurts.

 We went to Zion national park, and we saw a movie.  We went on some hikes at the national park.  They were really fun.  We saw mountains.  We got all wet.  A waterfall falled down, and Erinís backpack, one of her koalas in the koala foundation, got all wet.  I got wet, but Emily didnít because she runned into a corner and the water didnít come to her.  I stayed there because it looked so fun.  And it was.  And we saw frogs.  They were swimming in the water.  And I saw some mating.  And they did this noise.  It sounded like Roe-roe-roe-roe.  Their throats puffed out.  It kinda was like a spit bubble.  It moved in and out, in and out, in and out, really fast.

 We jumped on rocks and made up these trails.  And we went around the other side of big rock on our trail.  And we made up rockhouses.  We stacked rocks and put them on top of other rocks.   We made lots.  We saw turkeys on the road.  And we catched those fluff things.   They were white with seeds inside.  They were coming from trees, from seeds.  They were furry like cotton.   

 This morning we got our Junior Ranger stuff.  I got a badge, but I losed mine.  And Iím sad about it.  I think we might be able to get another one if we write them.   

Today, we goed in this dark tunnel.  Dad had to unhook the car and drive the RV right down the middle.  I was in the car with Mom.  It was dark: we saw nothing but his wheels and his lights.

 Tonight weíre at a campsite near Bryce.  We went to this store, and I got new hiking socks.  They look like army socks because they have all these spots on them.  I really wanted them. 

 Thatís my diary entry.

May 11, 2004
 

Hi Friends!  We're headed back to California!  We were delayed a bit by a broken heater.   Except for the chilly, we had an amazing time at Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, hiking and watching stars.  We're now headed  back to California for a brief visit.  If things go as planned (and they rarely do), we'll stop at Death Valley, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks on our way to visit some family and friends in San Francisco.   We're feeling our time on the road growing short, and we'll be cutting corners and headed east again fairly soon.  Thanks for checking in!

May 16, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 We goed to Bryce and we saw these mountains.  They looked like mountains with rocks on them.   They were brown and yellow and gray and red too.  We goed on all these hikes.  At the end we went on all these switchbacks and saw these little caves.  We had Luna Bars to eat for when we got hungry. 

 That night we went to Rubyís Inn, and I got grilled cheese, french fries, and ketchup.  And I got a salad that came with it, but I didnít eat it.  It was gross.  And I got ice cream, and it was really good.  I thought it was frozen yogurt and it really was.  It made me miss being at hotels.  I love being at hotels.  You get Nintendo and stuff.  And we saw this singer there, and he played ďBig Iron on his hipĒ and all those kind of songs.    He was a cowboy. 

 We goed in this play.  I was a king guy.  And a guy knocked down the seawall.  And Emily was the mermaid, and Erin was a princess, and I was a hero.  I had a sword that I was holding, a bag that I was holding, and a horse that was on my shoulder.  There was a face in the bag that had snakes for the hair, and she had a green face, and she was asleep in my bag.  So the Princess was Erin, and she closed her eyes.  So I took out the head and showed it to the bad guys.  And that made them scared away and I saved Erin.  Then I took off her chains.

 At nighttime we saw a lot of stars.  We looked at them through a telescope.  I forget their names but one had little lines across and rings goings around it.  It was REALLY cool.  I saw a lady look.  She looked at that planet and said ďooooooooooh  coooooool.Ē  She was weird. 

 Then we went to Saint George for Motherís Day. We gave Mom a pillow, a book, and a bracelet.  And we made all these cards and stuff.  We went to Dennyís Diner for breakfast because Mom loves the omelet there.  And then we went to Kayenta. 

 Then our heater was broken, and they fixed it.  But then the engine wasnít working so we goed to another place and got a new engine, and the new one was much better than the old one.  And then we boondocked at Flying Jís and then we waked up and made the beds to go, but then the slides wouldnít work, so we had to go to another repair place.  But they checked out all the batteries, but it didnít work.  So we had to go to a other place to get it repaired. It was called Kamper Korner.  We spended the night there in our RV.  A guy named Barry fixed it. 

 We visited the Hansons.  The other Hansons.  Not the Hansonís frame shop, not us, but other Hansons. There was a woman with black hair and a man.  They were cool.  We goed in their pool and their hot tub.  They had a big turtle pool thing.  You take the turtle and you fill it up with water and you blow the turtle up and you take the turtle outside and sit in it. 

We saw a movie and had pizza and coke to eat.  They were doing diabetes stuff like us.

 Then we went up to Sequoia and we saw these big trees.  They were big.  They were really big, the size of a giant or building.  We did some hikes.  And we goed through two trees.  There was a hole and steps inside and we goed inside.   And we saw these white flowers.

 We saw these cars rushing through a log.  And we did a trail and did a hike.   The Junior Ranger thing wasnít very good there.  What I didnít like is that it was just yellow and had a bird, and that was it.  It wasnít a very pretty book and the activities werenít that good.  It said stuff like ďwhich trail did you choose, this trail or that trail?Ē  It was so weird.  And I tried some banana chips and liked them.

 Now I have a funny joke.  Why does the tree cross the road?  To get more taller.  Thatís my joke.

 At the campsite, we couldnít drink the water, because it had cow poop or something in it, and the only milk we could get was factory farm milk, so we had to get it.  We saw the cows at a factory farm.  They didnít have grass to eat.  There were lots of cows and they looked like they were trapped in a little area.  It all made me sad.

 Weíre at Yosemite.  Tonight I meeted a little boy.  His name is Nicholas.  We played catch the bouncy ball and throwed it back up.  It didnít really work.  We throwed them up the slide, but the girl didnít really catch them. I went down the fire pole.  Sometimes I goed really fast and bammed my knee.

 Thatís my diary entry. 

May 19, 2004

Hi Friends!   After some repairs in Southern California and some hikes in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, we've made it to the beautiful San
Francisco area.  We're at a great RV park -- our site is on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific and we can hear the surf rolling in as we
write this.  While here, we're looking forward to resting, exploring, and reuniting with family (including Uncle Jerry) and some old friends
(including the Kairos and Hall Families).  (We apologize that the webpage is a bit behind.  We're hoping to get it up to speed soon.)  Thanks for
checking in!

May 26, 2004

Hi Friends!  We arrived in San Francisco 10 days ago, exhausted and itching to head east.  Today we left the Bay area revived and grateful to have more time in the west.  Thanks to everyone -- Jerry, Joyce, Andy, Pat, Alia, Martin, Ellery, Cole, Lisa, James, Ally, Ian, Emily, Shawn, Madison, Christopher, Jim, Debbie, John, Julie, and Jennie -- for your rejuvenating warmth.  We're parked now in a drizzly but magnificent redwood forest in Northern California. Tomorrow, we head to Portland.   The Oberholtzers -- an amazing road-schooling family who we spent a week with in Texas -- were in a horrible accident last week.   We're keeping them in our thoughts and prayers and hope you'll join us.

May 27, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 We went to Yosemite.  There was waterfalls and water squirted at us.  We did a hike.  We climbed on all these rocks and saw this waterfall and a tree that was growing weird. 

 Then we came to San Francisco.  Our RV park has a big lake.  And it has a kitty that walks around.  We got her milk, and she drinked it.  She was cute.  It was the first time I heard a cat go ďmeow meow.Ē  Erin named her ďQueenie.Ē  She came into the house when Mom and Dad were on their run.  She was licking herself and drinking milk.  She stayed on the couch and she took a nap, so we had to be very very quiet. 

 We visited Ian and Allyís house.  Their house was not done yet, but it was still really fun.  We played Legos, Gameboy, and Hello Kitty.  We went outside and there were these girls playing softball and we ran through right where they were playing.  Ian told me all these spells from Harry Potter.  And we somersaulted down grass hills and we rolled down them.  Then we goed back in and saw a snail and stuff. 

 In San Francisco, we saw this red bridge and we goed on it.  I saw water and big rocks in the river.   I have a story: At that bridge, a guy took a rope and tied it to a trash can, and then he went down to the water and floated

 After walking on that bridge, we went to a restaurant.  I had a bagel and a croissant with eggs and cheese on it.  Then we went to Fishermanís Wharf.  There was this arcade place, just like the one in the Princess Diary.  They had this doll that when you put money in it, it laughs.  There were these white crabs that they were baking.  The looked cool.  If they were still alive, they would bite me.  That would be scary. 

 We goed on these hills.   They went boowoink, boowoink, boowoink.  There were trolley cars on them and they goed like this:  lump, go down; lump go down; lump go down.  Then we went to Chinatown.  There was a lot of China people that speak China.  And all the letters were China letters.  And there were lots of taxis and stuff. 

 The next day we goed to breakfast at this restaurant.  It was really good.  Prisoners were in that place.  They make all our breakfast for us, and the breakfast was really good.  They have lots of good food.  Uncle Jerry was there and other people.  I forget their names, but they had a girl they adopted from China.  Her name was Alia.  She was really cute.

 After breakfast we goed on a hike.  We climbed lots of stairs and walked. And then we went on an elevator.  We goed to Uncle Jerryís house for dinner.  Other people were there too and we played games.   There was this little car like we used to have.  It was like a punch buggy.  And  I was pushing it real fast, but nobody was in it.   I played ping pong with Uncle Martin.  He was very nice and I liked playing with him.  And they had this huge TV.  It was very big.  We were going to put a video in, but it didnít work, so I watched my video on a different TV. 

 The next day we went to another house Ė it was the Hall family.  They were nice, and they had two cats, one dog (it was a golden retriever), a rat, and a bunny.  And next door there was a bird.  It was a white parrot.  The rat was crawling on Erin for a long time.  And the bunny didnít hop that much.  And they had a little boy named Christopher.  He was very nice.   We did these things where you put these little beads on and then you iron it and it becomes something like an animal or a shape.  And we goed on this hike and me and Christopher were running down the hills and the parents were just walking and walking and walking.  It was like they were walking like this and we were running like this.  We were going so fast.  They were way behind.

 And we met this family in our RV park.  We played Monopoly.  We played a state game.  And we ate pizza.  They were so nice.   I hope we see them again.

 Right now weíre in a KOA in a forest.  I think weíre going to Portland tomorrow.

May 31, 2004 (Memorial Day)

 Dear Diary,

 When we drived from San Francisco, we saw these giant trees.  And then we drived to Portland. 

 We went on a run in the campsite.  It wasnít a marathon, but it was a long run.  I was going so fast.  We saw a red Subartwo like ours.  And we saw an older Subaru that was blue.  It was a very old one.  And we saw a duck.  It was cool.  Ok, there was this little pond.  It goed so fast into the pond.  It was so fast.

 When we goed to Portland, we did some shopping.  I got some new pants that have zippers so you can turn them into shorts.  These are my favorites:  those pants and a yellow and blue striped shirt.  There were other things but those were my favorites.  Erin got some pants at the boys section, because we all liked them.  Girls can still get clothes at the boys section.  Itís not against the law or anything.  Emily got some stuff at another store.   She got a white skirt, and she got three shirts that are all attached.  We looked for koalas but there werenít any there.

 And there were these people playing checkers in the street, not in the middle of the highway but on the sidewalk. And they have this thing to keep the score.  They pressed a button and that makes it keep the score. 

 We saw this movie and it was so long.  We saw this Ronald McDonald guy, and he said that if you want to watch this movie, itís in this city and you can watch it.  The movie was about a guy who ate lots and lots of meat and french fries from McDonalds.  He was getting fatter and fatter and fatter.   He was a funny guy.  The part that my Dad isnít going to like that I want to tell you is when he throwed up.  He was eating lots of patties, buns, and salads with potatoes.   And he was a grown up and he was playing in the little McDonalds play area.  It was so funny.  They called the movie ďSupersizeĒ and he was getting supersized.  There were these kids and they were singing a song that I remember:  ďKentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut.  Kentucky Fried Chicken and  Pizza Hut, McDonalds, McDonalds,Ē or something like that.  I loved the movie a lot.

 We goed to Powellís Book Store.  I got a Space Jam book and a Buzz Lightyear book.  Me and the girls loved the store because they had all the books we were wanting and stuff.  We went there both days.  Erin got the Harry Potter Book Ė the one thatís huge, the one that Harry Potter has a huge wand, this big . . . doooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.   Emily got Artemus Fowl.  It was kinda weird.  I saw it on a commercial, and it was weird.  It said ďArtemus Fowl, for kids of any age.Ē  Thatís not true because kids my age canít even read.  Mom and Dad got some books too, but I donít know the names.

 Today, we got ice cream.  There was an ice cream truck that came through our campsite.  Me and Erin got Sponge Bob popsicles.  Emily got like a . . . there was vanilla ice cream inside and chocolate outside with nuts.  I donít know whatís itís called. 

 We goed out to dinner tonight.  I had an enchilada and rice and beans.  We met these nice people.  I didnít hear much that they told us.  But I knew they were nice because I looked at them for a little while and knowed they were nice. We gave them a card.

 Then we went to the Whole Foods.  We got some of my favorite things:  mint cookies, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate-covered cherries, and apple juice.  Erin was driving the cart tonight.  They had this nice girl at the cash register and she was really nice. 

 I have a secret clubhouse in the RV.  Itís in my Mom and Dadís bedroom.  Ok, you come in their bedroom and you take left.  Then you go under something and poke your head through a little tiny part and you look for things.  I found a remote there, a stinky old water there, and lots of coupons there, I found Momís CD there.  Itís a little squishy but itís a cool place to find stuff, but Mom and Dad said I canít.

 I want to be a grownup, because I already know what itís like to be a kid.  I would get a car; it would be a MGB.  I would ride to work and to high school in it and to a grocery store and stuff like that.

 Thatís my diary entry.

June 2004

June 1, 2004

 Hi Friends!  Summer is here!  We've been on the road now for five months.  We're in the Northwest, where we've reunited with phenomena that we'd not seen since Texas:  lots of gray skies, rain, lush foliage, songbirds, and the color green.  Everything is green!  It's lovely.  We're now in Portland, which has quickly become one of our all-time favorite cities.  We head to Seattle today.  We're picking up the pace -- need to get to North Carolina by the end of this month.  It's exciting, and also a little sad, to be heading back toward home.  Thanks for checking in! 

June 6, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 We went to the campsite.  It was in Washington.  There was like an ocean.  This was the first time at an office where they rent movies.  I got Spykids, the same one that I watched with the Oberholtzers.  One night we ate dinner with the Bond family at the campsite clubhouse thingy.  Then we spied on people.  Then I was going to watch a movie, but the thing was out of order so I couldnít.  Then all the kids watched a movie.  It was about these two grownups that put this guy in jail, or something like that.  They put blue dye into his pool so this guy turned blue.  It was funny.

 We goed on a boat and we saw these whales.   They were black.  They were the size of, like, Dad.  We saw them go down and then go back up.  We saw purple star fish.  They werenít moving or anything; they were just on rocks.  But then we got tired of it so we goed back.  The boat had all this stuff, like bubbles.  It looked like bubbles but it wasnít. It was going out and the boat was going faster and faster.  

 I have a joke:  Why does the whale cross the river?  To get some more fish.

 We went to the movie with John . . . I forget the rest of the names . . . it was the Bond family.  I remember Johnís name best because I hanged out with him more and stuff.  I sat next to him at the movie.  It was Harry Potter.  And lots of parts were funny.  There was this one part where there was this bus, it was a night bus.  Iíll tell you about it.  It wasnít just going fast; the person who was driving it was making it fast.  There was this part where it went very very skinny.  Know what was weird about it?  I saw on the trailer a part where Harry looked different.  He was just sitting in a white chair.  It looked like he was sitting on a swimming-pool chair at night.  But it wasnít that in the movie.  He was just sitting on the bed.  There was a part of the movie with lots of blood and stuff in it, lots.  So I was brave in that movie.  We got popcorn at the movie.  I got some with lots of salt on it. 

 We did a campfire with the Bond family.  And a Germany family was coming too.  I was just sitting roasting marshmallows, when the other girls were playing in the grass.  And John was doing what I was doing, so we liked what we were doing.  The Germany girls were nice, but they couldnít talk our language, only different ones.  They taught me how to say how old I am in Germany, but I messed up.   I forget how I said it. 

 Today, we were driving on the road.  We goed to this place and the Bonds were there.  They were up on a hill, so we walked all the way up.  And there were these metal thingy horses up there.  We walked up there and touched them.  One was named Emily.  Then we said good-bye to them.

 Tonight the drive was rainy.  And we ended up in a Casino in Montana.  Weíre boondocking.  Boondocking is like when youíre not getting hooked up or anything.  Tomorrow weíre going to Yellowstone I think.  I forget what that is. 

 Thatís my diary entry

June 10, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 We were going on a drive.  We went up this hill and the Bonds were there.  And we went up a big hill and there were metal horses.  I ran around with John Ė the same name as my dad, but itís not my dad.

 We were going at a campsite.  We met these people who had an RV and one had diabetes.  It was type 2 and Erinís is type 1.  It was Mr. Diabetes, but his real name was Andy.  He walked every day around the country.  And one guy drives.  His name is Steve.  They gave me this horse thingy.  It was like where you take the rope and then you make a hole and then you send it off and try to catch something and then you pull it over.  And they gave Erin a furby.  And they got us some hats and balloons and bike things. 

 We went to Yellowstone.  Right near our campsite there was this teepee thing except that it was made out of sticks.  I goed in it and got stuck.  But I got out.

 A person couldnít get their sewage pipe to work.  So me and Dad went out and helped them.  Dad, like, put his gloves on and did all this stuff.   They were from England or something.

 We saw Old Faithful.  It was like a volcano.  It, like, got steaming stuff out.  It was pretty big. 

 We got our badge.  We had to do all these activities and stuff.  I liked the one where I had to color in every animal.  You had to find them in a picture.  We went on this hike.  We saw boiling water on the ground.  It was stinky and stuff.  It smelled like rotten eggs, some of it.  And some of it smelled different.  They told you to not touch it or walk on it or anything.  There was these boys that were not on the path, and the ranger said to get on it, and they didnít.  They didnít fall in, but thatís because there was grass and dirt.  A big buffalo fell in the hot water, and he died. 

 We dropped a bandaid accidentally.   But we couldnít get it because it was close to where the hot water was.  The rangers have a stick or something that they use to pick it up with.  We also saw some hats out there because the wind blowed them off.   And we had to do this thing where we put our hand up and stuff and say ďI promise to be a Junior RangerĒ . . . I forget the rest.

 We saw elk and a coyote.  And we saw deer.  And we saw a elk wiggling its ears.  And we saw some buffalo.  I liked them.  They were cool and stuff.  I donít think we saw any wolves.  But I did see a coyote.  Coyotes eat elk sometimes.  We saw a bald eagle.  And we saw these birds that had yellow heads.  I saw three of them.  They were pretty cool. 

 I have a joke:  Why does the coyote cross the road?  To get the elk. 

 We saw rainstorms.  They were bad, very bad.  I saw some hail.  It made noise.  It was like frozen rain.  And we saw some lightening. 

 I saw lots of mountains.  I canít count how many.  Itís too many.  I saw the Tetons.  Thatísí where I saw the birds with the yellow heads. 

 Today, our awning flew off because of the wind.  And the vent was broken Ė the little things that are like windows on the roof.  We were on the road and there was wind.  We heard this banging.  And then a truck came a brought an awning, but it was someone elseís that had blown off.  Ours blew off into the field.   A lot of it we couldnít find, so we had to leave it there.   

 We went to this place today and there was this carnival.  We werenít at the carnival because it wasnít open because of the wind, I guess.  All the rides Ė well, a lot of the rides Ė were moving because of the wind.  We went to this museum.  It was about Native American and stuff.  We goed on this wagon thing over water.   It was gray water, but all of it was fake.  It was cool.  We saw this thing, like, what you have to do is put this picture in a holder and you take it and you put on the little holder and then you look in the telescope and you can see it better.  It looks like youíre looking in binoculars.  And we went on a stagecoach.

 Tonight we goed out to dinner at Flying Js, and I got french fries and grilled cheese.  Thatís my favorite.  Thatís what Iím always hungry for.  And Iím hungry for pancakes.  Weíre going to sleep here Ė weíre boondocking Ė at Flying Js.  There are big trucks all around us.  Theyíre like this except they carry food, sodas, cars, and stuff. 

 Thatís my diary entry. 

June 11, 2004

Hi Friends!  Tonight we're boondocking in a Flying J's in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  We've had an amazing week -- parting paths (for now) with the
Bond Family, visiting Northern Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming (including Yellowstone and the Tetons National Parks).  Nature's endlessly creative
designs continue to amaze and energize us.   Wyoming's winds, though, we could manage without.  We've just had two days of 30-50 mph winds.  Today,
a 70 mph gust tore off our awning while we were underway.  We can take a hint.  We're heading to Colorado!  Thanks for checking in.

June 15, 2004

 Dear Diary,

 We were driving through Wyoming, and a big gust of wind came and hit us.  We thought the RV was going to flip over.  And it ripped off our awning.  And it broke one of our vents.  The wind was blowing and I was, like crying.   Mom was holding onto the door, but she flied out the door because the wind was blowing so much.  A truck and a van came up to us.  The guy in the truck had another awning that was in the road from someone elseís RV.  It wasnít ours. 

 We went to this museum and we goed on this wagon-ride thing and we saw some movies about, like, the native Americans and stuff.  And the wind was so strong.  I saw these carnival rides Ė these things that go upside down and stuff and one that goes in a circle and circle and circle.  And the wind was blowing them around Ė thatís how strong the wind was blowing.  When you jumped, it felt really weird, like the wind was bringing you up so high. 

 We came to Colorado Springs and I met Katie, Ben, Susan, and Ted.   They had like a silver old phone.  I liked that.  I wish I had a fancy phone like that. 

 Ben was good at acting.  He was like ďSiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeence!!!!!!Ē  All of it was funny, but I liked it.  It was good.  He was acting good.  Katie was singing without the instruments and she was singing to her mom.  She was a great singer.

 We went to Pikeís Peak.  We got yummy doughnuts there.  And Erin found a koala there.   It had a red shirt on it and it had magnets.  Then Emily was saying, like, ďI feel lightheaded.Ē  Emily needed oxygen and stuff, and while we were there, Erin fainted.  I donít know why she fainted.  Maybe she just ran out of oxygen or something.  There was a doctor up there.  There was a person with a bloody nose and an ambulance thingy.  They needed more warnings or something up. 

 Pikeís Peak was really high.  There were no trees there or anything.  I got a headache.  And I got a crushed penny there.  Ben got it for me.

 We went to Garden of the Gods.  It had like big huge mountains.  Some were gray and some were brownish-redish.  It was mixed.  Ben and I were climbing and stuff.  I got hurt.  I was running and I was going to do something and I jumped and falled down.  I scraped my knee and my arm on the rock.  I was bleeding, but thatís ok. 

 I was riding this go-cart thing that you pedal at the KOA.  I loved it.  Emily was helping me push.  When I was going fast she had to run.  I wish you could buy it.   Then we went on this hayride.  I didnít really like it, but I did like it.  It wasnít that fun.  It wasnít fast or anything.  It was a little boring and stuff, but I donít know.  The lady gave me a mint and an atomic fireball candy.  Thatís what I liked best about it.

 I went to Santaís Village.  I went on a roller coaster.  And I went on a spinning tilt-a-wheel.  I went on a scrambler.  And I went on this thing that tips.  It was a rocket ship that went back and forth like a giant swing.  I loved it.  I held my arms like this.  After that ride, Mom went to the bushes so she could puke.

 I saw Santa.  I told him what my favorite ride at the park and what I want my present to be for Christmas.  My favorite ride was the roller coaster.  I rode it with Katie.  She loved it.  There were like little loops.  Not loops, but like bump and bump and bump.  And I want a Furby for Christmas. 

 After that we goed to their house and we ate pizza.  Mom and Dad went with Susan and Ted to dinner.  I donít know where they went.  I was playing with Katie and Emily and Erin.  We played a game that Katie had.   It was called Mall Madness or something.  And we walked their dog and we watched Parent Trap Ė just some of it.  And we watched Wallace & Gromit.  I loved it; it was funny.  It was the one where they go to the moon to get cheese.  We played hide and seek.  And them Mom and Dad comed home.  And we got some crackers and peanut butter and jelly. 

 Today we made, like, eleven pet rocks.  We put googly eyes on them and rock feet.  We put, like, no arms.  The one I designed has brown, little eyes, and little eyelashes.  And he has, like, polka dot feety things.  Heís really cute.  And I made a bald pet rock.  It has big googly eyes with no eyelashes and big polka dot feet like I told you.  Weíre going to send them to lots of people.  My job today was to keep my thumbs on the box so Erin could tape it when it was flat. 

 I got a cool present at Susan, Katie, Ben, and Tedís house.  Itís a truck thatís towing a boat.  Itís green and it looks like a monster truck, except it was small. 

 Tonight we said goodbye to Katie and Susan and Ted.  Tomorrow weíre going to drive.  Weíre going to North Carolina so we can do the wedding and stuff. 

 Thatís my diary entry. 

June 16, 2004

Hi Friends!  We just spent four wonderful days in Colorado Springs where we've reunited with sibling/in-law/nephew/neice/cousins, Susan, Ted, Ben &
Katie.  It couldn't have been more enjoyable -- unless, perhaps, we'd avoided the Hanson faintathon atop Pike's Peak.  But even that made for
some hearty laughs once we returned to the tree line and oxygen. Our consciousness revived, we are pointed toward North Carolina.  Our efforts
to spread the word about MGH diabetes research continue (just boxed up a dozen pet rocks today), and we are very grateful for the support  and
encouragement that many people have provided.  Thanks for checking in.

July 2004

July 2, 2004

Happy Summer!  We are now back on the East Coast.  After our months in the desert, we feel like we've landed in a rainforest.  We'll be enjoying the
lush foliage, mountains, and rain of Western NC until at least July 10th, when Patrick (Kathleen's brother) and Megan get married.  It is shaping up
into a wonderful celebration a beautiful couple.  Emily, Erin, and Ian, who will be in the wedding, couldn't be more excited, and we're all thrilled to
be part of this.  In addition to preparing for the wedding (and, of course, watching highlights of Le Tour de France - go Lance!), we're doing our best
to spread the word about diabetes research at MGH and to fill the pet rock orders.  Please help us get the word out, and keep those orders coming!



 

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                Jimmy Martin of Prometheus Design
                Copyright © 2004