Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo NY: Sparkle Kitten

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At the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo we saw paintings by many famous artists including Monet (Waterlillies is my favorite but it wasn’t here).  One of the artworks above is called a “relief”.  The artist made it all off-white, but it was still interesting because it had circles, and rectangles at different heights leaving negative space.  I am going to try to do this at home when I have tools.  My favorite was the yellow flowers above.  They are by Joan Linder for the Operation Sunshine exhibit.

The Freedom Trail in Boston, Massachusetts: Sparkle Kitten

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The Freedom Trail is a walk through Boston with many historic locations.  You can see a cemetery where Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere are buried.  You can see the meeting house where the Boston Tea Party was planned.  The building where the Declaration of Independence was first read in public from a balcony (photo above) is here.  The spot where the Boston Massacre took place is here.  Also, you get to hear a lot of interesting history facts about Boston along the way.  We learned that John Hancock’s name is so big on the Declaration of Independence because he was the President of the Continental Congress and originally the only person that had to (or was going to sign it).  It was then said that everyone should sign the Declaration because it was basically treason and that they should “all hang together”.  To this day, however, John Hancock’s name is thought of with the word “signature”.  Also, we learned that the Boston Massacre involved snowballs and drunk men.  Only about 5 people were killed but the event was used for propaganda.

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA: Sparkle Kitten

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Harvard University looks and sounds amazing.  There are all different kinds of people that go here.  98% of the students live on campus all 4 years, so they are like a big family.  They have tons of student activities.  All of the freshman eat together all 3 meals each day in a hall that looks like the Hogwarts hall, and live in freshman dorms (photo above) so you really become close friends.  Only about 8% of students belong to a sorority or fraternity.  Harvard is it’s own special “sorority” so Greek life isn’t as important to them.  There are over 70 libraries at Harvard.  One of them has 4 levels below ground and you can get lost in it.  The first time it snows each year they have a giant snowball fight on the new lawn (there is also an old lawn) since Harvard was established in about 1630! On dorm assignment day a big mascot comes and pulls you out of bed to give you the great news! Anyone that says it isn’t important that you get into Harvard for your first four years, is crazy.  This place is the heaven on earth for smart kids.  (other photo above that looks like the colosseum is Soldier Field where there games are played).

Bye Vermont! Sparkle Kitten and Einstein07

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We’re signing off from Vermont, USA!  We saw apples, and trees, and birds, and chickens, and water, and boats, and mountains, and ice cream and Teddy Bears!  Also blacksmithing!   We finally found a MOE’s so we ate there 3 times!  We also realized that they actually HIDE  Walmart signage and trash cans!  Also, we FINALLY found a Barnes and  Noble so Sparkle Kitten is back into reading material.  We really miss our library!   We’re moving on to Massachusetts and will report back soon.  Bye!

Quechee Gorge, VT: Sparkle Kitten

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13,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, Quechee was covered by a glacier.  Melting water from the glacier cut into rock that created what Vermont calls it’s “little Grand Canyon”.  It is about 170 feet deep and the Ottaquechee River runs through it.  We hiked back in the woods and saw the gorge from inside the forest.  If you want you can go all the way down.  This photo was taken from the State Park on the bridge.  It is a very pretty view.

Shelburne Farms, VT, Near Burlington: Einstein07

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I saw LOTS of chickens:  big ones, fat ones, short ones, crazy ones, skinny ones, and feathery ones.  I learned how to take an egg from a chicken without it noticing.

I learned how to milk a cow by hand (it is really hard).

I learned how to measure an egg’s weight (I got a pee-wee and an extra, super-large).  I saw how cheddar cheese was made.  I spun wool and made a bracelet with a hand spinner which is basically a hook.

I really, really, really, really liked the chickens!

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, Waterbury, VT: Sparkle Kitten

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Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream started in Vermont.  It is now owned by the Unilever Corporation.  (Can you believe they sold the company?!!)

Ben and Jerry met during high school gym class.  They turned an abandoned gas station into an ice cream store.

Ice cream has to go through a lot of stages before it gets to the stores:  Milk, sugar and cream are stored in large tanks (photo above), the ingredients are combined, the flavors are added, they put big chunks of stuff in their ice cream, it’s put in special freezers and they add a little air so it doesn’t turn into a hard ice cube, it’s poured into the containers, someone checks to make sure everything is perfect and composts anything that isn’t.

We got to taste the flavor “Milk and Cookies”!  It was really good.  You can see above we are eating out of little paper cups.  Ben and Jerry’s doesn’t use plastic spoons because they are environmentally conscious.  They even have special, blue toilet water that is reused to save water.

Ben and Jerrys has a flavor Grave Yard for the flavors that don’t make it!  (photos above)  You can see that Georgia peaches take too long to get to Vermont, so they had to retire that flavor.

It was a yummy and good morning.

 

 

Milan Hills State Park, Yurt Living!: Sparkle Kitten

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Our last night in New Hampshire we spent in the North Country.  We went to Milan Hills State Park (you’ll have to check your NH map – it’s north of Berlin).  We were WAY out in the quiet and beautiful part of New Hampshire.  This camp is great because it doesn’t allow 4-Wheelers so it’s quiet.  We stayed in a YURT for the first time.  In case you haven’t heard of one, they have been around for over 3,000 years and are popular with nomadic people in Asia.  They are some of the first homes written about in history, and were used by the Huns during the time of the Romans.  They have a lightweight frame, and are covered with tent material.  We thought the yurt was great!  We learned how to build a fire, and that you shouldn’t bring wood into a camp that isn’t native because of bugs.  We cooked hotdogs and marshmallows.  We also found wild blackberries to pick, and climbed a fire tower for a great view.  Fire towers are used to help park rangers spot fires.   When it got dark,  we could hear animals munching on nuts.  We could also see stars because there was no light pollution.  We used a dry outhouse which wasn’t too bad.  It’s basically just a toilet seat over a hole.  When we left, we drove past a sign that read the town we were passing was from 1774!  There was also a covered bridge.  We had a great time, even though we kept hearing about bears.  We plan to do it again soon.  (We would have had more photos but brother lost his camera in the woods, we think)! Poor Einstein07!

The Old Man’s Foot, aka The Basin, NH: Einstein07

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This is called the “Basin”, probably because it makes a bowl.  The water comes from Profile Lake (the one I swam in).  After the ice age, cold water from melting glaciers flowed wearing down granite bedrock.  Large boulders were carried along these streams.  When the boulders fell over a waterfall, they flowed in a circle in this pothole, going round and round.  The sides of the basin were eventually smoothed.  (I took a leaf and let it go over a waterfall and the same swirling occurred).  Early settlers referred to this spot as the “Old Man’s Foot” because the water flows from the lake that is beneath what was the Old Man in the Mountain profile. It is close byimg_5863