The 2D Dream

I had a dream that did not seem like a dream. It was really unreal.

I woke up one morning and sat up in my bed, but things just didn’t seem right. I

pushed my covers away and got up, walked to the bathroom as I usually do. I noticed

that the doorknob was harder to turn than usual. I thought no big deal and continued

into the bathroom. I turned on the water in the sink and washed my face and started

to brush my teeth and noticed that the toothbrush and toothpaste were flat. I

thought it must be another one of those strange mornings and continued getting ready

for the day. I tried to dress. I noticed that my jeans and shirts were flat like

clothes for a paper doll. There was only a front and a back. There were no sides. I

was trying to see how I would fit into that. I put on the clothes and I noticed that

they fit! I was now flat as a sheet of paper! I no longer had sides! I opened my

bedroom door and looked for my dog Bite. He was his usual shaggy-self waiting for me

in the hall next to the wall. When I went to him to pet his back, I noticed that he

had no sides either! Bite had only a front and a back with a flat tail! I ran to the

kitchen to find my mother who was also flat, cooking flat breakfast in the kitchen

while my flat father was reading the sports section of the newspaper. My family

acted like this was normal and nothing was wrong!

I quickly took Bite outside for a walk like I usually do before I leave for school.

It was a beautiful morning with the sun in the bright blue sky with white puffy

clouds. I walked Bite on his leash down the sidewalk and noticed that the houses

looked the same from the front, but there were no sides to the houses. You could see

the cars in the driveways, but only from the rear. There were no sides. The trees

were in the same places that they always were but they were flat. I hurried my walk

with Bite and returned home. I had a flat breakfast waiting for me. It was hard to

eat and I didn’t feel full. The hardest part about breakfast was drinking liquids.

They were in flat glasses and were hard to pour into your mouth. I grabbed my

backpack and ran to catch my bus. Everything weighed the same and things were still

hard to carry. I had a hard time seeing my bus because it was also flat. Everyone

acted like this was normal.

School looked the same except it was flat. There were no long halls anymore and it

didn’t seem crowded when you entered a classroom or hall. The gym seemed smaller and

unusual which make playing games very different, but no one seemed to notice.

Can you imagine playing flat basketball or flat volleyball? Everything else about

the day seemed normal: the computer, the English, and math assignments. It only

became odd when we went to science class. The science teacher discussed all of the

dimensions that are known to man so far. He acted like we had never experienced the

third dimension. School wasn’t out soon enough for me. I couldn’t wait to get home

and go to bed and wake up from this nightmare! I skipped dinner and didn’t do my

homework. For the first time since I was small, I was in a hurry to get to bed.Just

as I was falling asleep, the alarm went off and I woke up in my bed. It was six A.M.

A regular day in my regular world.

Everything was in 3D as usual. So was it all real or just a nightmare?

Berry Bear and Boo Bunny Travel to Bootes

Berry Bear and Boo Bunny Travel to Bootes

Berry Bear and Boo Bunny were sitting in Berry’s cave one morning. They were doing their usual thing of eating berries, honey, and carrots when Berry Bear declared that he was bored and wanted to do something different. He told Boo Bunny that he had a spaceship in the field just below his cave and said that they should take a trip. Boo Bunny asked him where would they go? Berry Bear said they should leave earth and go to the nearest star that begins with a B. They should go to Bootes since both of their names begin with B.

Berry Bear had spacesuits that he and Boo Bunny put on and climbed into the spaceship and planned their trip. They took a compass and turned it north because Bootes is north of earth far in space. Three-two-one-lift-off! They were on their way to Bootes! They passed the trees, passed the birds, passed the clouds, they even passed the moon! Yes, the moon! Up, up and up they went, far into space! The sky was now dark with bright globs of lights! It was a beautiful sight! Berry Bear and Boo Bunny were moving so fast that in a snap of your fingers, they were there at Bootes. Boo Bunny told Berry Bear to find a good place to land, so they chose the planet Bot. It was a giant blue planet that circled around Beta Bootis, one of the stars in the Bootes constellation. Bot was not hot or cold and it had bright yellow clouds with a bright red sun in the sky.

The spaceship landed on Bot. Berry Bear and Boo Bunny were greeted by purple three-legged people of all sizes with heads that had a mouth and one large eye. They ran constantly from side to side. The people called themselves Bottoms. They greeted Berry Bear and Boo Bunny by grabbing their paws with their hands and dancing in a circle one time. Some wore a sunglass that covered their eye. They were very friendly and so many. Boo Bunny became so dizzy and fell down after greeting all of the bottoms. All of the buildings on Bot were shaped like pyramids and every Bottom had a pet at their pyramid house. They either had a six-legged dog or a six-legged cat. Some of the pets were plaid, striped or polka-dotted.
The Bottoms decided it was time to eat, so they took Berry Bear and Boo Bunny to their pyramid restaurant to eat. The Bottoms drove three-wheeled cars and trucks. When they reached the restaurant, they had green fizzy sodas and red and yellow vegetables, but they were tasty treats. The Bottoms said that they do not eat meat, but they have great treats to eat! They eat pink, blue and white ice cream with red, yellow and green drizzles on top. The meal was delicious to Berry Bear and Boo Bunny! They were full to the top! They were taken to see some of the animals that live on Bot, like the llama looking animal that they called the boojim. The boojim was silver with lots of curly fur. It ate the pink straw that grew on the blue ground. They also saw birds of all colors flying on their backs through the sky. They saw animals that looked like half furry orange elephants called buppers. They reached a river of yellow water that emptied into a yellow lake with fish that jumped every now and then. There were boats on the river that looked like Hong Kong Junks.

The red sun began to set and the Bottoms all went to their pyramid houses to get ready for bed. One of the Bottom families invited Berry Bear and Boo Bunny into their home to spend the night. Boo Bunny found it very interesting that the Bottoms sleep while hanging upside down from a rod inside the top of their pyramid home and they never fall off the rod. Boo Bunny and Berry Bear slept on the floor of the pyramid home.

When morning came, everyone woke up and started to get ready for the day. The bottoms came down from the rod, showered, brushed their teeth and ate the breakfast that the mother Bottom made. It was brown ham and red eggs. It did not look so great, but it smelled wonderful and tasted really good! Boo Bunny and Berry Bear thanked the Bottom family for inviting them for the night and prepared for their return trip home to earth. They said goodbye to all the Bottoms as they returned to their spaceship and boarded ready for their trip back to earth. All the Bottoms waved good-bye and gave them a present of twenty bottles of green fizzy soda to take with them on their journey home. Soon Berry Bear started the engines and before they knew it, Boo Bunny and Berry Bear were home drinking their green fizzy sodas and talking about the happy memories of their trip to Bot!

The Thumbprint Detective: Where’s the Turkey?

I just received a phone call from the house at 7777 South Bay Dr.
It’s Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve and someone has stolen the Thanksgiving Turkey!
It looks like another case for the Thumbprint Detective.

Everything looks quiet outside. I’ll just knock on the door and start solving the case.

The dog Chewy:

I was taking a nap on the warm hall floor, and the great smell of that big bird was in the air when all of a sudden, I heard the sound of feet marching and I saw the bird without a head walking out of the kitchen to the pet door. I have never seen anything like that before!

The bird Squawker:

I was in my birdcage on my swing, getting that last set of reps in, when I say this very small dark red line pass down the hall to the kitchen. The line was moving fast and it didn’t say a thing. The line took the big bird and a whole bunch of things. Thank goodness it didn’t see me on my swing!

The fish Fish and Bowl:

We were taking our usual evening swim when we saw the big bird, the pie, the dressing and the cake that Kelsey just baked walk out the little door near the floor in the kitchen! We have never seen food walk like that!

Niece Kelsey:

Aunt Vivian and I had just finished baking our Thanksgiving meal and had placed them on racks on the counters to cool. When we came back, something or someone had taken all our food and gone. That’s when I called you to solve this one!

Nephew Chris:

I was upstairs watching movies, enjoying the smells of the baking, and beginning to yawn when Kelsey yelled that all the food was gone. I ran down the stairs as fast as I could, but the kitchen was empty and so were the goods!

The cat Sox:

I was sitting in the kitchen window, waiting for that big bird to cool. You know I love birds! They make tasty meals when this moving dark red stomping line came into the kitchen and just took my meal! It stopped at the big bird and then the dressing, pie, and cake. It went right under all of it and took all of the food out of my door and did not hesitate! I got closer to see what was this! There were millions of them carrying the food that was baked!

I went into the kitchen and walked through the pet door where some of the gravy and sweet crumbs had fallen on the floor. I pulled out my magnifying glass and what did I see, in the backyard but a high rise ant mound with red ants at guard waiting for someone to try to pass.
I asked one of the guards for the head ant in charge and I was sent to General Carpenter the master ant and officer of them all!

The perpetrator: General Carpenter

This is the time when all ants must prepare for the winter you see. It is not every day that an ant can have access to a picnic so warm and great! So when one of my food scouts smelled the wonderful food with an easy way to join in, he came back and reported the location and we planned how to get in. It was very easy for us to get in and so much was baked, that we decided just to take the rest home to our condo for all of our family to partake! It is going to be a great Thanksgiving picnic for our families to eat!

Well, it looks like the owners will have to call in an order for a catered Thanksgiving meal! I’ll suggest that maybe they should consider totally closing that pet door so that the rest of their meals will not be walking on the floor out of the door. I must be leaving now and my bill will be at the desk by the front door.

This is another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

Colors

One blue moon, I had a strange dream.
I was a blue blood princess feeling blue because I talked to my blue ribbon servants about planning my ball until I was blue in the face.
I was so angry that I was seeing red, so I decided to paint the town red!
I got caught red-handed by a photographer who was paid by my enemy, that was green with envy!
I suddenly got a yellow streak and ran!
Later that night, I had a call from my enemy who tried to blackmail me with the pictures that she had of me painting the town.
I sent a letter to my enemy in black and white that I would blacklist her from all of the parties and balls in town if she published the pictures.
When she received the letter, she turned white as a ghost.
She was so angry with herself for being so green. So she raised the white flag and threw away the pictures.
The black and white-tie ball was the next night.
I walked down the red carpet just like a queen in the white driven snow.
I was tickled pink that the ball went off with flying colors!
All of a sudden, the alarm rang and I realized that I had been seeing my dream world through rose-colored glasses and that was a horse of a different color!

The Solar System Dance

She was dancing her colorful dance with the sun,
When she was outdone by the smallest one, little Mercury closest to the sun.
Then she was circled twice by Venus day and night.
She and her moon are number three with the only visible life forms for all to see.
The fourth is the dance of the red one that is the goal for the next exploration.
Then in comes the rocky donut ring of small planets, rocks, dust and things.
Jupiter, the largest, comes spinning in the dance class full of gas.
Along comes Saturn twisting with her colorful rings!
In comes Uranus on its side with a slow roll.
Whirling rapidly like a big blue top, Neptune takes the solar floor on its outer edge like the rim of a bowl.
On the outer edge is a small piece to be barely seen, is Pluto dancing like in a dream.
Dancing together for billions of years in the Milky Way is the solar system we call home today!

Ernie Bean and His Big Blue Submarine

One late October night, Ernie Bean had a dream that he had built a big blue submarine and traveled the ocean to new places he had never seen. When he woke up the next morning, he decided to follow his dream and build a big blue submarine! There were a few problems with Ernie’s dream. Ernie lived on a farm far from the ocean and he had never really seen a real submarine. Ernie was determined and would not give up on his dream. He was going to build his big blue submarine. Ernie knew he would need some help building this submarine, so he told his two best friends, Mike and John about his dream and his plan to build his submarine. They thought it was neat and the greatest thing to build and travel in a big submarine! Mike and John agreed to help Ernie build this big blue submarine. Ernie knew he had to get started, and would be starting from scratch, so he went to the only one around who he knew who may have seen a submarine and that was old Admiral Sternrudder. He lived in a small house near the lake and kept a large collection of ships in bottles there. Ernie, Mike, and John decided to pay the Admiral a visit for help building a submarine. The Admiral listened closely and said Ernie had a pipe dream. He explained that they don’t build submarines on land far from the sea. He said it would take a lot of steel and iron, cranes, frames and welders to build that sort of thing. Since Ernie insisted, the Admiral loaned Ernie a book on ship and submarines and wished Ernie, Mike, and John well with chasing their dream.

Ernie, Mike, and John read the book from cover to cover, soaking everything up like a sponge, and finally hatched a plan to build a submarine right here on land! Ernie, Mike, and John were known to march to a different drummer and could not be stopped when the started something new. Ernie drew up the plans. Mike added the measurements and John gathered the materials needed to build the submarine. They decided to visit Scrappy’s JunkYard to find most of what they needed. They told Scrappy what they were building and Scrappy asked if they were in over their heads? He said he knew a man who ran marine scrap yard far away on the coast, but it would take a while for the parts to make it to town. Ernie, Mike, and John said that would be great! See what happens when they put their heads together! The boys decided that the submarine would have to be motorized so that it could make it to the shore. John found the right thing-three old tractors could do the job! Scrappy had a couple of old cranes that he was willing to trade. Ernie had collected quite a few spare parts from his neighbors’ farms and traded them with Scrappy for the parts they needed.

They visited Root and Trunks Lumber Yard for as much spare wood as they could get for the frame. When the told Limb Root and Leaf Trunks about their plan, they told the boys they had rocks in their heads but would help them with the plan. Limb and Leaf showed them the section of the lumber yard with the surplus wood and told them they could have as much wood as they wanted. The last stop they made was at Hit The Nail On The Head Hardware Store for the blue paint. Mike calculated that they would need 1,000 gallons of Marine Blue paint to cover the submarine. The boys placed their collection of material and tools outside of Ernie’s barn. Ernie, Mike, and John rolled up their sleeves and worked on building the submarine day and night. The word got around to the neighbors in town and they started to come to Ernie’s to see the building of the submarine. Some said the boys were out of their heads, some said their idea was crazy and so was their dream, some called the submarine a white elephant, and some said it was queer as a three dollar bill. Only one little girl said she supported their dream. Ernie, Mike, and John did not seem to care. They gave them a deaf ear and just kept building the submarine. One day before they knew it, they had completed the thing. It was one giant blue submarine. They cranked it up and checked it out! Everything worked as planned. The boys packed their bags and climbed into the tractor and began their journey to the coast. The neighbors gathered down the streets of town as the big blue submarine passed down the main streets to the highway that ends at the coast. The neighbors gawked and some even cheered. Others did not have a clue. Some were so happy that they didn’t know what to do! The boys got lots of looks and were asked by many for pictures as they kept trucking down the highway headed toward the sea.

Ernie, Mike, John finally reached the ramp, christened the submarine with a bottle of apple cider and launched it into the water. They climbed into the sub and began to live their dream. The boys learned early that if you stick to your goals and follow your dreams, you can do anything! Ernie, Mike, and John were now sailing the world in their big blue submarine!

What Do You Hear?

We seem to ignore and take for granted our five senses until we start to lose them.
We seldom give them a second of our time to think about them. One of our most simple
sense that we rely on the most, yet abuse, is hearing.

When do you stop hearing the sounds around you?
When do you stop hearing the sounds of the birds when you wake up in the morning?
When do you stop hearing the bees buzzing as they start their day early taking the nectar from the flowers that have just opened to face the morning sun?
When do you stop hearing the dog barking in the yard next door to greet you good morning as you pass by on your daily trip to the bus stop?

When do you start hearing the voices of other boys and girls?
What do you hear when your mother or father tell you to do your chores for the fifth time today?
Is it the muffled sound of ducks quacking?
Is it total silence?
Or does their request fall on deaf ears?

As you get older you will be forced to play life by ear because you turned a deaf ear to the instructions you received when you were younger.
The walls have ears and if they could talk!
You will stop listening to your friends’ advice because it will sound like they had nothing between their ears and you were hearing things!

You will then become all ears to people who are more seasoned than you and keep one ear to the ground for further directions.
Everything the seniors have been saying all along will become new like you just put on a fresh set of ears!
I heard that!
Did you?

If you’re lucky, you will end up grinning from ear to ear because you think you have figured life out!
This will be music to your ears and you will probably lend an ear to one of your friends who is still playing life by ear.
By this time you will have children of your own who will play their strange music so loud that you can’t hear yourself think!
Silence will be music to your ears!
And you will remember why your grandmother used to yell that children should be seen and not heard!
Don’t throw them out on their ears!
They will still be wet behind their ears.
Maybe by then, you will know when to turn a deaf ear.
You will hear it again for the first time because you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!

SIGHT

“I see!”, said the blind man when he picked up the saw and sawed the log.

How do we see?

Are our eyes the mirrors of our souls?
Do we see with just our eyes?
Can we believe our eyes?
Can we see with our fingers as we listen to a song or story and paint or draw a painting?
Do we get the picture?
Or is it out of sight and out of mind?
Do we see with our imagination?
Is our imagination powerful and vivid?
Should we keep an eye on our imagination?
Out of sight!

Do we see with our minds?
Do we see the same things in the same way?
Do we see eye to eye?
Do we see with our ears?
Can we believe our ears?
Are we all eyes and ears?
Are we seeing the same thing when we all look at something?
Or are our eyes closed to everything?
Are we looking with the naked eye?
In a blink of an eye?

Are we so skillful at living, that we can live each day with our eyes closed?
Sight unseen?
It’s not a pretty sight.
Don’t cry your eyes out!
Do we have insight?
How much do we know by sight?
As far as the eyes can see.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder with a twinkle of an eye.
A sight for sore eyes to see.
Love at first sight.
The apple of your eye.
In the public eyes.
Sight unseen.
It’s right before your eyes.
See the sights!
No end in sight.
There’s more to this than meets the eye.
Are we dreaming?
Are we beginning to see the light?
Or is this thing called sight just an optical illusion?
Have we shed some light on sight?

Time

Time.

It doesn’t travel in a line.
When we are young, it slowly passes.
The older we get, the faster it flies by!

We can’t see it.
We can’t smell it.
We can’t taste it.
We can’t feel it or hear it, but like the wind, we know it’s there.

It’s round like the face of a clock,
Or a sundial or the sun as it travels across the sky.
Round like a baseball, basketball, soccer ball or the moon.

Time waits for no one.
It passes invisibly, quietly without any sound.
Time sneaks upon us.

We only see the results after it has passed.
We lose time.
We save time, but we can’t show it.
We can’t find time.
We can’t count time.
We try to take time, but we can’t hold it.
We are out of time.
We only see the results of time as it passes us by.
Time’s up!

We can’t wait on time.
Time is a second.
Time is a minute.
Time is an hour.
Time is a day.
Time was yesterday.
Time was last week.
Time was last month.
Time was last year.
Tomorrow comes but is never here.
Time is today.
Time is now!

Things to Know About Our Fifty States: Part Two

It has been a fun, long and interesting trip and we are not even at the end yet! We have some more stops to make!

Our next stop will be Ohio. The birthplace of two astronauts several presidents and inventors. It provided us with the first professional baseball team, the automobile, the traffic light, full-time automobile service station, ambulance service, pop-top can and the cash register. Fifty percent of the US population lives within a 500-mile radius from the capital city of Ohio. it is the home of aviation, rock and roll hall of fame, football hall of fame, the hot dog, and the largest basket in the world. Teflon, chewing gum, and the first self-starting automobile. It is also the home of two African-American Olympic gold award winning Athletes. Ohio is known for its corn, soybean, wheat crops. It is also the nation’s second-largest producer of eggs and number one producer of Swiss cheese!

We are now on our way to Oklahoma! The state with the most man-made lakes. It is the only state in the US that produces iodine and the US is the third largest producer in the world! The first shopping cart, electric guitar, and the first traffic yield sign were invented there.It is the home of the world’s first parking meter and the world’s longest multiple arch dam. It provided the first tornado warning system. Oklahoma is the only state capital with an oil well underneath it! Oklahoma is known for growing wheat, hay, soybean, corn for grain, pecans, watermelons, peanuts, peaches, and oats.They also supply the nation with cattle and hogs for meat.

We are headed to Oregon. The state has the deepest lake in the United States. It has more ghost towns than any other state, the shortest river in the US, the deepest river gorge in North America and the largest sea cave in America. Oregon is the home of “The Simpsons” and its co-creator. It has the first city to have one-way streets, and it is the first state to conduct all elections by mail. Oregon is number one in the nation for its blackberries, black raspberries, boysenberries, Christmas trees, grass seeds, hay, hazelnuts, and storage onions.

We must be headed to our next stop, Pennsylvania! It is the first state to list its website URL on a license plate. It is where the first gas station in the nation was operated. It is home to the oldest continuously operating bookstore, the liberty bell, the only museum dedicated only to Harry Houdini and the first zoo in America. Pennsylvania was also home to the first electronic general-purpose computer, the first hospital and medical library, the first medical school, the first stock exchange, the first mint, and the first professional baseball park in the nation. It had the first successful oil well, the first theater, the first passenger train, and received the first telegraph message in the USA. The state also is home to the chocolate capital of the USA! Pennsylvania is known for its dairy products, eggs, beef, chicken, corn for animal feed, soybeans, hay,and flowers.

We must not forget about Rhode Island. The state’s true name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and it is the longest name of any of the states. It has no county governments. It is the smallest state in size in the US. It was the first colony to declare independence from Britain and the last colony to become a state. It is home to the Tennis Hall of Fame. The Industrial Revolution started in Rhode Island with the first successful water-powered cotton mill. It is also the home of Hasbro toys, the first Baptist Church, the oldest synagogue with the oldest Torah in North America. It also hosted the first circus. Rhode Island is known for its dairy, sweet corn, potatoes, and oysters.

Next, we will move along to South Carolina. The first opera in the US was performed in the state. It was the first state to leave the Union and fired the first shots during the Civil War. South Carolina is the nation’s largest peach producer and is home to the tobacco capital of the state.
It is also home to the only working tea plantation in the United States and the world’s hottest chili pepper according to Guinness Book of World Records!

Our next stop is South Dakota. It is the home of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. The second largest cave in the US and the third largest in the world is located in South Dakota. The largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil and Colombian and Wooly Mammoth bones in the world was found in South Dakota. It also is home to the largest petrified wood park in the world. It is also home to the largest drug store, the corn palace, and the cave with the world’s largest display of a rare formation called boxwork. It is home to Badland’s Park, which contains the richest fossil beds in the world and the largest protected grasslands in the US. The state also is home to the most endangered land mammal in North America. The largest underground gold mine is in South Dakota! It is known for its wheat, oats, alfalfa, rye, corn, potatoes, soybeans, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.

We are now going down to Tennessee, the country music capital of the world! “Grand Ole Opry” is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. It was home to the first female US senator. The largest earthquake in US history formed a lake that is now the turtle capital of the world. Tennessee is also the mule capital of the world. It is the home of the largest freshwater aquarium in the world, the only replica of the Greek Parthenon. Tennessee is also the home of the facilities that built the first atomic bomb and is now known as the energy capital of the world. It is also home to Jack Daniel’s, the world’s best-selling whiskey, Mountain Dew, Maxwell House Coffee, Cotton Candy, and Graceland, the second most visited private home in the United States. It is also the home of the first male African-American millionaire of the South, the first state-owned historic site devoted to African-Americans in the state, the oldest African-American architectural firm, and the oldest African-American financial institution in the nation. It is also known for its cotton, wheat, dairy, corn, beef, timber, and tomatoes.

We’re headed to Texas! The Lone Star State! It is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the USA and the home of the first enclosed sports stadium and NASA headquarters. Texas is the Helium Capital of the World. It also has the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the US. Texas is the only state to serve under six countries. It has the largest herd of white deer in the nation. It has the fastest highway with the speed limit of 85 miles per hour in the nation. The first suspension bridge built in the US is still being used in Texas. It is home to the soda Dr. Pepper. It has the highest number of airports and the second largest by area with the largest public parking area in the United States. Texas has only one natural lake. It has the most farmland in the US and the largest rose garden in the USA. Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit that is now used in all computers and electronic technology. The state is known as the “Silicon Valley of the South”.The only president sworn into office on a plane was performed in Texas. It also is home to the tallest masonry column in the world. It is known for its sheep and wool production, citrus fruit, vegetable, pecan, cotton, rice, corn, horses, and wheat.
It is the winter home of the only remaining flock of whooping cranes and has more species of birds and bats than anywhere in North America. Texas has the largest inland port in the world. The first rodeo was held in Texas. It is also considered the Capital of Live Music.

Next stop is Utah. It is the only state in the union that the majority of the people are of one single religion. It is the only state with a national forest in every county. The federal government owns 65% of the state’s land. It has the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It has the largest city to ever host the Winter Olympic Games. It is the site where the Transcontinental Railroad connected the United States Eastern Coast with the Western Coast. Utah has the highest literacy rate in the USA. It is home to the Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world. Utah and its borders with Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico form four corners, the only states to do this in the US. Utah has the highest birthrate and the youngest population in the United States. It is home to the nation’s first department store! The Mormon Temple took 40 years to complete. Utah is the birthplace of the inventor of the television and a famous outlaw. Utah is known for its meat-beef, pork, mutton as well as its cherries, apples, apricots and mink production.

Now we will travel across the country to Vermont. It has the least populous state capital in the United States. Its capital is the only one in the US that does not have a McDonald’s Restaurant. It is one of four states that were once independent nations. The state’s capital is the smallest one in the United States. Vermont was the first state after the original 13 colonies to join the United States. It is the largest producing state of maple syrup in the US. It is the largest producer of marble in the USA. Vermont is the most rural of all the states in the nation. It was the first state to outlaw adult slavery. Vermont does not have any skyscrapers! It is home to IBM and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!

We are headed to Virginia! It is known as the birthplace of the nation! It is home to the first permanent English settlement in America and the American revolution ended there. Virginia is also the re-birthplace since the Civil War ended there. It produced more presidents than any other state. Virginia is home to the largest office building in the world. It had the first theater in America in 1716. The state was the first to elect an African-American governor in the US. Fort Monroe and the Casemate Museum of Virginia is the largest stone fort ever built in the US and the only moat-encircled fort still in active use. Virginia is known for its tobacco, tomatoes, meat, turkeys, Christmas trees, lumber, furniture and apple production. Its largest private employer is also the world’s largest shipbuilding yard. The first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated in Virginia. It is also known as the “Internet Capital of the world”. Virginia has the largest bridge-tunnel complex in the world. It’s home to the world’s only oyster museum. Virginia has been home to an island of wild ponies for centuries.

Our next stop will be Washington. It is the only state named after a president. Washington is the largest producer of apples, pears, sweet cherries, red raspberries and hops in the United States.
It is home to the first revolving restaurant in the continental US. Its capital is the last state capital in the USA to be built with a rotunda. It is home to the world’s largest building and the United States’ wealthiest man. It is home to the longest floating bridge in the world, the oldest operating gas station, and the first soft ice cream machine in the USA. Washington was the birthplace of guitarist Jimi Hendrix and entertainer Bing Crosby. It is also the home of Boeing Airplane Company, Amazon.com, Whitepages.com, Classmates.com and Microsoft. Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball and Cranium were invented there!

We are winding down our trip with a stop in West Virginia. It has the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It is the first of two states that joined the Union during the Civil War. Two apple varieties originated in West Virginia: the Grimes Golden apple and the Golden Delicious apple. It also had the oldest governor elected in the nation at the age of 84. It was the first state to establish a state sales tax in the US. Coal House is the only residence in the world built entirely of coal is located in West Virginia. The first brick street in the world was built in West Virginia. It has the only city in the US that extends from one state border to another. The first commercial electric railroad in the world was constructed in West Virginia. The longest city block in the world is in the state. It is the site of North America’s largest cone-shaped prehistoric burial mound. It is home to the youngest elected lawmaker in the United States. She was 17 years old when she was elected to the state House of Delegates.Mother’s Day was first celebrated in West Virginia! It is home to the only woman in the US who was daughter, wife, and mother to United States Senators! Her father, husband, and son all served as Senators, the first African-American woman to become a member of a legislative body in the United States, and to the man who piloted the world’s first supersonic flight in the Bell X-1! It has the oldest population of any of the states in the nation. It is home to the largest Sycamore Tree in the world. The first rural free mail delivery started in West Virginia.

The next to the last stop is Wisconsin. The state is known as the largest cheese producing state in the United States. It is known as the Jump Rope Capital of the world, the Inner Tubing Capital of the world, Spelling Capital of the world, and the Snowmobile Capital of the world. It is the home of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, the largest mustard collection in the world, the Republican Political Party, the Morel Mushroom Capital, the Bratwurst Capital and the Toilet Paper Capital of the world. The Ringling Brothers gave their first circus show in Wisconsin. The first commercially successful typewriter was created in Wisconsin. It also is home to the first American kindergarten.The state has a county with the most continuous shoreline and the most state parks than any other in the USA! Wisconsin has the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, including endangered Whooping Cranes. It has the largest water park in the United States. The first hydroelectric plant in the US was built there by inventor Thomas Edison. The state is also home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame!

Our final stop, but not our least important stop is in Wyoming! Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. It has the first official National Park and the first National Monument. It leads the country in mining coal and has the largest coal mine in the country! JC Penney stores were started in Wyoming. The Red Desert in south central Wyoming drains neither to the east nor the west. The Continental Divide splits and goes around the desert on all sides and leaves the basin without normal drainage. The first National Forest was established in Wyoming. It elected the first woman governor of a state and she was the only female governor to serve Wyoming. It is home to the pronghorn, the fastest mammal in the Western Hemisphere!. It has the largest hot spring in the United States.

We must remember that most of our states and rivers in the United States were named by the Native Americans who were the first to inhabit this land. We should give them respect and thank them for what they have done for the country, because without their knowledge and skills, we would not be here today!

Now that we are pulling into the station, because our trip has come to the end of the tracks, I would like to encourage you all to meet with your families, take a map and plan a vacation to some of these great places that we saw and learned about. Use pennies to mark some of your favorite places as you plan!

References:

http://www.facts.co

http://www.farmflavor.com

http://www.50states.com