Grace M. from Oregon was nice enough to send Flat Stanley to visit me this year. I was very excited when he arrived and couldn't wait to show him around the south.
Our first stop was to AARF Pet Central, the home of Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends. I have been volunteering here since last fall and they were having their 10th anniversary celebration.
Stanley was very impressed by the cake and enjoyed the human one. He thought the one for the doggies was really cute as well, but decided not to have a bite of that one!
He said "Hi" to some of the kitties in the cat room, but decided he didn't really want to go in and visit. Here he is hanging out with Hank. (Hank is still available for adoption!)
Stanley then got to go to craft night with me at my friend's church. A small group of ladies get together every month or so to hang out and be creative. Stanley wasn't all that into scrapbooking, but he had a blast exploring the model train display that was set up in the church gym. Stanley couldn't believe that he was taller than the tallest building in town!
He also had fun pestering the cows. Stanley says he likes this kind of cow much better than the other ones he's seen. He said these ones aren't scary at all.
Stanley also tried to play a trick on the trains coming out of the tunnel. Sadly, we waited and waited but the train just wasn't scheduled to come by any time soon.
Stanley eventually got bored with the trains and wandered off to some of the classrooms at the school. That is when he discovered that some of his family were from right here in Georgia! Stanley had a great time visiting with Flat Sara Kate and her friends and reading about all of their adventures!
Stanley got his own little adventure right here, too. He got to jump in a frog pond and play with all of the frogs. My friend Tracy says her students also love playing in the frog pond.
No trip to Georgia is complete without a trip to Stone Mountain. We decided to start off with some letterboxing. Some friends of mine had just planted a very special box for a very dear local letterboxer who is dealing with some health problems. Stanley thinks that there might be something hidden here.
What do you know? He was right! Thank you Stanley for helping me find this great box dedicated to Frank of Granny and Paw Paw.
Next we tackled the climb up the mountain. Stanley was a little worried about whether he could make it, but I let him know that I would help if he needed it. He was also a little worried about going up so high, but once he saw the views and the scenery, he forgot all about that. He loved all the neat looking trees on the way up.
But what he liked even more was the view of Atlanta coming back down. (It's hard to see, but I promise that Atlanta is out there somewhere.)
Stanley also got to help me surprise my husband, Fu-Hsuen, for his 40th birthday. He was out playing board games with his friends that weekend, so Stanley and I showed up and surprised him with a cheesecake.
Stanley also got the chance to take a little side trip when my husband and I went to Charleston, SC. While in Charleston, we visiting the only operating Tea Plantation in North America. Tea needs a certain type of climate to grow, and apparently the area around Charleston is perfect for it. Stanley really liked the sign showing how far away other tea plantations are.
Stanley was amazed to learn that only the new growth on the very tips of the tea plants is used to make tea. He also learned that green tea and black tea comes from the exact same plants. The type of tea you get just depends on how it is processed once it is cut off of the plants.
Perhaps the coolest part of the trip was on the way back to the hotel from the tea plantation. We learned about the Angel Oak tree at the plantation, and just had to stop. This tree is reported to be the oldest living tree on the eastern coast. Stanley was totally amazed, as were we. What a fabulous tree!
On the way back to Stone Mountain from Charleston, we stopped at Cypress Gardens. a swamp just outside of Charleston.
We did go for a boat ride, but Stanley heard that there were alligators in the water, so he stayed safely in my backpack. We didn't actually see any alligators on the ride, but did get to see some animals in their Swamparium. Stanley said his favorite was the alligator snapping turtle, but he was very glad that this fellow was behind a nice, thick piece of glass.
Thank you so much, Grace, for allowing Stanley to come visit. We had a great time!