Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I finally got my bananas!

But the moment was fleeting, they were gone so soon.....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Adendum - The last leg home

Day 17, August 5, 2009

We didn't end up leaving the last campground until 1:00 pm so I thought it was really one more day on our vacation and I could write a little more. Besides, the old lady took some really cute pictures of me, of course.

This morning, we woke up to find a raccoon had opened the cooler and drunk two sodas and half of 5 beers. He actually ripped one of the soda cans in half and flung it across the campsite. I can't believe he didn't wake up the man with the fuzzy face, but he must have staggered off before anyone saw or heard him (the coon, not the man with the fuzzy face). We found out later that it happens all the time. I wish they'd told us in the beginning. The man with the fuzzy face was counting on those beers when we got home tonight!

I was very afraid the raccoon would come back and take me away too. After all, I'm much better than an old soda or beer. But I watched out the window all morning and I never saw him. Of course, after I sat there for an hour, Daddy finally tells me that raccoons are noct...., noktr....., that they come out only at night, so he wouldn't have been sitting out there to take me away anyway!

So since Daddy and Auntie had gone back to that nasty, wet, sandy place, the old lady and I did some safe exploring on our own. She pointed out that the beach isn't really a bad place, as long as one's fuzzy self stays far away from the water. So we explored the awesome grass stuff that the old lady said were called sea oats (but that we couldn't make bread or eat them, what a waste!) and collected lots of pretty shells.

Then the old lady stuffed me in her pocket (not the best way to travel, but probably the safest on a bike) and took me over to the cool fort I told you about yesterday. It was very old and really fun to look through. I was amazed at how well everything was preserved but the old lady said she thought she'd read something about it being restored. I guess that means they put it back the way it was, after it went away for awhile. I wonder if anyone will restore me if I get old and ratty....

Anyway, the first place we went was the jail. The old lady said if I didn't behave, this is where I would end up. I don't know what she was talking about. I'm always a good monkey!

And then I went back to my old habit of taking a nap in one of the nice comfy beds. See if you can find me. The old lady was pretty far away when she took my picture. We went in a few more rooms and saw some more cool things like civil war uniforms, supplies, postal stuff, and gun powder, and then the old lady said we'd better head back because it was getting late.

Just as we arrived back at the camper, Daddy, Auntie and the man with the fuzzy face showed up, showered real quick, ate a sandwich (still no BANANAS!) and then we hit the road for the last 4.5 hour leg home.

We arrived back safe and sound. The house is still standing and that stupid dog is still here. I'm happy to be back and am settling down in my own little bed for a long sleep. The old lady goes off to work already tomorrow and everyone else is off to points unknown. I'll be happy just to sit here and enjoy being home.

Ta for now....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back in Florida

Day 16, August 4, 2009

We left Georgia at 9:00 and got to Fort Clinch State Park around 11:00. It is right on the beach on Amelia's Island, whoever she is. I want to know why she gets her own island when I can't even get one stinkin' banana!

This park is huge! It's 4 miles from the entrance gate to the actual camping area and 2 miles back to the beach where Auntie and Daddy could swim. It's on a pennin....., penneinn......, a large piece of land that sticks out into the water. A river is on one side and the Atlantic is on the other.

As soon as we got here, Auntie and Daddy put on their weird swimming clothes while the old lady and the man with the fuzzy face set up the camper. Then they got on their bikes and headed off to find water. I stayed hidden in the camper.

When they got back for lunch, they told me they nearly died riding their bikes in the hot sun on the beach trying to find the part where they could swim. Instead, they found the actual fort that Fort Clinch State Park is named after. They said it was really cool with all the rooms and buildings laid out like they looked in the civil war. I was sorry I hadn't gone because I'd like to have seen it, but I really was afraid of the sand and water. And the old lady didn't take the camera either for the same reason, so I didn't even get to take pictures. Hopefully I can see it tomorrow morning before we leave.

After lunch, they climbed into the truck (the old lady said something about not killing herself trying to find the beach by bicycle) and headed off again for salt and sand. Again, I stayed home and so did the camera.

They came back about 3 hours later, all sandy, yucky, and wet, but happy. Everyone went swimming and built sand castles. They said they wanted to build one for me, but the tide kept getting higher and higher and washing it away. I was very happy that I wasn't there.

Auntie and the old lady went off to take a shower while Daddy and the man with the fuzzy face started putting things away because the sky was getting darker and darker and it was starting to go boom boom in the sky. Right after the showering girls returned, the skies opened up and dumped gallons of water all over us. I was terrified! The worst part is, when they were home for lunch, I was so excited about all the trees, I went to climb one and they forgot I was there! Right before it started to rain, my friend Wilbur reminded them of where I was. I would have caught the wet disease for sure!

We haven't had much luck with rain and this time was no exception. Once again, there was a raging river running through the campsite and under the camper. The man with the fuzzy face tried to dig trenches to divert the water, but it didn't work. There was just too much flowing through. Finally it stopped and was so pretty they went out to explore again. I was still in shock from almost being left in the trees that I stayed home. But this time the old lady brought the camera and took some pretty pictures to show me when they got back.

Daddy and the man with the fuzzy face fished and even the old lady tried her hand at it. The old lady told me there were beautiful shells and sea oats all over the place. The only bad part was an ugly looking mill toward the south. I wonder what they did there....

After dinner, they went out again and the old lady took pictures of the sun set. It was beautiful and amazing since we were on the east coast. And so, the sun sets on our wonderful vacation. Tomorrow we're packing up and driving the last leg back home. We've had a wonderful time but I for one will be happy to be home and maybe I'll finally get my bananas!

On the Road Again

Day 15, August 3, 2009

This morning dawned bright and very, very humid. The windows in the camper were dripping with moisture from the cold A/C inside and the hot humid air outside. The old lady had promised Daddy and Auntie a swim in the pool before we had to leave, but they wouldn't open it because the owners said they'd just shocked the pool. I wonder how you shock a pool? Do you say bad things to it or wave your fuzzy little butt at it?

There was a really pretty lake on the other side of the pool. The old lady thought the man with the fuzzy face might try to fish for a minute, but he was ready to get on the road, so get on the road we did!

Straight down I-95 can be a very boring trip after awhile. It's a good thing Daddy and Auntie can entertain me and that I can read when we run out of anything else to do.

The man with the fuzzy face splurged for lunch and actually bought McDonalds for everyone. The old lady and the man with the fuzzy face HATE McDonalds! But they have some new thing called a McCafe that the old lady has been wanting to taste and it was free on Mondays. I don't know what the big fuss was, if it isn't bananas, who cares?

We arrived at our next destination which was the town of St. Mary's, at the very southeastern part of Georgia. We got to Crooked River State Park around 3:30, got set up and started exploring. Just like the other Georgia state park, they had a pool, but also like the other one, they couldn't afford to keep it up, so they'd let it go all green. I was just as happy that it was unusable, but Daddy and Auntie were very disappointed and the man with the fuzzy face didn't understand why they did that instead of just charging an extra $5 entrance fee for swimming. Did I mention I don't really care one way or the other?

The place was very interesting and different. There was one odd thing though, there was a section that was blocked off because a road and bank had fallen way down and created a dangerous cliff. We couldn't figure out how the cliff got formed that way. The old lady said she was going to look it up on the internet when we got home to see of there was a bad storm through there recently.

We were right on a river, and the park was very pretty, but the water was dirty and there was nowhere to swim. The whole reason the old lady had picked it was so the man with the fuzzy face could fish and Auntie and Daddy could swim. So the old lady and the man with the fuzzy face got back on the computer and found a place called Fernandina Beach which was supposed to be one or two more exits south on that boring I-95 road. But when the old lady looked up reservations, she found out it was booked full. So they held a family council and decided to pack up the camper in the morning, call them as soon as they open, see if they had any sites that someone had just moved out of and move there if they did. If they didn't, we'd head on back home.

In the mean time, we had a yummy fish dinner, Daddy made another cool fire, the man with the fuzzy face tried to catch a few fishies, we explored the interesting driftwood on the small river beach, and Auntie and the old lady took a much needed shower. I've waved goodnight to the beautiful moon and now it's bed time. I'm really tired so I'm headed under my blanket.... Ta for now.


Day 14, August 2, 2009

This morning brought more bad news. I don't think Washington, DC like's us very much. The weatherman said there was an 80% chance of rain with lots of thunder and lightening. Knowing the roads would be backed up, the museums would be even more packed with everyone having to stay inside, and the chances of getting soaked, the family made the sad decision to go ahead and pack up the camper and leave. There was a Marine Corps museum they wanted to look at which was on the way out of town, so we packed up the camper (I tried to help, of course, by holding the cord, while the man with the fuzzy face, released the awning, but I flew up into the roll and ended up squashed in the canvas. The man with the fuzzy face was not happy he had to pull it all out again to get me out. How does he think I felt, being all flat?) It started raining right as they got everything put away. The campers next to us had a garden gnome they took everywhere, just like I go everywhere. Daddy insisted the old lady take my picture with it. But it was raining! I had to sit on a wet table, getting pelted with rain drops, just to have my picture taken with a clay statue! It was very unpleasant!

The Marine Corps museum was very cool. It was shaped kind of like a famous statue. It had a big point at the top and was all glass. There were planes suspended inside like at the Air and Space Museum.

Daddy got to simulate shooting an M16 at a target. He got the bullseye once and was close to the center on almost all the other shots. Did I mention my daddy is awesome?! He also picked up a heavy backpack like the soldiers have to carry. It weighed like 120 pounds or something. I wanted to try but Daddy said I'd be squished flat.

There were lots of life-size displays of combat soldiers during various wars in history. One room was supposed to be Korea in the winter so they had the A/C turned way down so you could even feel the cold. I was freezing! The man with the fuzzy face pointed out lots of dates and pictures when Grandpa Porter was in the service. There was a computer screen in the gift shop where you could look up names on bricks out front or on the honor roll. Auntie looked up Grandpa Porter and there he was! We left his name on the screen when we left the gift shop.

Just outside the gift shop, we looked outside and it was pouring!!! I wasn't going anywhere near that! Luckily, the man with the fuzzy face had brought an umbrella with us into the museum and it let up a little as we headed outside, so I didn't get wet. That made me very happy, so I rode next the man with the fuzzy face and helped him drive.

Our next stop was supposed to be a place called Waldo's Beach. It was supposed to have a small water park and a "beach" for the kids to play in. Since we left DC with an extra travel day, the old lady was considering staying an extra night there and letting the kids play. We pulled in to the town around 5:30, low on gas and even lower on patience. We got to the campground and even though there were lots of people swimming in the pool and playing on the water slide, there was no one to be found who could check us in. Finally, a very nice life guard directed us to a Korean gentleman who could barely speak english. He got on the phone to someone and then announced there was no room, we couldn't spend the night! We could see there was plenty of room, so obviously, since it was late on a Sunday night, the owner didn't want to be bothered.

So now what would we do? The life guard and his friend tried to help by telling us how to get to Ft. Bragg where they said we could camp. But we were so low on fuel, we had to find a gas station with diesel and fast. To make a long story short, we ended up driving back and forth through Hope Mills 4 or 5 times, got lost, never found Ft. Bragg, got on the phone and finally got to really nice place called Lazy Acres at around 6:30. That should have been our first choice! I liked it much better. I wasn't too thrilled with the water park idea anyway. I would have been hiding somewhere the whole time.

The man with the fuzzy face wants to tell the whole world what a horrible place that Waldo's Beach was and how nice they were at Lazy Acres. I told him I'd type it in here, but that I wasn't sure if the whole world would see it....

We set up in record time and the man with the fuzzy face set to work snapping green beans and marinating chicken thighs. Daddy and Auntie went off exploring, but I was content just to watch the man with the fuzzy face with my friend Wilbur and offer advice now and then.

The evening turned out to be very pleasant. The food was good, Auntie and Daddy watched Merlin on TV and they even lit a campfire. I was afraid of the flames, especially when Daddy threw me to Auntie right next to it and she dropped me! A monkey's life can be very hard. Time for bed. Ta for now.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Day 13, August 1, 2009

This morning we woke up just in time to watch the man with the fuzzy face head off to return the rental car and get the big white truck back. We all ate breakfast with our fingers crossed that it would run ok.

When he got back, we headed once again for the train station. But today was really annoying because of traffic. Note to self: next time I go to Washington, DC, don't be there on a Saturday or Sunday. (Not that I'll be heading there any time soon, certainly not by myself!) Traffic is worse than usual and the museums are PACKED!!!! It took us an hour to go 20 miles up the road. When we got to the Metrorail, they were working on the tracks so the trains were really slow and we had to change trains a lot at different stations.

We didn't even arrive at the American History Museum again until after 1:00, already tired, hungry and grouchy, and then because of all the people, every exhibit had a long line. There was a special exhibit of Abraham Lincoln that the old lady really wanted to see, but we couldn't even get near it.

Daddy and Auntie had a lot of fun in one room called the Spark Lab, where they learned how things were invented. They didn't even notice the guys with the big camera and the microphone waving over their heads. I would have been posing all over the place, but I was outside the room with the old lady and the man with the fuzzy face.

We finally couldn't stand all the people any more and headed outside, but everything we wanted to see was a long walk and the buses weren't running regular schedules. Stupid Saturday! So they decided to walk up the hill to see the Washington Monument up close. It really was amazing. We leaned against the wall and looked up at the sky. It was like we were lying down on a really long bed.

and then decided to find the Metrorail stop and try to find the waterfront. Auntie Jeanie said there were good places to get cheap food which was right up the man with the fuzzy face's alley. I was a little worried because I don't like smelling like fish and the old lady wasn't too sure where we were going.... Another Vaughanventure....

On the way to the Metrorail, we passed the IRS and the FBI buildings. I don't know why the old lady and the man with the fuzzy face kept scowling at the IRS building but Daddy really liked the FBI building. He says he wants to be a sheriff, a secret service man, or join the FBI.

Because we didn't know where we were going, the old lady picked a random Metrorail stop that looked like it was close to the waterfront. It turned out to be kind of a scary area and a few blocks from the actual water. Of course, we headed the wrong way from the stop and ended up as far away from the fish place as we could have gotten. Luckily, we ran into a nice lady who lived at the marina, walking her dogs, who gave us directions on how to find the fish market and how to find a closer Metrorail stop.

The man with the fuzzy face was in heaven. I could see the wheels turning in his head trying to figure out how he could get all that fresh fish back to the camper. As I feared, it was very smelly and dirty and I was terrified I'd end up smelling like a flounder. In the end, they ordered fried fish, crab cakes, and clam chowder and ate it under a highway overpass on a grassy hill. Oh, yeah, because it also had started to rain! I hate rain. Did you know stuffed animals get something called the wet disease which is very unpleasant and can be fatal?

The whole family was very tired, and very, very tired of walking, but they couldn't lay around under an overpass all night (the homeless guy living up the hill probably wouldn't have appreciated them invading his space) so they finally got up, trudged up the hill and headed toward the Metrorail stop which was underneath a fancy hotel. I don't think I'd want to stay there. Every time a train came into the station, my bed would shake and I'd fall on the floor.

On the way home on the Metrorail, Auntie took a close look at me and declared I was filthy and needed a bath. A BATH!!??? I hate baths! I hope there are no washing machines in any of the campgrounds on the way home!

It's late, I'm really tired and worried about that bath, so I'm going to sleep! Good night! And let's hope I don't have any nightmares about soap and water!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

National History Museum

Day 12, July 31, 2009

Another day in beautiful Washington DC. I woke up this morning thinking, maybe today is the day I see the President! Everyone was still a little worried about the truck but the man with the fuzzy face said we need to just enjoy ourselves and keep a stiff upper lip. I wasn't sure how keeping your face all distorted could help make the truck feel better, but I tried.

Now that we were Metrorail experts, the ride into the Mall was simple and uneventful. We went back to the Air and Space museum to see the last room that we'd missed yesterday. And it was a good thing we did! We saw this great bear named Magellan that traveled all over the world even more than I have! He's gotten to spend time with presidents, I don't see why I can't! On the other hand, now that he's retired, they keep him in that silly seat behind glass all the time. I'd want to be out and hugged! In the same room was a real plane that Daddy and I flew and they even had a contest with paper airplanes where Daddy came in second!!! Out of over 30 kids tossing planes through a hoop. My daddy is really awesome!

While we were waiting for the contest to start, the old lady got a nice picture of Auntie again. That's two!

Soon, it was off across the big mall to the National Museum of Natural History. What a huge place! We took hundreds of pictures of me on all kinds of wonderful things. It was hard to pick which pictures to include, so I'll just pick the ones where I'm cute... Oh, that doesn't make it any easier, I'm cute in all of them! Right at the beginning, I almost ran right back out of there and all the way back to the camper. A giant dinosaur picked me up in it's teeth and was going to eat me. I was soooo scared! But then I got to play with these half naked cavemen type guys and they made me laugh so much I forgot to be scared.

I really liked the monkey skeletons so I could see what my insides look like. The old lady and the man with the funny faced looked at me weird and said, "Well, that's not exactly what YOUR insides look like..." I don't know why.... I'm a monkey, they are monkeys....

Daddy's favorite room was the insect room. He got to hold a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Ewwwwwwww!!!!!! There were also all kinds of spiders and really pretty butterflies.

The old lady's favorite room was the rock and gem room. They had all kinds of beautiful glittering things. They even had a whole display of raw gold. It was so pretty and shiny! But she laid me on some amath, amith, some really pretty purple stuff and it was really pointy in my back! I didn't like that at all!

We exited soon after that and headed next door to the American History Museum. There was all kinds of interesting displays of how our different mode's of transportation started. There was nothing about Minkeys in backpacks so they missed one. I stopped and sat with a cute little girl in front of an old trolly car but she was very cold and quiet and wouldn't say anything. The old lady tried chatting up to a lady waiting for the train but got the same reaction. Those people weren't very friendly.

During the walk around the museum, the man with the fuzzy face got a call from Dodge that the truck was fixed! And it didn't cost nearly as much as they first said. It still costed a lot, so I guess I'm not getting any bananas for awhile.

After the phone call, the mood was a little lighter until later in the day when everyone started to get really tired and really, really hungry. Did you know there are NO restaurants in the "Mall" area where all the monuments and museums are? The old lady got on the phone with our hero, Auntie Jeanie who tried to guide us to some restaurants. We thought the ones she named were too far away, but we ended up walking almost that far anyway! On the way, we saw a very old stage. I didn't see any plaque saying what it was, but it looked like an old stage where presidents would give speeches and such until all the roads were built up around it. We also passed THE WHITE HOUSE!! I tried to climb through the fence and run up and see the president, but Daddy pointed out the man with the gun on the roof and said I'd be blown into little fluff pieces if I tried!

We ended up at a really good sandwich shop at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue called Cosi's. The old lady liked it because it was healthy, Daddy liked it because it had pizza, the man with the fuzzy face and Auntie just liked it because they didn't have to walk any more. As we approached the block where Cosi's was, there were lots of police and secret service people running around and they had the street blocked off. When we got all they way to where the crowd had gathered, the man with the fuzzy face found out we had just missed the president's motorcade! He's going to be so disappointed he missed me by 5 minutes!

While we were eating, some important looking gentlemen in business suits came in to eat. They had microphones behind their ears and guns and badges on their belts. Daddy said they were secret service. They didn't seem very secret to me.

After we rested and recovered from all the walking, we headed out to walk some more and find the metro station back home. We arrived at our little campground around 9:00 pm, very tired and ready for bed. Ta for now....