Road Trip with the Bennett Family

Field Museum, ChicagoEarlier this summer, I traveled with the Bennett family to Wisconsin. I had never gone on a road trip before, and it was such a cool adventure! I asked them to write about our journey, so this entry is actually by my new friends. Thank you, Bennett family!


On our way to visit family in Wisconsin we stopped at Pilot Mountain, NC and had lunch. The view was awesome; we could see for miles.Sue at Field Museum We went through five other states to reach Wisconsin. At dusk we drove along the Ohio River to Cincinnati. We couldn’t camp as planned because there were many thunderstorms and a tornado watch. Driving through Indiana, we saw windmill farms with hundreds of windmills all over the corn fields. We camped and rode bikes along the Kankakee River just south of Chicago. The next day we went to the Field Museum in Chicago. They had a giant dinosaur skeleton named Sue; it’s one of the most complete dinosaurs in the world.

From the Field Museum we took a bus to “The Bean” in Millennium Park and walked back toward the museum through Grant Park and along the shore of Lake Michigan. Standing under the Bean, we could see multiple reflections of ourselves. Other views made us look really fat.

Physics Museum UW MadisonIn Sheboygen we biked around town, bought local honey, and saw the lighthouse on the lake. It was cold because the wind was blowing off of Lake Michigan, and the lake was only 38 degrees. (This was June!) We went to Madison to see where Dad studied physics in graduate school. We ate brats and dogs by a lake and then visited the Physics Museum. As you can see, one of our favorite pictures of Tommy is his reflection in a concave mirror, distorting his image.

We toured Hennings Cheese Factory and tasted cheese curds for the first time.Making String Cheese

On our way home we stayed at Brown County State Park Lodge with a waterpark. We need to move around after sitting in the car so much!

We had a great trip and loved having Tommy with us!

Wilmington, NC with the Strickland Family

wilmington3 I just got home from the beach with Hayley and her family, and it was such a great trip! We drove out to Wilmington, North Carolina, where we explored the beaches and ate great food.

My favorite beach was Kure Beach, where we walked along the boardwalk on Ocean Front Park. When we went swimming, the waves were so big! I was nervous about swimming alone in the ocean since those waves were so gigantic, but Hayley hung on to me to keep me safe.


We also went fishing. We caught lots of fish, including a croaker and an oyster cracker. Wow, are those oyster crackers ugly! Who knew? They are also called oyster toadfish, and they eat all kinds of stuff, like squid, clams, and shrimp.

wilmington4One of my favorite stops on our vacation was to Fort Fisher. Fort Fisher is a Civil War National Historic Landmark that kept North Carolina’s port of Wilmington open to blockade-runners supplying important goods to the Confederate armies.

wilmington2Overall, it was a fantastic adventure, and I’m grateful to Hayley for bringing me along!



Welcome Back to School!

backtoschoolYesterday, I went to two open houses with Ms. Stephanie: Easley Elementary and Holt Elementary. Both of these schools are year-round, so school starts next week for the kids who go there! I think going to school all year long is a great idea because then you don’t forget all the smart things you learned throughout the year! Good thinking, guys!

easley1Well, we started the day at Easley, and we sat at a table right outside the media center. We also happened to be next to the After School Program table, which was fantastic! We met Mr. Smith, who runs the program. Ms. Stephanie and I are so excited to work with Mr. Smith and the kids to put together some exciting new programs for the school year. Keep a look out for what’s coming soon!

Next, we went over to Holt, where we had a huge table across from the school nurse. Well, that table over there was super cool because you got to make pretend sandwiches and talk about food. How fun! We got to spend some time in the preschool class with Ms. Jones. Those preschoolers are so much fun, and we can’t wait for our first visit in September for storytime!

It was so much fun to meet all the families who attend Easley and Holt. Everyone was so friendly and enthusiastic to talk to us. I can’t wait to see you all in the fall for our awesome programs. I’m even more excited to see all the new places I get to go. So don’t forget about me as you consider future travels – even your first class field trip!

Blowing Rock, NC with the Grant Family

One weekend in June, I went to Blowing Rock, North Carolina with the Grant family. Rollie and Ryan took me to see a bunch of different sights. We went to Mystery Hill where the laws of gravity don’t apply: There’s a special room where everything seems to be backwards! Water runs up hill instead of down. I got to ride on a special swing that was hard to push one way but easy to push the other. I still don’t know how that works. One of the best parts of Mystery Hill is the bubble room. Ryan tried to fit inside of a giant bubble. Way cool!

After Mystery Hill, we went to Blowing Rock Memorial Park. I attempted the climbing wall, and I wasn’t scared one bit. The park also has a jungle gym, swings, and two basketball courts. It was so much fun!

Rollie and Ryan wanted me to see the sights on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so we took a drive. We stopped at the Wilson Creek Valley overlook, and we were up so high! I loved being able to see all of the mountains and valleys from the sky.

A trip to Blowing Rock is never complete without a visit to the library, where I got to play with some puzzles and read a few books.

I had a great weekend with the Grants, and I can’t wait to go on my next adventure.


Hi! My name is Tommy, and I live at Durham County Library’s North Regional Library in Durham, North Carolina. My favorite thing to do is to travel the world with my friends and take tons of silly photos. I’ve already had the chance to travel to quite a few places this summer, but I’m super excited to go someplace with you!

Tommy in a concave mirror

I like to take silly pictures like this one of me reflected in a concave mirror.

Some of the places I’ve been so far include Myrtle Beach, SC for a softball tournament (we won!) and Wisconsin, where we explored the Ice Age Trail. Along the way, we explore a lot of other places, too. I’ve also been to Washington, D.C. and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I can’t wait to go to the Bahamas with Ms. Tanika! I’ll admit, I really hope I don’t miss the flight, though. Last month, I slept in too late and totally missed the flight to Hawaii with Ms. Stephanie. We were supposed to visit my cousin, Timmy! Luckily, Ms. Stephanie took lots of photographs for me.

I’m really looking forward to going on a trip with you soon, so please stop by the Children’s Desk to see when I’m free. See you soon!