Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flat Stanley's Big Adventure in Baltimore

Flat Stanley arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana, one spring day with his good friend Devin. Flat Stanley was very excited because he was going on a trip. He was going to Baltimore, Maryland, with Devin's aunt. Flat Stanley and Devin's aunt were going to visit Devin's uncle who was studying at a big hospital in Baltimore called Johns Hopkins. Flat Stanley was going to ride on an airplane, spend four nights at The Blue Door Bed and Breakfast, and visit many sites in a city that is 280 years old! He was mostly thrilled about seeing the harbor and all the ships and sailboats. Flat Stanley could hardly sleep the night before because he was so excited about his big trip and all the adventures he hoped to have.

Flat Stanley could barely sit still while waiting to board the airplane. He looked at all the travelers with their suitcases and bags, and he wondered where everyone was going. Once on the airplane Flat Stanley was happy to have a window seat. He wondered what it would be like to fly straight through a cloud.

Flat Stanley loved his cheerful room at The Blue Door on Baltimore. He loved meeting Cecelia and Roger, the innkeepers. Roger prepared a delicious breakfast for Stanley each morning, and Cecelia baked wonderful little treats that were always waiting for Stanley in his room at the end of the day.

Flat Stanley was happy to finally be in Baltimore! It is an old city on the Chesapeake Bay. The inner city streets are lined with row houses. The Blue Door, Flat Stanley's home- away-from- home, is in a remodeled row house. Many of the streets in parts of the city are brick.

Flat Stanley loved all the great food and restaurants in Baltimore. He had a giant hamburger at Miss Irene's. The waiter there wanted a picture with him. Stanley also liked the spaghetti in Little Italy and the crab cakes at MaMa's on the Half Shell. Baltimore was very cold so Stanley was always happy to stop for hot tea.

There were seagulls all along the harbor. Flat Stanley liked to try to call them.

"Caw! Caw! Caw!" But the gulls just ignored him. The gulls reminded Stanley of his favorite joke.

Why do seagulls hang out in the sea instead of the bay?

Because if they hung out in the bay, they'd be bay-gulls!"

Dear Devin,

Today I had quite an adventure. While watching the construction workers build a tall building, I slipped away and walked out on a giant crane. A worker saw me and brought me back down to your aunt. She was very scared. I wasn't. It was fun. Later we passed the police station. I was glad I didn't end up there!

Your friend, Stanley

After Stanley left the construction site, he and Devin's aunt walked to the Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor has been a major seaport in the United States since the 1700's. Now the Inner Harbor has all kinds of fun attractions. You can visit the Baltimore Aquarium, take a water taxi to Ft. McHenry, and see the Orioles play at Camden Yards.

Several old ships are docked right in the harbor. The USS Constellation was one that Stanley loved. It was the last all-sail warship built by the U. S. Navy. Stanley loved the big cannons that came right out of the sides of the big ship. He also liked the Coast Guard ship that had survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. But Stanley's favorite was the big World War II submarine, the USS Torsk. It had a big mouth with sharp teeth painted right on the front. Stanley imagined that if he saw that submarine in the ocean, it would look like a giant shark!

Stanley loved the seaport. Visiting the USS Constellation, the World War II submarine, and the Coast Guard ship from Pearl Harbor made Stanley wish he was a sailor. He kept answering every question with "Aye Aye, Captain!"

Stanley had his picture made in front of a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, one of the oldest, free public libraries in the country. He thought he would check out some sailing books from his own library when he got home. He could not get enough of the water and boats!

Flat Stanley loved Baltimore. He loved The Blue Door, the harbor, the big ships and little boats, the museum, and the seafood (although he mainly ate hamburgers). Flat Stanley did not want to leave Baltimore, but he did want to tell Devin all about his adventures. And to do that...he had to go home!