Poconos Flat Travelers Bed and Breakfast

Welcome to the only known Flat Travelers Bed and Breakfast! Located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, this B&B hosts FTs from all around the world. To make a reservation, leave a comment to any post. And if you don't know what Flat Travelers are, you're missing out! Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FlatTravelers to find out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Links to things we saw and did at the Franklin Institute

We only took pictures of a few things, and we weren't allowed (or it wasn't possible) to photograph the IMAX movie and the Body Worlds exhibit. So, here are a few links to the other exhibits we visited on Saturday, March 4:

Franklin . . . He's Electric! http://www.fi.edu/tfi/exhibits/franklin.html
The Giant Heart http://www.fi.edu/giantheart/index.html
IMAX film: The Human Body http://www.fi.edu/tfi/info/body.html

and the highlight of our anatomy-themed visit . . .
Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies http://www.fi.edu/bodyworlds/gallery.html

There's so much more to see and do at the Franklin Institute that we can't wait to go back. There's good news, though--we bought a membership to the museum! Hooray!

The Soapbox Collector

We also enjoyed learning about the motion of a pendulum, and the intriguing applications of this Focault's pendulum.

We couldn't visit the Franklin Institute without examining the exhibits that told us about the life and times of Ben Franklin himself, many of which were situated around this impressive statue.

And the tiny black dot of a hole just beside this probe is the largest artery that serves the heart tissue itself. (This, compared to the great big and easily found aorta!)

We find and name each valve . . .

The model of a human heart on the desk helps us find and identify the parts of the real heart in the tray.

We're still in this part of the museum when we hear of an opportunity to watch a sheep's heart dissection.

If there's enough plaque to block the artery, then not even a baby can fit through!

Anyone can fit through the giant unclogged artery, but if it's hardened by plaque, only a toddler can make his way with ease.

a little blurry, but that's Kiki up there in the pulmonary vein, halfway through the giant walk-through heart

When asked, Kiki was quick to volunteer the names and functions of the different parts of the eye.

Next, we joined a small group to watch closely as our docent dissected a real cow's eye.

and even the Soapbox Collector had to try the challenging task!

The telegraph drew in Grrlinthemoon to try her hand at sending coded messages . . .

Kiki uses a telegraph to send messages in Morse code--it's far trickier than it looks!

Jinn Quon sets up an electromagnetic spinner in his project. To his left, you can just make out his last effort--using electromagnets to create free-floating stirrers for chemistry labs.

Kiki rotates components with magnets while learning how an electric motor works.

Jinn Quon and Kiki experiment with electromagnets and electromagnetic devices

Without the flash, we can see why Kiki was so fascinated!

Kiki examines the production of electricity at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

The PFT B& B Resurfaces

We've been in our new house for a year and a half now, give or take, and the great many changes in our lives haven't been shared with any recent Flat Travelers. But, it seems our family still wants to see pictures of our lives, Flatties or no.

I'm still partial to the idea of re-opening our FT B&B--but right now, we're still a bit too busy to promise guests a prompt return trip. So for the time being, I'll keep with the family photos.

So to my mother and stepfather, my sister-in-law, my father-in-law, and all our other relatives . . . here you go!

The Soapbox Collector

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Hello, families!

This is us, Justin and Brandon writing home again. We've had quite an eventful two days. See, we thought that being way up north in the mountains, we were far away from feeling any real effects from Hurricane Ivan, although we watched the news carefully to be sure our families in Georgia and Texas, respectively, were OK.

But the storms got here Friday evening. We didn't really think a lot of it, because we were expecting thunderstorms and we pretty much slept through it. The Soapbox Collector had to teach a class early Saturday morning, so she had to drive to Scranton to the university. The first we heard that the storms were very big, was when she called from her car to say that she was on her third detour trying to get from the B&B to work, and that if we needed anything from the store we should come up with a list before she was done teaching. She said she would stop at the store on the way home if we wanted, but that nobody should plan on going back out once she got home. She also told us that one street near the B&B, which we take all the time, was now under rushing whitewater! We didn't need anything from the store, but we did go look outside. Wow!

As the day went on, we heard more. There were a lot of mandatory evacuations, and the governor declared the region a disaster area. Some manufactured homes and RVs floated away, leaving some people homeless. A whole lot of roads were closed, as were most of the bridges. There was an incident of major mine subsidence in the middle of a street, that scared drivers and swallowed a parked car, but nobody was hurt in the subsidence--it just left a giant 50 to 60-foot-deep hole in the road!

We didn't really go outside yesterday, because it just wasn't very pleasant out. The Soapbox Collector made it home safe and sound, but she was ranting a lot about how the high school kids taking her SAT prep class had shown up for class, all but one. They had all driven themselves, some from pretty far away. The Soapbox Collector kept asking Grrlinthemoon things like what kind of families would send inexperienced teenage drivers out in the flood for something like her class. We didn't really understand all of that, because we're only used to homeschooling and neither of us drives anywhere, but we do know that the Soapbox Collector thinks unschooling is really good.

Today, it was bright and sunshine-y, but there was still a lot of water if you went down below where the B&B is. Fortunately, we're up almost to the top of a big hill, and with a pretty steep yard, so we didn't have any flood damage at all. But at the bottom of this hill, just two blocks away, is the Lackawanna River. The river flooded all along the valley.

The newspaper this morning had lots of pictures of the flood, and stories about it. Some areas got almost 9 inches of rain in 24 hours! You can read the newspaper articles and see a few pictures at this link: http://www.scrantontimes.com . The articles there don't have the pictures that were in the newspaper, though. We wanted to show you the pictures to go with the stories at http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12955242&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6 and http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12955251&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6 . But, the Soapbox Collector said to get our moms to read the stories first, and then see if they want to share them with the kids, because they're a little bit scary. If you want to see the pictures, we can try photographing the newspaper and sending them to you. The Soapbox Collector said we shouldn't post them on the Internet because there are lots of little kids who look at the B&B blog, and because of something about copyrights.

OK, we're going to bed now. We love you!

Justin and Brandon

Thursday, September 16, 2004

From Justin--packing up, and heading home soon

Hello, family!

There's so much going on here, that it feels sometimes like I could stay forever! But the truth is, I miss you. So, I think I'm going to pack things up soon and come home. If there's anything in particular you want me to bring, please e-mail, OK?

I've had a wonderful time in Pennsylvania!


(Justin) ForestElf read a poem she wrote. It was really good, too. I was so impressed with all the great talent at the park yesterday! Posted by Hello

Kiki took the stage herself, to sing an original song, "Wait for the Sun to Rise." It was amazing! She has such an incredible voice! Did you know that she even had a job singing before, like with a paycheck for performing? Cool! Now she sings with the Marywood University Children's Chorus. Posted by Hello

Kiki's friend Horselover played her cello. She's been playing for six years, and she's *really* good! She played beautiful music, that made one of the moms at the park cry. Posted by Hello

This park day was a big day, too; Kiki had organized a talent show. She planned and promoted the whole thing herself. We were really impressed! This is a view from "backstage" during the show. Posted by Hello

(Justin) On Wednesday (September 15), we went to Lackawanna State Park to meet with the homeschool group. It's awesome there! Can you find us? Why say "cheese" for the camera when you can stand in the middle of it instead? Posted by Hello

(Justin) When she first said we could pick out an apple, Brandon and I leaped into this forest of candy and caramel apples! The Soapbox Collector said that wasn't what she meant. She did let us try some fresh cider, though--YUMMY! Posted by Hello

The Soapbox Collector let us each pick out an apple, too. We bought a lot of things--Kiki begged for an acorn squash, so we got that, and we got a whole lot of these little tomatoes called "Sweeties" that everyone loves. Then Jinn Quon asked for a cantalope . . . and Grrlinthemoon had asked us to be sure and bring home peaches--what a feast! Posted by Hello

(Brandon) There! A new day, and new pictures! This is Monday, and the Soapbox Collector took my and Justin's picture at the Farmer's Market where we went to buy vegetables. I didn't even know there were so many different kinds of eggplant until we went here! Posted by Hello

(Justin) Just one more, so they can see into the woods, and . . .  Posted by Hello

(Brandon) Justin wants to post every picture he took! I *told* him you wouldn't want to see *every* picture, but he said you won't know what it looks like here if he doesn't share them! Good grief! Posted by Hello

Here's another picture from Justin, of the gazebo reflecting in the lake. Posted by Hello

Flat Justin really liked the park, and wanted to share this picture of the trees reflecting in the water down by the lake. When the weather's warmer, we can swim in the lake--but not today! Posted by Hello

And from her perch on top of the swings, here's the view down the hill of Jinn Quon! Posted by Hello

Whenever there's something to climb, Kiki's straight to the top--every time! Posted by Hello

Justin and Kiki, just hangin' out Posted by Hello

Now Brandon can have a turn to climb up on the roof! Posted by Hello