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Crossing the USA (July 5, 2002)

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We are coming home to Michigan, closer, but still not home.

Mom showed us her home town, her elementary school, and her school. At the school, we played at the park in front. The elementary school, mom's grandpa helped build. We also saw Colleen. Colleen works at a hat shop. Cam is almost as big as her, and he can dive into the pool. There is a pool outdoors in Colleen's place, and there is a pool indoors at our place. The pool outside Colleen's place goes all the way to nine feet deep. Although, the ground was hard and bumpy, so we got blisters. So instead, we just stayed in. There's also a hot tub at our place. We also got swim suits, since we had sent the ones that we had used in China and Africa home. 

Now we are staying on Silver Lake. It's still hot here, but it isn't as hot. We are staying at the Dunes Waterfront Resort, where there are big sand dunes across the lake. There's a swimming pool, but it only goes three feet deep. When we were done at the Dunes Waterfront Resort, we went outside to the playground, and played at the beach. It's for guests only. There's also a park next door with a slide and shade, but it's for the next-door hotel.

When we were done at the beach, we went to small sand dunes, where there was the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. Cam and I ran around and hid from mom and dad. I think mom and dad saw us a couple of times, but we didn't know -- and also, it didn't matter. Cam and I built forts with big walls on the edge of the water. I built fat walls; Cam built thin walls. Cam's walls went faster but collapsed more easily. My fat walls were slower, but could withstand a lot. Mom built another small wall behind Cam's, to help. The next time we went -- in the day -- mom built a dragon and we built more forts to defend against the water.

It was cold going into the water at first (Cam and I had our bathing suits on). We kept hitting warm spots. Then, we got used to the water and it was warm. It wasn't all that deep. And it's fresh water, so it doesn't sting your eyes or sting your nose. Cam and I also played where we were little boats bobbing up and down on the waves. Whenever a big wave was coming, either Cam or I started shouting to each other, saying that there was a big wave coming.

When we were done at the Dunes Waterfront Resort, we went to another place for one night, and then got on to Amtrak. We were on a sleeper car, because we were going home, and it would take nearly three days. Our sleeper car was small (although we got used to that). It had a small tray table that slid out. There were two bunks. Cam was on the bottom, and I was on the top. Cam and I weren't in the same car as mom and dad. Mom and dad had a deluxe room at the end of the train, and Cam and I had a room.

When it was lunchtime, we went to the dining car (two cars down), and got seated. I looked at the kids' menu, and got macaroni and cheese. It was very cheesy. The next day, for breakfast I had pancakes. Although the pancakes split in half very easily. And mom said not to get pancakes tomorrow. Well, I'll tell you about it later. When it was lunchtime, I had macaroni and cheese again, because it was so good.

We met a family from Amsterdam, and we played together. We taught Geoffrey how to play "Lord of the Rings," and played at least five times with him. One time, there was a shutdown where the power went out. So we didn't have any lights other than the daylight. We played "Settlers of Catan: the Card Game," which we had never played before. It's very hard. He also taught us a card game. I taught him "Accordion," another card game.

We also invented a game of war, where you're supposed to take your king, send out five people to defend against the other players, and aces beat a king (we decided later that there would be landmines that destroyed themselves to destroy anything but the king). Your five defenders were supposed to defend your king from any large attack. If enemies happened to destroy all your soldiers, then you had two extra soldiers guarding your king. And also, we made up a rule that you can replenish two people into your hand after they die. We played this over and over after we had invented it.

Then, it was dinner time. Since the kids' menu is both for dinner and for lunch, I had macaroni and cheese again. The next day, we ate breakfast and they said they didn't have any pancakes left. That's what I was going to tell you later.

After breakfast, we arrived in California. We got off the train, and waiting outside were Dee Dee, David, Keegan, and Jo Jo. Dee Dee and David had gotten a new car, a Saturn. It was like a minivan. It had Keegan's car seat, that was a cow.

We said goodbye to Geoffrey and found our van. It looked a lot different than I had expected it to look like. It was completely empty (until, of course, we loaded every single suitcase and piece of baggage into it). Also, I didn't remember that it had the lump on top of it, and the TV. Then we drove away in our car, and got home.


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