Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Trip to Washington, D.C.

Over my summer break, my mom and I took a train to Washington, D.C. On the first night we checked in, unpacked our bags, and met our family friends Ryan and Ryan's mom, Kathy. Ryan and I have been best friends since we were little. Right after we unpacked, the four of us walked to the Lincoln memorial. My mom and I expected us to stay in the hotel and chill because we had only just gotten there, but we also wanted to look at as much monuments as possible in the time that we went.

The Lincoln Memorial

A gigantic statue of Lincoln himself stood before us. It was amazing (and enormous)! After that, we walked over to the Korean War Memorial.

The Beginning of the Korean War Memorial

There were 19 statues of Korean Soldiers. Most of them were army soldiers, but some were air force and navy soldiers. The Vietnam War memorial was next on our list of things to do.

A Tiny Chunk of the Vietnam War Memorial

The Vietnam War Memorial is a long wall that lists all the names of the people who gave their lives fighting for us in the Vietnam War. 

Can you see my reflection?

After that, my mom and I headed back to our hotel while Ryan and Kathy went to an Orioles-Nationals game. I flopped down on my bed and was out-cold in five seconds. The first day was fun, but the next day was going to be even better!

My mom and I woke up at 7:00AM and met Ryan and Kathy at the breakfast buffet. We took the metro to the Washington Monument. At 9:30, Kathy, Ryan and I took the elevator to the top of the monument. My mom was too scared. There were four windows to look out. Here's what I saw out of each one:

 Window 1. The Capitol Building way in the distance

 Window 2. The White House

 Window 3. The Lincoln Memorial

Window 4. The Jefferson Memorial

The Washington Monument was my favorite monument to visit because we were so high up and we could see all the way into Maryland. It was not scary, surprisingly. We took the elevator down and looked up at where we had just been. I couldn't believe we had been up so high!

Wow, that's high up!

For the next part of the day, we took a trolley around Washington, D.C. and looked at all the monuments. We took the trolley to the Capitol building which was our next tour. 

See the statue at the top? That is the Freedom Statue.

At 3:00, we took a tour of the House of Representatives building. There were so many chairs in that room, and there had to be because every representative needed one. You weren't allowed to take pictures in that room, unfortunately. Next, we toured the actual Capitol building. Sadly, the Dome was under renovation so it looked like this:
Big renovation on the dome

Our trip to the Capitol building was still really interesting. There were paintings and murals everywhere. The day was over so we took the metro back to our hotel. Again, I flopped down on my bed and was out-cold in, this time, in three seconds! I was so tired from the day of sightseeing, and I couldn't wait for tomorrow, because we were going to the U.S. Mint.

Again, we woke up early in the morning and met Ryan and Kathy down at the buffet. As quick as possible, we took the metro to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (where they make the money). We got tickets for 9:45, and it was 8:30, so we went to the Jefferson Memorial to pass the time. 

The Jefferson Memorial

Inside the memorial, there was a giant statue of Jefferson himself. He was really big and sort of scary, but cool and interesting at the same time. It was time for the Bureau, so we made our way over to the doorway of the Bureau. When we got inside, we watched a short video about how the money is made, and then we got to actually see it in action! No pictures were allowed whatsoever. The money was printed, sorted, checked for defects, cut, and boxed. Then it was shipped to the banks around the country. It was really interesting to watch the money go through all sorts of processes before it was sent out. There was even a guy fanning himself with a sheet of money. The Bureau was my second favorite thing in Washington, D.C. (besides the Washington Monument), and I would go back there if I ever went back to D.C. again. 

We didn't have anything else to do that day, so we went back to the hotel and chilled out. Ryan and I made a video about Washington, D.C. That night was more relaxed, and I got a good night sleep. The next morning was relaxed too. We went down to breakfast at 9:00 and took the metro to the National Archives at 10:00.
The National Archives

The National Archives is where the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights are kept. I couldn't take pictures because it would damage the important documents, but they were bigger then I expected them to be. They were each about four times the average sheet of paper, and they all had a lot of writing on them. I wonder how long it took for Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. The Archives were a very interesting thing on my trip, but I still liked the Washington Monument best. 

Later that day, the four of us went to the Air and Space Museum. It was all about the stars and the universe, and also about the history of planes. 
This is a replica of one of the first planes ever.

Ryan and I became addicted to a space trivia game. We played that for an hour straight! Ryan and I had a lot of laughs during our endless games. Unfortunately, it was time to go. It was our last day in D.C, so we decided to make it count. At 8:00PM, we took the metro back out and saw all the monuments at night.

 This is the Washington Monument at night. Look at the moon!

By far, the most beautiful monument of them all at night was the World War 2 memorial. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life!

Look at it- so beautiful!

We were done with Washington, D.C. the next day. It was incredibly fun, but we had to leave. I hope you get a chance to go.

Mrs. Yollis, I hope this post helps you in deciding what you want to visit when you go to Washington, D.C. I hope you have a great time there. 

Have you ever been to Washington, D.C?

If so, what was your favorite monument?

If not, what would you like to see there?

Thursday, June 14, 2012


My nana (grandma) came for the weekend, and she loves to manufacture crafts. She is also the one who owns all the Christmas toys.  We decided to do animation. The animation I wanted to do is the type where you take a series of pictures that you change a minute bit in every picture, and if you click through them fast, they look like a miniature movie. My nana thought I meant the old kind of animation. In that kind, you draw pictures on a notepad and you flip through the pages fast to see a little movie.

My sister, Tabby, wanted to do the old type of animation. While I set up my scene and took pictures, Nana made short notebooks for Tabby and herself. They worked for about a half hour on their projects and they turned out great! When I was finished, they said mine was excellent! Do you agree with them?

What was your favorite part of my animation?

Are you going to try it yourself?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flying Kites

In April, my good friend Sammy's mom, Dana, came into Mrs. Yollis' class and conduced an art project. I know her very well! The art project was for each student to make a kite out of paper. Here are the directions, so you can make one at home.

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Step 1. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Then open the paper and make a one inch mark on each side of the paper, five inches in from the side. Put the two marks together and fold the paper back on itself on each side until the paper is flat. Tape the two sides together.

Notice the sides are not rectangles. They are trapezoids. The part that sticks up (the part with the string attached to it) is another trapezoid. Photo by Royce.
Step 2. (optional) On the bottom of your kite, draw any design you want. You cannot see the design that I drew in the photo above. 

Step 3.  Do not worry if your kite will not stay together. Attach a wooden stick across the bottom of your kite using tape. Try not to cover your designs (step 2).

Step 4. Collect a rainbow colored piece of fabric, and cut the inside of the end just a tiny bit. The end should be split into two pieces of fabric that are connected to one. Look in the picture above. Glue or tape one end of the cut fabric to one side of the stick-up middle part and the other end to the other side of it. You have your tail!

Step 5. For your final step, punch a hole into the end without the tail on the stick-up middle flap. Tie a LONG STRING to the hole. The longer the string, the higher the kite can fly. Tape the other end of your string to a toilet paper role. You can ravel or unravel your string on the toilet paper role without it falling off because it is taped. 

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Here are some pictures of my class playing with their kites:

Playing  outside the classroom. I hope they all had fun with their kites!
Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Still outside the classroom. I bet they would play with them every day!
Photo by Mrs. Yollis

Did you make a kite following my instructions?

In the comment section, make up a story about a kite.

A special thanks to Dana for sharing this wonderful art project with Mrs. Yollis' class! 

Thanks Dana!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Skiing Trip to Big Bear

Recently, my family went on a vacation to the town of Big Bear. The best part of my trip was skiing.

Skiing is so fun!

I had never been skiing before, so I had to take skiing lessons. My instructor's name was Caren. 

Here Caren and I are skiing.

Skiing, in my opinion, is really hard at first, but then it got easier. First, Caren and I went on a small ski lift to the top of a small mountain covered in man-made snow. I could see my sister, Tabby, and her teacher, Debbie, skiing down the mountain that I was just about to ski down.

I couldn't get a picture of her on the ski lift, but here she is just getting to the bottom of the mountain.

Like I said earlier, skiing can be hard at first, so I fell a lot learning to ski.

Oh no! I fell down!
The skiing mountain that I went to, Snow Summit, also had snowboarders. They fell down Way more then the skiers. It was really hard getting off the ski lift, because there was a huge group of snowboarders at the top, who had fallen on the ground. It was hard to get past them.

Not only were there ski lifts, but there were "magic carpets." Those are like escalators, but they are flat. An escalator has stairs, but a "magic carpet" doesn't. 

Here we are on the "magic carpet."

For our last run, Caren told me that I could go to a skiing area that was a mile long! It was called Summit Run. It was HUGE! Some of it was hard, and some of it was easy. Most of it was a green square, and some of it was a blue square.

Here is the key:

■ Green square represents easy

Blue square represents medium

♦ Black diamond represens hard

♦♦ Two black diamonds represent extremely hard

First, we rode on a gigantic ski lift. When we got to the top, there was a restaurant. We didn't stop to eat. We just skied down the mountain until we got to the blue square part. We rested on the side, watching other skiers zooming down past us. There was even a boy with a camera!

When we were done resting, Caren told me that I was about to go down the part of the track that was a blue square. We got back on the hill and RACED down the mountain. The other skiers almost hit me! When we got past the blue square area, I was awfully tired and relived. We darted down the rest of the track, and I was so excited to see my dad, sister, and mom. 

Big Bear was awesome!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


This post is a sequel to a post called Amazing Things You Find in Nature.

I have a lot of animals in my backyard. Some are just nice, harmless ones such as quail and deer. However, other animals are not nice at all. Those are called predators. The predators eat other animals!

First of all, I have a bobcat that lives in a huge plain area behind my backyard.

Photo by Gregg (Royce's dad).

Here is a picture of the bobcat. He is light brown with some dark grey and black spots. 

Photo by Gregg.

You can see his muscles when he walks.

He is never scared of the sound of the camera, and when you see him, and you are outside (which I never have been), just back away slowly and go inside

Photo by Gregg.

Now, it looks like he is creeping in a green and brown forest and is about to pounce on another animal.

Next, there are the coyotes. I have never seen them trying to kill any animals before, but they do kill.

Photo by Tara (Royce's mom)

Here is a coyote. It is almost the evening, therefore it is kind of hard to see it. 

There is actually another coyote in this picture. Can you find it?

I've seen this last animal in my yard, but it is not in my backyard. It likes to be out on hot days and has something noisy near the end of its body.

Photo by Linda (neighbor)

Here is a photo of it.

Can you guess what he is?

Have you ever seen a bobcat? If so, what did you do when you saw him?

Have you seen a coyote? Where were you? 

What kinds of predators have you seen in your backyard or just around town?

P.S. Click here for a link to a predator in my Aunt Joann and Uncle Charlie's backyard.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Bird of Prey

Guest Post by Aunt Joann and Uncle Charlie

In my Aunt Joann and Uncle Charlie's backyard, there was an amazing site! A Cooper Hawk was about to kill a woodpecker!

You can see the Cooper Hawk. It is the large grey bird. The woodpecker is the little bird with a wing with yellow stripes on it. 

Before the Cooper hawk could kill the woodpecker, Uncle Charlie ran towards it! 

The Cooper Hawk thinks that Uncle Charlie is an enemy.

The Cooper Hawk decided to let go of the woodpecker and fly away!

Hooray for Uncle Charlie! 
The woodpecker was saved!
As you can see, the woodpecker has a red face. His face is not covered in blood; his face is just red in general.

Have you ever seen a bird try to kill another bird?

Have you ever seen a Cooper Hawk or a Woodpecker?