Friday, May 19, 2006

Greetings from New York City!

Hi everyone! Guess what? I am in New York City!! Can you believe it?

This morning Kristin woke me up VERY early and told me we were headed to the airport. I thought we were going back to Iowa but once we got to the airport Kristin told the check-in person that she and Keith we were going to New York City or NYC.

I was SO excited. I LOVE NYC!!!! Kristin and Keith are here today to talk with someone Keith met at a media conference. I didn't care why they were going. I was just really happy to be going back to New York!

I thought we would leave Detroit and fly to Chicago like Kristin normally does when she flies to New York. But today we flew to a place called Charlotte, North Carolina. See if you can find it on the map.

I didn't get to see much of North Carolina. We were only in the airport for about an hour. But, it was long enough for Keith to take a picture of Kristin holding me near a sign that proves I was in Charlotte.

This is great because now I can say I have been to North Carolina!. We switched planes in Charlotte and then we landed at LaGuardia Airport in New York. This is the same airport I've visited with Kristin on my two previous trips to New York.

Keith and Kristin are staying at the Crowne Plaza-United Nations in Manhattan. Guess where it is located? It's right near the United Nations....or UN. That's the place where important people from all over the world meet to solve big problems. Do you remember Keith and Kristin took me there on my first trip to NYC?

Keith and Kristin's rooms weren't ready when we arrived at the hotel. In fact, the person at the desk told Kristin that her room was changed to something called a "suite." I asked Kristin to write it down because the word sounds like "sweet."....which is another name for candy! I LOVE sweets! But Kristin told me that a "suite" is a special kind of hotel room.

I was worried this meant Kristin was going to have a bad room. But it turns out that Kristin has the BEST room in the hotel. It is like a mini-apartment with a small living room, a separate bedroom and the biggest bathroom I have ever seen! Kristin calls it a perfect NYC "penthouse." I have NO idea what a penthouse is but I think this is the best hotel room ever!

The best part is just outside of the bedroom. It is a place called a "terrace." It's an outside brick deck complete with a table and chairs. It's like the deck on the back of a house except this deck is 20 stories above the ground!

The terrace is SO COOL!!! It is REALLY high off the ground and it was kind of scary to look down. Here you can see the taxis on the street below.

It was kind of windy outside and I was afraid I might blow away since I am flat. But Kristin made sure I was safe. Here you can see me with Kristin at one edge of the terrace.

While I was looking around, I told Kristin that the building behind me in the picture above looked familiar. She told me that it should look familiar because it is one of the United Nations buildings. THAT'S the building Keith and Kristin took me to on my first trip to NYC. How cool is that? Here you can see an even better view of the UN from Kristin's "terrace."

And here I am sitting in one of the chairs.

Do you see the blue water behind me? Kristin says that's the East River. Kristin says there are two rivers that border Manhattan...the Hudson River and the East River. I saw the Hudson River during my first trip here. How awesome is that?! I can now say I've seen BOTH rivers in Manhattan.

Kristin says we are VERY lucky to have this room. Kristin said she didn't ask for a suite AND she says she isn't paying anything extra for this room. She thinks this is another one of those rewards she gets for traveling so much....except that it was a surprise reward. Well I think Kristin deserves this reward. She sure travels a lot!

I'm off now to spend some more time watching the taxis from the "terrace."

Until next time....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Photos, Photos and More Photos

Greetings again from Michigan. I am actually staying in Dearborn with Kristin. See if you can find Dearborn on the map.

Today was an exciting day. Keith, Kristin, and Amy spent all day working on the final details for the grand opening of the Stanley Foundation's photography project at the Arab American National Museum.

The event at the museum started at 5pm. So, I had to be ready to leave the hotel at 4pm SHARP! Two of the people who were part of Keith's "discussion" are staying at our hotel and they joined Keith, Kristin, and Amy for the drive to the museum. They are Ghida Fakhry and Antonin Kratochvil. I can't pronounce their names but they are VERY nice!

Ghida works for Al Jazeera...the television station I visited with Keith and Kristin in Doha, Qatar. But, Ghida doesn't work in Doha. She works in the Washington, DC office that I also visited with Keith and Kristin. How cool is that? I've been to TWO Al Jazeera studios.

Antonin is one of the people who took the pictures for the photography project Amy and Kristin have been working on. Here I am with Kristin and Antonin.

I really like the museum. It has LOTS of colorful tiles that look like painted pictures on the wall. There are also lots of displays for kids like me to explore. But one of my favorite exhibits is the model of the building that I've actually seen in real life! The building is called the "Burj Al Arab" and the real building is in Dubai. Here you can see me with the model.

If you go way down the page to my Dubai messages, you will see a photo of me and Kristin with the REAL building behind us. How cool is that? I've seen the REAL building!

Of course, the big attraction tonight is the room where BIG prints of the photographs that I helped Kristin and Amy pick out are hanging on the wall. OK...I didn't actually pick the photos but I was with Kristin and Amy in New York when they first saw the photos. Here I am with Kristin and some of the photos.

You might not be able to tell but in one of these photos, the girls are playing in snow. Did you know it snows sometimes in the Middle East? I had no idea! And do you recognize this picture? It is one of the places I saw in Luxor, Egypt. How COOL is that?!!

The museum has a gift shop and Kristin kindly let me pick out a toy to add to my collection. I chose a stuffed camel with the name of the museum on it. I LOVE camels and this one will be a good playmate for Oasis and Cairo. I think I am going to name this one "Media" because I've spent a lot of time learning about media on my adventures with Kristin and her friends.

I must have been very tired because I fell asleep on the way back to the hotel. So, Kristin kindly tucked me into bed with my new camel.

Until next time....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Surprise....I am in Detroit!

Hi everyone!

I am SO excited. This morning, Kristin woke me up very early and told me to pack my bags. I knew right away that Kristin was going on another trip. But, I was REALLY surprised. We just got back from Egypt 4 days ago! WOW...Kristin sure does travel a lot, doesn't she?

Kristin and her friends Keith and Amy flew to Detroit today to visit the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. This is the same museum I visited with Kristin and Amy the last time I was in Detroit. They are here because a large display of the photos I helped Kristin and Amy select in New York are going to be on display at the museum.

Tomorrow night the museum is hosting a special grand opening for the photos. Plus, Keith is going to "moderate" a group discussion on Arab media. I think this means he is going to make sure people stay on task....just like my teacher makes sure I am doing what I am supposed to be doing in class.

Here you can see me with the postcard announcing the photography exhibit.

I am still tired from the Egypt trip so Kristin told me to get plenty of rest tonight. Tomorrow we will be at the museum most of the day. The museum is REALLY cool. So I can't wait to visit it again tomorrow.

Oh...I almost forgot. Kristin says she and Keith are leaving Detroit on Friday for another location. Hmm...I wonder where we could be going? Kristin says it is going to be a surprise. So, keep checking back to see what I am up to next!

Until next time....

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Home Again!

Hi everyone. I wanted to send a brief note to let you know I am home from Egypt.

All is well but I am VERY tired. I am SO tired I haven't had time to help Kristin unpack (and she has LOTS to unpack)! But, I thought I would show you the last picture of me in Egypt. Here I am with Kristin and one of our guides, Shahira.

This photo was taken at our goodbye dinner. I am going to miss Egypt. It was such a great place. I learned many, many things and I met so many nice people. I hope I can go back and visit again someday.

I want to thank Kristin and Loren for taking me with them to Egypt. I also want to thank all of Kristin and Loren's journalist friends. They were all very nice. BIG THANKS!

Until my next adventure....goodbye!