Flat Stanley Goes to Atlanta


(“How I Spent My Spring Break”)



Flat Stanley
May 2002
Flat Stanley Goes to Atlanta
Flat Stanley Arrives
It was a warm spring day when I arrived in Atlanta Georgia at the home of Uncle Brian and Aunt Rita.  The mailman was kind enough to carry me to their doorstep.  When he rang the bell I was so excited. Uncle Brian answered the door, and the mailman said “special delivery of a Mister Flat Stanley”.
“Flat Stanley?” said Uncle Brian - “I don’t believe we know a Flat Stanley”.  “I was sent by your niece, Amy Alexander I shouted!”, unable to contain myself.  Hearing me Uncle Brian smiled broadly, and said: “Well then come on in Flat Stanley”.  Standing in the hallway was Aunt Rita.  She was so pretty and nice, and was also smiling.
I introduced myself and told them all about me and the reason I was sent to them.  They listened closely and when I was finished they said: “that’s great - you can stay until late April, and then you must return home in time to arrive back in Virginia by May 5th”.  From that point on I felt very at home with Uncle Brian and Aunt Rita.
Flat Stanley Meets Boo-Boo and Trent
 Aunt Rita and Uncle Brian have a son but he is all grown up.  He lives in his own home nearby and visits often.  Aunt Rita also has two babies.  They may not be human babies but they are her doggy kids. 
Covered all in soft, white fur they are so cute. Their names are Boo-Boo and Trent.  I got my picture taken with Boo-Boo.  He is fifteen and loves to have his picture taken.  Trent is younger and is very shy.  He wanted to have his picture taken with me, but he couldn’t stay still long enough.
They have their own room downstairs where they stay when Uncle Brian and Aunt Rita are at work.  Their room is loaded with lots of food, water, blankets and toys.  They even have their own radio.  It’s always tuned to soft jazz, because it helps them nap during the day.  Boo-Boo and Trent offered to share their room with me, but I was given my own room upstairs, when of course I wasn’t traveling.
Flat Stanley Goes to a Hockey Game
One of the first really cool places that we went was to an Atlanta Thrashers Hockey game.  The Thrashers are a “professional” Hockey Team, which means this is what they do for a living.  Can you imagine that – getting paid to play hockey?  The game is played at an arena.  This arena was very big and seats thousands of people. 
The ice is awfully cold and slippery.  The hockey players are very big men but they move so fast across the slick ice, and yet they don’t fall (much anyway).  The idea is to hit a little black rubber disc, called a “puck” across the ice into a net.   
To score a goal it must go past a scary-looking man with an ugly mask, who is called the “goalie” 
Sometimes the hockey players would fight.  When this happened a man with black and white stripped shirt would blow his whistle loudly and send them to sit in the “penalty box” until they agreed to behave better.
Flat Stanley Visits the VUE Blimp
Aunt Rita must work for one of the coolest companies in the whole world, or maybe the universe?  She works for a company called – get this: “Saturn”.  Yeah, just like the planet (wooooooooooooooooh).
Saturn makes cars.  Lots of cars.  Really neat cars.  Not your Daddy’s Oldsmobile, these are super hip automobiles.  And because Saturn is such a cool company they even have their own blimp.  It’s like a giant football shaped balloon that soars high above the earth at sporting events.  It’s called the “Saturn Light-Ship” and it has the letters V-U-E painted on it, which is a new Saturn car, if you didn’t already know.
When we got into the blimp and looked from the window down at the ground, all the people looked like little bugs running around.  Aunt Rita said politely that they were bugs because we had not left the ground.
Soon a Pilot came over and told us that the blimp had a broken part and that we would not be flying today.  “Oh well” I said.  “It was great fun just to see a real blimp in person”.  Maybe some day I can visit Aunt Rita again and we can go high into the sky aboard the blimp.  Aunt Rita smiled and said: “you are always welcome to visit us Flat Stanley, and yes - perhaps you can even ride the blimp”.
Flat Stanley goes to a Baseball Game
The next week Aunt Rita and Uncle Brian to me to an Atlanta Braves baseball game.  We had these really, really great seats.  They were just behind the dugout, and were so close to the players you felt like you were in the game.  Baseball is a fun game that I personally enjoy playing, but this game was the “big league”.  This means that the players are older and much, much bigger than the tiny fellows from my “little league” team.
Some baseball players have really cool names like “Chipper Jones”.  In fact, when it was his turn at bat he hit the ball so hard that it flew over the wall.  It’s called a “home run”.  He then gets to run around the bases as slow as he wants because the ball went out of the park, and the other team’s players can’t get to it.  When the bases are loaded and this happens it’s called a “grand slam” homerun.  Chippers seen a few of those too!
The other team called the “Philadelphia Phillies” was winning the game.  Uncle Brian and Aunt Rita were not real happy about this at first, but we drank lots of soda, and ate peanuts, hot dogs, and candy, which made it all seem like fun no matter who won the game.
Flat Stanley Rides in a Police Helicopter
One evening Uncle Glen called.  He is Uncle Brian’s brother and is a Policeman in Charlotte North Carolina.  He was calling to let us know that he was being promoted to Captain, and wanted all of us to come to his promotion ceremony.  This sounded like great fun and we loaded up the car with me and Boo-Boo and Trent and headed to Charlotte.
Uncle Glen took Uncle Brian, Grandpa Neimeyer and me for a ride in the Police helicopter.   WOW! I mean this is a totally cool bird that costs millions of dollars and has all the really, really neat Police gadgets and stuff.
We lifted slowly off from the landing pad and hovered close to the ground until the tower gave us clearance to take- off. The helicopter makes a sound like:  “fwop, fwop, fwop, fwop”, and it goes faster and gets louder and then suddenly we’re really flying.  Believe it or not we were going over 150 miles an hour flying high above the houses below. When we got to downtown we were flying in between the tall buildings.  People in the offices were coming to the window to have a look at us.  We “buzzed” Uncle Glen’s house but the women never heard us over the noise from their hair dryers.  Take it from me, it’s a really awesome feeling to be flying so high and so fast.  When I grow up I want to be a helicopter policeman!
Flat Stanley Goes Home
My time with Uncle Brian and Aunt Rita went by so fast; I couldn’t believe that it was time to head home.  We had so much fun together traveling to all these interesting places, that we agreed that I could spend spring break with them whenever I’d like.
Aunt Rita helped me pack all of my traveling clothes into my luggage.  As we sat together, she gently folded my freshly laundered shirts, and we shared memories of the days we all spent together on my spring break.  Aunt Rita seemed a bit sad that I was leaving.  I asked if she could come to Virginia sometime and visit Amy & me.  Her eyes brightened, she smiled, and said:  “That’s true –yes.”   “Yes of course we can do that Flat Stanley”  “We’ll have a wonderful time”!
Before leaving the house we all had a big tasty breakfast together.  Uncle Brian, Aunt Rita, Boo-Boo, Trent, and me. 
As we sat at the table Aunt Rita explained that after breakfast she would be taking me to the Post office where I would begin my long journey home.  Everyone was happy and wished me well on my trip.  We talked about Virginia and Georgia and all the differences that make it fun to visit far away places and meet new people. Afterwards we loaded my things into the car.  I gave my final farewell wave as we backed down the long driveway, and drove away.                                  
-The End-