Fort Sumter and Some Other Stuff About the Civil War

Fort Sumter is in Charleston South Carolina and the first shot of the Civil War was shot there. Some Yankees came down and took Sumter in the night and the next morning raised a huge flag which the townspeople took as a sign of aggression. (I really don’t see what’s aggressive about that ;-)) After laying siege for a couple months the Confederates got bored and threatened to attack. They sent a shell which exploded over the parade ground and even though it didn’t do any damage it acted as a signal shot for the other forts surrounding it. After a while the Union soldiers realized that they didn’t have the manpower to shoot back. They raised a white flag and did a 100 cannon salute, however in the salute Private Daniel Hough had his arm torn off during a misfired cannon shot which killed him instantly making him the first casualty of the war even though it was an accident. Poor guy, how embarrassing.

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Our manatee sanctuary

When we first got to Manatee Hammock we had one of the worst spots there. We were in the back corner by some junky schoolbusses and the dumpster. I had a lot of fun at KSC but I was glad when we moved to another much nicer spot surrounded by grass and trees and saw palmetto bushes. It was a little sad when we left but onward and upward as some people say. Little did I know we would be back in five days. When we got back we set up and immediately went to the pool. Let me tell you something. That pool is COLD! The last time we got in I could’ve sworn they’d dumped ice in it because it was colder than the middle of the arctic! Okay, more like the middle of the Pacific. I didn’t love that pool at all. Another thing we liked to do was hang out in our back/side yard and a field that was a walk away. At one point we got a rondo or passing circle with some other people. I should clarify that we were playing soccer. We also had bratwurst a couple nights. The coolest part was easily the spacex Falcon 9 rocketlaunch. When it first blasted off I couldn’t hear it at all and it just looked like an Estes rocket trailing fire. Then about when it also started trailing smoke I heard the sound. It was a quiet rumble like distant thunder. I felt the vibrations like a far off earthquake. Woah! I’m going all philosophery on myself! Yikes! Yikes yikes yikes! When it got out of view we tried giving lemonade away but only gave away five to other people. This was the first place where we didn’t visit any places or anything. We just got to relax. I guess we did go to Cocoa beach but that was also relaxing I think. We played in superhot sand and bodysurfed in the waves. At one point mom had to drag us out because we were shivering so bad. I liked Manatee Hammock and hanging at the pool and our “yard” and the field. When we left it was sad :’-(. Manatee Hammock is definitely one of my favorite campgrounds we stayed at. Really the only campgrounds I didn’t like were the first place we stayed and that Ross’s place in the keys. Sonora was nice except we didn’t have water, otherwise I liked it.

Yours Truly, (I’m telling the truth! Its me writing this!)
Caden Wach

Shuttles and Rockets and Space Men Oh My!

The Kennedy Space Center was awesome! I had an amazing time! We saw a few people dressed up as astronauts but that wasn’t the cool part. There were at least ten rockets, one of which was huge and there was the shuttle Atlantis. We got to experience one of the best launch simulators which was really cool. After the simulator, to get back to the main building, you’d walk down a ramp and it had all of the shuttle missions, and their crew. We saw our friend Joe Tanner. He was on four shuttle missions and the funny thing was, on two signs it said Joe, and on the other two it said Joseph. There was a rocket garden with a bunch of the rockets from Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. The enormous Saturn V was in another rocket hanging from the ceiling and man it was huge! We saw an IMAX movie about exploration and mostly the new SLS, Space Launch System, and the capsule, Orion. Its a brilliant design and idea, and the coolest thing is, I am the perfect age to ride that rocket to Mars in the future! In the Atlantis building of course there was the Atlantis, and the launch simulator with the spiral ramp, but there was a second level where it showed what Atlantis’ reentry was like. You would start running and go up on a little tilted ramp, and if you didn’t try hard enough, which the Atlantis couldn’t, you’d go back down onto another then do it again and again and again. Here’s a picture I drew: After that little bit we waited in a little line to go down a steep slide that leveled out at the end. When it was my turn I raced Dacen. that wasn’t the fun part though. It was so fast and it felt like one of the huge waterslides at Water World without the water. Easily one of my favorite parts was, well the entire Saturn V building. I loved seeing the size of The rocket, the little astronaut van, the vault with some moon stuff and a journal thing that looks a lot like my math notebook. As I told you, I liked the whole building. I also liked the huge Rockets that carried the shuttle to space. They weren’t as big as the Saturn V but they were still huge.

Here are some existing rockets. Saturn V is the tallest one with the Shuttle next to it. As you can see, there is a huge difference.
Rocket comparison
Here’s me and the SRBs (solid rocket boosters) and ET (external tank) of Atlantis…I’m there at the base of the left booster.
I must go, the future awaits me,


P.S. If you haven’t watched the movie The Martian, Its in redbox right now and its really cool and has a lot of the things that they’re working on right now, like Orion.

The Key to the Keys

I’m gonna tell you all about the Keys. Gas is kind of expensive as well as a lot of other stuff. Next you can’t find a T-shirt on Key West that doesn’t say Key West. Also the water is very cool. I wish we’d gone snorkeling but we didn’t have gear. We went there when there were some clouds and wind but it was still fun.

We stayed at an expensive place but we got to go to a yacht club for free. It had a beach paradise and a pool that was just perfect. The showers were okay. When I was taking my shower back home I didn’t know that it was plumbed backwards and it turned out my pressure was the worst too, it was just a strong mist. So I ended up getting misted with cold water in a tiny dark compartment that somehow got classified as a “shower.” Yeah. That deserves quotations. Meanwhile Dacen had an awesome shower that was the opposite of mine and Papa had a pretty good one too. Mine should be called a rewohs and a lower class one at that.

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Fort Lauderdale

We stayed in Fort Lauderdale for six days. During this time we went on this boardwalk that had a bunch of wildlife. There were tons of crabs, a lot of clams, and a handful of fish including needle fish, puffer fish, and even a sea skate which is like a stingray only it’s got bones instead of cartilage I think, and I think their babies hatch live like us instead of in eggs. There was also a cool library we went to twice, where we got to read, and a state park where we played on a beach. It was fun doing all of that.  Then we rode on a river trolley which was free and saw some huge iguanas which this nice old lady fed some sort of big yellow flower.
Iguana snacking on flowers

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We Rode Even MORE Rides

After our full day of riding rides at the Magic Kingdom, we had a rest day on Wednesday (“brilliant mom!”). On Thursday it was off to the Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando for the boys. We went on basically every thrill ride there was, and some of them were absolutely genius. Oooh goody! Here comes another haiku!

We spent some big bucks

So we could have tons of fun


Boys at the castle

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Yuma the Puma, The Manatees Peed, and Lu Made a Poo

I was told that Ellie Schiller Homosassa  state park would be kinda like a zoo. In a way it was, but it was more like a sanctuary for injured animals that wouldn’t survive in the wild. We saw a ton of fish, lots of alligators, a hippo named Lucifer or Lu, a Panther named Yuma, an otter without a daughter, a bunch of snakes, and a whole lotta birds. We learned a lot. I’m not going to give you all of the facts because there were a lot of them. Opossums have opposable thumbs. If you roll an alligator onto its back it’ll pass out because it can’t get enough oxygen. Adult opossums cannot hang from their tails. they’re too heavy, though the young-uns can. On another note I’ve taken a liking to haikus. Here are some related to the animals we saw at the whatsitsname state park.

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Seeing Daufins in Mobile Alabama

“Sweet home Alabama” is what it said on the sign as we drove by whooping and yelling. I knew being at the Miller’s house would be fun, but I never imagined what was to come. First of all, I had no idea they had a dog, much less three! It was insanity! And awesome! And I loved every minute of it! And I’m fresh out of exclamations! Anyway before I get to that I’m going to go back to Daufin island. It was really fun on Dauphin Island. We were in walking distance of a beach so obviously we went there more than once. We went there about 3 times I think. The first time we were just playing around with the waves and Dacen was digging holes in the sand. The second time was about the same. Then one day we went to this place that was like an aquarium. One difference was that for free you could go at to a thing called the touch tank. It had a hammer head shark, some rays and another sort of things that look like rays. It was cool touching the shark school touching the rays, but the shark was just especially awesome. It wasn’t as big as you’d think. It was pretty small. Almost as long as my arm. After we got kind of bored of petting the shark and the others, we decided to go to the beach. This time the waves are a little bit bigger and we decided to make a kind of Lake by just digging in the sand. After our first failure I decided to try something new. I started building a wall of sand around the lake. It kept out all the water until one really big wave got in. But didn’t flood for a long time. Once it was time to go we sped up the process of destroying the wall. That was just as fun as building it in some ways.

Okay so next we went to Mobile Alabama where the Millers live. As we pulled in 3, count them 3 dogs came to greet us. Two medium sized ones and one great Dane. Bill and Karen brought us in and the adults just chatted for a while as we played with the dogs. The dogs were really fun but the Great Dane named Luke was a big baby. He is only 9 months old so he gets that. He was already huge so I can’t imagine what he’s going to be like when he grows up.

Finally, Bill said “Alright! Who’s ready for a boat ride?” I sprinted to the boat and was the first one in. We fvshoomed across the river but then had to slow down because of a marina and bridge. Its a good thing we didn’t speed up because we never would have seen the dolphin. My mom shrieked! Dolphin! It got so close I almost could’ve touched it. That was an amazing experience. When we sped up the waves made it bumpy which was super fun. After a while we got to a restaurant and ate this really good food. Then we got boiled peanuts, lost Karen’s pants, and headed back. I was really excited for the next day, because we would be at the Millers’ house while Mama and Papa had a night on the town. I could hardly sleep that night because it was gonna be AWESOME!!! basically we got there and we played with the dogs again but when dinner was ready, we got to eat in front of the TV. The only TV dinners I’ve had is when we go to a sports bar and football and hockey are the only things that are on. Don’t get me wrong, I love football and hockey, but that isn’t the same as a good old-fashioned TV dinner. we probably watched, like, four hours of TV. The next day we woke up and headed to Florida.