Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #12: Escape to California (7 page)

BOOK: Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #12: Escape to California
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In 1849, San Francisco's harbor was filled with abandoned ships. The crews had deserted the ships to head inland for the gold fields.

The Golden Gate Bridge was not supposed to be red. The steel beams used to build the bridge were coated in a red-and-orange color to protect it from corrosive elements.

The night before the 1906 earthquake, world-famous Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso performed in San Francisco.

President Millard Fillmore made Alcatraz a military fortress in 1850.

When the Golden Gate Bridge was finished in May 1937, Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss wrote a poem called “The Mighty Task is Done.”

The cable car is a national historic monument, the only one in the world that moves! It was built in 1873 and today transports 9.7 million people around the city each year.

In 1914, Makoto Hagiwara made the first fortune cookie in San Francisco. He was a Japanese immigrant and the designer of Golden Gate Park's famous Japanese Tea Garden.

San Francisco has some weird laws: it is illegal to clean your rug by beating it outside, to walk an elephant down Market Street without a leash, and to wipe your windshield using your underwear.

Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco for Gold Rush miners in California. The denim was tough enough to last and protect their skin.

James Marshall found gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848. His discovery caused many immigrants to come into the city to seek their fortune.

Irish coffee was first invented in San Francisco. And there are now more than 300 coffee shops in San Francisco.

Excerpt from
Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures #1: The Mount Rushmore Calamity

There's No Place on Earth
That a Flat Kid Can't Go!

Don't Miss the First Worldwide Adventure:

Turn the Page for a Sneak Peek!

Ready, Set . . .

“Sleeping bags?” George Lambchop called out to his wife, Harriet.

“Check!” answered Mrs. Lambchop. “Wholesome snacks for the boys?”

“Check!” replied Mr. Lambchop.

The Lambchop family was preparing for their vacation to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. They were each very excited about the adventure.

Mr. Lambchop was excited because he was going to collect another state park sticker for the rear window of the car.

Mrs. Lambchop was excited because she was going to learn more about the history of South Dakota.

Their younger son, Arthur, was excited because he was hoping to meet some real, live cowboys.

And Stanley, the Lambchops' older son, was excited because he was going somewhere nobody would recognize him.

Not long ago, Stanley had awakened to find that his enormous bulletin board had fallen upon him during the night. Since then, the family had gotten used to having a flattened boy in the house. But when he ventured outside, he often caused a commotion: “Look, Marge! There he is . . . the famous flattened kid! Wonder what new adventure he's up to now?” Or, “Say there, Flatty, mind if we take a picture?”

The truth is, both Lambchop brothers were getting a bit tired of all the attention Stanley was getting. It would be nice, they agreed, to get away someplace where people didn't make such a fuss.

“Well, I think we're ready,” said Mr. Lambchop, surveying the mountain of suitcases and camping equipment in the hall.

“Not quite, dear,” replied Mrs. Lambchop. “Remember, we still have to consult Dr. Dan about Stanley's travel needs. Better safe than sorry.”


“Well, the boy is still flat,” Doctor Dan pronounced, when he was finished with his examination.

“Yes, we know that,” said Stanley's father. “We were wondering whether such a trip would be suitable for Stanley in his present condition. Mount Rushmore's elevation is 5,725 feet, for one thing. And we'll be traveling by automobile along the scenic highways at a fairly high velocity.”

Here Mrs. Lambchop interrupted her husband with a chuckle. “Not too high a velocity, of course,” she said.

Mr. Lambchop smiled at his wife's joke. Both she and Mr. Lambchop were always careful to obey local speed limits. “Still,” he said, “we did feel it would be wise to check with you.”

“It's a good thing you did. More people should be concerned about the effects of travel on the body. The human being is a very complex organism. Even we doctors, with our extensive knowledge, don't completely understand it.”

“Oh, dear,” Mrs. Lambchop said anxiously. “Will it be all right for Stanley to come with us?”

“Of course!” said Doctor Dan. “I can't think of any reason why not!”


The next day, after a hearty breakfast, the Lambchop family began to pack the car for their big trip. In went the tent, four sleeping bags, and the rest of the camping gear. In went the suitcases, the cameras, and coolers. Arthur came out with his arms full—his authentic cowboy saddle, his authentic cowboy harmonica, and his authentic cowboy lasso.

“Oh, dear,” Mrs. Lambchop murmured, surveying the overstuffed car. “There doesn't seem to be much room for the boys!”

“Playing cowboys is for little kids,” Stanley said. “Now that I've been in the newspaper, I'm too grown-up for that sort of thing. I think Arthur should leave all that stuff behind.”

Arthur glared at his brother. “Stanley can ride on the roof,” he suggested.

Mr. Lambchop considered this. “Well, if we lash him down securely . . .”

“I think not,” decided Mrs. Lambchop. “We will be pointing out many sights along the way. I don't want Stanley to miss them.”

And so both boys squeezed into the backseat with much grumbling, and the family set out.

Along the way, the Lambchops did indeed come upon many wondrous sights: inspiring cityscapes, fields of bountiful crops, and numerous glories of nature.

“We should all be grateful to have good eyesight as we travel through this great land of ours,” Mr. Lambchop noted. The rest of the Lambchops agreed they were very fortunate indeed.

Every time they crossed into a new state, the family recited its motto and sang its song. They played License Plate Bingo and I Spy, and the hours passed fairly quickly. Nonetheless, everyone was delighted to arrive at the gates of Mount Rushmore State Park. The boys craned their heads out the windows to gaze up at the sixty-foot-tall faces carved in the mountain, while Mr. Lambchop paid the admission fees. And as soon as the car was parked, they sprang out.

“I'm all crumpled!” Stanley groused, trying to smooth himself out.

“Well, I'm practically flattened!” complained Arthur.

“Boys, hurry along,” said Mrs. Lambchop. “We're just in time to catch the last tour group.”

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About the Authors and Illustrator

created the beloved character of Flat Stanley as a bedtime story for his sons. He has written other outrageous books about the Lambchop family, including
Flat Stanley, Stanley and the Magic Lamp, Invisible Stanley, Stanley's Christmas Adventure, Stanley in Space,
Stanley, Flat Again!
You can learn more about Jeff Brown and Flat Stanley at www.flatstanleybooks.com.

BOOK: Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #12: Escape to California
13.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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