Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trevor's Travel Binder, Part 3

On to Part 3 of Trevor's Travel Binder! (To see it from the beginning, go here.)

On Saturday 10/4, we were scheduled to visit the village of Saguenay. We arrived to clear skies but lots of wind. Our ship was anchored, so we had tender service to the dock. They sent one group ashore before declaring it too windy for safe passage on tenders. The port was canceled and the group brought back as soon as it was safe to do so. We were very disappointed to miss Saguenay. Trevor and I were planning a hike at Saguenay National Park, while Steve was going to go sea kayaking with my sister's family. But it was nice to have an unexpected day at sea for reading, relaxing, and all the onboard activities.

Trevor's Question of the Day asked us to rank Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City from our favorite to least favorite. Of the 9 who answered (18 month old Allison was asleep and wouldn't have understood the question anyway), 8 of us ranked Toronto tops, Quebec City second, and Montreal third. My dad was the only one who had a different opinion.

On Sunday 10/5, we were supposed to stop at Gaspe, but once again it was too windy for us to safely get ashore. We'd been planning to visit Forillon National Park, so it was once again disappointing to miss our hike. But the ship really stepped it up with onboard activities to make up for the canceled port. Steve and Trevor both entered a paper airplane contest. Out of the 30+ people who entered, they were the only two to successfully fly their planes from Deck 7 through a hula hoop on Deck 5.

The Question of the Day asked us to each name one interesting fact we'd learned about Canada so far.

On Monday 10/6, we visited Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. It was a wonderful city. We took a guided trolley tour in the morning, then spent the afternoon exploring on our own. We stumbled on a super-cool scavenger hunt that ended up being a highlight of the trip for us. We enjoyed some Moo Crunch and Fluff N Udder at Cow's, an ice cream shop ranked best in Canada and best in the world. Well-deserved, in our opinion.

That evening, Trevor asked us "How was your tour?" Our group of 10 people had done three different tours, so we answered in groups. It was great to reconnect in the evening and share our day's adventures.

On Tuesday 10/7, we were in Sydney, Nova Scotia. We visited the Cape Breton Miners' Museum. What an amazing tour! We learned so much from our guide, who had actually started working in that very mine at the age of 8.

Next, we headed to the Glace Bay Heritage Museum, where we sampled some extremely tasty oat cakes and then enjoyed the museum. 

Trevor asked each of us about our favorite thing of the day. He really had to think about his answer, since he'd enjoyed it all so much. He decided the oat cakes were his favorite part. He announced that he wanted to make them for his classmates during his oral report. They were a huge hit.

On to Part 4 tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trevor's Travel Binder, Part 2

On to Part 2 of Trevor's Travel Binder! (To see it from the beginning, go here.)

On Tuesday 9/30, we took a five-hour train ride from Toronto to Montreal. I knew to expect Quebec to be very French-speaking, but I was still surprised by how very dominant French was there. As we crossed from Ontario to Montreal on the train, the announcements switched from being English first French second to French first English second.

For the Question of the Day, Trevor asked our group the following trivia questions:

  1. How many time zones are there in Canada?
  2. Canada has the longest ___________ and _____________ in the world.
  3. What baseball item was invented in Canada?
  4. What animal is on the Canadian quarter?
  5. What percent of the world's maple syrup is made in Quebec?
  6. How many points are on the Canadian flag's maple leaf?

The answers (and who got each question right) are on this page.

We spent all of Wednesday 10/1 exploring Montreal. The highlight was visiting the Underground Pedestrian Network. I had no idea that such a thing existed. Another fun thing we did today is to start making a list of differences between Montreal and Toronto. Aside from practically everything being in French in Montreal, we also noticed far more smoking, more litter, more graffiti, pay phones, different emergency vehicles, and more fall colors. Toronto was more child-friendly.

Trevor asked each of us to rate Montreal from 1-10 (with 10 being the highest) on eight different criteria. We overwhelmingly agreed that Montreal was different, but our responses on the other topics had quite a bit of variety.

On Thursday 10/2, we took a three-hour train ride from Montreal to Quebec City. The view from the train was gorgeous. Quebec is stunningly beautiful in the fall. When we arrived in Quebec City, we walked about a mile to board our cruise ship, the Ruby Princess.

The Question of the Day asked how we liked the ship. We all loved it.

Overnight, our ship moved from one pier in Quebec City to a different pier just a mile away. We spent the whole day exploring Quebec City. We toured a sugar shack and ate fresh maple taffy, visited Montmorency Falls and walked on a bridge over the falls, and explored the streets downtown. It was a great day.

Trevor asked everyone what Montmorency Falls was like. He'd used one of my random clear stamps to create a checkbox. I chose happy, pretty, real, genuine, joyful, loud, strong, and perfect. 

Part 3 tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Trevor's Travel Binder, Part 1

What a week it's been! We came home from our 16-day trip to eastern Canada and New England on Sunday 10/12 and have spent the whole week juggling the normal post-vacation stuff (laundry, bills, neglected work, etc) with Trevor's Independent Study assignment. He finished his 49-page travel binder, then I helped him prepare a one-hour presentation (!) that he is giving to his class today. It's been a lot of fun, but really intense.

Here is the first part of Trevor's Travel Binder, starting with the cover:

Each evening, Trevor wrote a summary of the day's activities. On Saturday 9/27, we flew from San Francisco to Toronto, then took a taxi to our hotel. Trevor's summary mentions that the hotel was not expecting us, but it does not mention that the hotel was already completely full even though we were holding papers in our hands confirming our stay. They ended up letting us sleep on cots in their boardroom. Not ideal.

Part of Trevor's assignment was to conduct interviews of his traveling companions each day of the trip. The Question of the Day for 9/27 was "What are you looking forward to?" It was really interesting to hear each person's answers.

On Sunday 9/28, we took a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Toronto. It was fantastic. Toronto was safe, clean, friendly, interesting, beautiful, and child-friendly. We could easily have spent a week there.

The Question of the Day asked "What did you like in Toronto?"

On Monday 9/29, we took a bus tour to Niagara Falls with stops at some interesting places along the way. The highlight of the day was taking a Hornblower Cruise right up to the falls. It was incredible.

The Question of the Day was "Describe Niagara Falls in one word."

I'll share the next part of Trevor's Travel Binder tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Trevor's Travel Binder (Pre-Travel)

On Sunday night, we got home from a 16-day trip in eastern Canada and New England with my parents and my sister's family. (All my blog posts from the past three weeks were scheduled ahead of time). The ten of us flew to Toronto, spent three nights, took a train to Montreal, spent two nights, took a train to Quebec City, and boarded a 10-day cruise on the Ruby Princess. We stopped at Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Sydney and Halifax (Nova Scotia), Boston, and New York City before flying home from New Jersey. It was an absolutely amazing trip.

We were gone for 10 school days. Rather than giving him worksheets or the assignments he'd be missing during the trip, Trevor's teacher asked him to design his own Independent Study project focusing on 4 C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). His project would need to involve daily writing, interviews, fact gathering, and more. She stressed the importance of Trevor challenging himself, collaborating with the others in our travel group, and incorporating his new knowledge into the project. After he returned, he would present his project orally to his classmates.

Trevor was very excited by this assignment. He decided that the base of his project would be a travel binder, with 2-4 pages dedicated to each day. He spent every spare minute in three days before we left to put together the base of his travel journal. He created a cover with the title "USA to Canada, Canada to USA" on it, then illustrated it with a sketch of North America with the cities we'd be visiting marked.

For each day of the trip, he prepared a page for journaling and a question-of-the-day that he'd ask everyone each night at dinner. He left room for any "cool stuff" he'd find along the way. He also made a money page to track his spending. Here are just a few of the 40+ pages he prepared before we left home:

We traveled with a lined notepad, a tape runner and photo mounting squares, a pen, a pencil, erasable colored pencils, and a foldable (and plane-legal) pair of scissors.

Each evening, usually at dinner, Trevor would write his journal entry and then ask everyone the question of the day. Then he'd draw pictures or adhere tickets or other ephemera onto his pages. His finished book turned out so well and he is so proud of it. He's been using it to prepare for Monday's oral presentation. Next week, I'll share the all the pages in his completed book.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Golf Camp 2014

Trevor had such a great time at Golf Camp last summer that he was eager to participate again this year. It was so fun to watch his skills develop during the week. I chose five photos from the camp and put them together to make this really simple layout. 

I like it in real life, but I'm not happy with how it scanned. The sparkle and the depth are lost, plus the tone-on-tone letters don't pop like they do on the actual layout. It's weird the way some layouts scan beautifully and others simply don't.