Flat Kendall Visits a Medieval Village

Flat Kendall visited a medieval village in June and just now finished writing about her trip. Every June, members of a reenactment group build a temporary village beside Smithville Lake in Missouri.

Flat Kendall slept in a medieval tent on a campbed. It was more comfortable than it looks!

She examined the Great Machine. It’s a replica of a contraption that was powered by dogs, which was used to turn a spit or a lathe or other machinery. It was too hot for the modern dogs to be running the machine; they napped in the shade.

Flat Kendall met a baby kestrel. See the pinfeathers on the kestrel’s head? This baby kestrel is being raised by a wildlife rehabilitator after her parents were killed, and she will most likely become a representative for raptors since she is going to be too tame to be released. The larger raptors at the mews were not willing to meet Kendall, but that was ok, because they are much bigger and fiercer than the baby kestrel.

There were some battles fought, but we didn’t get pictures of the fighting. After the fighting, Flat Kendall inspected some of the armor. It looked very hot and uncomfortable.

It was hot. So Flat Kendall went to the general store and sat in the air conditioning to cool off.

After she returned to the village, Flat Kendall got to inspect the Viking longboat.

Once the inspection was over, the crew prepared the sail and the boat was ready for a ride.

The Vikings rowed the boat out onto the lake, then put up the sail to catch the wind and ride back. Flat Kendall decided to stay on shore and take photos!

Flat Kendall enjoyed her stay at the medieval village, but was glad to come back to civilization!

Note: A big THANK YOU to Sherry, one of our readers, who took Flat Kendall on this adventure with her and sent in the story and pictures. If you’d like to take Flat Kendall on an adventure with you, send me an email. I’ll send out a Flat Kendall for your trip.


Flat Kendall visits the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Things have been a bit quiet around here because I had to take a trip to Orlando,FL for business. I stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, and Flat Kendall came along for the ride.

Hanging out by the fountain at the Dolphin Resort

There’s nothing like Central Florida in the middle of July. It was hot and humid. No surprise, but for someone who doesn’t like the heat, it’s not my first choice for travel. I was attending a conference that was held in the lower level of the Dolphin Hotel. I couldn’t see outside, so it didn’t really matter where we were. I did get out for a few pictures one afternoon.

The shuttle to Epcot
Time out for a little swimming
The Swan Hotel at the Swan and Dolphin Resort
Always ready to help
Let’s rent swan boats!

I was there for five days and didn’t see a single Disney character. I had a great view of the fireworks over Epcot from the balcony of my room.

Fireworks over Epcot


Flat Kendall visits Austin, TX

Last time you saw us, Kendall and I were hanging out at BlogPaws 2012 in Salt Lake City. I had to leave on Sunday to fly to Austin for work while Kendall and my dh drove back home. Flat Kendall and I are hanging out in Austin, TX. I’d like to say that we’ve been out on the town listening to music and seeing the sights, but it’s 109 degrees here!!! Austin set a record yesterday for the hottest June day in history. It’s too darn hot to get out and see anything. We did venture out last night.

I’m staying at the ATT Conference Center at UT Austin. What a gorgeous conference venue. It’s wired and connected. It’s also nice and cool inside, and the food’s great, too. Too bad it’s too hot to see more of the campus. I can see the tower from the window at the end of the hall.

We went out to Lambert’s Barbecue for dinner last night and then out to watch the Austin bats.

Upstairs at Lambert’s Barbecue

The Congress St. Bridge bats aren’t a minor league baseball team. They’re real bats that live under the bridge and leave en mass each night at dusk.

Waiting to see the bats fly

We walked out to the bridge and waited…and waited…and waited. No bats. There were some flying around under the bridge but they weren’t taking off. The previous night they took off at 9:10. We waited until about 9:40 and still no bats. It was till 100 deg out, so we gave up and opted to head back to the air conditioning. Maybe next time.

Flat Kendall takes in the Austin skyline

Flat Kendall visits the National Zoo

Flat Kendall and I are in Washington DC for a conference. I flew in on Saturday and had some time on Sunday to do some exploring. We headed to the National Zoo. It’s part of the Smithsonian and it’s free!

Flat Kendall visits the National Zoo

It was a beautiful day, so I figured out how to take public transportation to the zoo. I walked around taking pictures until it got hot and it got really crowded. The zoo is free, so I didn’t feel bad about leaving after only a few hours.  I really wanted to see the pandas.

There was one panda out, way, way, way in the back.


This is as close as we could get to seeing a panda.

Half of the indoor area was closed and only one panda was out. He was all the way up by the building.

I walked a bit farther down the path and came to the elephant area. We have lots of elephants at the Portland zoo, but the area for elephants at this zoo is much larger. They even have a walk through the woods where the elephants can get out and exercise. I kept waiting for The Baby Elephant Walk song to start playing.

The elephant was out for a walk.

I walked a bit farther and noticed some ropes overhead. Turns out the orangutans can choose which house they want to be in and can switch houses by way of a series of ropes and towers. When I got there, the orangutans had just come over and were hanging out in the shade. My patience paid off when they climbed the tower and started “hanging” out.

Hanging out overhead
Putting on a show

A bit farther down the path are the big cats.

Lions basking in the sun

When I walked back around to the tiger area, it wasn’t there. Just then, five female lions ran out and started feeding on some huge chunks of meat the zookeeper had put out. It was fascinating. So fascinating, I forgot to take pictures!

Flat Kendall is Branching Out

Flat Kendall has visited many places this year including New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Indianapolis, among others.

Flat Kendall visits New York City
Flat Kendall visits Dallas, TX
Flat Kendall visits Orlando

If you want to see all of the places Flat Kendall has been, click on Flat Kendall in the tag cloud over on the side bar.

I can’t be everywhere, so it seems like it’s a good time for Flat Kendall to do some traveling with you, our readers. Are you planning a trip or travels this summer? Would you be willing to take Flat Kendall along with you and send me some pictures and a short story about where you’ve been?

If so, then send me an email at gretchen at kendalldog.com. I’ll send you a Flat Kendall to take on your travels. The more places you can take her this summer, the better. Flat Kendall is well-behaved, travels well, doesn’t take up much space, and she doesn’t eat much. She’d love to go on some new adventures with you.

Flat Kendall is ready for some new adventures!




Wanamaker’s Transformed

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and have fond memories of making the trek to downtown Philly for the annual Christmas lights show at Wanamaker’s Department Store. We also used to go see the Christmas display at Lit Brothers, Strawbridge and Clothiers, and Gimbels Department Store. Those were during the heyday of shopping in downtown Philly.

Now, the old, grand stores are gone and in their places are a Burlington Coat Factory and a K-Mart. The Wanamaker’s building is now home to Macy’s. It’s a much smaller store than Wanamaker’s was, but they have kept the grand court with the Wanamaker’s eagle and the giant pipe organ. After a little research, I see that Wanamaker’s was the first department store in Philadelphia and one of the first in the country.

During my visit a couple of weeks ago, the grand court was transformed into a Brazilian flower show.

The Wanamaker's Eagle

The Wanamaker’s Eagle was always a popular meeting spot. Everyone knew where it was. I’m glad they didn’t do away with it.

A toucan made of flowers
The grand court

That’s a giant pipe organ up there on the upper floors. They still hold concerts periodically. The Christmas light show is also displayed on the walls, although I hear it’s all been updated with LEDs.

This store is the one that was featured as Prince and Co. in the 1987 movie “Mannequin” and “Mannequin Two: On the Move.”

Next stop – Flat Kendall visits Indianapolis

From Philly, I flew on to Indianapolis for the National Science Teachers annual convention. I’ve never been to Indianapolis before, and until today, I didn’t have much of a chance to explore. I think every chain restaurant in America has a restaurant here. I had some good steak and some mediocre food, but all in all, it was a good trip. After an awesome breakfast at Patachou I set out to explore the city with Flat Kendall in tow.

It was a bit rainy this morning with a surprise lightning storm and hail.  One of the things I miss living in the Pacific Northwest is that we don’t get much thunder and lightning. I just hope I don’t get to see a tornado here.

We walked up to the Civil War Memorial near the center of town.

The Civil War Memorial in Indianapolis

From there we walked up to Mass Ave. My coworkers told me that the oldest shoe store in America was located there, so I just had to see for myself. There’s some fun shopping up there, but most things were closed on Sunday. There are also a lot of restaurants there.

One place that was open was the Three Dog Bakery, a bakery for dogs! I’ve never seen such a great selection of dog treats. They have loose treats, bagged treats, dog food, and special treats in the case.

A bakery for dogs!

We had to go in!

Three Dog Bakery on Mass Ave.
Look at all those treats!

I picked up some wheat-free sweet potato treats for Kendall. I can’t wait to get home to give them to her.

Flat Kendall Visits Philadelphia

I’m on the road for business, so Flat Kendall is along for the trip. First stop – Philadelphia. We took in some of the sights.

This is a great food market.

We made sure we visited Reading Terminal Market. It’s full of great food, many of which have been featured on the Food Network. I made sure I got to have all of my Philly favorites. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, so I sure miss my cheesesteaks and scrapple.

This was on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network

Dinic’s is famous for their roast pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe and provolone cheese. Yum. I didn’t try one this trip, but I’ve had them before.

Kendall loves Dinic's

After a bite to eat at the market, we headed out to find the famous LOVE statue at the start of Benjamin Franklin Parkway. That’s my friend from college holding up Flat Kendall.

Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love
Yes, that's a giant clothespin

We walked some more and found a statue outside the Wanamaker building.

Hanging out with the sign boy

More pictures from inside the old Wanamaker’s Department store later this week.

Flat Kendall visits Balboa Park

On our third day of our trip to San Diego, we opted to visit Balboa Park. It was a gorgeous day, and we didn’t want to waste one moment inside if we could help it. So, we spent the day wandering around the park looking at the gardens and the fountains.
Outside one of the beautiful buildings was a sign for Flat Stanley, the musical! Flat Stanley is the one that started all of the flat travel.

We wandered into the botanical garden pavilion. It was filled with lush green plants and beautiful flowers.



The orchids in the botanical garden were just amazing. I never knew they could grow so big or have so many blossoms.

From there, we wandered over to the organ pavilion where they hold weekly organ concerts on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm. Can you see Kendall on the stage?


We ended the day on the 22nd floor of the Marriott at the Altitude Bar. There was a beautiful view from up there. You could watch the sun set and see for miles in all directions. You can also see right down into Petco Park.