Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Traveling Cross Country with Coke and Pep Part 2

Here is the continuation of Coke and Pep's journey across the United States.

After sleeping in Lincoln, NE, the McDonalds head to Darwin, MN for the other possible largest ball of twine besides in Cawker City, KS.

Next, they stay in MN to see the SPAM museum in Austin, MN. This is the HQ of Hormel. I remember my family trying to see this museum several years back, but we were there too early in the morning for it to be open. It actually sounds very interesting.

The last MN stop is in Minneapolis to find the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, but it turns out even the museum itself is questionable as it no longer exists. Mrs. McDonald is certainly bummed about this.

The last place the twins get to go before the book ends is in Spring Green, WI to visit the House on the Rock. The author has included some authentic photos of the place in the book, and it looks very interesting. It sounds cool, too, with the labyrinth of rooms to visit and get lost in, ending with the long "room" out over the rock.

When Genius Files #2 comes out, be sure to check back here for another post on the continuation of Coke and Pep's journey across the United States!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Traveling Cross Country with Coke and Pepsi

This post is about Coke and Pep(si) McDonald from Genius Files #1: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman. I wanted to make a list of the places that they travel so people can follow along with them. Gutman makes a point to mention that all these places are real and even helps us follow along with side notes in the book telling us what city to look at next. This post will take the McDonalds from California to Cawker City, Kansas.

First they went to Burlingame, CA and visited the Pez Museum, or Museum of Pez Memorabilia as Gutman calls it.

Next was Chico, CA and the National Yo-Yo Museum. Coke's mom loves all these little random places. He puts it well, though, when he says, "We're driving two hours out of our way to look at some yo-yos?" I think I would feel the same way if I were 12, going on 13. (page 119).

Due to a twist in the story, the twins, Coke and Pep decide it's better if they skip Lake Tahoe, although I've heard it's a great place to go swimming and kayaking.

Instead, they continue on to Truckee, CA and the Emigrant Trail Museum where you can see the Donner Party Exhibit and Donner Memorial State Park, something Pep is delighted to see!

After a night at the campground, they head to Fallon, NV to Sand Mountain to listen to the Singing Sand Dunes.

Next, the group (don't worry, Coke and Pep have their parents along) heads just past the border of UT and NV to Wendover, UT where it's the dad's turn to enjoy the Bonneville Salt Flats.

After UT they went to Evanston, WY, about an hour east of Salt Lake City. This was the first town they hit in WY. But we quickly move on to Cheyenne, WY, the last big city in WY on I-80. The family stops in Kimball, NE for the night.

They stop at Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, NE and see a "gigantic Buffalo Bill" statue and "one of the largest souvenir shops in America." (page 182).

Their last stop before Cawker City, KS is in Lebanon, KS to stand in the exact geographic center of the continental United States.

Cawker City, KS - home of the world's largest ball of twine. Coke and Pep have been eagerly awaiting their arrival here, and Mrs. McDonald is interested in seeing it, too. Why would two 12-year olds be so interested in this attraction? What is waiting for them in Kansas?

Read The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman to find the answers to these questions!