Stuffed Animal Sleepover 2017
On Thursday, August 23rd, we stuffed animals of Brookline were invited to a very special event: a sleepover at Fairsted, Frederick Law Olmsted’s house, to celebrate the National Park Service’s 101st birthday. Hoorah!
One by one, our children dropped us off. We were a little worried about being away from our special humans for an entire night all by ourselves, but we knew we’d get a chance to meet new friends and have a fantastic time. Also, we’d get to share all of our adventures with our humans the next day when they came to take us back home!
Here is a picture of us beginning to make friends! Not all of us have arrived yet.
Eloise was running late because she had to travel all the way from the Plaza in New York (“Raw-ther a long way, darlings!” she told us), and Big Pig was helping the librarian pick up the last of the books from the picture book room. Babies can make such big messes!
Yoda arrived just in the nick of time. He said he was looking forward to some cake and relaxation, he was.
Once everyone arrived, it was time to set off!
The Olmsted house is located by the Reservoir, which the librarian thought was close enough to walk to. She was crazy! We had to take frequent breaks along the way. Fortunately, some of the larger animals were willing to help out. Big Pig was especially nice and offered to help carry the smaller ones on his back, including Little Pig, Neko-chan, and Small Bear.
Tuggers was also a big help–he was in front to protect us from any dangerous turkeys we might encounter on the road. We didn’t meet any, which Tuggers said was proof of how fearsome he is.
Here we are on some nice steps along the side of the road.
After we caught our breath, it was time to head on. The rangers had lots of fun things planned for us, and we had a surprise for them, too!
Here we are!!!
Everyone was so excited to get in! Some of the more athletic animals climbed to the very top of the ivy to get their photo taken. Aqua the Elephant was the strongest, but he needed some help balancing, so Kon and Polar Bear helped him.
Puppy was a big Olmsted fan so he insisted on being there, too. He said the Emerald Necklace was one of his favorite places to take his humans for their walks. Pooh was worried that they were in poison ivy. Silly Pooh! Poison ivy has three leaves. If Owl had been there, he could have reassured Pooh.
Bunny, who is a troublemaker, hopped up so that she could hide in the picture. Can you find her?
Next was the problem of how to get in.
Eloise said we should use the front door because she wanted to make a grand entrance.
Puppy and Lala-chan helped Aqua get high enough to reach the doorknob, while Rainbow rested after carrying the party hats all the way from the library. Bahmeen the Penguin was so excited about the hats that he wanted to put one on right away!
While everyone was investigating the doorknob, Bunny sat on our surprise for the rangers: birthday cupcakes! At first we worried that she was trying to get the box open so that she could eat them all, but she said she was just guarding them from the greedy turkeys.
Tuggers led an expedition around the side of the house to find a way in that didn’t need opposable thumbs. Bahmeen wanted to try to climb the ivy, but Big Pig thought Polar Bear might have better luck climbing than the penguin.
Some of our other animals were getting tired, though. Puppy had to carry Neko-chan.
Pickle Man fell down on the ground and began to throw a tantrum. Blue Bunny told everyone we should go to the office. Surely the Rangers there would be able to help us find the party!
Blue Bunny is a very smart bunny.
Blue Bunny led us to the office. Puff Puff the penguin, Pooh, and Lili were very excited to meet some real rangers! Pickle Man rang the doorbell, and Ranger Adrianna let us in.
Bunny was still making mischief, though. She had hidden herself above the door–can you see her?
Here we are with the National Park Service rangers!
They were all so excited to have cupcakes and their own special birthday hats! Now they will have a backup if their ranger hats ever get dirty.
After cupcakes, Brianne the Ranger took us on a tour of Olmsted’s studios!
Mama Bear, Baby, and Browno showed Pickle Man the photo album they’d discovered in the records room. Olmsted took photos of all the projects he’d worked on. This one is for Rock Creek Park. Everyone agrees they prefer the photos of the park after Olmsted redesigned it.
Bahmeen, Puff Puff, Kon, and Aqua make themselves cozy in one of the photo drawers.
The wall of this room are full of drawers–look at how many drawers there are!
Imagine how many photos there must be!
Blue Bunny, Small Pig, Tuggers, and Cute Elephant investigate a drafting table. There are so many instruments on it!
Small Pig thinks one of Olmsted’s assistants must have been very frustrated and crumbled up the piece of paper next to the inkstand. Cute Elephant hopes the assistant figured out a design that made him happier!
Neko-chan, Pickle Man, and Mommy Bear examine Olmsted’s handwriting guide.
All of his assistants had to learn how to use the same handwriting, so that the blueprints were uniform. The letters are so tiny and perfect–it looks very difficult to do!
Rainbow has made a marvelous discovery! Yoda tells everyone that this is a typewriter–it’s like a computer that doesn’t have any internet. People would use it to type letters and books and other things!
Lala-chan thinks Olmsted probably used it to communicate with his clients and friends. Tuggers wants Small Elephant to try typing something so that he can see it work, but Big Pig thinks he’s far too light to move the keys.
Bunny, Kon, and Baby admire a plan for the Muddy River Improvement project. Bunny didn’t know Olmsted had worked on this project! Rainbow probably has taken his humans on walks here, she thinks.
Kon is puzzled because the blueprint isn’t blue.
Pickle Man and Bahmeen have found the blueprint making machine!
Olmsted’s architects would wrap the black-and-white hand-drawn designs around the glass tube, and then wrap photographic paper around the sketches. When they turned the machine on, the light shining from from the inside of the tube and through the hand-drawn designs onto the photographic paper.
Once the photographic paper is developed, it turns blue everywhere except where the hand-drawn graphite lines blocked the light–which is why the lines on blueprints are white!
Eloise has discovered the photograph developing room!
Yoda isn’t sure how you develop photographs, but his knows it involved water. Tuggers is happy to have found a box to sit in.
Pooh thinks that if he turned the water on everyone could have a nice swim, but Rainbow stops Browno from jumping in. There could still be chemicals in there, Rainbow warns.
Puff Puff has found an iron the designers would use to press the blueprints after they were developed.
He’s not strong enough to lift the heavy metal iron, but Kon can do it!
Bunny and Lala-chan want to look into the archives, where all the blueprints are stored. It’s a very special room stored inside a room that’s actually a HUGE safe.
Look at the giant lock on the door!
Fortunately, Aqua has gained a lot of experience opening doors at this point. A trunk is a handy thing to have!
Success! Here we are in the archives room. Look at all the blueprints and card catalog drawers!
The librarian here must be very busy!
Puppy thinks the rolled up blueprints look like they’d be fun to gnaw on, and Polar Bear decides it’s time for everyone to go play outside.
Everyone runs out (although Aqua takes care to close the archives room back up).
Since Aqua is busy, Big Pig, Puppy, Puff Puff, Kon, and Blue Bunny use teamwork to get the door outside open. Blue Bunny can just barely jump high enough to get to the door knob.
Hip hop hooray!
Puff Puff and Tuggers fly to the nearest tree and start a game of hide-and-seek. All the other animals join in, too. Fortunately, Bahmeen is an excellent seeker!
Everyone has time to pose for just one last photo before it’s time to go back inside and say goodbye to the rangers and wish them one more happy birthday.
On the way back inside, Puppy, and Neko-chan discover the guest board, where visitors have left lovely notes for the rangers to enjoy. Lili and Big Pig read while Lala-chan, Pooh, and Puff Puff compose a note to thank the rangers.
At last, we all head back to the library. We’ve had a wonderful time, but it is time to reunite with our favorite humans and tell them about everything we learned and all the fun we had on our adventures!
Yoda and Bunny, however, aren’t ready to go!
They want to stay and eat more cupcakes with the rangers. Puppy reminds them that we are taking cupcakes back for our humans, too. Our humans will certainly share them with us.