Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SS#14 BSC in the USA

Mr. Schafer's friend, Mr. Choi, is an art dealer in New York. He's moving to L.A., though, and needs to have his huge RV moved there, too. Since he doesn't have time to drive it himself, he asks good old Jack to do it for him. Jack heads to Stoneybrook to pick up Dawn and Jeff, so he can drive them back to CA instead of them taking a plane later. When Watson gets wind of what the Schafers are doing, he decides it's a pretty good idea and rents his own RV. He also invites the BSC to go along. Not to be outdone, Jack also invites any of Dawn's friends to go along. In the Brewer RV are Watson, Elizabeth, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, Abby, Jessi, and Mallory. They'll be heading across the southern part of the country. That leaves Jack, Dawn, Jeff, Mary Anne, Kristy, Claudia, and Stacey in the Schafer RV; they'll be going north. Here's what happens along the way:

Jessi gets to visit Oakley, NJ right off the bat, and spends most of the visit thinking Mallory is racist because she seems uncomfortable when visiting the Ramsey grandparents. Jessi's grandma points out that Mallory seems tense because she wants to make a good impression. Later, Jessi visits Dalton, Mississippi, where her ancestors were supposedly slaves. It's an eye opening experience for her, and she even meets a woman who might be a distant relative.

Mallory wants to visit Chincoteague and Assateague Islands to see the ponies that Marguerite Henry descirbed in her books. She's a little sad at how touristy everything is, but actually seeing the wild ponies kind of makes up for it. She and everyone else in the RV also spend the entire trip dodging and annoying know-it-all named Liz Hoyer.

Claudia gets to visit the Art Institute in Chicago. She also pisses off Stacey by accidentally picking up her private journal, and buys a Georgia O'Keeffe sketch near the Wall Drug Store in South Dakota.

Abby the Elvis fan chooses Memphis/Graceland. That part of the trip is fun, but she not too excited to learn that Elizabeth's place of choice is the Grand Canyon. Abby's dad loved the Grand Canyon, and the family had been planning a trip there just before he died. Abby doesn't particularly want to be reminded of that, so she's not looking forward to being there. It turns out to be a really nice experience for her, and makes her feel a little closer to her dad.

Mary Anne chooses to visit Maynard, Iowa, so she can see her grandmother again. Verna won't let them drive all the way to Iowa, and meets them at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN instead.

Jeff wants to go rock climbing, so he chooses Yellowstone National Park. When he finds out that there IS no rock climbing in Yellowstone, he talks his dad into going to Grand Tetons National Park instead.

Dawn wants to visit a ghost town, but they still haven't come across one by the time they get to Idaho. Then, she sees a brochure for a place called Buzzard Gulch which looks like exactly what she's been wanting. It turns out to be a cheesy theme park, and Dawn is embarrased at first. Everyone has a really good time, though. I would, too. :)

Karen wants to go to Four Corners so she can stand in four states at once and wave to Stoneybrook.

Stacey chooses Seattle because she's awesome. :) Just kidding; Ethan is staying there and she wants to see him again. She's a little nervous, since the only time they were together was her visit to New York when she was in the process of breaking up with Robert. Things go very well, and they kiss at the top of the Space Needle.

Kristy wants to visit as many Major League ballparks as possible. She hits quite a few of them along the way, and drags everyone else to a bunch of games. At a Giants game in San Francisco, Kristy spots her dad on the big screen during the seventh inning stretch. She's not sure she wants to see him, but her friends talk her into it. They have an awkward chat, and just as Patrick is about to introduce the girls to the women he's with, Kristy bails.

The Schafer RV runs out of gas in the Badlands, and the Brewer RV gets rear-ended, gets stuck in a tornado in Oklahoma, and makes a side trip to visit Zuni country, but everyone makes it to Palo city safe and sound.

Rating: 4

Thoughts and Things
  • How in the world did Watson get his RV home? Was he able to pick it up back East and drop it at another office of the same company in CA? Also, did he pay everyone's airfare home from CA?
  • I'm a Seattle native, and I can tell that Peter Lerangis has never been here. There's absolutely NO WAY that Jack Schafer would have been able to park an RV big enough for all those people on the streets of downtown near Westlake Mall. I'm not even sure that would be legal! Also, that awkward kiss picture on page 184; if they're still on top of the Space Needle, there should be a much higher fence than the one drawn. It's there to keep people from jumping off. At least, I THINK there's still a higher fence there. It's been awhile since I've seen pictures, and believe it or not, I've never actually been to the top. :)
  • Andrew Brewer is eager to see a baby panda that's supposed to be born at the San Diego Zoo right when they arrive. I don't know how that zoo operates, but generally, baby animals aren't put on display right away.
  • The Abby/Grand Canyon stuff is actually very touching. That combined with Stacey's WWII plot from the next Super Special makes me forgive Lerangis for describing what Bart Taylor tastes like when he's being kissed. :)
  • Look at the picture on pages 22-23. Why in the world is Karen so tall? David Michael is tiny compared to her, and I thought he was supposed to be a little older. Also, why is Dawn drawn with shoulder-length hair through the whole book? There was definitely no mention made of her getting a haircut.
  • I heard not too long ago that Four Corners isn't technically in the traditional place that everyone thought it was. I wonder what Karen would have thought of that?


  1. I remember when the baby panda was born at the National Zoo a few years ago. They actually don't even know if a panda is pregnant until she gives birth - it's too hard to tell. Even then the baby is as big as a butterstick and not fit for public display for at least weeks.

    And I totally remember the picture of Karen you're referring to. Where she's sitting on Watson's lap? I wished I had a scanner when I was reviewing that book on my blog!

  2. Good point about driving in downtown Seattle. It was still fun to have the BSC "visit." Don't you wish they'd gone to Mt. Rainier instead, though?

  3. Stacey was so bitchy in this book. Yelling at Claudia for reading her journal when Claud basically picked it up for a second by accident and then making everyone run around looking for Ethan. Also, meeting some guy she's dating is her USA event? Snooze fest!

  4. Sadako, you're right on both counts. The latter is especially annoying since I'm from the Seattle area. Washington has so many fantastic things to see and do! From Seattle itself, you can see three national parks. If you're downtown, there's Pike Place Market, part of the ferry system, the Science Center, the aquarium, art museums...wouldn't it have been great to read about Claudia going to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop? http://www.yeoldecuriosityshop.com/

    If I recall, Kristy did go to a Mariner's game, at least.

  5. Yeah, Kristy DID get to go to an M's game in the good old Kingdome. I still have a piece of it from the implosion. :)

  6. The one good thing about this Super Special: the great cover. No one looks like they were born male, or are 35 years old.

    Other than that, it mostly made me crazy. The Grand Canyon part was fantastic, but I couldn't even get into some of the other plots because from the moment the Thomas-Brewer family vacation suspended reality enough to (a) leave Emily Michelle at home (you know, okay the teenage boys, but really? Your TWO YEAR OLD?) and then (b) let Kristy go on a separate trip! Their own daughter though they have room for Jessi and Mallory instead? And ABBY? WTF? BEING A PARENT: UR DOIN IT WRONG

    If I was Abby, I'd be like WTF friends, screw this, I'm staying home to make bank on all the baby sitting jobs you are missing.

    Maybe I just wish they had been a caravan of RVs and the girls could have swapped back and forth vehicles at rest stops.

  7. The Jessi-Mallory alleged 'racism' plotline was completely ridiculous, I felt and made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Why would Mallory, out of the blue, suddenly have a problem with the fact that Jessi's family are black? I mean, duh, it's kind of obvious - I know they're eleven, but even so....

  8. okay pana I gotta disagree with you about the cover. When did MaryAnne go from a preppy style to wearing Logans clothes? Why does Abby look as if she has an afro? And what are they looking at?
    Another thing if Mallorys parents are so strict then why are her shorts so short on page 64, and pretty much any where else. Even the pictures bother me. Is the Romneys bathroom really that big?
    And where is everyone else? Call me a hater but that bothers me.

  9. EESH Anonymous. Anyway Stacy says that Ohio is really flat. Um Stacy I live in Ohio and it is kind of known for its rolling hills. Not exzactly the flat place you described ( though I will agree that the farm landscape can be kind of continous).

  10. In response to the previous comment (2 whole years later lol): For a girl who has lived in the city all her life, countryside is flat. She's used to skyscrapers every direction she looks -- or tall trees and homes close together in Stoneybrook. I grew up in NYC, spent lots of time in various parts of New England, but the first time I ventured west I felt slightly panicked by how out-in-the-open you feel. Hills or not, there is nothing blocking out the sky, and that's bound to be jarring to Stacey.

  11. Funny! Lol

    I did a paper during 4th grade of the Tetons Mountains :)

  12. Just had to comment about Karen's height. I towered over a lot of kids when I was seven..regardless if they were a bit older than me or not ;)
    In 2015 and 2016 I went on a couple of massive roadtrips by myself...hitting up some of the places in this book. Since i spent four years in minnesota working at camp, We always went to the Mall of America at some point. I hit up Badlands and Wall Drug. Wall was a huge tourist attraction...and it also happened to be the weekend before sturgis so there were motorcycles EVERYWHERE! Roadtrips are and always will be awesome, though

  13. I have never liked Dawn's dad and in this book he is a huge jerk and a bully. I am shocked he has any friends at all.