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David’s Family Vacation


There once was a little boy named David. And he lived in New Jersey with his mom and dad. David’s mom was a librarian and his dad was a middle school science teacher. David was just like his dad, he loved science. His favorite thing to do was get science books from the library and learn about experiments and weather. For his 7th birthday his family decided to take a trip to San Andreas, California. That night David sat in his bed and thought about his trip. He was very excited.

David could not wait to go to the library and take out books about California. While reading through the books about California, David kept seeing pictures of the San Andreas fault. He was so interested in


it. Maybe his family would be able to see it when they visited California. The day of his trip had finally arrived and David woke up bright and early. He hopped out of bed, put his clothes, and ran downstairs. He grabbed his favorite cereal and poured it into a bowl. And he ate it faster than a bunny on an ice rink.

Then he ran up stairs and brushed his teeth. He was ready for his trip. He brought his library books to look at on the plane. There was so much that he wanted to see in California.


Finally, David’s parents were packed and ready to go. David was jumping with excitement. He had never been on an airplane before. . David could hardly wait another minute. He yelled to his parents, “Ma’ I’ll be in the car!” and ran outside.

Then he hopped in the car, put on his seatbelt, and sat there, and sat there. Finally, David and his parents were pulling off of their street and heading to the airport. David had borrowed books from the library about airplanes. He couldn’t wait to see the cockpit and the pilot’s control panel. He had talked to his friends at school and heard that he might get peanuts and a pin with wings on it. He was hoping that he could bring the pin back to school to show his friends.


When David walked into the airport he gasped and looked around. The place was huge! How would they ever find their way to the plane? David and his parents walked to the end of a big line. His mom and dad explained that everyone was excited about flying, but everyone still has to wait in line.

While they were waiting, David asked his mom what they were going to do in California. She said, “Since California has so many earthquakes I think it would be a fun idea to visit a science museum.” “We are going to a place called Shakezone.” Shakezone is part of a children’s museum. It has exhibits, and hands on experiments for kids.


After getting their seats on the plane, David was so excited waiting for the take-off. The engine started to rumble and the plane lurched forward. The plane started to pick up speed and the tip lifted up and David felt pinned to his seat. It was so awesome to see how little the houses and cars looked below them.

As the plane pushed higher they flew right through the clouds into the beautifully sunny sky. Then David yawned and started to get a little tired. As the engine roared behind him he drifted off to sleep. When David opened his eyes the plane was flying over the city of San Andreas. The sun was shining and it was going to be a beautiful day in sunny California.


The airport was very busy, every way. David had fun around on the luggage carousel.

there were people rushing trying to find his suitcase going

David’s hotel was awesome. It had 16 floors and their room was on the 12th floor. Riding up the glass elevator, David could see everyone having lunch and playing by the indoor pool.

Later, after taking a tour of the game room and pools, David’s family packed a lunch for the museum. David could not believe the heat when he left the hotel to go to the bus stop. Shortly, a blue and red bus pulled up to take them to the museum. The bus ride was fun because


the driver kept telling jokes and singing silly songs. David was surprised how quickly they arrived at the museum. David was relieved when he walked in to the cool air-conditioned building. This museum didn’t look like the ones in David’s books. This museum was just for kids. They had big rooms with craft tables and the pictures and signs were lower so David could see them without having to even look up. There were big groups of kids that were listening to a guide.

The kids looked a lot like David’s classmates at home. It was so much fun. David played with sand and blocks with other kids from all over the world. David couldn’t wait to tell his friends that this kind of science is really fun.


David followed the arrows painted on the museum floors. They showed how to get to all the different parts of the museum, so you wouldn’t miss any of the rooms or exhibits. David’s mom let him get his own headphones that explained all the exhibits that they would see on their tour.

It was great getting to his headphones. remembered reading library books.

listen to the stories on Sometimes David about the things in his

As David was looking at pictures of California he saw pictures of a long line through the earth. As David read the signs under the pictures, he remembered seeing pictures of it in his books. It was called the San Andreas Fault. David’s dad explained that the San Andreas Fault is a big crack that goes along the cost of California. He said that they would find the museum fault room and learn about it.

David learned so much as he wandered through the museum. He made a building out of wood and put it on a shake table. A shake table is a


machine that vibrates. When the wooden houses start to shake you can see how much vibration a building can with stand before falling down. Then David and his mom and dad watched some videos on how the earth’s plates move and earthquakes happen. The movie had facts about the San Andreas Fault.

David wanted to see the exhibit about the San Andrea Fault. The museum had a big room with pictures and videos. But the best part was a ride that you sat in. The ride really didn’t move much, but it made you feel like you were in a helicopter flying over the whole San Andreas Fault line.

David was still confused. He thought. “Why would there just be a big crack in California? Like did some guy just one day say “Hey, I know


what to do today! I’m going to make a giant crack up the coast of California?� So David asked the guide. The guide explained that there are hard pieces of earth called plates. These plates move very slowly and meet with other plates. This is called plate tectonics.

The guide explained that these plates have edges called boundaries. There are three different types of plate boundaries. The shifting of these plates causes movement at 3 types of boundaries. 1. Divergent; where new crust is formed 2. Convergent boundaries, where plates come together 3. Transform boundaries, where two plates slide past each other.


But he still did not understand. David raised his hand “Why are there giant plates under the ground?” .The guide explained “No, not plates like dinner plates. Think of it like this, the earth is separated into a bunch of pieces. Those pieces are called tectonic plates. And all these “plates” are touching each other. If two bump into each other and it shakes the ground, an earthquake will happen. And if they pull away from each other they create a fault, a big crack in the earth’s surface. And that was how the San Andreas Fault was made.”

David had so much new information floating around in his head he felt dizzy. He thought about earthquakes, plates and fault lines, this was the best science class ever. He was excited but tired when he got on the bus back to his hotel.


When they got back to his room David put on his swimsuit and went down to the pool, he had such an exciting day. Then he dried off and went back up to the room. David’s mom had a surprise for him, she had rented his favorite movie; “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

David couldn’t believe what an awesome day it had been. Half way through the movie, David’s eyes began to get heavy and his blinks were getting longer.


The next morning during breakfast David’s dad asked him what he would like to do for the day. David replied “See the San Andreas fault”. David’s dad laughed and decided that would be a great idea. David quickly got ready and headed down to the tour bus with his mom and dad.

The bus had a tour guide and loud speakers. As they drove, the driver explained about what they were seeing. David couldn’t believe all the cracks in the earth from earthquakes. As they approached the San Andreas Fault area the bus pulled over so every could see.

He could hear everyone talking and saying how cool it was but he couldn’t see it. All the people in front of him was blocking his view. He was jumping and hopping but he still couldn’t see. Until his dad picked him up and held him by the window.


Then David saw the crack it just kept going and going! The bus driver explained that the fault was over 800 miles long. The fault is 15 to 20 million years old. It is wide too. In some places it is several hundred feet wide and in others more than a mile wide. It is 10 miles deep in places.

Then his mom told him about how earthquakes happen there every day! David was amazed. He had never even felt an earthquake in the 7 years he had been alive.


David has always wanted to feel an earthquake. But the kids here are probably sick of them. But David was still happy. He got to come to California and to see a giant crack in the earth. But he just wanted to feel an earthquake.

Just then the ground started to shake.

The End


David's Family Vacation