Florence, Gunnebo, Sweden


Posted Jun 10, 2007, 7:36 pm
After I was picked up at the airport in Orlando I finally got to fly on a real airplane.  I had been hanging around the airport for some time but had never been on a plane. 
We flew on Southwest Airlines to Albuquerque, New Mexico and from sea level to over a mile high by the time we drove to Farmington.
Its a lot different here than in Florida.  Its pretty dry and the birds here are funny little things with long tails that run very fast.  My friend told me they are called roadrunners.  I have a picture taken of me in the garden with a roadrunner but he's already gone so he's not really in the picture.
The Road Runner is a flightless Cuckoo and more info on it can be found here.


Posted Jun 10, 2007, 8:06 pm
Today we drove around a little and I got to see Farmington. We live up on a mesa above the town and this picture is of me sitting on the mailbox at the road.  You can see part of the town in the valley down below. If you click here you can see a video of the area.  It shows quite a bit of water around but there isn't any up here on the mesa.  For a flamingo thats not a good thing.

Posted Jun 10, 2007, 8:12 pm
I got to go on a road trip to Durango, Colorado.  While we were there we went out to the Bar D ranch for a chuckwagon dinner and cowboy sing-a-long show. 

Posted Jun 10, 2007, 8:58 pm
I'm back home in Farmington and have been lazing around in the backyard.  This is a picture of me hiding in the roses.  They were a little prickly but not half as bed as the cactus I sat on last week. 
While I was in the yard I met Morado, who also stays here, and we both thought it would be good to see more of the world.

Posted Jun 14, 2007, 5:38 pm
Florence has left Farmington and is on her way to Austria.

Posted Jun 20, 2007, 3:11 pm

What a great day! I arrived in Vienna today and finally came out of my narrow dark envelope! I had a warm welcome from Taro the bear from Japan, Alfie Langer and CK the 2 Australian guys and Pooh from Taiwan as well as from my hosts. I'm really looking forward to my stay here in Austria. As far as I know they have alot of water here - hope to see some soon because it is really hot here, about 35 °C!

Hugs, Florence

Posted Jul 9, 2007, 11:44 am
Hello! Sorry you had to wait sooo long for my first pictures here from Austria - but I did such a lot of sightseeing that I hardly had any time to update my travellog...

Here you can see the pictures of our trip to Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. It was the summer residence of the Habsburg family and has a really beautiful huge park with many fountains. I tried to have a swim everywhere but the "park police" was very strict with me and didn't allow me to bath there...


Posted Jul 9, 2007, 11:51 am
The previous week I spent in the countryside. My host's grandparents have a flat at lake Attersee (situated in Upper Austria between Linz and Salzburg) so we spent a wonderful time there. The scenery with all the mountains (Alps), lakes and forrests is really beautiful and the water was warm enough for me to go swimming and surfing ;)

One day we made a trip to Gmunden at lake Traunsee (only about 30 km from there). Imagine - they have a castle there located IN the lake (on a little island). Very special... And one more interesting thing there was the city hall: There are many bells at the front of the city hall and every hour they play a little melody... I made friends with some swans (well, at least they accepted me although I'm pink!!).
Nice place!

One day we did a big mountain hiking to a mountain called "Hochlecken". It is almost 1600 m high and it was really exhausting to get there (at least for my hosts...) but the view from up there to lake Attersee was really amazing. We had delicious food in the restaurant there and enjoyed it alot. On the first photo you can see the mountain in the background - on the last one it's just the opposite.

Posted Jul 11, 2007, 8:55 am
Finally I saw the river Danube yesterday! Very impressing, I must say... It was a bit rainy - otherwise I would really have taken a bath there ;)

My host also showed me the Danubetower nearby and the building of the UNO here in Vienna. We also passed by the famous Big Wheel (it was raining alot there so the photo came out a bit dark...) and the colourful house created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser - beautiful, isn't it? I was told that there is nothing special inside, just normal flats. Would be nice to live there, hm? All the people who live there have the right to create the wall around their windows as they like - but only as far as they can reach with their arms. So the building changes a bit from time to time. It is said that there is no right angle in the whole building. Can't believe that - but it sounds interesting anyway.

We also went up a hill from where we had a beautiful view over the city. Vienna is such a beautiful place and my host promised me to show me some more nice places this afternoon.

Posted Jul 13, 2007, 11:44 am
Oh, how many fountains there are in Vienna!! I had a bath in the most beautiful ones - and I enjoyed it alot!! Such a lot of water, that's always great for a sweating flamingo like me! One thing I really appreciate here in Vienna is that there are such kind of small fountains everywhere where the people just can take water to drink. Well, I also used them for having a bath... but nobody complained about that! ;)

Posted Jul 13, 2007, 11:51 am
We did alot of sightseeing during the past days. Have a look which beautiful places I visited:

*the City Hall
*the old imperial theatre
*Hofburg, that's the castle where the emperors lived. Nowadays it hosts some museums and the national library as well as the president's office
*St. Stephen's Cathedral

I also played "hide and seek" with the other toys in the rosarium where we had alot of fun... We almost didn't find Cute Knut anymore but finally Paz discovered him...

Posted Jul 13, 2007, 11:58 am
I loved the horses with their carriages we saw everywhere in the city. They are called "Fiaker" and nowadays they are only used as a tourist attraction, but before the "car age" people really used them to get around.

I also saw St. Stephen's cathedral which was really impressing, and the Opera house. Then we had a rest in the park in front of the museum for historical arts with the ball-shaped bushes. We also passed by the Austrian parliament but since all the politicians are on holiday right now we just saw tourists there.

Well, I have really seen alot here in Austria, so I think it's time now to continue my journey. My next stop will be Prague and I'm really looking forward to get there. Good bye, Vienna!

Posted Jul 29, 2007, 6:50 pm
I arrived to Prague a few days ago, but my host was on a summer camp, so I had to wait till I could update my travelog. Unfortunately, he is leaving for another week now, but after that he will surely show me the city and take some pictures.

Posted Aug 6, 2007, 8:24 pm
Today I finally visited the city center. Behind me you can see the Petřín hill, the National Theatre and the Prague Castle.




Then I went on Smetana's Embankment, where I saw Krammer's fountain - a monument dedicated to Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor.


In front of Charles Bridge, I looked up to statue of Charles IV, another Holy Roman Emperor and Bohemian King. Czech people usually call him "Otec vlasti" ("Father of the homeland") and consider him the best sovereign ever.


You can meet lot of musicians on the Charles Bridge.


From the Charles Bridge I saw the Straka's Academy, seat of Czech government. It was named after John Peter Straka, who estabilished an academy for needy young noblemen. It's a play on words - "straka" means "magpie" in Czech, so many people say that "Straka's Academy" is an appropriate name for the seat of government.


When I was going over the Charles Bridge, two girls suddenly came to me and wanted to take picture of me and their penguin. I asked them if they have something in common with ToyVoyagers.com, but they said that not - they are just travelling through Europe and photographing their penguin.



The Lesser Town Bridge Towers are one of the most photographed buildings in Prague. The smaller one is older than the Charles Bridge, because it originally belonged to former Judith Bridge, destroyed by flood.


Posted Aug 9, 2007, 10:35 pm
I found a map of Prague, so I could precisely plan my tommorow's visit of city center.

Posted Aug 10, 2007, 10:52 pm
When I asked about the most important places to visit in Prague, everyone recommended me the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. As I already have visited the Bridge, today I went to the Castle.

What a nice view of Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter)!


Now I am in front of Prague Castle. The flag on the building on the right is Presidential Banner - it indicates that President of Czech Republic is at home.

Castle Patrol is guarding the entrance to the Prague Castle.


St Vitus Cathedral - isn't it magnificent?

This is the Chapel of Holy Cross. And you surely recognize the Presidential Banner.

Posted Aug 24, 2007, 7:05 pm
Do you remember the St. Nicholas Church I saw another day? Today I decided to visit its belfry.

In Karmelitská street I found this cool car. It seems that somebody is running some kind of large-scale toyvoyaging  :D


And that's it - the St. Nicholas Church in all its beauty.

From windows of the tower I saw this building with US flag. It's a summer residence belonging to the American embassy.

Posted Sep 18, 2007, 5:52 pm
I found a quite comfortable chair in my host's flat.

And I also met this guy. They say he's a stork or an ibis, but I'm sure he's definitely a flamingo!  ;)

But now I have to leave Prague, because on 22nd September, Okoberfest starts in Munich, and that's something I just can't miss! (After all, it's one of my life missions... :p)

Posted Sep 22, 2007, 8:21 pm
Today I arrived at Munich, right in time for the Oktoberfest. When the mailman carried me to my destination I already heard all those people in the subway talking about the opening of Oktoberfest today. When I crawled out of my envelope several Toyvoyagers warmly welcomed me.

Posted Sep 24, 2007, 10:43 pm
Did a bit of sight-seeing today. The photo shows the Gärtnerplatz with Opera.

Posted Sep 26, 2007, 6:22 pm
It was raining today so we did not go to the Oktoberfest. But I could watch it on TV.

Posted Sep 30, 2007, 9:36 pm
Today I went for a walk as it was sunny. I passed by the German Museum (Science and Technology Museum). Outside there are several exhibits - like this huge turbine.

Posted Sep 30, 2007, 9:49 pm
Then I went swimming in the Müller'sches Volksbad. The Volksbad is a beautiful Art Nouveau building and is still in use as an indoor swimming-pool.

Posted Sep 30, 2007, 10:10 pm
On the way back home I walked along the Isar river. I saw a fountain at the Isar riverside - and wonder why it's name is "Father Rhine"?
And I also saw the Isartor (Isar gate) which in former times was one of the old town gates.

Posted Oct 5, 2007, 7:10 pm
Yeah, today I fulfilled one of my life missions! I went to Oktoberfest. First I had to take the subway to get there. And it was so crowded already ..... there are masses of people going there. Then - the real thing. It is so huge, you cannot imagine. I got some photos outside of the Oktoberfest. Inside the tents everybody has fun, drinking a lot of beer, singing, dancing on the benches .... can you believe that one tent can hold several thousand persons?

Posted Oct 16, 2007, 9:27 pm
As the weather was nice, we all went for a nice walk. First we took the S-Bahn to Herrsching at the Ammersee (lake). From there we walked more than one hour to the Andechs monastery. It is a huge complex as you can see in the photo.

Posted Oct 16, 2007, 9:46 pm
The forest was really nice in all the autumn colors. I enjoyed the walk from the Andechs monastery through the Kiental back to Herrsching. In Herrsching I saw a golden statue of the Virgin Mary. There are a lot of those statues in this area.

Posted Nov 6, 2007, 7:27 pm
We went to Frankfurt for the weekend. The photo shows me on a brigde over the Main river with the skyline of Frankfurt. Some people call Frankfurt "Mainhattan" because there are a lot of skycrapers - most of them used by banks.

Posted Dec 1, 2007, 12:57 pm
I accompanied my host to the Kloster Bernried (Bernried monastery) close to the Starnberger See to get one week of Qigong training. Very nice and relaxing even though the weather was foggy. Sometimes I though I would sit in a white cloud when looking out of the window.

Posted Dec 1, 2007, 1:57 pm
Today I went to Marienplatz - the Christmas market has started and everywhere is the smell of cookies and mulled wine  B)
I also saw the Hofbräuhaus - what a huge beer hall!

Posted Dec 10, 2007, 9:14 pm
I went strolling around town - oh god, there were masses of people doing their Christmas shopping. So I prefered just to take a photo of the Stachus (Karlsplatz) where there was a skating rink set up and later some more photos of different  market places in the dark

Posted Dec 10, 2007, 9:39 pm
On Sunday we went for a walk along the Ammersee (lake south of Munich). After 2 hours we decided that it's time for a mulled wine at the Dießen Christmas market. This Xmas market is held only at one weekend at Dießen. And there is no electricity allowed and the goods sold are solely hand-made. It was great when it was getting dark and everything was lit by little candles. In the middle of the market a real blacksmith was working on the metal. It's a pity that the camera could not take photos in the dark.

Posted Dec 23, 2007, 9:51 pm
Tried on our host's new cross-country ski set. As there was no snow in Munich we took the train to Bayrischzell and went skiing there.

Posted Dec 23, 2007, 10:01 pm
I had a nice, long walk in the English Garden today and had a mulled wine at the Christmas market at the Chinese tower.

Posted Dec 27, 2007, 10:00 pm
Visited the famous Nuremberg Christkindl market.

Posted Dec 28, 2007, 10:03 pm
Well, today is my last evening in Munich and my host said that I should have a mulled wine before hopping into the envelope and travel to Yumi in Japan.
The usual mulled wine is made with red wine and spices. For my farewell I got a special one - made with elderberry wine! Mmmmh, delicious  :p

Posted Jan 12, 2008, 3:48 pm
Morado and I arrived at Yumi's home in Japan safely today.

We met her toyvoyager Tokio.

Posted Jan 16, 2008, 4:59 pm
Morado and I visited Oyama Shrine today.

In Japan we visit a shrine to pray for happiness and health on the new year.


Posted Jan 16, 2008, 5:28 pm
I found some cabbages in borders.
Yumi said me...it is a kind of cabbage but we never eat it. It is called 'Habotan' in Japanese. We display it for the new year.

I also found a pair of habotan and bamboo decorations in front of the shrine.
Yumi said me...it is one of new year's decorations. It called 'Kadomatsu'. It was made assembled pine branches enhanced by stem of bamboo and sprays of plum trees. During the new year a pair of them, one for each side are placed in front of house/building as in Japan pine, bamboo, and plum tree are taken as good luck

Posted Jan 17, 2008, 1:32 pm
As a shrine is a sacred place, we washed our hands first.

Then I found a lot of small tablets drawn mice.
I asked Yumi. 'What is that?'
She answered
'That is called Ema. We write our wishes on the tablet..For example, our health, happiness, and success. The tablets are mostly used in praying for success in passing entrance exams'

I also found a lot of long narrow paper tied in a rope.
Yumi told me 'When we visit a shrine in the new year, we usually draw Omikuji (a fortune slip). We tied one to a rope or a tree after we read'

I haven't seen these things before. Interesting!!

Posted Jan 26, 2008, 4:50 am
I found a small garden at the shrine.

The garden had a pond with carps, a lantern and an old bridge.

Posted Jan 26, 2008, 5:22 am
Two new friends arrived at Yumi's home today.

They were Mara-Joy and Mocha who were sent from Hong Kong.
We became friends at once!

Posted Jan 26, 2008, 5:33 am
One more new friend arrived at Yumi's home today.

She was Pussy Galore who came from Australia.

Posted Jan 28, 2008, 3:48 pm
I decided to stay with other toyvoyagers at Yumi's house today as the weather wasn't good

We watched Sumo on TV.
Sumo is Japanese traditional wrestling (the national sport).
In a sumo match, two wrestlers who wear a sumo wrestler's loincloth enter the rung fight until on either leaves the ring or touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his feet.
I was very excited to watch!!

Posted Jan 29, 2008, 5:23 pm
Yumi told me that we're going somewhere today.

I waited for her with Morado, Mara-Joy, Mocha and Pussy Galore in her bag.


Posted Jan 29, 2008, 5:47 pm
We visited Kanazawa 21st museum where was opened in 2004.

The museum has some kinds of chairs and benchs to sit and relax.

Posted Feb 1, 2008, 4:08 pm
When we were walking at the museum, we found a swimming pool.

Why is a swimming pool here? We thought...
The next moment, we all were very surprised that some people were standing in the swimming pool. WHY???


Posted Feb 2, 2008, 3:06 pm
YAY!! I'm under the swimming pool!!

I felt very strange...but enjoyed it!

I read a leaflet on the museum.
Swimming Pool designed by Leandro Erlich (so we call it Leandro's pool)
A layer of water above thick glass forms a border, through which people above encounter people below (inside the pool)


Posted Feb 8, 2008, 3:57 pm
After we enjoyed the museum, we visited another one named Kanazawa Folklore museum.

The building of the museum built in 1899 was once used as a school. At present a junior high school is built next to the museum.

Unfortunately the museum wasn't allowed photography...
(Yumi told me it was okay when I visited here last year)
We were only taken in front of the museum.

The last photo is the leaflet for the museum.

Posted Feb 14, 2008, 3:15 pm
We visited a few places today, but unfortunately we couldn't take many photos outside as the weather was bad...

When I was walking the street along the river, I found some white birds. I tried to get at them but they flew away.
Some old and high-class Japanese restaurants are on the street (Kazue-machi Chaya District).

Posted Feb 14, 2008, 3:19 pm
Then I visited Higashi Chaya District where some old Japanese houses which Geisha girls had worked at are conserved.

Posted Feb 14, 2008, 3:21 pm
I was sent to BlackCat in Germany today.
I hope I will arrive at her home safely soon.

Posted Mar 28, 2008, 1:29 pm
Hi mummy,

I just wanted to let you know, that I arrived in Bruchsal. Petra is really busy, but we all wanted her to get in contact with our family before the human guests arrive. Petra told us, that her daughter celebrates her birthday today, altough her birthday was in December. It seems to be a funny family.

Bye, Florence





Posted Mar 29, 2008, 7:00 pm
Hurray!!! Hurray!!!

We had a little party today!!!

We had some snacks and water to drink and a lot to laugh about, of course. Dogs became friends with cats, a turtle with a kangaroo, a monkey with a moose and more.

We played with a big and a small ball and we learned how to play the card game "Mau Mau".

Didn't the table look nice?

Mingus Moose prefered to sit on the ballon.

(Playmo)Bill decided to not eat anything, because he was afraid to be too thick for his hobby.

Bullet wanted all the peanuts for himself.

Coco first had been a bit sad, because there was no honey on the table, but she liked the gouda then.

How did (Playmo)Bill come to that peanut? Maybe he asked Mingus Moose???

HolidayHarry had been really thirsty after eating a lot of sweets.

I had been very hungry and tried a chocolate banana muffin.

Pebbels thought, that the Harry Potter muffin looked nice. It was a muffin with blueberries. Curly took the chocolate banana muffin too.

Amara Anthea tried a muffin american style, just on with chocolate drops.

AliG seemed to play the detective. What did he expect to find out today???

Do you see how happy Tortilla and Josh look with this dish filled with gummi bears?

Chokito, Davy and Schnuffi shared another Harry Potter muffin.

Only Hasi prefered something healthy - she wanted to eat a carrot.

Tilda hadn't been sure, whether she should try a "nimm 2 " or whether it is better to eat a carrot too.

Then we started playing with balls. At first we choose the Australian ball, but it was so big, that the little toyvoyager among us had big problems.



Later we decided to use a table tennis ball, which of course is much easier to play with.





At last we learned how to play "Mau Mau".




Our first winner was: Chokito

Second place: Bullet

Third place: Hasi

Fourth place: Pebbels



Posted Apr 9, 2008, 8:04 pm
Today was one of the rare sunny days. Petra came home from school and packed her rucksack to show us some places in Bruchsal. She didn't have so much time for it, because she had to go back to school for a teachers' meeting.

Here you see the backfront of the palace.

This is the Feldkirchle (field chapel)

Next to the Feldkirchle (field chapel) you see this cross
and these beautiful flowers

Posted Apr 10, 2008, 10:58 am
Today it's time for baking cakes for my host's mum's birthday. She is 70 years now and Petra was asked to bake two cakes: Donauwellenkuchen (Danube waves cake) and Zebrakuchen (zebra cake). Petra decided to bake a surprise cake too, with a part of the Happy Birthday song.

We sat all together watching and helping Petra with preparing the dough.


So here are the photos with me. If you are interested in recipes, I can try to ask Petra to write them here or send them to you.










Finally the cakes are ready

The nougat cream cake:
only the words "Happy birthday" have to be put on the cake now.

The Zebra-cake

Somehow we miss the last photo of the Danube waves cake, the one with the cherries.

Posted Apr 19, 2008, 11:02 am
Goodbye, Florence!!!

Have fun in Sweden

Posted Apr 27, 2008, 11:42 am
Today Kari arrived at home again and he told us a lot about Australia. Now I know, that Kira1997 send him to my host family as a present for their daughter some years ago. He wanted to see them again, so he decided to go to Australia as a toyvoyager.



Posted Apr 27, 2008, 12:42 pm
Maybe you heard about the Buran arriving in Speyer? The new home will be the technical museum in Speyer: http://www.museumspeyer.de/index.html

The Buran ( the only space shuttle of the Soviet Buran program)was only on one unmanned spaceflight in 1988. The shuttle program was cancelled in 1993. It was destroyed by a hangar collapse in 2003.
The Buran is the world's first genuine space shuttle to be exhibited to the general public.

Petra wanted to go there to watch the arrival, but the weather was too bad, so we only got the chance to read the newspaper


Posted Apr 27, 2008, 1:29 pm
While the most of us were so lazy - maybe because it was raining so often?!? - Davy, Tortilla and I decided to join Sabrina and her friend, when they wanted to go out with the bikes. I can tell you, that we really had some fun. We jumped and ran around and the kids tried to catch us again - very very difficult, you can believe it.



I thought, that this was a very nice place to sit down.



Posted Apr 27, 2008, 1:58 pm

I'm so pleased to have arrived in Sweden!! Such a wonderful weather they got here! All sunny and everything!!

The travell here was just fine as I had company with Josh all the way from my previous host. We also got to meet Fifi here who are also staying here. I'm sure the three of us will have a great time!!

*Pictures are coming....my host has been very sick so she hasn't been able to upload anything yet*

Posted Jun 28, 2008, 5:55 pm

Today I arrived to Ingrid in Gunnebo. I have meet Hendrieke! We have watch stuff on Youtube, most videos of Anti-Flag (Ingrid is a big fan) and we have write a postcard to Taiwan!





Posted Jul 13, 2008, 2:18 pm
A day off....


Posted Jul 15, 2008, 7:53 pm

Today have a meet Ingrid grandparents, they live on the countryside.


Ingrid grandmother are making rag carpets.

The grandfather must love wood!


Posted Jul 23, 2008, 7:20 pm

Some update from Sweden!

Ingrid have a day off from work so we went for a ride on the bicycle .

I was climbing in the tree


No party??

Some guys a have meet

Me and Kermit are talking abour life and travlling

Posted Jul 29, 2008, 4:17 pm
MC-Days in Västervik!

The city of Västervik, on the eastcoast of Sweden, is indeed a motorcycle city during the four days that MC-Dagarna takes place. Swedens most popular motorcyclemagazine, MC-Nytt, takes part in our event. MC-dagarna is located on Gränsö slott in the archipelago of Västervik. There is no better place for a bike meet in Sweden, we dare to say.

Photos from the cortège




Posted Aug 4, 2008, 7:16 pm
Just hangin out today!


To big  B)

Posted Aug 11, 2008, 5:51 pm

Tomorrow are Ingrids family going to te west coast to visit relatives in Varberg, do some shoping at a big store in Ullared called GeKås and after that it's of to Gothenburg!

So I'm helping her whit packing the things she needs :)



Humm... Which book should she read?

Posted Aug 16, 2008, 3:50 pm

I'm back from the west cost. When we arrived to Gothenburg we got a nice suprice, the Gothenburg Culture Festival. The swedish bands Takida and Backyard Babies was playing  :D

Göteborgs killkör (Gothenburgs boys chorus)


Backyard Babies

Random stuff from Gothenburg

Posted Sep 10, 2008, 3:29 pm

Time to update! Ingrids camera hav been broken  :(

But today I have help her with the cooking!

And when the food was in the oven, it was back to the studying.