Dottie Grace, Mount Victoria, NSW, Australia


Posted Jun 8, 2007, 10:49 am
Poor Gracie has a broken voice box and had given up on the thought of being picked off the shelf and taken home from her shop until she was offered a chance to be a ToyVoyager. She is looking forward to seeing the world and is willing to go anywhere you might like to take her!

Please update Dottie Grace's forum posts in the ETVT by telling us the date, when you received her and even more importantly the date, when you sent her to her next host. Thank you very much.

Posted Jul 11, 2007, 8:41 pm
Hello !!!!

Here I am in France, with Mood and FoxForce ...
Thanks to my confortable travelbox the travel was ok, not as long as I feared... It was quite strange to come from the cold Australia and to wake up here in summer!!! (I'm not sure Becka thought to put my swimsuit in my travelcase?!)
I was I was a bit intimidate, as it was my first time from out of Becka's house, but FoxForce, Alpina, Stripy and Sebastien gave me a warm welcome...
Eventhough Alpina and I just met briefly (she was now leaving us for other adventures in Toulouse with Mistigree) ... maybe we 'll meet us again, because she's going to live in the surrounding for a time...
Other Toyvoyager looks quite good, I think we should become good friends!

See you soon for the pictures !!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 9:32 am
I found out my itinerary today for the European ToyVoyager Trail. I am very excited as my first stop is with Mood, the friend of my new good friend Elisabeth!

I have promised to take a kiss to Mood from Elisabeth and tell her how much she is enjoying her travels!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 4:44 pm
Meanwhile, the lodgers of Dottie's next destination makes enquiries about this new guest coming soon ...
Sebastien is very interested !!!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 4:51 pm
At last! here are the first pictures of my arrival :

The envelope with Sydney's arbor and my travelbox

In fact, I was still sleeping when I have been woken up by whisperings ...

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 4:55 pm
Then I saw the daylight, so I stretched myself and ooohhhh??? There were people observing me ... I was arrived!!!!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 4:59 pm
I was a bit intimidate, but Stripy the one on the right didn't stop watching my fur... he ended up asking me where did I bought my wonderful pyjama ... and we all laughed at once !!!!! It was the first time he met a giraffe like me ...


Posted Jul 24, 2007, 5:05 pm
Before leaving from Sydney, as Elisabeth asked me to wave Mood a kiss, I gave this picture to her
I can tell you that even if she hide it, she was very moved !!!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 5:15 pm
Today Bertold (the little yellow one) insist on measuring me just to check if his scientific book was right ...

and it quickly turned into a game with Sebastien and FoxForce

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 5:43 pm
No, Rest assured!!! I'm not a dangerous gangster pursued by motorcycle policemen... !!!

... Yesterday was the Bastille Day...  As Bertold (the human encyclopedia) explained me, this day officially celebrates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, though it is often associated with the Storming of the Bastille.  (You know what happened then to the king and his head..)

So each year, Military parades, called Défilés du 14 juillet, are held on the morning of 14 July, the largest of which takes place on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic. But yesterday, there was a small one in Toulouse, se we went to see it with Bertold :

But what I prefered was the fireworks  !!! Unfortunately, I have no pictures but it was wonderful !!! We also got to the  dancing parties organised by the firefighters ...


Posted Jul 24, 2007, 6:02 pm
Before going to the firework, we had a party with Alpina (the white cat I met when I arrived the first day). We have tasted champagne and french wine ..
I enjoyed the small bubbles !!!!
Then we ate a french cake called Charlotte with chocolate !!! yum yummmm!!!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 6:15 pm
Today I wandered in Toulouse with FoxForce... We took the bus
We could have taken the new line of the metro, (of course FoxForce loves everything that look like a burrow) but I prefered to discover the town across the windows of the bus ...

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 6:19 pm
So first, we stopped to the Place du Capitole where is situated the Town Hall (Capitolium)
You can see behind me the different flags of Toulouse (the red one with the Occitane yellow cross), the french one and the European ...

On this map, you can see the Place

I really wanted to bring back a souvenir from Toulouse, so we stopped in front of this strange machine, that delivers the Médaille Souvenir de Toulouse

But I had no french money, well, no euro in fact, so we went to the bank first to change money


Posted Jul 24, 2007, 6:34 pm
There are many old houses and mansions in Toulouse, here is a half-timbered house Rue des Arts

Then we walked across the river Garonne and the Pont Neuf (which in fact, is the oldest bridge of the town!)

I looked at the telescope

I forgot to say that the waether was very sunny  .. (I think about becka who is shivering in Sydney )... BUT ... it was terribly windy !!!
Mood promised me to make a cruise on one of the boats that sail on the Garonne !

But until that we took a break in a charming tea room called the Flower's café... Were I have tasted a very good chocolat viennois

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 6:53 pm
On our way back home, as I was thinking about Becka, and home in Australia, Mood took me to this new shop

As you might know, Toulouse is going to host the next rugby world cup in September, and here rugby is a very popular sport (we even play rugby on the Place du Capitole !!!)

In this shop, we met a charming young seller that allowed us to take special pictures for Becka

On this one you can see the different teams .. I laughed at the name they call it : Poule .. like chicken or goose!!!!
Will you be able to recognize each flag ?

and you know what? as if by chance, it was Australia team that was playing on TV ... Unfortunately we can't see very well, but it was them !!!!

As you can see on this picture, the local rugby team (called Stade toulousain) celebrated its 100 years
so, on this occasion, there is an exhibition and once again, I could touch Australia!!
And look at this map of the world showing the international rugby player who played with the Stade Toulousain ... Maybe, my journey around the world will look like this !!!!


Posted Jul 24, 2007, 8:08 pm
No news since a few days because something happened : I met Tigane !!!!! An african giraffe who lives with Mistigree, and you know what, she knows signs languages, but above all, she tried to explain me what type of noise Giraffes make!!!

On this picture it was my first lesson with her
I listened attentively !

She lend me some books so that I can train myself

After the lesson, she show me the place she prefers to graze, and yet... it was delicious !!!!

And then she took me to this strange statuette which is supposed to make your wishes come true ... (if only I could ... shhhhhh...)

I don't know if it really works ... so until that, I regularly do my homeworks... Do you want to know how to say Barges ??? (I learned this word because of the cruise we made yesterday!!!)

Tigane also told me about this strange looking animal called dromedary who also lives in Africa.

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 8:36 pm
Today, Mood had a surprise for FoxForce whose dream is to discover the Valley of the Kings in Egypt ... so, instead of the real Valley of the Kings, we all have  visited the Georges Labit Museum where we can see arts from Asia and egyptian antiquities ..
FoxForce was very happy and she spent a long time in front of a -scary- mummy...

Mood and I prefered the first stage where Japonese arts are displayed like these Edo vases

or these impressive Samuraï armures !!!!

Here I am as an indian goddess! Please, bow down before  me!!

Posted Jul 24, 2007, 8:50 pm
When we came back home, Mood told me a story she read about the Kirin ... (in a book called Tales of the Otori :Le Clan des Otori)
The Kirin is a mythical hooved Japanese chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, and is said to appear in conjunction with the arrival of a sage. It is a good omen that brings serenity and prosperity. And you know what ??? It is identified with the giraffe !!!

So as I was very interested in this story, we search on the internet and here is what we found :
It is known that on Zheng He's voyage to East Africa (landing, among other places, in modern-day Kenya), the fleet brought back two giraffes to Beijing. It is also known that these two giraffes were referred to as "Qilins". The Emperor proclaimed the giraffes magical creatures, whose capture signalled the greatness of his power.

The identification between the Qilin and the giraffe is supported by some attributes of the Qilin, including its vegetarian and quiet nature. Its reputed ability to "walk on grass without disturbing it" may be related to the giraffe's long legs.

héhéhé!!! Bertold was amazed when I told him about it !!!

Posted Jul 30, 2007, 2:00 pm
Today was my first cruise !!!
Here I am before boarding on the Capitole :
Don't worry Becka, I had my lifebelt !!
We first sailed on the Canal de Brienne, passed under several bridges. There were people walking along the Canal so we saluted each other, ahahaha! I can tell you that many of them were quite surprised to meet a sailing giraffe !!!

We also crossed barges

Then we came back on the Garonne, it was fantastic !!!
I really enjoyed this, and even dreamt I was the Captain

Posted Jul 30, 2007, 2:32 pm
Well, it seems my journey here is held in a japanese spirit !!! Mood told us that Taro should join us soon. He's a japanese bear, so OF COURSE, Bertold found out about Japan

Posted Jul 30, 2007, 2:57 pm
Today, I wandered with Mood, seeking for giraffes, and look at these pictures, we found several ones !!!!
This one is very tall !!!

She works in a french shop, and was busy with customers, so we couldn't speak much .. (and she didn't know about signs language)

But, then, we met this other one, and this time we stayed a long time together...
She told me, she once went in a zoo, but was so sad, that she managed to escape ... now she's waiting for her plane ticket to go back to Africa

Posted Jul 30, 2007, 3:03 pm
She took me to her house, and there we watched films about her in Africa where she had met strange people called Barbapapa ...
She's really eager to go back there!

Posted Jul 30, 2007, 3:13 pm
As I was a bit sad thinking about Africa, Mood read me a story to change my mind. It was the story of a loving crocodile called La Maison du crocodile amoureux

In fact, he's in love with ... guess who? ... a giraffe!!!
But, of course, there's a little problem ... and it's not easy to live together with such different size!

So .. they become sad until yhe day they find the solution !!!!!!


Posted Jul 30, 2007, 3:26 pm
Did I tell you that Taro, the japanese bear, arrived yesterday ??? We spent the night speaking about Japan, and today, he learned me origami! Look at his owl !!! I have tried to make one but it's very hard!

Then, Sebastien organised a Mikado game

Look at Romeo (our caretaker!) he invited himself... He's got a good technique!
I tried to, but it wasn't so easy!

Posted Aug 2, 2007, 5:58 pm
I'm a bit sad today, because my stay in Toulouse is nearing its end... So I began to pack my bag, wrote my travel notebook ...

BUT, before leaving, I wanted to taste Mood's chocolate cake, so I asked her to cook one
don't you think I look like a great french chef ???
We ate it all together, it was a good party !!


Posted Aug 2, 2007, 6:12 pm
And this morning, as each morning since my arrival here, I went for a stroll in Mood's garden (balcony in fact)

and  took my last breakfast made of delicious basil

but cheer up !! my journey goes on !!! And soon I'll be back to tell you about my new adventures!!
Bye Mood, and Stripey, and sebastien, and Bertold, and FoxForce, we had great time together !!! and bye Taro, my new friend !!

Posted Aug 5, 2007, 8:07 pm
Hello ! I arrived in Arles, South France, where I met two Toys Voyagers: Blaze and Sylphide. I'm so happy, and my host is very happy too, 'cause she's mad for Australia !!!!!

Posted Aug 5, 2007, 8:10 pm
I visited the small village in Baux de Provence, with the stange landscape. The village is built on the rock, and there is a castel too ! It was a beautiful trip in Provence !

Posted Aug 6, 2007, 8:36 pm
Today I visited Carnon, near Palavas-les-flots, the famous balneal city in the Lion Gulf. I didn't see the Mediterranean Sea, cause it was raining and we didn't come out. But I saw boats and gulls !

Posted Aug 7, 2007, 9:35 pm

Maybe I'm not able to tell you well what happened today... but I came to the hospital and they made me a graft and I can speak again ! The battery was ok, but the surround was out... so they graft me an Air France ear-phone. Yeah !

Here the photos to explain the process... I'm SO HAPPY !!!

And if you want to listen me, click there !
Dottie Grace's Voice

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 2:55 pm
Hey ! I'm ok, I visited some places in Camargue... saw a typical guardian's house (guardians are the cowboys of camargue :-), a salt lake, I traveled by car and there was a lot of people on the road !!!

Posted Aug 13, 2007, 3:01 pm
Near Montpellier, there are stranges places !!!

A castel in a lake near the sea...
An antic church in a little forest...

Posted Aug 15, 2007, 9:30 pm
It's time for me to continue my travel... My host is a little sad...I'm going to Netherlands to Tess, and I'll see my friend Blaze again !!! So cool !

/!\ Please don't press my stomach more than one or two times to make me speak, 'cause my batteries are not eternals... and I would like to speak with my Becka Kate one day... THANKS !

Posted Sep 20, 2007, 12:18 pm
Finally I arrived in Bruchsal!!!! And do you know, who is here right now: Tamalyn.

Posted Sep 30, 2007, 7:32 pm
Today we played soccer. It's not so easy to play "sit-soccer" (that's how my hosts call it).
At first everyone sat on the place, where he or she was supposed to be. You only had been allowed to move on the place by turning around, but without walking. Alfie Langer was the referee. He was the only one with a real soccer shirt.
At once Tamalyn tried to score, but Elisabeth did a good work and
just jumped to the right place and caught the ball. But then her punt was bad and luckily Bongo got the ball. He tried to score, but Decker was just at the right place to defend in front of Tux, who was the goalkeeper on the other side.
At the end of the first half we still played 0:0, but of course we had some chances for the first goal.

Start of the second half

Somehow Glory fell. I know, that I didn't hit her or something.

Small Fry nearly shot a goal after that, but Tux was such a good goalkeeper and caught the ball. Glory fell again, maybe she already was very tired, she is so tiny.

Here Tamalyn got the ball and tried to play to Glory.

Small Fry got the ball to play, but had no chance to score.

After a while Alfie Langer had to talk to me, who complained about something, but I don't want to tell it here.

1:0 for my team!!! Thanks to meeee!!

And then a silly thing happened and this was bad luck for my side. Bongo and Small Fry tried to catch the ball with our bodies, but they had no luck.

Elisabeth jumped to the right side of her goal, but the ball rolled into the goal on the left side. :(
So at the end the result was 1:1

After the match we danced around the ball, because we were happy that nobody had lost in this match.


Posted Oct 10, 2007, 9:21 pm
Today it is National Holiday of Germany and most people don't go to work on that day. There are some celebrations, that you can watch in tv (television, not in a toyvoyager :) ). But the people in Germany don't really celebrate on that day.
Petra and her family decided to go shopping in the Alsace, which is in France. So you see Sabrina and me with the other toyvoyagers in the car on our way to the border to France.

Here I am with Kari. In the background you see the border to Germany.

Posted Oct 12, 2007, 9:43 am
Finally my host Petra showed me the palace and the Belvedere.

Here you see a part of the rosegarden, which belongs to the palace. I climbed on the tree. Did you know, that giraffes are able to do this???

Here you see the backfront of the palace. It was destroyed during the second world war and rebuilt during the 70th.

This is one of the statues in the palace garden. There are four statues showing the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. And four other statues show the four elements: water, fire, air and earth.

Here is the beginning point for a guided tour through Bruchsal.

This building is called "Belvedere". It was a former hunting lodge and now it is a place for open air theatre.

In the park called " Stadtgarten" next to the Belvedere you find this fountain.

Posted Oct 12, 2007, 9:48 am
Untergrombach is one of the suburbs of Bruchsal. Here we are on the "Michaelsberg" (hill) and have a wonderful view over the Rhine valley. Petra's parents live close to the wood, that you see on the photo ( not in Untergrombach, but still in Bruchsal, so on the other side of the wood).
As young girl she loved to swim in that quarry pond, but since she is married and has kids, she prefers to go to the swimming pool of Bruchsal. In the background you see the hills of the Palatinate.

This chapel stands on the top of the Michaelsberg and it is called Michaelsbergkapelle (chapel). Tamalyn and I wanted to be on the same photo, so we asked Petra to do this.

On this photo you see a part of the Kraichgau hill country. Bruchsal lies at the border to the Kraichgau and Rhine Valley.

Posted Oct 12, 2007, 9:51 am
Here we are back in Bruchsal. The building you see here is the old slaughterhouse. Nowadays a part of it is a restaurant and a place for comedy shows. Ralf and Petra, my hosts, like to go there. Funny!
Also you see on the photo, that Bruchsal has parts belonging to the Kraichgau. The first photo with the view to Bruchsal (in Untergrombach) showed a part that belongs to the Rhine valley.

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 2:55 pm
In Lauterburg my hosts had lunch. We were in a restaurant, where you only could order pancakes or crepes to eat and of course something to drink.

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 2:58 pm
Then we drove to Weissenburg (Wissembourg), because we wanted to see the old part of that city, but it was so crowded, that we headed home again.

Not far from Weissenburg we found this chapel.

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 3:01 pm
The German Winegate is a building of the worst time in German history. It was built in 1936 officially to make the wineyards of the Palatinate more famous. Of course it was also a provocation against France, because the border is very close (only 1km to Wissembourg). The gate is the end point of the Palatinate Wine Route.
(I can't put this online without telling, that I'm so sorry for everything that happened during these years.)

Posted Oct 14, 2007, 3:03 pm
I only saw this church, when we drove through Karlsruhe, but I heard, that there is a nice palace too.

Posted Oct 29, 2007, 8:31 pm
Today we visited Maulbronn, where is a famous monastery. It is Unesco World Heritage. I thought, that it looks like a little town in the city Maulbronn.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 7:16 pm
Today I was allowed to go with Elisabeth and Sabrina to visit the zoo of Stuttgart, which is the main city of Baden-Württemberg. The zoo is called Wilhelma.

Here am I with Sabrina's uncle and godfather and Elisabeth.

My only wish was to meet these animals. Do you know, who I mean?


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 7:20 pm
Today I helped Petra to bake cakes for Fabian's 17th birthday, which we will celebrate tomorrow. This cake is called Hannchen Jensen or Hansen Jensen cake.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:02 pm
Today we were on a little sightseeing tour. Here you see me in Huttenheim with a nice church in the background.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:08 pm
Then we drove to the Rhine, which is the one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 miles)


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:09 pm
On our way to the Rhine we saw this two towers. It's the nuclear power station of Philippsburg, which was built in the 70th, the power-down is planned in 2011 and 2017, so still some years to go.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:25 pm
1. Here we are on the way to Untergrombach. I had been here with Tamalyn and now Ossa is by my side.

2. On this photo you see rape, then asparagus and of course the beautiful trees.

3. Here is a view to Untergrombach with the Michaelsberg.

4. Untergrombach is one of the suburbs of Bruchsal. We drove to the top of the Michaelsberg, where I saw a nice chapel.

5. We wanted to take a little rest in front of the chapel

6. The weather was beautiful, but you see the fog coming up now. On the photo you see Untergrombach and the quarry pond of Untergrombach.

7. You find many beautiful views on the Michaelsberg and this is another one.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:26 pm
It's Halloween! It's a little sad, that Petra and her family don't really celebrate this, but she likes to decorate the house with autumn stuff. Do you like it too? I think, it looks great.


Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:33 pm
We visited a very interesting place today. It is called Siegfriedsbrunnen (fountain). In the forest of Odes (Odenwald) four fountains are named as place, where Siegfried was murdered by Hagen von Tronje. We saw one of this fountains. There is a famous song about the Nibelungs.

When I turned around I saw these beautiful trees.

Posted Nov 1, 2007, 8:53 pm
Then we drove to the Pfannwaldsee, a lake. We decided to walk around the lake and we got really cold feet.


Posted Nov 3, 2007, 5:27 pm
Good bye, Dottie Grace!!!

We were happy to have you with us for a while. Have a nice journey

Bye, Petra and family

Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:37 am
Here I am in front of the rent house of my hosts. You also see their car and garage.


Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:38 am
Today we drove to the Black Forest. Fabian, my hosts one son, was invited to stay there for the next two nights. So we all decided to bring him there.


Posted Nov 4, 2007, 11:39 am
We visited the Vogtsbauernhof in Gutach, which is an Open Air Museum. Here is what we read in a folder:

Where the magnificently preserved Vogtsbauernhof farmstead once stood alone in the open fields, it is now joined by numerous historical buildings from various regions of the Black Forest to breathe life into times of long ago. Six fully furnished farmhouses, the day labourer's cottage and 15 outbuildings, such as mills, sawmills, barns, stalls, a chapel, storehouses and granny house (Leibgedinghaus), invite to take a stroll and discover the multifaceted aspects of the Black Forest way of life.

First of all we had lunch in a restaurant, that belongs to the museum. I think, that looked really tasty.

Then we walked from house to house.


Posted Nov 6, 2007, 7:42 pm
I carefully peeped out of my travel bag - having reached my new host in Munich.

Posted Dec 1, 2007, 12:55 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, 1:55 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, 9:10 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, 9:38 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, 9:49 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, 10:00 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, 9:56 pm
Visited the famous Nuremberg Christkindl market.

Posted Dec 28, 2007, 10:09 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 annbear in Switzerland.
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 24, 2008, 5:50 pm
Oh what adventures are in store for a cute giraffe? Here I am in Switzerland. Photos to follow. :p

Posted Jan 31, 2008, 1:19 pm
I think I´ll check out the view from the balcony first.  :p

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 6:49 pm
I went for a rather nice walk around the lake. i do like being by the water. Bit cold for swimming though I think :stare:

Posted Feb 3, 2008, 11:00 pm
Finally I was exhausted walking round the lake that I had to sit down and rest on a bench. Phew! :stare:

Posted Feb 17, 2008, 5:13 pm
We toyvoyager friends climbed on the lights, but I'm not sure, whether you find us here. This window is in the kitchen of our hosts.

We had some fun here and it helped us a lot. We weren't too sad anymore, that we are no monkeys. Of course we thought of those toyvoyagers, who are in Oregon right now.

Posted Mar 4, 2008, 10:02 am
Off on another adventure going to the excellent ski resort of Saas Fee. Look at those mountains!! :o One important question - snowboard or skis???Hmmmm B)

Posted Mar 4, 2008, 10:36 pm
Well I guess if there´s no choice I´ll just have to share and here is a very nice Berlin Bear - that even rhymed!!

Posted Mar 4, 2008, 10:40 pm
So there we were on top of a black run but unable to see because of a bit of a storm. Luckily there was a handy mountian hut so we had a drink or two and waited for visibility to improve. Apparently that´s very important..... :o

Posted May 16, 2008, 7:09 pm
Hi there!! I've safely arrived to Russia!!

I was very surprized and happy to meet here my friend Elisabeth - with whom we were staying with Petra!!
She was very glad to meet me too!! She still remembers how we played football at Petra's house!!!

Posted Jun 5, 2008, 8:03 pm
Today is the Victory Day in Russia, but we didn't stay in Moscow -- we went by car to a nearby town Zvezdny Gorodok (Star Town) to spend these nice spring days in the country.

Here I'm driving to this place:

The days were really sunny and warm!!

Though we didn'r go to swim))

Here I'm in the town:

Having rest with other TVs and friends:

Posted Jun 5, 2008, 8:29 pm
Today we was a warm and sunny SUMMER day and we went for a walk to the centre of Moscow!

We started our walk from the Underground station Kitay Gorod and went along Varvarka street.

There are many churches along this street - I really enjoyed the view!

And this is an old Znamensky monastery...

Here I'm near Gostiny Dvor - previously it was a market, but now it's a famous shopping and business centre.

I saw a great poster!! What a pity that I can't see this show :(

And here you can see me (small) with Kristl (big) staying near Kremlin))

Posted Jun 5, 2008, 8:32 pm
Today we went to the post office to say Good Bye to Small Frywho is leaving Moscow and meet new TVs - Morado and Mousy Mouse who travel on the RTVT!

Posted Jun 6, 2008, 5:41 pm
As you might have noticed I said that we were not far from Kremlin - and of course we went there cause I had to visit it before leaving Moscow!

Do you recognize this cathedral?))) I recognized it as soon as I've seen it!! It's St. Basil's Cathedral:

And here I'm just near Kremlin:

Spasskaya and Tsarskaya Towers! What a pity that the Sun was shiling from the wrong side :(

We walked around the Cathedral to have an opportunity to take great photos!! And here they are:

And here you can see me near Lobnoe Mesto. It's not a funny place, but a historical monument. I though I still shold take a picture of it:

I'm on the Red Square!!!

Can you read it?)) I can! "K-r-a-s-n-a-y-a" means red, "P-l-o-shch-a-d'" means Square:

By the way, I read it on the building of the State Historic Museum:

View on the Red Square once more:

And this is GUM - the most famous shopping centre in Moscow :)

Posted Jun 6, 2008, 5:43 pm
Today I'm leaving Moscow. It was interesting to stay here cause I met meny new and not only new friends :) The city is really beautiful and sunny :) But I want to see more - that's why I say Good Bye to Moscow and continue my Trip around Europe travelling to my next host ChristinaB in Vienna, Austria.

See you soon!

Posted Jun 16, 2008, 2:33 pm
Dottie Grace arrived safely here in Vienna on Friday. On Saturday she had a rest and yesterday she went to an amusement park near lake Neusiedler See in the very eastern part of Austria. She had great fun there and will show you the pictures as soon as they are uploaded.

Posted Jun 23, 2008, 5:17 pm
Guess what!! I went to the Fanzone of the European Soccer Championship today!! Everything is a bit crazy here in Vienna at the moment and everybody is just thinking of soccer, soccer, soccer. All the city is crowded with fans and there are big screens in the whole city where you can follow the games. Funny! It's a bit hard to do normal sightseeing here right now because Soccer stuff is everywhere!

Posted Jun 23, 2008, 5:26 pm
Although sightseeing is a bit hard at the moment I already saw the Austrian parliament, the City hall, the old imperial theatre, Hofburg (which was the former residence of the Habsburg family I was told) and the museum of historical arts (it has a tween - the natural museum - just vis-à-vis and was very impressing)

Posted Jul 2, 2008, 9:56 am
We spent a wonderful afternoon at Schönbrunn castle today. The castle was the former summer residence of the Habsburg family and it is situated in a very big park. We had a looong walk there and even went up a little hill where we reached "Gloriette" (the point of view). It was very pretty to look over all the city of Vienna! We also saw the palm house - a very special construction!

Imagine what we did after our long walk! We went to the zoo there!!  There were tons of interesting animals to see there and I even met some relatives there ;) And a rhino... And many many others...

Posted Jul 14, 2008, 9:52 am
I am in Upper Austria now in a little place called Gmunden which is situated in an area called "Salzkammergut". My friends and I went there on holiday because our host's family lives close there. It's a very beautiful place situated within the Alps. The landscape is wonderful with the lake and the mountains and all the forests around and Gmunden itself is a pretty romantic little city.


Posted Jul 14, 2008, 10:18 am
Today we discovered Vienna's beautiful Rosarium. It is located almost in the city centre and has thousands of roses in all colours you can think of. It smelled wonderful there and Galen, Little Tex, Ted, Cekelat, Pien and I had a really great time there!

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:12 pm
Today the holidays of my host family started. I was told that we would go abroad for almost 4 weeks and then I would continue my journey on my own.

We packed all our stuff and went to Italy today. Oh, what a beautiful country!! We stayed at a place called Lignano. It is situated in the northern part of the country, not far from Venice and Austrians love to spend their holidays there. You know, Austria doesn't have an access to the sea so the fastest way to reach the sea is to go down to Italy. Austrians are usually very welcome in Lignano since they are bringing alot of money down there, so everybody tries to speak a bit of German there to make them feel a bit like at home.

To be honest, we didn't see anything else except Lignano and we spent almost all the time at the beach which was really relaxing. I had a great time with my friends there! Fortunately giraffes don't get sunburnt too easily so I was able to stay in the sun for a long time!!

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:13 pm
I'm a very helpful giraffe and pretty good in architecture. The Dad of my host family and the kids built a sand castle every day and I helped alot which was sandy but really funny. We also made a marble track and played with it then. Oh, time passed by so quickly!

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:15 pm
On our way back from Italy we had to go through Styria. There in a little village called Piber the famous Lipizzaner horses always spend their summer holidays. My host likes them alot so we decided to visit them and say "Hello". Unfortunately we were a bit too late so we couldn't watch their training lessons but we saw them on the meadow and watched all the exhibitions about them.

Did you know that they are dark when they are born and get their white fur after some years due to a genetic deficit? Interesting, isn't it?

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:18 pm
We returned from Italy yesterday, washed all our clothes during the night and left again today.

The grand-parents of my host family have a flat at lake Attersee in Upper Austria and my hosts intend to spend the following 3 weeks there.

It is a very beautiful place there. The flat is located directly at the beach and the view from the balcony towards the lake is sooo nice.

We went down to the lake then and had a swim there. Wonderful, I must say. The water was refreshing but very clear and it was fascinating to watch all the sailing ships there.

Can you see the mountains on the last photo? Look how big they are! I will tell you more about them during the next days!

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:20 pm
I told you to have a look at the mountains on the lake-picture in my last update, remember?

Well, today we went up there! But not by cable car as you might think, no, on foot! To be honest, I was carried as well as the other TV which caused almost a crises between my host and her husband (the husband had to carry us up there in his backpack but my host only told him when we were at the top and he was pretty angry about that. First we thought he was angry about US but fortunately we found out then that it was our host he was argueing with. Sometimes humans are really difficult to understand...)

Dear Alexander, it was worth to take us up there all the 1.600 meters!! The view was simply breathtaking, I enjoyed it soooo much! It was the first mountain I ever went up - or was carried up - and I will never forget this adventure!

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:22 pm
Imagine what we did today! We went to Germany!! It was a clowdy day so my hosts decided to take the kids (and me and the other TV of course) and go to Bavaria. There we visited a kind of amusement park. There weren't any carrousells but they built many sceneries of various fairy tales - oh, I have been visiting a park full of fairy tales for the second time now!! All the figures there were able to speak and the fairy tales were told there, so it was really beautiful. Unfortunately it started to rain heavily then so we had to leave quite early.

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:23 pm
I didn't see much of Bavaria since we went back immideately after we visited the park, but what I saw was beautiful. I specially liked these beautifully painted houses - have a look!

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:24 pm
Another adventure took place today. My host's father had his 60th birthday a while ago and as a present he got a balloon flight which was today. We all went there to watch him in the air and it was really fascinating to see the start of such a big, big balloon. Everybody was so busy watching it that we almost forgot to take photos...

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:26 pm
It was pretty cold today so we couldn't go swimming. Therefor my hosts decided to go hiking. We didn't climb a mountain today but went to a small lake called "Gosausee" which was beautifully located on the foot of Upper Austria's highest mountain "Dachstein". But when we arrived there it was so clowdy that we couldn't see it.

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:31 pm
We picked some blueberries which we found during our walk and we were really astonished about all the ducks we saw there. They weren't shy at all and even took some bread from the people's hands.

And finally - after quite a long walk - the clowds went away and we were able to see at least some parts of Dachstein then.

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:36 pm
Since we had sooo much fun at "Fan Zone" my friends and I decided to play soccer ourselves, too. Pamplemoose, Ted, Cekelat, Pien, Galen and I were real "stars" and believe me, I made several goals!!

We also explored the flat a bit and found alot of other soccer stuff, too: Flags, balls and even Panini stickers! I didn't expect that there are sooo many pretty players taking part in this championship!!! 

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:40 pm
Yesterday we went to see the house created by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It looks really beautiful and I like it alot! There is nothing special in this house, just normal flats (next time I come to Vienna I'll try to find a host living in there  ). Everybody living there has the right to decorate the surrounding of his/her window just as he/she likes - but only as far as the arms reach. Interesting, isn't it?

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 9:44 pm
Today we did some more sightseeing. We went to Karlsplatz where I saw a very special church with the 2 collumns in front of it (unfortunately the photo didn´t come out). There I also discovered one of Vienna's most beautiful subwaystations built in "Jugendstil" (it is a special style from around 1900 and very similar to art nouveau).

Then we went to see the opera - and guess whom I met there! Good old Mozart himself!!!

Posted Sep 5, 2008, 3:33 pm
A short message to say that I'm in Switzerland. The sun is shining and I eat a lot of chocolate! Miam. See you soon (with pictures!)

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:11 pm
On my first evening with SUnshine, with did something very quiet: watching Sex & the city and eating chocolate! Very girly, isnt'it?

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:17 pm
Last Sunday I went to Murten. It's a city close to Fribourg near the Murten Lake. We sat near the lake, watching the hill called the Mount Vully.

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:19 pm
Then we walked in Murten and saw the Berner Tor.

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:21 pm
Murten has been built during the Middle-Age and is surrounded by ramparts. From them we took nice pictures of the old part and the newest part of Murten.

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:23 pm
A picture of the ramparts and of the roofs of the house of the old Murten.

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:25 pm
Before leaving we had a Latte Macchiatto and a fruits cake in the main street. Miam!!

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 4:27 pm
The first picture of Fribourg where Sunshine lives.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:42 pm
Last Saturday we went to a flea market in the old part of Fribourg. But before some pictures of this old part taken from a road of the new part. The last picture is the road where we stopped to make some photos.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:45 pm
Other pictures: the swimming pool "La Motta", closed of course because the summer has gone and a famous bridge called "le pont du Gottéron".

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:47 pm
Before reaching the flea market we had to pass through the vegetables and fruits market in front of the City Hall. Even if the weather was not that good, many people came to buy fresh products.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:49 pm
The City Hall is situated near the "Place du Tilleul". Even if this place is nor famous nor that nice, here are some pictures.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:52 pm
Near the Place du Tilleul, you can see the most visited, the most famous and the nicest building of Fribourg: The Cathedral St.Nicolas!

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:57 pm
And now the Flea Market. It took place on "La place du Petit St-Jean" that on can see one the first 2 pictures. There were not many stands. Sunshine bought a game and 3 books.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 1:59 pm
Some pictures while we were going back at Sunshine's.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 2:02 pm
On Sunday we stayed at home. Sunshine had to do her homeworks and I helped her.

Posted Oct 7, 2008, 2:06 pm
Before leaving Switzerland Sunshine bougth me two typicals things: Toblerone, the famous chocolate and a typical drink called Rivella. Well, it's hard to explain what Rivella is... Let's say that is a beverage based on milk (lactoserum) but you don't taste it! It's more like a soda, like Coke. Ok my description is not very good. Mummy, come to Switzerland and we'll try the Rivella!!!

Posted Oct 27, 2008, 5:52 am
Cheers! I've arrived in Finland! Here I am with my new friends Bestik (just arrived), Lemmy (who will be leaving soon), Roo and fellow australian Alfie (who I met in Germany too)!

My host said one of my travelling siblins (Tilda) has visited this place already, feels like I'm visiting my Finnsih aunt  :cyclops:

My host said that she was waiting for me eagerly as she could teach me Sign Language! I can't wait!

Posted Oct 29, 2008, 12:56 pm
Yes! My host gave me the first lesson in sign language! She said it was best if I learnt the alphabet as they're international. Otherwise each country has its own sign language. There's Finnish sign language, british sign language, australian sign language, canadian sign laguage, german sign language... etc.

When doing the alphabet signs you hold your hand so that the person you sign to can see that what is on the card. In other words you hold your palm outwards and when you do numbers you hold your palm inwards. It's really simple but hard to explain in words.

The sign language(s) have their own grammar too! You can't just make signs in the sam order you speak - that would be "signed speak" and not the actual language. But it's good to lnow even some signs even if you don't know the language. Signs (plain signs, not the language) are used for example to help communicate with some mentally disabled people or some people with dysphasia etc.

My host loooked for the word "giraffe" in an online sign (language) dictionary but couldn't find it so she looked for "travelling" instead. We found three signs for it and chose to show you the first one. The right hand fingers move forward which is hard to show in a photo.

This is way cool!

Posted Nov 2, 2008, 8:20 am
I have played games with my new tv friends as it has been raining like - well, like in a huge shower. Here we play Moomin Memory: (from left) Alfie, me. Bestik and Roo. Moomins are very popular here in Finland and also around the world. The creator of Moomin is Finnish and she even spent her summers on an island nearby! The original Moomins were black&white comics for adults (nothing dirty, they just were more adult style than kid). Now they're most popular among kids and they have an animation made in Japan. A lot of Moomin stuff is sold here, even Moomin diapers! The Moomins have an adventure island of their own called Moomin world. It's not a regular amusement park with shiny lights and rides but something more "explorative" - and you get to meet the characters in real life there too.

The game ended with me & Bestik getting 3 pairs each and Alfie & Roo getting 2 pairs each. I think the others were being nice to us and let us "newbies" win ;)

Posted Nov 2, 2008, 8:24 am
Yes! It finally stopped raining! We went for a walk on the shore. This is the Baltic Sea! Believe me it is, although there's no open sea view due to all the archipelago. Somewhere out there, not far away, is the little cottage on a little island where the creator of Moomin spent her summers (like I mentioned in the game entry). Lovely sunset too!

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 5:02 pm
We (me and the other voyagers) hopped in our travelbag and drove with our host and her kids to a pre-xmas party! These two pics are the only ones my host had time to take with us. The rest of the time she signed postcards and watched after her Powerpuff Girls...

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 5:29 pm
After a long night at the pre-xmas party my host decided we should finally go sightseeing in Porvoo! This is me by the Porvoo River, looking at the old shore houses and the brand new shorehouses on opposite riverbanks.

The shore houses are now red, but they got their colour only in the late 18th century. Red ochre paint was used to paint the shore houses in honour of King Gustav III's arrival from Sweden. All of the houses along his route were painted, in order to make them more beautiful. The red ochre also helped protect the logs from wind and sun damage. Exotic fruits, wines and spices were brought to Porvoo, and the shore houses also served as intermediate storehouses for coffee an tobacco. Today the shore houses are used as private living quarters and storage space.

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 5:34 pm
That's the sightseeing stone we climbed on! I got a good overall picture of Porvoo. You can see the downhill skiing slope, the river, the church... everything! And to think that my tv-sister has been to these places too...

The town of Porvoo has about 47 000 inhabitants and an area of 654 km2. Porvoo is a bilingual town with about 33% of the inhabitants speaking Swedish as their mother tongue. More than half of the citizens of Porvoo gain their livelihood from trade and services, compared to a third who work in the industrial sector.

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 5:37 pm
We continued our walk on this hill to get a good view on the other end of the Old Town. In the second picture is Castle Hill - without the castle.

Porvoo got its name from "Borgå" in Swedish, which refers to the fortress built at Castle Hill and the river that flows beneath it. Because the word for a fortress is "borg" in Swedish and that for a river is "å", the city was named Borgå, the Finnish version of which was "Porvoo". The fortress itself no longer exists, and the only reminders of that time are the fortifications.

Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland. The current wave of settlement began in the 13th-14th centuries. Porvoo was grated city status in the mid-14th century. Porvoo has fought for its very existence on serveral occasions over the centuries. The cannon reminds of one of them - which was in the World War in 1941-44.

The poster by the river shows a painting by painter Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905). The painting shows the same location the poster stands in. You can admire the Porvoo scenery illustrated in the works of art by following Edelfelt's footprints to the different locations depicted in the paintings.

Posted Nov 12, 2008, 8:17 am
This is how my hostfamily celebrated Father's Day this year: with gifts and cards made by the kids, some apple pies and juice/cola for drinks. The dad got to sleep late too, I bet that was his favorite gift  :p The pies came out from the freezer and we only had to put them in the oven.

Father's Day is always the second Sunday in November here in Finland. Sometimes families go out for lunch/dinner on Father's Day and therefore many restaurants have special offers for the day. 

Posted Nov 12, 2008, 8:37 am
After Father's Day weekend with all the hassle and events we haven't had much to do. Ok, it's only Wednesday but still... My host showed me a site where I could practice my sign language alphabets so now I have something to do! Yay! It's been storming outside so it wouldn't be much fun to out anyway.

Posted Nov 17, 2008, 5:32 am
Our host held us a little party to celebrate Bestik's end of the Trail and Roo's place on the top10 of most photos :) We had Harrod's tea, chocolate chip cookies and corn snacks. Bestik was crazy; he put a cookie on his head and turned the cup uside down on his head... But it was funny too!  :p

When we had eaten we played with the balloons and did tricks with them. We had a lot of fun!

Last but not least: a group photo :)

Posted Nov 17, 2008, 5:56 am
Today I've packed and am ready to go to the post office. I will travel with Bestik as his owner is my next host! What a great coincidence as now I have company in the travelbag  :D

Posted Nov 26, 2008, 10:58 am
Hooray! We arrived to Prague, Bestik's home. We met Mandarin and Mumble here.

Of course we all had a lot to talk about.

Posted Jan 10, 2009, 12:42 am
Today we went to the city center. Behind me, you can see St. Nicholas Church.

We also visited Charles Bridge, one of the best known monuments in Prague.

Posted Feb 22, 2009, 5:59 pm
My timing was perfect! I arrived in London on Valentine’s Day. I just knew that Travel Ted would be very excited when I arrived as his blind date. I wasted no time with the hugs and kisses.

Posted Feb 22, 2009, 6:02 pm
We had a wonderful day. He bought me cakes and chocolates and listened to all my stories about the countries I had travelled, then in the evening we danced until we were tired out.

Posted Feb 22, 2009, 6:03 pm
At the end of the evening we snuggled up on the settee. Everything was just perfect until I called him pet names and asked him to come back to Australia with me. All of a sudden he went quite strange and awkward. I don’t think I’ll ever understand men or bears.

Posted Feb 22, 2009, 6:12 pm
Today I went sightseeing in central London and visited Trafalgar Square. I was so happy to be there that I decided to phone becka_kate to tell her all about it. I was just about to dial Australia when I remembered that my voice box was out of action again so she wouldn’t be able to hear me. It’s lucky that I can still communicate with her through the Toy Voyagers website.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 2:36 pm
Today I did a bit more sightseeing. On the south bank of the River Thames I saw the big wheel called the 'London Eye', and met a strange fishy creature who told me all about it.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 2:42 pm
In Greenwich, which lies a few miles east of central London along the river Thames, I visited the Old Royal Naval College: established in 1694 for the relief and support of seamen and their dependents.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 3:13 pm
Today I took the train into central London again before going for a walk along the Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the River Thames.

I wandered through the beautiful nineteenth-century gardens, saw that big wheel again, and visited the Battle of Britain war memorial. I walked and walked until I reached Westminster, where I saw I could have taken an underground train and saved my hooves. I wouldn't have seen so many interesting things that way though.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 3:27 pm
In Westminster I had my photo taken in front of 'Big Ben' - the famous clock next to the Houses of Parliament. I walked through Parliament Square where many flags were flying so I think there must have been something important happening. I went to take a look at Westminster Abbey, and St. Margaret's Church which stands in its grounds. Nearby I saw the Methodist Central Hall, which was another big impressive church, although not nearly as historic.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 3:38 pm
I continued my tour with a walk along Horse Guards' Road. There I saw some more impressive buildings including the Cabinet War Rooms. I also visited further memorials, including one for the victims of the Bali bombings in 2002, which is carved with 202 doves - one for each person who died that day.

As I was leaving I even saw a member of the Queen's Household Cavalry standing guard over what was once the main entrance to Buckingham Palace. He seemed to have forgotten his horse, though, which confused me a little.


Posted Mar 15, 2009, 3:47 pm
Today I walked along the Thames again. I find this river very interesting because it holds an important place in the history of Australia where I live. In the eighteenth century, London did not have enough prisons to hold all its convicted criminals so many of them were imprisoned in ships called 'hulks' which were moored on the River Thames. Thousands of these prisoners were later transported to penal colonies in Australia, and many modern Australians are descended from these English ancestors.

For today's walk I began at Greenwich and walked west along the southern bank where I saw boats moored in Deptford.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 3:51 pm
A little further along I was surprsised to come across the Surrey Docks Farm, which offers city-dwellers the chance to learn about farming and food production. The animals who lived there seemed very friendly.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 4:10 pm
As I continued my walk I was able to look across the river to Canary Wharf, where London's tallest building stands amidst an every-growing group of skyscrapers. I examined an old ship's anchor and a cannon, which were just two of the intersting things that made the riverside walk like an outdoor museum.

In Rotherhithe I saw the Mayflower pub, which stands near the landing steps where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail aboard The Mayflower Ship to the New World. Originally on that site was The Shippe pub that dates back to around 1550 and where the ship was fitted out for the long trans-atlantic voyage.

At Cherry Garden Pier in Bermondsey were some unusual bronze statues of social reformer Dr Alfred Salter, his daughter and cat. I think the daughter liked me.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 4:18 pm
At last I reached the end of my walk, just as the light started to fail. Tower Bridge impressed me greatly. Over on the other side of the river stands the Tower of London - can you see it in the twilight?

Posted Apr 24, 2009, 3:23 pm
I am here in the United States!! Wow!!
I am still a bit tired and too excited to be snapping pictures yet, but I will tell more of my stay here in a few days.

Posted Apr 26, 2009, 8:08 pm
Dottie Grace watched with great interest as the Easter egg emerged from its packaging until – with the smell of chocolate in the air – things started to get vicious!

Posted May 3, 2009, 4:52 am
As I just arrived I want to take it easy, but as our host is going out to the backyard, I decide a mini trip is a nice idea.

Look, there are some papayas on the tree.  The yellow one is almost ripe!

Here's a green one that has fallen.  Maybe we can make green papaya salad with it.

This is a curious fruit I haven't seen before.  My host tells me it's called Surinam cherry.

A lot are still green but we pick the red, plump ones.  They are delicious, a bit tangy and sweet, but as they bruise and wrinkle very easily it's not available in the stores.

Well, look what we have got!

Posted May 17, 2009, 5:00 pm
Today we help our host cook an Indian dish, stir fried green beans with coconut.

First, we put the coconut shreds on a pan to toast in the toaster oven.

Now we wash the beans.

I chop off the ends and cut the bean into 1" long sticks.

Now we prepare the spices.  We put in chili pepper, tumeric power, garlic, coriander seeds, and more.

We ground the spices with a mortar and pestle.

Now we stir fry the beans with the spices.

We add in the coconut shreds and the dish is ready!  It's spicy but very delicious.

Posted May 22, 2009, 7:09 pm
We go to a dragon boat race today at the Miami Rowing Club.

This is how the boat looks like.  It is about 45 feet long and seats 20 paddlers in 10 rows.

Well, good luck, Puff team!

The team gets into the boat and is now leaving the dock to head to the start line.

It's nice weather today at the beach and people are coming out to watch the races.

I can't tell who is winning!  They are so close.

We wander around and watch the taiko drummers as they perform on stage.  I really like the powerful drum beats.

We spot the lion and drum for the lion dance.

Look there are a lot of tents over there.  Let's see what they have.

Starbucks is out here giving samples.  I want one!

And at this tent they are cooking paella, Spanish fried rice, on a big paella pan.

Hmmm this hammock hand made in Nicaragua looks very pretty an I am sure is comfy too.

We also see some skateboarders.

The dragon dance is here!

Kyaa!  These are scary!

Some monkeys made from coconut.

We are happy that the Puff team did very good.  Look at all the awards!

Posted May 23, 2009, 3:57 am
Today is Free Comic Day so we go to the comic store to pick up our free comics.

We line up here so we can pick from the comics that are hanging on the wall.

They have a lot of posters and DVDs too.

Beware, Batman is here!

They have a lot of cute toys.  We invite them to join us to travel.

Wow a lot of mushrooms!

Oh looks like we wander into Star Wars zone!  I don't think they welcome us.

There are a lot of beautiful artbooks too.

Erm, the dogs here don't look too friendly either.

These Japanese snacks sure looks yummy!  Lavender chocolate?  I want to try that!

We thought they are just cute plush toys, but turn out they are giant microbes!  We meet chicken pox, mad cow disease, algae, flu and more.  Yuck, they may look cute but I sure am staying away.

The store is also having an exhibition of self portraits by artists.  They are all very beautiful.

Posted May 26, 2009, 6:14 pm
We visit Tampa today, on the west coast of Florida.

We can see a cruise ship near downtown.  It's dawn so the rising sun gives the sky a beautiful glow.

Here we can see the buildings in downtown Tampa.

They are trying to set up the outrigger canoe.

Oh we see this guy stand-up paddling.  Looks so cool as he drifts by!

Posted May 26, 2009, 7:00 pm
I haven't really been to any beach in Florida, so I am very glad that we will be visiting one today.  And mind you, we are not going to just any ordinary beach, for you know, I like to travel to grand places and famous landmarks.  The beach that we are visiting, the Siesta Beach in Sarasota, was named the “Best Sand Beach in America 2008” by the Travel Channel.

Looks like it's a popular day to be out on the beach!

They have a sand sculpture contest today, let's see what they have!

This one is very cute.

What a beautiful beach!  I thought I am seeing the Atlantic but my host tells me it's the Gulf of Mexico.

The sand is so fine, the water so clear, this is a fine beach indeed.  Harvard University's geology department found the sand of Siesta Beach was 99% pure quartz. Unlike most beaches that are composed of crushed shells, rocks or lava, this sand is a dazzling, pure white and finer in texture than most refined sugar.

Posted Jun 5, 2009, 8:08 pm
Today we make Japanese pancake, Okonomiyaki.  I am getting to be quite a gourmet chef here!

First we add egg to the flour.

Add some water, and stir it really well.

Then I chop up the cabbage and carrot.  Traditionally pork and squid are used too, but we prefer not to add meat, as both giraffes and mooses are vegetarians.  We also julienne some ginger.

Everything is mixed into the bowl.

We add it to the pan.

We are out of eel sauce, so we make our own by heating sugar in soy sauce to form a thick glaze.

Next we get the seaweed ready by cutting up the nori sheet.

When the pancake is ready, we squirt on some mayonnaise, add the soy sauce glaze, then sprinkle on the seaweed and bonito shavings.  It's ready!  Does it look delicious?


Posted Jun 24, 2009, 5:32 pm
Today we go to an Anime Convention.

There are a lot of comics on sale.

And manga too.

A lot of artists are here to promote their works.

This guy draws really well!

And he is very talented too!

There are a lot of cosplayers.


Here is a booth selling voodoo babies, which our host collects.

And this booth sells a lot of knives and swords.

I am giraff-vorine!!!

There is a game room where people play board games.

And a kendo square where people can practise their swordsmanship.  Very interesting indeed!

Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:28 pm
Today Mocha take me to visit the zoo.  He says I can visit my giraffe friends there.

We are greeted by a group of flamingoes.  They are very elegant and beautiful birds.

Can you see the head of this big cobra?  It is scary!

Look at this banana flower!  I have eaten bananas but I didn't know this is how the plant looks like.

Is that a giraffe?  No it's the tour bus painted to look like a giraffe!

We go to the new Amazon exhibit.

We go to Mr. Jaguar habitat but I think he is out for lunch.  We see this little blue frog though.  I think he must be very poisonous.

We see some llama.

We sit down to rest and then find that we are atop a big alligator.  Good thing it's not real!

We also see some big elephants.

Hey Mr. Chimpazee, do you know where the giraffes are?

Oh I see my friends.  I say hi to them!

Hmm, what is that ostrich doing there?  I don't think he's up to any good so I have to go warn my big friend.

But he is too busy having lunch.

I notice the sign and suddently realize that I am very hungry too.

Mocha suggests asking the big giraffe to share some lettuce with me, but I don't like lettuce much, and I don't think that's very polite.  So, we get an icepop instead.  I get the watermelon flavor and it's very delicious, especially with the heat we have.

This animal is called addax and has some funny horns.

Wow it's a really hot day, and we are tired.  This time we are more careful, we rest on top of a water buffalo.  I wish he could give us a ride home!  We see a lot of animals, though they all appear hardly noticable on the photos after we take them, so I do not post them here.

Before we leave, I go to say goodbye to the toy giraffes there.  I hope some of them get to travel like I do!

Posted Aug 20, 2009, 4:14 am
Yesterday a new TV arrived.  It's a rabbit named Ebba.  So today I play host and take her around town.

We drive by downtown Miami.

Ebba wonders if we are going to Miami Beach?  But our host says that  it will be another day.  Shee also tells us that I-95 is a major highway that will take us all the way from Florida to New York on to Maine, if we want to.

We arrive at the pizza place for lunch.

This is the mozzarella bar.  There are some burrata wrapped in leaves.

We try a coffee soda.  It actually tastes quite good.

We watch the hot dog contest on TV, which is an annual event in celebration of Independence Day.  I am not sure what hot dog has to do with independence?

Yuck.  I don't know how they can do that.  I am losing my appetite.

Fortunately when the pizza arrives, it looks so delicious I am feeling hungry again.  My host says that this is her favorite pizza place in Miami.

Posted Aug 29, 2009, 4:35 pm
Today we go somewhere very special.  The airport!!

We get onto an airplane!!  This is so exciting!!  I wonder where we are going?

Hmmm, where could this be?

Posted Sep 8, 2009, 12:53 am
Guess where we are?

It's New York City!!

I am excited and hope to visit the Liberty Lady and King Kong.  But then our host tells us that we are heading to the Finger Lakes region of New York state, so we won't stay in the city.  I am a bit sad but she tells me we will have fun there too.  I hope so.

Anyway, to cheer us up she takes us to try a Tibetan restaurant.  I have never tasted Tibetan food before!!

The restaurant is called Himalayan Yak.  The dish here is called Cheura Tareko.  It is beaten rice fried with peanut, potato chips & spices.  It's too spicy for me.  I don't think I want to go to Tibet.

After lunch we start driving.

What is this?  New Jersey?

And Pennsylvania?

Ebba and I think our host is totally lost.  But Mocha  insists that we are not, and we have to pass through New Jersey and Pennsylvania to get to another part of New York.  Ha, ha, that sounds silly.  But beig very-well mannered guests we decide to just enjoy the scenery.  Which is quite nice.

Posted Sep 8, 2009, 1:27 am
We have arrived in the Finger Lakes region after all.  This area is famous for its wine, and after Napa Valley in California, is the region in the U.S. with the highest concentration of wineries. 

Today we visit some vineyards around the Seneca Lake.  The region is called Finger Lakes because there are several long, narrow lakes in the area that extends out like fingers.

The first one we go to is Shalestone Vineyard.

This looks like a hobbit home.  I didn't know that hobbits are good at making wines.  Come to think of it, they have big feet for crushing grapes.

Our host says no hobbit lives here... We knock but nobody answers the door.  Maybe the hobbits are really busy making wines.

Anyway, we then head to the tasting room.

Alas, still no sight of any hobbits.  But there are a lot of wines, and we taste some.  Well, actually not us toys, as we are too young.

Then we visit Lamoreaux Landing.

It is a very beautiful tasting room.  Out host says the wine is very delicious, especially the Gewurztraminer, with a nose of lychee and roses.  I have no clue what she is talking about?  She must be drunk.

Posted Sep 8, 2009, 1:39 am
Today we visit the Ithaca Farmers Market.

There are a lot of stalls, and some musicians playing.

This bakery looks so yummy we get our breakfast here.

A lot of different type of food!  But I still feel kind of sick from the spicy Tibetan food a few days ago, (and the sip of wine I stole the day before...)

The round things hanging up are called dream catcher.  It's a web with feathers, to catch the bad dreams so only good ones pass through.

Being farmers market there are a lot of vegetables

as well as lots of arts and crafts items.

Posted Sep 8, 2009, 3:56 pm
Today we visit some animals at a place called Farm Sanctuary.  It is a shelter for rescued farm animals.  It is very beautiful and the animals look really happy there.  It must be like heaven for them.

Behind us is the visit center and some log cabins where visitors can stay for a few nights.

Inside is a souvenir shop.

and a place for brochures if you want to learn more about the abuse of farm animals.

We first visit Miss Moo.  She has never seen a giraffe before.

We see some sheeps but they are really shy.

Then we say hi to Mr Goatee.  He had injury on one of his legs so they have to put a prosthetic on.  But he brags that he can still run very fast.

We meet Mr. Turkey.  He invites us back to dinner at Thanksgiving.  He tells us there will be a lot of corn to munch on.

There are some chickens visiting the Turkey family.  They invite us for lunch but I don't feel like eating worms.

I want to say hi to the ducks but they seem to have a big quarrel, all the quacking is so noisy they can't hear me!

This is a lovely place indeed.  I wonder if they will take in a giraffe too?

Posted Sep 8, 2009, 4:23 pm
This is the Taughannock Falls, located 8 miles north of Ithaca.  The cataract has a drop of 215 feet (66 meters), one of the highest east of the Rocky Mountains, slightly higher even (25 ft., 8 m) than Niagara, although the water volume is much smaller.  The name  originates either from that of the Delaware Indian chief Taughannock or from the Delaware word taghkanic ("great fall in the woods").

We walk along a trail to get a closer look at the bottom of the fall.  The mist is giving me a gentle shower!  Oh what I endure for a nice shot!

Posted Sep 9, 2009, 6:22 pm
Today we visit the Watkins Glen State Park.  It is reputedly the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. Here we are at the entrance.

We can see the stream down there!  It's beautiful isn't it?

Here we get a bit closer.

Another gorgeous view.

Look, we have to go under the waterfall!

We did it!!  A bit wet but it was exciting!!

Oh this place is really beautiful.

Sometimes we will notice this "joint" on the rocks.  It's kind of like a fault except that there is no earthquake.

This is really one of the most spellbounding places I've been to. 

Posted Sep 9, 2009, 7:37 pm
Today is our last day at the Finger Lakes Region.  We will visit some more vineyards, this time on the west bank of Seneca Lake.

The first one we visit is Hermann Wiemer Vineyard which is a small vineyard but famous for its reisling.

We can see lots of barrels in the tasting room inside the barn.

Next we go to Glenora Wine Cellars which is one of the earliest wineries in the region.  They even have a restaurant and a hotel, which as you can see, have spectaucular views.

Okay, where is the picnic basket?  We want our wine and cheese!

This is a very big wine barrel!  Can you even see me?

We can see the vineyard and Seneca Lake behind us.

Look, this are the grapes for making wine!

And some bugs who can't wait to for the grapes to ferment into wine.

Oh what beautiful days.  It's sad to leave ad I must say it has been a very nice trip.

Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:12 pm
My host tells me that I will be leaving Florida to visit Canada.  I have stayed here for quite a while and it's sad to leave, even though I look forward to see more of the world.

We realize that I have never been to Miami Beach, and my host decides that a trip to Miami isn't complete without a trip to this most famous site.

First stop is Ocean Drive, where the art deco style buildings are featured in many movies and magazines.

The place to see and be seen!

This is the Versace Mansion, you can see the front door steps where the famous designer was murdered with a gun one morning a few years ago.  Give me the creeps!

We will go and see the beach.

A lot of palm trees.

I think I can hear the ocean!

Oh this is the beach!

Ah, the Atlantic!  I remember fondly all the places I've visited there.  Hi everybody!!

I wish they have toy sized T shirts for us.

Next we go to the South Pointe Park, which is at the southern tip of Miami Beach.

Behind us is the private community of Fisher Island.  It is a man made island and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Fisher Island has the highest per capita income of any place in the United States.  Boris Becker, Oprah Winfrey, and Mel Brooks are among the celebrities with homes on the island.  You have to pass through security to take the ferry to get on the island.

Well, goodbye, Ebba and Mocha, and all my friends in Miami! 

Posted Sep 20, 2009, 11:22 pm
I have arrived in Canada!  Hinz + Kunz, and Aimee were on-hand to greet me, and Thiele, Roots Bear and Tiger Lilly, arrived at the same time I did.

Posted Sep 26, 2009, 7:40 am
We decided to explore Abby's gardens.

The front gardens had lots of flowers.

We met lots of these gnomes.  They were all identical and they were all curiously named Smedvik.

There were so many dahlias, in all different colours.

Next, it was off to the backyard.

We played in an apple tree...

and a pear tree.

I had a look to see if there were any ripe tomatos to eat.

Look at all of these grapes!  Can you see me?

Mmm, raspberries.

Lastly, everyone posed for a picture with this fellow, who guards the raspberry canes.

Posted Oct 2, 2009, 5:53 am
Today I went to downtown Vancouver.  As soon as the rain stopped, I went sightseeing.

This is the war memorial at Victory Square.

This is the infamous Gastown Steam Clock, the first of its kind in the world.  As you can see, it it very popular with tourists.

This is a statue of Gassy Jack, the founder of Gastown, which is the oldest part of Vancouver.  He owned a saloon that burned down in the Great Fire of 1886.

This is Waterfront Station, an old CPR train station.  Now it is a transfer station for many different types of public transportation: trains, buses, the Skytrain and the SeaBus.

This is Canada Place.  One of the most well-known waterfront features of Vancouver.  At the front is a hotel, at the back is an IMAX theatre (which closed down today), and in the middle, inder the sails, are large rooms used for conventions.  The sails are lit up at night with multi-coloured lights.

This is the new Vancouver Convention Centre, which will be the media centre during the Olympics.  It is huge and practices green roof technology, the largest green roof in Canada.

The green area you can see behind me is Stanley Park, the largest park in Vancouver.

This is the Marine Building.  It is the best example of art deco architecture on the West Coast of North America.  The interior was used in the Fantastic Four movies.  It was built right at the beginning of the Depression, and because the contractors went bankrupt, the interiors were not completed as they were originally meant to be until recently.

Lastly, this is the Vancouver Art Gallery, the largest in Western Canada.  The building itself used to be theprovincial courthouse.  The gallery is a popular spot for protests and large gatherings and demonstrations.  On the right-hand side of the photo you can see the clock that is counting down to the 2010 Olympics.

Posted Oct 8, 2009, 8:12 pm
Today I saw a little piece of Beautiful British Columbia (they even have that on their license plates).  Part of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, which is the next city over, are farmland and there are a lot of dikes that the public is allowed to walk on.  This particular area is near the Allouette River.

This is the river.

Posted Oct 8, 2009, 11:22 pm
Today I went to the local recycle depot.  They recycle pretty much everything.

Abby was only able to get this one photo of the other side before she was yelled at by an employee for taking photos.

Posted Oct 12, 2009, 7:04 am
Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year Abby and her family have a big meal.  This year there was a turkey roast, stuffing, brussel sprouts and candied yams, with sparkling apple juice to drink.  Yum!

For dessert everyone got a homemade pumpkin tart.

Posted Oct 12, 2009, 11:43 pm
We all went to the local pumpkin patch!

There were lots of things to see.  They had these big teepees, where people could sit inside.

There was this maze thing that had a lot of different displays.  Abby didn't take anyone's picture with most of them because it was not sunny in the maze and therefore very cold, but there were animals, Disney characters, and lots of other things.

This was near the pirate display.  Can you see me?

This was near the dinosaur display.  Creepy.

There was even a gnome village.

Then, we had a look at the pumpkin patch itself.  See that bush on the right?  It continued on way behind that.

Hey, look!  It's Charlie Brown!

Abby's family bought lots of pumpkins for carving and baking, and they will carve them in a couple weeks.  Maybe I will even be around to help.

Posted Oct 22, 2009, 3:54 am
Today I went to the UBC Apple Festival.  It is held once a year at the University of British Columbia's botanical gardens.

This is where the main event is.  There is apple tasting, cider apple chips and candy apples for sale, information about local apples, experts on growing apples, people selling crafts and even a kids zone where there were crafts and balloon animals.

There's even chili being served in an authentic WWII chuck wagon!  It's going fast because it's cold out and could rain any moment.

Part of the botanical gardens is an area where they grow fruits and vegetables.  All of the produce is donated to the Salvation Army.

Abby bought everyone tickets to the 1:30 apple tasting.  There are volunteers handing out samples for about 60 types of apples.  Abby and Erin say they have a tried and true method for tasting every single kind before the half an hour is over.

We were first in line.  Abby took this picture of me before we went in because she said that we would be busy eating and would not have time for pictures if we wanted to try every kind of apple.

I did it!  Every single kind that they were handing out, including the apples that astronaut Yuri Gagarin took into space, and a brand new kind developed in the interior of British Columbia that does not have a name yet.

The apple fest was a lot of fun. I didn't even know that many kinds of apples existed...

Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:16 am
It is Abby's nineteenth birthday and we are baking her a tea cake.

The first thing we did was make the tea.  We are using organic creme brulee rooibos from David's Tea.

Next we mixed butter and sugar.

Then added eggs and almond extract.

We mixed flour and baking powder,

Then added it and the tea to the batter.

The whole time Lou was helping.

In the oven!

It was really good!

Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:20 am
Happy Halloween!  This year I'm a cowgirl!

Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:23 am
We helped Abby carve her pumpkin.

We decided on pumpkin pi.

Then, we decided to roast the seeds.

While we were waiting, we put the pumpkin outside.


Posted Nov 30, 2009, 7:46 pm
I'm boooooored.  All Abby does these days is study and write papers.

Social Theory?  This has to be the world's fattest textbook.  I hope Abby doesn't have to read all of this, else I'll be bored forever.

What else is there to read?  Abby has an entire shelf of archaeology and anthropology books...

This one sounds interesting.  Abby borrowed it from the library for one of her papers.

Maybe I will just hang out with Sally.

I know what I will do!  I will help Abby find items to send to all of her ToyVoyager friends!  We have lots of stuff in this shoebox.  No peeking!

Abby says she promises to take me out soon and that she has exciting things planned over the next month.  I'm going to hold her to that.

Posted Dec 5, 2009, 7:18 am
Simon Fraser University was established in 1965 and is on the top of Burnaby Mountain.  The architect was the late Arthur Erickson, who is well-known for the use of concrete and water features.  On bad weather days the school is often obscured by fog, but today it was sunny out, so even though it was freezing, Abby thought it would be a good day to show me around.

This is the convocation mall.  Graduation ceremonies and all large student gatherings are held here, because it is outdoors, but it is covered.  To the left is the seven storey library, and to the right are the theatre and the Maggie Benston Centre, where the registrar, Simon Fraser Student Society and pub are.

This is looking back toward the convo mall (left) and the library (right).

On the roof, looking North.  What a pretty view.

Someone left a chair here, so I think I will sit here and enjoy it for a while.

This is the inside of the Academic Quadrangle (AQ).  Technically we are on the fourth floor.  The fifth and sixth are raised above the ground level and are all tutorial classrooms and deparment offices.  In the floors below me are lecture halls, labs and places to eat and study.  In the foreground you can see a pond.  Right now they are fixing the walkway that goes through the centre of it, so it has been drained, but it is so cold that the little water that is left is frozen.

Another view of the AQ, looking South (Abby apologises for the blurry photo).  Some of the features of the AQ other than the pond are the stepped grass pyramid (far side), the 'weird avocado statue thing' which is hidden behind the tree on the right, and the other blue pyramid sculpture on the other side of the trees on the left.

Posted Dec 8, 2009, 7:06 am
Tonight we are watching Frost/Nixon.  I think I will have some pie.

Posted Dec 8, 2009, 11:25 pm
Abby got her wisdom teeth out, so I am helping out.  I have her ice packs, gauze, gingerale, pain meds and antiinflammatories all ready.

Posted Dec 9, 2009, 9:14 pm
This morning I was woken up very early to go to the Pan Pacific hotel in downtown Vancouver for the Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast.  Basically you donate an unwrapped toy or gift for children of all ages from low-income families and you get a free breakfast from the hotel.  Abby reassured me that I was not one of the toys being donated.

I helped Erin carry a couple of the gifts.  The line stretched down two escalators, out the front doors and along the front of the building.  Luckily the line moved fairly fast, because it was below freezing outside.

Santa Claus was going down the line handing out the candy canes and I asked for a picture.

I even got a candy cane!

After this, Abby put me in her bag for a few minutes just in case a volunteer tried to grab me, but I peeked my head out to see this huge mound of gifts that people had donated.  This was the pile at 7:30 in the morning.  It was much larger when we left.

Then, it was time for breakfast.  This is what I helped Abby eat.  There were also sausages and hash browns, but Abby's mouth was still hurting a lot from yesterday, so eggs it was.

Sitting at table are Larry and Willy, who do the morning show on 96.9 Jack FM, broadcasting live from the event.

I decided I wanted to meet them, but they were on air, so I went over to the window to look at the view while I waited for them to finish.

The Pan Pacific hotel is in Canada Place, which you can read about if you scroll up a few entries.  These are just the sails from a different angle.  To the right you can see a bit of the sun rise.

Across Burrard Inlet is North Vancouver.

In the center is Stanley Park, and to the right you can just see part of the convention centre, both of which I have seen before, but never at this time of day.

Then, it was time to meet Larry and Willy!  In this first picture they forced Abby to join in and she made her best attempt to smile, even though it made her face hurt.  Larry is the one holding me on the left, and Willy is on the right.

And here I am with Larry and Willy again, and this time I am being held by Red Robinson.  Mr Robinson was recently recognized for 55 years in broadcasting.  He was the first Canadian disc jockey to play rock and roll music, and has met many famous musical artists, like Elvis Presley and The Beatles.  He even has a theatre named after him in Coquitlam, BC.

It was a very good experience and I got to meet lots of famous people.  If you are reading this, Larry and Willy, thank you again!

Posted Dec 14, 2009, 12:01 am
It started snowing a couple of days ago.  Up at Abby's school nobody likes being around when it snows, because you can become stranded.  Luckily over the past few years they have developed an alert system where they let you know through text and email to get off the mountain before the buses stop running, or to just not come to school at all.

Today, however, the snow is not so bad.  Abby is letting me borrow this scarf while I am visiting, because it is so cold out.

The bus service is reduced on weekends, so we got a ride to Abby's exam.  Abby's parents were a bit late picking us up, so I went to the Renaissance for a drink.  Abby's right: they do make the best hot chocolate.

Today also there is some live music at the cafe.

Posted Dec 23, 2009, 5:56 pm
Hypno-dog and I helped to decorate the Christmas tree.  Abby's family buys a real one every year.

First we put the lights on

Then the really old light strings that are in danger of falling to pieces (They are older than Abby!)

And it took hours of hard work, but we managed to finish it!

Posted Dec 25, 2009, 3:23 am
Merry Christmas Eve!  Hypno-dog and I have dressed up and hung up our stocking for Santa!

Posted Dec 25, 2009, 8:35 pm
Merry Christmas!

I think I see something in the stocking!

Wow!  Santa brought us chocolates and Abby crocheted us scarves that we can keep forever!

Don't we look nice!

Posted Dec 26, 2009, 12:54 am
We went for a Christmas Day walk on one of the dikes in Pitt Meadows, because, although it is below freezing here, it is still such a nice day out.  I wore my new scarf.

Here you can see maps of the extensive dike networks in the area.

Most of this area is farmland.  A large amount of the cranberries produced in North America are grown in this area.

This sign is all about the birds you can find here.  I wonder if I will see one?

Look at that hawk!  I am not in the picture because Abby had to zoom her camera in all the way.

On the way back, there was a nice view of Mt Baker in Washington, USA.  It's hard to see it in this photo, but it is to the right of that small, dark hill.

For good measure, Abby zoomed in so that you can see it.

Posted Dec 26, 2009, 6:57 am
Dinner time!

Hypno-dog and I pulled a Christmas cracker.


This has been such a good Christmas!

Posted Feb 7, 2010, 1:51 pm
Hi Mom!!!!

I arrived at the Albert J. Ellis airport last night! My host came and picked me up and then brought me back to my new home.  My new host found the travel diary but wants to report that no travel bag or giraffe keyring was present.  My host introduced me to all the other TVs that are staying in the house.  I met [/tv]iggy rhinono billy blue and pinito[tv]  Here I am when I first arrived.

Here are the two dogs that live in the house.  The fat pug is Thumper.  I have to be careful not to lay around on the ground or Thumper will pick me up and carry me around!!  The other dog is a Chihuahua named Sombrita.  She is very small and could be a Toy Voyager herself!!

Here I am meeting all the other Toy Voyagers.

We decide to take a group photo of all of us together!

I am told that I got here right in time for the Super Bowl!!!! The super bowl is the USA World Champion football game.  The game is broadcasted all over the world and everyone in the USA gathers together and eats lots of good junk food and has lots of cocktails LOL  This is the highest rated sporting event that the USA has.  The commercials alone are worth watching.  Air time for a super bowl commercial is $3 million dollars for a 30 second slot.  The companies that come back every single year are Budweiser, Bud light, Doritos chips and Pepsi.

The two teams that are playing are Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.  This will be the first time that the Saints have EVER gone to a Super Bowl!! my host likes the San Francisco 49ers but they did not do very good this year.  I will take photos tommorro of us having fun and watching the big game!!!


Dottie Grace

Posted Feb 11, 2010, 2:16 pm
Hi Mom!
Today was Super Bowl Sunday!!!  It is the NFL championship game.  Almost everyone in the USA gets together and eats lots of junk food and watches the game.  The first thing we do is get on the internet and go to a Las Vegas Bookie and place a bunch of bets.  We are going to try and win some money!!

After we place our bets, we head to the kitchen and pull out all our yummy food! We have mini Corn Dogs, Chicken Fajitas, Jalapeno Poppers,  Nachos, Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara sauce and ice cream.

Here we are with our yummy Nacho dip.  We made it with hot peppers and Velvetta cheese.  Pinito said the peppers reminded her of Costa Rica.

Here we are with all of our junk food! It is all cooked and the game is about to start.

We all fix our own plate and head off for the couch so we can eat and our hosts explain the Football game and tells us the commercials will be fantastic!!!

Here we are with the NFL official sign on the TV

Here we are watching the game and cheering on the Saints!!

Here we are watching the teams line up and ready to charge and try and get a touchdown.

This is the Super Bowl logo!!

The Saints win the game!!! This is the first time EVER they have been to the Super Bowl!!

The end score!!! Go Saints!!

We had a fantastic night!!! hope you are doing well!!


Posted Feb 14, 2010, 1:55 am
Last night my host turned on the news and showed us that a big snow storm was coming!!!  Snow is very rare in this part of the state! It started snowing around 8pm and when we woke up the next day it had snowed 8 inches!!  Here we are looking out into the backyard.  The snow is just beautiful and my host wishes it would never melt!!

We all go out in the front yard and crawl into the show for a photo!!

Next we go over and pose by the rose bushes.  The snow was sooo cold!

Next we all decide to pick teams and have a snowball fight!!!!

Who do you think is going to win?? we have fun throwing them back and forth in the yard all morning long!

Tonight it is going to drop down to freezing level so we can have a bit more fun tommorro!!

Hope you enjoyed the snow update!!!


Posted Feb 20, 2010, 9:54 pm
Hi Mom!!!

I just got home from Raleigh!!! We drove up to the RBC Center to see the *Black Eye Peas* in concert!! I had sooo much fun!! I loved listening to all the songs and I was dancing with everyone and singing along.  :)

Here I am with my ticket and also my directions from Google Maps on how to get to my hotel!  Raleigh is 2 hours away so my hosts got a hotel room for the night.  I pack up my suitcase and also the laptop!!

We arrive at the Sheraton and then decide to go to a Greek Restaurant for dinner.  My host forgot the camara but I had a delicious Gyro and fries!!  Here I am on my big King size bed and then I am starting to have a few drinks!! I drink Absolut Vodka with Rock Star energy drink and I also do a few Patron shots with lime and sugar!!

We have a bit too much to drink so we call a cab to come and pick us up.  We arrive at the RBC center and go find our seats.  The RBC center is HUGE! This is where the Carolina Hurricanes play all their home hockey games!

Here is the start of the Black eye peas on stage!!!

I get a great photo of Fergie as she comes up from the bottom of the stage!!

Here I am dancing to *Rock that body* and *Boom Boom Pow*

The last song of the night was the BEST!!! They did *I gotta feeling* every single person was dancing and singing and it was incredible!!! They shot off a ton of Confetti on the second verse of the song :)  I was thrilled to see this concert!!  my host is amazed that her little camara took this clear of a picture :)

The concert ends at 11:00 pm and after waiting FOREVER we finally get a cab back to the Sheraton.  We stay up and watch *Las Vegas Jail* which is like *cops* full of funny and stupid things people do to get in trouble LOL

The next day we drive home and everyone is thirsty.  We stop at a tiny old General store and I have NEVER seen anything like it! It has been in business since 1949 and my host says the building looks as it has not been remodeled since then either LOL The name of the store is *Mom and Pops general store*  There are 15 cars in the parking lot but the building is tiny!! We walk in and  a bunch of older locals are sitting and talking....... yep this is like a hang out for them and we feel as if we have stepped back in time when no one used cell phones or sent texts!! I get a Doctor Pepper and head back outside.  My host wanted to take me inside for photos but there is not a lot of room to walk around since all the people are sitting inside and talking!! hahaha here I am outside the building.

I had a fantastic time and I will never forget getting to see the Black Eye Peas!!

Dottie Grace

Posted Mar 7, 2010, 11:20 pm
Hi mom!!!

Last night we went down to Wilmington to my hosts car club meeting.  My hosts are very active in the car club and next weekend is a lot of fun things!! We are going to a cruise in at Smithfileds BBQ and then down to Fort Fisher in a car parade! Saturday morning I have to be up super early because the club is hosting a HUGE car show!! Guess what?? I am one of the judges!! I have never been a car show judge and I am very excited about seeing all the neat Old classic cars, dancing to the band and eating lots of yummy junk food!!

Today we went to the airport.  We picked up two new TVs, Klaus and Piyo.  I told them all about the car show and everyone is excited for Friday to get here!! here we are greeting them!!


Posted Mar 25, 2010, 12:39 am
Hi Mom!!!

Just got done getting my hosts motorcycle all ready for the upcoming races!  I helped change the oil/put new stickers on the bike and set the suspension up.  Here are the photos from the cruise in that we attended.  I had a super nice time and loved looking at all the old classic cars.

Here I am with a 1956 Ford Thunderbird.  This car was beautiful!!

Here I am in front of a beautiful 1932 Ford Delivery hot rod.

Here I am in front of a 1954 Chevy truck.  The pinstripping on the paint job was all done by hand!

Here I am with two funny clowns.  They were walking around handing out ballons to the kids at the cruise in.

The car show turned out to be a fantastic fun time!! we had a great day and ate pizza from Pizza Hut. 

Last weekend we went on a trip with the car club to what is called a *Poker Run* all the cars went around the area and stopped at different places and pulled a card.  We had five stops.  The one with the best hand won $100.  Here we are with my host's 1955 Porsche Spyder.  When no one was looking we took it out for a drive! I love to go fast!! hahaha

Our third stop was at a hot rod shop called *Bugsys* we had fun looking at all the cars inside the building.

Here we are with a 1953 Ford Victoria.  I really liked the colors!

Here we are with a 1954 Thunderbird.  This car was insanely beautiful!!!

Here I am with a old restored gas pump from the 1940s

I am having a fantastic time and the weather is nice.  Today was 75F and tommorro is suppose to be the same!!

Posted Apr 10, 2010, 10:27 pm
Hi Mom!
Happy Easter! I hope you had a nice Easter Day!! When I woke up in the morning, me and the other TVs went around the house on a Easter Egg hunt! These are very special eggs to find as they are Cadbury!! We had a great time finding them and also my host got two new movies in her Easter Basket.  We watched New Moon and Princess and the Frog!  Here we are on our Egg hunt and with our Easter Basket!

After watching movies and eating chocolate eggs we cook dinner.  We make yummy chicken burritos with black beans and rice!! I am having a great time and at the end of next week I will be going to South Carolina to Carolina Motorsports Park for my hosts motorcycle race!!


Posted Apr 16, 2010, 1:04 am
Hi Mom!

Last weekend we went to Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina.  It took us about four hours to drive to the track.  My host races motorcycles as a hobby and I had sooo much fun! Here I am with my suitcases already to go!!

Here we are at the main gate and registration.

We arrived at the track on Thursday night.  My host owns a *Toy Hauler* I know that sounds like a trailer for TVs but it is actually like a motorhome except a trailer! The inside has beds, fridge, microwave, kitchen, TV and a bathroom.  We had a lot of fun camping at the track!!  Here we are with my hosts race bike.  It is a Suzuki GSXR 600.

Here we are on my host's friends bike.  This is a Yamaha R6.

This is us sitting on the pit bikes.  The pit bikes are used to get around the Paddock without wearing yourself out! My host has a Yamaha Zuma Scooter and a Yamaha TTR125.

Next my host needs help getting the bike all tuned up for the big race.  We get some T wrenches and start working on the suspension.

Next we go over and check out my host's friends bike.  This is a GSXR 1000.  This bike can go really, really crazy fast!!

The area that we go watch the races is called the Hot Pit.  We pose with the sign then go to the wall so we can see better.

Here we are posing with the club poster for the track.

Here we are waiting to see my host race.  The bikes are all on the starting grid and waiting for the green flag to drop.

Here comes my host out in front!!!  we are excited and start yelling and cheering!!

We had a great weekend.  The weather was really nice and everyone had a good time.  I had a lot of fun and even got to go out for a few laps during practice!! I hope you enjoyed the photos!!

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 12:33 am
Hi Mom!
Today my host took us to her husbands work.  We went to Marine Corps Air Station and guess what  I got to go on a once in a lifetime helicopter ride in a V22 Osprey!!!!  they are ONLY one place in the world and that is here!!!! my hosts husband is a Marine so I  had a special VIP tour of the base and I liked the Air Station very much!!

My host said that my other host had duty tonight so we took him dinner.  We drove to Taco Bell and ordered up some Tacos, Mexican Pizza, Chicken burritos and a big Mountain Dew to drink.

Since we were headed for the flight line we had to get Top Secret clearance and we were made honorary Marines for the night.  Here we are getting checked in through a locked and secured gate area.

We eat our dinner then my host takes us around the building and downstairs to the flight line.  Here we are with two famous names of battles that the Marines fought in and won.

Here we are looking out of a Top Secret area on the fight line, we look out and see all the CH53 helicopters all parked and ready to go!  These helicopters can carry 50 Marines while picking up 37,000 lbs of gear!!!  The CH53s are on the right and the V22 Ospreys are on the left.

Here is a closer look at the outside of a CH53

No one is around so we go back inside the hanger and climb inside a V22.  Here we are posing out the window waiting for our pilot to arrive.

We both have to go over a pre flight plan and check all the gages and dials to make sure our mission will go smooth.

About 30 minutes later our pilot and his co pilot show up and they agree to take us up and out over the Atlantic ocean.  For security reasons we could not take photos of us actually up in the air inside the helicopter... but boy did we have fun!!! Here is a photo of our V22 before we took off.

Here we are ready in the pilots seat and ready to fly!!

Here we are inside of a Mighty Mite.......haha isnt it cute?  we drive it in from the helicopter back to my hosts car :)  I dont think they have these in Australia...... haha!

I sure did have a great time and since I did such a good job I am now have honorary flight crew status aboard any US Marine helicopter!!  hope you enjoyed the photos Mom!!!


Posted May 18, 2010, 12:25 pm
Happy Cinco De Mayo!!

Hi Mom! a week and a half ago we celebrated Cinco De Mayo!! my host's husband is half Mexican and has heritage roots from Mexico!!  we decorated the kitchen and cooked up all kinds of yummy Mexican food! My host LOVES to throw themed parties and we helped her go to Costa Del Sol Mexican store to get all the authentic food for the little party! She even bought us each a bottle of Jarritos lime and Tamardin flavor Mexican soda and I have never had that before and I loved it!!

Here we are with the big feast! The meat you see is what the REAL people of Mexico use in Tacos.  It is called *Carne Asada* and you can only buy it at the Mexican store.  It is cooked on the grill and it is sooooooooooo good!! Next we put authentic Mexican crumbling cheese on our Tacos.  The tortillas are white flour and have been put on the grill.  Next is homemade Mexican Rice and refried beans.  In the background in the above photos you can see a box with pink on it towards the back of the table.  Those were authentic Mexican cookies that were Strawberry/chocolate and Marshmellow!! YUM!!  We also got into a bottle of Patron and drank a bunch of Margaritas.  I even learned a few words in Spanish!!

Posted Jun 29, 2010, 5:50 pm
Looks like my trip has come to a end in North Carolina.  I am going back home to see my mom!!!

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 9:52 pm
AbbyB is visiting my mentor, becka_kate, along with SunnyHH and Hedgie.  I met with the two ToyVoyagers and we told each other about our travels.

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 9:54 pm
We are attending a ToyVoyager meet-up in the Blue Mountains.  Bec, Abby SunnyHH, Hedgie and I met sararingham and the ToyVoyagers that she is hosting, Ewan E. Ewok and Toothy Walrus.  We met at a chocolate shop for hot chocolate.

Blue Mountains is West of Sydney and it is very pretty.  This is Echo Point and the rocks behind me are called the Three Sisters.

This is the Leura Cascades.

This is the Explorer tree, a famous tree that was, for some reason, chopped down and filled with concrete in an attempt to 'preserve' it.

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 9:55 pm
Grose Valley is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon.

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 9:57 pm
Mount Panorama is home to a race track where you can view the most popular race in Australia.

We did a lap of the track.  This is the view from the top.

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 9:58 pm
I saw wild kangaroos!

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 10:01 pm
Lake Canobolas is the resevoir in Orange.  We brought the rain with us and it is full.

A view of the Orange area.

I call this one The Amazing View from Mount Canobolas.  Um, we are on top of a mountain, I swear!

Posted Aug 2, 2010, 10:02 pm
It is time to head back to Sydney.  We caught the train in Mount Victoria, but we had to wait a while.