Casanova, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA


Posted Aug 7, 2008, 1:55 pm
Hello, my name is Casanova and I love women! I live in Venice but I've just been bought by this lovely girl called Marjolein and she is going to take me to the Netherlands. I look forward to meeting Dutch women! And I heard we are going to Austria and Switzerland in a few days, I wonder what the women there look like! I said goodbye to Venice and I am very excited to go on a journey!

If you would like to help me meet looooooooooots of women, please pm Marjolein and she will send me to you!

Greetings, especially to all the lovely women out there, from Casanova!


hsuan1223 (Taiwan) Thanks very much!!
yumi (Japan) ?
iddewes (England)Thanks very much!!
Pixiedustlady (USA) Thanks very much!!
ashl_bee (USA) Arrived

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 4:49 pm
I went on holiday with Marjolein! Check out the cool van we had to leave for the holiday! :D

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 4:57 pm
We arrived in Austria the same day. We stayed in a Landall Greenpark near the town Gargellen. The view was beautiful!!

We are going to do really cool things in Austria, lots of walking and swimming! 9th of August we will leave for another country!!

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 4:59 pm
On our way to our next holiday-stop we went through a very small country. Called Liechtenstein! We saw the capitalcity Vaduz. Unfortunately there wasn't much time to make photo's, but look at this one:

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:01 pm
The next week of our holiday is in Switzerland! On top of the hill of the village Wildhaus is our very big house. For all of the family of Marjoleins boyfriend Kasper. This is a familyreunion! I met everyone!

This is our house:

And this is the view:

The family's name is Paping, so they had their own flag!!

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:03 pm
We did really cool stuff. On sunday we went on a picknick on a mountain! We roasted sausages on a campfire! Look at the beautiful surroundings:

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:05 pm
In Unterwasser, they have a very famous waterfall! The Thurwasserfällen.

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:07 pm
The last day of our holiday, we stayed in because of the rain. We did saw a beautiful rainbow!

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:08 pm
Pfieuw we're finally home! It took a lot of time, because 38 km before Den Bosch, the car broke down!! We had to wait for hours and hours for someone to get us. But we did ride into a really big truck!!

Posted Aug 26, 2008, 5:11 pm
It was the open day of the Footballclub FC Groningen today! Marjolein goes here since FC Groningen playes football in the stadium the Euroborg, which is since 13 January 2006. It a really cool green stadium. We also went to the dressingroom of the players, it had a really big green bathtub!


Posted Aug 28, 2008, 3:18 pm
We went to visit Marjolein's boyfriend at his internship at the footballclub PSV Eindhoven! We weren't allowed to make photo's inside the stadium but we made some cool shots in front of the stadium. The stadium is called the Philips Stadium.

The guy on the photo is Coen Dillen. He was a famous footballplayer for PSV. He played at the club in the fourties, fifties and sixties. He stands in front of the stadium.

On the background is the entry-gate to the stadium. You can see the sign of PSV and the words: 'Eendracht maakt macht'. This means something like: United we stand stronger.

Posted Sep 15, 2008, 2:18 pm
i arrived safely at taiwan,koahsiung!
thought my box is a little crashed,i'm ok.
i met bunny and tony who welcomed me gladly!
as my host needs to get a easy haircut,me and bunny met "uncle bear".
he is a barber who work at one of the subway station.
that's it for tonight~

Posted Sep 17, 2008, 10:50 am
we went to a theme restaurant for dinner.
there're many fun collectibles about taiwan in early ages.
cute mini bottles under the glass table
our order-a hot pot
then we visit a newly oped subway station.
it has a large and pretty stained glass ceiling.

Posted Sep 24, 2008, 9:46 am
today,we 're going to have some icecream.
it's supossed to be italian flavor icecream.
let me give it a try!
i think it's good but no icecream can compare with home-italia.
then we bought some brad home.

Posted Sep 28, 2008, 12:41 pm
today,we just stay home.
a big typhoon is hitting tawain.
it has been the 3rd one in this month.
also is the biggest typhoon of the year.
so far we're been experiencing strong wind in kaohsiung.

Posted Sep 28, 2008, 6:44 pm
because we have to stay indoor all day.
my host got bored and start a new drawing.
here it is
can you guess who?

Posted Sep 29, 2008, 3:32 pm
today,my host finished painting this place mat.
she had been puzzled about what color should "penelope" be in.
we hope green is ok...

Posted Oct 2, 2008, 8:08 am
last night we went to have a hot pot.
basically we put everything we want to eat in a pot with soup.
then..after the food ia cooked we eart them with some special sauce.

Posted Oct 4, 2008, 4:43 pm
today i took teh subway to visit Sugar Refinery
there i had a popsicle
a bite for a different flavor~
there are some installation art too.
2 cute kismos
old trains that no longer transport goods.
can you see me,i'm a little in the picture.
inside the facotry...

tall big trees and pretty flowers

Posted Oct 13, 2008, 7:15 pm
today we met 4 colorful bears.
they're a family
as we walk out the station
we saw something shining!
there are coins in the water
at night,we celebrate a birthday with the family.
then we have the cake

Posted Jan 14, 2009, 11:17 pm
Well, hello there from Casanova!
I arrived yesterday! I've been out a little bit so far but we're too tired to upload the photos yet. Will do that either tomorrow evening or at the weekend.
Saw the Tower of London, wow! It looks great lit up at night. The photos are a bit blurry, but we tried.

Posted Jan 15, 2009, 10:44 pm
Well, here's a couple of pics at least...think there will be more at the weekend!
Here I am with a bunch of other toys! Most live here! The only guests are me, Chris the little cat and Fester the Rat.
Oh and guess what, I met a girl here! The other fluffy toys are all boys, but I met this girl...her name is Pippa. She's an older woman! My hostess has had her since she was a little kid, so she's about 30 years old! Well, I like older women!
Well more later! we're tired now...

Posted Jan 17, 2009, 9:40 pm
Here I am again!
Here are some photos from the other night! Sorry they are quite blurry though!
Anyway here I am, in the City of's the oldest part of the city but also the financial centre, and until all the recession hit, it was doing really well, so there are lots of new buildings here even though it's the oldest part! Here you can see the building called The Gherkin behind me! It's called that because it's kind of gherkin-shaped.
Then we walked over to the Tower of London. Wow what an ancient castle. The oldest part was built in the 12th century!
We walked from there onto Tower Bridge, which is one of the most famous sights in London. :)
It was a lovely bridge! :)

Posted Jan 26, 2009, 10:04 pm
Well, here I am again! I'm afraid we haven't been out because the weather has been so bad!! But here's a couple of photos around the house.
We looked out at the back garden...
And out the front window can see all these typical English houses...
Kept warm by cuddling up in a nice blanket with the other toy voyager Chris the Cat and Shaggy Marley, the house cat!
And had some chocolate as a treat! :D

Posted Feb 25, 2009, 9:52 pm
Hello!!! I'm back! Sorry it has been a long time! my hostess really hasn't been too well. :( So we haven't been out very much unfortunately.
We just went on a surprise visit to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, though! My hostess lived there before and went for a job interview. Unfortunately she didn't get the job and didn't have a lot of time to take photos, but at least here are a few.
This is me by Cardiff Castle! It's in the city centre! It was rebuilt in the 19th Century by a Scottish nobleman called the Marquess of Bute and it's quite eccentric! :) Lots of fake mediaeval stuff.
Here's Bute Park, next to the castle. It's a really nice little park. My hostess used to walk through it every day to go to work when she lived here. :)
And this is the Animal Wall, along the park by the castle. It's, well, it's all statues of animals crawling over the wall. :)
Here's me with the bear!

Posted Mar 3, 2009, 9:45 am
Hello again!!!
Went for a quick look around the most famous part of London - on Sunday morning, so not too many tourists then! :D It's better that way!!!
Here I am on the bus, heading out there!
We got off on Waterloo Bridge, so I could have a look at the view from the river.
St Pauls Cathedral is there but you can barely see it...the dome in the background! Anyway it was a nice view!
And here you can see the Houses of Parliament behind me!
Then we went up to look at the London Eye, the giant ferris wheel. I'm sure the view from it is great, but it's too expensive for our hostess and also you have to queue for HOURS apparently...Oh well so we saw it from the ground.
Here's another river view...
Then we took a walk along the's a famous street leading to Trafalgar Square, which is probably the most famous square in London. :D Here I am on the Strand, at a traditional red telephone box - there aren't too many of these left in the UK now!
Made it to Trafalgar Square! There's the National Gallery behind me...
And a big lion!
and St Martin in the Fields (no fields here!) church!
and by the fountain
Went for a little look then at Covent Garden Market, which wasn't too busy yet.
Found this restaurant on the way which is the oldest in London - about 210 years old!!! We didn't go in though!
Went past Somerset House, where a lot of government departments work...
And then back on the bus home!

Posted Mar 3, 2009, 10:51 am
Well, the next day, we had to go to Guildford - my hostess had another job interview there! She also knows this town, as she studied there. Some of it is quite pretty, some a bit boring, and some quite old. Here I am on the High Street.
Here's the famous Guildhall
And an old Inn
Gosh there are a lot of castles in the UK!!! Here's another one! But it's a lot smaller and older than the one in Cardiff.
The castle grounds are quite nice, and our hostess wanted to find a sculpture she knows is there...we went through some passageways to find it...
Here it is! It's a sculpture of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Guildford has an association with Lewis Carroll, who wrote the books about Alice! He didn't live here, but his sisters did, and he often came to visit them, and even died here.
Oh, nice to see the spring flowers here!
This is me and Chris the Cat, who's another Toy Voyager!
And I can see why Guildford must be nice to live's lovely by the river here!
That's a theatre behind me - my hostess has been to a couple of plays there and said it's very nice.

Posted Mar 15, 2009, 7:31 pm
Right! I should be off to the States hopefully tomorrow, but we went on one last little trip in London today! Nice weather! :D We walked along the Thames. :)
Went to a nice pub for a lemonade :)
Did a bit of orienteering. :)
What's that? Oh it's a replica of an old boat :)
And this is the Clink prison museum...a bit scary!
Nice river views!
St Paul's cathedral in the background too!
I'm on the Millennium Bridge here!
And here's the Globe Theatre - it's been built exactly like the 16th century theatre that Shakespeare acted in :D
Gosh what a nice walk before I go off again!

Posted Mar 20, 2009, 9:25 pm
Hi Mom!!!!
I just landed at the Albert J. Ellis airport in Richlands, North Carolina!!! The area is very pretty here and it was sunny and 70 degrees!! I am now at Darcie's house and because I love woman so much I brought her a wonderful Lindt chocolate egg to eat!! SHE LOVED IT!! I took a few photos to show you I am here and I also got to meet the two dogs that live in the house.  The first one is Daisy and she is a Boston Terrier.  The second one is Thumper the Pug and she gave me a ride around the kitchen before Darcie took me away from her.  I am going to get to drive Darcie's pride and Joy, her 1955 Porsche Spyder tommorro!! Darcie belongs to a car club and I am lucky enough to get to go to three car events and shows while I am here! I am happy to get to go and meet the Carolina woman!! I am going to send you a North Carolina history lesson tommorro!! I am learning a lot about *The Tarheel State* as it is called.  Well tonight the movie *Twilight* comes out and I am going to Walmart at midnight with Darcie so she can get her copy.... I wont miss out on this because lots of woman will be at Walmart waiting for their chance to get the DVD... Im so lucky!!!  I will write more soon!!


Posted Mar 22, 2009, 2:24 pm
Hi Mom!
I have been Googling and reading all about NC so I am going to give a history lesson to you about North Carolina!!!

North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina on the south, Georgia on the southwest, Tennessee on the west, Virginia on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The United States Census Bureau classifies North Carolina as a southern state in the subcategory of being one of the South Atlantic States.

North Carolina consists of three main geographic sections: the coastal plain, which occupies the eastern 45% of the state; the Piedmont region, which contains the middle 35%; and the Appalachian Mountains and foothills. The extreme eastern section of the state contains the Outer Banks, a string of sandy, narrow islands which form a barrier between the Atlantic Ocean and inland waterways. The Outer Banks form two sounds—Albemarle Sound in the north and Pamlico Sound in the south. They are the two largest landlocked sounds in the United States.

Immediately inland, the coastal plain is relatively flat, with rich soils ideal for growing tobacco, soybeans, melons, and cotton. The coastal plain is North Carolina's most rural section, with few large towns or cities. Agriculture remains an important industry. The major rivers of the coastal plain: the Neuse, Tar, Pamlico, and Cape Fear, tend to be slow-moving and wide.

The coastal plain transitions to the Piedmont region along the "fall line", a line which marks the elevation at which waterfalls first appear on streams and rivers. The Piedmont region of central North Carolina is the state's most urbanized and densely populated section - all five of the state's largest cities are located in the Piedmont. It consists of gently rolling countryside frequently broken by hills or low mountain ridges. A number of small, isolated, and deeply eroded mountain ranges and peaks are located in the Piedmont, including the Sauratown Mountains, Pilot Mountain, the Uwharrie Mountains, Crowder's Mountain, King's Pinnacle, the Brushy Mountains, and the South Mountains. The Piedmont ranges from about 300–400 feet (90–120 m) elevation in the east to over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the west. Due to the rapid population growth of the Piedmont, many of the farms and much of the rural countryside in this region is being replaced by suburbanization: shopping centers, housing developments, and large corporate office parks. Agriculture is steadily declining in importance in this region. The major rivers of the Piedmont, such as the Yadkin and Catawba, tend to be fast-flowing, shallow, and narrow.

The western section of the state is part of the Appalachian Mountain range. Among the subranges of the Appalachians located in the state are the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsam Mountains, and the Black Mountains. The Black Mountains are the highest in the Eastern United States, and culminate in Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet (2,037 m).[3] It is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Although agriculture remains important, tourism has become the dominant industry in the mountains. One agricultural pursuit which has prospered and grown in recent decades is the growing and selling of Christmas Trees. Due to the higher altitude of the mountains, the climate often differs markedly from the rest of the state. Winters in western North Carolina typically feature significant snowfall and subfreezing temperatures more akin to a midwestern state than a southern one.

North Carolina has 17 major river basins. Five of the state's river basins: the Hiwassee, Little Tennessee, French Broad, Watauga and New, are part of the Mississippi River Basin, which drains to the Gulf of Mexico. All the others flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 17 basins, 11 originate within the state of North Carolina, but only four are contained entirely within the state's borders - the Cape Fear, Neuse, White Oak and Tar-Pamlico.[7]

The coastal plain is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean which keeps temperatures mild in winter and moderate in the summer. Daytime high temperatures on the coast average less than 89 °F (31.6 °C) during the summer. In the winter, the coast has the mildest temperatures in the state, with daytime temperatures rarely dropping below 40 °F (4.4 °C); the average daytime winter temperature in the coastal plain is usually in the mid-60's. Temperatures in the coastal plain rarely drop below freezing even at night. The coastal plain usually receives only one inch (2.5 cm) of snow and/or ice annually, and in some years there may be no snow or ice at all.

The Atlantic Ocean has less influence on the Piedmont region, and as a result the Piedmont has hotter summers and colder winters than the coast. Daytime highs in the Piedmont often average over 90 °F (32.2 °C) in the summer. While it is not common for temperatures to reach over 100 °F (37.8 °C) in North Carolina, when it happens, the highest temperatures are to be found in the lower areas of the Piedmont, especially around the city of Fayetteville. Additionally, the weaker influence of the Atlantic Ocean means that temperatures in the Piedmont often fluctuate more widely than the coast.

In the winter, the Piedmont is much less mild than the coast, with daytime temperatures that are usually in the mid 50's, and temperatures often drop below freezing at night. The region averages from 3–5 inches of snowfall annually in the Charlotte area to 6–8 inches in the Raleigh–Durham area. The Piedmont is especially notorious for sleet and freezing rain. It can be heavy enough in some storms to snarl traffic and collapse trees and power lines. Annual precipitation and humidity is lower in the Piedmont than either the mountains or the coast, but even at its lowest, the precipitation is a generous 40 in (102 cm) per year.

The Appalachian Mountains are the coolest area of the state, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low 40's and upper 30's for highs in the winter and often falling into the teens (−9 °C) or lower on winter nights. Relatively cool summers have temperatures rarely rising above 80 °F (26.7 °C). Snowfall in the mountains is usually 14–20 in (36–51 cm) per year, but it is often greater in the higher elevations. For example, during the Blizzard of 1993 more than 50 inches (130 cm) of snow fell on Mount Mitchell over a period of three days.

Severe weather occurs regularly in North Carolina. On average, the state receives a direct hit from a hurricane once a decade. Tropical storms arrive every 3 or 4 years. In some years, several hurricanes or tropical storms can directly strike the state or brush across the coastal areas. Only Florida and Louisiana are hit by hurricanes more often. Although many people believe that hurricanes menace only coastal areas, the rare hurricane which moves inland quickly enough can cause severe damage. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo caused heavy damage in Charlotte and even as far inland as the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern part of the state. On average, North Carolina has 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year, with some storms becoming severe enough to produce hail, flash floods, and damaging winds.

North Carolina averages fewer than 20 tornadoes per year. Many of these are produced by hurricanes or tropical storms along the coastal plain. Tornadoes from thunderstorms are a risk, especially in the eastern part of the state. The western piedmont is often protected by the mountains breaking storms up as they try to cross over them. The storms will often reform farther east. Also a weather feature known as "cold air damming" occurs in the western part of the state. This can also weaken storms but can also lead to major ice events in winter."[8]

North Carolina was originally inhabited by many different native peoples, including those of the ancient Mississippian culture established by 1000 A.D. in the Piedmont. Historically documented tribes included Cherokee, Tuscarora, Cheraw, Pamlico, Meherrin, Coree, Machapunga, Cape Fear Indians, Waxhaw, Saponi, Tutelo, Waccamaw, Coharie, and Catawba.

Spanish explorers traveling inland encountered the last of the Mississippian culture at Joara, near present-day Morganton. Records of Hernando de Soto attested to his meeting with them in 1540. In 1567 Captain Juan Pardo led an expedition into the interior of North Carolina on a journey to claim the area for the Spanish colony, as well as establish another route to protect silver mines in Mexico (the Spanish did not realize the distances involved.) Pardo made a winter base at Joara, which he renamed Cuenca. The expedition built Fort San Juan and left 30 men, while Pardo traveled further, establishing five other forts. He returned by a different route to Santa Elena on Parris Island, South Carolina, then a center of Spanish Florida. In the spring of 1568, natives killed all the soldiers and burned the six forts in the interior, including the one at Fort San Juan. The Spanish never returned to the interior to press their colonial claim, but this marked the first European attempt at colonization of the interior of what became the United States. A journal by Pardo's scribe Bandera and archaeological findings at Joara have confirmed the settlement.[9][10]

Sir Walter Raleigh returns to find the colony abandonedIn 1584, Elizabeth I, granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh, for whom the state capital is named, for land in present-day North Carolina (then Virginia).[11] Raleigh established two colonies on the coast in the late 1580s, both ending in failure. It was the second American territory the British attempted to colonize. The demise of one, the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island, remains one of the great mysteries of American history. Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in North America, was born on Roanoke Island on August 18, 1587. Dare County is named for her.

Main article: Province of Carolina
As early as 1650, colonists from the Virginia colony moved into the area of Albemarle Sound. By 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to establish a new colony on the North American continent which generally established its borders. He named it Carolina in honor of his father Charles I.[12] By 1665, a second charter was issued to attempt to resolve territorial questions. In 1710, due to disputes over governance, the Carolina colony began to split into North Carolina and South Carolina. The latter became a crown colony in 1729.

Colonial Period and Revolutionary War
Main article: American Revolutionary War

Reconstructed royal governor's mansion Tryon Palace in New BernThe first permanent European settlers of North Carolina were British colonists who migrated south from Virginia, following a rapid growth of the colony and the subsequent shortage of available farmland. Nathaniel Batts was documented as one of the first of these Virginian migrants. He settled south of the Chowan River and east of the Great Dismal Swamp in 1655.[13] By 1663, this northeastern area of the Province of Carolina, known as the Albemarle Settlements, was undergoing full-scale British settlement.[14] During the same period, the English monarch Charles II gave the province to the Lords Proprietors, a group of noblemen who had helped restore Charles to the throne in 1660. The new province of "Carolina" was named in honor and memory of King Charles I (Latin: Carolus). In 1712, North Carolina became a separate colony. With the exception of the Earl Granville holdings, it became a royal colony seventeen years later.[15]

Differences in the settlement patterns of eastern and western North Carolina, or the low country and uplands, affected the political, economic, and social life of the state from the eighteenth until the twentieth century. The Tidewater in eastern North Carolina was settled chiefly by immigrants from England and the Scottish Highlands. The upcountry of western North Carolina was settled chiefly by Scots-Irish and German Protestants, the so-called "cohee". Arriving during the mid-to-late 18th century, the Scots-Irish from Ireland were the largest immigrant group before the Revolution. During the Revolutionary War, the English and Highland Scots of eastern North Carolina tended to remain loyal to the British Crown, because of longstanding business and personal connections with Great Britain. The Scots-Irish and German settlers of western North Carolina tended to favor American independence from Britain.

Most of the English colonists arrived as indentured servants, hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid. Some Africans were allowed to earn their freedom before slavery became a lifelong status. Most of the free colored families formed in North Carolina before the Revolution were descended from relationships or marriages between free white women and enslaved or free African or African-American men. Many had migrated or were descendants of migrants from colonial Virginia.[16] As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in Great Britain, more slaves were imported and the state's restrictions on slavery hardened. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco.

On April 12, 1776, the colony became the first to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence from the British crown, through the Halifax Resolves passed by the North Carolina Provincial Congress. The dates of both of these independence-related events are memorialized on the state flag and state seal.[17] Throughout the Revolutionary War, fierce guerilla warfare erupted between bands of pro-independence and pro-British colonists. In some cases the war was also an excuse to settle private grudges and rivalries. A major American victory in the war took place at King's Mountain along the North Carolina–South Carolina border. On October 7, 1780 a force of 1000 mountain men from western North Carolina (including what is today the State of Tennessee) overwhelmed a force of some 1000 British troops led by Major Patrick Ferguson. Most of the British soldiers in this battle were Carolinians who had remained loyal to the British Crown (they were called "Tories"). The American victory at Kings Mountain gave the advantage to colonists who favored American independence, and it prevented the British Army from recruiting new soldiers from the Tories.

The road to Yorktown and America's independence from Great Britain led through North Carolina. As the British Army moved north from victories in Charleston and Camden, South Carolina, the Southern Division of the Continental Army and local militia prepared to meet them. Following General Daniel Morgan's victory over the British Cavalry Commander Banastre Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, southern commander Nathanael Greene led British Lord Charles Cornwallis across the heartland of North Carolina, and away from Cornwallis's base of supply in Charleston, South Carolina. This campaign is known as "The Race to the Dan" or "The Race for the River."[15]

Generals Greene and Cornwallis finally met at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in present-day Greensboro on March 15, 1781. Although the British troops held the field at the end of the battle, their casualties at the hands of the numerically superior American Army were crippling. Following this "Pyhrric victory", Cornwallis chose to move to the Virginia coastline to get reinforcements, and to allow the Royal Navy to protect his battered army. This decision would result in Cornwallis's eventual defeat at Yorktown, Virginia later in 1781. The Patriots' victory there guaranteed American independence.

Antebellum Period
On November 21, 1789, North Carolina became the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution. In 1840, it completed the state capitol building in Raleigh, still standing today. Most of North Carolina's slave owners and large plantations were located in the eastern portion of the state. Although North Carolina's plantation system was smaller and less cohesive than those of Virginia, Georgia or South Carolina, there were significant numbers of planters concentrated in the counties around the port cities of Wilmington and Edenton, as well as suburban planters around the cities of Raleigh, Charlotte and Durham. Planters owning large estates wielded significant political and socio-economic power in antebellum North Carolina, often to the derision of the generally non-slave holding "yeoman" farmers of Western North Carolina. In mid-century, the state's rural and commercial areas were connected by the construction of a 129–mile (208 km) wooden plank road, known as a "farmer's railroad," from Fayetteville in the east to Bethania (northwest of Winston-Salem).[15]

In addition to slaves, there were a number of free people of color in the state. Most were descended from free African Americans who had migrated along with neighbors from Virginia during the eighteenth century. After the Revolution, Quakers and Mennonites worked to persuade slaveholders to free their slaves. Enough were inspired by their efforts and the language of men's rights, and arranged for manumission of their slaves. The number of free people of color rose in the first couple of decades after the Revolution.[18]

On October 25, 1836 construction began on the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad[19] to connect the port city of Wilmington with the state capital of Raleigh. In 1849 the North Carolina Railroad was created by act of the legislature to extend that railroad west to Greensboro, High Point, and Charlotte. During the Civil War the Wilmington-to-Raleigh stretch of the railroad would be vital to the Confederate war effort; supplies shipped into Wilmington would be moved by rail through Raleigh to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

During the antebellum period North Carolina was an overwhelmingly rural state, even by Southern standards. In 1860 only one North Carolina town, the port city of Wilmington, had a population of more than 10,000. Raleigh, the state capital, had barely more than 5,000 residents.

While slaveholding was slightly less concentrated than in some Southern states, according to the 1860 census, more than 330,000 people, or 33% of the population of 992,622 were enslaved African-Americans. They lived and worked chiefly on plantations in the eastern Tidewater. In addition, 30,463 free people of color lived in the state. They were also concentrated in the eastern coastal plain, especially at port cities such as Wilmington and New Bern where they had access to a variety of jobs. Free African Americans were allowed to vote until 1835, when the state rescinded their suffrage.

American Civil War
Main article: American Civil War
In 1860, North Carolina was a slave state, in which about one-third of the population of 992,622 were enslaved African Americans. This was a smaller proportion than many Southern states. In addition, the state had a substantial number of Free Negroes, just over 30,000.[20] The state did not vote to join the Confederacy until President Abraham Lincoln called on it to invade its sister-state, South Carolina, becoming the second to last state to join the Confederacy. North Carolina was the site of few battles, but it provided at least 125,000 troops to the Confederacy— far more than any other state. Approximately 40,000 of those troops never returned home, dying of disease, battlefield wounds, and starvation. Elected in 1862, Governor Zebulon Baird Vance tried to maintain state autonomy against Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond.

Even after secession, some North Carolinians refused to support the Confederacy. This was particularly true of non-slave-owning farmers in the state's mountains and western Piedmont region. Some of these farmers remained neutral during the war, while some covertly supported the Union cause during the conflict. Approximately 2,000 North Carolinians from western North Carolina enlisted in the Union Army and fought for the North in the war, and two additional Union Army regiments were raised in the coastal areas of the state that were occupied by Union forces in 1862 and 1863. Even so, Confederate troops from all parts of North Carolina served in virtually all the major battles of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Confederacy's most famous army. The largest battle fought in North Carolina was at Bentonville, which was a futile attempt by Confederate General Joseph Johnston to slow Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's advance through the Carolinas in the spring of 1865.[15] In April 1865 after losing the Battle of Morrisville, Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bennett Place, in what is today Durham, North Carolina. This was the last major Confederate Army to surrender. North Carolina's port city of Wilmington was the last Confederate port to fall to the Union. It fell in the spring of 1865 after the nearby Second Battle of Fort Fisher.

Bennett Place historic site in Durham, North Carolina.The first Confederate soldier to be killed in the Civil War was Private Henry Wyatt, a North Carolinian. He was killed in the Battle of Big Bethel in June 1861. At the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, the 26th North Carolina Regiment participated in Pickett/Pettigrew's Charge and advanced the farthest into the Northern lines of any Confederate regiment. During the Battle of Chickamauga the 58th North Carolina Regiment advanced farther than any other regiment on Snodgrass Hill to push back the remaining Union forces from the battlefield. At Appomattox Court House in Virginia in April 1865, the 75th North Carolina Regiment, a cavalry unit, fired the last shots of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War. For many years, North Carolinians proudly boasted that they had been "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox."

Film studios are located in Shelby, Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. Some of the best-known films and television shows filmed in the state include: All the Real Girls, Being There, Blue Velvet, Bull Durham, A Walk to Remember, Glory (film), The Color Purple, Cabin Fever, Super Mario Bros. (film), Cape Fear, Children of the Corn, The Crow, Dawson's Creek, Dirty Dancing, Evil Dead 2, The Fugitive, The Green Mile, Hannibal, The Last of the Mohicans, Nell, One Tree Hill, Patch Adams (film), Shallow Hal, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Leatherheads, Nights in Rodanthe and 28 Days. Half of Steven King's movies were filmed in North Carolina. The television show most associated with North Carolina is The Andy Griffith Show, which aired on CBS-TV from 1960 to 1968. The series is set in the fictional small town of Mayberry, North Carolina, and was based on the real-life town of Mount Airy, North Carolina, although it was filmed in California. Mount Airy is the hometown of actor Andy Griffith. The show is still popular in reruns and is frequently shown in syndication around the nation. North Carolina is also home to some of the Southeast's biggest film festivals, including the National Black Theatre Festival and the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.

The School of Filmmaking at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem is a unique arts conservatory that combines rigorous professional training with unparalleled facilities, equipment and resources. All Second, Third and Fourth Year productions are entered into film and video festivals worldwide, and several have won major awards, including the Student Academy Award, the Angelus Award and the Cine Eagle Award. The best Fourth Year productions are also screened on film in front of large industry audiences at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles in June each year. School of the Arts alumni have performed in or behind the scenes of Broadway shows, film, television and regional theatre, and are members of the world’s finest symphony orchestras and opera and dance companies. They have won or been nominated for all of the major awards in the entertainment industry, including Tony, Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and others. Some well-known alumni of the NCSA School of Drama are Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Dent, and Tom Hulce.

Although North Carolina did not have a major-league professional sports franchise until the 1980s, the state has long been known as a hotbed of college basketball. Since the formation of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 1953, the conference's North Carolina member schools have excelled in conference play. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Duke University, and North Carolina State University are all located within 25 miles (40 km) of one another, creating fierce rivalries. Wake Forest University, another ACC member, is located less than 100 miles (160 km) to the west of these schools in Winston-Salem. UNC has won four NCAA national championships in basketball: 1957, 1982, 1993, and 2005. The Tar Heels also won a national-level championship in 1924, before the NCAA was created. Duke has won three NCAA championships: 1991, 1992, and 2001. NC State has won two: 1974 and 1983. The Duke-UNC basketball rivalry has been called one of the best rivalries in sports and the two schools are often contenders for the national title. In addition to the ACC schools, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte went to the NCAA's Final Four in 1977, and Davidson College near Charlotte went to the NCAA's "Elite Eight" in 1968, 1969, and 2008. In 2007 Barton College in Wilson won the NCAA Division II championship in men's basketball. Although basketball remains the dominant college sport in North Carolina, several schools have also enjoyed success in football and other sports. In 2005, 2006, and 2007 Appalachian State University won the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision championship; they are the first university to win the Division I Football Championship Subdivision championship three times in a row. Wake Forest University has also enjoyed substantial success in football; in 2007 they won the ACC football championship and participated in the 2007 Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. This was the first major bowl berth for a North Carolina-based team since Duke defeated Arkansas in the 1961 Cotton Bowl (game).


The Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shining Rock Wilderness AreaDue to geography, rich history, and growing industry, North Carolina provides a large range of recreational activities from swimming at the beach[53] to skiing in the mountains. North Carolina offers fall colors, freshwater and saltwater fishing, hunting, birdwatching, agritourism, ATV trails, ballooning, rock climbing, biking, hiking, skiing, boating and sailing, camping, canoeing, caving (spelunking), gardens, and arboretums. North Carolina has theme parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, historic sites, lighthouses, elegant theaters, concert halls, and fine dining.[54]

North Carolinians enjoy outdoor recreation utilizing numerous local bike paths, 34 state parks, and 14 national parks which are the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site at Flat Rock, Croatan National Forest in Eastern North Carolina, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site at Manteo, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro, Moores Creek National Battlefield near Currie, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Old Salem National Historic Site in Winston-Salem, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Uwharrie National Forest.

Other information

Famous food and drinks from North Carolina

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (July 2008)

2008 Lexington Barbecue FestivalA nationally-famous cuisine from North Carolina is pork barbecue. However, there are strong regional differences and rivalries over the sauces and method of preparation used in making the barbecue. Eastern North Carolina pork barbecue uses a vinegar-based sauce and the "whole hog" is cooked, thus using both white and dark meat. The "capital" of eastern Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the town of Wilson, near Raleigh. Western North Carolina pork barbecue uses a ketchup and vinegar based sauce and only the pork shoulder (dark meat) is used. The "capital" of western Carolina barbecue is usually considered to be the Piedmont Triad town of Lexington, home of the Lexington Barbecue Festival which brings in over 100,000 visitors each October.

North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, first produced in 1890 in New Bern. Regional soft drinks created and still based in the state are Sun Drop and Cheerwine. Krispy Kreme, a popular chain of doughnut stores, was started in North Carolina; the company's headquarters are in Winston-Salem. Despite its name, the hot sauce Texas Pete was created in North Carolina; its headquarters are also in Winston-Salem. The Hardees fast-food chain was started in Rocky Mount. Another fast-food chain, Bojangles', was started in Charlotte, and has its corporate headquarters there. A popular North Carolina restaurant chain is Golden Corral. Started in 1973, the chain was founded in Fayetteville. Popular pickle brand Mount Olive Pickle Company was founded in Mount Olive in 1926. Cook Out, a popular fast food chain featuring burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes in a wide variety of flavors, was founded in Greensboro in 1989 and operates exclusively in North Carolina.

[edit] Ships named for the state
Several ships have been named for the state. Most famous is the USS North Carolina, a World War II battleship. The ship served in several battles against the forces of Imperial Japan in the Pacific theater during the war. Now decommissioned, it is part of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington. Another USS North Carolina, a nuclear attack submarine, was commissioned on May 3, 2008.[55]

Cardinal, North Carolina state bird
Strawberry, North Carolina state red berry
[edit] State symbols
Main article: North Carolina state symbols
State motto: Esse quam videri ("To be, rather than to seem") (1893)
State song: "The Old North State" (1927)
State flower: Dogwood (1941)
State bird: Cardinal (1943)
State colors: the red and blue of the N.C. and U.S. flags (1945)
State toast: The Tar Heel Toast (1957)
State tree: Pine (1963)
State shell: Scotch bonnet (1965)
State mammal: Eastern Gray Squirrel (1969)
State salt water fish: Red Drum (also known as the Channel bass) (1971)
State insect: European honey bee (1973)
State gemstone: Emerald (1973)
State reptile: Eastern Box Turtle (1979)
State rock: Granite (1979)
State beverage: Milk (1987)
State historical boat: Shad boat (1987)
State language: English (1987)
State dog: Plott Hound (1989)
State military academy: Oak Ridge Military Academy (1991)
State tartan: Carolina tartan (1991)[56]
State vegetable: Sweet potato (1995)
State red berry: Strawberry (2001)
State blue berry: Blueberry (2001)
State fruit: Scuppernong grape (2001)
State wildflower: Carolina Lily (2003)
State Christmas tree: Fraser Fir (2005)
State carnivorous plant: Venus Flytrap (2005)
State folk dance: Clogging (2005)
State popular dance: Shag (2005)
State freshwater trout: Southern Appalachian Brook Trout (2005)
State birthplace of traditional pottery: the Seagrove area (2005)

Hope you enjoyed your history lesson Mom!!



Posted Mar 25, 2009, 7:25 pm
Hi Mom!!!

Last night me and another TV named Chance hung out in the garage with Darcie's husband.  We worked hard on his race bike.  After we worked on the bike we started getting Darcie's Porsche Spyder ready for the big car show this weekend.  We wanted to make sure it was shiny and all ready to go on the trailer before we head off to Wilmington.  I am going on a *cruise* Friday night with all the old retro cars.  I will be cruising with Darcie and Chance and her husband  like they did back in the 1950's.  Here are some photos from last night.

Here I am with a small wrench getting to ready to change out a new set of racing forks and check the rebound on the suspension  ;) I have been learning a LOT about racebikes!

Here I am with Chance getting ready to do a once over on the Spyder.  I sure do like the car!!

Chance asked if I wanted to go for a ride, I put my seat belt on, and then he put his on and we took the Spyder for a spin around the block! Darcie does not let ANYONE (and I do mean anyone lol) drive or touch the car!! I went really super fast!!

Here I am checking out the neat Banjo steering wheel.  Isnt it cool?

Here we are with the Spyder's license plate, hey mom when I get a car I want my name on it too!!

Well Mom I hope you liked my little update! The next time you hear from me will probably be on Monday.  We have the Cruise Friday night and then we are working at a Car show on Saturday and then we are taking the Spyder to a show on Sunday.  I will take LOTS of photos with the cool old cars!!

Bear kisses,


Posted Apr 1, 2009, 12:18 am
hi Mom!!!!

Boy oh boy did I have fun this past weekend! I went down to Kure Beach for a big car show.  Me and Chance helped Darcie and Steve work all day long at the show.  Friday night we went on a cruise but it rained so I only have one photo from that.  I got a LOT of photos of us at the show!!!  After the show at Kure Beach we went to a show on Sunday in Wilmington.  Darcie entered the Spyder and it got first place in the class she was in!! The trophy is very nice and she also won $100.00!! anyways here are the events as they happened.  I think I need a fancy hot rod now!!

Here we are on the cruise inside Darcie's Spyder.  You can see a old yellow car in front of us.  We had fun cruisin' to the beach!

After the cruise we had a party at the beach in a community building.  Here we are sitting at the table waiting for cake and ice cream!

The next morning we got up at 6 am and went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then down to the show to start working.  Here we are with Darcie's car club's sign The Sun Coast Cruisers!!

We got a little hungry so we wandered over to the Club's snack area..yum yum look at all the cake and cookies!!

Darcie's husband was in charge of running the shuttle.  Here we are in the *Limo* Golf cart!!

We went out with the judges and helped judge and got a closer look at the cars.  They had 150 cars show up for the show!! This is one of Darcie's favorites!! a 1967 Corvette!!!

One good thing about helping out at the show, you get to do special stuff... like SIT in the Corvette!! here we are inside of it!

Here we are on the grill of a 1957 Ford Fairlane!!

Here we are with a 1947 Ford Tudor.  This car also won *Ladies Choice* and Best Ford.  The car was absolutley stunning!!

Here we are inside the engine bay of a Muscle Car... a 1966 Chevy Camaro!!

Here we are with a rare beach car.. the 1948 *Woody* the car has real wood on it!!

The owner of the Woody let us get inside!!

Here we are up on the roof of the Woody sitting on the Surf Board!! we are all ready for some Surfing time!!

Here we are with a 1964 Galaxy!!! The owner let us sit on the car for the picture :)

Next we posed with a 1940 General Motors Truck.  Isnt it cool!!!

Here we are with a beautiful 1967 Mustang.

Darcie says if you have a husband or boyfriend around to go get him to show him this next car... the very very very rare 1970 Shelby Cobra.  Darcie's husband (and the entire crowd) was very excited to see this super rare car!! They only made 104 of these!! Here we are up in the window with the sign.

Here we are in front of the Shelby Mustang!

Here we are in front of the license plate... as you can see on the front license plate,  the car came from the very famous Barrett/Jackson auction and the car was sold to this owner for $450,000!!!  The Barrett/Jackson auction is very hard to get on the sales floor and requires a letter of credit from your bank of $100,000 just to get in the door.  Darcie's dad went last year and loved it!! The next one is in Palm Beach, Florida and starts in a few days!!

We had a long day but it was a lot of fun!! I hope you enjoyed the photos!!


Posted Apr 5, 2009, 3:05 pm
Hi Mom!
I just did a huge update and lost all the info :(  I will try to remember my post! Yesterday we went down to Wimington and rode in The Azalea festival! They had over 300 entries and had cars, clowns, floats, military marching bands, dancers, elephants, horses, Queens and Princesses.  We had to leave the house at 4:30 am to meet up with the other cars at 6:00 am.  Then we were in the holding area till it was our time to drive in the parade.  I had sooo much fun! Darcie took her Spyder down and was part of the Porsche club of America entry. We were with 13 Porsches and got to drive in front! The television station for the news was on hand and we got to be on TV!!!  We also got to take some photos with one of Darcies good friends who has a 1966 Camaro.  After the parade all the Porsches took off to a back country road and we went up to speeds of 100 miles an hour!! woohooo we were really flying! Then we went to lunch at one of the owners home and then we came home and took a nap.  Here is a little write up about the festival.  We sure did have a good time!!

The 62nd Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival will be held April 1-5, 2009 in the greater Wilmington area. The Festival is a celebration of Wilmington’s exceptional artwork, gardens, rich history and culture during its five days of entertainment that includes: a parade, street fair, circus, concerts, pageantry, and all that is Southern.

Since its inception in 1948, the Festival has blossomed into an extended weekend celebration that attracts more than 300,000 people. The Festival is a non-profit civic organization and this year is sponsored in substantial part by its four (4) major sponsors: Progress Energy, My Rewards, Wachovia Bank, and the Hilton Wilmington Riverside.

For more than 50 years, the folks of Southeastern North Carolina have been throwing the best party in the South and you're invited! There's something for everyone among our community's rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture.

Here is a photo of the pretty Southern Belles during the crowing of the Azalea Queen<br>

Here we are in Darcie's Spyder.  You can see all the other Porsches around the car.<br>

Here we are lined up in front ready to drive out.  You can see all the Porsches behind us.<br>

Here we are sitting inside the Camaro<br>

Here we are sitting on top of the Camaro with a Toy Voyager sized model of the car!!

Here we are on the hood.  We had fun watching the hood because the owner put hydrolics on it so it opens and closes by remote control!! hahaha<br>

Darcie says sorry there is not a lot of photos of the other parade entries.  It was a bit hard to take photos with us because everything was constantely moving!! hope you enjoyed my trip mom!!



Posted Apr 13, 2009, 1:55 am
Hi Mom!!!

Happy Easter!! I have had a super fun week! First of all I got to go to Marine Corps Air Station, New River where Darcie's husband works.  For security reasons I was not allowed to take very many photographs but I did sneak in a few :)  We were at MALS 29 which means Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron :) They fly the CH53 helicopter which is HUGE!! 

Here we are inside the office sitting on the safety helmets.  The Marines wear these when they are inspecting the helicopters.

Here we are reading a Marine magazine.

We snuck out on to the flight line to take some photos of the helicopters.  We want to go for a ride next time!!!

The next day Darcie's husband took us to Britt Motorsports to shop for a new race bike for the upcoming racing season.  Me and Chance went to the Motorcycle shop with them and then we went out to lunch at Red Robin.  Here we are with some of the bikes.  I think I want a bike now!!

Here are the kind of bikes Darcie's husband rides.  These are the new 2009 Yamaha R1s.

After the motorycle shop we went to Red Robin for lunch.  This is one of Darcie's favorite places to eat.  They have great hamburgers!

Today we woke up and the Easter Bunny had come to the house! First we went on a egg hunt...we were hunting for Cadbury chocolate eggs that Darcie just LOVES!!  I had a few of them myself and I really liked them!

Look we found two more!!

Then around the corner hiding behind the table was our Easter Baskets!!

We relaxed all day and then it was time to start cooking Easter Dinner.  Here we are with the fresh Honey Cornbread.

Here we are making Darcie's famous Green Bean Casserole.

Smashing up the cheese crackers for the Casserole.

Then we made some Deviled eggs and put the Ham in the oven.

Yum Dinner time!!

After dinner we went over to the huge wall of DVDs to pick out a movie.

We decided to watch Twilight (Again!)  ;) hahahaha it is  sooo good!

Well mom I have been eating Easter Candy all day and I am full from my dinner and I just finished Twilight.  I am off to bed and hope you had a nice Easter!!


Posted Apr 20, 2009, 2:58 pm
Hi Mom!!!

This weekend Darcie took us to the Eastern Carolina Auto Festival in Kenansville.  We got up early yesterday morning and drove the Spyder about 30 miles to the Duplin County Event Center.  We got to see lots of really cool cars and got to meet Stacey David who does a TV show on the Speed Channel.  The weather was hot and sunny and we had a really nice day!!

Here we are in the morning with our Program for the event.

The car parked next to us was a 1957 Bel Air.  We loved the inside of the trunk so we hopped in to get out of the hot sun for a bit!!

On the other side of us was a 1932 Buick.  We peaked inside only to see some BIG traveling toys!! We met the Teddy Bear and the Police Officer doll. I found out that these toys never leave the car and people had fun seeing them in the back seat.  We had fun listening to all their stories and where they have been in the car.

Later that day we heard that Speed Racer was inside the event center.  Speed racer was a movie that came out awhile back and we had fun looking at the really cool stuff on the car.

Here we are by the Speed Racer sign.

One thing you usually do not see at a car show is a Show Tractor hahaha! One man brought two of them for display.  This is a John Deere tractor and we are down by the front tire.

This coming up weekend we are going to the Mount Olive Pickle Festival.  Mount Olive is a famous pickle producer in North Carolina and they sell their famous pickles in all the grocery stores.  I will be sure to take photos of all the action! the biggest news is the weekend after that guess where I am going?  I am going to Atlanta, Georgia to see Darcie's favorite baseball team The Atlanta Braves!!!  We have tickets for Friday and Saturday and guess where we are sitting?  Friday night we have the seats right over the Braves Dugout (hard to get) so I will get to see the players really close!! Saturday we have even better tickets!! Darcie's husband found a way to get us tickets to the Suntrust club (this will NEVER happen again! haha)  This is a exclusive Suite that has a private entrance to Turner field, first class dining and big leather seats right behind home plate with flatscreen monitors for each seat! We will be 40 feet from homeplate  so we will be on TV all night.  I am really excited about the two games!!! GO BRAVES!!!

Bear Hugs,


Posted Apr 26, 2009, 3:42 pm
Hi Mom!!!

Yesterday Darcie took me and Chance to the North Carolina Pickle Festival!! The festival is held every year in Mount Olive.  Mount Olive is famous for their pickles.  Anyways we took Darcie's show car and entered the car show.  The weather was 89 degrees so I stayed under the umbrella most of the day to stay nice and cool.  Darcies's husband Steve took us out to go look at some of the cars.  We also met a giant Mt. Olive Pickle who just loved holding us for a photo.  Anyways here are the pictures!!

Here is me and Chance with the Giant Pickle Man

Here we are with Darcie's Dash Plaque.  These are given to everyone when you enter the show.  Darcie has a great collection of different ones from all the places she has taken her car.

Here we are with a 1937 Phantom street rod.  Look at the pretty paint job!!

We walked up to a crowd and look who was at the show!! Ronald McDonald from McDonalds restaurant!

Here we are with a 1940s Oldsmobile Coupe.

Here we are with Top Fuel racing dragster.  The owner has taken lots of photos with people but he told us this was his first time with a Bear and a Monkey!!  The sun was hitting us so we are a bit hard to see, but we are in the car in the owners  hand!

Here we are looking at a Pro Stock modified Drag Car.  We think it would be fun to go race it down the road!!

Here we are with a 1940 Chevy Truck.  We loved all the chrome!!

Here we are with a 1940s Buick.  The day would of been perfect to go for a cruise with the top down.

Well Mom hope you enjoyed all the photos.  We are packing up our bags for Thursday,  to leave for Atlanta, Georgia which is about a 6 hour drive, to go watch the Atlanta Braves!!! I will take lots of pictures!!

Big Bear hugs,



Posted May 4, 2009, 3:23 am
Hi Mom!!!!

I just got back from Atlanta, Georgia!! Boy oh Boy did I have the BEST time!! my buddy Chance went along and now I am back and I want to show you what I did all weekend!!

Here we are all packed and ready to go!!

After I loaded my suitcase we drove the truck for awhile on the back roads till we got to the freeway.

Then we get comfy on Darcie's Braves sweatshirt and watch out the windows till we get to Georgia.

We arrive at our hotel at night and we are hungry so we order some Chinese Food.

After that we watch some Television then we go to bed.

When I get up in the morning, Darcie pulls back our curtains on our room window and we cannot believe our eyes!! We are directly across the street from Turner Field!!

We go next door to a fun baseball themed restaurant called The Bullpen.  But we are too early for food so we go on our adventure downtown!!

We are going to go to the CNN Turner Broadcasting Company tour today!!! we are sooo excited!! This building is like a city inside of a City.  On the tour we go up the worlds longest escalator to the top of the building.  We get to see the News room in action and watch them do live Newscasting.  Due to copyright laws I had to put my camara away during the tour, but we had sooo much fun!!

Here we are with our CNN tickets

After the tour we went shopping for some Braves gear.....they had a Braves store right inside of the CNN building.

Inside the store we meet a Braves Monkey and a Braves Bear! we take a photo with them and exchange stories about our travels.

Here we are inside the CNN building.  Look how tall it is!!!!

We take a break and get some lunch.  They had 15 different restaurants in the building but we went to our old favorite Taco Bell :)

We go to leave and take a neat photo of the college that is on the wall.

Then we go outside to the BIG letters!!!

Can you guess what letter we are in??

Here is the entire view... can you see us down at the bottom?

We then start walking down to the World Of Coca Cola museum.  We see the long lines and about 4000000000000000000 people so we decide to go to the Georgia Aquarium (which is the largest in the world) and go see the fish.  Here we are though outside with Dr. Pemberton, the inventor of Coca Cola.

We go in the aquarium and meet Nemo!!! He was sooo happy to hold us and get away from all the screaming kids who try to push him over and jump on him LOL

We walk around and visit all the fish and get to see the Baluga whales!!

After the Aquarium we decide to go visit the Olympic Park.  Atlanta was host to the Olympics back in 1996.  The park was BEAUTIFUL!! They had a really neat fountain that was in shape of the Olympic rings and the water would *dance* to music.

After the park we go back to the hotel for a quick nap.  It is ALMOST game time!!! We leave for Turner field and all we have to do is cross the street.  We stop at a barricade, if you look hard you can see the visiting teams bus parked in the back.

Here we are finally!!!!!

We all go to the Chop House which is a really neat restaurant inside the park.  You can eat outside on a perfect day like today and watch batting practice.

After we eat we go take a nice photo of the field from the restaurant.

Now it is time for us to go to our Dugout Seats!! Yep we are RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BRAVES DUGOUT!! we watch all the players get ready for the game.  People are very envious that a Monkey and Bear get to sit on the Dugout!!

We cheer on the Braves all night and they beat the Houston Astros.

Towards the end of the game it starts raining!!  The ground crew has to cover the field..look how fast they get it done!! we wait out the rain and then they finish playing and we jump up and down that they won!!

The next day Darcie tells us we need to be on our best behavior.  We are going to a very exclusive once in a lifetime trip to The Sun Trust Club.  One season ticket for the entire year cost $48,000!!!  Darcie says now that she has been to the Club she will never be able to sit anyplace else!! HAHAHA we agree that we got super spoiled!!

We arrive at a private entrance to the ball park.  We are greeted and told to have a seat in the reception area while they check us in.

We check in and go down to the fanciest club/five star restaurant/bar I have ever seen!! Here we are with top shelf Margaritas and gourmet food. It was soooo good! I made sure to put the menu in the photo as proof I was really there Mom!!  ;)

We go outside and cannot believe our eyes.  We are seated in oversized leather seats and we are 40 feet from homeplate and right in front of the Braves on deck circle.  Here we are sitting on the wall in front of our seats.  Darcie's favorite Brave  is Yunel Escobar who plays short stop.  He looked at us when he was warming up to bat and gave a tiny smile to us :)

Look it is the Braves third baseman Chipper Jones warming up to bat!!

Here we are watching Dave Ross the catcher warm up to bat.  We have our own personal waiter that takes our order and gets us WHATEVER we want!!  We already ate inside but we are hungry again.  We order a pizza, hot wings, cracker jacks, popcorn, Hagen Daz ice cream and a few beers and keep watching the game.

We watch as the pitcher strikes out another batter.  We yell things at the batter and try to distact him  :p

We go take a peak at the Braves dugout.  We have perfect view from our seats! I am looking at the pretty Braves Girls dancing on the Dugout..I wonder if they like Italian bears :)

Because we were looking at the Dugout we miss a play..but guess what??? we have our OWN flat screen TV right in front of our seat with a 15 second delay so we never miss anything!!!

We sit and watch the game and cheer on the Braves but they end up losing.  We go back to the hotel and go to bed and get up and leave the next morning for North Carolina.  I had the best time ever and I will never forget my trip and everything Darcie taught me about the Braves :)  well mom I hope you like my  update.  Talk to you soon Mom!!

Love Casanova


Posted May 6, 2009, 12:28 pm
Today I am sad.  I had to say goodbye to my host and pack up my things.  I had a great time here and will never forget the things I saw or did.  I gave everyone a big bear hug and now I am off to Arizona!!!!


Posted May 11, 2009, 3:23 am
Just checking in to say that I have arrived safely with my new host. I was expecting to end up in Flagstaff, Arizona. However, I have found myself in Valley Springs, California where I recieved a most warm welcome. My host is visiting her family, so there were plenty of smiling faces to greet me. Ashley has two sisters and her pets are female too! I am sure to find another girlfriend during my stay  ;)

As soon as I got settled in, I got to hear about all the exciting things going on here. This next week will be the busiest of all. I am greatly looking forward to all that is planned.

Posted May 14, 2009, 3:40 am
Tonight we left Ashley's home and headed to Angels Camp, California. For the rest of the week we will be attending the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. As I have never heard of such an event, Ashley's family gave me a little history lesson.

The History Of the Frog Jumps
In late 1800's, Samuel l. Clemens (Mark Twain) penned “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, a tall tale of the life and happenings of the gold rush town, Angels Camp. The narrator details a story he heard in a tavern. It is about a frog, Dan’l Webster, who could out jump any other frog, and a man, Jim Smiley, who was the “curiousest man about always betting on anything that turned up you ever see, if he could get anybody to bet on the other side; and if he couldn’t he’d change sides.” Jim Smiley had bet forty dollars. Smiley was figuring that his frog could “out jump any frog in Calaveras County”. He met a stranger who filled Dan’l Webster with buckshot, therefore winning the frog jump and the forty dollars in gold. Figuring out what happened Smiley ran after the stranger but he never caught him. The story was published and delighted audiences worldwide.

In 1893, the World’s Fair in Chicago had the country in a spell. There were World’s Fair beverages, remedies and recipes from the exposition. Additionally, every state had an exhibit at the World’s Fair. In California, each region participated in the exhibit, and Calaveras County was involved in the Mother Lode exhibit. Between the years of 1880-1893, Calaveras County was reassigned to five different agricultural societies. In 1893 the county was finally designated as the 39th District Agricultural Society and the first Calaveras County Fair was held. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the fair moved from ranch to ranch and township to township. Residents showed off their best-baked goods, canned goods, quilts and livestock.

It is assumed that the fair did not exist in the 1920’s because of the lack of a facility. The state created the Division of Fairs and Expositions in 1937, with the tax revenue from pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. The state purchased the current fairgrounds in 1938 and the first “partially government funded” fair was held that year.

Meanwhile, the city of Angels Camp continued to function as a mining town, although it became incorporated as the “City of Angels” in 1902. Tents would line narrow, unpaved lanes which were rutted and in rough condition from years of wagon and stage coach use. As the town built up around them, the streets remained in their old state. By 1927, the residents were ready to remedy the deplorable condition of main street by passing a bond measure to finance a paved main street. The Angels Camp Boosters, a community service organization, which began in 1925 and still exists today, decided that a celebration was in order. Their original idea was to hold the “Days of 49”, but a visiting minister, the Reverend Brown, suggested they use the famous Mark Twain story theme. Therefore on May 19 and 20, 1928, the first Jumping Frog Jubilee was held on main street, down town Angels Camp. Due to the formidable efforts of this group of dedicated promoters, including the future Senator, Jesse M. Mayo, the attendance at the first Jumping Frog Jubilee was estimated to be 15,000. The festivities included a large parade featuring bands, wagons, floats and of course the Jumping Frog Contest. The winner was named “Pride of San Joaquin”, jockeyed by Louis Fisher of Stockton. The frog jumped 3’6”.

In the 1920’s and early 1930’s the crowds at the Annual Jumping Frog Jubilee grew to 25,000 spectators. The jubilee was suspended in 1933 because of the depression. In 1938 the two events, the County Fair and the Jumping Frog Jubilee were combined.

The Modern Day Event

Today, few events illustrate the gold rush era, as well as the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee. Every May the entire community celebrates its history and its future. The tradition of county residents showing off their best still holds true today. In 2002 the Calaveras County Fair had more than 7000 exhibits. The junior livestock auction generated over $350,000 for the county’s youth.
The Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee has grown to an event with more than 35,000 attendees. It is estimated that the Calaveras County Fair generates approximately 25.5 million dollars in revenues through hotels, restaurants, retail, payroll and other related revenues.

In 2002 the Frog Jump had more than 2000 frogs participate. The top 50 frogs qualify for the International Frog Jump Grand Finals, which are held on Sunday of the Jubilee at 4:00 pm. The current world’s record was set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribeter. Rosie jumped 21’ 53/4”. The cash prize for breaking the world record is $5000.

In 1933 the California Fish and Game Commission became involved in order to regulate and protect the welfare of the California bullfrog. In 1995 the Board of Director’s of the 39th District Agricultural Association adopted the “Frog Welfare Policy”. Underscoring the Fair’s commitment to treat the frogs in a humane manner.

I look forward to seeing everything that takes place with weekend. I also heard that Ashley's sister will be competing in a pageant to win a scholarship. That means more lovely women for me to meet! I will update with pictures when I return on Monday!

Posted Jun 1, 2009, 5:13 pm
Today was the official first day of the frog jumps. And boy was it a beautiful day!

Ashley's family parked their camping trailer at the fairgrounds and we got a great view.
We were very close to many of the carnival rides. You can even see the ferris wheel, that was further away from us though. We spent a few hours just riding the rides ad playing the carnival games.

Tonight was also the Miss Calaveras Scholarship Pageant. Ashley's sister was a contestant so much of today was spent helping her prepare. I did get to sit with other family members and watch the pageant. The contestants were all very beautiful.

Posted Jun 1, 2009, 5:59 pm
I am now back at the Armstrong's farm and I must say I had a great time at the Fair. Friday and Saturday I got to walk around a bit more and see all the exciting exhibits and vendors.

First we walked over to the entrance gates. There are a lot a frog inspired decorations all over the fairgrounds, even a huge banner at the front. Since we are staying the whole weekend here, we haven't had to enter through the front gates.

Further down the walkway there was a great big grassy opening under nice shade trees. As we were sitting there a man pulled up with a great big wagon.
He said his name was Doctor Solar and he was selling all sorts of  potions, rememdies and concoctions for aches, pains, ailments, injuries and household clean up. His motives seem highly suspicious.

All day Friday and Saturday there were events going on in the areana. Most of them were Rodeo or Cattlemen events and disciplines. It was quite interesting to see all the different things these cowboys and cowgirls could do.
During this event, ranching teams on horses had to herd cattle from one side of the arena to the other. The only catch is that each head of steer was numbered and the ranchers had to move them in the order the announcer had given them. The order is different every time, and the team that did it the fastest, won. The ranchers do not use ropes or anything but their voices and the horses to keep the cattle where the are supposed to be. It looked like it took a lot of work. On Saturday night was the big event, Professional Bull Riding. It was quite entertaining and somewhat scary at the same time, especially when one of the bulls got loose from the holding pen.

Sunday was the last day of Fair. Early in the morning, Ashley and I crept off to go watch the frogs jump. This event was very fun. The Frog handlers or "jokeyes" set the frog down on a dot and then the frog has 3 jumps to go as far as it can in a straight line. No one beat the world record yet but there were many that were close. I tried to get a good picture with a jumping frog, but alas they are just too fast!

The very last event of the Fair is the Demolition Derby. More people showed up for this than both nights of rodeo combined! It was a very exciting thing to watch cars slide around in mud with the sole intention of smashing each other as much as possible.

This has been a very long week. I had a lot of fun, but I am glad we get to go rest.

Posted Jun 1, 2009, 6:54 pm
We were only back at Ashley's family's house for a few days before things started picking up again and we were off for another weekend adventure. Before I knew it we were at a lake!

For Memorial Day weekend we were camping at East Park Reservoir. Ashley has been camping here her whole life, starting when she was only 18mos old. Her family has been camping here since the 1960's. This weekend we slept in tents. I even got my own sleeping bag.

Sunday morning we woke up and we had visitors.
Five, quite large, geese came to our campsite. They came very close to our tents, but were just far enough away. They ate some of the small plants that were growing in the sand and then they were on their way again. They were very pretty.

We spent a lot of time playing in the water. I was careful not to get wet while I watched from the shore. We even told campfire stories and roasted marshmellows.
And ate S'mores!
This was a very nice treat that I shared with Ashley. She is really nice and her family is a lot of fun. I wonder if every weekend is so adventurous and busy?!

Posted Jun 5, 2009, 4:04 am
After two very busy weeks, my host Ashley was a little tired and run down. She woke up not feeling well and I got a lesson on what some women like to do when they are ill. First thing we did was check the DVR for any good TV shows that were recorded while we were away. Ashley found the most recent episode of The Hills. Before starting the recording we prepared a snack and got cozy on the couch. MMmmm Oreo cookies and milk!

I soon found out that The Hills is a very popular reality based show about a young lady named Lauren and her friends living life in Los Angeles, California. Ashley said that is about 6 hours from where she lives. On this show there seems to be lots of girl drama. It was fun to watch, but I do not know if I could withstand such silliness! Ashley assured me that not all girls are that dramatic. What a relief!I must say though, that the girls on the TV were looking quite nice ;)

During the show, Ashley's little brother sent her a text message to make plans for after school. She said the plans were a surprise, but if we were going to go she needed to take a nap to feel completely better. While she was napping I got to spend time with two lovely girl bears, Bo and Chillingsly.
Bo is a little chocolate brown bear that came to Ashley as gift in 2006. She is somewhat shy so we didn't get to talk about much. Chillingsly is a little snowboarder bear from Flagstaff. She told me all about the times she has spent playing in the snowy mountains there. It sounds like lots of fun. Unfortunately, if I get to go with Ashley back to Arizona, I won't get to see the snow because it is only there in the winter.

Ashley was finally feeling better and we took off. First we picked up her brother from school and then headed down the road. When we got out of the car I saw we were at a pond!
At first I thought we were just there to relax for a little while. When we arrived we saw 2 big geese, and lots of ducks, including new duckings. We didn't want to scare them so we slowly walked to the water's edge. When we got there, the birds had made it to the center of the pond. The geese we saw while camping were a lot less timid compared to these ones. I was so interested in the beautiful view that I didn't even notice Ben had brought out a fishing pole for me.
We didn't catch any fish, but I sure did have a lot of fun!

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 6:05 pm
Today has been a pretty simple day. Even though I have been here for awhile, I haven't had a chance to really look at the Armstrong farm. Ashley decided to take me out and show me around.
Everyone in Ashley's family likes to be outdoors and garden. The stairway down to the house from the driveway was lined with wild strawberries. As well as little lanterns that looked like they were made for someone just my size!
Lining the driveway, there were lots of beautiful wild poppies! I learned that the poppy is California's state flower.
More things I learned about California...
California is the most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and, across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S), and the Pacific Ocean (W). Jedediah Strong Smith and other trappers made the first U.S. overland trip to the area in 1826, but U.S. settlement did not become significant until the 1840s. In 1839, Swiss-born John Augustus Sutter arrived and established his “kingdom” of New Helvetia on a vast tract in the Sacramento valley. He did much for the overland American immigrants, who began to arrive in large numbers in 1841. Some newcomers met with tragedy, including the Donner Party, which was stranded in the Sierra Nevada after a heavy snowstorm.

After having briefly asserted the independence of California in 1836, the Californios drove out the last Mexican governor in 1845. Under the influence of the American explorer John C. Frémont, U.S. settlers set up (1846) a republic at Sonoma under their unique Bear Flag. The news of war between the United States and Mexico (1846–48) reached California soon afterward. On July 7, 1846, Commodore John D. Sloat captured Monterey, the capital, and claimed California for the United States. The Californios in the north worked with U.S. soldiers, but those in the south resisted U.S. martial law. In 1847, however, U.S. Gen. Stephen W. Kearny defeated the southern Californios. By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Mexico formally ceded the territory to the United States.

In 1848, the year that California became a part of the United States, another major event in the state's history occurred: While establishing a sawmill for John Sutter near Coloma, James W. Marshall discovered gold and touched off the California gold rush. The forty-niners, as the gold-rush miners were called, came in droves, spurred by the promise of fabulous riches from the Mother Lode. San Francisco rapidly became a boom city, and its bawdy, lawless coastal area, which became known as the Barbary Coast, gave rise to the vigilantes, extralegal community groups formed to suppress civil disorder. American writers such as Bret Harte and Mark Twain have recorded the local color as well as the violence and human tragedies of the roaring mining camps.

With the gold rush came a huge increase in population and a pressing need for civil government. In 1849, Californians sought statehood and, after heated debate in the U.S. Congress arising out of the slavery issue, California entered the Union as a free, nonslavery state by the Compromise of 1850. San Jose became the capital. Monterey, Vallejo, and Benicia each served as the capital before it was moved to Sacramento in 1854

I told Ashley that the name Mark Twain sounded familiar, and then she reminded me that he was the author of the story that started the Frog Jumps! Wow, I am staying in a very historical area. One other interesting fact is that the state animal is the California Grizzly Bear! We could possibly be related.
He is very handsome! Do you think we look alike?! I think I see some family resemblance  ;)

After my little history lesson, we walked around the property and took a look at some of the animals. First we went over to the round pen that is back behind the house. I was very interested to see what was in there.
This is Baby and she is a Pygmy Goat. She was very nice, but also sad as she recently lost her companion. Ashley's mom said that we might be going later this weekend to find Baby a new friend. As we were leaving the pen, I heard a rustling noise in the tall grass. Ashley and I were a little scared at first because snakes like to come out this time of year. This is what we saw!
This is a Bantam and Araucana Hen. If you look closely she has two little black chicks with her. We couldn't get any closer or else we would scare them away.

We decided this was enough exploring for one day, and headed back up to the house. Ashley and I sat on the deck for alittle bit and were joined by Leo the Pomeranian Puppy.

Soon Ashley's brother Ben was home and he wanted to "Rock Out", so we all went inside and played Guitar Hero World Tour on PS3. I even got to sing a few songs.

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 6:28 pm
Just like Ashley's mom said, Today we went to the Poultry Auction to find a companion for Baby. On the first Sunday of every month people bring all kinds of birds and small animals to be auctioned off.
As you can see, it is mostly different types of Chickens. Ashley assured me that this birds get dropped off in the morning and taken away  soon after, that way they arent in the small cages for very long.

Unfortunately, we didn't find any small pygmy goats for Baby, but Ashley's dad bought a Holstein calf!

After the auction, Ashley had to leave for a Baby Shower. I was told that it was something that only women attended. I was very excited because I thought I was going to be able to meet more girlfriends, but I got left behind with the men of the house, Ashley's dad John and Ben. We played more Guitar Hero. I really like that game. They also told me that there is going to be alot going on this upcoming week. I look forward to it and sharing it!

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 6:45 pm
Today was a chore day. I have overheard that there will be many visitors throughout this week, so Ashley wanted to clean the house up more than normally.
I offered to help out as well. After doing dishes, cleaning the stove and vacuuming Ashley pulled out a big tub of powdery mix.

Kona, the calf, was abandoned by its mother and because he is so young, he still needs the nutrients that come from milk. In order to provide those nutrients we must feed him a bottle of special milk replacement formula.
Kona drinks two 4 pint bottles a day. That is alot of milk!

Here are some other pictures from around the farm too!

After feeding Kona, we got all cleaned up and headed to the baseball fields. Ben had a game.
It was a beautiful day to be sitting outside. This game was much different than the game I attended with Darcie, as this was a Little League game. No professional players here, even though some of the boys think that they are already  ;). Ashley was in charge of doing the score book for the team so Chillingsly and I just sat together and enjoyed the game. We didn't want to get too much sun so we tried to stay covered in Ashley's bag.

After the game, we enjoyed so very good Chinese Takeout.

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:00 pm
As promised, this week turned out to be very busy. One of Ashley's sisters, Samantha, graduated high school tonight! Just for Sammy, Ashley and I made her favorite, Lasagna, an Italian pasta dish! It was very good.

The night went by very fast. Many family members arrived and there were lots of presents for not only Sammy, but for Ben as well. He will be starting Middle School soon.
I also got to meet this scholarly gentleman bear. For some reason it has become a tradition for Bears dressed as graduates to be given as a gift those graduating from school.

After dinner and gathering all the gifts, we headed to Calaveras High School to watch the ceremony.
It was very nice, and I had a lot of fun. Congratulations to the class of 2009!

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:15 pm
This morning we left Ashley's family's farm and started our journey back to Arizona. Here are some pictures from along the way.

Passing by the Marine Corps Logistics Base

I got to play whatever music i wanted during the drive!

Long boring drive through the Mojave desert. There wasn't much to see here.

Mile Check. 210 more miles to go! That is just about 3 more hours left.

Offically into the state of Arizona!

Seligman, Arizona
This is said to be the town that the popular Disney-Pixar movie Cars was based off of.

Finally at about 5pm we arrived in Flagstaff.

Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:14 am
Things have been pretty so around here lately. The weather has not been as great as Ashley has been expecting so we have been spending a lot of time inside. Yesterday Ashley received a package. She let me take a look.

Three more TV's have arrived. Today I got to meet Thiele, Tiger Lilly, and Roots Bear. They are on a Toyvoyagers Travel Trail and they go to each host together.

Because the weather has been cloudy and overcast, we have been watching movies with Ashley. Here all four of us are watching Coraline.

Ashley promised me that to make up for the past couple weeks being so slow, we are going on a mini vacation this weekend.

Posted Jul 4, 2009, 10:20 pm
So we got up very early this morning and watched Ashley pack some clothes. All five of us jumped in and got cozy for the trip.

After a long ride, we finally were able to peep out of the bag. Ashley gave us a piece of paper to hold on to. Between us all we figured out that we were getting on an airplane from Phoenix, Arizona to Houston, Texas.

We thought we were in for a weekend in the Lone Star State, but when we got there we boarded yet another plane. During this flight, Ashley had an empty seat next to her so we got to enjoy the ride outside of the suitcase. We made sure to get our seatbelt on securely.

This flight was not as long as the other and when we arrived Ashley told us to look out the window. We had arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Big Easy!!

After a short taxi ride we arrived at the hotel we were staying the weekend at, The Ritz-Carlton right on Canal Street.

The next day, we took a tour of French Quarter in a horse drawn carriage. Because there were a lot of passengers, it was hard to get pictures of me and all Ashley's other visitors with all the special things we saw. We learned all sorts of history about the area, especially since The entire Quarter is a National Historic Landmark and fortunately the area was relatively unaffected by Hurricane Katrina compared to other surrounding areas.
We passed the infamous Bourbon St. This is the location of Mardi Gras festivities in the Spring, as well as The French Quarter Festival and Southern Decadence.
The whole tour lasted about 90mins and we went on almost every street of the district. We started and ended in Jackson Square which was also known as Place d'Armes. During the day, many local artists have their work on display and for sale. The park is situated in front of The Cabildo, which is where the Louisiana Purchase was finalized and signed, The St. Louis Cathedral and The Presbytère, which housed the Roman Catholic Priests and authorities in the 18th century.
Originally, the area was used for public execution of disobedient slaves. After the Battle of New Orleans in 1814 the park was renamed for the Unites States President Andrew Jackson and a statue was erected in his honor.

After a long day of walking and sightseeing we went for dinner at Jean Lafitte's Bistro which was above The Old Absinthe House. Jean Lafitte also had a major role in the outcome of the Battle of New Orleans along with Andrew Jackson.

After eating lots of yummy food including World Famous New Orleans Blackened Catfish, and Brie and Risotto balls, and many drinks we finally returned to the hotel for a nice relaxing evening before leaving the next day. Even though the trip was short, I look forward to my next adventure with Ashley. She said we might even get to see fireworks because Independence day for the USA is coming up soon!

Posted Jul 9, 2009, 3:49 am
July 4th is America's Independence Day. More specifically is it the federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. On this day, America was officially free from the rule of the Kingdom of Great Britain. During this time of the year, and specifically on the 4th itself, many people celebrate by having events and get togethers such has barbecues, picnics, parades, concerts, carnivals and firework displays. Also, a lot of people wear very patriotic clothing, with flag emblems on them or the colors red, white and blue.

Because Flagstaff is not only a forest, but also technically a desert climate as well, it is very dangerous to have them if it is too dry. We were thinking that we weren't going to see any this year. We spent most of the morning and afternoon at Ashley's companion's house. He let us play some video games with him.

After killing lots of Zombies, Adam told Ashley that this year Flagstaff was actually going to have Fireworks. So we loaded up a blanket and sweaters because it can be quite chilly in Flagstaff at night and headed over to where the show would be taking place. There were lots and lots of people there. The show was very exciting, but because it was nighttime, it was hard to get a picture with me at the fireworks. But here is one of my favorite pictures of the whole show.

Ashley is hoping to get some time this week to show me and the other TV's around Flagstaff and give us a tour. We are hoping to get some good pictures because it is very pretty this time of year.

Posted Jul 14, 2009, 12:16 am
Today we went on an outdoor adventure. It was very beautiful outside, and the weather was perfect. Ricky the rat, Thiele, Roots Bear, Tiger Lilly and I got to ride in Ashley's backpack. We are all ready to go!
Ashley explained to us that we were going on a hike, as well as geocaching. Geocaching is somewhat like a treasure hunt. People list the coordinates, and clues to a hidden container on the website [][/url]. Sometimes there are trinkets inside the canister, and sometimes it is so small that you just sign the log. Ashley explained that sometimes it can be frustrating, but the excitement from finding the cache is worth the hunt. To get to the trailhead, we had to go off-roading a little. The bumpy road opened up to a small clearing and we spotted some female elk. Elk are one of the largest species of deer, and look almost identical to Red Deer found in Europe. We saw a lot them, but it was hard to get very close.

Soon after the elk sighting, we arrived at the trail. There was no marker her, but as we got closer we found a trail marker that let us know how much further to out destination. After hiking 2 miles we only have a little more than a half of a mile to go.

As we were getting closer, it got very windy so Ashley packed us into the backpack so we didn't fly off. She didn't want to lose any of us. Not too long afterwards, Ashley unzipped the pouch we were resting in and got to see the view.

We took in the view and rested awhile, then got to searching. 15 minutes later, Ashley's friend found something that he thought was the cache, but it was a teaser. It took a little while and just when we were ready to give up, Ashley figured it out, and the cache was found. Inside there were lots of different things including fly paper, bug bite medical swabs, and a travelbug, which Ashley explained was somewhat like a Toyvoyager. Usually, it is a tag or coin that travels to different geocaches. We didn't take anything this time, but we did sign the log and headed back. It was great fun and I can't wait for the next adventure I get to go on!

Posted Jul 26, 2009, 8:00 pm

Just writing to check in. Life around Flagstaff has been pretty slow. The weather here has been really strange. Early in the day it will be an enjoyable cool temperature, then towards the afternoon dark clouds start to develop followed by strong winds and heavy thunderstorms. The storms were frightening at first, but now they are quite beautiful. Ashley explained this weather is called Summer Monsoons. The rain during this time of the year is highly variable and is characterized by random bursts of downpour followed by breaks that can last for minutes or days. Due to the weather, venturing outside and taking pictures has been quite a task. Ashley has promised to show us around this upcoming week even if the weather is less than favorable.