Etwas, somewhere, Hong Kong


Posted Nov 11, 2008, 8:46 pm
This is how everything started yesterday: Katrin opened her wool box and this little Hungarian bear called Peti chose as many different colors as it could take.

Katrin started to work on her very own creature. But as always, something went wrong: the hands didn't do what the head had planned. Instead of create someting like a snake, something strange has began to live. But Peti isn't scared of me, he keeps his eye on me to make sure that nothing bad happens to me.
This is how I looked when Katrin went to bed yesterday:

And this is how I look today! I've grown a lot and when Katrin has finished crocheting this wool, I'll have to find me some eyes.
I remind Katrin of the ghosts of the Pacman game, that's why she decided that I'll be a ghost. I think, I'll have to learn more about ghosts but I already now that the can change their form very easily and yes, I can do this, too!

By the way, since nobody knows what I really am, Katrin called me Etwas. That's a German word which means "something".

Posted Nov 12, 2008, 8:25 pm
Look at me now, I have eyes!
Peti helped Katrin to fix them and now I'm ready to discover my home.

Posted Nov 13, 2008, 6:17 pm
Today Peti and I decided to help Katrin's mum to clean the house. We swept clean the stairs on our own.

Then we started to discover the house. I like this flower, although it's made of plastic.  ;)

This lady invited us to take a photo with her. I look good as a hat, don't I?

Posted Nov 15, 2008, 2:56 pm
Katrin has decided, that I'll go on a journey around the world one day and that I should be prepared for it. In her huge box full of books and CDs she wants to sell I discovered a cassette with the story of the "Little Ghost" by Otfried Preußler. I wanted to know something about this ghost and I started to listen to the cassette. In the story the kids meet the ghost and learn English, that's great for me. I learned to count to 12, and some colors and to introduce myself and do some small talk and animals and many other things.

Posted Nov 16, 2008, 4:23 pm
Although it's Sunday today Katrin has been busy writing her report about the practical work in the museum. She has read all her notes again and again and in the end she has written 9 pages!

Posted Nov 16, 2008, 6:57 pm
These are the stairs to the attic of the house...
It looks dark and it seems to be cold, since told air came down here when Katrin opened the hatch.

Katrin was looking for a box for her friendship book and diaries from her school days. She needed space in desk drawer, but she didn't want to throw everything away.

Then we had a quick look around. There were many packed things under these blankets and in these boxes, but it was getting too  cold to have a closer look and we decided to go back into Katrin's room where it's much warmer.

Posted Nov 17, 2008, 8:07 pm
Today Katrin took us with her to Hamburg. But here we are at the station in Wrist. Look at the beautiful sun rise, it's going to be a beautiful day.

In the morning the sun was shining into the huge room you have to pass to enter the office of the archive. We decided to to take a bath in the sun. ;)

This was Katrin's work for today: She has this photoalbum and has to scan all the photos of the cars. The next step will be to make entries for each photo in the database but this will be her work for the next days.

This is in front of the part of the museum, in which the exhibition of the Tempo-cars is. You can see old Tempo-cars on the photos of the photoalbum.

Then I decided to go back into Katrin's bag because it was getting too cold.

Posted Nov 17, 2008, 8:42 pm
When we came home this late afternoon, Katrin's mum told her that there is a parcel waiting for her in her room. She didn't expect anything but when she saw the sticker on the parcel, she remember that she has ordered it a few month ago on the internet. Since it's been quite a long time, she had totally forgotten about it.

We opened it and it looks like a mess. It took Katrin some time to get through all the things and find out, what she got.

Here we are with all the stuff: Notebooks, a pen, an USB-Stick and this funny blue guy which is an alarm clock.
There also was a letter and Katrin remembered after reading it, that this parcel belongs to a project of students from the Hamburg University. They wanted to give useful presents to other students and this is the present box.

Posted Nov 18, 2008, 8:46 pm
I'm so excited! Today I have to goodbye to Peti and tomorrow I'll start with my adventures. My first stop will be Hungary and Katrin told me that my first host Szandra will take me to a special place which is not in Hungary...
Bye Peti!

Posted Nov 24, 2008, 11:00 pm
Hello!! Today I arrived to Hungary! I already miss you, Mum... but I enjoy being a toyvoyager and I'm already so excited about my next few weeks here in Hungary and.... can't believe, nobody tells me anything about the place that we are going to visit on the end of the next week... that's not fair! ;) I want to know everything!!

I wanted to be sure that I arrived to the right place... As you know, ghosts can appear anywhere, where they want, but I'm a very young ghost and never knows... I can make a mistake... :o But I totally quiet down when Szandra shew me on the map, that I'm really in Hungary! :D So, everything went well, I'm a talented ghost! B)

Szandra was very happy when I gave him the funny picture with the message that Peti sent her!:)

Posted Nov 24, 2008, 11:21 pm
Right before my arrival, I wanted to get to know some pets.
At first I met with a cat, called Karcsi!
He was a little bit dreadful for me...but a ghost never frightened! I should be the one who scare others! :rolleyes:

Than...a red cat... again?!
No, it's not Karcsi again... It's an other cat, Jeni.

I wanted to say hi to the dogs, but... they didn't realise me...

Finally, it seems, Ali sees me.

But Bandi... Can you see the recognition in his eyes? Me not... I can see only that he is sleepy... :p

Posted Nov 25, 2008, 9:54 pm
I have got a new friend, Alma! His name means, Apple!:) And yes, he is eating a lot of apples, that's his favourite!
Now he is ill, that's why he can't be with his family. :(

Posted Nov 25, 2008, 10:01 pm
I have already found some Christmas decorations in the house.
This one is my favourite. It's like a small village.

And it's more funny in the dark! Can you see me...?!

Posted Nov 25, 2008, 10:15 pm
After I played enough, I decided to help Szandra in her homework.
I was very interested in learning about old times costume history.
We had to search baroque style clothes on the internet, than we printed them and stuck in to the roll of paper.

Posted Nov 25, 2008, 10:21 pm
Unfortunately I couldn't spend more time with Willy W. who continued his journey to meet with his next host! Hope he'll arrive soon and I can read a lot of interesting stories in his travelog.


Posted Nov 26, 2008, 11:24 pm
At morning when I first opened my eyes, I looked out and I was very surprised!! :stare: At the evening there wasn't snow... but now... everything was beautifully white! :rolleyes:

I wanted to go out immediately!

That's cold!! Even if I'm a ghost! ;)

Find me! :p

I wanted to go ice skating, but Szandra said that it's not safe, the ice is too thin now. Maybe some days later!

I visited the rabbits, but most of them were inside of their house because of the cold weather.

And finally I built a snowman! Not so nice...and not so big... but for the first time it's not so bad! ;)

Posted Dec 1, 2008, 8:39 pm
Szandra had a special day at school and allowed me to go with her. It was the day of her first fashion photography work. As she is studying to be a stylist, her exercise was to choose 3 months, find model/s, and dress them up. And the clothes should be connected with the choosen months.
She chose her 2 best friends as models and the monts were September, October and November. As we are travelling somewher on Friday, she'll miss the the next photography lesson, but at least she wanted to make 2 of the 3 photoshoots.
It seems we can see the complete photos tomorrow, so we are very excited!:)

Szandra's friends allowed to take some photos together and show them in my travelog!:)

In the classroom:

When they didn't have time to play with me, I was looking out from the window and saw how it's raining outside.

I saw some Christmas decorations in the corridor...

and some nice fashion drawings...

Posted Dec 4, 2008, 10:38 pm
Szandra and her best friend, Szabina, decided to see an exhibition about Ferdinand Hodler in the museum of Fine Arts.
But finally we made a whole day long trip!:)

On our way to the museum, we saw some nice buildings and than suddenly I realised a beautiful church. I asked Szandra to go closer. We walked around the church and finally we also went inside. I just loved the feeling of that place.

In front of the church

Posted Dec 4, 2008, 10:53 pm
After a long walk we arrived to the Heroes' Square.
That place is one of the most visited sights of the Hungarian capital, a World Heritage site.
At the two sides you can see the buildings of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gallery of Art.

So, we arrived and went inside of the museum.
Unfortunately we weren't allowed to make photos about the paintings... :(
But I have to say, I really enjoyed this exhibition!

When we finished, I wanted to make again some pics about the square from an other view!

Posted Dec 8, 2008, 9:05 pm
Our next stop was the lake in the City Park. It was steaming because the water was warmer than the air. The ducks enjoyed that!;)

We saw also the Zoo, unfortunately it was closing time, so we couldn't get in.

On this picture you can see the ice-skating-rink. I imagined how funny would it be to learn ice-skating. Maybe one day I'll try it!;)

Than came a big walk around the Vajdahunyad Castle.

Vajdahunyad Castle began its life as a structure made of wood and cardboard. It was built for the city’s millennium exhibition in 1896

This buliding is the Agricultural Museum:

We saw the statue of Anonyumus who was a chronicler in the XII century.
He seemed me very mystical! :stare:


Posted Dec 8, 2008, 9:50 pm
After spending a long-long day with walking and sight seeing, it was such a nice program to visit a shopping cetre. There were lot of Christmas decorations, you can see on the pics, I enjoyed that place! :D

Posted Dec 8, 2008, 10:01 pm
Finally we see Szabina off at the station.
And went home to sleeeeeeep! ;)

Posted Dec 8, 2008, 10:13 pm
See!!! Santa Claus brought presents for us!!!
Szandra said, he usually comes on the 5th evening, but I think he knew that we are travelling somewhere and gave the presents earlier!  ;)
Santa called in Hungarian: Mikulás  :)

Posted Dec 12, 2008, 2:44 pm
At last we started our journey to the mystical place...
At first we travelled by plane to Dublin. It took almost 3 hours to get there and than we slept in the airport hotel. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go and see the city centre.

Me in the hotel

Posted Dec 12, 2008, 2:53 pm
We woke up early to catch our next plane which goes to...

... WOW, I see!! Our destination is: Glasgow, Scotland  B)

The airport was already in a Christmas decoration.

I saw the planes from the window...

And finally we started the boarding.

Posted Dec 12, 2008, 3:00 pm
I couldn't stop looking out from the plane window, I enjoyed seeing the cities which looked so small, the endless sea and the clouds... :stare:

Posted Dec 16, 2008, 11:02 pm
Our hotel was in the Cathedral Square.
This place is in the old part of the city. The Necropolis and the Cathedral were also just a few steps from our hotel.
That was just a perfect place for a little ghost like me!;)
You can read some interesting and spooky things on the Ghost Finders homepage:

And here are the pics about the hotel...

As Szandra already visited that place 2 months before, she wanted to show me and her family everything!!! So, we wanted to go for a walk as soon as possible!
We started with the Necropolis!
That was very magical... We heard from the owners of the hotel that there are ghosts not only in the hotel, but there are also many of them in the whole "old area".

The Glasgow Cathedral

Posted Dec 18, 2008, 10:32 pm
The Cathedral was so beautiful!!

I wanted to go also inside of it!
And when we entered, I felt such positive energy!! And it's bigger than I thought it before! Wonderful!
Szandra said to me that one day she wants to getting married in that cathedral! ;)


Posted Dec 18, 2008, 11:00 pm
Later, we went for a walk in the city centre and before we continued sight seeing... we enjoyed the great shopping facilities! :D

And we heard real Scottish music!!!

The George Square was full with Christmas decorations!
And there were merry-go-round, Christmas music, skating rink, vendors... It was a nice place with lot of happy people!

Mulled wine! Yummy! But don't worry, Mum! I didn't drink too much! ;)

Posted Dec 18, 2008, 11:11 pm
And the George Square later when it was dark and all the lights were turned on:

Posted Dec 21, 2008, 3:57 pm
Today we went to Balloch by train to see Loch Lomond.
I didn't think that we'll arrive so quickly! :stare:
It's a beautiful place, loved it a lot! Szandra told me that when last time she was here, it was raining. But now the sun was shining and we could see the distant mountains.

We wanted to go for a boat trip, but we didn't arrive in time...

I met with a lot of ducks. When they saw me, they suddenly started to run to me!

This one was very friendly!! ;)

With the help of this binoculars I saw very far away! B)

There were some shops and restaurant next to the lake.

I was very happy when I saw that there is also an aquarium!!
I didn't want to miss it!!

This fish looked like a ghost! Don't you think?! :rolleyes:


Posted Dec 26, 2008, 9:20 pm
We spent a nice day in Edinburgh.

Hot white chocolate! You have to try it!! ;)

The house of The Scotch Whisky Experience  :p

The Edinburgh Castle was beautiful, perfect place for ghosts!

Our train back to Glasgow.

Posted Dec 26, 2008, 10:08 pm
I show you the hotel where we stayed.

Brief History
The building was built in the 1870s and was used for many years as a rehabilitation centre for female prisoners from the nearby prison. The Cathedral House Hotel in Glasgow has been the subject of many past ghostly sightings and activity, from the ghost that passes you on the stairway, to the children heard on the top floor. The Cathedral Hotel is situated close to the city centre and overlooks Glasgow Cathedral and the Glasgow Necropolis.

I have to say, I believe the things we read about it on the internet! Sooo spooooky! :stare:

Room 6, called "Turret".
It was Szandra's and my room.
At night she slept with television and all the light were switched on! :D I wasn't afraid, enjoyed that old buliding! ;)

Room 7, called "John Knox".
Last time when Szandra was here, she stayed in that room. This time her parents got it.
This is the spookiest room in the hotel. And supposedly here were the most reported ghost sightings.

I was watching out the window in the morning. We could see the Necropolis from there.

The restaurant where we had breakfast:

The hotel at night:

Posted Dec 26, 2008, 10:43 pm
A last walk on Buchanan Street. I'll miss it...

Posted Dec 26, 2008, 11:25 pm
Since we travelled back home, Szandra had busy days, but finally we decided to see the Christmas market in the Vörösmarty square.
There were lot of people everywhere!!
We went across also the Váci steet, which is very famous among tourists.

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 10:23 am
At the evening an idea came to our mind! We thought, it would be funny to decorate the Christmas tree! We know, there are still some days until Christmas, but we'll celebrate it in Miskolc, with Szandra's family. There'll be a real, big Christmas tree, but Szandra wanted an own little tree and in that way we could start celebrating a little earlier. 
Me and Louis the Rat enjoyed helping!!



Posted Dec 27, 2008, 10:37 am
Merry Chrismas!!!
Hungarians say Boldog Karácsonyt!
We are again in Miskolc to celebrate together with Szandra's parents.

In the morning we helped decorating the huge Christmas tree!

When we finished with decorating, we went to the kitchen to help Szandra's mother. The Christmas dinner menu will be fish soup, fish sticks, fish with mushroom...and a lot more fish! Than, some kind of cakes.

In the evening everybody gave presents each other and the lights on the tree were switched on.

And the dinner is ready!! Usually ghost don't eat a lot, but this time I couldn't stop eating!! :D

Strawberry wine!! Well...I have to say... Louis drank a little to much! :p

Posted Dec 29, 2008, 9:16 pm
Today we went to meet with Szabina, Szandra's best friend. We were walking in the city center of Miskolc.
We made some photos also when it was growing dark.

The statue of Miskolci lányok = Girls of Miskolc :)

The "Szinva" River-Teracce

The locks of lovers.
However we are not lovers :cyclops: but very good friends, so we made there a photo together with Louis the rat to rivet our friendship! ;)

The main street of Miskolc:

The city hall:

And a betlehem which isn't very visible on this photo unfortunately.

Posted Jan 2, 2009, 1:04 pm
Boldog Új Évet!!! Happy New Year!
We spent the New Year's Eve at home, but Szandra's best friend came to celebrate together with us. We had a great time together!
We talked and laughted, and of course we ate a lot! :)

At midnight we drank champagne!

Posted Jan 2, 2009, 1:46 pm
On the first day of 2009, it was snowing!!! We went out to the garden with Mása, the little pug puppy. :)

There wasn't very big snow, but everything was beautifully white.

Posted Jan 2, 2009, 1:56 pm
On the 1st of January, it's a tradition to eat lentil.
It gives beauty, health and money for the New Year!
I didn't want to miss all these things, so tasted the lentil soup! ;) Louis was too choosey, but finally he ate too.

Posted Jan 5, 2009, 7:32 pm
Me and Louis found a huge basket with a lot of Spanish sweets! We ate it...ALL! :cyclops:
I'm totally full!!! I don't want more sweets in the future!!! ;)

Posted Jan 5, 2009, 8:13 pm
Szandra decided to paint something and we set down to see how does the picture change.
When she was getting tired, we helped a little. ;)

And the painting is ready!

Posted Jan 8, 2009, 12:26 pm
It's time to visit my next host! I'm very excited!! But I don't tell you where I'm travelling... It's a surprise!:)

I said good-bye to Szandra and my little friend, Louis!

Posted Jan 9, 2009, 8:12 am

I appeared in Finland, in the middle of snow (I need to brush up my appearing skills, somewhere more dry or warm would be nice)! I skared these three guys  :cyclops: But then I started talking to them and assured I'm a friendly little ghost. Finally we ended up making a snowman together! Snow can be fun too, I know  :D My new friends are called Alfie Langer (the bear with red scarf), Roo (the kangaroo girl) and Gary Boldie (the bear with green jacket). My new host is called Delenna :)

Posted Jan 10, 2009, 7:57 pm
Here's the Baltic Sea! There is a lot of archipelago around so we don't see straight to Estonia  :p The creator of Moomin spent her summers on one of the islands. That's why Moominpappa loves the sea  B) We didn't walk on the sea eventhough there was thick ice. The ice wasn't thick all the way to the shore.

Posted Jan 16, 2009, 5:22 pm
As I'm visiting the land of sauna I naturally wanted to see one.  Sauna is a heated room where you throw water on hot stones to keep heated/get it more heated. My host said that 60-80C is good, lower isn't warm enough and hotter is too hot. She also explained that sitting in sauna opens your pores and relaxes your muscles. Humans tend to take a shower before sauna, anfter sauna, and even between sauna... I guess I looked a bit lost as she explained that they only wash after the sauna (sometimes before) - the rest of the showers are taken just to get yourself wet and cooler as the sauna is quite hot.

Some people use a "vihta/vasta"; a bunch of birch twigs (with the leaves on) with which you hit yourself. Those bunches are sometimes made during the summer, not everyone is a fan of them. My host said that it doesn't hurt because of the leaves. It does good to your blood circulation or something. And it makes the sauna smell good. The sauna wasn't on when I sat there as the steam wouldn't do good for the camera. This sauna is heated with electricity but some people have saunas that are heated with wood. Now I feel much wiser!

Posted Jan 17, 2009, 5:35 pm
I got to help my host to make cakes for her daughter's birthday party. The celebrate the same time but my host still wants to make a cake for both of them  ;) I say make because she doesn't bake. She bought the stuff needed from the store, all the stuff. Here we're making a "playing blocks" cake for the youngster. We couldn't quite get them to look like blocks... but it's the taste that counts anyway, right  ;)

Posted Jan 17, 2009, 5:39 pm
And here we're making the crown cake which is for the elder girl. This one my host designed herself! Just like the "snake" one which is made of left-overs of the crown  :p We also had popcorn, cookies, snacks - and childrens' "champagne". The marzipan figures are made by my host's sister who obviously is the most talented on Earth!

Oh yeah, and we did blow some balloons too!

Posted Jan 22, 2009, 3:36 pm
Today I got to visit the capitol of Finland, Helsinki! Here I am looking at the possibly prettiest place to ghost around: St. John's Church. It's built in 1893 and designed in Neogothic style by the Swedish architect A. E. Molander. It's the biggest church in Helsinki!

Posted Jan 22, 2009, 3:45 pm
Here are some older houses close to the St. John Church. In the third photo happens to be the Design Museum which we unfortunately didn't visit. I think museums are good places to ghost around too! Maybe I get to try it another time...

Posted Jan 22, 2009, 4:30 pm
We walked to the Esplanade Park which is very pretty and eventfull in the summer. On the other end of the park is the Havis Amanda fountain statue which is washed by university students as the prelude to the city's May Day (Vappu) celebrations.

Posted Jan 22, 2009, 4:45 pm
...and after Havis Amanda we crossed the road to get to the Market Square. It was very quiet there today, it won't be in the summer! This is also the place where big ferries leave to Stockholm (Sweden) and Tallinn (Estonia) - and small ferries to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. 

There was that tall interesting statue apparently dedicated to a former Russian emperor. Behind it you can see the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral .

There's also the Presidential Palace where for example  the Independence Day Ball is held. Two guys were guarding it inside the fence... 

Oh yes, and here you can read a short history of Helsinki.

Posted Jan 22, 2009, 4:58 pm
Here's probably the most wellknown sight in Helsinki: The Cathedral. There are about 42 steps there... That little reindeer we met close by - he was guarding the green telephone booth. It's most likely the only green (or otherwise colorfull) telephone booth in the whole country. Everyone has a cellphone nowadays that even uncolored phone booths are very rare. The reindeer was very very still but I could talk to him anyway, maybe it's a ghost thing...

Posted Jan 22, 2009, 5:06 pm
This is the main street (Mannerheimintie - "Mannerheim's street") in Helsinki city center. It's a very long street as you probably can imagine. The statue of the Three Smiths was designed by Felix Nylund. The guys who posed for it were a brick layer, stone cutter - and the designer. On eof them has the face of a poet Arvid Mörne (my host whispered that she had never hear of him).

Then I saw the Main Railway Station. Those statues holding the roundish lamps are very lively in the tv commercials - it's really funny  :D The company that runs the trains is called VR - short for Valtion Rautatiet which simply means "state railways". You can get straight to Russia by train too!

Next to the railway station is the Main Post Office and next to that the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. There are all sorts of weird exhibitions in Kiasma.

Next to Kiasma is the statue of Mannerheim, a former president and
Field Marshal. On the other side of the street you can see the Parliament and a bit further away the National Museum of Finland.

Did you notice that the buildings are all made of stone?

Posted Jan 24, 2009, 10:31 am
Last but not least: a break at Wayne's Coffee! It was not just us there: we attended a "Post-xmas-party-meetup". Finnish postcrossers like to meet for a chat, coffee and tons of postcards! The duck is their official "meetup-duck"!

After the meeting I heard that someone had fallen in love with me  :o although she did think I was a hat...  :thinking:

Posted Jan 24, 2009, 5:06 pm
Today I had a chance to see the Old Town of Porvoo! We started at the oldest bridge. Next to it was a cannon from the World War 2. I'm glad it's not in use anymore. In the third pic I'm looking at the Castle Hill where used to be a castle hundreds of years ago. Now there are just woods and castle moats. My host says it's a great place to play Robin Hood in! For me it might be a good place to haunt too...

The red shore houses by the river are the most wellknown sight of Porvoo. They used to be ware houses - and some still are as well as some are living quarters. They were painted red first time in 18th century to honor visiting King Gustav III.

This year the town is more excited about the coming festives: it's been 200 years since the Porvoo diet. At first I wondered why people would celebrate food or losing wight but apparently this diet was something the Russian emperor Alexander I gathered. Bunch of important people talking and Finland ending up as "nation among nations". They say that that decision was a turning point and made it possible for Finland to become independent later.

We walked the streets in the Old Town and saw this little toyshop (they sell only wooden, fabric and tin toys, nothing of plastic). They had a snowman ice skating in one window and a Moomin house in another!

In the summer these streets (and all the streets next to them) are full of tourists. I'm glad I got to see them in the calmer winter  :)

Posted Feb 6, 2009, 9:06 pm
Today I climbed up the "sightseeing tower" to get an overall look at the town of Porvoo. It was way cool! I also mean literally as it was -15C. The river (that is frozen) runs through the town down to the Baltic Sea. On the second pic you can see the local skiing slope on the right. In the pics you can also see the previously mentioned red shore houses and the church.

Posted Feb 6, 2009, 9:10 pm
We walked a bit further away on the hill to see the old town from a different angle. There are the church and Castle Hill again. My host took some "postcard photos" from the location, hoping she'll get great shots to make postcards of.

Posted Feb 6, 2009, 9:29 pm
Thank god we got into the car! I was freezing my butt off! Figuratively speaking of course... We drove to the church (or cathedral as they officially call it) to take a look at the surroundings. Porvoo Cathedral gained its present form at the end of the 15th century. It's dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Max 800 people fit in it. It's also the third most popular church in Finland by number of visitors! The small red church beside it is called The Small Church (d'uh). It was dedicated in 1740 and 170 people fit in it.

The (dark) yellow building in the first pic is the Bishop's House, built in 1759. This is where Tsar Alexander I opened the previously mentioned Porvoo Diet and there was also held an imperial ball. The house was used as a high school untill 1850. Now it's in private use.

In the second last picture is the red-pink "Poet's House". The town rents it for an artist for a certain period of time, with lesser money. It's a honor to get to live there.

In the last photo is a monument on the church yard. It's a monument for the independence and people who fought for it.

The map is just a map of the church yard.

Posted Feb 14, 2009, 8:38 pm
Sweet Valentine's Day!

In Finland it's called Ystävänpäivä which means Friend's Day. So here you send  a card or give chocolate or a cute fluffy thing to your friends. I knew I was leaving so I said goodbye to my new friends and they gave me a chocolate heart - which I ate right after  *poof*

Posted Mar 10, 2009, 8:28 pm
Dear Mommy,
I have finally arrived and am out of my package and able to explore Okinawa! But Jayme has been limiting our exploring. The weather has been so wonderful too! All rainy and icky and such! Jayme said its very good they're getting rain, they didn't get enough last year and the island had to do water rationing. I'm certainly happy with it, it looks like perfect ghost finding weather and Jayme said the island is very haunted!  The first place we went to was a place called the Wonder Museum. It sounded like a perfect place to find ghosts, after all aren't they wonders? But Jayme said it was actually a children's museum though. Here's a picture of the inside. Those balls go up and down and contract and spread out on their own, I wonder if there's a child ghost playing in them?
Here's a neat toy where you spin the handle to make the picture spin and make everything blurry
Downstairs we watched while the children played a stepping stone game that's supposed to help them learn to count.
We also got to see a small bug exhibit. I looked around for bug ghosts, but couldn't find any. I wonder if there is such a thing as bug ghosts?
We also got to learn about some simple science things like planets
I stopped my ghost hunting to get in on the fun a bit. This is a toy where you push on one side and the pins come out on the other. A very nice imprinting!
Well... no ghosts yet but I shall keep a look out. Hopefully we go somewhere fun soon while its still so pleasently rainy.

Posted Mar 13, 2009, 9:13 pm
Dear mommy,
Today something dreadful happened, the sun actually came out for about an hour! But Jayme said because this happened we could go out for a walk. Hmm. I wonder why we can't walk in the rain? Maybe its hard to balance the umbrella, us toys, and the camera... Anyway we went to a place where Jayme said its very likely we could see a ghost.  You see many, many people died here during World War II as as well as in diving or snorkeling accidents and its supposed to be very haunted! It is called Camp Zanpa. Here is one of the many memorials here.
During World War II many men, women and children were forced to jump off these cliffs by Japanese soldiers who told them if they didn't they would be captured and tortured and raped by the Americans. It was very sad. Over 100,000 Okinawans died during the battle of Okinawa. That is one of the reasons this place is supposed to be so very haunted. Its hard to believe this with the beauty it exhibits today.
Much of Okinawa is made up of volcanic rock like this. Its also what the cliff walls are made of.
When we were done with our walk and on the way back to the car we came across a strang thing. Jayme says this is the largest shisa on island, but what is a shisa? Shisa are dog/lions who guard against spirits. They're always found in pairs. A shisa with its mouth open like this one is female and it lets the good spirits in. A shisa with its mouth closed captures the bad spirits. Can you see how tiny we are at the base of this shisa?
Here's a close up of me and the shisa.
Jayme says she hopes the sun comes out so we can go do more soon. Hm. I wonder what I'm supposed to hope for? Rainy weather just seems so much better for ghosts, but alas no ghosts yet.

Posted Mar 17, 2009, 3:45 am
The weather changed and we were able to really get out and about.  I can't say I like it as much, but at least it meant Jayme wasn't worried about going out.  We decided to go to the zoo. Jayme says the children really like it and it wears them out. So off we went to the Okinawa Zoo. Apparently lots of people had the same idea we did... see all those children? They were part of preschool groups here to visit the zoo!
Our first stop inside was the reptile building, this snake is called a Habu. There are many of these snakes on Okinawa and you have to be very careful because they are very poisonious. I think they're rather cute!
From there we stopped to ride on some toys, don't they look fun? The children really liked them.
We could also see another sign for the Okinawa Zoo here.
We found some hippos further along. They're out of the water waiting for their lunch.
The lion must've also been waiting for her lunch, she was very restless.
All the trees around the park are labeled, Jayme said this one always makes her smile a bit.
We also got to see the giraffes
And the elephants!
We had quite a day. If the weather stays so bright and sunny we'll have more adventures soon.

Posted Mar 23, 2009, 10:07 am
Today we went to Shuri (or Shurijo) Castle. It is the main castle on Okinawa, and the most famous. It is the seat of the king of the Ryukyan Island chain. Of course since the late 1800s the Ryukyan Islands have been owned by Japan and there has been no sitting king. It has been destroyed and rebuilt 5 times in its history, most recently during World War II. First of course we had to drive there.
Here is the first gate we entered to the castle.
This is a view down at where we walked. The city you see is Naha, the capital of Okinawa.
Here is the entrance to the palace grounds.
And this is the palace itself!
Jayme didn't have time for individual pictures, it was very busy, but this is the throne room.
After we left the palace we were able to walk the grounds and found a shrine.
More updates soon I'm sure!

Posted Mar 23, 2009, 11:18 am
Everyone needs some fun time! Today it was rainy again so we stopped by a children's play area. Jayme says these areas keep her sane since they let the children play for a half hour or so for just a few hundred yen (a few dollars). Here is the structure.
We toys got in on the fun a bit. We found a fire truck to drive.
And we played some in the climbing area.
Finally we rested with Jayme, this playing is hard business. Isn't it nice they include these massage chairs in the play area where you can still keep an eye on the kids? Just perfect.
After play time we stopped to get some McDonald's on the way home. The kids love their chicken nuggets and fries, but Jayme says they're a rare treat. Yum!
More soon,

Posted Mar 31, 2009, 6:25 am
Dear Mommy,
It has been rainy rainy rainy! Today we tried to go for a walk on the beach, but two things went wrong. First, do you see how bad the sky looks? It started sprinkling...then down pouring! Second, there was a festival of some sort going on the beach! They had a band there playing and all. Jayme says she didn't know what it was for, but it sure looked fun.
So we gave up and instead went for some more indoor exercise. We arrived in this parking garage type area. Hmm. Here's the entrance sign. Jayme says we're going to the playground....
Oh wow what fun! Its an indoor play area. First we chilled out on this thing, it spins around and around. It hard hard to get a photo.
Then we took a ride in the car.
They also had a small area that was netted all around with fans blowing balloons around. Jayme said the kids really love it.
And they had ball pits! How fun!
More updates to come soon, I promise!

Posted Apr 1, 2009, 9:29 pm
Dear Mommy,
The weather outside is still rather icky, so today we went to a place that is kind of indoors. Its the Okinawa aquarium. I say kind of indoors because while the aquarium itself is inside, most of it is lit by natural light and it has a large park to walk around outside. Unfortunately we didn't get to do the park today, but we had fun at the aquarium. On the way to the aquarium we stopped for a quick lunch near a bridge. Here's the bridge.
And here's the lunch. Yum! Jayme said these boxes are called bento boxes. Some of them can get very artistic, and usually they have some rice in them but Jayme says she doesn't like cold rice so she improvises.
Finally we arrived at the aquarium. Here I am at the entrance. Jayme says that statue is of a whale shark (full size) and I'll get to see one soon!
We went down into the aquarium entrance hall and could see there was a dolphin show going on. You can see the weather doesn't look nice at all.
Finally we made it inside. We stopped to see the fish. This is the largest live coral reef in the world that's lit only with natural light.
We saw some neat fish!
And even spotted a sea turtle!
Here's another view of the tank, it has about 5 viewing areas.
From there we walked down a long dark hallway to see some other small fish exhibits. Unfortunately its dark enough down here that pictures don't come out :( But we got to see some neat fish. Then we moved on to the show piece item of the aquarium, the whale sharks! This is the 2nd largest tank in the world, and the largest view-screen in the world. Here is me and the whale sharks.
They weren't behaving very well today for pictures. Jayme says usually they swim pretty serenly around, but today they were sticking to the top. We think it may've been almost feeding time, but we never saw them get fed.
Near the whale sharks is a place to eat and watch the sharks swim. We couldn't get a seat near the windows, but we stopped to have icecream anyway.
We went to the gift store then went on out. A dolphin show was about to start so we decided to stop by and see it. Here I am at the show.
The dolphins did some neat tricks.
After that it was looking really rainy and the kids were getting tired so we decided to head home. But we had lots of fun! Another update soon.

Posted Apr 2, 2009, 10:26 am
Today was Jayme's birthday! We had a small party. Here I am at the start of it relaxing with a strawberry daquiri.
We helped decorate, does it look nice?
We also put the candles on the cake!
We sang to Jayme and she blew out the candles and we all got to eat cake. We also played some wii and just hung out. It was a nice relaxing party.

Posted Apr 10, 2009, 6:48 am
Dear Mommy,
We've been very busy! Jayme has been trying to prepare for Easter. We should have lots of pictures of that this weekend! She said we're even dying eggs. hmm, I wonder what that's like? In the mean time we were all dying for some fresh air so we walked to a playground. There are big rocks like this one all over Okinawa, we took a little break on one.
We also found a nice statue.
And finally the playground!
We toys wanted to have fun too so I took a break to ride a whale.
And play on the monkey bars.
I'll have more updates soon I promise!

Posted Apr 12, 2009, 10:38 pm
We had a great Easter! First we found Jayme's children's Easter Baskets.
Then we headed out for the Easter Egg Hunt. And guess who we saw there? Yes! The Easter Bunny!
They also had other things like face painting and such to do, and we had lots of fun checking out the fire truck.
Finally it was time for the egg hunt. Do you see all the eggs behind me?
And they're off! All the kids trying to get the eggs. The parents aren't supposed to help, but they were rather misbehaved at this egg hunt :(
We headed home and decided to make eggs of our own. Here I am dying eggs
Then we had to let them dry.
Then we put stickers on them! Such fun
Whew. It was lots of fun.  Jayme says I just have to do one more update then its time to be on my way....

Posted Apr 20, 2009, 6:41 am
Dear Mommy,
We had one more thing to do before I got in the package to go to my next host, which was to learn about ghosts! Aren't these pictures very creepy?
Jayme said there are many, many ghost stories on the base where she lives, but she's not supposed to take pictures of the areas they're at since its not her home.  But here's some examples of ghost stories.
At one of the daycares on base the children are always throwing their balls over the fence. The children (3-4 years old) say they're throwing their balls to the little girl in the house who is waving to them. No one lives in this house, or has lived there in many years. Everyone who moved in moved out again as soon as they could.

To get on base you must drive through a guarded military gate.  One of these gates they have a very hard time getting people to guard and eventually closed it because a World War II era GI kept coming to the gate and asking for a light, then disappearing as soon as someone pulled out a lighter. No one wanted duty there, so they eventually closed the gate.

Finally, Jayme says she lives on base for one good reason. Japanese people are very superstitious. Many of them won't live in houses that are supposed to be haunted, so instead they rent them out to Americans who are not as scared! Jayme says she stays on base because even though she's seen her kids giggle at the wall on occassion, she's yet to see anything harmful or scary here and doesn't want to brave one of the possibly haunted houses out in town. Apparently if Jayme's apartment has a ghost its a very friendly one since it always made her children giggle when they were little.

I had lots of fun visiting Japan! I got in my envelope and now I'm off to my next host. Hope you liked my updates!

Posted Apr 29, 2009, 8:12 pm
I have just arrived to a new place today....

I have arrived to Greece! Warm and sunny! And look, I have made some new toy friends. That's Ladomar, Kunigunde, and SunnyHH

They have done everything they could to make me feel like home! We have played with the kids toys...

Here I am riding on a scooter

this is a photo of us climbing on the castle

playing with blocks

and riding on a school bus

and even formed a music band! Can you see me playing the castanets !!!

Posted May 5, 2009, 10:40 pm
Today Vicky took us to the city center.
She was too busy to take many photos and show us all the museums, monuments and places of interest there but she promised to come again on a Sunday just for sightseeing.

Well for now here are some photos we managed to get while we were there.

This is the Aristotelous Square, it is the central square of the town.  It is named after the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

This is Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) church. It is one of the oldest Byzantine churches in the city still standing today.
Hagia Sophia is part of Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

And here is a photo form one of the open shopping centers


Posted May 10, 2009, 8:43 pm
Hi mom,

here I am helping Vicky to prepare christening favors, for today.

They were christening their little boy. It's a custom to give all the guests a little toy together with "koufeta". "Koufeta" are almonds with chocolate and sugar coating and they always give them to guests on weddings and christenings.

Also it's a custom to give to the guests when they arrive to the church a small pin with a cross. In this case they gave little bracelets.

Posted May 14, 2009, 10:20 pm
Tonight we are watching Eurovision Song contest 2009, that takes place in Russia this year. It's the semi-finals tonight.

We are supporting the Greek song here in the photos, that finally made it to the finals.
Since I, Etwas, am from Germany I am also supporting the German song, but it's already in the finals .... so it's gonna be a tough night on Saturday! We'll have a party eating pizzas and drinking beer to enjoy it!

Posted May 18, 2009, 10:52 am
Hi mom,

On Saturday I enjoyed the eurovision song contest.
I loved the winner song from Norway, so here I am watching the German song.

Yesterday evening we took the kids to the nearby playground. So here are some photos of us there... I guess I should introduce you to the family that hosts me on my next update!

And this is a photo of us in the house, just to see the view from the window... we live in a flat with a balcony (as all the flats here in Greece)

Posted May 18, 2009, 10:28 pm
Mom, let me introduce you to the family that hosts me. You will meet them through their hobbies.

There are four people in this family, mom Vicky, dad Aris and the two kids. Maria 3.5 years old and little boy Konstantinos 1 year old.

Vicky is a computer teacher. She loves anything crafty from jewelry making to scrapbooking and she also paints. This is a corner of the house where she keeps some of her hobby staff.

Aris is a computer programmer and in his spare time he enjoys playing music with his synths and making electronic things...

Konstantinos enjoys walking all the time!!! Nothing can stop him now that he is one year old! He also loves whatever his bigger sister is holding!

Maria loves to play all the time and listening to her mom reading books. She is also singing and dancing ALL the time! Here I am wearing her glasses! Am I cool or what?!  B)

Posted Jun 1, 2009, 8:28 pm
It's time for me to move along to a new host. Unfortunately I was in Greece in a month that my hosts were quite busy and they didn't had the chance to show me many things...
Well this Sunday we went on a basketball game, not with any big teams and a crowd ... but it was fun and I enjoyed it!

Here is the entrance to the basketball court. It's the home court of the team ARIS, people who love european basketball would know it.

Watching the game

After the game we went to visit grandma since we were invited for lunch. So we took some photos at her balcony. She has many flowers

and she even planted tomatoes

and strawberries

OK I have t go and pack my things now, tomorrow or the day after I'll go to the post office.

Posted Jun 10, 2009, 6:57 am
I have arrived at Abby's house in Canada!

Posted Jun 14, 2009, 9:09 am
The power went out unexpectedly, so Abby decided to show me her family's gardens.

I met a bunch of these gnomes in the front garden.  This one said that Abby's mom named every single one of them 'Smedvik.'

We climbed the maple tree.

The Canadian and British Columbian flags.

This is where the family bees live.

I played in the grape vines.

These rhubarb leaves are huge!

They also grow lots of vegetables.  This is the lettuce garden.

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 4:23 am
Today is the public opening of the new Goldenears Bridge.  No cars yet, just people.

These eagles (at the top of the towers) are in a few different places on the bridge.

There was a show of vintage cars.

Look!  We cut the ribbon! (or, rather, a bumper sticker off a line of bumper stickers)

On the North stage was a group called Kutapira, who describe themselves as a percussion marimba band.

Some people from a local First Nations group were performing.

The bridge crosses the Fraser River.  This is the view down-river.  The, ahem, suicide guard was decigned to look like fish traps.

We had to get our picture taken with Mounties.

On the South stage was the Langley Ukulele Ensemble, who are a bunch of very talented youth if I do say so myself.

Along the length of the bridge were passport stations, where you could get your 'passport' stamped.  When you visited all six stations you could enter to win a prize.  All of ours are stamped!

I hope these cables hold...

This is the view up-river.

Back on the North stage, a group called Aché Brasil, who were performing Capoeira, a form of martial arts started by Afro-Brazilian slaves.

After this the crowds were too much and they had to stop letting people onto the bridge so that we could get off, so we decided to leave.

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 5:23 am
Today we went for a picnic at Belcarra Regional Park.

The view is lovely from here.

For our picnic Abby prepared tuna sandwiches, potato salad and lots of fruit.  Yum!

For dessert there was condensed milk candy, straight out of Russia.

Posted Jun 19, 2009, 1:50 pm
Today Pepita and Noelle are leaving.  We all gathered tgether for a goodbye, then it was off to the post office for them.

Posted Jun 22, 2009, 10:24 pm
This morning we got up very early and travelled to Vancouver for breakfast.

Posted Jun 22, 2009, 10:25 pm
Abby says we are going to fly on a float plane.  We arrived a bit early, so We decided to have a look around.

This is our boarding pass.

From here you can see the planes; you can't really see the one we will take because it is hidden behind another

one, but it is identical to the one in the centre with the yellow on the tail.  It holds fourteen passengers. 

Behind the docks you can see part of Stanley Park.

This is the 'green roof' part of the new convention centre, which will be the media centre during the Olympics.

Now we are inside the plane!  This is the view so far from the window.

Here is the view from the inside.  Everyone else on the plane seemed to be a Norwegian tourist.

We are starting to move now!

On the right you can see the convention centre, next to it is where all of the cruise ships leave near Canada

Place, and next to that is the Vancouver shipyards.

Taking off!

That city over there is North Vancouver.

This is a map of the flight plan.  We are going from Vancouver to Victoria, about a 35 minute trip (it takes

about two hours, plus an hour's drive if you go by ferry).

In the distance you can see a barge.  The red ship to the right of it is called a pilot ship, which must be

present if the large ship does not have a Canadian pilot.

During our flight we read The Peak, which is Abby's and Erin's school newspaper.

This is Galliano Island

This narrow waterway is called Active Pass, named after the USS Active, which was the first ship to travel

through is (as opposed to the HMCS Plumper, which travelled through shortly after).  It is fairly narrow and

curvy, so boats have to be careful travelling through it.  You can see a ferry on its way to Vancouver right


This is Saltspring Island.  Rock legend Randy Bachman live here.

Now we are over the Saanich Peninsula, part of Vancouver Island.  Nearly there!

Look, we are right under the clouds.

Coming into Victoria Harbour now...

Posted Jun 22, 2009, 10:26 pm
We are staying at the Robin Hood Motel.  Pop singer Nelly Furtado used to work here.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 1:28 am
This is Hatley Castle, the former home of one of the first premiers of British Columbia.

This plaque says: This superb example of an Edwardian park was laid out for James and Laura Dunsmuir in the early 20th century.  At its centre stands a Tudor Revival mansion whose picturesque design is enhanced by a rich array of decoration and fine cranftsmanship.  The grounds, featuring a variety of native and exotic vegetation, unfold from formal gardens to recreational spaces, farmlands and forests.  Acquired by the Canadian armed forces in 1940, Hatley Park evolved to meet the needs of Royal Roads Military College in a manner that has preserved its essential Edwardian character.

Heehee, I'm a statue!

This is the view out toward the ocean.

Today we were allowed to go inside the castle.

This is the dining room

The main hall

The front hall

Then we went out to the gardens.

Behind the castle is Grant Hall, built by the Canadian armed forces in the 1940s and used by Royal Roads University today.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 1:29 am
We are actually at Royal Roads because Abby's Mom was receiving her Graduate Certificate of Executive Coaching.  This is where the convocation was to take place.

In here is where the reception will be held.

The program

This page has information about the Coat of Arms.  It was adopted when Royal Roads Military College became Royal Roads University in 1997.

This page is about the history of convocations.

Here is a blurry photo of Abby's mom walking across the stage

Afterwards there was some great food at the reception.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 3:42 am
In Beacon Hill Park, I saw a peacock.

Than I saw a heron in a tree.

Here it is close up.

I heard some music, and found some dancers on a stage in the park.

Apparently it was Heritage Day and for seven hours there would be all sorts of performances put on by various cultural groups in Victoria.  The group that we watched was a Hungarian cultural group.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 3:44 am
I saw this exhibit at the Royal BC Museum.  It was really interesting.  Unfortunately, Abby was not allowed to take photos inside and there were lots of security guards around.

There were lots of interesting sites near the museum, so we decided to have a look around.

This clock tower was a gift from the Netherlands.

This is the Legislative Building, where the BC government is situated.

This is Victoria's war memorial.

This statue of Queen Victoria (who the city is named after) is in front of the Legislative Building.

No trip to the West Coast is complete without seeing a totem pole.

This harbour is where the float plane landed yesterday.

On the wharf, people sell arts and crafts.

This is the Empress Hotel, which is very grand.

This is a statue of James Cook, who was an explorer.

This elementary school is famous for its name.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 3:46 am
I saw a little bit of Victoria's Chinatown.

This is fan Tan Alley, which holds the world record for the narrowest street in the world.  I would have walked through, but it was closed for the evening.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 3:50 am
Knockan Hill Park is a garry oak preserve.  Garry oaks are an engangered tree that are only found in this area.

The view from here is rather good.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 4:55 am
Chemainus is world famous for its murals.

In the park was a statue of H.R. MacMillan, who owned fooresty companies in BC.

The view is nice here.

Posted Jun 23, 2009, 4:57 am
We arrived a little early for our ferry in Nanaimo, so I decided to have a look at the view.

On the ferry now, we sat at the back and I was able to see the terminal.

Vicky Mouseham and I shared tea and a cinnamon bun.

Off we go!

Posted Jun 26, 2009, 5:53 pm
There is not much to see in the town where Abby lives, even though it is the sixth largest in British Columbia, but she decided to show us the most interesting thing.

This is the theatre.  It is fairly new; less than ten years old.  Lots of local theatre and dance groups use it for performances.

This eagle was sitting outside of the theatre.  It is one of many, and many orca whales, that were each painted by a different artist and auctioned off.  They can now be seen all over the lower mainland.  This particular one is called 'Sea To Sky', which is the name of the highway to Whistler, and incorporates an orca and a spirit bear.

This is Spirit Square, recently renamed due to the Olympics.  Community events are held here, with the gazebo being used as a stage.

These hydrangeas were near the theatre.  Aren't they pretty?

This is city hall.  The four flags around the balcony, from left to right are: an Olympic spirit flag, the flag of the city, the flag of BC and a flag of the coat of arms, which you can also see over the balcony.

Lastly, this is the infamous 'Beast' of Maple Ridge.  The horse symbolizes the protector of the valley.  It represents a beast that fought for Mother Nature against those who were hurting the environment, but was gravely hurt in the process.  Mother Nature set up the clock as a reminder to not hurt the environment.

Posted Jun 26, 2009, 9:37 pm
Today we are trying out a cake recipe that Olgamaus gave to Abby.

First, we had to harvest some rubarb.

Wow, that was hard work, especially since I don't have any arms.  Those stalks are HUGE!

Then, we chopped up the rhubarb.

Next, we mixed together butter, sugar and vanilla.  Everybody took a turn.

Then eggs were added.

Then flour and baking powder.

Now the cream

There, that looks about finished.

Into the pan

Put the rhubarb on top

And into the oven!

While that was baking, we whipped up some meringue.

Mmm, that's looking really good.

Put the meringue on top, and then back into the oven.

Oh wow, this looks delicious!

Then, with the leftover egg yolks (the whites were used in the meringue), Abby made everyone a ToyVoyager-sized scrambled eggs!

Unfortunately we can't try the cake until everybody gets home from work.  Stay tuned!

Posted Jun 27, 2009, 6:08 am
An update on the cake:

IT WAS DELICIOUS!  Thank you for the recipe, Olgamaus!

Posted Jun 29, 2009, 6:41 am
Currently in Vancouver there is this huge Jazz festival held at many different places in the city.  I visited the Gastown location, which is one of the free venues.  We were just killing time in the morning and couldn't stick around for any of the actual performances, but I had a look around as they were setting up.

This is the main stage.  A few blocks away was a smaller stage.

Gastown is the oldest business district in Vancouver, thanks to "Gassy Jack"

Posted Jun 29, 2009, 6:42 am
I got to see a Shakespearean play at Bard on the Beach!

Today's play is Othello.

They have photos of all the actors (two plays each on two stages) on display

This is a quick photo of the main stage before the show.  Abby isn't even supposed to take photos inside the tent, so shhh!  Don't tell!

The play was very good :)

Posted Jul 2, 2009, 1:36 am
Happy Canada Day!  Unfortunately Abby was working and unable to take us to any festivities, but here's a patriotic photo.

Posted Jul 4, 2009, 4:41 am
I visited the University of British Columbia campus today.

This is the main library.  It has a library section, an extensive archives section and at least half of it is lecture halls and meeting rooms.

This is the original entrance, in the back.  I think it looks much nicer.

UBC is at the very edge of Vancouver, and on nice days there is quite the view, if you're tall enough to see it.

This is the Chan Centre for Performing Arts.  It is cello-shaped and has incredibly good acoustics.

Nearby is the rose garden.  It's realy pretty this time of year.

Posted Jul 4, 2009, 4:42 am
Today I went to the Canadian Blood Services to cheer on Abby as she donated blood.  I would have donated as well, but I didn't have any ID on me.

Afterwards there was juice and cookies.  Yum!

Posted Jul 13, 2009, 5:59 am
Today I took the Skytrain (sort of like a subway, but on a raised track) to downtown Vancouver.  This train is brand new, designed to have more standing room in anticipation of the upcoming Olympics.

We went to the Stanley Theatre to see Les Miserables.

Abby couldn't take any photos inside, but I can assure you that it was absolutely amazing.

Posted Jul 13, 2009, 6:00 am
I discovered a brand new cupcake shop.


Posted Jul 19, 2009, 7:11 pm
At a local mall there is a very small exhibit on dinosaurs.

Posted Jul 19, 2009, 7:29 pm
The Albion Ferry is a small ferry that carries cars and passengers across the Fraser River between Maple Ridge and Langley.  Because the new toll bridge opened a month ago, this is my only chance to ride on it because there are only twelve days left before they take the ferries out of service.  Abby and her family took lots of pictures, because they have lots of memories of riding on the little ferries, but Abby made sure to take some photos of me as well.

The boat we were on was called the Kulleet.

On here people have written notes, marking some of the high tide lines during floods and marking the last day that the ferries will be in service.

Looking up river

This is the other ferry

The dock on the other side

Posted Jul 19, 2009, 7:30 pm
On the Fort Langley side of the river, I was able to see a couple sites.  This area is one of the oldest settlements in British Columbia; it was on the fur trading route.  Unfortunately, I was not able to go see the fort itself because it was too late in the day.

This is the township's community hall.  It is mainly used for weddings and gatherings these days, but it has also been featured in many movies.

This is the old railway station.

There were some beautiful flowers next to the station.

After that I decided to rest and have a drink.

Posted Jul 19, 2009, 7:30 pm
We took the ferry back as well.  This time I was on the Klatawa.

The sunset is really pretty.

This is where we are coming from

In the distance (Abby had to zoom in for this picture) you can see Mt Baker in Washington, USA.

This is the dock on the Maple Ridge side.

I had a lot of fun on the ferries and it is sad that they will not be running anymore.

Posted Jul 26, 2009, 5:40 am
There is a big thunderstorm today.  We watched it from the front of Abby's house.

You can see a small YouTube video of it here.  Unfortunately I do not make an appearance in it.

Posted Jul 27, 2009, 2:31 am
Today I went to the local country fair.

There was live music.

Posted Jul 27, 2009, 2:33 am
Abby and Erin entered part of the fair.  There are various categories, including garden produce, arts, crafts and hobbies, and home cooking.

In the crochet categories Abby entered the bear hat and the daisy next to it and got a blue ribbon (first) and a red ribbon (second).  Hmm, maybe I should have entered myself.  I could have won my own ribbon.

Abby also entered various baking categories and won a best in show ribbon for one of her cakes (she's very proud of herself).

Abby's family also entered various garden produce categories and won a number of riggons, and Erin entered two knitting categories and won first place for both and a best in show ribbon.  Go team!

Posted Jul 27, 2009, 2:34 am
Next, we looked at all of the animals.

First, the llamas.

This one had a huge uunderbite.

The pigs were very tired in this heat.

This one was fast asleep.

There were lots of sheep.

Also, lots of cows.

Posted Jul 27, 2009, 2:35 am
In the next building there seemes to be lots of baby animals, with and without their parents.







Outside, I saw a horse

Also, lots of dogs.

There were small dogs too.  This daschund was missing its owner, so I kept it company.

Posted Aug 12, 2009, 7:09 pm
Hi Mum!!

I have arrived in England!!

It was a joint welcome as on the same day that i arrived another toyvoyager arrived too - his name is Rob! We both got greeted by Julie's other toys - Mr Happy, her new toy, and Natt Noy who is from Thailand!

They made us very welcome & we all stayed up talking about our travels for hours, Mr Happy liked this allot as he is still un-decided of where to go 1st!

Anyways, a quiet few days ahead, Julie said she is taking us all to Birmingham on Saturday for day out - cant wait ;)

Lots of Love, Etwas  :p

Posted Aug 19, 2009, 9:42 am
Hi Mum,

What a great weekend - me & the other toys got a train & went to Birmingham - which is city in the middle area of England!

Here is some info on the history of Birmingham that you may find of interest:

Anglo-Saxon tribes started to settle in the region around 700 A.D. Tribes such as the Hwicce and Anglian Mercian's started to make the area their permanent home. Evidence of Saxon settlement is apparent from the name endings of some of Birmingham's well known localities. The suffix -ley means clearing in a forest. The town of Birmingham was a hamlet hence ending in ham. In 1166 when Peter de Birmingham bought the right to hold a weekly market in his castle. The market prospered and Peter laid the foundations of the town of Birmingham. 

By mid 1300's the town was listed as third town in size in the county of Warwickshire. Coventry and Warwick were larger. Aston, once the larger settlement now became Aston beside Birmingham. The Birmingham market grew from strength to strength with traders selling their cloth ware and metal goods. In 1511 the Clerk of Ordinance placed an order for horseshoes and weaponry for the Royal Army. Trade links were being forged with East Anglia and Bristol.

In the 1700 James Brindley pioneered in building the canal system in Birmingham - which now runs for over 110 miles in & out of the city! An area called Brindley Place is the heart of the canal system in the centre of Birmingham with shops, bars, restaurants, and events venues - the ICC (International Convention Centre), Royal Symphony Hall, & The NIA (National Indoor Arena ) - these venues hold thousands of people for many different shows & performances - from dance events, to concerts, to comedy etc ...!

In the mid 1600's, with a population of some 7000 inhabitants, William Westley by 1700 drew up a town plan and calculated the population of Birmingham as 15,000. In 1801, at the time of the first census Birmingham had a population of 73,670, which meant it was one of Britain’s largest and most important towns.

In the 19th century industry in Birmingham was still dominated by metalworking. The workers of the town still made nails, brass goods (such as bedsteads), nuts and bolts, screws and buttons. They also made pen nibs and toys. There were also jewellers and gunsmiths in Birmingham. In the late 19th century railway carriages were made in Birmingham. So were bicycles. Glass making was also an important industry. From the end of the 19th century there was also a cocoa and chocolate industry at Bourneville.

Interesting Events in History Time Line:
1832 The Botanical Gardens opened
1852 The first public baths opened
1856 The first public park in Birmingham opened
1879 The Council House was built
1885 Museum and Art Gallery opened in
1889 Birmingham was made a city
1837 A railway from Birmingham to Manchester and Liverpool was opened
1838 Birmingham was connected to London by rail.
1861 The first public library in Birmingham opened 
1873 horse drawn trams ran in Birmingham.
1874 The first modern fire brigade in Birmingham was formed
1879 The first telephone exchange opened in
1882 The town gained its first electricity supply
1890 The first electric trams ran
1885 A Municipal School of Art opened
1891 Municipal Technical School opened
1909 Birmingham University was founded in
1913 Birmingham Repertory Theatre was built 
1960-1971 An inner ring road was built
1971 New Street Station was rebuilt
1973 a shopping centre was built over the station
1980s it was refurbished and renamed the Pallasades
1987 The Pavilions Shopping Centre opened
1987 the City Council unveiled a new City Centre Strategy, the city centre was to be rebuilt and refurbished
1991 The International Conference Centre and Indoor Arena opened in 1991.
2000 Mailbox Shopping Centre opened
The Bull Ring shopping centre was built in 1964 & the re-developed & re-built in 2001
Today industries in Birmingham include car manufacture, engineering, finance and also tourism.
Today the population of Birmingham is 1,025,000.

We had a few pictures taken when we arrived - one of the ICC & Symphony Hall i told you about earlier, we stopped off for pizza too - yummy! Then we walked around the canals to The NIA! Today there was a show on called 'Walking with Dinosaurs Live'! The idea was taking from a TV show on BBC channel, it was like a documentary, with lots of CGI to make really life dinosaurs - they have put that into a live show with real size dinosaurs. We weren't allowed to use our flash when the show has started - but there are lots of pictures of the dinosaurs to show you!

It was fantastic .... the dinosaurs looked so real, and they sounded very real too - quite scary at times - even for a little ghost like me  :o

As we were walking back to the train station we found quite a few things to take pictures of - the most random of all was the beach that had been set up in the middle of the city for the summer!!! Apparently a few cities have been doing it this year - English weather hasn't been so good so they need some kind of beach holiday i guess! It was called 'The Monarch Beach' - it has different theme & location each week, and will us over 110 tonnes of sand throughout the summer!! There is a stage presenting plenty of live music and entertainments and the Beach Bar and Cafe to get drinks & snacks from! What a great idea  B)

Also we found traditional English things along the way i thought you might like - a letter box & phone box - apparently there aren't many of the red phone boxes around now so we were lucky to find one!!

We are off to Julie's work today! Then tomorrow night Julie has managed to get tickets to see Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles at a club in Bristol - he does the breakfast show, should be a great night  ;)

I will be sure to update you with the news & pictures soon - Julie's computer playing up at the moment & wont let her upload any pictures  :(

Lots of Love, Etwas  :p xxxx

Posted Aug 21, 2009, 10:24 pm
Hi Mum!

So much has been going on, so many pics to show you too now Julie got computer working again!

Here are the ones from Birmingham last weekend - on the train, out & about & at Walking With Dinosaurs Live!

Shall post the rest up from this week tomorrow, getting quite sleepy now after late night out last night, Lots of Love, Etwas  :p

Posted Aug 22, 2009, 1:18 pm
Hi Mum,

Here are my pictures from in the week at Julie's work - she works for 'Motability Operations', the company leases cars to disabled people, when the cars come off lease Julie's job is to check the cars get to the correct places - car dealers, or auction sites!

We helped Julie on the computer, and had some cakes too as it was someones birthday & they bought in huge selection, luckily there were little cakes for us little toys  :p

And the last few pictures are the pictures from 'Chris Moyles Show Live' .... the Radio 1 dj i told you about .... it was great fun - there was lots of karaoke, drinking & dancing, before we made it home for bed as it was work night & julie had to be up early :p

Have great weekend, Love Etwas  :p  xxx

Posted Sep 4, 2009, 11:26 am
Hi Mum!

So sorry for not being in touch sooner - Julie has had such bad luck recently - firstly, she has been ill with sinus problems, me & the other toys have helped look after her though, we even went to the hospital with her yesterday to see the specialist  ;)

It was a very posh hospital in the Clifton area of Bristol - they have huge houses from the Victorian era - they are worth millions of ££, it's situated just off a place called 'The Down's' - it was so beautiful - 400 acres of grassland stretching from the very cliffs of the Avon Gorge where the Clifton Suspension Bridge is, right to where the houses & shop start to build up! Julie said she will take us to the Suspension Bridge soon - it's an iconic masterpiece that Bristol is famous for so it's a definite must see!!

And second bit of bad luck is Julie's laptop lead had broken so we can upload our pictures, we should have a lead soon though!

Until then i will just write some updates for you from Julie's work ;)

Last weekend we went out with Julie, her boyfriend & his DJ partner - they were dj'ing in a town called Plymouth, on the South coast of England - didn't get to see much of the sea though as it was dark  :(

We partied there for few hours, Julie bought us lots of drinks to get into the spirit when we watched them dj, was great fun :) We will be going out again with them next weekend when they play at a massive club in Bristol called The O2 Academy  B)

But this weekend is very exciting - Julie is taking us to London for the day tomorrow!!!!! I CANT WAIT !!!!! We will get to see so much, hopefully have enough time to see Big Ben, The London Eye, Downing Street, Tower Bridge, Diana Memorial park, BBC Television Studios, Wembley Stadium & much much more  :p :p

Have a great weekend, will write again soon, Love Etwas  :p


Posted Sep 8, 2009, 4:17 pm
Hi Mum!

Wow - London was amazing .... there are so many great pictures to show you - Julie has assured me the lead for her laptop will be here in a few days, so i can upload pictures for you then  ;)

We went on a coach to London, then when we got there we went straight on the tube to start our mission .... first stop was the BBC Television Studios, and the International Media Head Office. We wondered around there & found a 'Starbucks' to stop & have a coffee in, be were going to need it as Julie showed us on the map all the places we had to go - it was going to be a long day!

Next stop was Wembley Stadium - it was massive!!! Saturday was the day England were playing a friendly football match against Slovenia! Wembley Stadium hosts all kind of events from sports to concerts. It is owned by the FA (Football Association) and is the main venue for football Cup Finals & international games! Wembley dates back to 1923, famous for it's twin towers at the main entrance to the stadium - but it was re-built & re-opened in March 2007 - it cost as massive £798million to build!!!

Nearly lunch time now, what better place to have our picnic then at The Princess Diana Memorial in Hyde Park. It was lovely water fountain, very relaxing & calm, lots of families & kids playing in the fountain, nice to find spots like that amongst the busy city centre & hot tubes!

Next was the best bit of the day - the other toys didn't come as they were scared, but me & Julie went in with her friend - we went to the London Bridge Dungeons & Tombs. We learnt about the history of the bridge & how it dates back to Roman Times 50 AD!!!! Peter de Colechurch was the person who designed the bridge, he died in 1205 & was buried in the crypt under the bridge - they still say he there in spirit!

We then learnt about the Great Fire of London in 1666, and how thousands of people died by either burning to death or jumping into the river to escape the fire, apparently there are lots of ghosts that hang around the bridge, we walked through this very scary & very haunted tomb area - there were zombies hiding & scaring us, spooky decor - with heads hanging from the ceilings, men with chainsaws coming out to scare us, skeletons & all sorts - it was amazing, and even for a little ghost like me, i was scared at times  :o

From there we caught tube straight to Westminster - there is so much there to see - we saw Big Ben - did you know the clock tower was built way back in 1288?

Then we saw The London Eye - Julie told me it is the largest ferris wheel in Europe!

Next was Downing Street, we couldn't get past the barriers & the police - highly protected area, but we got to see the sign, no Prime Minister Gordon Brown today!

Then Nelsons Colum - the column was built between 1840 and 1843 to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805!

Then we took a long walk down 'The Mall' - it;s the street that leads to Buckingham Palace. Down there we saw The Queens Guards, then walked a little further down to Buckingham Palace!

Last stop was the coach station to go home, a well deserved rest was needed after that day  :p

Lots of Love, Etwas

Posted Sep 16, 2009, 4:08 pm
Hi Mum!

Another busy weekend ..... Julie has got nice new camera too so me & Rob tried it out on eachother to see how good it was ..... it was great, a huge lense on it as has 12x zoom - that is allot!!! So this weekend was the time to try it out on our adventures ..... first, Julie took me into town with her to do some shopping, she showed me around the shops - split into 2 places full of shop - 'Broadmead' - which is more outside & streets of shops, and the brand new 'Cabot Circus' which is under cover & looks more like a Mall.

The we walked through the centre of town & Julie showed us some of the sights of the City Centre, War Memorial, and we went past 'The Hippodrome' - it's a theatre, they have lots of live shows there from kids tv programmes, to musicals!

Then on the Saturday night we went out again with Julie & her boyfriend clubbing as her boyfriend was dj'ing ..... managed to get on the decks with them which was lots of fun!!

Julie told me that i am off somewhere new this weekend - going to the USA! Very exciting  :o

Even more exicting is that Julie now has the lead for her laptop so i have lots of pictures to re-size & finally get uploaded to show you before i leave to my next host!

Lots of Love, Etwas  :p

Posted Sep 17, 2009, 1:08 pm
Hi Mum,

Finally here are my pictures from London:

We had to figure out what tubes to go, our 1st stop was the BBC Television Studios. We went to tthe London Bridge Dungeons & Tombs. Then on to Wembley Arena, and a quick stop for lunch at the Diana Memorial!

Next was the busy long walk - Big Ben, London Eye, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Queen's Guards, and finally the coach station for our coach home - hope you like them :p

Posted Sep 17, 2009, 1:10 pm
And here are my pictures from around the lovely City Centre of Bristol that i told you about yesterday :p

Posted Sep 17, 2009, 1:13 pm
And finally for you my pics from me & Rob trying out new camera before our night out with Julie  :p

Posted Sep 23, 2009, 10:14 am
Hi Mum,

Julie didn't manage to get to the post office over the weekend as she had to leave early on Saturday to go with her dj boyfriend to his gig at a Festival in Poole .... so me & the other toys tagged along for the ride .... it was great  :p

At the festival we got to meet some of the other dj's - the 1st one is of Julie & Marc Smith, the 2nd one is with Julie, Damien & DJ Dougal, and the group on on the stage is with Dougal, DJ Sy & the MC Whizzkid .... amazing  :p

Then there was a new arrival ... Florentine, shame we didn't get to spend much time with her though, i said my final goodbyes before Julie packed me up in the envelope ready to go to the USA!!

Will be sure to update you as soon as i arrive  :p

Posted Oct 4, 2009, 5:55 pm
Hi Mom!!!!
I have arrived in North Carolina!!! I am so excited to be here! Here I am getting out of my envelope and seeing my hosts new home! My hosts are Darcie and Steve and I am here for HALLOWEEN!!! I cant wait to see everything!!!

There are a TON of TVs visiting at Darcies house right now! Here they all are greeting me as I get out of my envelope!!

Tommorro is the official Halloween decorating day for my hosts house! I am going to help shop at Walmart for candy and then Im going to the mall for decorations and costumes!! I am sooo excited to be here for Halloween!!  Im safe and wanted to let you know Im here!!


Posted Oct 6, 2009, 12:59 am
Hi Mom!!

Today I got on the computer and did a bunch of research on the state of North Carolina.  I have prepared a big report for you to read about the Tarheel state!! I am having fun and a new TV arrived today named Holgihh.  Now there is a big gang of us here in the house and we are having a great time!  I hope you enjoy my report!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Famous food and drinks from North Carolina

2008 Lexington Barbecue Festival A 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.

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 Oct 6, 2009, 1:22 am
Hi Mom!

Today we made Rice Krispie Treats!!

These are soooooooooooo good and soooo easy!!

4 tablespoons of butter
  1 bag of Marshmellows
6 cups of Rice Krispie cereal

Melt butter and marshmellows together on low heat.  Once melted add Rice Krispie cereal and stir until well coated.  Take mixture and press into a baking dish.  Let cool and then cut into squares!!


Posted Oct 13, 2009, 12:54 am
We are starting to get ready for Halloween!! we went to Walmart to go grocery shopping and also to start gathering Halloween things for the big night!!

We see some nice pumpkins and a scarecrow so we climb on the hay bale and take a photo.

Here we are in the costume aisle.

Our favorite aisle is the candy aisle!!! It never ended!!! look at all the yummy candy!!

We climb in on top of all of our groceries...yep we bought a lot of stuff!!

We get home and get the candy out that we bought for the trick r treaters...Darcie says by the time Halloween gets here we will probabley have to buy more lol  ;)

We stop by the Halloween store at the Mall and get some stuff to decorate Darcies Spyder.  Her car is a 1955 Porsche Spyder so we are going to decorate it as a Spider for the cruise in that we are going to next weekend!! We are entering it in the car costume class :)  We see lots of spooky stuff!!

we are going to the Pumpkin patch tommorro!!! Im getting my OWN pumpkin to carve for Halloween!! woohoo!! 


Posted Oct 25, 2009, 2:24 pm
Hi Mom!
Today we all got in the car and drove to the Pumpkin Patch! Darcie said we can each get our own pumpkin for Halloween so we start looking to find that special one!!

We pick out our pumpkins and take them back home. We start putting up all the Halloween decorations!!

We put cobwebs on the rose bushes...dont they look scary!!

We see a spooky cemetary that only comes around in the front yard during Halloween :)

We hang up all the decorations on the front porch.  We like the witch that moves up and down and the dancing skeleton.

Here we are with the candy and toys that we will hand out on Halloween.  This is my other host Steve and he tries to scare us with his Saw mask.  The Saw mask is very real looking and Darcie's dogs hate it lol

well that is all for now! we are going to a Halloween cruise in with Darcies car club today! It should be lots of fun!



Posted Oct 27, 2009, 11:38 pm
Hi Mom!
Last night we all got in Darcie's Spyder and drove down to Arbys for the car clubs Halloween Spooktacular cruise in.  Everyone was dressed in costumes and they also dressed up the cars.  We handed out candy to the kids.  Here are some photos of the night!

Here we are sitting on top of the Spyder.  I loved the lights and the spooky skeleton!!

Here we are with a witch and a wizard.

Here we are with my other host Steve in his werewolf costume!

Look its the cat in the hat!! lol

We find a spookey grave yard and walk around looking for candy.

Here we are with a pirate!

We pose for a picture with the Sheriff :)

Here we are with a Gypsy lady.

Here we are getting ready to get inside the candy bowl!

Guess who they used for a Halloween candy bag? Me!!! I came in very handy!!

We had a lot of fun and Darcie and Steve won *Best dressed car* we only have four more nights until Halloween!!!

Love Etwas

Posted Oct 31, 2009, 5:04 pm
Hi Mom!
Today is Halloween! I have fullfilled one of my life missions!!!  I am getting everything all ready for the trick or treaters that will come to the house.  We watched scary movies last night.  We saw *The Shining* *Carrie* and *Christine*.  We also made Tandoori chicken last night and carved out our pumpkins!!  Here are the photos!

First we start by cooking the black beans.

Next we get the Nan bread already to go in the oven.

Here we are cooking the rice.

Doesnt the chicken look good? This is one of Darcies favorite foods and it is a shame there are no Indian restaurants in this town!

Here we are with the completed meal...yum!!

After dinner we all go outside to start carving pumpkins.  Here we are ready to go!

First we pick out a design to carve our pumpkins with.

Next we get our special pumpkin carving tools.

Here is our finished pumpkin! Do you know what it is??

Today has been really fun and we are waiting for it to get dark outside!!! Happy Halloween mom!!


Posted Nov 9, 2009, 2:21 pm
Hi Mom!
Here are my photos from Halloween!! I could not take any photos of kids in costumes as most parents do not allow that here :(  I did have fun handing out all the candy and hanging out with the other TVs!!

Here is Darcies dog Thumper in her Devil costume!!

Here is Sombrita looking at us wondering what we are doing!! she is as small as we are!


Posted Nov 29, 2009, 8:24 pm
After a year of travelling I'm back home! My mum git very excited when she took me out of the envelope. She said, after this long journey, I'll stay at home with her and take a rest, but next year I'll go on travelling.
Back in the room, there where two TVs waiting for me: Pepita from Canada and Fed from Russia. They were both excited to listen to my adventures.

Posted Dec 8, 2009, 9:19 pm
When Katrin came back home from her trip to Schwerin today, there were some surprises waiting for her.

AbbyB has send a Christmas surprise from Canada: a candle and sock yarn (which reminded Katrin that she haven't even finished the first pair...)

Katrin got a postcard from Fed's mum. I asked her whether I could go to Russia next year, maybe I can find some ghosts there...

The other surprise has brought the "Nikolaus". In German it's a tradition that in the evening of December 5th the children clean their boots and during the night the "Nikolaus" fills them with sweets, nuts or even little presents. Katrin got tea with bamboo flavour. That sounds a bit weired, but it tastes like lime.

Then Pepita, Fed and I went into the living room and who do we meet there? Santa Clause! He tells us a bit about his job and how everything is prepared for the big night. ;)

Posted Dec 15, 2009, 9:07 pm
Today was a big saying goodbye day. Fed is travelling on to Poland and I'm visiting Fed's mum in Russia. Just Pepita is still staying with Katrin, I hope she doesn't feel lonely without us.

Posted Jan 9, 2010, 4:28 pm
Hello mummy!
Finally I came to Maria`s place!  :cyclops: I gave her postcard from you, she asked me to say "Thank you!".
And I met one ghost in her flat! It is house spirit generally speaking.

Bye for now mummy,
your Etwas.

Posted Jan 9, 2010, 6:35 pm
Hello Mummy!
Today my new TV-friend apanda and I were in Zheleznodorozhnyy (Railroad):

Zheleznodorozhny is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located some 21 km east of Moscow. Population: 115,300 (2005 est.); 103,931 (2002 Census); 97,426 (1989 Census).

Zheleznodorozhny was founded in 1861 as a settlement servicing Obiralovka railway station, made famous by Leo Tolstoy as the death place of the main character of the novel Anna Karenina.

In 1938, it was renamed Zheleznodorozhny and granted town status in 1952. In the 1960s, settlements of Kuchino, Savvino, Temnikovo, and Sergeyevka became a part of Zheleznodorozhny.

Maria`s grandmother lives there and we went to her by car. I managed to make some photos from car.

We have not walked too much, but it is so cold outside and I`m not upset about it.


Posted Jan 19, 2010, 7:04 pm
Hello mummy!
How was your weekend? I spent mine in the countryside. My new TV friends and I were chatting at the balcony and in the afternoon were walking through the forest and made photos on the snow. Do you have as much snow in Germany mom?
And we were traveling in special green bag :)

Posted Jan 24, 2010, 8:35 pm
Hello mummy!
It`s so cold outside that we don`t go for a walk too much. But today I was busy - helping Maria to study German. We were reading and speaking German.
I was so clever that Maria told I should wear spectacles.  B)

Posted Feb 5, 2010, 7:18 pm
Hello mummy!
On Sunday I was in sushi restaurant with Maria. I ate some sushi and drank tea.

I made some photos in the underground. You can see me with constructions which forbid you to enter the metro without ticket and with escalator and train :) It was fun!

And in the evening I drank some wine. Don`t you mind mummy?

Posted Feb 6, 2010, 6:49 pm
Hello mummy!
On Thursday I was in he bar :) Maria her friend (also Maria), Bruno and I had a party.
I drank some beer, but not much (hope you don`t mind) :)
I wish you great week-end mummy!

Posted Feb 7, 2010, 7:07 pm
Hello mummy!
Today I walked through Moscow. We were in Kitai-gorod district.

Kitai-gorod ( lit: China-town) is a business district within Moscow, Russia, encircled by mostly-reconstructed medieval walls. It is separated from the Moscow Kremlin by Red Square. It does not constitute a district (raion), as there are no resident voters, thus, municipal elections are not possible. Rather, the territory is managed directly by Central Administrative Okrug authorities (since 2003).

You can see my photo with the church of the trinity in Nikitniki, one of the most beautiful churches in Moscow.

Then we went to Red Square
Red Square (Russian: Krásnaya plóshchad’;) is a city square in Moscow. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. As major streets of Moscow radiate from here in all directions, being promoted to major highways outside the city, Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and of all Russia.

I made photos with Kremlin and St.Basil`s Cathedral.
Today we were lucky and had sunny day.
We went out the Red Square area and saw very big woman in Russian national costume with round loaf!

And finally I had a lunch with cheese and punch! Yummy!

Posted Feb 28, 2010, 5:35 pm
Dear mummy!
I would like to inform you that I`m on my way to Canada! I can`t wait to see my new host! Hope I`ll reach Canada very soon.

Posted Mar 14, 2010, 4:03 am
Hi Mum!

I am in Canada :D!. I felt a lot of excitement around me before coming out of my envelope.

After coming out I found all the TVs visiting here looking at me :stare:. There are Hedgie who comes from Australia, Mortimer from Greece, Michel from Germany like me, Nijntje from the Netherlands, Dean from the USA and sammino who is a stay-at-home TV. They are very nice and appreciated a lot the card and chocolate that I brought from Russia ;).

I can’t wait to chat more with them, but now I’m a bit tired for the trip, I guess I need some rest ;).

Posted Mar 19, 2010, 2:55 am
Hi Mum,

Today we said goodbye to Michel who is travelling to his next host in China, how exciting :D! We all wished him a safe journey, hopefully it won’t take too long for him to get there :).

Posted Mar 26, 2010, 5:50 pm
Hi  Mum,

smaug told us that today we are going on holiday :D, so this morning we helped him in preparing the luggage. We don’t really know where we are going yet :rolleyes:, but we are very happy that, despite the main bag being fairly empty, we haven’t been put inside it to fill it up: we are travelling in the carry-on bag instead ;).

See you soon :).

Posted Mar 27, 2010, 1:52 pm
Hi Mum,

Guess what? I found out my destination: after a long, very long, and mostly uneventful trip I arrived between the mountains of Northern Italy :). Yesterday we had some excitement when, at the security controls in Calgary, they decided to have a closer look at smaug’s carry-on bag and we excitedly popped out of it earning him plenty of odd looks ;). One of the officers even decided that Dean was in desperate need of some grooming and brushed him with some sort of dust sweeper :rolleyes:. The flight only highlight  is that while we were crossing over Greenland we enjoyed a wonderful northern lights show :D. It was so cool: just like curtains of light moving in the night sky. Pity the photos we tried to take didn’t really come out any better that some dark blur :(.
Anyway, here in Trento we had a quick look out of the window: there’s plenty of green around and even a small river right here next to the house :).

Well, I am sure I will have a chance to explore around soon, now we are all a bit jet lagged so we are going to sleep ;).

Posted Mar 27, 2010, 5:34 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we started exploring around here. First we got a good breakfast of cookies and hot chocolate to get the necessary strength ;).

smaug took us to a to a little village near Trento. The village lies in a sort of balcony on the side of the mountain and on one side sits at the top of a 200m high rock wall overlooking the town :stare:. From here you have a wonderful view of downtown Trento.

You can also see the valley heading south.

Later we went a bit higher up the mountain to a stretch of road nicknamed “7 tornanti”, that in English would sound like “7 hairpins”. It’s called like that because there are 7 hairpins in a very short stretch of road that, as you can guess, looks very “curvy” :rolleyes:.

From one of the hairpins you can see the valley again, heading north this time.

Posted Apr 10, 2010, 6:54 pm
Hi Mum,

Today was a gorgeous sunny day and we took a walk along the river. From here you could see the place where we were yesterday, the top of that rock wall in the background.

At one point we managed to scramble down the bank and took a picture from the middle of the river :).

Before going back home we visited the front yard of a little church built on a hill near home. The church itself is not anything interesting, but the view over the valley is really beautiful :).

Posted Apr 10, 2010, 8:01 pm
Hi Mum,

Who ever said that Italy is a sunny country? It’s been raining for the last two days :(! Since we were getting a bit bored, today we explored a bit the house where we are staying. First sammino introduced us to some of his friends here. There is a big bald eagle...

...and two equally big owls. They were a bit upset that we woke them up in the middle of the day :rolleyes:, but they let us take a picture with them.

Later we met this interesting frog: apparently his job is to sit on the floor and croak whenever someone enters the door.

Then we found this old atlas. It must be old indeed, it still says that this part of Italy is part of the Austrian Empire :stare:.

At the end of our exploration we found this clock: sammino told us that it’s been broken for ages and there is no plan as yet to fix it: pity, it must be creepy hearing it at midnight ;).

Posted Apr 11, 2010, 3:38 am
Hi Mum,

The weather did not even slightly improve over the last couple of days so we are still stuck at home :(. So, today we decided to entertain ourselves with a bit of gambling by playing the roulette :D. That was good fun.

Later we wanted to engage in something more challenging and we organized a checkers tournament. It was a real battle of minds and, of course, I was the best B).

After so much playing we needed some food ;), so we had a typical Easter cake. It’s called colomba: that means “dove”, I guess due to a supposed to be bird-like shape...maybe with a lot of imagination :rolleyes:. Anyway, it was delicious :).

Posted Apr 12, 2010, 3:27 am
Hi Mum, Happy Easter from a very rainy Italy!

Although we are still waiting for news about the sun :rolleyes:, today we had good reason to celebrate: there was a special  Easter egg just for us TVs :D.

Reaching the chocolate was a bit of a challenge: we laboured our way past the wrapping just to find another layer of it :stare:.

But, eventually, me managed to get the egg open ;).

It was delicious :)!

Posted Apr 18, 2010, 11:17 pm
Hi Mum,

Today the sun reappeared in the sky after almost a week of rain :D, so we decided to go out for a tour around town. First we started up the slopes on the side of the valley. Here you can see  “Trento’s mountain”: it’s called Monte Bondone, and the ski slopes lying on the other side of it can be reached from town in about 20 minutes drive.

While here we were looking north up the valley.

As we drove by we saw some secondary valleys and more mountains in the background.

At one point there were only steep forested slopes and rocky peaks above our heads :stare:.

By some kind of magic  :rolleyes: we emerged back in the main valley a few km south of Trento. Here we could take a look at this nice castle :) (it doesn’t look like, but it is actually very big).

Before heading back home, smaug took us up a little road on the opposite side of the valley from which we could have a look at the vineyards on the valley floor....I wonder if we’ll have a chance to taste some of the wine ;).

Posted Apr 19, 2010, 12:19 am
Hi Mum,

My (wet :rolleyes:) Italian holiday is coming to an end. Today we helped smaug preparing his luggage and tomorrow early in the morning (very, very, very early in the morning :stare:) we will start heading back to Calgary.

See you soon :).

Posted May 3, 2010, 3:01 am
Hi Mum!

It was like Christmas this week :D! Yesterday Pepita (one of smaug’s TVs) arrived back home to rest for a few days....and she brought a lot of lovely sweets with her ;).

And today a new guest arrived: Spooky, a nice dog from Japan :D!

I guess we’ll have plenty to chat about for a few days ;).

Posted May 3, 2010, 4:18 am
Hi Mum!

Today the weather was quite nice (after the blizzards of earlier this week :rolleyes:) so smaug took us out for a short walk in the woods :). We spent most of the time under the trees encouraging smaug while he was labouring his way in the fresh snow ;).

But when he stopped to rest we played a bit in the snow by ourselves :).

At one point we found a place with a good view over the valley.

But those clouds in the distance were a bit concerning, so we decided that it was enough for the day and went back to the car.

Posted May 11, 2010, 2:25 am
Hi Mum!

Guess what? It’s been snowing again for most of the week, and we are in May :stare:!

But today the weather was a bit better, so we went out for another short walk in the woods :). Some sections had plenty of fresh snow.

On the way we found a couple of nice spots where we could take a photo.

Posted May 11, 2010, 3:10 am
Hi Mum!

Today we said goodbye to my friend Pepita who is travelling to her next host, so we wished her a safe journey :). After crossing each other path in Germany and twice in Canada, I wonder where we are going to meet next ;).

Posted May 15, 2010, 5:21 am
Hi Mum!

Today smaug came back home and told us that Hedgie has been invited to a trip to Fiji :stare: and will leave tomorrow to make sure he catches his flight. So tonight we all gathered together to wish him a safe trip :D.

Posted May 20, 2010, 4:13 am
Hi Mum,

Today it was very warm...for Canadian standards, of course we went for a nice walk to a place called Prairie Mountain. Soon after leaving the car park we could see the Elbow River meandering in the valley below :).

Once we reached the top it wasn’t that warm anymore, the wind was bone chilling :stare:, but the view was great :). We had lots of mountains in the West and South...

...and Moose Mountain in the North. smaug said that we might go there in a few weeks when the snow melts.

In the East we could see the prairies...and with a very good zoom you could even see Calgary in the distance...but not in this photo ;).

Posted May 25, 2010, 3:41 am
Hi Mum!

Today the weather wasn’t too bad, a bit windy actually :rolleyes:, so we went visiting a new place between the mountains. We left the car at Barrier Lake and after a bit of walking we had a wonderful view over the lake...

...and of Kananaskis Valley :).

Moving up towards the lookout the view opened on the foothills rolling down into the prairies in the East.

From the lookout we could see the Bow Valley carving its way into the Rockies.

On the way back we followed a trail that was always in a very thick forest, so I just spent the time chatting with the other TVs ;).

Posted May 31, 2010, 5:00 am
Hi Mum,

Today we all gathered together to say goodbye and wish a safe trip to Nijntje who tomorrow is going back home :).

Posted Jun 13, 2010, 5:15 am
Hi Mum,

Today we were again up on the mountains :). smaug said that we were going to a trail that hopefully should have been fairly clear of his dreams :rolleyes:. On the road we found this sign and suggested that maybe it was a good idea to take the heed and turn back, but smaug said that we had nothing to worry about and went on :stare:.

Actually smaug was right, the first part of the trail was clear from snow, it was a mucky watercourse instead :o. But after wading through that for a good hour we reached a nice view point :).

Later the landscape went back to usual, no shortage of fresh snow at all.

But it was worth the effort as we reached a place with an even nicer view :).

The way back was, of course, very muddy, so I’ll spare you the details of that ;).

Posted Jun 21, 2010, 4:41 am
Hi Mum,

Today it was (eventually :rolleyes:) a very nice ad warm day, so we went for a long hike :). We spent the first part of the day walking among the trees, but once we reached our destination the view was beautiful :D. Here you can see Lake Minnewanka...

...and some of the surrounding mountains.

On the way down we had a few more nice views.

As the day was lovely we stopped on the lake shore, where an eagle come down greeting us :stare:. It was Landroval, one of smaug’s TVs who just flew back from Japan. While smaug was resting in the sun we had plenty of time to chat ;).

Posted Jun 27, 2010, 7:45 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we said goodbye to Mortimer_ who is going to spend some time at home in Greece for the summer....lucky him ;)!

Posted Jun 27, 2010, 8:14 pm
Hi Mum,

Today we welcomed a new guest who arrived in a very big parcel :stare:.

He’s name’s Red Navel and he comes from Russia....and he brought some lovely chocolate with him :D.

Posted Jun 27, 2010, 8:37 pm
Hi Mum,

It’s just lke being at the train station here in Calgary this week, TVs going, TVs coming :rolleyes:. Today there was another arrival:

Roderich :D, who comes from Germany. He brough over some lovely cereal bars :) and a flower chain in the German colours to cheer on Germany at the football world cup.....I wonder what smaug will have to say about that :rolleyes:.

Posted Jun 27, 2010, 9:27 pm
Hi Mum,

Today seemed to be a nice day so we went for a walk on the mountains. On the way to the trailhead we got pelted with rain and hail :o, but once we parked the car it was nice and sunny and the view was wonderful :).

As we went up the weather started turning ugly.

Here we got a view of our destination for the day.

Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photo from the top as it started raining heavily, or was it snow :rolleyes:? On the way down we met again Landroval. sammino told him that there is a nice host waiting for him in the States, so he said goodbye to us, grabbed our lunch :stare: and just flew away.

Posted Jul 2, 2010, 1:42 am
Hi Mum!

Today I said goodbye to all my friends here as tomorrow I’ll go to the post office and start my trip to Hong Kong,  I am so excited :D!

sammino gave me a big hug and wished me a safe trip :).

Posted Jul 11, 2010, 8:19 am
With my special power, I can go to any place I want anytime.
Last minute I was still under the snowy mountain,
the next minute I was already in the sunny Hong Kong!

Hong Kong has a beautiful harbour, the Victoria Harbour,
It's the first time for me to be so near with a ferry~ :rolleyes:

Ferries are usually in green colour,
this one is so colourful because it is with a advertisement.

Enjoying the sea breeze made me so happy!
And you know, Hong Kong is in Summer time and it's very very hot,
if there's no wind, it will be too hot to me!

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 9:18 am
This is the tallest building in Hong Kong, it locates in the Kowloon Peninsula,
the hill behind is the "Lion Rock Hill", it looks like a lying lion,
with its head facing the left~ :stare:

The fishball is chewy and delicious,
i really like this typical street snack! :rolleyes:

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 9:40 am
I had a seafood dinner tonight,
instead of having own dish of food,
people here like to have dishes of food and share together.

The food tonight are the octopus (don't know if this octopus know Paul? :o ), hot corn soup and crabs.

Though I am a ghost, I eat any kind of food~  B)

Posted Jul 18, 2010, 9:52 am
It's the first time for me to see such a huge toy figure.
All toys are from the movie "Toy Story 3".
I also met some alien friends, we had a great time.
(I am sure that ghost and alien know what to share with each other!  B) )

Here's another well-known street snack, the egg shaped waffle,
and the taiwan style drink as well~

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 12:45 pm
Heritage 1881 is now a shopping mall and heritage hotel.
Originally it was the headquarters of the Hong Kong Marine Police from the 1880's to 1996.
The Victorian architecture tells the colonial background.  :stare:

I played around the cannon, and saw the Time Ball Tower,
there's a tradition of dropping the time ball at 1pm every day.

Next to the it is a typhoon mast where signals were raised manually during typhoons in the past.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 12:54 pm
What a cool Fire Engine!  :cyclops:
I am so excited to get on it!
There's also the fireman's pole~  B)

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 4:52 pm
This is a  local wet market in Central,
you can find a lot of fresh food here, and some special seafood
like salty fish and dired squid as well.
I also found some dried tofu too.

Along the street, there's a shop selling chinese lanterns,
behind me is a big kite of goldfish. ;)

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 5:27 pm
My breakfast today is a local style red bean pudding.
It's sweet in taste and the red bean are chewy~

People used to call it "bowl-pudding",
because it's poured into a little bowl to wait for it to cool down to become jelly like.
After it's cool, they will used the bamboo stick to take it out,
just like the way you see it in the photo.  :D

The one I had is made from yello sugar, so the colour is a bit brown,
another one is made from white sugar, that the colour is white.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 5:32 pm
Photos today show you a exhibition.
The artpieces are made of food!
There are kiwi watch, banana purse, lettuse hat and so on.
Some dummies were shown too.  :cyclops:

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 5:35 pm
Nice weather today and it's just great night view!!!  B) B)

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 5:39 pm
I travelled the star ferry before,
but it's my first time to be on the upper deck.

Every chair has a star on it~  :rolleyes:
After a few rainy days, we have great weather finally.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 5:49 pm
Another special transportation today - tram.

All the trams usually have advertisements on their body,
I am lucky to see one having its own green colour.  :cyclops:

We enjoyed our time on the tram.

I passed through a construction site with bamboo scaffolding,
and the central library, it's the biggest library in Hong Kong. :)

In Hong Kong, we can pay the fare by either octopus card or coins,
and tram is having a fixed fare no matter how long your journey is,
as all of us don;t have an octopus card,
we decided to pay by coins, the fare is HK$2.0.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 5:54 pm
Another exhibition today, all are big creatures!  :o
They are so real and amazing...  :)

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 6:02 pm
People used to have "cool tea" when they had too much fried food.

"cool tea" is not really a cool tea, just because in the theory of chinese medicine,
fried food is something "hot", so having "cool tea" can help.  :rolleyes:

"cool tea" is a drink made of some chinese herbs,
there are many kinds of tea, the one I had today is "24 taste",
it's because it's made of 24 different herbs.

And the herbal jelly as well, but its taste is bitter that I have to add some sugar.  :stare:

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 6:07 pm
The dinner tonight is Korean style barbecue.
In the middle of the table is where you cook the food yourself.

There are salad, meat and some korean appetizer as well.
Yea~ I will become a fat ghost~~  :p

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 6:11 pm
After dinner, we went to the seaside to have a walk.  :rolleyes:
Still cars on the highway even it's night time.

Posted Aug 1, 2010, 6:29 pm
I read a book about ghost today.
The ghosts from the book is a bit different from those I knewn before.
All of them are chinese ghosts, some ghosts are fairies too.  :o

Ghosts are not always scary and bad,
I knew there's some are very nice and will spread flowers (good things) to the human world.

And then it's something aboout the after death world.
When people died, they are leaded to the judge to see where they will go next,
the hell or heaven.
If you do too many bad things in your life, you will be punished,
like receiving pain from the knife hill, bite by the black hell dogs and so on.
(oh! it's scary!!!!  :thinking: :thinking:)

Before proceeding to the next life, they will visit an old lady called "Mann Por" first.
She will give everyone a soup,
which made you forget your previous life and things happened in the after death world.

When people are dying,
it's very easily for them to see the ghost with horse face and ox face.
It's because they are the leader of the hell,
whose duty i s to lead the "new ghost" to the judgement house.

Some well-known fairy like the three old man:
"Fook" (Luck), "Luk"(Weath) and "Sau" (Health),
they can be fairy instead of ghost is because they did a lot of good things before they died.  :)

:thinking: um... um... after reading the book,
something's in my head but I am still figuring it out...  :)

Posted Aug 15, 2010, 2:42 pm
You know, I am a ghost, I don't have any feet,
and I move anywhere I like by using my special power.

But I had a strange dream tonight.
I dreamed that I have two legs, and... WALK!!!  :o
I even jogging happily and singing songs!!
(but I don't have a mouth...)

Is it strange? Is it strange?
Yes, It's very strange.  :stare:

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 8:34 am
Today Vi shows us the Hong Kong flag,
it's red in colour with a flower in the middle,
the flower is Bauhinia, which is the regional flower here.
See there are five stars hiding in the flower?
The stars were added to state that Hong Kong is part of China.

By thw way, can you find Vi in the photo?
Let me give you some hints, find her on the floor~  ;)

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 8:46 am
We went to the Planning & Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery this afternoon,
There are exhibits telling the history of Hong Kong,
How it changed from a fishing village to a city.

There are games and models showing some key spot and buildings.
And a map of Hong Kong, and I realized that Here is a quite hilly place!
And islands too. Maybe I can have a visit to one of them later on?

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 8:54 am
MTR is the railway system,
MTR stands for Mass Transit Railway,
the same as the subway/ tube/ underground.

The stations here are neat and tidy,
each station has their own colour, so it's easy for passengers to identify.

You can see from the map, the system almost reachs the whole Hong Kong.

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:02 am
Had some random shots in Central.

I came to the Exchange Square and saw this lovely little cow,
sitting in the fountain.
Another one is a sculpture of a man doing Tai Chi exercise.

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:18 am
It's having good weather, I can see the moon.
Are you doing the same as me, looking at the moon, Mom?  :)

Vi told me that the next time when I see the full moon will be Mid-Autumn Festival,
also known as mooncake festival.
It's a traditional and long-history custom.
Looking forward to it because I can play lantern on that day~  :D

I can enjoy the good harbour view from Central Pier.
The ferries here go to Kowloon Pier,
right next to it is the Clock Tower and Cultural Centre.

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:28 am
With the new camera, I can finally got some nice night photos.
Actually it's very windy, glad that I don't have any hair,
or else the photos will make you laugh!  :cyclops:

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:39 am
Nathan Road is the longest straight road in Hong Kong.
It locates in Kowloon Peninsula,
starts from Tsim Sha Tsui (where the Clock Tower locates),
ends at Prince Edward.

Along the road, there are thousands of shops, restaurants,
cars and buses, people, and the most important thing - neon light signs!

It's very new to me!  :o

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:47 am
Behind me is the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui Seaside,
it was built to thanks the helps and efforts and outstanding performance of the film stars.

The statue is the sculpture of the trophy of HK Film Festival.  B)

Posted Aug 21, 2010, 9:54 am
Last time I saw the clock Tower from far away,
now I am finally at the feet of it!

It's a remarkable site here,
it's orignally part of the train terminal,
but remains here during the move of the terminal.

This sculpture is named as "The Flying Frenchman".

Finally three f us got a group photo with the beautiful night view~  B)

Posted Aug 29, 2010, 7:11 am
While waiting for the ferry, we wandered around the pier.
We go upstairs and found this exhibit.
All three of us tried to be a good captain too!  :cyclops:

Posted Aug 29, 2010, 7:22 am
Last time I was in the Island Line of the MTR system (subway/tube/bahn),
this time I am in the West Rail Line.

It's colourful inside the cabin, there's also a television boardcasting news.  :o

Then you see me on a bus, a double deck one.
Buses here are usually double decker.
There are two televisions (again!) in each deck,
announcements will be made to tell you the stop along the journey.  :D

See the black thing on the yellow handrail?
We just need to press it,
then the driver will know someone need to get off the bus.

Posted Aug 29, 2010, 8:01 am
It is Ghost Festival 盂蘭節 (yu-larn-jik) today.  :rolleyes:
It is the 14th of July in the Lunar Calendar,
a day that the gate of ghost's world will open,
letting the ghosts to visit their friends and relatives,
or finding food (especially those hungry ghosts).

I went to one of the site, iron house (temporary) were built,
a huge bright red sign with white paper lantern were set.
Along the road, people were there burning things,
they believe that through buring, the stuffs will be delivered to the ghosts.
Therefore, some of them will burn some money, clothes.
All the things they burnt are made of papers,
after burning,
all stuffs will become real and delivered.  :o

At night, I attend a ghosts party, it is a big day among all ghosts.
Being the representative of Germany, I am glad to be invited.  B)
It a little bit like an exchange program,
we shared a lot about ghosts, our places, and make friends.  :)

The girl dress in white with extremely long hair is Jing Zi,
one of the popular ghost from Japan,
she became famous after the movie "The Ring".

Then comes Mr Bat, he keeps drinking all night long.
He just addicted to the bloody wine.

And here's Hopping Man and his sister, Siu Cin.
Both of them are old style ghosts from China.
I am so interested in the way they dress, I have never seen before.

Hopping Man cannot walk, he can only hop, and keeps his arms straight.
No one is allowed to tear off the yellow curse that sticked on his face,
or else he will become a bad ghost and go finding blood.
Yes, he likes blood! Just the same as Mr Bat!
He's also a popular film star in 80's.

Siu Cin likes red, she told me that ghosts who dressed in red are usually a fierce one,
sometimes they will hide into an umbrella, especially in daytime.

The night was great and I love it!  :)

Posted Sep 5, 2010, 4:43 pm
Guess where did I go today?
A chinese park! Everywhere is full of unique chinese style,
and something should not be missed - rock lion!!  :cyclops:
Though they have a fierce face, they are all very friendly~
They even gave all of us a ride, cool!
They all got different gestures, styles and accessories~

Some of them have a round rock in their mouth,
it is for luck and something good,
also known as some gems or pearl in the reality. :o

There are also some bonsai plants too, can you see dragon crafted on the pot?  ;)

Posted Sep 5, 2010, 4:48 pm
Behind me is the Hong Kong Cultural Centre,
it's big and with some sculptures as decorations,
take a look of the ceiling, many lights too!  :rolleyes:
There's also a model of the building, with the open plaza and Clock Tower~
Don't you think the open plaza look like a human eye?  ;)

Posted Sep 12, 2010, 3:05 pm
Wooowwwwwoooowwwwow!!!!!!  :o
What an exciting adventure today!  B)

At the beginning, three of us found a huge footprint on the sand,
but we have no idea of what kind of animal it is.

And later! The land began to shake like having earthquakes,
I turned around and saw... a dinosaur!  :o

I was so scared at first but then found that they are all so friendly~
We wandered around the place and saw many of them,
they all have an extremely big foot (when comparing with ours!),
we had to be very careful or else will become a piece of paper.

There are some lovely babies~  B) And some flying ones.
We walked and walked, suddenly, two dinosaurs started to fight,
it is very dangerous and we don't want to be hurt,
but we ran too slow and luckily that I picked Kirin and Rendolph up then flew up to the sky.
After the fight is over, we stopped on a big mushroom and took some rest.

It's cool to be so near with the dinosaurs and their skeletons!  :)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 5:45 pm
Street snacks day~

"Mongkok" means "crowded corner", as it is named,
it is really the crowdest place here.

Various kind of shops, restaurants can be found here,
other than these, there are street snacks!
You can find a lot to eat!

1) Siu Pan (baked chinese pancake with pork fillings)
2) fried vegetables (stuffed with fish) and sausages
3) potato chips with sour cream

The blue shop sells japanese octopus ball,
the black one sells potato chips,
the black one with lantern sells siu pan,
and finally comes the chicken kidney... not bad!  :)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 5:49 pm
This is the Ladies' Market,
there are thousands choice of stuffs,
souvenirs, paintings, bags and clothes...
let's go shopping~  :cyclops:

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 5:52 pm
Today's special is - fishball wonton noodles!  :rolleyes:
Wontons are delicious, there are shrimps in it, yummy~
The drink is vegetable juice with honey, it's good to the throat.

Then... time for ice cream!!  B)

Posted Sep 18, 2010, 5:58 pm
We went to work with Vi today,
we are there quietly and didn't mess around,  :D
so we are rewarded with a peach jelly from japan.
Peach is pronounced as - "Tou" here,
and in japanese, it is pronounced as "momo"
yumyum, tasty momo jelly~  ;)

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:01 am
On 23rd August this year, it's ghost festival, that the gate of ghost world will open.

Therefore, some booth were set for people to worship,
and feast were set for those hungry ghosts.  :stare:
Some masters who who dressed in black were there to lead the prayer.

From the wall paintings, it shows some Chinese gods.
Paper props were made for the burning ceremony too.
People believed that after burning, the ghost will receive the things.  :o
You can see lots of paper money were prepared,
people also believed that if those ghosts have enough money,
they will not follow the human or do something harmful.  :stare:

The food for ghosts are various, cakes, fruits, and even incense sticks!  :o
Vi told that chinese ghost used to haveincense sticks,
once the sticks was burning, ghosts will be attracted by the smell.
The smell is some kind of food of the hungry ghosts.
Then I just know why I am not feeling hungry! And a bit full!!  :D

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:09 am
Other than booth for parying, booth for feast,
there's also a booth of chinese opera.  :)

The costumes seems quite heavy and complicated,
I have never seen all these before.  :stare:

Though I don't know the language,
it's still good to enjoy the show~  :)
I even saw the actoress preparing at the backstage.  :p

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:13 am
I see monsters!!!  :o :o
Glad that they stand still and couldn't move...

Next to the monsters, there stood a hi-fi elephant.
It's much nicer and invited us to have a sit on its long nose~  B)

Posted Sep 19, 2010, 8:19 am
Do I look handsome with the glasses on?  :cyclops:
I helped Vi out to gather the postcards for postcrossing,
and also helped to chose some postcards for her to write something on.
I was rewarded the chocolate of my great job~  :D