Papelbon, Richlands, USA


Posted Dec 17, 2008, 7:05 pm

I survived my first trip. It was sometimes cold, and sometimes i felt a little bit scared, but today i finally arrived at my first host. She comforts me the moment i came out of the envelope, and... i'm not alone!

But now i'm very tired and go to bed. I post pictures as soon as possible.

Big Hugs Papelbon

Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:50 am

Today i can show you my very first picture.
When i arrived i heard several voices talking. But it was dark in my envelope and i had no idea what to expect. Finally i saw some light. It hurt my eyes the first seconds, but after that i was used to it and saw my host and another TV.
Great to meet another one!

I think we can be good friends. Mr. Bubbles is a friendly fish. Hopefully i won't get to hungry here....

Big hugs Papelbon

Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:53 am

Today I asked Eva to tell me everything she know about Alkmaar and the Netherlands. She told me some interesting stories!


Alkmaar is above all Holland's cheese town. During the season from the first Friday of April to the first Friday of September a traditional cheese market is being held here on Friday mornings between 10 and 12.30. The cheeses are sold by dealers on a clap of hands. Thereupon the 400 year old cheese porters' guild goes into action, carrying the cheese off on barrows after the lot has been weighed at the Waag (the official scales). In the Waaggebouw - in which the scales are housed - a cheese museum that tells everything about dairy farming has been established.
Cheese has been weighed in Alkmaar since 1635.

Alkmaar is historical with around 400 monuments. The Waag, dating back in its earliest form to the 14th century, the 16th century town-hall, Grote St. Laurens Church and the many courtyards, facades and canals give the town an ambience all of its own. With the past as a setting, the town has a modern stock of shops offering a wide choice. Besides the predominantly small shops in the old centre, the Noorder Arcade with large scale shopping facilities stands by the side of the Noord Holland Canal.

Alkmaar is the biggest town in the region. Relaxation can also be found in the Geestmerambacht recreational area close by.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland]) is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean. The Netherlands is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy, located in Western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.

The Netherlands is often called Holland. This is formally incorrect as North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country's twelve provinces. As a matter of fact, many Dutch people colloquially use Holland as a synecdoche, being well aware of the widespread use of this name. For more on this and other naming issues see terminology of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying and densely populated country. It is popularly known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, its dikes and surge barriers, and, on the other hand, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. But primarily, the Netherlands is a modern, advanced and open society. An old parliamentary democracy, the country is more recently known for its rather liberal policies toward recreational drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia. The Netherlands is also one of the most densely cabled countries in the world; its internet connection rate is 87.8%, the 2nd highest in the world.

The Netherlands has an international outlook; among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. Along with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Netherlands is one of three member nations of the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international(ised) courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. All of these courts (except the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), as well as the EU's criminal intelligence agency (Europol), are situated in The Hague, which has led to the city being referred to as "the world's legal capital."

A remarkable aspect of the Netherlands is its flatness. Hilly landscapes can be found only in the south-eastern tip of the country on the foothills of the Ardennes, the central part and where the glaciers pushed up several hilly ridges such as the Hondsrug in Drenthe, the stuwwallen (push moraines) near Arnhem and Nijmegen, Salland, Twente and the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.

Main article: Religion in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the more secular countries in the Western Europe, with only 39% being religiously affiliated (31% for those aged under 35), although 62% are believers (but 40% of those not in the traditional sense). Fewer than 20% visit church regularly .

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 34% of Dutch citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 37% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 27% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

In 1950, before the secularisation of Europe, and the large settlement of non-Europeans in the Netherlands, most Dutch citizens identified themselves as Christians. In 1950, out of a total population of almost 13 million, a total of 7,261,000 belonged to Protestant denominations, 3,703,000 belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, and 1,641,000 had no acknowledged religion.

However, Christian schools are still funded by the government, but the same applies for schools founded on other religions, nowadays Islam in particular. While all schools must meet strict quality criteria, from 1917 the freedom of schools is a basic principle in The Netherlands.

Three political parties in the Dutch parliament (CDA, ChristianUnion and SGP) base their policy on the Christian belief system.

Erasmus (1466–1536).The Netherlands has had many well-known painters. The 17th century, when the Dutch republic was prosperous, was the age of the "Dutch Masters", such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruysdael and many others. Famous Dutch painters of the 19th and 20th century were Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondriaan. M. C. Escher is a well-known graphics artist. Willem de Kooning was born and trained in Rotterdam, although he is considered to have reached acclaim as an American artist. Han van Meegeren was an infamous Dutch art forger.

The Netherlands is the country of philosophers Erasmus of Rotterdam and Spinoza. All of Descartes' major work was done in the Netherlands. The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) discovered Saturn's moon Titan and invented the pendulum clock. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms with a microscope.

In the Dutch Golden Age, literature flourished as well, with Joost van den Vondel and P.C. Hooft as the two most famous writers. In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the bad treatment of the natives in Dutch colonies. Important 20th century authors include Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Simon Vestdijk, Cees Nooteboom, Gerard (van het) Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she died in The Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages.

Replicas of Dutch buildings can be found in Huis ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan. A similar Holland Village is being built in Shenyang, China.

Windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, cheese and Delftware pottery are among the items associated with the Netherlands.

Big hugs Papelbon

Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:54 am

I really wanna show you some pictures of Alkmaar and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands

This is the flag of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a small country next to Germany and Belgium. On the left side lies the Nordsea.

Here you can see the Netherlands and the biggest towns. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.


The flag of Alkmaar

The weapon of Alkmaar

The map were you can see Alkmaar

This was the map of Alkmaar in 1652

The cities wich lies next to Alkmaar

and last but not least: the city hall of Alkmaar

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Big hugs Papelbon

Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:57 am

Because Eva isn't able to go outside at the moment we decided to show you information and sites about Alkmaar at another way. I hope you enjoy it!


This cheese market is open every Friday morning between 10 and 12 from the first Friday in April until the first Friday in September. Market activities are explained in Dutch, German, English and sometimes Japanese. There are four teams (vemen) of cheese-porters (kaasdragers), who can be recognised by their differently coloured straw hats: red, blue, green and yellow. Two porters bring cheese on stretchers to the weighing house (Waag) - a typical stretcher "weighs in" at about 160 kilograms. Merchants sample the cheeses and decide on a price using a barter system called handjeklap, literally clapping hands.

Ruin church in Bergen:
This picturesque ruin church in Bergen once was the biggest church in Noord-Holland. From the 16th century church there is only a ruin left now, because the Beggars started a fire here. Only the choir of the church was rebuilt, so from the original church you can now only see the ruins.
In the village Bergen in Noord-Holland there are many beautiful old houses situated around the old village church.

Big church
During building the largest medieval church in Alkmaar, the church was already called the big church, because of its size. The big church is not only the largest and highest church in Alkmaar, but also the church which trough the centuries, stood most and called the jewel of the city. Originally the church was dedicated to Saint Laurens. That’s why, for centuries, the church is called The Saint Laurenschurch.

The church was probably designed by architect Anthonius Keldermans (Belgium) (1440-1512)

Beside Anthonius Keldermans brother, also his son was involved in the disign of the church, in which 26 freestanding columns support the roof. The Saint Laurens church is a basilica,

The outside walls rest on a fundation which is just below the ground. Built in the Brabant’s gothic style, which is bigger and more massive in its form than the French gothic. The building is 35 meters high and has a cross length of 85x56 meters. The outside walls rest on a one meter broad foundation which is just below thethe ground, and gradually becomes broader to a depth of tree meters. The last resauration of in-and exterieur was accomplished in 1996.

The large saint Laurens church counts two, world famous organs: Van Covelens organ (also called choir organ) and it VanHagerbeer/Schnitger or large organ. The choir organ descends from 1511 and has been placed against the northern wall of the church. The last restoration of this old, still playable, organ in the Netherlands, was completed in the year 2000. In 1636 arose the idea for the construction of a large organ in the church. Several organ builders have worked on it, but in 1645 Jacobus Caltus van Hagerbeer completed the large organ. Jacob Van Campen devised the organ cupboard and in 1643  Caesar Van Everdingen got the task to paint the doors of the organ cupboard with the ‘triomfe van den Coninck Saul’. This painting belongs to his first large work. Above the organ the painter Romeyn de Hooghe painted in baroque striking, (‘de deugd, die de ondeugd verplettert’)" virtue crushing the vice". From 1723 up to 1725 the large organ was restored and extended by Frans Caspar Schnitger. In course of time there have been several restorations on this organ.

St. Joseph Church
This church was put in use in 1910. Designed by famous church builders and students of PJH Cuypers, the Margry brothers. The church is built in neo-gothic style, which shows by the way the towers are placed and by the arched roofs.

The church is placed beautifully and is in possession of wonderful stained glass windows. The statue of Christ has been placed in 1948, in memory of Alkmaar war-victims. Their names are placed on a memorial plaque on the churches wall.

Big hugs Papelbon

Posted Dec 20, 2008, 12:12 pm

Today Eva had a suprise for me, to welcome me in the Netherlands.

I had no idea were we are going to...

It was the Dutch Mac Donalds!

Big hugs Papelbon

p.s. the food was delicious!

Posted Dec 24, 2008, 1:54 pm

Today we went to Bergen in Nord-Holland.
There's a beautifull forest.
Unfortunally it's fall, so the trees have no leaves anymore. But still it was wonderfull to be there!

A fallen tree

It storms very often in the west of the Netherlands.

Big Hugs Papelbon

Posted Dec 27, 2008, 12:19 pm

It's christmas!
My host family went to Den Helder to visit their family.

Den Helder has ever started with the arising of Huisduinen, a whaler village. Gradually it developed into Den Helder which we know now. A city which was built within the linies of the forten. Later formed a number of districts there around. The space between the different town parts is characteristic. Den Helder is a city with a strongly maritime screen. Sea-going, the rescue being, the offshore and the royal Navy natural.

The Navy has stipulated many years' the image of Den Helder. But the Navy shrank in, Den Helder threatened to become a city with no face. By nourishing the culturehistory , the tales of the seaman and with that the coherent heroiek Den Helder has rediscovered its own core values.

Eva told me this while i was watching the ship-building yard.

The Netherlands has a few islands. The best known is Texel.
We were standing on the dunes in Den Helder and saw Texel because the sky was very clear.

This is the boat wich brings the people to Texel.

Today i have a hangover. We drunk a lot of wine...
But it was great to see my host her family. Unfortunally we didn't make pictures, but i promise i make a lot of pictures at new years eve!

Big hugs Papelbon.


Posted Jan 1, 2009, 5:40 pm
Happy New year!!!!

We celebrate it at my host her home.

First we drink a lot of wine:

We also watched tv and we were hoping to win 12,5 milion euro. But unfortunally we didn't win.

At 12 o'clock there was a lot of firework! It was so beautifull to see. Only one picture succeed:

It was great to celebrate this evening in another country.

Big Hugs Papelbon

Posted Jan 14, 2009, 5:42 pm

Tomorrow i'm going to my new host. I had a great time here in Alkmaar, allthought i didn't see much. My host says sorry for that!

Bye Alkmaar, Leidschendam here i come!

Big hugs Papelbon

Posted Feb 15, 2009, 2:09 pm
First of all my host would like to apologize for not updating any sooner. I must say that she did take good care of me. Here are some pictures of me in Leidschendam:

Posted Feb 15, 2009, 2:19 pm
Our host is in the process of moving into a new house. She took me with her to show me where she is going to live in a few weeks time. This is what it looked like before:

And then, after a couple of hours hard work, this is what it looks like now:

Looks a lot better, right?

Posted May 5, 2009, 9:31 pm
Hello mum!!

I arrived savely at Marjolein's house in 's Hertogenbosch a few days ago! Today we went to a Postcrossing/ToyVoyagersmeeting in the Miniature City Madurodam in The Hague (Den Haag)! This is me with ALL the other tv's that came in a giant wooden shoe!

This is us including Dandilion, BlackCat and Marjolein.

This is what Madurodam looks like.

Me with real Dutch tulips!

And the toys including me again at a windmill.

Marjolein released some toys and we wrote a lot of postcards!


Posted May 5, 2009, 9:36 pm
After Madurodam we went to the beach of Scheveningen!

This is the famous Pier of Scheveningen, from which you can bungeejump!

It was very hot so Marjolein wanted to walk on the beach and see some sandcastles.

I think I will lock myself in the fridge when we get home! It's so hot!

But of course I did like it :D

Hugs Papelbon


Posted Jun 7, 2009, 4:26 pm
Today the wheather was really hot! I went on a bicyclytour with Marjolein and her best friend Dieuwerke. We started and ended in the city Groningen. We drove about 26 kilometres and had a picknick in Wierumerschouw! Marjolein had also never heard of it, but apparently it's a very small village near the city Groningen.

In Wierumerschouw I saw this great bridge.

When I get home I wil REALLY need to lock myself in the fridge!

Hugs Papelbon

Posted Jun 7, 2009, 4:32 pm
Today I said goodbye to Marjolein and The Netherlands! I am going to Manchester, hurray! I have heard the wheather is always bad in England, so I love it already! :D

I said goodbye to Marjolein's balcony.

And to the view from the balcony.


Posted Jun 8, 2009, 4:03 pm

I have arrived in Manchester, and it is dry and warm today! Not the weather I enjoy at all but I'm sure it will be cold again soon  :rolleyes:

I will post some pictures up soon, Siobhan and Mike tell me we are going to a farm with Bunnerton and Alizee later this week - I can't wait!

Posted Jun 16, 2009, 9:22 pm

Just back from visiting the farm in Northallerton with my hosts and Alizee. Bunnerton did not come with us in the end as he has gone to North Carolina on a last minute trip! You can read about it in his travelog.

Anyway, back to our holiday. We were staying in a self catering cottage on a working farm, we were very close to all the cows!

They were very inquisitive!

It was a lovely warm evening when we arrived so we settled down to a few drinks. At first I shared mine with Alizee but then we decided to have one each.

I think having one each was a mistake....I don't remember much else about the holiday!

We're back now, our next trip is to Russia next month but there might be some day trips in between!

Posted Sep 11, 2009, 6:56 pm
I arrived back home today after being gone for a few months.  I am now ready to go visit other hosts in any part of the world! If you are interested in hosting me, please send my owner a private message!!


Posted Oct 3, 2009, 8:50 pm
When I woke up I was feeling like yogi. Auuuu. What happened? I don't know how I get there but I landed on a cactus!
It was kinda confusing because I thought I traveled to the Czech republic. But in the Czech republic surely don't grow cactuses.  :o

Where I am?

I jumped down on a chair and I realized that somebody is watching me.

I was quite shy but I said Hello to both of them. They answered and told that they are Dottie Mouse and Wieka. They are ToyVoyagers too and they come from Germany! We talked a bit and I found out that I am really in the Czech republic and the cactus is only a plant in a flower pot. Ahhh, mystery solved.  :cyclops:

I am so happy that I found friends here and I am not alone. :)

I think I will have a great time here in the Czech republic!


Posted Oct 6, 2009, 4:43 pm
Hi mom!
Today we went playing badminton for a while. I was playing against Dottie Mouse and Wieka was flying around us and was looking after the ball. Our match finished as a draw :)


Posted Oct 11, 2009, 12:57 pm
Hi mom,
today we went to castle park in Cakovice which is part of Prague.

There was a statue of unidentifiable animal. We made a group photo with it.

Everywhere is visible that autumn is coming and leaves are starting to change colors.

In the park there is a pond with many friends Anas platyrhynchos  :cyclops:

And the end of walk we rested a while at a tree...

... later we moved to a big tree stump. I wonder how old the tree was  :o

Will update soon!


Posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:00 am
Hi mom!
Misa told us yesterday that we are going on a trip today but the destination is secure! She didn't tell us where we are going to! I am so excited!
We had to get up really early! At 4:10 am!
The only she told us is that we are going to travel there by train.

Here we are in train at out seats. We all were curiously craning our necks.
Our starting position was Praha Main Railway Station.


Posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:13 am
After about an hour of traveling we were in Pardubice - the city of ginger bread and horse races!

I thought this was the final destination of our trip but it wasn't. The train started moving again. We better sat on the comfortable seats.

Posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:26 am
The train slowed down again! It was raining and the journey was comfortable. Misa told us that we are not yet getting off. I must confess that I was quite happy we don't have to get off when I saw the rain from the window and was hoping it stops raining soon.
We arrived to Brno. It's the second largest city in the Czech republic.

Posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:38 am
It stopped raining! That's great! :) We still had to hold on in the train as we weren't at the end of our jurney yet. I can't wait!
We were in Breclav here. When we looked at a map we realized it seems like we were leaving Czech republic!  :o

Posted Oct 15, 2009, 6:52 pm
We finally arrived! Wow!!! Misa took us to Vienna, Austria! What a surprise. How she knew I have never been there before?  :)
Here I am with our train.

First place we visited was Belvedere and its garden. I guess there was a dry summer. The small lake in front of the Oberes Belvedere was completely empty!


We saw some crows. (Are they crows?) We asked them to take a group photo with them but we weren't allowed  :(
So we have photos with them only.

The gardens around Belvedere were amazing. I think they are even nicer in spring!

There was also a fantastic fountain! Look at the crow flying over it!

Another fountain! I am keen on fountains!  :cyclops:

Heh  :cyclops:

Ready - Steady - Go !

Then we went to a Stephansdom (St. Stephen Cathedral) which is situated in Stephansplatz. It's one of the most important Austrian Gothic monuments and a symbol of Vienna. It was built in 12th century.

This is Vienna State Opera. It's also a beautiful and significant building.

This is interesting, there were many riding statues. Maybe it's because the famous breed of horse Lipizzan which is closely associated with the Spanish Riding Shool of Vienna. The Lipizzan breed dates back to the 16th century, when it was developed with the support of the Habsburg nobility. The Riding School belongs to the complex of Hofburg which was Habsburg winter residence.

Here we are having rest in front of Hofburg :)

Wow! A historic bus!

The man behind me is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but he is quite blurred. :(

In Austria they have really beautiful building of Parliament.

And a great bathing!  The water was just right for a polar bear! :cyclops:

The man was so charmed by the woman on the right that he is still spilling water from pitcher. Lubber!

A lady with laptop!  :o

My first experience with underground in Vienna!

As we were in Vienna we had to visit famous Prater with its Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel). It stands at the entrance of the Prater (amusement park in Leopoldstadt). It is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Later we saw this beautiful castle. Unfortunately Misa is forgetful and she doesn't remember its name. Anyway it's quite similar to one castle in the Czech republic if it helps.  :cyclops:

And another place that we couldn't omit! The Danube!

After that we were on our way to Hundertwasserhaus. Before we got there we met a similar building. It was a Hundertwasser Museum.

And here it is... Hundertwasser House. It's an apartment house and is one of Vienna's most visited buildings so we cannot be absent :)

Later we met a rabbit. Someone's hands were just taking him out from a magic hat. Poor guy!

And then it was time to return back to Prague. Me, Dottie Mouse and Wieka were so tired that we slept on our seat in train.

Good night!


Posted Oct 17, 2009, 12:32 pm
Hi mom!

It was really horrible weather this week. So cold and windy! The winter arrived one month earlier than usually.
It even snowed today! I would never expect snow at the middle of October here. Misa read in newspaper today was the coldest day in last 30 years (It means the coldest 15th October in last 30 years to be specific).
I better looked out from the terrace for a while and I was glad that I didn't need to go anywhere.


Posted Oct 18, 2009, 10:30 am
Hi mommy!

As it was rainy weather we stayed home and helped Misa with jigsaw puzzle. I think she will have hard work with it because the puzzle contains 10.000 pieces. Hopefully the finishes it someday. I will keep fingers crossed  :)

This is how it should look like when it is finished. It's a painting by Diego Velasquez called The Surrender of Breda. In final the puzzle will be much more bigger than this image.



Posted Oct 18, 2009, 12:51 pm
Hi mom!

Today me and Wieka went out in order to lull to sleep Misa's niece in a pram. Dottie Mouse stayed home and continnued with the puzzle.
At first we had to go under a highway.

Then appeared some colorful trees.

And in a while we were at Memorial of Premysl Orac.

According to a legend Premysl was a ploughman (in czech it is orac) and he was an ancestor of first governing dynasty called  Premyslovci. They ruled in the Czech lands from 9th century.

On the memorial there are two reliefs. The first show arrival of emissaries and telling Premysl that he must go to Prague, marry duchess Libuse and rule to Czech lands...

... and the second relief shows Premysl's arrival to castle Vysehrad and his reception by duchess Libuse.

Premysl and Libuse married and lived contentedly till death.  :rolleyes:

On the lateral side was something written also. There is information that the memorial was built in 1841.

I tried myself to operate the plough!

I saw many chestnut trees!

Then we continued on our way.

Later we came to a meadow whose path was full of mud so we couldn't pass through. Sometimes we can see roe deers here but noone today. :(

We rather returned back to where we walked before. Look at the fog over the hills!

As we succeed in lulling to sleep Misa's niece and it started raining again we returned home.


Posted Oct 21, 2009, 4:10 pm
Hello mom!
Today we were playing a board game! It's called Cesko and we could verify our knowledge about the Czech republic in this game. Fantastic! We learned so many new things! And it was so much fun!
Guess who won? :)



Posted Oct 22, 2009, 1:09 pm
Today Dottie Mouse is leaving for another adventures. She is going to United Kingdom!

I said good bye to her and gave her a big hug. She is so tiny against me!

At last before Dottie jumped into prepared envelope me and Wieka waved to her.

I'll miss her.


Posted Oct 25, 2009, 7:08 pm
Finally! Misa took us to see the historic center of Prague! I am so happy because I was looking forward to it very much! We had such a great day and we met some interesting people as well.  :rolleyes:

We started at Namesti Republiky. The square is lying on the boundary of the Old Town and the New Town. Close to it stands The Municipal House which is a concert hall. It's an Art Nouveau building whose construction started in 1905 and it was finished in 1912.

Next to the Municipal House (in czech called 'Obecni dum') stands another fantastic building. It's The Powder Gate. It's a Gothic gate and one of the symbols of Prague. It leads to The Old Town. Dating from 1475, the Powder Gate was built as one of 13 gates to the city of Prague.

Later we went by tram to Prague Castle. At first we wanted to see the Royal Garden.

There is castle Micovna. It's really interesting and beautiful building. It comes from 16th century and it was used for playing ball games.  Really! :o

On the other side of the Royal garden is Queen's Anna Folly which is also called Belvedere. It comes from the 16th century too and is built in Renaissance style.

All the old buildings were so beautiful!

We saw a helicopter!

It was a day when Joe Biden, the US vice-president, arrived to Prague. The Prague castle was full of soldiers and policemen. That was a really big event. They made many security moves. I was feeling so safe there!  :cyclops:

The US flag is only for you mom!  :D

Me and flag in castle courtyard.

Me in courtyard. :)

Some archeological discoveries.

And of course The St. Vitus Cathedral. The main dominant of the castle!
It's a roman catholic cathedral and the seat of Archbishop of Prague. It contains tombs of many Bohemian kings. It's the biggest and the most important church in the Czech republic. The present day Gothic Cathedral was founded in 1344.

As I said we met many soldiers. The one posed just for me! :)

We saw another church too! This time it was St. George Church with a convent.

We met a really cool place there! The Toy Museum! I think I am not old enough to be n specimen for museums but I feel the chance that maybe one time...  ;)

Here we were walking in another garden. It's called Na Valech.

On the right is St. Nikolas Church.

And then the beautiful red roofs.

And this is Senate.

We were coming to the Charles bridge, a place always full of tourists and a very magical place.

We met a completely alive wasp! Mmm, how interesting!

Besides we saw so called Rudolfinum, the concert hall.

The Old Town Bridge Tower is a tower in the entrance to Charles bridge. No need to tell you how important, old and beautiful building it is. :)

Here is the Prague castle from the Charles bridge.

And here is the Charles bridge from the ground.  :)

And this is Vltava river from another bridge (Jiraskuv)

Oh, how interesting! There are not only historical buildings in Prague!
Near from Jiraskuv bridge there is so called The Dancing House. It was finished in 1996. It was the first building designed by world famous architects realised after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The Dancing House is also called Ginger and Fred (after Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire). It is very original, isn't it?

On the hill over the Vltava river there is Lookout Tower Petrin. It's not a good picture but it is similar to Eiffel Tower in Paris and sometimes it's called Little Eiffel Tower.

This is the National Theather.

And this is another famous theather but much smaller. It's called Stavovske.

Then we continued on our way and we met Haveslke trziste which is a marketplace. You can buy there souvenirs and so on.

Narrow streets of the Old Town.

Look who I met there! Krtek the Mole! He is the famous Czech fairy tale character!

Finally we were in The Old Town Square. In Misa's opinion the nicest place of Prague!

The Old Town Square is famous mainly because of its old astrological clock called Orloj.
Orloj is mechanical machine also showing calendar and position of some planets, moon and so on. It comes from the 15th century.
There are two small windows above the clock. Every single hour the windows open and show figures of the Apostles. There are also other moving sculptures.

This is Tynsky chram, the most important Old Town church.

It is said that Prague has hundreds of towers. Well, it's true. Here are at least three of them.

At last we went to Venceslas Square which is the main shopping artery of Prague.

There is a cafeteria made from two old trams. What a nice place!

On the top of the square there is a National Museum.

Oh! What a day! I have seen so much from Prague!


Posted Nov 2, 2009, 12:41 pm
Today is Wieka's first birthday!

I met a new friend. It's a sheep Lily. I made a modest party for Wieka with her.
Lily baked a pizza and I prepared some candies.

We talked and talked a lot. Me and Wieka were telling stories about our adventures as Toy Voyagers. Lily was amazed and she told she wants to become a Toy Voyager too.
Well, let's see. She is a little young sheep girl and who knows if she summon courage and starts out her own adventures!

As in the Prague flat weren't much things for celebrations I promised the party continues tomorrow.

Posted Nov 4, 2009, 4:38 pm
Hi mom!
Today we didn't have the best day at first. We were traveling from Prague to Misa's parents home but there was a traffic jam in streets so we missed our train from Prague to Usti nad Labem and we had to wait one more hour for next train. Luckily the time slipped away quite quickly and we were soon in North Bohemia.
Because of our delay in Prague we missed connecting train to Rehlovice so we decided to walk. When we reached the terminal bus stop in Trmice we looked around and realized that there is a nature around us! What a difference between last days when we saw mostly city!  :)

The day is not gonna be so bad as we thought at first! :)
We walked in a valley along Bilina river. This river flows into Labe (or Elbe) in Usti nad Labem.
The hills are pretty!

I saw a bit of the Bilina river! It's not so big.

Later we saw something really interesting. As we are in borderland (called Sudety, or Sudetenland)  there we saw a bunker! In 30th of the last century, before the WW2, there was built a chain of bunkers for defense purpose. The bunkers stand about one or two kms from each other. In final they weren't allowed to be utilized but they stay here up to now. I was curious how it looks like inside but Misa didn't allow us to watch.  :stare:

Next to it is this little rock.

And nearby is a highway.

We were only about 1.5 Kms from home and we need to go straight ahead.

By the way we were still walking on border of Ceske Stredohori (Böhmische Mittelgebirge) which is a protected landscape area.

All our way me and Wieka settled in Misa's coat pocket which was very comfortable. :)

And in short we reached home! We were so impatient to unlock the door! At first we argued who unlocks but finally Wieka did it and I pushed the handle. Great team work!  :cyclops:

Home sweet home!  ;)

Posted Nov 4, 2009, 5:02 pm
The birthday party continues!

Wieka got this great box of chocolates! When he didn't watch I eat almost half of it.  :thinking:
I know I shouldn't eat that much but the chocolate was so yummy!

Fortunately, the chocolate bonbons weren't the only candies out there!

Later in the evening - party continues. At first we need to prepare a drink. We helped Misa with preparation of Pina Colada which is her favourite one. Unfortunately, Misa doesn't have the right glass which are being used for drinks like that...

... but never mind!
It was great anyway!

We had one, two, ... it's pretty strong for a polar bear!

Good night!

Posted Nov 4, 2009, 6:34 pm
Hi mom!
At the weekend I was just hanging out in the house. I was reading a book. It was a detective story by Agatha Christie. Thrilling!

Misa also showed me her collection of little coins from countries all over the world. There are currencies of about 20 countries!
I experienced the feeling when somebody is rolling in money!  :cyclops:

Bye now,

Posted Nov 13, 2009, 10:20 pm
Today I helped Misa with baking! She was making an orange cake.
At first she needed to make dough from all the necessary ingredients.
I 'put my shoulder on the wheel' and did some whisking.

Then I moved all the dough to the baking sheet.

And put it in the oven.
Besides I prepared a frosting... It's made of sugar, squeezed orange juice and orange rind for aroma.

Later we took the cake out of the oven and poured the frosting on it.

And that's all. Nothing complicated but yummy!  :p

It was good fun!
Now I will be very busy ... I have to eat it all!  :cyclops:

Your Pappy

Posted Nov 16, 2009, 4:50 pm
I have just left Misa and I am on way to Austria.
Luckily I can write updates from the envelope so the journey slips away faster :)
Next update will be from Austria!


Posted Nov 28, 2009, 9:01 pm
Hi Mom!

Today I finally arrived here in Austria. When I was leaving my "aircraft", there was a welcome-committee of the other TVs and my new host mom.
There are 3 other TVs here now: Atta, Mr. S and Sandi Rose.

We talked a bit of our adventures, the countries we have visited and our former host parents.

Then our host mom decided to bake. The other TVs told me that she really likes to cook and bake and that they have learned quite a few recipes. Today we made an Italian cake that is traditionally eaten in the time before Christmas. It's called Panettone. It's made of a yeast-dough and actually quite some needs to rise a few times before baking. But well, the result was worth it and the cakes were delicious!

A delicious first day! :D

Posted Dec 2, 2009, 3:17 pm
Hi Mom!

It was such a nice day today, so we decided to go to the Stadtpark. That's a huge park in the city with lots of old trees and benches where you can relax, where kids and also older kids  ;) play sports in the summer.

Now there are small mountains of leaves everywhere and we really wanted to jump right in. But there were the gardeners there and I'm sure they wouldn't have appreciated it.

And there's something else in this park: There are so many squirrels jumping around there, searching for nuts! They are called "Hansi" here in Graz. I don't know why and my host mom doesn't either. But she told me, that they have always been called that and nobody really know why anymore....

You have to look carefully at the pictures so you can see the sqirrels there. I marked them in a few pictures (the pics are black and white and the squirrel is colored.)

They were sooooo cute  :D

Posted Dec 2, 2009, 4:53 pm
Just updating Pappys Google map :)

Posted Dec 6, 2009, 8:02 pm
Hi Mom!

Another TV arrived today! It's a Canadian eagle- he even has a maple-leaf on his foot! He brought us chocolate and a cute TV-calendar-postcard!

He arrived just in time for some decorating for Christmas! Here in Austria they have a tradition: They have a special wreath here, called Advent-Kranz in German. It has 4 candles on it, one for each Advent-Sonntag (Advent-Sundays)- that are the Sundays before Christmas! You can see me decorating! We put the candles on the wreath and then some bows- they have moose on it!

That was fun!

Posted Dec 9, 2009, 8:24 pm
Hi Mom!

We started baking cookies today!

First we made a shortcrust dough! It had to rest then for a while. After resting we took the rolling pin to make the dough really thin. With a cookie cutter we made some small boots- these will be some delicious cookies!
While they were in the oven we made the dough for some macaroons. It was really tasty! We were even allowed to try it!

We also made other cookies called "Florentiner". I guess they are named after the city of Florence, Italy. They are made of dried and candied fruit, with almonds and honey. Then you dry it in the oven.

Phew- it was really hard work!

Posted Dec 9, 2009, 8:24 pm
Hi Mom!

We started baking cookies today!

First we made a shortcrust dough! It had to rest then for a while. After resting we took the rolling pin to make the dough really thin. With a cookie cutter we made some small boots- these will be some delicious cookies!
While they were in the oven we made the dough for some macaroons. It was really tasty! We were even allowed to try it!

We also made other cookies called "Florentiner". I guess they are named after the city of Florence, Italy. They are made of dried and candied fruit, with almonds and honey. Then you dry it in the oven.

Phew- it was really hard work!

Posted Dec 9, 2009, 9:44 pm
Hi Mom!

We did some shopping in the city center today and went to the Landhaushof. That is a courtyard in the inner city. In the summertime, there are often concerts or open air movies. And now, in the weeks before Christmas there is a nativity set there, made of huge ice cubes! I guess it is hard work to built this every year and then, when the weather gets warm, the nativity set melts away  :(

We also went to the Kunsthaus, which is a museum for modern art and photography. It was built for Graz 2003, when Graz was cultural capital of Europe. The building has a very unusual form and is therefore also known as "friendly alien". You can see the building from different angles. We took a break on a model of the Kunsthaus. It was made for the blind so they can feel what the building looks like.

Then we went on to the Murinsel - the island in the Mur. The Mur is the river that divides the city in 2 parts. The island was also built for 2003 and has a small amphi theatre and a café.

We also had a look at the clocktower - you can see it up on the Schlossberg, a small mountain in the city center. The stairs you can see are called Russiansteps.

And we found another nativity set there on display: made of wood.

Posted Dec 14, 2009, 8:37 pm
Hi Mom!

Today we continued with the baking! We wanted to frost some of the cookies, so we had to cut the chocolate first and let it melt over a bowl filled with hot water. When the chocolate was molten, we let it cool a bit and then dipped the cookies in the chocolate. We let it dry on a baking sheet.

We then made two kinds of macaroons: with chocolate and with chocolate and almonds. The chocolate ones were sprinkled with cocoa, those with almonds drizzled with molten chocolate and almond slivers.

We went on with decorating the small boots we had baked two days ago: We frosted them with white and red icing.

Finally we took the Linzer cookies and filled them with apricot jam!

I cant wait to taste them!  B)

Posted Dec 19, 2009, 5:50 pm
Hi Mom!

Today my host mom's and host dad's families were invited for an afternoon of cookies and tea! Because it was also the 6th of december, we have been visited by St. Nicholas who puts presents in the boots of good children. Sometimes he also comes personally, especially to small kids, with a huge bag full of presents and his huge golden book, where he can find all the information about a special child for exampel that it has been good in school or that it doesn't follow all the rules... then the kids promise to do better next year and get the presents. In the old days they were given oranges and tangerines, apples, dried fruit and peanuts. Today it's also chocolate, toys... Very traditional presents are also underwear and socks, but kids don't like to get practical stuff!
Kids that havent been good are visited by the Krampus, a very unkind creature with lots of fur and some birch and some chains...see here for more information on the Krampus.

Of course we all have been good, so we found some goodies in our host mom's boots. There were also present for our host dad: some traditional boxers  :rolleyes:

Posted Dec 21, 2009, 9:59 pm
Hi Mom!

Look at all the holiday decorations:

A huge moose - that's so cute! And of course a mistletoe above the door! And some Christmas ornaments in a huge glass.
And I saw some polar bears in my host moms flat: they are really lovely.
Then we did something really traditional during the wintertime in Austria: We watched skiing! Skiing is really popular here and the Austrians have a really good ski-team  :)

In the late afternoon we went to the city center and looked at the decorations and the Christmas markets there!

I'm enjoying this Christmas time here!

Posted Dec 24, 2009, 9:02 pm
Hi Mom!

Today we are celebrating Christmas! So my fellow TV-friends and I wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas.

Here in Austria they wish "Frohe Weihnachten"  :rolleyes:

The presents are brought here by the Christkind, which is kind of an angel who flies up in the sky! You have to write a letter with your wishes to the Christkind and put it at the window in december. The Christkind gets the letter while you are sleeping and it brings the presents to the good children (the younger and older ones) in the afternoon on Dec. 24th. It also brings the Christmas tree. Normally it rings a small bell as soon as it has finished decorating the tree. Then you are allowed to enter the room. But of course, the Christkind is no longer in the room but has flown on to the other children!

We looked at the tree with the candles and then we had a delicious meal. And of course we got presents!

Posted Dec 26, 2009, 9:15 pm
Hi Mom!

Today my host mom surprised us and told us that we were going to Schladming, a town in Upper Styria, in the mountains. So we packed our bags and skis and the skigear and went to Schladming.

It was pretty cold there - -15°C - but a beautiful snowy landscape! My host mom tooks us with her to the skislopes and we went up the mountains with a cable car and some chair-lifts! We lookes at the map to decide which slope to take!

We also went to a skihut-restaurant to warm ourselves up and eat something. Usually it's "Gröstl", that's a dish made of roasted potatoes and noodles, sometimes also with dumplings and sausages, or meat. (See picture here.) But today we had Leberknödelsuppe (=liver dumpling soup in English). The hut is called sheep alp (Schafalm in German) and they have real sheep there- you can see in their barn, which they share with bunnies! No pics of them unfortunately.

In the evening we watched a ski race held by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. It was a realty tv show, where Austrian celebrities learned how to race. The celebrities raced together in a team with a former Austrian professional skier, like Franz Klammer, Stephan Eberharter or Fritz Strobl.

Skiing was really fun!

Posted Jan 5, 2010, 5:44 pm
Hi Mom!

We flew to London to celebrate the New Year there!
We took the Heathrow Express from the airport to the city center and then traveled on to our hotel, which was right next to St. Paul's Cathedral. In the afternoon we went to the London Eye. Unfortunately is was raining cats and dogs, a really typical British weather  and it was pretty cold, too! The pictures are also a bit dark, but you can see me inside the Eye.
My host-mom bought a London-Eye-bear and we TVs chatted with him. He won't become a TV but will stay with my host-mom's stepmom.

Puh, what a day! Time to go to bed! Tomorrow is new year's eve and we want to celebrate!

Posted Jan 7, 2010, 4:29 pm
Hi Mom!

After a quick coffee and a pain au chocolat we started our sightseeing-tour!
We first went to a monument for the big fire in London in the past and walked through the streets of London. We saw a traditional English pub. Then we went to the Tower and the Tower Bridge. It was pretty cold again today, but despite the cold there were so many people out there sightseeing!
Of course we also did a little shopping at Harrod's!

Then we prepared for the evening ahead! We tried my host-moms ear-muffs on- they are pretty cool, don't you think? Froggy-green frog-muffs  B).
We walked to the Thames and the fireworks viewing areas there. There were so many people, but we managed to get a nice place on a bridge. Then we had to wait for the Big Ben to strike midnight. To keep ourselves warm, we danced to the music. Finally we heard the clock strike and then everybody started counting: 10, 9, 8,, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
People started wishing each other a happy new year and started ooohing and aahhing over the fireworks. They really were great. Maybe you have seen them on tv? And then all the English speaking started singing: \"Auld Lang Syne\". My host mom knew the song as there is also a German version, but she didn't know the English words. But she said that she has regognized the song from "Happy new year, Charlie Brown".

When the fireworks had ended, we went back to the hotel and had a drink in the bar there!

Hope you had a great New Year's Eve, too!

Posted Jan 8, 2010, 12:21 pm
Hi Mom!

Today we started with a lazy breakfast in bed - delivered by the roomservice! And we were quite hungry from all the oohhhing and aahhing yesterday  :rolleyes:
While having breakfast we wtached the Vienna New Year's Concert which is broadcastet from Vienna to many many countries all over the world. My host mom told me that it's very traditional in Austria to watch the New Year's Concert on tv while having a late breakfast! As Mom also missed the Viennese Waltz at midnight - which is another very traditional thing to do in Austria - we waltzed together when the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra played a waltz. But, no photos of that...I guess my feet aren't made for dancing...

We then took the underground to the Houses of Parliament and walked around in that area. We also went to the Buckingham Palace, but we haven't seen HM the Queen. But we saw one of her guards, with his cool felt-hat!

In the afternoon we went back to our hotel and then visited St. Paul's Cathedral! We went up so many stairs which have been old and uneven and kind of slippery sometimes but finally we had reached the platform and were able to have a look over the city!

I have to say, I really liked London. Maybe I'll come back for a visit some day....

Posted Jan 8, 2010, 12:59 pm
Hi Mom!

We have arrived back here in Graz yesterday and now it's time to pack my bags again! My host mom told me that I'll go to Belarus.
I'm curious about the new surroundings and the other TVs I'll meet there!

But I'm a little sad right now too as I had to say goodbye to my new friends.... Landroval will also leave - he's going to Germany.
Here you see us saying goodbye. Maybe our paths will cross again in the future!

I really liked it here in Graz but now it's time to hop into my aircraft!
Bye, host-mom, take care!

And Mom, next update will come from Belarus!

Posted Jan 20, 2010, 10:45 pm
I have arrived to Belarus! Here it is very cold, today was-20 C. Have taken away from mail me in the evening, therefore to make photos it has not turned out.

Posted Jan 21, 2010, 12:57 am
Updating my google map :)

Posted Jan 21, 2010, 9:34 pm
I in a snow field! :rolleyes:

Posted Feb 24, 2010, 2:53 pm
St Valentine's Day!

Posted Feb 24, 2010, 2:54 pm
We went to cafe to eat ice-cream.

Posted Mar 12, 2010, 12:50 pm
1/I near to a monument to soldiers-internationalists. It is constructed in honour to all Belorussians who were die in wars outside of the native land, since ancient times and up to now. For example, the Belarus division has been first thrown to Afghanistan. Thousand Belarus guys were lost, because of the Soviet heads.

2/I on river Dnepr quay. This main river of a city. Earlier it was navigable. But the climate has changed, and the river has shoaled.

3/Anchor on quay of Dnepr – the only symbol today, that it was navigable.

4/Building of the main bank in Mogilev before October revolution. Today here a museum named by Maslennikov (painter).

5/I near to the astrologer. The monument to the astrologer stands in city centre. It is surrounded with 12 chairs symbolising 12 astrological signs. At night from a telescope the powerful beam shining.

6/I near to a monument of Lenin. It is before a building of Regional executive committee, a principal organ of our area (the American equivalent of area - state). In 30th years when the western Belarus was under the Polish occupation, it has been decided to transfer the Belarus capital from Minsk to Mogilev, this building was constructed. But after an attack of Germany to Poland in 1939, the Soviet armies have attached the western Belarus back, and carrying over of capital has not been carried out.

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 3:00 pm
It has been a month since my host said she put me in the mail.  I am lost and scared and just want to get home.  If I make it home I will join the rest of my owners TVs that are NOT going to ever be sent out in the mail again.  How odd there are four of my owners TVs lost out there in the postal service.  My owner is sad because I was a very special present for her.  If you see me or have me please send my owner a note.

Posted Sep 6, 2010, 9:45 pm
Hey Mommy!

I have safely arrived at my first host on the Worldwide ToyVoyagers Trail. I'm in Missouri for awhile now.

Oh, and Steph loves the postcard you sent along with me. She says "Thanks".

I arrived on a night that there really isn't much to do. I played Rhythm Heaven on her Nintendo DS.

I also checked out her movie collection, but I couldn't decide what to watch.

After looking for awhile, I began to yawn and realized this polar bear could use some shut eye. My trip was definitely tiresome.

Goodnight Mommy! I'll update more very soon!

Posted Sep 9, 2010, 5:38 am

Today, I didn't do much of anything. It was a pretty nice day, so I found myself a raft and decided this polar bear needed to try to work on his tan.  B)

But, as I was getting my raft out, I came across this creature. Steph said it's called a Phasmatodea or, as she likes to call it, a Walking Stick.

After examining the bug for a few minutes, I decided to drag my raft out and work on that tan. The water was a bit chilly for Steph, but I thought it was the perfect temperature.

While I was drying off, I noticed something moving in the distance. I began to make my way over only to see this turtle!

And in celebration of Labor Day, we had BBQ for dinner. It included hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers (not pictured), macaroni and cheese, baked beans (not pictured), and these cheesy potatoes that were so delicious. I was going to share the recipe with you, but we seem to have misplaced the card. If I find it, I'll share it. :)

And for dessert, homemade ice cream! What a treat for a polar bear!  :D

Well Mom, I must be off. I need to get a little shut eye after all I've done today. This weekend we're supposed to be going somewhere really cool if the weather permits us. I really hope it does.


Posted Sep 12, 2010, 8:03 am
Well, Mom, today the rain held off long enough so we decided to continue with our weekend plans.

Today, we crossed the mighty Mississippi river and went over to Chester, Illinois.

As soon as you crossed the river, there is a Welcome Center and I decided I wanted to take a few photos here. There was a nice deck to stand on to look at the river, the bridge we just crossed, and at Missouri.

Also at the Welcome Center was a Lewis and Clark cutout along with information about them. I decided to read the signs and see just what they had done here.

Top sign:


On November 27, 1803, Meriweather Lewis, William Clark, and their party camped on Horse Island, just opposite of this place at the confluence of the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. The next morning, Lewis left them to travel by land. Clark and the men pushed on to Kaskaskia via the Mississippi River.

Bottom sign:
Lewis & Clark Expedition

Chester, Randolph County, Illinois

The town of Chester, Illinois, sprawls on the eastern bluffs overlooking the November 27, 1803 Horse Island campsite of Captain Lewis and William Clark on the west bank of the Mississippi River near its confluence with the Kaskaskia River. The Corps of Discovery Expedition crew knew that six miles ahead were the Garrison of Kaskaskia, more recruits, and supplies.

Clark noted in his journal on November 28th, 1803, "passed the mouth said River (Kaskaskies) at half passed 8 o' clock - the high lands make near the Mississippi below the mouth of said River, a bold and rocky shore." Future travelers found the high lands near the water highways a comfortable place to settle.

Chester became the county seat of Randolph County, Illinois, in the 1844 election and hosts the eastern side of The Chester Bridge (Route 51) over the Mississippi River. The bridge bisects Horse Island and is the only bridge crossing the Mississippi River between Cape Girardeau and East St. Louis. It replaced the ferries that transported the families following the Trail of Lewis and Clark to the West. Many stayed in Chester prospering with the advent of the castor oil press in the first general store, the Cole Milling Company, the International Shoe Company, Prim Hosiery Mill, Gilster-Mary Lee Company, Menard Correctional Center, and its statue of Popeye that is a tribute to Chester's native son, Elzie Segar, a world renowned cartoonist.

But, today, we weren't in Chester to see just the river and Lewis and Clark, though they were both very cool. You see, Chester, Illinois is the Home of Popeye and each year, they have their annual Popeye Picnic where they unveil a new character statue each year.

And at the Welcome Center, we also found a statue of Popeye.  :D This statue was first erected in 1977 then they began to create more statues in 2006.


Mr. Segar created Popeye from his recollection of Frank 'Rocky' Fiegel - Jan. 27, 1868 - Mar. 24, 1947 - Local Scrapper. Popeye first appeared in the cast of 'Thimble Theatre' Jan. 17, 1929. William 'Windy Bill' Schuchert - Mar. 8 1857 - Feb. 20, 1941 - Chester Opera House Owner and Mr. Segar's benefactor, appeared as 'Wimpy' the hamburger fiend.

We had a map of where all the statues are located and will be located in the future when they are unveiled. So, I looked that over and tried to figure out just who was where and how we could find them.

We parked downtown and began our adventure into the busy streets of the picnic. They had food, games, and carnival rides.

We stopped at a souvenir shop, but it was so busy that I couldn't really get into any photos inside. But, Steph did manage to take a photo of this timeline on the wall. It shows when character debuted in the "Thimble Theatre" comics. Did you know Olive Oyl appeared ten years before Popeye? Me either!

On the side of the building, there was a cool mural of Popeye characters traveling down the Mississippi. See the bridge in the painting? That's the one we crossed!

And a few feet away, we found the statue of Wimpy! It was created in 2006 and was the second Popeye statue to come out in Chester.

A few streets down, we found a statue of Bluto in a bank parking lot. Some band had placed their t-shirt on him which I found to be kind of funny and a unique way to advertise. This statue was created in 2008.

We got back in the car and drove a bit. I gave directions as I read the map until we found a statue of Castor Oyl....
And Whiffle Hen. This statue was released in 2009 and sits in front of the hospital.

Then, we decided to find the newest of statues. We drove a bit further down the road to Wal*Mart where we saw the statue of the Seahag...
And Bernard. This statue had been unveiled only an hour before we arrived.

As we drove through the town, I began to realize just how serious this town was about Popeye. He was painted onto windows of businesses, there was a painting of him in a fireman's suit with a hatchet on the fire department (but we couldn't get a photo) and there were restaurants based around it. Here's a mural we found on the side of a pizza shop downtown.

Just as we were about to leave, I realized that we had missed one VERY vital statue. Luckily, it was on our way out so we were able to stop by. It was the statue of Olive Oyl, Swee' Pea, and Eugene the Jeep. How could I have forgotten!? It was erected in 2007.

After we got back into the car, I found myself rather tired so we decided to go back across the Mississippi and head home. We picked up a brochure on the way out that Steph thought you might be interested to read. We scanned the inside of it and you can look at it here :)

I hope you enjoyed my update today! I really had a lot of fun.


Oh! And I got you a postcard. We'll send it out in the mail this week! :)

Posted Nov 28, 2010, 1:42 pm
Just letting you know that I am safe and well in Australia. My host is in the middle of proofreading & editing 100 end of year reports for the grade she supervises at school and as soon as they're out of the way I will be able to use the computer to start my updates.
Get back to you soon - I promise!
IMG_7219 by becka_kate, on Flickr

Posted Dec 22, 2010, 3:09 am
Jay-Z! Oprah! U2!! Bono! The Edge!
IMG_0066 by becka_kate, on Flickr
Oprah's "Ultimate Audience" who she bought out here to film her Aussie shows were sitting right near us, just the other side of all those empty seats, and when she came out she sat here too!

U2 were pretty awesome as well!
IMG_0092 by becka_kate, on Flickr
IMG_0105 by becka_kate, on Flickr

(BTW - sorry not to be in the photos, but somebody forgot to put new batteries in the camera and had to use her iPhone instead! Apparently it is impossible without having 3 hands to photograph ToyVoyagers this way!) 

Posted Dec 22, 2010, 3:17 am
Tonight we saw Bon Jovi's Circle Tour (think there's a theme here - U2's concert was '360 degrees')

It was a great night, and luckily it stopped raining, so we didn't get wet.

Once again, Bec had to use her iPhone to get pics and so I'm MIA in these photos too! Sorry!

Such a gorgeous sunset behind the stage!

IMG_0132 by becka_kate, on Flickr
IMG_0134 by becka_kate, on Flickr


Posted Dec 22, 2010, 4:12 am
So, here's what I've been up to since landing in Australia...

Braved the crowds to go Christmas shopping...

Checked out some of the local fauna & flora...

Like these cicada shells (we counted 17 on this one tree alone!)

Christmas bush - the cooler than normal weather lately has meant that the colour is more vibrant than it has been in recent years.

Grevillia in red...

and yellow...

And, some Kangaroo Paw

I've played with the canine members of the family...

and taken them to the park to play "Fetch".

Together with Nursey, I've helped organise the Christmas cards

Helped decide on yummy treats to have for Christmas lunch and dinner...

and assisted with the grocery shopping.

We've been put to work wrapping presents...

but still found time to relax...

Catching up on some reading,

and playing the wii...

though I have to admit my driving skills in MarioKart leave a lot be desired!

I spent a lot of time crashed into the wall!

Christmas is in just a couple of sleeps and still a lot to do. Will check in later and fill you in on what an Australian Christmas is like (though, all the weather reports are predicting a cool, wet Christmas Day!)

Posted Jan 25, 2011, 6:44 am
Today's Christmas Eve and so we are getting ready to celebrate.

Wonder what this is going to be?
I think some Christmas baking is being done!

Nursy and I assisted with making chocolate cake, well, she supervised any way...

Mmmm Christmas cake - the result of the fruit mix I found earlier!

All the Christmas baking done - Fruit cake, chocolate and sponge.

Now to make the fillings!
Icecream with additions to go with the chocolate cake...

Of course there was still the mundane things to do like the washing!

and Bec seemed to think that today would be a good day to paint some magazine boxes to use at work.  :stare:


Posted Jan 25, 2011, 6:50 am
Tonight we visited the city to get into the Christmas spirit.
Our first stop was at the shop windows in David Jones, one of Sydney's major department stores. Every year they decorate their windows along one wall with a different theme. Some years it's a different Christmas story, other years it's Santa based. This year's was Christmas carols, with mice hidden in each scene (we don't know why!)

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Ding Dong Merrily On High

Good King Wenscelas

And of course, the Nativity (The First Noel)


Posted Jan 25, 2011, 6:57 am
Our next stop was at St Mary's Cathedral.

This year it the main site for the Lights of Christmas festival which started with the Sydney Girls Youth Choir performing two sets of carols on the cathedral steps.

They were followed by a spectacular light display which projected images of candles, flowers, butterflies, gum leaves, rain and a kaleidoscope of colours onto the Cathedral wall.

This was one of our favourite displays of the night - candles and Australian Christmas Bush flowers.

and this beautiful kaliedoscope of native flowers, which started with a single line of light tracing the rose window and slowly growing larger and larger.

At the end of the light show we posed with the nearby Christmas tree, which had the added bonus of having the famous Sydney Tower in the background!

Bec has more cathedral photos here if you're interested :)

Posted Jan 25, 2011, 7:00 am
There was also a light show at the nearby Hyde Park Barracks, which was a lot more contemporary in design and effects. We all agreed that although it was good, the Cathedral light show was  more impressive. We think the inspiration for this display was wrapping paper gone crazy  ;)
(I am in these pictures - I swear! Just hard to see in the darkness)

Posted Oct 26, 2011, 9:19 pm
I am home but I am leaving again! I am going to go visit a host that lives in Austria!! I will finally get to see where the Sound of Music was filmed!!! I am sooo excited I cant wait to leave!!

Posted Nov 9, 2011, 6:30 pm
Hi mum!

What a journey - today I arrived in Hallwang, a a small town just a few kilometers outside of Salzburg. When my host mum received me, she immediately opened the envelope. I gave her the post card, which you sent with in the envelope... she really liked it!

I also got to know another tv, Babuo. He stays with my host mum for a while already. He want's to see the very famous 'Christkindlmarkt' in Salzburg, that starts on Nov 17th.

I send you the first pics, I could take here in Austria!

Posted Nov 12, 2011, 5:48 pm

Yesterday we went to the Hofbrauhaus in Berchtesgaden, where we had some 'Martinigansl' at the Bräustüberl!
I can tell you, it was a great evening and the 'Martinigansl' was excellent...

Posted Nov 12, 2011, 6:05 pm
Hi there....

What a wonderful day, mom! Sunshine all day long, just a pleasant weather. We had a walk through the inner city of Salzburg, called 'Altstadt'.
My host mom showed me around and we had some sightseeing here. On the following pics you can see me in front of the 'Hotel Sacher Salzburg' and the 'Festung Hohen Salzburg', a castle, which is the town's landmark...

Furthermore we visited the Mirabell Garden's, where some scenes of the 'Sound of Music' were shot....


Posted Dec 4, 2011, 8:24 pm
Hi there!

The last weeks had been really hard here in Austria. Although it was not raining or snowing the weather was really bad... we had so much fog, you won't believe! And because of this weather our sightseeing was limited. But within the last days it got sunny.
Although there is still no snow here, we already visited the inner city of Salzburg, took a walk through the very famous "Getreidegasse", passing by "Mozarts Geburtshaus" and had some hot wine punch (called Glühwein here in Austria) and a baked potato.... yummy!!!!

So that's all for today... but as the weather is fine at the moment we can do more sightseeing!

Greetings from Austria.

Posted Jan 14, 2012, 5:58 pm
Hi mom!

Today I started my long way back home! See you soon...

Posted Apr 29, 2012, 6:31 pm
I am home from beautiful Austria! I had a fantastic time!!!