Rhinono, Mailbox in Essen, Germany


Posted Jul 13, 2009, 4:27 pm


Hiiii! I am sooo excited to be a toyvoyager! First, I think I need to do a brief introduction of myself! I am an orange little rhino named Rhinono, and I am a girl. I was born on the seashore and my host found me and took me home. :rolleyes: From my big big smile, you can easily figure out that I am such an optimist !  :cyclops: And I hope everyone will be just optimistic like me!

I am so glad that I was invited to Germany by SunnyHH and his mother RikeH. I've never been to other countries and I think I was born to be a voyager! So, I am full of sap and ready to start now!  B)


Posted Jul 18, 2009, 1:40 pm
Baiying made a label for me which had my name and ID number sewed on it. You can easily find me both from my lable and my significant smile! I am ready to go for Germany now! My first host RikeH is waiting for me there and I am sooo glad that I am gonna start my adventure around the world! It is the first time I leave my home and I am sure I am gonna miss you Mom!
Good luck for me! :cyclops:







Posted Jul 19, 2009, 3:51 am
I am in a dark mail box now, on my way to Germany! I hope it will not take long to get there.  :rolleyes:

See you!
See you in Germany!



Posted Jul 22, 2009, 2:52 pm
Hi Mum!

What a fast trip – I arrived in Germany today. I needed less than one week – RikeH told me that this was really fast.

I was happy to climb out of the parcel – and then I saw Dicker Kumpel. He welcomed me in a very nice way.


Then he introduced me to the other TVs here. First I was a little shy – and hid behind Dicker Kumpel.


But I found out, that all the others were very friendly, so I felt better and started talking and showed them the beautiful postcard from home!


I think that travelling is a nice hobby. Now we all will talk about our adventures!

Love Rhinono

Posted Jul 23, 2009, 10:06 am
Hi Mum,

after a nice night with a lot of sleep, I wanted to go in the garden this morning.

So I went through the grass - and saw some beautiful flowers !



Posted Jul 26, 2009, 11:31 am
Hi Mum,

we went to the port of Hamburg today. Rike told us, that there are many beautiful ships.
We started at the Landungsbrücken – it is the place where the ships arrived in the past. In the other direction we saw nice old ships – we made nice pictures nearer to them later this day.



On our way to the old ships we saw these colorful bikes. They are for rent, but we didn’t rent them. My legs are too short for these bikes – and to tell the truth – they don’t look nice to my orange body.



Then we saw this big anchor – can you see me in front of it?


This is the Rickmer Rickmers. In 1896 it was constructed as a three-master ship on Rickmer's shipyard in Bremerhaven. It was rebuilt to a three-master barque in Capetown in 1904 after having been damaged a heavy storm.
The Rickmer Rickmers was sailing between Europe and Chile, loaded mainly with carbon and nitre. In 1916 it was confiscated by the Portugueses. From this time on it was used as training ship for the Portuguese navy under the name SAGRES. In 1983 it was sold to the organization "Windjammer for Hamburg" and towed to Hamburg - as a fully dilapidated hulk (without masts).
After a restoration of several year the wrack became a neat symbol of the Hamburg harbour. Important facilities like the engine-room or the officers' cabins were restored with love. The ship can be visited daily.
Under deck there is a restaurant as well as a show room where interesting, often changing exhibitions of maritime contents can be seen.
We didn’t want to see the inside – so we only took nice photos from the outside.



This is the other old ship. The Cap San Diego, built in 1961, is a unique testimony to seafaring and is berthed in her old home harbor of Hamburg as a »museum you can touch« since 1986. She is the last of the classic cargo ships, referred to as the "White Swan of the South Atlantic."



This is the look over the port where a swimming crane came along.


At the end we saw the fire-ship – and on the other side a huge building, where a big publisher has his rooms. The church you can see behind the building is called ‘The Michel’ and is a very famous church for the people from Hamburg.



I really loved this day at the port. Hamburg is a wonderful city!

Yours Rhinono

Posted Jul 29, 2009, 7:33 pm
Hi Mum,

this evening I wanted to find the bears, that live in the house, and say Hello to them.

First I found Milala : Hello Milala !!!


Well - these funny animals look more than me, than like a bear...


Hello bunnys - nice music......


Ah - there are some more bears !!!

Hello bears out of glass !


Hey, you have a lovely color - where are more bears???? In the other room ?


You are not a bear - but there is one next to you !!!



Hm, why are you living in the wall? No idea? It is not bad - I like you - so Hello Bear in the wall !



Then we went to RikeH's Mum - there are two really cute bears.

Hello Bears - I like you !!!


What a nice home - with so many nice animals.


Posted Aug 1, 2009, 2:01 pm
Hi Mum,

we went to the cruise ship terminal in Hamburg today.  That was the big tower – we will have a nice view of the ship, when we are on the tower.

But you can see, what happened. We saw the building, but there was no cruise ship.


Then I looked in another direction and found a beautiful ship. We all decided that we wanted to play on it.


We played hide and seek. I was the first who run away and I found a great place to hide.



After it we wanted a photo on the ship. First we were on the deck…


…then we climbed onto the mast. We had a nice view from there! We talked and enjoyed the sun!


We decided to have a race to the swing. I had the best start – I jumped – and won. The others climbed down the mast. I am very brave, Mum!


On the swing we had a great time. Playgrounds are great for ToyVoyagers.


At the end I relaxed in the hammock.


When we went back I saw the main train station of Hamburg



We waited for the train - then it arrived.




From the inside I saw an ICE-Train. It is the fastest train in Germany.


Then we drove back - and I saw nice nature.


Back in the car I found another Rhino. It lives in Rike's car - and is a kind of Voyager, too.


What a wonderful day !!!



Posted Aug 3, 2009, 2:43 pm
Hi Mum,

It is Sunday – and we made a tour with the bike. We made a rest at a nice place. You can see me on the bike.



This is a big field with corn, but  it is not really ready to be eaten.



Here you can see all of us – we had so much fun together on the bike!


Look – how long our way was!


Some miles later we saw these nice horses.


Back home Rike showed us, how the corn looks like, when you buy it in a shop.


Posted Aug 8, 2009, 2:19 pm
Hello Mum,

we went to Hamburg –there is a big fair – called Dom. First we looked around and saw many people and carrousels. One was for children; the next one was very interesting – so fast moves…




Then I was very afraid – a white shark came from the side. Fortunately I found out that he was a friendly shark – and I was allowed to make this scary photo!


That was amazing. I needed to eat something – and found delicious strawberries with chocolate.


We then saw the big roller coaster with two loops. I didn’t want to try it out…


Look at this funny corn-man. I loved him!!!


Later we saw a boat trip – the people became wet in it – it was funny.


We wanted a nice photo of the group and found this funny place. After it, we bought a nice heart from Hamburg.




When we walked around we saw the big wheel. It is really big – the biggest big wheel, that can travel around the world. Maybe it is a Big Wheel Voyager?



I wanted to make a trip with the big wheel – and we went into it. I had to hold the hand of Tobi, because he was a little afraid. (Or maybe I was a little scared, because it was so high.) We saw many interesting things from Hamburg from high above - the Dom, the Port and the church Michel. It was great!






What a wonderful day!!!! We went back home and relaxed on the couch.


yours Rhinono

Posted Aug 9, 2009, 12:08 pm
Hello Mum,

ThomasHH and BineHH came back from nowhere with the help of Dicker Kumpel and a magic hippo. They were both lost – what a bad experience. We all hope, that we never will have this experience. We are so happy that they are back !


We talked about our trips and came to the topic of cruise ships. RikeH told us about a big ship that will be in Hamburg today. It is called Queen Mary 2. We couldn’t believe, how big it is . length : 1132 feet / 345 meters, Height 236 feet 2 inches / 72 meters.  Passengers : 2620 (3090 max). We think, that maybe all TVs could travel on it at the same time. That would be a party.

We decided to go to Hamburg again – and see the QM2 in reality. But first we saw a model –it is not really big…


We went to the Cruise Terminal – you remember – I have been there last week, when there wasn’t any ship. Wow – the QM2 is really big !!!





In the afternoon we went to the port again, because we wanted to see the ship, when it was in action on the river Elbe. We waited…


Then it came – it is amazing !!!



I think, I should go on a cruise soon – maybe we can do it together, Mum?

Love Rhinono

Posted Aug 23, 2009, 12:37 pm
Hello Mum,

A friend of RikeH needed a new lamp for his flat. He asked me to help him to find the right one. We went to a lamp store. Wow there are a lot of lamps!!!




I loved an orange lamp, but RikeHs friend decided to buy this one. It is really funny – it looks like an unidentified flying object.


Help, I think it is an UFO……


Posted Aug 23, 2009, 12:48 pm
Hi Mum,

Today was a busy day.
First Nippy arrived. We gave him a warm welcome and talked a lot.


And in the evening, Meleca told us that she will leave tomorrow. We were very sad, because we had such a nice time together.


We all gave her a big hug.


Now she is on her way to Scotland – and I really hope that she will have a nice time there!

yours Rhinono

Posted Aug 24, 2009, 8:56 pm
Hello Mum,

We went to the Speicherstadt of Hamburg today. This is the place, where the old storehouses are. But the place changed – and there are many new buildings now.

Here you can see, that they build many new houses.



This is a nice old ship – we loved it.


These are the old houses – they are very beautiful.



This is the church called Michel. It is a symbol for Hamburg  And we will go on the top now.


But first we saw this monument – a woman called Zitronenjette.


Now we are on the top of the Michel. The weather is not the best, but we can see a lot.
Do you see the big wheel – I’ve been on it some days ago.


These are views over the port  - and the city.





Look, there is the Speicherstadt !!!


Back on the ground we saw the town hall – a nice building.


Next to it, there are swans – and nice buildings.




What a wonderful day !


Posted Aug 24, 2009, 9:40 pm
Hello Mum,

We have a new ToyVoyager now. He is called Michel and his Mum is the Mum of RikeH. Isn’t that funny? He arrived today – and brought some sweets. What a nice surprise!


I said ‘Hello Bear’ to Michel. You know – it is one of my life missions – and he is so cute!


He just arrived in the right time, because we went to a small city called Bad Oldesloe. We made a nice walk there. Can you see this nice mill-wheel behind me?


There are many old houses like this in the city.


There is a nice small river in the city.



Mum, I just found out, that I will become a policewoman soon. They have so beautiful cars!


There was a beautiful fountain in front of the town hall.


I am so excited – RikeH told us, that we will go to the Zoo soon – and to a birthday party.


Posted Aug 25, 2009, 12:24 pm
Hello Mum!

What a great day. We went to the Zoo of Hamburg today. It is called Hagenbeck and was founded on this place in May 1907 – what a long time!

First we saw the elephants – there are small ones – they are so cute – and they played together.



This was the first gate of the Zoo. Now the Zoo is bigger – so the gate is inside the park.


We saw this funny bird and zebras. A Zoo is really nice, but I prefer to travel around!



The giraffes are the biggest animals – hm, ThomasHH is smaller. But this is better for a TV...



At the end we’ve been in the Aquarium – what a lot of nice and colourful fishes!


It was a wonderful day in the Zoo!

yours Rhinono

Posted Aug 29, 2009, 10:39 am
Hello Mum!

I’ve been on a birthday party today. It was a lot of fun – and I ate so much!

First I helped with the barbecue.


Everything looked so delicious!



In the afternoon we get coffee and cakes!


After it, we sat together and had a lot of fun!


Posted Aug 29, 2009, 10:41 am
Hi Mum,

We made a trip to a nice little park near to Sülfeld. Here you can see us on a big stone.


This is a really funny tree.


We found a small lodge at the lake side. It is a place to watch birds!



Can you see me in the tree? (Next to the BIG bird)


At the end of the trip, we went to the playground. What a nice place!



Yours Rhinono

Posted Aug 31, 2009, 7:43 pm
Hi Mum!

I was in Sülfeld for such a long time now – and didn’t see much of it. So we started to explore the village today.

First we saw the beautiful church...


…this is the old school….


...and we found a nice little lake with beautiful flowers.



We enjoyed the sun!


Mum, I would love to send you these wonderful flowers!


Yours Rhinono

Posted Aug 31, 2009, 7:48 pm
Hi Mum,

It is my last day here – and before I start my trip, RikeH goes to the playground with us. So I can run and play, before I stay in the envelope.






That was really great!

Back home I told the others, that Michel and I would leave now. All were very sad – and I got a big hug!



Then I said good-bye to Dicker Kumpel – he was such a great host – and we had so much fun together.


Now I am on my way to Delenna in Finland.

Yours Rhinono

Posted Sep 7, 2009, 9:31 am
Phew! I arrived in Finland!  :D
It's Friday and my new hostfamily goes to the sauna on Fridays. So, I got to clean myself too - in a very Finnish way!

We took the photos when the sauna wasn't on, to get better photos. Their sauna is heated with electricity but there are sauna's that are heated with wood (mainly in summer houses etc.). Before one goes to a heated sauna, (s)he has to take a shower, just to get wet. Then one sits in sauna and throws water on the sauna stove (hot stones) to get more heat/humidity. A good temperature is 60-80 degrees Celcius - says my host, people like different degrees. If you sit in a sauna long you have to pour some water on yourself or go in the shower in the middle. Sauna doesn't feel good if you're dry.

In the summerhouses with saunas people usually have a sauna whisk, made of birch. You hit yourself gently with it - it doesn't hurt because there are the leaves on. A sauna whisk is an extra way to get clean - and it helps with mosquito bites too!

Sauna relaxes your musles and opens your skin pores. So you get clean from the inside too. After sauna you take the shower again, but this time you wash yourself.

You'll definitely want a cold drink afterwards too  ;)

PS: they even have a society for saunas:o

Posted Sep 9, 2009, 1:31 pm
This is me by the Baltic Sea! I know I know, it's not a n open sea view because of the archipelago - but it's still the Baltic Sea  B) Did you know that the creator of Moomin used to spend her summers on an island nearby? No wonder Moominpappa loves thesea!

Posted Sep 10, 2009, 6:04 pm
Finally we had time for some sightseeing in Porvoo! We drove to the city, walked on a hill and here's what we saw  :D It's a nice view to the Old Town. The Old Porvoo is famous for its narrow lanes and brick-coloured riverside warehouses.The hill you see in the second photo is called Castle Hill ands we'll be going there one day too. The town of Porvoo has about 48 000 inhabitants and an area of 654 km2. Porvoo is a bilingual town with about 33% of the inhabitants speaking Swedish as their mother tongue.

It's starting to be autumn here - the mushrooms prove it!

Posted Sep 10, 2009, 6:06 pm
We walked along the hill and got a very nice view of the old shore houses. The website says this about them: The shore houses are now red, but they got their colour only in the late 18th century. Red ochre paint was used to paint the shore houses in honour of King Gustav III's arrival from Sweden. All of the houses along his route were painted, in order to make them more beautiful. The red ochre also helped protect the logs from wind and sun damage. Exotic fruits, wines and spices were brought to Porvoo, and the shore houses also served as intermediate storehouses for coffee an tobacco. Today the shore houses are used as private living quarters and storage space.

We ended up on the sightseeing tower from where I got a nice view over the city (the newer part). The last photo shows the tower. It's made on two huge rocks. The story tells that a giant threw them there. The giant had heard that they were building a church in Porvoo and got very angry. He threw the stone from very far but misses the church. In the old days (older than my host) they told children that babies were brought from under this rock!  :o

Posted Sep 16, 2009, 7:20 am
This is me in Hämeenlinna! A city 1h15min drive north from Porvoo. I went to a postcard event called Korttien tarinat ("the stories of cards") with my host and some fellow toyvoyagers. We had an international Postcrossing Meetup there too!

The place where the event was held is called Verkatehdas. It's an old factory that now is used as congress center, place for seminars and events. The place was full of postcards! People selling postcards, artists signing their postcards, postcards on exhibition, new postcards, old postcards...  :o  The grey haired lady signing postcards is Inge Löök, the artist who draws the "old granies". My host bought a few of her cards with her signature.

I met other postcrossers - and Snoopy! He was kindly giving away his own cards. The other postcrossers I met were the ones signed up for the Meetup but also postcrossers who were selling postcards and postcrossers who were visiting the event but had no idea we had a meetup. The event organizers had put a table for us - not telling us about it  :o They were "hoping that one of us would sit there and tell people about Postcrossing"  :o Well, we didn't as we had no material or laptop with us - and no-one had told us they "were hoping" it. My host wrote a note saying "we're buying postcards, please visit www.postcrossing.com for further information on Postcrossing". They did interview one of our Meetup people for the radio!  :D

Can you guess how many cards we signed on our "coffe break"? 409!

Posted Sep 16, 2009, 9:12 am
After the meeting we drove to the center of the 370 years old  Hämeenlinna. I saw the beautiful Hämeenlinna Church on the end of the market square. The church's architectural example was the Roman temple of Pantheon. The church was completed in 1798. The architect was Louis Jean Deprez, court painter to King Gustav III. The altar painting depicts the Saviour's appearance to Mary Magdalene.

Do you know what that yellow wooden house is, in the middle of the modern buildings, next to a mall (!!!) ? It's the birthplace of composer Jean Sibelius! He's Finland's best known composer  and born in Hämeenlinna on 8 December 1865. His childhood home has been converted to a miniature museum. The Empire style building with its period furnishings and artefacts affords the visitor a glimpse of the composer's childhood and youth. The lounge is a perfect place to rest for a while and listen to the music of Jean Sibelius. We didn't have time to rest! We headed towards a mailbox and a castle!

Posted Sep 16, 2009, 9:27 am
We mailed the 409 cards we had signed at the postcard event and Postcrossing Meetup. It took us a while... Then we got arrested for mailing too many cards!  :o

Ok, just kidding. We went to the Prison Museum that was next to the mailbox (we mailed them from that location because of the special Prison Museum cancellation).

This is what they write about the Museum:
Prison Museum

The prison museum introduces to the visitors the history of correctional treatment in Finland and  the prison life in the past and these days. The most valuable item is the museum building itself with its authentic premises that have been maintained in their original condition since the time when the building still functioned as a prison. The building and the exhibition consist of three floors.

The prison museum functions in the former premises of the provincial prison of Häme. When the building was finished in 1871, it was the first prison in Finland with cells, and it was used until the 1993. The museum was opened to the public in June, 1997. The building was designed by the architect L. I. Lindqvist. The museum features a permanent exhibition and changing exhibitions. For more details, take a look at the museum's calendar of events. Special exhibition: elementary studies in prison. In this exhibition, you can find answers to questions about how and why reading, writing and basic mathematics were taught in prisons. Paid guided tours available only if booked in advance.

It was quite an experience. A little scary too! We saw ancient methods of Crime Scene Investigation (ancient compared to CSI on tv!), crafts the inmates had done, letters from inmates, photos, clothes of guards etc. There was also a spot for the modern version of police work.

Posted Sep 16, 2009, 10:14 am
After we were reliesed from the Prison we looked around and smelled the fresh air  B) The Prison Museum is situated in Häme Castle, so we walked around to have a look on this famous sight.

Häme Castle is one of Finland’s medieval royal castles. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 13th century, following the crusade by Swedish Earl Birger to Häme region. During the Middle Ages the original fortified camp was built into a residential castle for its commandant. In the 18th century a third storey was built and curtain wall buildings partly replaced the original outer walls. The castle and its surroundings were in prison use from 1837 to 1972. The main castle is now presented as a historical monument. The Häme Castle and its redbrick barracks are on the shore of Lake Vanajavesi. The promontary has been a meeting place for centuries, and the walls almost echo the voices from the Middle Ages.

It was smaller than we had thought and walking around it didn't take long. We did enjoy the sight of both the castle and the lake. But finally the sun r´started to set and we had to head back home.

Posted Sep 21, 2009, 8:44 am
I visited the capitol of Finland, Helsinki! That meant a lot of walking and a few tram rides  :D I saw many touristy spots, like the Cathedral at the Senat Square and Havis Amanda but also regular street views.

I walked thru the Esplanade Park: Situated in the heart of Helsinki, the Esplanade serves as a promenade for tourists and a place to relax for city residents. The park and the Espa Stage host many popular events, including the Marimekko Fashion Show and raising of the midsummer pole accompanied by folk dancing in June and the Jazz-Espa concert series on weekdays throughout July.

At the other end of the Esplanade was the famous statue/fountain Havis Amanda. Behind it was the Market square and the harbour. That's where the big ferry boats to Sweden and Estonia start their journeys.

The Cathedral: The Cathedral designed by C.L. Engel in splendid Neoclassical style. The work began according to his designs in 1830, and was completed after Engel's death in 1852. In addition to serving its own congregation, it is the scene of major state and university events, while exhibitions and concerts are held in the crypt.

The Senat Square: The Senate Square and its surroundings form a unique and cohesive example of Neoclassical architecture. The square is dominated by four buildings designed by Carl Ludvig Engel between 1822 and 1852: Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, the main building of the University of Helsinki and the National Library of Finland. Helsinki Cathedral is arguably Finland's most famous and photographed building; it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002. The oldest stone building in Helsinki is the Sederholm House located on the southeast corner of the square.The main building of the City Museum can be found on the Sofiankatu museum street.

Main Railway Station: The Central Railway Station was designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1909 and the station was opened in 1919. The station is mostly clad in Finnish granite, and its distinguishing features are its clock tower and the two pairs of statues holding the spherical lamps, lit at night-time, on either side of the main entrance. The station is used by approximately 200,000 passengers per day, making it Finland's most-visited building.

Next to the Main Railway Station is the Main Post Office. It's now covered in plastic as they repair the outside. Behind the Post Office is the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma with the statue of Mannerheim on the yard. Next you can see the Parliament where all the big decisions are made.

The last photo shows the Main Bus Station  :o Hard to believe if you don't know it's also a mall. Only the two bottom levels are for the buses.

Phew! What a walk! And it wasn't over... We had one more stop to go to...

Posted Sep 21, 2009, 8:53 am
The last stop was Sea Life, an aquarium! They had different themes in different rooms: tropical, ocean, ship wreck, ice age... Each place showed sea creatures typical to those places. I saw sharks that were smaller than me! And sea horses, jellyfish, turtles... We got to see how they fed a few tanks. Some fish were fed only once a week! Some small sharks can be very... umm... "eager" to eat - they almost jumped out of the tank!

There was an ocean tunnel too! We walked under the fish  :stare: It looked very cool! They had lots of information on the walls, signs and screens. And the fish feeders told us about the fish they were feeding. We spent 2 hours there and I would go again if possible  :D

Posted Sep 27, 2009, 7:13 am
It's autumn here! That means that the birds are flying to the south, there's a chilly breeze in the air - and the nature gets more colorful! The leaves are turning from plain green into yellow, orange and red. It's really beautiful! And a good camouflage for me if I need one  B)

Posted Oct 8, 2009, 6:20 pm
I visited the Korkeasaari Zoo today! And I met real bears! And tigers and lions and red wallabys and emus and wapitis and...

What made it "interesting" was the rain. It wasn't any small scale, lovely raindrops rain - nope, it rained like we had been swimming vertically! Honestly! See the drops in the sightseeing photos! And it was very windy too! Like a hair-drier blowing on max speed - just less warm. Actually, that's not windy enough either. Even the animals stayed under roofs - except for the tiger, she was quite restless... Oh, and the lions had cubs! Aww, sweet!

We managed to be indoors during the heaviest rain; looking at dwarf moongooses being fed, Hoffman's sloth, monkeys, frogs, snakes, turtles, birds...

After seeing the bears we had lunch - just sausages and fries, nothing fancy.

It was mostly fun, despite the rain and wind. My host had promised her kids to take them to the zoo so she had to do it, despite the rain.

Posted Oct 11, 2009, 6:58 am
We checked out the market fair at the market place. The fair went on several blocks - all the way down the riverbank. We had time to check the "upper level" only. People sell all sorts of stuff there; food, clothes, toys, ornaments, jewellry, balloons, postcards...  It was so crowded it was hard to take photos. The same kind of fair is held annually in the autumn and in the spring.

Posted Oct 13, 2009, 11:05 am
Today we went to a big red building with tons of books  :D It's the main library in Porvoo. We went to the children's department first and I got to read different kinds of Moomin books. Did you know that the first Moomins were meant to adults more than kids? For example because in the early, original Moomins Moominpappa drinks whisky and smokes! Did you also know that Tove Jansson didn't draw much Moomins after 1958? Yep, I read that ina book! Her brother took over as she was too busy with Moomins - she wanted to continue write and draw other stuff finally.

I also found books on Rhinos  :) I tried to find fairytales with rhinos but couldn't find any  :( But there was a puzzle with a rhino!

They had all sorts of fun decorations to amuse the kids; a small house, a huge ant on the roof, a Gulliver, live fish...

Upstairs was a music department and an "archive" (a study room). There was also those miniature displays of a harbour near my host's home - displaying how there used to look. Upstairs we also got a good look on the "adult" book department.

We spent about 2 hours in the library and you know what happened during that time too? It started snowing! It was the first snow  this "winter"! :D

Posted Oct 16, 2009, 6:01 pm
We're going to the famous Ikea! They have some fun furniture :D My host didn't buy anything interesting this time, unfortunately. And she forgot to take photos indoors. *sigh*

Posted Oct 16, 2009, 6:07 pm
Today I felt like Godzilla!  ;) On the other side of this municipality, in a small village, there's this Miniature World. It's situated in a former carpentry workshop. It's owned by a christian organization that helps people with alcohol problems. They have this social company where people then make these miniature models and other small projects.

The miniture dioramas were greatl! And they make more all the time - so it's a constantly growing exhibition  :o I saw the Titanic, Pisa Cathedral, the leaning tower of Pisa, Vyborg Castle, shots from Finnish wars, lighthouses, Kolumbus' ships... That was in the first room.

They have this other room where they had a whole city! They had put Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower and a Finnish castle in one place  :D There was also the Colosseum, several Cathedrals (see, there's even a wedding going on in one!), the Rocky Mountains - and a railroad driving round the whole thing!

I couldn't help noticing they didn't have anything asian there... Maybe they're building The Great Wall of China as we speak!  :D

Posted Oct 17, 2009, 6:35 pm
Today we went to the Castle Hill like my host had promised earlier. On this hill used to be a wooden castle/fortress in the 14th century. Nothing more is left than the hill and castle moats. They had done some archeological diggings in 1886 and 1971 on the hill and found tools, weapons and foundations. Also the flora on the hill reveals something as the plants can't be found in many places in Finland. The water level of the river was much higher those days, when vikings and others sailed the seas and rivers. Oh, and the name Porvoo is Borgå in Swedish - and that means "castle river"! borg=castle, å=river

Nowadays it's a tourist attraction and a good place to play Robin Hood! And to take photos :)

Posted Oct 17, 2009, 6:37 pm
We felt very energetic and decided to continue from Castle Hill to another hill! This one's the local downhill skiing center. We climbed all the way up to see the views. It would've been nicer if it hadn't rained...

Posted Oct 17, 2009, 6:42 pm
I heard that I will be leaving Finland next week! I'll fly to USA, that's exciting! We had a "goodbye-meal" which meant candy  :p I have had fun with these guys Banyo, Leonard, Gary Boldie, Twix, BellaKitten - and even Muumipeikko who just arrived back home.

I just have one more thing to do before I can leave...

Posted Oct 18, 2009, 9:48 am
This is it! I made a self-portrait in Finland! Pretty good huh? I tried different styles; realistic, naive art and abstract. I think that abstract one is quite artistic!

Now I can pack my bags and head toward North Carolina!

Posted Nov 17, 2009, 10:14 pm
Hi Mom!!!

I have arrived at Darcies house!! The dumb postman dumped me off next door 8 days ago!!! Darcie has been gone a lot and the neighbor FINALLY brought me over!! I am safe and sound and looking forward to spending time here in North Carolina!!! I will post pictures soon!!


Posted Nov 18, 2009, 12:31 am
Im back!! I took some photos of me arriving and meeting everyone!


I get to meet all the other TVs that are visiting.  They say I got here just in time to cook my very first Thanksgiving Feast!!! My missions include cooking new meals and becoming a super cook and Thanksgiving is the biggest USA meal of the year!!! I am already starting to plan my menu!!



Here I am with Thumper!! I like her right away because she is from China!!! She is a Chinese Pug!! If you compare us, our bodies are about the same!! lol Thumper is always curious when the new TVs arrive and I have to be careful not to be on the ground or Thumper will pick me up and carry me around!!  I love my new home and this is my first time ever in the USA.  I will give you a complete report on North Carolina real soon!! well I am tired so I am off to bed!!


Posted Nov 30, 2009, 8:37 pm
Happy Thanksgiving Mom!!! I know we do not celebrate Thanksgiving in China so this was VERY exciting for me!! We made a HUGE meal and had friends over!! I also got to see the famous Macys Thanksgiving Day parade!!! Darcie took a lot of photos but something happened with her battery and she is sooo mad she did not get all the shots of us with the big fat 15 lb turkey!!!! Here is our menu we cooked!!  I was in charge of the ENTIRE meal!!! I now can cook the following for you!!!

Turkey, Ham, Homemade Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry sauce, Corn bread Souffle, Deviled eggs, Sweet potato casserole, stuffing, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie and Key Lime pie!!! I ate until I could not eat anymore!!!!  Plus we had a big table full of snacks for everyone to eat while the big dinner was cooking.

First we had to go shopping for a LOT of stuff!!  ;)


Then we got out the cookbooks and started getting the recipes together! Here we are with the sweet potato casserole.  It was soooo sweet it tasted like a dessert!


We have to make a yummy cheese dip the night before so it can form the correct way in the fridge.




We get up Thanksgiving morning and have a real fun American breakfast of Trix cereal, Cinnamon toast and orange juice.


Next we have to peel all these potatoes! Darcie says they only do homemade mashed potatoes once a year...too much work LOL


Next the big Macys Thanksgiving parade starts so we head for the front room to watch!


The parade is held every year in Manhatten, New York and is a American tradition to watch while cooking the big feast.

Here is the outside of Macys department store.  Darcie says Macys is fantastic to shop at!


It is time to move to the kitchen, as we have a lot of cooking to do but that is ok because there is a TV in the kitchen so we do not miss any of the action!


Here are the world famous Rockettes dancing and singing! They are so pretty to watch!



There are a lot of great marching bands to watch play during the parade.


The best part of the parade were the HUGE helium ballons! It would take up to 40 people to walk the ballons through the parade! here are a few of my favorite ones!




I liked this giant turkey float!!


Here is a drill team of all girls on their horses. 


The grand finale of the parade was Santa Claus!!! we loved looking at him and his reindeer as he passed by Macys!!


Yummy deviled eggs!


Here is our snack table... unfortunatley the rest of the photos did not turn out :(  I had a fantastic time celebrating Thanksgiving and helping out in the kitchen!! I am invited back for next year!!!! do you want to come too?? ;)



Posted Dec 6, 2009, 1:07 am
Today a new TV arrives! here she is meeting all the other TVs that are at the house!  She is a Dutch bunny named Nijntje. We all exchange stories of the other places we have visited.  Thumper listens in and is nodding her head *yes* that she wants a dog cookie  ;)


Here we are under the Christmas tree with Darcies Disney tree skirt.  She had their last name embroidered on it and you can see Mickey and the gang decorating a tree!!


There are a TON of movies here to watch! This is what we are going to watch tonight.  The movie is called *Christmas Vacation* with Chevy Chase and it is sooooooooo funny!!


Here are Darcies favorite top three Christmas movies that we will watch this weekend.  *A Christmas story*  *Its a wonderful life* and *Miracle on 34th st*


Here we are up on the window sill with Santa and Frosty the snowman.  You see it says *let it snow* well it never snows here and my hosts want it to snow for a week straight!!


Here we are up on the fireplace mantle.  We like all the lights and the stockings.


Here we are with all the fun Christmas decorations! dont we look great!!

Here we are sitting under the tree with all the presents.  We all helped wrap them up today!!


Well mom I am going to go play Xbox with Steve and then go to bed.  I will write again real soon!!


Posted Dec 7, 2009, 12:48 am
Hi mom!
Today Darcie got two envelopes.  The envelopes were from California.  Inside the envelopes were five TVs that needed to be rescued!!.  I was happy to see some new friends and we sat around and talked!!  Tonight we had Pepperoni Pizza for dinner.  Here is our big gang of TVs minus two rescues who were sleeping in the next room  ;)


We are now watching a Christmas movie every night!! Tonight we watched *Christmas with the Kranks* it was really funny!!


I am going to go get some hot cocoa and look at the Christmas lights!!!

Posted Dec 10, 2009, 11:10 pm
Hi mom!
Tonight we are doing a easy dinner.  Fishsticks and french fries!!



We eat dinner and everyone agrees that this was very yummy! we then bake some Blueberry Muffins.


We then all gather by the Christmas tree.  We love to look at the lights and we go around in a circle and talk about what kind of customs and traditions each of our own Country has.  It is fun to be in a different country and see how they decorate, display the ornaments, hang stockings and burn yummy smelling Yankee Candles.


We want to watch a musical tonight so we go and get Darcies favorite one of all time *Sound of Music* filmed in beautiful Austria!!

Darcie starts singing...........

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad  :p



Posted Dec 16, 2009, 1:09 am
Hi Mom!!!

Yesterday me and the other TVs went down to Wilmington.  Darcie's car club was meeting up and then went to a senior rest home to deliver Christmas Presents.  We were suppose to take the Porsche but it was raining!!! The Porsche does not have a top so we would of gotten soaked!! The rain really ruined the entire day but we still had a fun time.  While we were at the rest home a new TV asked if he could join our gang.  His name is Tuffy and he is now a official TV.  We went to McDonalds for lunch.  Here we are with our Happy Meal :)


Inside the Happy Meal is a horse from the new movie *Avatar* he hears all of us outside eating and talking so he jumps out.  He is very strange looking and he has six hooves!


We introduce everyone to him and he asks if he can join us for lunch.  We say yes and we start sharing our traveling stories with him.


We finish our lunch and when we get home Darcie says that Snuttig's mom has sent some beautiful and delicious chocolates and a beautiful postcard of Gratz, Austria where Snuttig is from. Dont we all look cute with our Santa hats on? :)


Next Snuttig lays down and starts pointing and explaining all the beautiful pictures of Gratz and tells us about each place that is pictured.  We love our history lesson and we are also trying to figure out how to get the chocolate!!


Snuttig sees we are trying to take all the Chocolate and he grabs a hold of the bag and pulls with all his bear strength and rescues it for Darcie to eat!!


Well mom that is about it for now.  We are busy wrapping presents and getting ready for Christmas to arrive!!!  hope you are well!!

Posted Dec 24, 2009, 7:52 pm
Hi Mom!!!!
It is Christmas eve!!!  Today Darcie showed us some of her Vintage Christmas books.  She loves the 1950s and had some wonderful things to read about.  First though we want to bake something so we make some Orange/Cranberry muffins and put butter on them! They are sooo good! Do you like our Santa hats?  :p


Next we get on the floor and start looking at the books...this one has old decorations from 1930-1960 and the photos are great!


Here we are with a few more oldies from the 1950s.


We decide to sing Christmas carols.  We start off with *Santa Claus is coming to town*


Here we are with a book called *Its a wonderful Christmas!*  it is filled with all the old toys from the 1950s.  They sure had some neat things!!


Here we are with the Christmas card holder.  I do not know if you can see it, but the card holders are shaped like Mickey Mouse!! Darcie is a big Disney fan!


Today we went to a store called Lowes.  It is a HUGE store that you can buy things for your house.  Darcie had to get some replacement bulbs but then discovered all the Christmas stuff was 75% off!!! we bought a Cinderella Advent Calender that talks, Winnie, Piglet and Tigger singing and moving toy and a Santa Claus that sings *Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer*  tonight we are making Enchiladas and Darcie showed us this really cool website!! It is called Santa Tracker!!  www.santanorad.org  please go look at it because it is sooooo much fun! We started tracking him last night when he took off from the North Pole.  He flew to Australia, then off to Russia and India.  He was last spotted flying around the Taj Mahal (see videos of all his stops)  we cant WAIT for him to arrive with all the presents!!!  Go Santa Go!!! 

Darcies husband will be happy to see all the Motorcycle stuff for next race season!! boy is that stuff expensive!!!  well mom I am going to go eat some more candy and play Xbox!!! 

Merry Christmas!!

Posted Dec 28, 2009, 11:47 pm
Hi Mom!
Christmas was a lot of fun!!! we started the day with snuggling up on the couch before our host woke up.  We wanted to look at all the gifts that Santa had brought! Here we are under the nice warm blanket at 5:30 am!!


We go over to the fireplace and see the presents that santa has left as stocking stuffers.  In America everyone hangs a stocking and it gets filled with small gifts and candy.  Looks like Santa also leaves things for dogs! He left all kinds of treats and toys for the two host dogs :) 


Of course he also left us some nice candy! Here we are with a gift card to Starbucks Coffee house, a gift card to Red Robin hamburger shop, Skittles, orange flavored chocolate and Reeses peanut butter cups!! Y U M!!


Next we help Darcie open some presents.  Here are just a few of her favorites! she loves old 1950-1960s TV shows.  Here is season one of *Bewitched* it is a show about a woman who is a witch and is married to a regular man.  It is VERY funny!!


Here we are with four more shows from the 1950s-1960s.  They are called *I married Joan* *Father knows best* *Petticoat Junction* and *The Donna Reed show*


Next we open really nice smelling bath products!! Here is stuff from the Bath and Body works store! Nutcracker bubble bath,  Candy apple body spray,  Ed Hardy perfume and Pear Glaze body lotion! it all smells so good!


Next is a wonderful gift! a *Twilight* duffle bag and the *New Moon* soundtrack!!


We have a wonderful day watching movies and eating candy and talking about Christmas!! I had a great time and will never forget it!! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and hope you have a Happy New Year!!!


Posted Jan 4, 2010, 10:42 pm
Happy New Years Mom!!! I hope you had fun on New Years!! we stayed home and made a bunch of drinks and watched movies all night long!!  Here we are with all of our alchohol LOL


Here we are with very expensive Tequila.  This is called Patron and it is very smooth! we all drank a few shots and then licked some salt then ate a small piece of lemon :)


Here we are with our shot glasses from around the world.  There are two in the photo.  One is from Kaiserslautern, Germany.  The other is from Holland.


We follow the Television all day.  We watch Time Square in New York City.  People start arriving at 6am to secure a spot.  Then they have to wait ALL DAY till midnight comes.  Darcie has done it one time and says the crowds are HUGE.


The reporter checks in a few hours later and it is SNOWING!!! the police work hard to barracade off the roads and set up everything for the big ball drop.


Here it is later in the evening.....we are waiting and waiting!!!


Now it is 9:00 pm so I know that overseas has just struck 12am!! Here is a beautiful shot of places around the world that were celebrating the New Year.


We took a bunch of photos at Midnight, but the flash went off on the TV and messed everything up! we still had a great time and wished each other a Happy Traveling 2010!!! 


Posted Jan 17, 2010, 1:48 am
Hi Mom!!!
Not much going on here right now! Darcie had a operation so we have been taking care of her! Today we saw our other host Steve getting out his *Alphas* what are Alphas? They are one of his Marine uniforms.  Today he has to check into a new unit and when you check in you have to be wearing your Alphas.  We help him pin on all his ribbons and he explains what all of them are for!  We look proud in this photo with him!!


After he leaves we go in the kitchen for some Caramal Drizzle Coffee!  Darcie likes to put LOTS of sweet stuff in her Coffee so it tastes good!!  I tried the Hazelnut creamer and its yum!!


Next we see this round, lumpy thing.  It is called a Bean Bag and you can lay in it and watch TV.  As you can see Darcie is a HUGE Atlanta Braves fan!!! she tells us Baseball will be here in just a few months! Go Braves Go!!


Next we go over to the huge movie selection.  We are going to start watching *Dexter* today!! This is one of Darcies favorite shows and she likes to buy the sets so she does not have to wait week after week to see what is next!  This is about a police officer named Dexter and it is filmed in Miami. Florida.  So far it is really cool!!


Next we all get under the covers and then we have to move Darcies Chihuahua, Sombrita, out of the way! Now we start watching the movie!!  hope you are having a nice weekend!!

Posted Feb 7, 2010, 2:01 pm
Hi mom!!

Ciao! Today is Super Bowl Sunday!!! That means everyone in the USA will be gathered around the TV to watch the big football game.  We are having a super bowl party and we plan on eating lots of yummy snacks.  The two teams that are playing are the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.  This will be the first time ever that the Saints have been to a Super Bowl.  We are excited to watch all the funny commercials.  Air time for a commercial during the game is 3 million dollars for a 30 second spot.  A new TV arrived yesterday.  Her name is Dottie Grace and she is a Giraffe from Australia.  Here are a few shots of us meeting her!!  I just got done eating a bowl of Lucky Charms.  Since I like to show off my new cooking skills, I am in charge of all the cooking for todays big game!!  I am off to the kitchen to get everything ready!



Posted Feb 11, 2010, 2:28 pm
Hi Mom!
Today was Super Bowl Sunday!!!  It is the NFL championship game.  Almost everyone in the USA gets together and eats lots of junk food and watches the game.  The first thing we do is get on the internet and go to a Las Vegas Bookie and place a bunch of bets.  We are going to try and win some money!!


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


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


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


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


Here we are with the NFL official sign on the TV


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


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


This is the Super Bowl logo!!


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


The end score!!! Go Saints!!


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


Posted Feb 14, 2010, 1:59 am
Last night my host turned on the news and showed us that a big snow storm was coming!!!  Snow is very rare in this part of the state! It started snowing around 8pm and when we woke up the next day it had snowed 8 inches!!  Here we are looking out into the backyard.  The snow is just beautiful and my host wishes it would never melt!!


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


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


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


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


This was my first time seeing the snow and tonight it is going to drop down to freezing level so we can have a bit more fun tommorro!!


Hope you enjoyed the snow update!!!


Posted Feb 25, 2010, 11:37 am
I have just found out that I am going to go to Michigan! I have had such a good time here in North Carolina and will miss my hosts.  I got to cook a lot while I was here and have a bunch of new recipes to bring back to you Mom!!  I say goodbye to everyone and pack my bags and head off to the airport!!!  I will update when I land in Detroit :)


Posted Mar 8, 2010, 4:27 pm
Hi mom!!

I arrived in Detroit Safely! :)  My flight was great, but I am a bit tired.  I'm excited to experience all the new, fun and cool things i'll be doing in Michigan!

Posted Mar 28, 2010, 2:36 am
Today we visited Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Home to the University of Michigan.  It was lots of fun!! So many college students!  We went to Briarwood Mall and visited many stores. 

We had a wonderful lunch at NYPD (New York Pizza Depot).  It was delicious!  :D  I had an eggplant parmesian panini!  Yum!

After lunch we walked around looked at MANY shops and took photos outside of the Michigan Theatre and State Theatre.

Posted Mar 28, 2010, 3:47 am
Today we took a trip to downtown Detroit to go to Greektown. Greektown was pretty cool!  It's a whole street of Greek Restaurants, Bakeries and Shops. There's also Greektown Casino.

We spent some time in the casino.

We had an amazing dinner at Pegasus Taverna.  We had Greek Salad, Saganaki Opa, and Pastitsio. Yumm!!  The Opa was so cool!! The guy Yelled Opa and set the cheese on fire!  He used lemon juice to make it go out.  What rich cheese!!  Pastitsio was noodles, cheese, mint and many other ingredients with bachamel sauce.  Very good and filling!

After our delicious dinner we went to the bakery across the street called Astoria.  We had lots of fun looking around at all the rich and sweet cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.  They were all so colorful!!  I espcially loved looking at the cakes and how they were decorated!  :D 

It's been a long day and we had a lovely dinner!  Time to get some rest! :)

Posted Sep 16, 2011, 7:09 am
Today we had to say goodbye to Amy and Bentley and they threw Sunny and I a going away dinner party at Pita Cafe.  The food was absolutely delicious middle eastern food. 

Earlier on in the day we got to take a trip downtown and take a photo in front of the General Motors Building (The GM Building formerly known as the Detroit Renaissance Center).  The world headquarters for General Motors.

We will now be on our way to GermanY!!

Posted Sep 26, 2011, 10:17 pm

we arrived at BlackCats home yesterday.

I hope we'll have a lot of fun!




Posted Oct 10, 2011, 2:12 pm

today we went to the airport Essen/Mülheim and to a chapel not far from there. We made some nice photos to show to you and I really hope you like them!





It was a nice walk.


Posted Oct 10, 2011, 2:15 pm

I am on my way home now. I really hope that I will make my way safe and in a good condition. BlackCat totally forgot to make last photos of me. But I guess you know how I look and will recordnize me in your mailbox.

Hope to arrive safe.