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Travelog for: Cutie

Stuttgart Airport, Germany - 20th August 2009

By: olgamaus

In the afternoon we went to Stuttgart airport to fly home again.

From the roof of the car park we could see the famous Bosch-Parkhaus (Bosch-car park). It spans across the motorway A8.
The car park has space for 4200 vehicles on five stories. The logo is the second largest illuminated sign in the world and the biggest logo in the world after the unlit Hollywood Sign.



We went to the airport than, checked in and went to the visitors terrace. From here we could see some planes landing and starting.


On the visitors platform they have an exibition of old planes and helicopters. We had a look at them.




At 17:15 it was time to go to our gate than. From Duesseldorf we went home by train.


* Posted Aug 22, 2009, 8:03 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Solingen-Balkhausen, Germany - 22nd August 2009

By: olgamaus

Hi Mummy,
we took a walk today in the neighbour city Solingen. We walked along the River Wupper for about 6 km and than back.

First we went buying some things in a nearby wholefood-shop. We parked the car and had a look across the valley, where our trip will start.


I saw lamas on a meadow, but they did not come closer. Katja has to cuddle every animal in sight :D




This is River Wupper.


You can find many old houses in the valley, they are called "Bergische Häuser" (Bergisch houses) because this reason is called "Bergisches Land". Those houses are usually timer-framed houses or covered with slate, often with green shutters.

This house (house?!) is completely overgrown with Virginia creeper. It was a factory building once.


At least this donkey was willing to be cuddled.


This hamlet is called "Unten-Rüden". This seems funny because "Rüde" is the German word for a male dog.


It is a rural area here.




Behind those flowers River Wupper is flowing. Do you also know impatients in the Netherlands? They are also called "Touch-me-not".


After a 10-km-walk I finally rested on a thick branch for a while (Oops - River Wupper is flowing underneath my feet).



* Posted Aug 24, 2009, 2:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Remscheid, Germany - 28th August 2009

By: olgamaus

Hi Mummy,

we took a walk today in one of the oldest districts of Remscheid. It is called "Hasten" and is situated in the North of the municipal, leading into a valley. In a nearby park Katja showed us a pillar which is dedicated to the first town twinning of Remscheid and Quimper in France. The pillar is also showing the coat of arms of Remscheid.


We played a bit on a small playground in the park.


Katja told us that we would walk through the municipal park to get to Hasten. Here we are on our way to the municipal park.


From here we had a first look to Hasten, in the valley.


The pink coloured house is an old factory building, you can find many of them between the tenements.


We reached Hasten than, a district surrounded by woodland. We saw a lot of old houses and really narrow streets here.






We saw a beautiful Patrician villa here, built in 1798. A museum which is showing life, furniture and so on of the last centuries is situated nowadays here, also  the German Tool Museum.




The area behind the villa belongs to the Tool Museum.


We decided to walk home than, this time uphill for some time :D




* Posted Aug 29, 2009, 5:32 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Düsseldorf, Germany - 2nd September 2009

By: olgamaus

Hi Mummy,
we visited Düsseldorf today.

Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city is situated on the River Rhine, and is renowned for its many events and also for its fashion and trade fairs. We went here by train and started our trip at MediaHafen (Media Harbour), a former harbour which is now a modern business quarter.

First we saw an interesting building called "Stadttor" (city gate).


This is the old harbour, now a modern business quarter with a lot of interesting buildings.



We walked towards River Rhine than.


There is a bridge overspanning the inner harbour. From here you have a great overview. From here you can also take a good photo of Rheinturm (Rhine Tower), a telecommunication tower with a rotating restaurant behind the windows.


Katja showed us the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, the parliament.



Finally we walked towards the old town of Düsseldorf, along River Rhine Promenade.


Close to the city the promenade is full of bars.



We saw that one of the excursion boats was just coming home. It should start its tour about 10 minutes later, so we decided to make a boat trip. The trip was supposed to last for about 90 minutes.


From here I had a look at the Altstadt (old town). The Düsseldorfer Altstadt is known as the longest bar in the world (»längste Theke der Welt«), because the small old town has more than 300 bars and discotheques.


We were off than, downstream first.





In the meantime the boat made a turn and was going upstream.





We went into town than.


This is part of the Altstadt with its many bars and pubs.


We enjoyed a Altbier here, a special beer which is only brewn in this region.


Next I will show you the old city hall, situated in the old town.


We bought some postcards and a funny fridge magnet.


This is the famous Königsallee, a shopping street where you can find exclusive clothings, jewelry,shoes and other accessoires.


It was nearly 8:00 p.m. than, the shops were closing. We went home by train. I was so tired in the evening, but not too tired to write a postcard to you.


* Posted Sep 3, 2009, 2:22 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

travelling to, USA - 29th September 2009

By: olgamaus

Hi Mummy,
I'm on my way to my next host now. I hope it will be a short trip.



* Posted Sep 30, 2009, 8:00 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 12th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Hello Mom!
I made it to the USA over the weekend, but I had to wait inside my envelope for a few days.  Steph and King Tut were in Chicago for the weekend and were VERY surprised to see me when they got back.  I even brought some sweets over from Germany (which they BOTH loved).


But, unfortunately, King Tut is leaving right when I get here. I hope to see him again sometime! He's seems like a very nice fella.

Well, Mom, I need to rest up a little bit. All this travel has made me tired.  I'll update soon!

Cutie Xx

* Posted Oct 13, 2009, 6:34 pm Last edited Oct 15, 2009, 6:02 pm by brilliantlyxx [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 16th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Well, it's been pretty rainy here for the past couple of days, so we haven't had many adventures yet. Steph had to go to class today, so while I waited for her I decided I would meet some of her family members.

The first family members I met were her four cats: Opie, Kobe, Patch, and Gracie.

I also got to meet her giant dog! He's a great dane! We took a nap together on the couch.

Sorry my update is so small and kind of boring, but I promise this weekend will bring much more excitement!

I love you, Mom,

* Posted Oct 21, 2009, 5:55 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Chester, Illinois, USA - 17th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Hello, Mom!

Today, we got up early and hit the road.  We crossed the mighty Mississippi River and found ourselves in the state of Illinois.

But that's not the ONLY place we found ourselves!  We had actually ended up in Chester, Illinois, which is the home of one of the most famous cartoon characters! Popeye!!  :D And let me tell you, this town is definitely proud to be his home.

As soon as you cross the Mississippi River, one of the first things you see to your right is a six-foot tall Popeye statue.  The statue was dedicated in 1977 to E. C. Segar, the creator of Popeye.  Apparently the statue has had a rough life.  Once, some vandals lassoed the statue to a truck with a chain and drove off.  Popeye was ripped right off of his stone pedestal and fall right on his face.  But, apparently statue Popeye is just as strong as his character because he hardly had any damage done to him. When Popeye fans all over the world heard the news, they called the city and offered their money to help restore the $10,000 statue.

Apparently, we found out that Popeye isn't the only statue in Chester.  The town holds their annual "Popeye Picnic" every year and starting in 2006, they began to release a new statue through out the city.  There will be a new one each year until 2019, when the final one comes out.  Here you can see a photo of the map that we found of where the statues are located/planned to be.  It's pretty hard to read, however. 
We didn't go in order when finding the statues, we just found the ones that were closer to us.  The second one we happened to come across was the statue that had Olive Oyl, Swee' Pea, and Jeep on it.  This one came out in 2007.

Next, we found the most recent statue to come out. This one had Olive Oyl's brother, Castor Oyl...
And Whiffle Hen!

We drove around just a little bit longer and found Bluto! His statue was HUGE! Steph had to jump to put me on his arm, and she's pretty tall.

The last, but certainly not least, was the statue of Wimpy! He's Popeye's hamburger loving friend and his most famous quote is "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

We found Wimpy in Gazebo Park, and there were a few things that we got to do while in the park.  They had a mural painted onto the side of a building that showed many of the characters and even E. C. Segar's face!

The back of the building was also painted in the theme of Popeye!

In the park, I got a chance to be Wimpy! How amazing is that?

We also went into a shop to see some Popeye collectibles.  We weren't allowed to take photos, but the owner was nice enough to let us take a shot of this wall.  It showed every character and when they were introduced into the comic.  Funny that Popeye wasn't first, huh?

* Posted Oct 21, 2009, 6:42 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Bremen, Illinois, USA - 17th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Once we saw all the Popeye things that we could see, we decided to head out to see Mary's River Covered Bridge.

Here is the information I got about this covered bridge from a sign:

Built in 1854, in continous service from 1854-1930. Was originally part of a planked toll road between Bremen and Chester. All of the timber in the bridge is the original with the exceptions of the floor, floor joist, roof, and siding. Aquired by the state of Illinois in 1936 for purposes of perservation and a picnic area. Money for purchase of this site was donated by Chester Chamber of Commerce.

Here I am inside of the bridge, making my way across.

Once I got to the other side, I decided to sit back and enjoy this.  The bridge provided us with a peaceful place after all the running around we just did.

I took one last look at the covered bridge before we decided to continue on our trip.  I got to release a wild TV, too! His name is Alden and I wish him luck!

* Posted Oct 21, 2009, 6:58 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ellis Grove, Illinois, USA - 17th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

The last stop on our trip was Fort Kaskaskia State Park.  It was here we got to learn a little more about the name Kaskaskia.  Apparently it was a town but was washed away by a flood.

Here's what the sign says:

A Changing River

You are looking down upon the Mississippi River.
If you were standing here in 1881 you would be looking at the Kaskaskia River.

A Vanished Capital

You can no longer see the village of Kaskaskia, which stood on the opposite bank of the river. The floor of 1881 did not instantly destroy the town, but little by little, the Mississippi's swift current swept it away. Kaskaskia now lies at the bottom of the Mississippi.

The historic village was one a thriving frontier community.  Founded in 1703 before St. Louis or Chicago, this center of religion, trade, and government attracted settlers, explorers, and adventurers from all over the world. Known as the "mother of a thousand cities" and the "Paris of the west", Kaskaskia is considered by many to be where the west began.  Kaskaskia was the capital of the Illinois Territory (1809-1818) and the first capital of Illinois state (1818-1820).

This picture, taken in 1899, shows Illinois first statehouse very close to the river's edge. Within two years, the Mississippi swallowed the building completely.

Here I am looking out at the Mississippi River from here.

Here we found some bronze tablets that had a poem called "To A Sunken City Kaskaskia" by Louis William Rodenberg.  I told Steph that these didn't look very bronze to me, but she said they have just been weathered over the years because it's been here since the 1940's.

Here's the poem:

Father of waters, native god forget the yesterday of ages you were free nor count tomorrow’s eons you will yet remain untrammeled in your majesty. When bold invaders came, with boast profane to make you slave, you bore them languidly; till, with unwonted fear for your domain; a city here you grappled to your breast. Plunging her towers in your torrent's lane where still they lie, man's weakness to attest; bewildered who their sleep should thus molest; in vain they seek the city where they died. Her glories vanished and their rest denied.
O Mississippi ,monarch of the plain, despoiler old! We mourn your victim low. Now stay the mighty minions of your train, that this poor vale may no more havoc know; bid not far mountains burst torrential spleen, nor tempests wreak their lightning souls in woe. For here beneath your flood's dissembling sheen, a city lies, her walls and spires down-hurled; no stone is left whereon some chisel keen may tell her ravished fame unto the world, and, though your ruthless fury her defiled, now o'er her miry tomb your waves are pearled with sunbeams, all too fair to be reviled.
God's temple floor these level waters rave. And by these hills his alters are defined; the azure-ceiling heaven domes the nave, while, far below, to wat'ry crypt assigned, the mother of a thousand cities lies, in nature's vast cathedral deep enshrined. But never on that barren floor our eyes may never find inscription o'er her sodden cell: how she arose a star in western skies; how her hope there broke a dreadful knell; aghast with fear, from doom she could not stir; she paled her glory clutching as she fell, despoiled forever! Yet the soul of her went not into the sunken sepulcher.

Apparently the famous Lewis and Clark visited Kaskaskia at one point, too!

Lewis and Clark in Illinois

On November 18, 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark arrived in Kaskaskia with about twenty-four men. Here they recruited twelve more soldiers from the local fort, including Patrick Gass and John Ordway. They obtained a second pirogue and hired French boatmen to help move their boats up river. They also hired, an additional interpreter, Francois Labiche.

After we checked this area out just a little more, we ventured down the road just a tiny way and found Garrison Hill Cemetery.  It was kind of creepy, but a little neat because the graves were so old!

Here's what the sign says:
Garrison Hill Cemetery
Heroes Lie Here

The bodies of early Illinois settlers are buried in this cemetery. They were moved here from three cemeteries in Kaskaskia village.  When floods began to destroy the village in the late eighteen hundreds, concerned residents acted to transfer the remains to a safer place. According to one account, 3,800 boxes, some containing entire families, were moved. The cemetery was dedicated in 1891.

In 1881, flooding caused the Mississippi to change course and pour into the Kaskaskia River.  The village of Kaskaskia was not entirely flooded, but the cutting current would soon destroy it. By 1909, the old village had disappeared.

Feel free to walk through the cemetery and look for the names of early Illinois pioneers on the gravestones.

They also had this giant monument that was dedicated to all the people in the graveyard and their hard work during their lives.

I looked at a few of the headstones while we were here.  I couldn't believe how old some of these were! Some of them were so old and weathered that you couldn't even read the dates.

After a few somber moments in the cemetery, we headed even further down the road and finally reached Fort Kaskaskia.  It wasn't too exciting since it was sort of grown up by now. You couldn't see the river from the fort anymore like you used to be able to.
And here's yet another sign.  Apparently people around here really like to put signs up everywhere.

Site of Fort Kaskaskia

FRENCH OCCUPATION (1703-1763): These timeworn earthworks are the remains of temporary fortifications designed to protect the town of Kaskaskia (founded in 1703), the southern anchor of France's colony in the Illinois Country. The first plans for this site, made in the 1730's, called for a substantial stone fort. They were soon abandoned as too expensive. French officials seeking to prevent British encroachment into Illinois determined in 1751 to build a permanent stone fort at Kaskaskia. It was soon decided to instead build at the nearby site of the decayed second Fort de Chartres, located north of here. Construction of a fort of earth and wood on this site began about 1759, but was probably never completed.

BRITISH OCCUPATION (1763-1778): The fort of wood and earth played no role in the French and Indian War (1754-1763), which ended in the transfer of Illinois from France to Great Britian. British officers visiting here in 1766 found an earthwork ruin containing two dilapidated buildings, collapsed gun platforms, and rotten timbers on the parapet. British authorities ignored this site and built a fortification known as Fort Gage in the town.

AMERICAN OCCUPATION (1778): The town of Kaskaskia was captured by American forces in 1778 and passed formally to American control as a result of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. The old fort served during the 1780s as headquarters of local freebooter John Dodge. The U.S. Army renovated the fort about 1803 and stationed troops here until 1807. The old post was last used during the War of 1812 as sneller by local residents fearing attack by Indian allies of the British.

After this, we were pretty tired and decided it was time to head back home.  It was a very long day and we saw many things...and read many signs.  I had a lot of fun, though!

Hope I get to see some more cool things!


* Posted Oct 22, 2009, 7:04 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 21st October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Tonight, I was a little bored and decided that I would do some decortating to some pumpkins that we picked up over the weekend for Halloween.  Steph had gone to the store a few days ago and found these things to decorate pumpkins with. They're sort of like what you would use to put into a Mr. Potato Head.
It's a tradition in the USA to decorate pumpkins for Halloween, usually by carving a design into them, but I didn't want to make a mess and Steph said the pumpkins usually decay pretty fast after being carved. 

First I picked out which pumpkin I wanted to use.  This one looked nice to me. What do you think, Mom? Does it look nice to you?

Here I am spreading out all the pieces and trying to figure out just what I wanted to put on this pumpkin.

Hm..these eyes looked nice..

After putting on the perfect nose, mouth, and ears, I was finished! Here's my end result, Mom!

Here are a few more pumpkins that I helped decorate! I feel proud having done so much work!

Well, Mom, Steph said that we will actually carve a pumpkin sometime.  I can't wait!! I've never carved a pumpkin before!!


* Posted Oct 22, 2009, 7:17 pm Last edited Dec 7, 2009, 8:38 am by brilliantlyxx [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Arcadia, Missouri, USA - 24th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Hello Mom!

Today was a VERY pretty fall day, so we decided to take a little trip to an antique shop not too far from Steph's town. It used to be a Catholic boarding school for girls (Ursuline Academy) back years and years ago, so I thought it would be pretty exciting to look at.
When we got there, though. We noticed that the store was no longer open. Turns out, the owners of the shop closed up years ago, but we were still able to get out and look at the property.


For this update, we were able to find some old photos on the internet to show just what this place looked like ages ago. The photo credits for those goes to Ancestory.com. I don't know when these photos were taken, though.
Here I am outside what was St. Joseph's Chapel and underneath is what it looked back when it was still running as a school.

The first thing we came across was a statue of St. Joseph.

Behind St. Joseph stood the gynasium. It was VERY small for a building. I'm not sure how they did many activities in there.
Here's a photo of what the entrance and the inside looked like. The gymnasium looked really big, but that building is awful tiny.

We found this rock structure that seemed to be falling apart. It looked like a little gazebo that went out onto a tiny lake. We're not really sure, though, but I bet it looked cool back in its day.

Here are some more statues we found of religious figures.

We started to walk back around the building to get back to the car (it's a VERY large building  :o), and we found a few items that were left behind by the previous owners, like this old spinning machine. It was used to turn fibers into yarn back ages and ages ago.

We also found this little sign that said "Sow today the seed that will ripen to a golden harvest".

As we were about to leave, I noticed a graveyard and asked Steph if we could go have a look at it.  She said she didn't mind, so we went over for a little look. It was apparently a graveyard of nuns that had been a part of the school.

We also found more statues in the graveyard.

After this, we decided to head back home and get some food while we were heading that way. Halloween is coming up, Mom! Apparently it's a pretty big deal here in the Unites States, so I can't wait to show you all the things we get into.


* Posted Dec 7, 2009, 8:25 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Farmington, Missouri, USA - 24th October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

You know how I said that Halloween is a big deal in the United States?

Well, on our way home from Arcadia, we found this house all decorated for Halloween. People really seem to get into holidays here.


Their yard had mannequin after mannequin. It would probably be REALLY creepy at night.  :o

* Posted Dec 7, 2009, 8:35 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 31st October 2009

By: brilliantlyxx


Steph and I planned on showing you some cool things that her town does for Halloween and even let me meet some trick-or-treaters, but Steph is pretty sick so we didn't get to do much. :(

I did get to eat a LOT of candy, though. I found the bowl for trick-or-treaters and decided I would like to eat some of the sweets in the bowl, but Steph told me I couldn't have many because they were for the children.
The candies that I did get to snack on where pretty good.  There were Whoppers (which are chocolate coated malted milk balls), Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (which are chocolate candy filled with peanut butter) and Kit-kat bars (which are chocolate covered crème-filled wafers). All so good. Just wish I could've had more. :(

But, she did surprise me with my very own pail of treats! I was very happy to see that I was going to get candy after all!

Look at what's inside! MORE Reece's cups, Reese's Pieces candy (which is just round pieces of candy coated peanut butter) and a chocolate lollipop! Talk about a happy Cutie I was!

I'm off to eat my candy and take care of Steph.  I'll update soon!


* Posted Dec 7, 2009, 9:16 am Last edited Dec 7, 2009, 9:18 am by brilliantlyxx [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Fredericktown, Missouri, USA - 11th November 2009

By: brilliantlyxx

Hi Mom!

While taking care of Steph and her cold, I got a little under the weather myself.  :( I hope I get better soon so I can update more.


Miss you,

* Posted Dec 7, 2009, 10:11 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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