Sully Monster, Athens , Greece


Posted Jan 15, 2008, 10:56 am
Hello! My name is Sully Monster. Most of you would know me from the famous movie Monsters Inc. I've retired now from making children laugh and I decided it was about time to see the world. My mom tells me I'll be traveling to Michigan and it'll be very cold but I'll get to hopefully see some awesome ice sculptures.

I hope to travel around the United States a bit and see some haunted areas and maybe even see Los Angeles and the Hollywood Walk of Fame! We can only hope, we can see where mom will send me! I have a few brothers that are going out into the wild too very soon. One of my brothers Jimbo Elephant had his first stop over in Hawaii today! How exciting. My brother Shaggy Bear is on his way tomorrow to Germany to be with anni. I'll be off tomorrow too, there's a lot of kisses and goodbyes, but I know my mom will keep me safe. :-)
That's a picture of me, but of course I'm going to love my photo taken anywhere I go and I hope my hosts will take lots of photos of me and update my blog heaps since I can't do it myself sadly! I wish I could though...
...and here's a picture with me and Shaggy Bear aren't we cute together?

Well I'm off! My dad is making me some kind of t-shirt or sash or something, he says it'll be a little bag I'm excited anyways! :-)

Posted Jan 18, 2008, 3:57 pm
Hello! This is Sully's mom updating. I sent him off to Michigan on the 16th of January. He's going to see the ice sculpture festival in the beginning of February hopefully. Hopefully he gets there in time, you can never guess with the postal service all the time, but we can hope. :-) He had a little bag that was made for him before he left with his ID and "Toyvoyagers" on the front of it, he was very excited about it - and just like his best buddy Shaggy Bear he wanted his picture taken to show it off, and of course with his best buddy too... so here's his picture...

...and of course I keep my promise, this is him with his best buddy Shaggy Bear...

Have a good and safe journey little Sully Monster.

Posted Jan 27, 2008, 2:29 am
Hi Mom!

I made it to the USA today - my new host Melissa was very excited to greet me.  I even got a kiss!

It's very cold here, Melissa says the temperatures have been in the single digits or below zero degrees Fahrenheit for over a week now.  It sure looks pretty outside, but boy is it deceiving:

This is the church in the parking lot next to her apartment building.

I was greeted by a lot of furry friends at Melissa's apartment.  I got to meet Stitch!  He's Melissa's buddy, and guards the TV and DVD player in the living room:

And I met Little Teddy, who arrived yesterday.  We're going get along great!

Look!  They have a Sully Monster-size Christmas tree!

Posted Jan 29, 2008, 6:57 pm
Melissa had big plans for the last couple days.  Sight-seeing, checking out the snow statues, being out in the wintery weather.

But, mom, it's been doing nothing but rain!  Today it's freezing rain!  So we've been stuck inside for a couple days now... it's just too icky out to drive around.

This is me outside of the Fine Arts building at Melissa's university - on a brief moment when it wasn't raining.  There's a big theatre inside that building and there are performances there every weekend.

I'll show you more buildings as soon as the weather improves.  They sure are big!

Today, since it's rainy out, we're helping Melissa do her laundry:

Not too exciting, but there's promise of going out later and visiting people!

Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:39 pm
We got a new visitor today!

This little alien is Weasley.  He sure is a very interesting sort - those aliens sure do weird things.  Him and Stitch have bonded right away though, and me and Teddy warmed up to him pretty fast.

Today we're going to have a tea party with Melissa's friend Alyse!  I can't wait!

Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:46 pm
There is this small little tea room in Houghton (Hancock's "sister town") that Melissa goes to at least once a week and writes postcards and letters.  Everyone there knows her, knows what she orders, and they're all very nice.

You can order an endless pot of tea, soup and sandwiches, cookies, and cake.  There are also lots of older/silly hats to wear while you're there.  Look at us!


We had a lot of fun and it was nice to have something warm to drink to get rid of the chills.  The weather has been -way- below zero for several days now.  Brr!

Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:52 pm
Just a small update to show you the town Melissa lives in.

It's a small, homey little town, and there's lots of snow.  There has been snowfall of over 170 inches since the beginning of the winter.

This is the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.  It's pretty famous - there aren't too many bridges that open the way this one does.  It gets featured on a lot of videos about bridge designing.  Melissa says we'll get a better photo of it later this week.

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 6:16 pm
We got another new visitor today!  Just in time to go see the snow statues this afternoon.
That's Little Teddy, Weasley, me, and our new friend Winnie the Pooh!

We're all getting ready to go look at the big ice and snow statues.  The deadline to be done was this morning at 8am, so we're all excited!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 7:43 pm

The snow statues we went to go see are part of the larger celebration at Michigan Technological University called "Winter Carnival".  This is the history about it, from the Winter Carnival website:

Michigan Tech often registers more than 200 inches of snow in a season. Not content to let this abundant natural resource go to waste, students band together in an annual celebration of our beautiful, tough, exhilarating, and character-building climate.

Winter Carnival began in 1922, with a one-day Ice Carnival. It was so popular that students made it an annual event, and Winter Carnival as we know it began to take shape.

It was suspended in 1930, in the aftermath of the stock market crash, but in 1934, Blue Key Honor Fraternity resurrected the event. Then, 1936 brought the biggest change, one that would become Carnival's best known tradition: snow statues.

Since then, the statues have become famous for their size, detail, and design as building methods (and secrets) have been passed from year to year.

During World War II, Winter Carnival was again suspended. It took off again in 1946, when the Stage Revue was added, with fraternities, sororities, and other campus organizations presenting skits for the enjoyment of the crowd and the performers alike.

Winter Carnival events start at the beginning of the Spring term, with the construction of the month-long statues (the bigger ones I'll show you in a minute!).  Then two or three weeks before the actual event, there are a lot of competitions, like broomball, skiing, human dogsled races, snowboarding, etc. 

Then there's a big ta-da at the end on a Wednesday night.  On that night a lot of other groups get together and while the people making month-long statues are finishing theirs, they make one-nighter statues that are a lot smaller.  There is activity on campus all night until the wee hours of the morning, and the deadline to be finished is 8am on Thursday.  Then Thursday morning everyone walks around the area taking photos of them all before they melt/fall apart.  All the minute details usually don't last more than a couple days (it warms up and melts, or it'll snow more on top of them, etc.) but the big structures will be up most of the rest of the winter until they melt.

There are so many people around that it was too hard to get a photo with me in it, but I hope you like them anyway!  They look  so awesome in person, the detail on some of them is amazing.

First the big month-long ones:
King Kong fighting a monster!

Oh yeah, the theme was Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features...
The Abominable Snowman!
The Ghostbusters fighting the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

More coming in the next post!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 8:03 pm
Melissa really liked this one.  It's a bunch of different monsters wreaking havoc on models of all the campus buildings.  Like there's Godzilla in something called the "Chem Sci".
One of the Sororities made a monster out of a can of Monster energy drink!  :D
The gay pride group paid homage to me!
This is the monster from "Tremors".  The description says something about not eating Kevin Bacon - lol!
This is of Frankenstein and Frankenstein's monster.  This was the winner in the "Women's Groups/Sororities" category.

More coming soon!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 8:30 pm
This is the Kracken destroying a ship like in Pirates of the Caribbean!
T-Rex from Jurassic Park
This is one of Melissa's favorites.  It's of demons haunting a child's bedroom.  Look in the last photo at the ice rocking horse!  Wow!
From the children's book "Where the Wild Things Are"
This one was the winner in the "Men's Groups/Fraternities" category.  It's of Van Helsing killing vampires.  It's so amazingly detailed that even all the photos Melissa took can't even begin to show it all.

That's all of the month-long ones.  We'll post later about the one-nighters.  It's dinner time now!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 11:08 pm
Come to find out, Melissa just realized she didn't take many photos of the one-night statues.  They're not as nice as the month-long ones, as a whole, as you can imagine.  But here are a few of the ones we liked:
Trogdor from
Melissa squealed when she saw this and her mom, who was with us, looked at her like she was nuts.  She doesn't get the reference. :(
They won first place in their group (on-campus residents).
The Grim Reaper, made by a group of Lutheran students.  Ironic? ;)
A smaller version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
This is a monster rock band, made by a music fraternity that Melissa is a member of.  They won first place in their group (campus organizations).
This is a couple teams playing broomball, so you can see what that's like.  It's a BIG deal here, almost a third of the student body participates.

That's all for now!  We're going to go see some of the town tonight and tomorrow.  More history lessons before I leave the area! :)

Posted Feb 16, 2008, 1:38 am
Happy Valentine's Day, mommy!

I hope you had a wonderful day!

Love and miss you,

PS.  We're going camping!  Photos coming soon! :)

Posted Feb 21, 2008, 2:11 pm
The town of Hancock, MI has a very strong Finnish Heritage. 

We found a little information about it on Hancock's website, if you would like to see it, here:

Hancock has an official "sister city" relationship with a town in Finland, called Porvoo.  Melissa doesn't know much about it, and had a hard time finding much information (beyond the fact that the relationship exists).

There's a small park on the waterfront called "Porvoo Park" in honor of this sister city relationship.  It overlooks the city of Houghton, across the Portage Canal, and gives a good place to take a photo of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.
You can't see much due to the snow, but in the summer there's a boardwalk along the water, lots of picnic tables, and there's a set of condos to the right.

To the left is the bridge:

This is a pretty unique bridge.  It opens to let water traffic through by lifting up the middle part.  There are lots of videos about bridges that talk about this unique design.  Melissa said she watched one while she was in high school and the people pronounced the name "Houghton" wrong, for Houghton, MI.  :)

There's a little information about it, if you're interested, here:

Melissa loves giving us these "history lessons" about the area.  More coming soon.  Hope you like it!

Posted Feb 26, 2008, 11:54 am
This is a kind of funny place that we went to.

In a nearby town (Mohawk, MI) there is a giant 'snow thermometer' on the side of the highway!  It's huge!

It 'measures' the current and previous year's snowfalls against the record snowfall for this area.  I'll show you... :)
Here I am being held up against it, because the snow banks on the side of the road were too deep to get much closer.  Melissa hoped she could put me next to it so you could see how big it is.  Let's just say when it says "390.4 inches", it means it!

Here are a few close-ups of the wording on it:

Last year's snowfall for the whole season - something like October to April - was "barely above average" according to Melissa.

This year so far they've already had more snow than they did all of last year.  There has been about 11" more snowfall so far (and a big storm a-brewing, says Melissa).  It's been a very cold and snowy year.  Makes for  a long and depressing winter - but we're sure enjoying it while we're here! :)

There is currently about 3 feet of snow on the ground at any given point.  The snow banks are HUGE in comparison to us little ToyVoyagers.  Melissa keeps us safe from any avalanches, though!

Posted Feb 28, 2008, 1:02 pm
We went camping!

Well, since it's so cold outside (it's still be pretty consistently below 0 degrees F everyday) we went camping indoors.  But we still had a lot of fun.
Peekaboo!  Look at our tent, perfect size for us TVs!
Here are all of us posing outside.  There was also another tent that we could put a picnic table under to have lunch.  Unfortunately, Melissa couldn't find a TV-sized picnic table.  That's okay though, we sat underneath the tent and ate lunch and enjoyed ourselves anyway.
I call this shot "Happy Campers"!

Yay!  It was so fun.  We (me, Little Teddy, Weasley and Winnie the Pooh) sat in the little tent and told ghost stories after Melissa turned out the lights, and none of us got much sleep.  We had some good bonding time, though, and I wish you'd been here!

Miss you!

Posted Feb 29, 2008, 7:50 pm
Today is my last day with Melissa.  I am going to another part of Michigan to visit a new host.
We visited Melissa's mom today, who has a new St. Bernard Puppy, named "Moose".

Don't worry, he snuffed us a little bit to make sure we weren't dangerous and then Melissa made sure we were safe.  He sure is big, and he's just a puppy!
We all had a little pow-wow and said our goodbyes.  I'm going to miss my friends but I'm excited to see more of the world.
A couple final group shots.  *tear*
And off I go!  I'm so excited!

Melissa says to tell you to expect some mail one of these days.  It's a secret! :)

Posted Mar 6, 2008, 4:17 am
Well I missed the train but I'm here and excited for all the fun things I'll down here in the lower peninsula of Michigan.

So far I haven't seen much but its still early. I have met my new roommate (its a good thing he knows I'm not a chew toy!)

Posted Mar 19, 2008, 3:48 am
Today we went out to see the middle school kim went to many many years ago and take pictures of the war memorial that was put up not to long ago.
This used to be the towns high school. now there are three high schools on one campus and the students can have classes in all three of them, even though they only belong to one of the schools.
these are tablets for all the wars that have taken place. the hight of the pillar is based on how many lives have been lost.

some more marker with the emblems of the different services units on them.
this one is for people from the town of Plymouth that were lost in  the Vietnam and Korean war.

and of course a picture of the flag waving
this is an old bell saved by the historical society that even kim didn't know about.  :o

And last but not least a town oddity. an old factory wall that has been preserved with the hope of reincorporating it into an another building (at least thats what we think) supposedly its a wall of the old daisy factory. (i think they made bb guns)

Posted Mar 20, 2008, 5:44 am
Hello and happy st. Patrick's day form the Corktown races. we did the mile and a half walk. everyone was wearing green including me! these are my walking buddies.

The race started at the old tiger's stadium.

right before the race started a lone piper walked through the crowd.

Here's the starting line, and that's the Detroit skyline in the background.

the race ended at the old Detroit Central Train Station, I can only imagine how beautiful of a building it once was.
oh and that bridge in the background leads to Canada.

Posted Mar 25, 2008, 2:11 am
It was a beautiful first day of spring here, a little on the cold side earlier in the day but it warmed up.
And to celebrate the beautiful first day of spring Kim and I took a trip to the Detroit Zoo!  :D

We had so much fun looking at all the animals that we took a ton of pictures! So here they are...

Cool, huh. check out the full size ones in Flickr if you want a better look (tagged Detroit Zoo)

Posted Mar 29, 2008, 4:47 pm
I arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana today! And guess what?? I've already met another monster! His name is Roary and he was hand knit by my host for her son. This is us sitting on his bed with another TV visiting, named Chocolate Chimp.
Tomorrow we are going to go along with our host and her son to church and then going to tour a chocolate factory!! I can't wait! More photos soon!

Sully Monster

Posted Apr 2, 2008, 4:32 am
A new TV arrived at my host's house, her name is Elysia and she's a pretty blue bunny. We had a lot of fun playing with our host's son and his cool red VW, I got to drive!!
We have some fun stuff planned for the week, weather permitting. I can't wait to see more of Indianapolis!

Posted Apr 14, 2008, 2:12 pm
Hi! I know it's been awhile since we updated this, but my host has been super busy with family. Saturday we went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Hall of Fame Museum! It was so much fun! We saw lots of really cool race cars, some dating back to the early 1900's! Here are some photos my host took of me. :)
"Getting Ready To Go!"

"In Front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Racing Capital of the World"

"In Front of the 1982 Indy 500 Race Winning Car - The Year my Host was Born"

"Sitting in a REAL race car - with my host's stepson"

"Borg-Warners Trophy - Indy 500 Race Winners Cup"

"1911 Indy 500 Race Winning Car"

"In Front of the Old Timers Monument - Including Henry Ford, Louis Chevrolet, and more"

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Symbol - The Flying Wheel"

I learned so much about the Speedway, the race, the cars and the tradition. And I had a lot of fun!
Tuesday I will be leaving my host in Indianapolis and traveling to a new host in NY! I'm so excited!


Posted Apr 18, 2008, 3:01 pm
He's off! Sully has been sent off to a new host in NY. He left  yesterday and should arrive in NY by Monday. We had a lot of fun with him while he was here and are sad to see him go. Have fun in NY Sully!
Sully Getting Ready to Go!


Posted Apr 21, 2008, 9:39 pm
I arrived in New York this morning around 9:30am. My new host, Nicole saved me from my envelope!

She immediately took a liking to me! Here's a picture of us.

Nicole decided that I should meet her two favorite pets right away. They are both cats. The black one is Shadow and the tan one is Honey. They were very nice to me.

It was 72 degrees here today,so Nicole decided that we should go to the park . She took me for ice cream. It was delicious!

When we got back to her house, I was very tired. So, I took a nap with her niece, Riley. She cuddled with me. I liked that.

That's about all we've done today. It's already evening here. Nicole says that I'll have more things to do through-out my stay. I can't wait!

Posted Jun 2, 2008, 2:55 am
I MADE IT!!!!!  WOOHOOO!!!!!!  I am here with Puny/+/Bumblebee!!!  I am sooooo worn out!  That trip was a doozy!  I am going to go eat and take a nap, then will be back with pictures!!  I am so glad to be here....Jadzia Tam is here as well!  YAY!!!!!  Stay tuned for more news!  I love you Mom!!!!! (sararingham)

Posted Jun 2, 2008, 6:28 am
Oh boy!!  Here is me coming out of my package!!  Here to greet me are Jadzia Tam, Fester, Skrappy, and TheOutsider!  They sure are nice, and I can't wait to have some fun with them!

Posted Jun 3, 2008, 12:35 am
Hello there!!  Someone told me a secret!  She said that Titch is on his way here!!  WOOHOO!!!!  Have a safe and speedy trip Titch!

Posted Aug 4, 2008, 7:04 am
I am writing to say that I have sent Sully Monster on his way to his new destination.

Posted Sep 8, 2008, 10:56 pm
Hooray, I have arrived safe & sound in Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania... I can't wait to see what I get to do here! :D

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 7:26 pm
Tonight I relaxed with my host, Sam. We watched WWE Raw on TV... I think it's silly.

Posted Sep 9, 2008, 7:29 pm
Today I went to work with Sam, she works at a newspaper. She let me see the giant rolls of paper they use when they print the newspaper!

Posted Sep 13, 2008, 4:54 am
Today, Sam, my host had some friends over to play Rockband... she let me try the guitar, but I think it's a tad too big for me.  B)

Posted Sep 14, 2008, 5:20 am
Today Sam and her friends took me to Knoebels Amusement Park!

We ate lunch at a pavilion that has foods from all over the world!
Here I am with the Corn mascot for the pavilion! (on his shoulder!)

There was also a Coal Mining Museum...
Here I am with a giant piece of coal!

Oh and here I am with a DINOSAUR!! (I'm on his foot!)

Here is an old train outside the museum that children can play on!
Do you see me?

And finally, here is me in front of the Bald Eagle exhibit. The eagles have hurt wings and are unable to fly  :(

Posted Sep 22, 2008, 3:16 am
Today I went with Sam to pick up her younger brother... we went to KFC to eat lunch. The sweet corn was delicious!

Posted Sep 22, 2008, 3:21 am
Today we woke up early and went to Kirby Park in Kingston because Sam said there was something really neat that was going to take place, but no one knew exactly what it was.
Nintendo had made a press conference saying that in 4 places in the whole USA that you would see a character that hasn't been seen in a long time...
Well... it was Kirby!!!
They were neat floating Kirby's made of bubbles filled with helium... I have never seen anything like it... but we only stayed for a little while because Sam had to go to work...

Posted Sep 23, 2008, 3:42 am
Sam had to go to work later than usual today. She got the mail before she went... there was a package and I couldn't wait to see what it was... She opened it at work and out popped another TV! Horny Haggis! I am excited to have a friend to accompany me on the upcoming trip to Buffalo, New York!

Posted Sep 29, 2008, 4:28 am
We arrived in Buffalo late on Friday night, we actually almost didn't get to come because Sam's cousin, Luke who we came to visit was very sick... so we didn't get to go to the zoo like we hoped to, it was to chilly outside for Luke to be walking around... although today we visited one of his favorite places! The Buffalo Hobby Shop!
Here is me with Horny Haggis by a Caboose from a real train!
See us on the hand railing!
And sitting by the tracks!
Here I am on Thomas the Tank Engine. He is one of Luke's favorite characters!
And her are Haggis and I looking at the big train display!

Posted Oct 1, 2008, 6:31 pm
Sam said today that I will be heading to my next host in Canada! So I said goodbye to Horny Haggis and hopped in my envelope to begin my journey! I can't wait to see what I get to do when I get there!

Posted Oct 11, 2008, 9:49 pm
:stare:Man oh man, my new hosts finally checked their mail box.  And there I was, waiting patiently between the Popular Mechanics and the Prevention magazines.  At least I had some reading material in there!

They apologized to me, as evidently their post box is far from the house right now...they have a house that was built just last year, BUT, good news for the next TV they host, their new post box has been installed and they will be able to pick mail up more frequently.

Soooo...since they had to pick me up in a car, I got to accompany them all over the city today while they ran errands.  No camera, but I got to see the first of many sights in my new town, Kingston.  The new people call the kid with them "Jones", and so Jones held onto me in the back seat and showed me Lake Ontario, Queen's University, dowtown, the Royal Military College, the Canadian Forces Base, and a bunch of shops and ice cream stores and stuff.

They promised I would go back out and visit some of these places in more detail during my stay here.

Tomorrow is a very exciting day...Jones has a best friend, her best friend in the whole entire world, she told me, and that kid is coming from Quebec to visit for the first time.  Jones and her mom used to live in Quebec, they moved to Kingston one year ago.  So while Jones' BFF is here, we'll be doing some exciting things for Canadian Thanksgiving!  Woo hoo!  FOOD and FUN...ahhh, I like this new place.

Posted Oct 12, 2008, 1:03 am
So they've taken out the camera and are bringing me wherever they go!  My hosts are the Big Lady and the Big Man, their daughter Jones, and 3 fur-people named Chloe, Magic and Curly.  Jones has a LOT of dollies and stuffies, many of them are Webkinz.  Here are some of the Webkinz saying hello to me as I came out of the envelope:

After a relaxing afternoon at home, they decided to take me out for supper.  We picked up pizza from one of the most popular pizza places in Ontario and had a picnic outside at the park since it's a beautiful autumn day.  One thing I noticed about Canada that's different from Australia and the USA...all of the packages have LOTS of writing on them.  Jones explained to me that it's because in Canada, the country is officially bilingual, so everything is written in English and FRENCH.  Look at the Iced Tea, it's called "Thé Glacé"...still tastes the same though.

Pizza was good too!

Afterwards Jones took me to play at the park.  We were at the park on the CFB (Canadian Forces Base) because it's the best park in this part of town  :p

First I went on the swings...

Then we climbed the mountain to the slide...

Jones helped me get all the way to the top.  Her mom took pictures...

Here I am coming down the slide...

And on the zipline, my favourite!

Afterwards we took a short drive down the hill to Fort Henry...aka FORT FRIGHT at this time of year.  It's the biggest HAUNTED HOUSE around!  It's so scary, that kids who are Jones' age aren't allowed in.  She says you have to be at least 14 to go that's pretty scary!!!  Since Jones isn't allowed in, we could only go so far as the sign.  I guess I might be a bit too scared too, so I will go into the local haunted houses on Halloween night,  but I'm pretty close to meeting one of my life goals!  Can you see me next to the BIG sign?

The Big Lady insisted I take pictures with the election posters.  There's a federal election here in Canada on Tuesday October 14th, after that the signs comes down.  Right now the Canadians have a Conservative Prime Minister...the local candidate is this guy

Another main political party is the New Democrats, or the NDP...they're "left", whatever that means.

Then there's the current local Member of Parliament, who also happens to be Canada's Speaker of the House of Commons:

The Big Lady is kinda partial to a smaller political party called the Green Party.  They don't waste money and resources on road signs.  So I don't have a picture with their sign.

Fort Henry (aka FORT FRIGHT) is right beside the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) .  We took a short walk over there.  Can you see me in the picture?  All I am give peace a chance....

You can see the clock tower of RMC in the back of this shot...

YAWN!  I'm just winding down now and settling into my new routine.  Jones made me a little bed to sleep in, so I'll be very comfy while I'm here  :)


Posted Oct 13, 2008, 4:13 pm
Whoa, what a blur today was!  We started the day with a family meal prepared by the Big Man...he does a lot of the cooking around here, so I hear.  He made me a special pancake.

Then we waited for guests to arrive. people speak another language  :o  Tout la journée était passé en français!...I spoke French all day!  Here's the scoop...Jones has her BFF, named "Rosa".  Rosa and her family came from Québec to visit for Thanksgiving, because Jones and Rosa are most thankful for each other.  They're 8 years old and have been friends since they were 5...and they miss each other sooooooo much since Jones moved to Ontario last year.  So this was Rosa's first visit to Ontario to see Jones!  And while Jones speaks English and French, Rosa only speaks French, so in order to be nice to her visitors, we had to switch languages.  Thankfully I'm a fast learner.

On special occasions, Jones takes her friends and visitors to one special place.  It's called Chuck E Cheese.  I think we have them in Australia too, and I know I saw some in the USA.  Anyway, Chuck E Cheese is totally for the kids, says the Big Lady.  Not her first choice for Thanksgiving but, hey...the kids has fun!  Me too!

Here I am enjoying some food (pizza again)

Then I rode some rides and played some games

After the games, I got to take my tickets to the toy store and buy stuff!

Later on at home, we had a Thanksgiving meal.  It consisted of Turkey, stuffing and grilled vegetables done on the barbeque.  It's been really nice out lately, says the Big Lady, so they're using the barbeque as much as possible.

Uhm...problem, we forgot the camera in the car though, and since everyone was settled into their meal and eating when Jones realized we hadn't taken pictures of me and the food...the Big Lady made an "executive decision" to skip pictures of the Thanksgiving Meal.

Here I am saying goodbye to my new friend Rosa (in the pink shirt...she jumped on me and Jones!).  She and her family had to drive back to Quebec tonight because they had other family to see tomorrow.  Thanksgiving is a 2-day thing in Canada if you want it to be, everyone has the day off of work tomorrow.

Posted Oct 22, 2008, 4:05 am
Long time no write.  I think it's because, as the big lady says, this family is "crazy busy" during the week.  During the day I pretty much sit at home with the other dollies, visiting and such, while the people go about their days at work and school.  I can't reach the computer to boot it up either, so I have to wait until the big lady is able to start it up for me in order for me to update the blog.

So, what do we do during the day?

Jones is taking piano lessons, she's teaching me how to play "Frère Jacques" this week

I hang out with her newest Webkinz a lot, his name is Teri Teri, he's a Minikinz Blue Jay.  We like to play Frisbee

Jones also made sure I got my own pumpkin for Halloween.  Here I am standing on it!

Posted Oct 22, 2008, 4:08 am
Jones takes good care of me, always makes sure I have a good breakfast before she leaves for school.  Well, she lets me share with her anyway.  Today we had peanut butter on toast.

Posted Oct 22, 2008, 4:17 am
WOW, what a day!  We headed out to the pumpkin patch and corn maze, and was it ever fun.  Here I am on a full-sized pumpkin...hi mom!

The corn maze was VERY cool...also VERY big, good thing Jones was able to carry me in her hoodie.

We had to find various checkpoints in the maze.  They were marked off with numbers or animal signs.  I asked the big lady to take my picture at each one...Jones says it will prove to you that I did the whole maze...

During the maze, I made a new friend!  He tickled my feet a bit when he crawled on me.  Do you see him?  He's a moth caterpillar.

He even crawled on my hand for a while  :)

In the middle of the maze, there were a flock of FLAMINGOES!  Big lady tells me they're not native to Canada, so we were really lucky to see them.  I even got to ride one:

Here are the rest of the maze checkpoints:

We actually missed a few, but like I was a big maze.  The big lady says we did "good enough for one afternoon".

Afterwards, I met a really nice Jack O'Lantern named Ernie

While I waited for Jones to play mini golf and run in the hay maze, I chillaxed on a pile of gourds.  "Chillax" is my new word.

Posted Oct 25, 2008, 3:32 am
We've been busy decorating for Halloween.  I love the lights on the stairs!

Check it out when we turn out the lights...

I was just sitting on the table this evening though...and i felt like something was watching me....


I tried to run away...

But all he wanted to do was tickle me...

WHEW!!!!  I'm still okay, he was just a Halloween decoration, and he was just joking around with me.  No monster-eating spiders in Canada...most of the real spiders are hibernating or dying off these days, the people tell me, because it's getting cold out.

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 8:41 pm
Wow, we've been so busy Mom, this family is always on the go!  I have been to so many places and done so many things...although they don't always remember to take my picture. 

For Halloween, it was "unseasonably warm" said the Big Lady, so I got to go trick up treating!  Mainly I stayed witht he Big Lady while Jones nabbed up the candy.  Here we are getting ready to go out.  Jones was a vampire(ss)...I was a monster  :cyclops:

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 8:46 pm
So every Saturday morning, Jones goes to a place called "The Boiler room" to climb the walls.  Literally.  She took me today!  I got about 1/4 of the way up then was too scared to continue, so I came back down.

The lady in charge of the climbing gym said that maybe I was a bit too small to climb.  So I went outside with the Big Lady.  She took my picture overlooking the Rideau River

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 8:50 pm
Well I'm packed up for a weekend road trip to Montreal!  The Big Lady grew up there, that's why this family speaks French sometimes.  Not sure if we will be getting to the city or not though, as we are going for the Big Lady's mother's birthday party.

Ah well, in the end, we didn't go into the city, too much visiting to do.  I took a quick picture in front of the village church in Ste-Thérèse.  This church is typical of the churches found around Montréal..lots of old big churches and they're all Catholic.

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 8:55 pm
oday we went to a nature conservation area to meet "The Real Batman"...he had a slideshow all about Bats in Ontario.  We even got to meet a real one!  The bat was scared of me,a nd I was scared of the bat, so the picture is a bit blurry.  This is a typical Eastern Ontario brown bat.  He wasn't that big, but uhm....I was a bit scared nonetheless!

Afterwards we went for a hike in the woods.

We came across a marsh with wild ducks (Mallards, they have green heads, very pretty!)

Not sure if you see them or me better in these pictures...hmm...

At the marsh there were a lot of cattails.  All of them were pretty dried out, as it's almost wintertime here.

I hid amongst the pine needles in the forest!  Can you see me?

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 9:02 pm
Jones has a sleepover party in her class today, and I was invited!  During the day, I stayed in Jones' mother's office, because she was afraid the other children might want to play with me too much and I'd get lost in the school.

School sleepovers are NOT common in Canada.  Jones just has a really cool teacher this year.  She even let all the kids bring one stuffed animal each!  Guess who Jones decided to bring?

Yep!  Me!!! I got to see her cubby, her classroom, and the gym.  Jones is in 3e année (Grade 3) and she's 8 years old.

In the gym we played game stations.  All of the kids were in their pyjamas byt his point.

I played a bit of lacrosse.  Most people think hockey is Canada's national sport, but the Big Lady told me it's actually lacrosse.  Lacrosse was invented by the Native people in Canada and is kind of like hockey on land, anyway.  Lacrosse came before hockey.
In this picture I'm sitting where the lacrosse ball normally would.  That's asoccer ball in the background...


Posted Jan 31, 2009, 9:15 pm
Jones does skating twice each week...she's a speed skater!  This year she decided to start competing in speed skating, and so I have been to a lot of meets.  The thing is, Big Lady always forgets to take me along so I end up staying at the hotel :(  BUT, the big Lady made Jones a few skinsuit outfits for speed skating, and so Jones made me one too!  Here I am in my skin suit before practice.  Jones puts me in her vest pocket during practice, because they don't have skates in my size.

Jones also skates with me at the outdoor market square rink (in Kingston, behind City Hall).  I'm tucked ini her snowsuit in the picture, she's the one in purple.

I have been to meets in Ottawa(45.417  -75.700 ) , Kitchener-Waterloo (43.467      -80.533) , and Belleville(44.167  -77.383 ) so far.

Here's a picture of Jones and her team.  She's the littlest one of the Kingston team that goes to the out-of-town meets.

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 9:21 pm
Well, here we are getting ready to go away for Christmas holidays.  The family is taking me to CUBA with them!  Although this middle-of-the-night flight business has me very tired.  Here I am crashed out at Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport in Montreal.  the airport is named after one of Canada's most famous Prime Ministers.

Once we passed security, I read for a while with Jones

Here I am with Jones' oldest dolly, Katsi.  Katsi is the only dolly that gets taken on plane trips by Jones and her family.  She is 8 years old, like Jones, and she's been to California, Guatemala and all over Canada.  She's not a toy voyager in the true sense, but she's travelled a lot.  Katsi has a Mohawk name, it's actually Katsisenha:wi for real, and it means "She brings the flowers" because she usually wears a dress with flowers on it.  For Cuba though, she borrowed a bathing suit from the rabbit Webkinz, and a Santa hat from one of her other dolly friends.

Behind us is the plane that is taking us to CUBA!

Katsi and I sat on Jones' lap once we got on the plane

Shortly after we boarded the plane, they let us all have pillows...ahhhh  Finally I get to really relax and have a nap!

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 9:30 pm
Here we are on our first day in Cuba!  the hotel is really nice

There are flowers in the trees and although the weather is COLD for Cuba, it's much much much warmer than what we left behind in Canada.

Today we checked out the resort, which is on the peninsula near Varadero.  There's a kiddie pool for me and Jones

All you can eat buffet meals

All you can drink at the bar (I have developed a taste for Shirley Temples mom...LOVE THEM!)

All over the resort are different kinds of trees and vegetation, my favourites are the Coconut trees

There are palm huts all over the place too, they're fun to climb...can you see em?

And of course there's the beach.

I like to watch Jones' aunt and uncle play volleyball

the water is a bit choppy though, so I'm not able to go out on a catamaran

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 9:41 pm
Today we went to Havana on a private tour.  The Big Lady was worried about me wandering off, so I mainly stayed in the camera bag.  They did remember to take me out for a few pictures though!

About 60% of the cars in Havana are old american cars, from before the revolution 50 years ago.  They have been seriously well taken care of to last 50 years!  There's one passing behind me in this picture, taken near the Cuban Capitol buildings

In Revolution Plaza, there is a monument to the Revolution.  Fidel Castro gave his big speeches at the foot of this monument.  I'm joined here by a Cuban dolly named Mojita.  She was able to teach me a bit of Spanish while we were in the camera bag together.  Es una lingua muy simpatico.

In this photo I am joined by Smelly, a monkey who may very well be the most well-traveled toy voyager I have ever met!  Smelly doesn't voyage solo...he belongs to Jones uncle and aunt and accompanies them on their travels.  They have taken Smelly to about 8 countries in Europe, to 4 countries in South America, to 3 countries in Asia, as well as all over North America.  Smelly has been traveling for at least 10 years.  We're in front of the Ministry of Industry, which features a metal sculpture of Che Guevara, one of the leaders of the Cuban revolution.  Smelly's dad (Jones' uncle) looks a LOT like Che Guevara.

Posted Jan 31, 2009, 9:46 pm
One last road trip for em!  Jones had a long-track speed skating competition this weekend...outside in the FREEZING cold!  It was -24 this weekend!

After she skated, she wanted to take me skating too (I'm not allowed to actually *compete* with her, her skinsuit is too tight to have me inside with her)

So we went to the Rideau Canal, aka the World's Longest Skating rink!

Here I am skating with Jones!

We stopped for a Beavertail, a quintissential Canadian culinary delight that originated on the Rideau Canal many years ago...

MMMMMMMM...Beavertails.....Jones and I shared a regular cinnamon sugar one, while the Big Lady ate a chocolate one.  Mmmmmmmm

Posted Mar 20, 2009, 3:56 pm
Hey everyone, it's me, Sully Monster! I just arrived in Baltimore with my new host Ashe! She's also hosting Emil and we took a photo together:

Ashe says it's a good time for me to show up- she's throwing a bridal shower for her friend Susan on Sunday! So we're going to be very busy.

I'll write soon! :)

Posted May 6, 2009, 2:18 am
Hi mommy! So many exciting things happened in Baltimore. Let me tell you about all of them!

Ashe threw a bridal shower for her friend Susan, who's getting married next weekend!

We bought her gummy panties:
Ashe is silly!

Here I am hosting the buffet:

Here's Emil and me with the favors:

Susan and everyone had a great time!

Emil, Stanley Monkey, and I dyed Easter eggs with Ashe and her niece, Abby.

Here are us TVs posing:

Blue dye, just like my fur! And Ashe's favorite mug:

Here's me with eggs. I had some when Ashe wasn't looking! Nomnom.

Meanwhile, Ashe's second semester of grad school started. I helped her study:
Strategic management, is the subject, she said. Whatever that is!

I visited Ashe at work. She works in the concierge lounge for the Marriott. Here I am in the back. You can see the pot of iced tea she has to make every day on the right:

Here I am on the counter:

I helped Ashe fill out the monthly consumption report!

In front of the dishwasher and water rack.

Ah, that was fun! Well, it was work for Ashe but I was glad I could visit.

For our last romp, Ashe, her friend Siobhan, Stanley, and I went to the fairy festival in Pennsylvania. It's a tiny May Day festival but it was raining! So I only got one picture in.
There's alpacas in the background but they're blurry!

I had fun in Baltimore with Ashe! But now I'm off to Canada. Eh?
Ashe and me at 4:45AM, before I went in my box and before she went to work. Parting is such sweet sorrow but I'll always remember my Baltimore fun!

Posted May 14, 2009, 4:36 am
I'm here  :D

I made it safely to Calgary. Wow, apparently I didn't fit in Smaug’s letter box so he came picking me up from the post office later this evening.

When we arrived home I could hear a lot of voices around me but from inside the box I wasn't sure of who they were.

Then I came out and met them. There is quite a gang of stuffed toys here, but the only other tv is sammino who actually is a stay-at-home-tv. They were all very excited as apparently I am the first tv that they host.

I had a great time in Baltimore, but now I can’t really wait to explore this new place! Next update to come soon  ;)

Posted May 17, 2009, 9:02 pm

Here I am again! Today I had my first outdoor trip in the wild, I was so excited thinking that I might have met wild bears, cougars , elks  :stare:…who knows?
So off we went and here it’s me and sammino in the car approaching the trailhead.

Today I shared the side pocket with sammino so I could see everything along the trail  :).

We went on the shore of a big lake that was still half frozen. Wow, there were slabs of ice floating and drifting around…just like being in the artic.

Unfortunately it was very windy, so after taking the pictures we were forced to go back in the pocket as Smaug wouldn’t allow us to explore the lake shore by ourselves, he said we might take off and disappear in the water  :(.

Over the next couple of days I might visit Smaug’s office as he needs to do some work this long weekend…I can’t wait  ;)

Posted May 22, 2009, 2:56 am
Here I am again. This week has been interesting because I started getting to know better all the toys around here, but also a bit boring as Smaug was coming back very late from work and always carrying lot of paper so he couldn’t really take us anywhere.
So today we decided to organize ourselves and watch a movie in DVD. First we had to decide what to watch: when I understood that Monsters, Inc wasn’t available I left the others to decide. The discussion actually got a bit heated  :stare: as someone (guess  who?) was pushing for “The march of the penguins”

while sammino was insisting for something about eagles.

In the end we agreed with sammino’s choice and while Paulina and I prepared the DVD player...

...sammino took care of the snacks....he obviously didn’t want to take any chance of someone starving during the show  :o

Sammino and I decided that we had to sacrifice ourselves for the well being of the others and check if the food was still good....hmmm, let’s have another one of these breadsticks and nutella, not too bad!  :rolleyes:

So here we are comfortably watching the movie....looks like a WWII movie, a good one but not really any eagle showing up  :).

Later, Smaug came home and let us update our travelogs, wow, I look good in the screen  B)

Posted May 25, 2009, 3:57 am

Wow, today I went out for another hike. We were supposed to leave early this morning, but Smaug had other things to take care of and so we changed our plans and went to a place close to Calgary in the afternoon. The forest was so thick that there was hardly a place for a good picture. But when Smaug stopped to get some rest, sammino and I explored a bit around...and we found out that a creek had been blocked with a dam, sammino said it must be the work of some beaver...

...must be a very advanced beaver, I didn’t know that they used corrugated steel pipes to control the water going through their dams  :stare:

The trail was very muddy and sometimes we had to ford a little was good to be high up and safe into Smaug’s backpack  :) as the water was deeper than it looked like.

We spent a few hours in the forest but when we eventually reached a clearing the view opened up on the surrounding landscape and what a view was that  :o! The trees were going on forever!

Smaug explained to me that we were actually in the foothills of the Rockies where the mountains are not too high and the forest can cover them up to the top.
When we eventually made it back to the car Smaug gave us something to eat  :D...

...just to keep us running until we made it home for a well deserved supper  ;)

Posted May 25, 2009, 5:02 am
Hello again!
Last night we were so tired that we were asleep very early, so this morning we were up very early too and to spend some time we decided to watch the Montecarlo F1 GP. It was the first time I saw a GP so I was quite excited, and there was an Aussie driver on the grid too  :D. sammino whispered in my ear that it was all fine to cheer on the Aussie driver, but with Smaug around, should the Ferrari be as rubbish as they have been the rest of the season, it was advisable to keep some sort of low profile during the race  :stare:

sammino told me that he had actually been in Monaco last summer while on holiday in South France, but apparently Smaug didn’t carry his backpack along all day so he spent most of the time in the car park...but it was a very glamorous car park, right under the Casino Square  B)
He also explained me that these races can be incredibly boring unless some accident happen, hey, here there is one  :o!

As the race went on it actually became really a bit boring, but luckily sammino got some cookies out and that made the rest of the race more interesting  ;)

In the end neither the Ferrari nor the Aussie driver won, but Smaug didn’t seem too disappointed.
During the rest of the morning Smaug was busy cleaning the house, so we decided to keep watching television, English football this time, and of course we kept the cookies at hand  ;)

In the afternnon the weather was so nice that Smaug took us out for a walk and I had the first chance to take a look at the Saddedome, the main Ice Hockey arena in Calgary. The roof is really shaped as a saddle  :o

Smaug explained me that here in Calgary people are quite crazy about all things related to cowboys and that every year in July the city hosts the biggest rodeo in the world.

Walking around the dome we met some Canadian geese...but most of them hid when we tried to take a picture of them.

On the way back I even managed to have a glimpse of the Calgary Tower.

It was very hot today (well, not that hot, but, considering that a few days ago it was below freezing point, 20-23 degrees seemed very hot) so when we came back home Smaug gave us some ice-cream to help us recovering, yuumm... :)

Posted May 27, 2009, 3:32 am
Hi Mum!

This week Smaug told us that soon we might see some new guest arriving, with Mr Bananas likely to be the first, so when tonight we saw him coming back home with a padded envelope in his hands we got really excited: was that going to be Mr Bananas  :)?

YES, it’s him  :D! Wow, we all gathered around to welcome him, he must be so tired after such a long trip

We immediately started chatting and getting to know each other ....he is very nice, he even brought us some chocolate  ;)

Wow, we went on chatting for a while but then Smaug came around telling us that Mr Bananas needs some rest after his trip to help him getting past the jet lag and so he sent us all to bed.

Will write again soon  :)
Sully Monster

Posted May 31, 2009, 5:48 am
Hi Mum,

What a week! Today a new guest arrived, Purple Haze! She is from UK like Mr Bananas and she is having her first trip too. That makes two new arrivals in less than 3 days, looks like we are going to have fun around here :D Now she is very tired, so, after a bit of chatting Smaug sent us all to bed...I guess we will keep going with the chatting after he falls asleep  ;)


Posted Jun 4, 2009, 4:35 am
Hi Mum,

Today we went for a trip into Banff National Park. We all took a place on the back seat and spent most of the driving time chatting and reading the newspaper.

Our destination was a place called Moraine Lake  :). Smaug explained us that the lake (as many others in this area) is fed by glaciers up in the mountains. These glaciers scrap from the mountain rock a fine mineral silt and damp it into the lake. This silt is called “rock flour” and gives to the water a strange opaque and milky colour. A catch of this glacier activity is that this particular lake is usually fairly dry until the thaw starts up at the higher elevations and today it was still partly frozen and almost empty: its area was less than half of what it usually is in summer so we could not really appreciate its typical colour. As it was very windy Smaug tried to take some pictures of us while we were “anchored” inside the backpack.

After exploring a bit the lake shore we tried to follow a trail that was still quite covered with snow. After some time we got a bit uncomfortable as we could hear a lot of thunders but the forest was too thick to see the sky. Feeling a certain unrest in the backpack (no one among us really fancied experiencing a thunderstorm while stuck on an uncomfortable trail 1 hour from the car) Smaug stopped and helped us looking through a gap in the tree branches: the thunders were not actual thunders, but just the noise made by avalanches falling from high up on the surrounding mountains  :o. The news did not exactly improve our extreme lack of comfort until he told us that the trail was very safe, mah.
On the way back we managed to take some pictures of the valley downstream of the lake....nice, wide and, most important, safely away from any avalanche  ;).

Posted Jun 8, 2009, 1:30 am
Hi Mum,

brrr, where did you send me?? We are almost halfway in June and this morning it was snowing here  :stare: It soon became rain, but the rest of the day went on very cold and very rainy. So, since the day was not really good for any outdoor activity, Smaug decided to go to the office to do some work and brought us along  :)
First we had a look out of the window...rain, rain and more rain  :(

So we decided to play a bit on the computer screens...

...but since Smaug actually wanted to do some work he kindly moved us away from the computer and left us exploring the bookshelves.

Let’s have a look at this one, the front page looks colourful..., yaaawn, interesting...zzzzz

When we woke up we had another look out of the window, ehi, a bit of sun  :) And you can see downtown Calgary in the background...of course, rain and clouds were back very quickly.

Wow, Smaug has some nice poster of his homeland  :)

Next week Smaug is going to work from somewhere on Vancouver Island and guess what? We TVs are all going with him. He told us that he is not sure that he’ll have much time to take photos but we have hope  ;)

Posted Jun 13, 2009, 9:14 pm
Hi Mum,

as anticipated in the last update, this week we all went with Smaug to Campbell River on Vancouver Island  :), where he was working for a few days. Unfortunately his carry on baggage was filled by the laptop and other work stuff, so we were forced to fly in the checked baggage, how uncomfortable  :(

After a couple of boring days at the hotel we had a chance to explore the place. First we walked north of the town along the narrow bit of land (called the Tyee Spit) that separates the actual river called Campbell River from the Discovery Passage. The Passage divides Vancouver Island from Quadra Island and is the main route for cruise ships sailing to and from Alaska.

Here we are resting on some driftwood with the Discovery Passage and Quadra Island behind us.

Here I am at the very end of the Spit with the Discovery Passage on my left and Campbell River’s mouth on my right.

And here are another couple of pictures looking upstream along Campbell River.

Going north a few km, the Passage becomes very narrow and near its narrowest point there used to be an underwater island (called Ripple Rock) that in low tides claimed lot of ships and lives in the past. This navigation hazard was removed in 1958: putting there some warning signs might have been a simple and effective idea, but an even more effective solution was chosen and the whole top of the underwater island was blasted off in one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history  :o
On our last evening here we explored the southern bit of the town. As you can see the 50th parallel passes here, how cool  B)

And just south of the 50th parallel there is this big painted rock on the beach just within the high tide line.  It is actually called (you would never think of that!): Big Rock  :stare: It is supposed to be some remnants of the ice age, but one legend has it that it is a boastful grizzly bear turned to stone after not heeding the Great Spirits advice and just failing to complete his attempt to jump from the mainland to Vancouver Island. The tide was high and his back paw touched the water and, as the Great Spirit warned, the bear turned to stone.  By the way, grizzly bears are plentiful along the mainland coastal inlets but none are found on Vancouver Island.

Here we are taking a photo with the southern tip of Quadra Island behind us, while on our way back to the hotel.

And now back to Calgary....again in the checked baggage...where we spent a long long time since the flight was more than 4 hours late  :stare:

Posted Jun 17, 2009, 3:51 am
Hi Mum,

today we went for a long hike to a place called Aylmer Lookout. This used to be one of the fire lookouts within Banff National Park and , as all the other ones, it has been abandoned a long time ago. But the lookout  location is still one of the best viewpoints in the area, and can be reached via a 12km trail, so we were quite excited.
Most of the trail was in the forest and nothing exciting happened along it, so we didn’t take any picture, but once we reached the lookout, wow, it was worth the wait  :)

Here we are enjoying the view over Lake Minnewanka (almost 600m below us).

The lookout is usually visited by many mountain sheep, not today though.
This is us again looking up the valley leading to Aylmer Pass.

While driving back, just after leaving the car park, we spotted a black bear on a tree a few meters from the road side. How exciting, my first bear “meeting” in Canada, it was huge  :o Unfortunately Smaug didn’t stop to take a picture of each of us with the bear in the background, but just slowed down enough to let us enjoy the encounter and to take a picture of the bear (picture that actually came out dark and out of focus  :(). He explained us that stopping so close to a bear might help him in getting used to humans (and that is bad for both bears and humans) or might make him nervous and scared (and that is very bad for humans as you don’t really want to be close to a nervous bear  :stare:).
Will write again soon  :)

Posted Jun 21, 2009, 8:00 pm
Hi Mum,

today we went visiting a place called Moose Mountain.  This is a fairly high peak (2437m) that lies on the eastern edge of the Rockies and have a fire lookout (still used) right at the top. To reach the trailhead we had to drive a few km on a gravel road littered with spine is still shaken by the experience  :o.  Of course the road was quite dusty too, hmmm, what was the colour of the car?  :stare:

We could get the first glimpse of our destination through a gap in the trees.

After a couple of hours walking (well, Smaug was walking, we were chatting in his backpack  ;)) we reached the summit. Wow, there was a sea of peaks surrounding us on three sides

While on the opposite side the green sea of the prairies was disappearing into the east.

We didn’t linger much as the weather was turning ugly.

On the way down we managed to take a final picture of the summit...

...before it started pouring down, we even got some heavy hail. But eventually we made it back to the car park without getting too drenched.
During the drive back we stopped to take some more picture of the prairies (you might almost see Calgary’s skyscrapers in the distance...well, it's a bit dark, but they are there)....

...and we explored a natural gas extraction site...that’s not my head fuming  ;), but just the smoke from the gas works down in the valley.

Posted Jun 26, 2009, 3:59 am
Hi Mum,

today we got a "present" in the post: Pepita came back from BC to spend a few days here (guess there's something she wants to pack in her shell) before leaving for Germany. Wow, of course we spent the whole night chatting  ;)

Posted Jun 26, 2009, 4:31 am
Hi Mum,

today another guest arrived :) we were expecting PinkyHH to appear anytime soon, so when Smaug appeared with an envelope from Malaysia  we got extremely excited: and it was her!
Of course she was very tired for the trip and a bit confused by the jet lag so we let her falling asleep very early...we’ll have plenty of time to chat tomorrow  ;)

Posted Jun 28, 2009, 5:45 am
Hi Mum,

today we went with Smaug to Medicine Hat, a town South-west of Calgary where he had to attend a meeting.  The place is 300km from Calgary so we had quite some time on the road to look at the prairies. Well, here are a couple of shots that will give you an idea of the landscape.

But you shouldn’t think that the view was the same for three hours, there were plenty of changes like hmmm, the odd herd of cows grazing on the side of the road, the side of the road were the odd herd of cows was grazing on and of course the colour of the cows in the odd herd of cows, so exciting  ;)
You won’t be surprised that we spent most of the trip reading the newspaper and chatting.

We actually didn’t see much of Medicine Hat itself as Smaug was a bit busy so we only managed to get a picture with the biggest tepee in the world. It is actually a steel structure, much cooler if you are not too close to it B)

When we came back home Pepita jumped in her envelope and got ready to travel to her next host in Germany, wow  :)

Posted Jul 3, 2009, 3:21 am
Hi Mum,

Today was Canada day here and there was supposed to be celebrations everywhere, but unfortunately Smaug was working, so we were ready to spend the whole day at home  :(. But he came back early in the afternoon and we went out for a little (2 hours each way) trip to Moraine Lake  :D.

This time the lake was full, much better than last time we were here  ;); too bad the best location for photos was closed due to works on the path, but we still managed to take some pictures.
As you can see there was quite a throng  :stare:as a new TV, Orpheus, joined us and we had a guest from Europe, Sigfrido the moose.

Posted Jul 8, 2009, 3:56 am
Hi Mum,

today was the opening day of the Calgary Stampede, that the organizers call “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”  :o. Well, that might be an arguable statement, but it’s definitely something big. The core of the show are daily rodeos and chuckwagon races, so as you can guess the whole show has a strong western theme. To get in the atmosphere we decided to wear a cowboy hat before heading down to the Stampede Park...hmmm, finding a hat of the right size was a bit of problem so it was actually the hat that was wearing us B)

Down at the park it was very crowded: fun fairs, markets, animal exhibitions were all packed with people, but eventually smaug found a “quiet” spot where we could take some group pictures overlooking the park.
You can even see Calgary downtown  :)

What a long day! And when we came back Orpheus jumped in a suitcase to start his journeys, so we all wished him good luck  :)

and eventually went to bed  ;)

Posted Jul 11, 2009, 5:26 pm
Hi Mum,

Today it’s PinkyHH’s first birthday, wow! When we woke up we pretended having forgotten it but later we all gathered around her and sang happy birthday for her :D

sammino said that we should make the date a bit special, so first we had a hearty breakfast with chocolate cookies  :)

Dipped in milk and chocolate (well, Mr Bananas and Purple Haze opted for proper English tea).

After that we spent the morning playing cards…salzburger spielkarten, never seen them before.

We played Watten, actually Blind-Watten, and sammino explained us the rules….that took a while  ;)

You usually play in pairs, so I teamed up with Mr Bananas against Purple Haze and PinkyHH, but as we were all novices we got the help of an “experienced player” each. My help was sammino who actually was too busy supervising the whole game to be of any real help  :thinking:

I think that in the end Purple Haze and PinkyHH won the game or so sammino told us. Later he showed us how to make a paper frog, well not just a paper frog, but a paper jumping frog  :stare:

We all got quickly into it and started preparing our own frogs, and after a bit we were all ready to line up the frogs for a race.

The race “track” was on the table with some, hmmm, artificial obstacles...

...but after a few laps all the frogs ended up jumping down the table so we called the race off and just spent the rest of the day chatting and relaxing as usual  ;)


Posted Jul 19, 2009, 8:53 pm
Hi Mum,

After a couple of weeks when we have hardly seen Smaug, today we were active again. The weather forecast was for more than 30 degrees, first time of the year  :)....and maybe last time too  :( So we left very early in the morning to go to a place called Fairview Mountain, that, at 2744m, is one of the highest points that you can reach with a trail in the Rockies national parks.
We started taking some pictures while still close to the valley floor. Here is the Bow Valley heading North...

And this is our destination for the day.....are we really going up there  :stare:?

At this point sammino left us for a “reconnaissance mission” to the top and we met him only later on.
When we reached the top, smaug allowed us some rest while he looked for some got point for taking pictures...

...and sammino reappeared with some food for us :o When we asked how did he find kinder chocolate and a landjaeger  in the middle of the mountains he said that a bird of prey never revels the secrets of his hunting  territory...the fact that smaug, when he came back, started rummaging through the rucksack like someone who lost something was a bit suspicious....

After refilling our bellies we had a look around. The mountain is called Fairview for a good reason, the view is amazing :) The peak behind me and covered with ice is Mount Temple, the highest mountain in this part of the rockies.

This one is Mt Victoria, that closes  the West side of Lake Louise...

...and that down there is Lake Louise,  1km below me, wow  :stare:.

That is again the Bow valley. The cut in the trees is Highway 93, better known as the Icefields Parkway...I guess the name is quite self explanatory  ;)

On the way down we took a few more pictures. That’s Mount Temple again...

...Fairview Mountain from which we just came down...

...and the Lake Louise ski area.

Posted Jul 23, 2009, 4:05 am
Hi Mum,

today we said goodbye to PinkyHH  :(: she is travelling to her next host on the eastern coast of Canada. Of course we all gathered around to wish her good luck in her new adventure  :).

Posted Jul 27, 2009, 4:36 am
Hi Mum,

what a boring week :(! smaug was busy at work and we hardly saw him at all, and today another TV is leaving us: Mr Bananas is moving on to his next host in Germany, so we all wished him a safe trip.

Good news is that next one is a long week end, so hopefully smaug will take us out to do something exciting  :)

Posted Aug 3, 2009, 5:15 am
Hi Mum,

after two boring weeks we were on the road again  :). We went visiting a place called Prairie Mountain, just SW of Calgary. On the way there Purple Haze, sammino and I refined the daily plan on the map...

When we arrived at the car park there was almost no one was actually very early morning.

The car park is close to the Elbow River that here is hidden in the trees somewhere behind me.

Here you can see one of the Elbow’s meanders from the trail

On the way up we liked this valley  :)

On the summit there is a little cairn, and of course we took a photo.

That peak behind me is Moose Mountain, where I have been sometimes ago.

And here is more of the view from the top.

Smaug allowed us to enjoy the view with his binoculars  B)...although only Purple Haze and I used them, sammino said that eagles have been gifted by nature with a superior vision and need no binoculars  :stare:

While we were at the top another bald eagle who lives around here came down greeting us. His name’s Landroval and after we explained him what TVs do he decided to join us and to become a TV too  :D.

Posted Aug 4, 2009, 3:11 am
Hi Mum,

Today was a lovely day and we went for a walk in Calgary. First we followed a trail on the south side of the Bow river (there’re two rivers in Calgary, one is called Bow and the other Elbow  :stare:...and I never remember which one is which  :(). Here is a meander of the river looking downstream...

...and upstream.

After a few km we reached a place called Edworthy Park. Going up a hill you have an incredible view of North Calgary  :)...houses disappearing in the distance on all sides.

This colourful building behind me is the Alberta Children Hospital  :thinking:

And you can even see Downtown Calgary  :)

Smaug’s pointing out that skyscrapers in Calgary are not all leaning like the Tower in Pisa, but because of the glare he couldn’t really see that the photo was coming out a bit tilted :rolleyes:....such a lame excuse  ;).

Posted Aug 9, 2009, 5:38 am
Hi Mum!

Today we went for another hike, this time to a place called C Level Cirque. First we stopped along the way because Smaug had a site visit to do. Unfortunately the visit was on Police land, so for security reason Smaug couldn’t take any picture of us to be posted here  :(...but we got a good look around  ;). As a compensation we stopped at this Bridge on the Bow River in Cochrane to take a photo.

Later we reached our destination near Banff. Smaug explained us that in the early 20th century a town of more than 1000 miners was located here working on coal extraction.  C Level was the highest part of the mining operation on the side of the mountain. Along the trail there are a lot of fenced holes in the ground that were the air vents for the mining shafts. I was quite curious about these abandoned shafts wondering if they are haunted  :) so I asked Smaug if I could go down and explore a bit, but he didn’t allow me to  :(. He said that he couldn’t let me going down there alone as the shafts were very unstable and the only flying support available were sammino and Landroval that, being eagles, are fairly useless as in darkeness they can’t even see their own beaks. So we agreed to come back with one of the owls that live with him  :) or, even better, to look for a TV bat that might help me with the exploration  :D.
Close to the abandoned mines we took this picture of Lake Minnewanka.

Then we reached the actual cirque. Cirque is French word used by geologists to define a semicircular, bowl-shaped depression created by an alpine glacier. In this case the glacier is long gone but a little depression is still there, fed by lot of rubble falling down by the surrounding rock walls.

We actually followed the trail a bit higher up to reach a good view point where we took some more photos.

We didn’t linger as flies and mosquitoes were a bit of pain . Smaug said they were a bit more aggressive than usual as they almost completely ignored the exposed skin, well covered with insect repellent, and instead happily drilled their way to the unprotected skin through the clothes  :stare:....luckily for us, it appears that they are not really interested in TV blood.
Once we were back to the car we said goodbye to Landroval who decided to fly all the way to his next host (in Germany  :o) rather than using the post. Sounds a bit of long flight to me (his destination is clearly out of this map)...but when he went on the roof of the car I think I overheard sammino saying something about planes to Frankfurt leaving daily from Calgary Airport  :rolleyes:


Posted Aug 16, 2009, 5:16 am
Hi Mum,

the weather has been horrible over the last few days, raining all the time and pretty cold  :(, but there is a new TV, here, Snuttig, who comes from Austria, so that is a good news  :D. This morning the weather was a bit better, at least it wasn’t raining  :rolleyes:, so we went with smaug for a site visit in Cochrane, a small town west of Calgary. Apparently the main business in town is still ranching

Here is the Bow River flowing past the town...

And here are a couple of photos of Cochrane, you can see the Rockies in the background.

On the way back we stopped at Canada Olympic Park. This was the main venue for sky jumping, luge and bobsled during the 1988 winter Olympics and it is still used for training and international winter  ;). In summer people come here for the mountain bike and hiking trails and last week there was a big music festival.
First we checked out the luge track

This is one of the starts; there are different start points for man, women, junior athletes and tourists

Later we had a look at the HS123 (90m) jumping tower. In summer the tower is the starting point of the fastest zipline in North America, with the riders flying down at up to 140km/h  :stare:, that should be exciting  :)

Posted Aug 18, 2009, 2:40 am
Hi Mum,

today it was still cold and the weather was rather bad so smaug decided to go to work...and we went with him  ;). Most of us have been already there, but it was the first time that Snuttig came to the office. First we checked the view out of the window, not too exciting  :thinking:.

Then, since smaug was working in another room we took control of the computer. Ehi, those are our updates from yesterday  B).

After surfing the net we started playing with the screens....mmm, I don’t feel that comfortable up here  :o

And after that we checked the plotter out.

After so much activity we decided that we needed some sugars, so we stopped at the snack packs in the kitchen for a well deserved break  ;)...yumm, almond covered with chocolate, delicious  :)

Tonight we all gathered to say goodbye to Purple Haze. She is going back to England to spend some time at home. Hopefully I might meet her again somewhere around the world  :D

Posted Aug 25, 2009, 6:06 pm
Hi Mummy!

It’s been some time since my last update, but smaug  was a bit busy  :(. Good news is that we have come with him to Toronto for a few days, wow  :D.
After spending a day resting at the hotel, today we had our first chance to quickly check out the city. First we walk down towards the CN Tower and took a photo there.

Close to the CN Tower is the Rogers Centre (that used to be called the SkyDome), the main stadium in Toronto for baseball, and Canadian football. There was a baseball game on today, with touts trying to sell tickets at every corner, even in front of the police (isn’t that illegal??  :o). Anyway, smaug doesn’t really care about baseball so we just took another photo and moved on.

And here are again Rogers Centre and CN Tower from a bit further away.

Later on we had to get in the north of Toronto to see the tennis Canadian Open, how cool  :). Here I am out of the Rexall Centre, just before reaching the main gate.

And here it's me again inside the stadium  B).

Just while we were taking the photos it started pouring down and we had to run for cover. It kept raining for a good hour delaying the whole programme, but eventually the evening session started.  The only casualty of the downpour was the camera that refused to work again  :(, but the tennis was good  :). sammino almost caused a bit of turmoil when he saw that the system used by the players to challenge calls is called hawk-eye and decided to fly down to the umpire offering to upgrade that to a much more reliable eagle eye (his own  :rolleyes:), but smaug kept a good hold of him  ;).

Posted Aug 26, 2009, 5:12 am
Hi Mum,

Today the camera was working again...well, it was more or less working. It was actually working quite selectively as, for example we passed twice in front of the City Hall and twice it decided not to work so smaug told us that obviously it wasn’t our destiny to take a photo there  :(. But it worked at other locations  :).
Here I am at Queen’s Park in front of the Ontario Legislature.

This man is supposed to be the first Canadian prime minister, but he didn’t even bother to turn around when we said hallo to him, how rude  :stare:

Wondering around the city we came across this leggy building that hosts a the Ontario college for art and design.

We then visited the shore of Lake Ontario and we stopped a bit looking at the boats sailing in the bay between Toronto and the Toronto Islands.

From there you can also see Toronto City Airport...if you squint you can see a plane taxiing on the runway behind me.

Then we visited the Music Gardens. The garden design interprets in nature Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section in the garden  :o. Here we are in the Courante section of the gardens.

And then it was eventually time to go back to Calgary: bye bye Toronto  :)

Posted Aug 28, 2009, 4:33 pm
Hi Mum,

today smaug had to work in Penticton, BC and he took all of us TVs with him  :D. Not that we had much time to explore around as we flew into Kelowna airport and drove quickly down to Penticton where we spent the whole day stuck in an office, and then back the same way  :(. Still, on the way back we managed to take a couple of pictures along Okanagan Lake  :).

The lake valley is beautiful: full of vineyards and peach trees. Pity we couldn’t stop a bit longer and enjoy the sun on one of the beaches lining the lakeshore. Instead we took a couple of more photos at Kelowna airport: this is a view of the valley….yes, it is also a detailed view of the car park, we couldn’t really get it out of the photo without climbing on a tree  :rolleyes:

…and this is Kelowna airport main terminal.

It was a nice day, at least we could enjoy the view from the car without having to drive  ;).

Posted Sep 1, 2009, 4:13 pm
Hi Mummy,

today the weather was gorgeous, not a single cloud in the sky. So smaug took us out for a hike near Banff. We left the car at Mount Norquay car park…that was actually almost empty.

Mt Norquay is one of the three main ski resorts within Banff National Park but in summer everything is closed around here. This is the information map with all the slopes in the area. Most of them are labeled as black-diamond or double-black-diamond: that means they are only for experienced skiers  :o.

On our trail at one point we had to cross this thunderous stream and we were really excited at the idea of wading through it  :)

…of course, smaug opted for a less wet way to cross  :rolleyes:.

After a couple of hours we saw the first glimpse of our destination: the place is called Cascade Amphitheatre.  Cascade because it is just below Cascade Mountain and amphitheatre because the valley is closed by an amphitheatre of vertical rock walls.

As we got closer we could get some more photos of Cascade Mountain…

...while on the other side you can see other mountains in the distance.

And here I was almost below the vertical walls of the amphitheatre.

On the way back we stopped to play a bit with the chairlifts in Mt Norquay  :).

And we also met these bighorn sheep who were kind enough to take a picture with us  :D.

Sully Monster

Posted Sep 7, 2009, 5:11 am
Hi Mum!

Today we went hiking in the Sunshine Village area. Sunshine is one of the most popular ski resorts in Alberta. The valley leading to our destination was covered by a thick forest on all sides with just the road cutting through it.

Here we are at the car park. Behind me is the gondola that in winter takes the skiers up to Sunshine Village, in summer there is a shuttle bus carrying hikers there.

And here you can see some of the gondola cars left on the ground during summer.

We were actually heading to the opposite side of the valley, so we didn’t take the shuttle but followed a trail in the deep of the forest. Occasionally there was some clearance where we could see the surrounding valley.

At one point the trail was crossing many times this little stream. The water was so clear  :)

As we slowly got higher, the forest was giving way to alpine meadows.

And here we eventually reached our destination, Healy Pass. On this side of the pass we could see Egypt and Scarab Lake...

...and Pharaoh Creek valley and Pharaoh Peaks.

I am not sure about the reason for all this “Egyptian” references in the names around here  :thinking:...but apparently someone called the pyramid like mountains Pharaoh Peaks, and his followers decided to keep the same theme when naming the other local features  :rolleyes:. The campground at Egypt lake is supposed to be the most popular backcountry campground in Banff National Park and Healy Pass is its most popular access route so we were expecting a busy trail...but we didn’t meet more than 20 people in the whole day  :o.
On the other side of the pass the view goes on forever  :D...

While we were having some rest we convinced smaug to show us the canister that he always carries at his belt when hiking in remote areas. Wow, bear spray  :stare:, Snuttig wasn’t very impressed at the idea that there is spray made just to scare off bears away  ;), but smaug assured him that it is just a last resort should we meet a very aggressive bear  :stare:.

Posted Sep 15, 2009, 3:22 am
Hi Mum!

What a boring week was last one  :(, smaug was busy and all we could do was sitting at home and chatting. But today the weather was gorgeous and smaug was free, so we decided to spend the day on one of the most spectacular day hike near Banff  :D.
The first part of the day was a steady steep uphill trail in the forest...very hard...but not that hard when you are powered uphill by your host’s legs  ;). At one point we got the first glimpse of our destination, Cory Pass.

While on the other side we could see the Bow Valley that we had just left below us

Once we reached Cory Pass the view over the valley was even better.

This is the shoulder of Mount Cory behind us

While this is a side of Mount Edith...

...and that thin line on the side of the mountain is actually the trail that we followed to get up here.

A bit of history now:  Cory Pass is a narrow gap between Mount Cory and Mount Edith. Mount Cory was named after a deputy minister of interior in the early 20th century, while Mount Edith was named after an assistant of the wife of Canada Prime Minister at the end of the 19th century. (smaug pointed out that there were so many features to name at that time that if I had been born a 100 years earlier and had been the toy of anyone barely important’s child there would be a Mount Sully Monster now  B)).

The other side of Cory Pass looks a bit scary

But that was exactly the way we took and we ended up in a narrow valley called Gargoyle Valley... :) exciting name.

Once we reached the bottom of this valley it was a gentle downhill trail in the forest all the way back to the car park, perfect for us TV to enjoy the view from the backpack and to start thinking of a well deserved dinner  :).

Posted Sep 16, 2009, 2:24 am
Hi Mum,

today a new TV arrived here in Calgary. He’s name’s Ronnie and he is a Spanish elk who travelled from Scotland. We were all very excited to meet him and gathered up when smaug showed us the envelope  :)

He is really nice and even brought us some presents  :D, but he was also very tired from the trip, so we let him go to sleep. Plenty of time to chat tomorrow  ;).

Posted Sep 19, 2009, 5:11 am
Hi Mum,

Today smaug had to do some field work within Banff National Park and we TVs were allowed to go with him :D. The weather wasn’t really good, it was actually pouring down most of the time  :(. But we still managed to take some pictures, here I am on the road between Lake Louise and Kicking Horse Pass, as you can see it was just a bit misty

When we reached the pass the weather improved slightly. By the way, there is not really any horse kicking anyone at the pass  ;), apparently a member of one of the first exploration expeditions that came here was kicked by his horse while in this area and hence the name  :stare:.

The pass sits on the Continental Divide. That means that rain falling just east of it flows towards Hudson Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, while rain falling on West side ends up in the Pacific Ocean  :o. Actually near the pass there is a small creek called Divide Creek that forks at the pass and its waters flow part towards east and part west. Here I am standing more or less on the divide:

We didn’t really get more than a 100 meters out of Alberta, but it was nice to be welcomed back  ;)

On the way back the weather improved even more and we found a nice spot for a picture in the Bow Valley.

Bye  :)
Sully Monster

Posted Sep 19, 2009, 6:32 pm
Hi Mum!

Wow, today a new guest arrived  :D. His name’s Lysander and he’s a lobster from Scotland. As always we get very excited when smaug comes home with a parcel, so we gathered around to give him a warm welcome  :).


Posted Sep 23, 2009, 4:23 am
Hi Mum!

How cool, today a new guest arrived: her name is Nathalie and she is a German duckling  :). smaug didn’t really warn us that someone else was coming so we got extremely curious when we saw a typical TV envelope, and what a great surprise was seeing her coming out  :D...guess we’ll spend the whole night chatting  ;)

Posted Sep 24, 2009, 5:02 am
Hi Mum!

Wow, it was steaming hot here today, it went up to 34C  :stare:. Kind of weird to have the hottest day of the year when we are officially already in autumn, but smaug told us not to get use to it: the forecast for next week said that morning temperature could go as low as -5C or less  :o. So, when he came back from work he told us that we should make the most of the nice weather and we went out for a walk along the river  :).
Here we took a picture from a bridge on the Bow River looking at downtown Calgary.

Then we went walking a bit in the river channel and took another couple of pictures

As you can see it was getting a bit too dark to take more photos but we kept walking a bit longer before coming home. It was nice, pity it soon will be time to get the tuque out  :rolleyes:.

Posted Sep 29, 2009, 3:18 am
Hi Mum!

today was a lovely sunny day so smaug decided to have a final (for the season) high mountain hike.  Our destination was Mount Allan in the Kananaskis Provincial Park. We spent the first part of the day climbing up a thick forest (where we tried to take some photos without getting anything presentable in an update  :(). When we eventually came out of the trees we were on a steep ridge overlooking Kananaskis Valley. From the ridge you could see the valley heading north…

…and south…

…this big mountain called Mt Kidd...

….and the top of the ridge, called Olympic Summit. Just next to it is the Nakiska ski area (that you can't see in the picture) where all the alpine ski races where held during the 1988 Winter Olympics, hence the name…or at least I guess so  :rolleyes:.

Once we reached Olympic Summit we were not even half way to our destination  :stare:. We had to follow a long and very, very breezy ridge (so breezy that, from the inside, the rucksack felt like a dinghy boat in the middle of an hurricane  ;)).  From the ridge we got some lovely views over Kananaskis Valley and the surrounding mountains  :).

….and we could also see our destination, Mount Allan. Here you can see Mount Allan on the right and the much higher Mount Lougheed on the left.

Halfway through the ridge we came across these funny pinnacles formed by rock that obviously wasn’t very keen of being eroded as quickly as the rest of the mountain  :).

Eventually we reached the top at 2819m  B) and the view, of course, was great  :D: we could see the Bow River Valley in the north-west…

…Kananaskis Valley in the south-east…

…endless mountains in the north…

…and Mount Lougheed just in front of us

On the way back smaug decided to enjoy a bit the sun by laying in the grass. So we took the chance to come out of the rucksack, have a bit of fun by ourselves and so we went climbing  :o. First we organized the team: smaug (before falling asleep) suggested to have the two best climbers leading and closing the team. So Snuttig went first (black bears are well known natural born climbers), while (for some reason unknown to me) I was selected to be at the back. Nathalie and sammino, being flying TVs, were going to support us by indicating us the best routes and holds from the air.

Phew! Climbing is hard work  :stare:!! Here I was waiting for Lysander to clear a steep section…

…while here we were laboring our way up an angled fissure…with sammino and Nathalie keeping a watchful eye on us all the way.

How exhausting!! But how great to reach the top and sit all together watching the landscape  :D! I must be the first climbing monster ever  ;).

Posted Oct 4, 2009, 8:12 pm
Hi Mum!

Today it was my birthday, I am getting old  ;)! This morning I think I heard smaug whispering a happy birthday in my ear, but it was very early and I was very sleepy so I didn’t really understand what he was talking about  :rolleyes: until I woke up later in the morning and all the other TVs gathered around me to sing Happy Birthday for me  :D.

Since smaug was at work and didn’t leave anything special for us, sammino decided that we should raid the kitchen and find some proper party food. We started with the fridge without too much luck  :((I kind of noticed that the man didn’t come back home with any shopping bag for quite a few days).

No cakes were to be found in the first cupboard that we checked eitehr, all canned food  :stare:

Now this is much better, not healthy maybe, but tasty  :D

So we stuffed ourselves with nutella, cookies and crisps. After that we checked out the latest updates on toyvoyagers

Then, since it was a fairly cold day, we spent the afternoon wrapped in a fleece blanket chatting and watching TV on the sofa...keeping a few extra cookies nearby, just in case  ;)

Posted Oct 4, 2009, 10:51 pm
Hi Mum!

Today we said goodbye to Snuttig. He is travelling to California...lucky him  :)! He actually chose a good time to move to southern latitudes as here, in the night, it started snowing  :stare:.

Posted Oct 14, 2009, 3:57 am
Hi Mum!

tonight sammino went out with smaug saying that he had a mission and he was going to come back with a surprise for us. Very, very much later he reappeared with two new TVs  :D: Mortimer and Hedgie, another one of your TVs  :D. They all looked very cheerful, maybe a bit too cheerful...I dare say that they were totally drunk  :stare:. They decided that we should have a few beers with them...

... and then they fell asleep  :rolleyes:. I guess we will have to wait until tomorrow to find out something more about them  :).

Posted Oct 18, 2009, 8:26 pm
Hi Mum!

Today we were all still feeling a bit lightheaded after all the drinking last night  :rolleyes:. smaug actually noticed that Mortimer was even too lightheaded and needed urgent surgery before the head came off completely  :(. Of course, we TVs all gathered around the surgery theatre  to help.

I’ll spare you the details of the operation; luckily it was successful and when he woke up he was feeling fine  :D.

Later in the afternoon we thought that we might go out for a walk, but it was still cold and snowy so we decided to spend the day nice and warm at home just looking out of the window  :).

Posted Oct 26, 2009, 3:02 am
Hi Mum!

It’s been a bit boring around here over the last fortnight as smaug was too busy to take us anywhere  :(. The only event worth mentioning is the arrival of a new guest last weekend. His name’s Henry-Bo and he is visiting from Germany. As always we all gave him a warm welcome  :).

Yesterday we were hoping to do something, but it was snowing again in the morning  :stare:, we just spent the day planning future trips.

Eventually today the weather was good, so we went for a quick drive in the morning towards Kananaskis Country  :). First we took a picture of Kananaskis Valley...

...then we stopped at this falls...

...and well. The well was really nice, but fully filled with soil so there was really no risk of falling inside  :rolleyes:.

On the way back we stopped to take a picture at Barrier Lake. The lake is apparently famous because it served as Alkali Lake in the X-man movies  :o.

Later in the afternoon smaug had to do some work so we stopped at his office where, to keep us quiet, he damped us at the window with some food  :(. Nothing ever likely to feature on the Michelin Guide, but it was edible.

When we went home we found out that Monsters, Inc. was on TV. So I had to tell the other TVs a bit of my previous life as a movie star  :rolleyes:. Of course, being a TV is a much more enjoyable life: I can see the world, meet new people and I don’t need to worry about paparazzi chasing me wherever I go  ;).

Posted Nov 2, 2009, 3:35 am
Hi Mum!

Today the weather was wonderful here in Calgary  :D, so smaug decided to take us out for a trip to the mountains, but as we left the prairies and approached Banff National Park we were greeted by a mix of rain, snow and heavy clouds  :(. Still, as we could see some blue gaps in the sky  we headed North hoping that the situation improved. To our supreme disappointment we just entered a thick snowfall with no real sign of improvements on the way. The road conditions were getting actually a bit tricky  :stare:.

Eventually we just headed back trying to take some wintry picture here and there when the gaps in the clouds allowed it. Here I was at Bow Lake with Crowfoot Mountain in the background...

...and here at Hector Lake.

This is a famous bend just south of Lake Louise were road, railway and river are very close to each other and it is a typical location for a picture. Ideally there would be a train  passing by and a sunny view of the mountains...neither of which was really available today  :rolleyes:.

Later we just run from the storm and headed back home where we were greeted again by a sunny blue sky and spring-like temperatures  :o.

Posted Nov 4, 2009, 4:08 am
Hi Mum!

Today I said goodbye to all the other TVs as I am moving to my new host, I am so excited  :D. Last night they all gathered around to wish me a safe trip  :)...

...and, of course, we ended up spending the whole night chatting  :rolleyes:. Over the last few months sammino and I have become such great friends, so when this morning it was time for me to jump in my envelope it was hard to say anything and we just exchanged a big hug  :).

Before closing the envelope smaug told me that I will always be a special TV to him and if I decide to come visiting again the door will always be open for me  :D.....but he didn’t tell me where I am going now  :o. All he said was: “not really far”. Hopefully I’ll find out soon  ;).

Posted Nov 15, 2009, 4:32 am
Hello mom! I am still in Calgary but I have a new host for a little while, her name is Lisa.  I arrived in the NE of Calgary a couple weeks ago but Lisa was really busy so she wasn't able to announce my arrival.

While Lisa was busy, I hung out with her other TV Alpina

Tonight Lisa was feeling like having something chocolatley because she loves chocolate. She decided on making brownies and we got to help!

Me in the bowl and giving it a good stir.

The box said 40-42 minutes to cook but Lisa said it wasn't cooked enough and had to put in in the over for another 20.

While I waited I watched some hockey. It was the Calgary Flames vs. The Toronto MapleLeafs and guess who won??? The Flames!! Lisa was very pleased that her favorite player, Jarome Iginla got 2 goals.

Finally they brownies were ready and Lisa, Alpina and I had a taste. They were perfect. Can we make brownies when I come home mom?

Oh and Lisa is very happy she finally figured out how to post pics and descriptions! :)

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 7:57 am
Dear mom
After almost a whole year I decided to write to you. Things happened here and that's why I didnt find the time to write.
First of all the lady who let has gusted me has had million personal problems and also some health problems so she couldnt do much with me and she haw abbadoned me on her desk. This was an opportunity for me to learn much about the country , to make friends there and also to fall in love (and then to get married) with a wonderful toy. I will send you a foto with my friend.
But as you know there is a tiny Toyvoyager God who decided that alla the problems must be solved. Things started going better little by little, my friend Dharma who guested me recovered and so we visited some places around.
I also visited London England, and Efesus Turkey with her. As you can see I didnt waste my time.
Also I went honeymoon in Rome Italy!  A yes and it was marvelous!
I m ready to return, accually I have my suitcases ready to came back home.
So wait for me and please excuse me for my delay.

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 8:05 am
Here are The Athens seashore and next Acropolis in the fond as seen from Plaka Area (monument of the winds in frond) the third is the church of Sant Cathrine in Placa Area. The fourth the place in frond of the Athens Cathedral(the center of Athens downtown).

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 8:23 am
Here I am in London. First in Hydn park. Second in the London Eye. Then in fron of Big Ben, Palace on the main Bridge and then on a red bus going to Piccadily Circus

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 8:54 am
Here I am in Ankara Turkey. We all dance a turkish dance but I dont know its name.  The second photo is from old Ankara. And the third from the Telecomnunication Tower which is the best place to see the city

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 9:14 am
Here we are in Santorini island, Greece I think it is the most beautiful place of the world. Marvelous view to the sea and perfect people. On the first photo you can see the view and on the second is the village of Oia. On the last photo is the island as you can see it from the sea!!!!

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 10:06 am
My honeymoon!

Here we are in Rome. Enjoy the place with us!
Me and my partner. Then both of us on the top of the Saint Peter's church at our back the big place in frond of the church. Then me near Tiveri the Rome's famous river.  Then you can see me in frond of the sign of Rome the Roman theater of Coloseum. And for the end the ruins of ancient Rome.

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 10:31 am
And some scary places I have visited
This is the Monastery of Virgin Mary near a deep gap. I was really afraid there because of the strong winds. I thought they tried to push me in the gap! Second , the tower of the spirits in an island near Athens, they said you can hear the spirits of dead persons talking inside the house!!!! I think that I did hear them too...Next is a rich house in Hydra island. This place is 20 meters under the earth surface and they keep their winds there! When they turned off the lights I did scare much!!!! the last photo is from the Hecate's cave. This is an ancient cave dedicated to the goddess Hecate who was an underworld goddess but also a goddess - witch.. When you enter there you do hear voices of people coming from a village about 2km far away!!!!! they said that Hetate watches every move to do when you are inside the cave!!!! Scary!

Posted Nov 22, 2011, 10:34 am
Tomorrow Im flying back to you Mom!
I will have with me my Tesh.
Hope I will have my partner with me to my next trips.
Bye bye 
See you Mom!