Thiele, Moscow, Russian Federation


Posted Feb 17, 2008, 7:29 am
Thiele was named after a great Australian author, Colin Thiele, who wrote a book about a boy and his pelican, Mr Percival.
Thiele has decided that he would like to be released and start his adventures in London - home to many other great authors.
He'll be released in April / May 2008.

Posted Nov 26, 2008, 2:57 pm
Thiele has been part of the prize for one of the winners of the Melbourne Cup competition and found his way to Germany. We're very happy to welcome him to our family of Toyvoyagers.

Posted Nov 28, 2008, 4:18 pm
Thiele has decided to travel around Germany, now that he is here. He's making his way to olgamaus now.

Posted Nov 29, 2008, 4:19 pm
Hello Mummy,
I arrived in Remscheid today! My new host Katja came home from shopping when she found me sitting on the stairs in my envelope.

I was welcomed by some curious ToyVoyagers. There were SaruMaru and Theodore, also coming home from shopping, Moley and Titch. I brought a nice christmas card for my new host.

I'm glad that I am here.


Posted Dec 1, 2008, 3:44 pm
Hi Mummy,
I went with Katja to the law firm where she is working today. SaruMaru also came with us. Katja showed us the town hall with the christmas market when she finished work. She said that it would look much better when it's dark outside and the christmas market would be illuminated. We'll go there in the evening also this week or next week.

This is the town hall, built in 1906, nearly destroyed in world war II and rebuilt in postwar period in a more modern way. The tower is 48 m high!

On the space in front of the town hall the christmas market is taking place at the moment. Usually the farmer's market is here twice a week.

They also built a large ice skating rink in the middle of the space.

Can you see the lion on the pillar? This is the heraldic animal of remscheid, you can find the lion in the city arms.

Here we are on our way back home.

At the moment I'm living in the attic storey of this house. It was built in 1904.

This is the view out of our living room window.

Today it's Theodore's birthday. We're going to celebrate in the evening!


Posted Dec 2, 2008, 1:24 pm
Hi Mummy,

we celebrated Theodore's birhday today.

We had fruit in rum (Rumtopf) in the evening.

Rumtopf is a favourite delicay which is made in the summer months with fruits, rock candy and of course rum.  Our Rumtopf is containing strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, ananas and kiwi.

It is tasted usually in late autumn.

We had a lot of fun with the Rumtopf.

I'm afraid we'll all have a bad hangover tomorrow.


Posted Dec 7, 2008, 5:08 pm
Hi Mummy,
it has snowed again!

We went to the attic and had a look out of the roof light. The sky is full of heavy clouds.

We were watching Katja when she had to shovel snow. We were sitting in front of the house.

We went into town. The next photos are made on our way to the town centre. We have to walk for about 10 minutes to get there.

We are living in one of the parts of the town which were not destroyed in world war II.

Again the town hall.

When it was dark we went to the christmas market.

We bought a nice small present for one host who wrote her wishlist here.


Posted Dec 7, 2008, 5:23 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we visited a christmas market in Cologne, in  Stadtgarten (a park area). You could buy nice things there.

We had raclette to eat. Raclette is melted cheese, served over boiled potatoes or rye bread with black pepper. This delicacy comes from France. The lady on the photo is scraping pieces from the hot cheese.

One of the town's landmarks is the telecommunication tower which was built in 1981. It's height is 266 m.

We did not visit the part of Colone where Cologne cathedral is located.


Posted Dec 13, 2008, 8:12 pm
Hi Mummy,
we baked christmas cookies today! We made farmer's little hats (Bauernhuetchen).

You need
250 g flour
125 g sugar
150 g butter
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sour cream

for the filling:
2 egg-white
80 g sugar
125 g ground almonds

coarse sugar for dredging

First we had to knead the ingredients to a smooth dough and put it into the fridge for an hour.

For the filling we had to stirr the egg-whites, add sugar and ground almonds.

We than took the dough out of the fridge and rolled it onto the working space. Now we had to cut out round cookies.

Katja helped us to put some of the filling onto our dough circles and to put them into the right shape.

We put the cookies onto a baking tray. They now had to be brushed with egg-white and dredged with coarse sugar. Than they were put into the oven for about 20 minutes.

When we took them out of the oven there was only one cookie that looked exactly like those in our book.

I'm afraid we put too much of the filling into the cookies. In the oven they lost their shape.

But that's  not so bad, they taste delicious anyway.


Posted Dec 14, 2008, 7:26 pm
Hi Mummy,
we had fantastic weather today. We already had planned a trip to the most interesting touristic highlights of this region. We wanted to visit Muengsten Bridge and Schloss Burg, a medieval castle with a christmas market.

Here you can see the river Wupper which marks the border between the towns Remscheid and Solingen.

In the background you can see a lookout pavillion. Later we came to another pavilion similar to this one.

We reached Muengsten Bridge, the  highest railway bridge in Germany. It was completed in March 1897. It is 107 meters high and 465 meters long. It was built with about 5.000 tons of steel (5.000.000 kg). The bridge is overstretching the valley of the river Wupper. A few years ago a theme park was established. There are beautiful playgrounds for children, takeaways, lawns for relaxing, a miniature golf and souvenir shops. Katja told me that every year in summer a big festival is held underneath the bridge with fireworks.

We found a plate with some facts about Muengsten Bridge.

From here we walked to Schloss Burg. Along the path you can find artworks. On the surface of this table shaped rock  these impressions of hands are engraved. On other rocks poems are engraved or riddles. Most of them are not so easy to discover because they are partly covered with leafes and dirt from autumn and winter.

We had to cross the river Wupper here.


Posted Dec 14, 2008, 8:20 pm
We walked along an old cemetary. It was built here in 1732.

The tombstones were all made of a special sort of sandstone in a similar style.

From here we saw Schloss Burg for the first time, located on a hill.

We reached Solingen-Unterburg then. Here you can see many old houses, covered with schist or half-timbered houses.

Solingen-Unterburg is located at the river Wupper. Here you can see the chair lift which goes uphill to Schloss Burg. We were not lazy and walked there through the forrest.

We than reached the lookout pavilion. From here you have a good view across the valley with the river Wupper and Unterburg.

We reached the castle then. It is the largest reconstructed castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and one of the most popular tourist attraction. Its early history is closely connected to the growth of the Duchy of Berg.

In the beginning of the 12th century (after 1133) count Adolf II von Berg built Schloss Burg on a mountain over the river Wupper.

In 1632 the castle was under siege  by Swedish soldiers. After the Thirty years war, in 1648, Imperial troops destroyed the fortifications of the castle including the keep, walls, and gates. In 1700, the main building was partially reconstructed and thereafter used for administrative purposes. 1849, the castle was sold to be scrapped, decayed, and became a ruin.

Today’s appearance is not exactly the original castle was. The reconstructed castle of today is a major public attraction. It also contains the Museum of the Bergische Land.

We went inside the castle courtyard to visit the medieval christmas market.

We had a coffee here.

On the market you could buy many handcrafted things like jewelry, leather bags, ceramic pots and figurines.

We had to rest here for a while.

We than had to walk back to the car for at least another hour. We reached the parking lot just in time before it was getting too dark outside.

We are all tired now.


Posted Dec 23, 2008, 9:22 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we had to pick up two packages from two different post offices. We went to the post office in Katja's lunch break. Katja received a package with a beautiful carved wooded rat in it. It was the package which you sent to her. She really loves the cute little rat.

Than we had to walk to another district to pick up another package, some bocks she had ordered. Nobody knows why the postman did not send it back to the post office in the town centre, but to one in a different district.

On our way I saw a little bit more of the town centre although we had foggy weather today. Here you can see the beginning of the pedestrian area. On the space behind me a farmer's market is located on Thuesdays and Fridays.

This is one of the churches in the town centre.

Parts of the municipality are located in this building, as well as  the adult education centre.

We than walked to the district Hasten where we had to pick up the second package. Here many old houses remained, as well tenements as factory buildings.

Katja's boss was celebrating his birthday. So we already had some glasses of sparkling wine when we went to the christmas market for the last time to drink one or two eggnocks.

Here you can see the illuminated town hall.

The average German drinks Gluehwein. (hot spiced wine), but Katja is allergic  to cinnamon which is always used to make Gluehwein, so she takes an eggnock (or two). Eggnock is made of hot white wine, egg yolk and sugar or sometimes with advocaat, It tastes really good :D


Posted Dec 23, 2008, 9:27 pm
Hi Mummy,
we decorated the christmas tree today, a really cute little christmas tree.


Posted Dec 26, 2008, 5:43 pm
Hi Mummy,
it's christmas eve today. Most people in Germany are celebrating christmas today and the following two days.

Here we were sitting with the christmas presents, watching over them.

In the afternoon we had coffee and self made cookies.

Later we were sitting next to the christmas tree. Katja put all the christmas cards onto the dresser.

For dinner we had a fantastic meal: Savoy cabbage with several sorts of fish and pasta. Katja's daughter had cooked the whole meal on her own.

After dinner the presents were changed. What an exciting day!


Posted Dec 26, 2008, 7:01 pm
Hi Mummy,
after eating too many sweets during the last days we decided to take a long walk today. Katja's daughter had to go to work, her son had planned to visit his Dad and Grandmother so nobody was missing her. The sun was shining although it was really cold. This photo was taken only a few steps from my current home. I'm living in a district with many old houses.

We met Katja's friend Erika, she also likes to take walks through the forrests and surroundings of Remscheid. To meet Erika we had to walk to the district Hasten, one of the oldest districts of Remscheid. We walked through the muncipal park to get there. From here we already could see Hasten. I already have been there on Tuesday when we had to pick up a parcel there.

This is the church in Hasten.

We than walked to Katja's friend to pick her up.

From here we left the streets and walked into a woodland area. You can see that it was very cold today, the ground was covered with hoar frost.

Here you can find grazing land and cropland.

Later we had a rest on a tree trunk.

This is also one of the outskirts.

We walked for about three and a  half hour. We had a last rest when the sun already began to go down.


Posted Dec 28, 2008, 7:50 pm
Hi Mummy,
today we met Katja's friend Erika again. The ladies had planned to go to Wuppertal by bus. Wuppertal is one of the neighbour towns of Remscheid. But when they reached Wuppertal they spontaneoulsy decided to go to Bochum by train. Erika wanted to visit an exhibition there. Before we went to the train station Katja showed us the concert hall which is a masterpiece of turn-of-the-century architecture.

From here you have a good overlook across the city centre.

We than went to Bochum by train. The  trains are not so nice here.

Posted Dec 28, 2008, 7:59 pm
Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. It is about 45 km apart from Remscheid.

When we reached Bochum the ladies went to the museum first. It was not allowed to take photos there.

They visited an exhibition which is showing original stage settings which are used by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch company, based in Wuppertal in Germany. Pina Bausch is famous for extraordinary stage settings like a stage completely filled with free standing cloves or a stage filled with soil or lawn. Katja told us that for her the most impressing stage setting was a winterly birch forrest. The whole ground was covered with white sand and birch trunks, about 4 m long, were installed to the ground. You felt as if you were walking through a real forrest. All settings were decorated with photos of those pieces in which the settings were used.

Katja showed us a booklet with informations about the exhibition. It really seemed to be impressive.

Because our bus came when we left the museum we even could not take any photo of the museum!

We went back to the town centre to go shopping.

Here you can see the town hall with a gigantic bell in front of it.

This is one of the central places in the town centre.

We went home by train again. At the central station we had to wait for a few minutes. When Katja wanted to take my photo the train was coming. We took another photo through the scratched train window.

Posted Dec 28, 2008, 8:01 pm
Big Bird is celebrating his eighth birthday today!

He had eight candles and we were allowed to taste a sip of sparkling wine. Of course SaruMaru  took a larger sip.

We celebrated and went to bed early because the sparkling wine really made us tired.



Posted Dec 30, 2008, 7:08 pm
Hi Mummy,
the weather is fantastic here. It is cold and the sun in shining. So Katja took us out in her lunch break when she had to do some shopping. I took a scarf to avoid becoming ill (Katja has a bad cold, maybe she forgot her scarf).

We walked along the Route of tools (Trasse des Werkzeugs). It is a lane for pedestrians and cyclists through the town, made on a closed railway route. It was financed by many local industrial firms, most of them are producing tools. Along the lane you can find signs of those producers and also artwork. You can also see the city arms here.

This route is about 5 km long and is leading from the central train station to the district Hasten. Today we started somewhere in the middle of the route and walked towards the train station.

On the backside of a supermarket replications of  pictures of a local artist who died in 1988 are installed.

You can also see abandonded factory buildings.

These buildings are part of the former slaughterhouse. This complex is under preservation order. Nowadays these buildings are used by different companies.

Here are more signs showing names and company logos of sponsors.

We reached the central railway station. Oh dear, the whole railway station is a complete building site. I better do not show you this mess. I like the St.-Andrews-cross more.

We went shopping then. We even bought some firework. We are invited by Katja's sister-in-law to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Happy New Year, Mummy!



Posted Jan 1, 2009, 7:55 pm
Hi Mummy,
we were invited to spend New Year's Eve at the home of Katja's sister-in-law and her family. We went there at dinner time.

We had raclette.  Katja's sister-in-law offered several sorts of vegetables like sweet pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, sweet cornand sometimes meat or shrimps  which can be boiled on the of the raclette grill. We also had bread, potatoes and several salads.

You take your little pan, fill it with vegetables and put chesse over it. Then you put it into the raclette grill and it will be scalloped. It's delicious!

After dinner we played a card game whose rules are similar to Uno. We had a lot of fun.

Shortly before 12:00 pm.

Happy New Year!

At midnight we went outside to launch our fireworks.

We went home at 03:00 am.


Posted Jan 2, 2009, 6:23 pm
Hi Mummy,
I'm travelling to my next host now. I had a lot of fun here and I hope I will see more snow in Essen.


Posted Jan 4, 2009, 2:31 am
Hello everybody,

I've arrived in Essen today :)! Will update with photos later, just wanted to tell you, that I am here now :)!


Posted Jan 4, 2009, 7:02 am
Wow, it is really dark inside of here. But it's getting warm again. It was so cold...

I guess I am at my new destination. Maybe someone is outside there and can hear me? "HELLO?" Oh, there are voices.

Oh, the envelope is open. I guess I should go out.

Hello :)! Oh, so much ToyVoyagers. Tilda, Berkeley and Margarida. Wow.

Just wanted to show you the postcard I have for BlackCat. I hope she'll like it.

And the christmas tree is still standing. Nice one :)!

So, mummy, I arrived good at my next host. I hope I will have a great time here :)! Will tell you then ;)!


Posted Jan 5, 2009, 6:34 am
Today we visited the Zollverein coking plant in Essen. It is one part of the World heritage Zollverein.

I first would like to tell you something about it:

The Zollverein coking plant in the Essen suburb of Stoppenberg was built between 1958 and 1961 as a working link with shaft 12 at the Zollverein Pit next door. The coking plant took huge amounts of coal from the pit, as well as from other collieries in the region, and processed them into coke. Soon the maximum daily production of 5000 tons of coke was insufficient to meet demand. For this reason the plant was extended in the 1970s, when it became one of the largest and most modern coking plants in Europe. The Zollverein coking plant employed 1000 persons and produced amounts of coke well in excess of 7000 tons per day. Because coke ovens should never be allowed to get cold, production continued non-stop around the clock for 365 days a year. During the 1980s and 1990s demand for coke steadily declined as a result of the crisis in the steel industry, and on the 30th June 1993 the Zollverein coking plant was finally closed down.

It was really interested to see how such a coking plant looks like. I will show you the photos now and I will try to tell you, what you can see on the photos and what it was for.
That's the shaft 12 at the Zollverein Pit from behind. We went through a forrest when we made this picture.
That is a hoist. It can be moved on trails. It is so big, you can't believe it until you see it.
You can see a part of the coke oven batteries on this picture and behind it you can see the "Sonnenrad". It is a big wheel where you can see the coking plant from above and you can drive in it with this big wheel. It wasn't opened.
This photo was made in front of the ice skating parkour. It is always in front of the oven batteries in winter. It will be close again on the 11th January. There were a lot people skating.
Again two photos in front of the oven batteries. I am sitting on the coping of the conveyor band.
That's a machine which brought the coal into the oven batteries. It is really big for a little one like me.

I hope you like the pictures and the informations about the coking plant. Maybe we will go there again and show you some other areas of it. But now we have to get warm again.


Posted Jan 13, 2009, 4:59 pm
When we looked outside today we were really surprised. So much snow on one place. BlackCat said that it can be around 10cm new snow. Wow. I really like it :)!


Posted Jan 15, 2009, 12:22 pm
Today we went with BlackCat into the city centre. She had to go to the doctor and we went with her. As we had not much time she just showed us the church in the city. I really like this little church :)!

Posted Jan 15, 2009, 12:38 pm
Today we said Goodbye to Berkeley and Margarida. They have to travel on! I hope they will have a good travel!

Posted Jan 15, 2009, 8:55 pm
Today a new envelope arrived here.
We were really snoopy who has arrived there.

Then a little head looked outside of the envelope.

Oh, it is Friendship bear :)! Welcome :)!

Posted Jan 17, 2009, 3:35 pm
Hello :)!

Today a lot ToyVoyager arrived here. 4 new Voyagers arrived here. Wow. That is a lot, or?

So, we welcomed Germania and Tiger Lilly :)!

And then Bruni Lila.

And then we said hello to Cassandra.

So much new guests :)!

Happy welcome :)!

Posted Feb 5, 2009, 3:54 pm
I am back at my adopted family's home, just in time to visit my mentor's 'adopted' family. They live many miles away. I can't fly that far so we'll take a plane tomorrow morning. I'll update when I can.

Posted Feb 16, 2009, 6:13 pm
I don't know where exactly we are but we are being man-handled. Some funny person went through our bag and just put in a note after that. I tried to read it but only got a glimpse before it got dark again. Something about all luggage having to be searched now.

Posted Feb 16, 2009, 6:47 pm
We started out early in the morning. It was still a bit dark outside. Here's our plane to go over the Atlantic. We couldn't use the flash because of the reflection in the window.


Posted Feb 16, 2009, 6:48 pm
We had a great view from the plane. The UK was covered in snow. And then, after a few clouds we had a great view of some islands.

Posted Feb 16, 2009, 6:50 pm
I'm flying over Canada! I am happy I am on the plane and didn't have to fly all this distance myself. I would have needed a lot more time and it looks very cold out there.

Posted Feb 17, 2009, 1:18 am

A residential area here:

Posted Feb 17, 2009, 7:05 pm
We went to the playground to have some fun with all the kids.

Posted Feb 20, 2009, 1:35 am
It snowed today but the snow melted on the ground. My new mentor said that's a good thing, because we have to drive a long way tomorrow and don't want to be stuck in the snow.

Posted Feb 24, 2009, 7:39 pm
We arrived in Merzig today. This is the great view from our dorm window. You can see the former hospital and the red cross ambulance station.

Posted Mar 1, 2009, 12:16 pm
It's dark and really tight in here. I wish we had a portable DVD-player, no that wouldn't fit, maybe an ipod, that would fit... at least some playing cards? I hope we arrive soon.

Posted Mar 6, 2009, 5:40 pm
Hello! I arrived at Marjolein's place in 's-Hertogenbosch yesterday!

Today Marjolein bought a little present for her boyfriend:

Yummie!!! That's all milkchocolate, ooh lala :D I hope a get a little piece....

Hugs Thiele


Posted Mar 13, 2009, 4:52 pm
Hi mummy!

I went to Marjolein's school in Utrecht today!

We went to the trainstation of Den Bosch first.

We had a chair for ourselves.

We read in Marjolein's book The Story of Art. It was kinda... boring.

So we decided to read the Dutch Donald Duck!

The view was also kinda boring haha. And the glass was very dirty! Sometimes I saw some houses but mostly it was all green grass and trees.

We listened to Marjolein's ipod.

The trainstation was a bit bigger than the station of 's-Hertogenbosch.

We walked trough the city Utecht. It's about 15 minutes walk from the trainstation to the school. On this photo you see the most famous tower of Utrecht: the Dom.

This is the Sint Janschurch (Saint Johnschurch) at the Sint Janskerkhof (Saint Johncemetery), we are near Marjolein's school now.

This is the street of Marjoleins school.

Well actually one of the places where the school is. The University of Utrecht is everywhere in the city. The biggest buildings are in the Uithof, we are going there next tuesday for the class Who's who in the Classical Mythology!

This class is called The Story of Art (just like the book we where falling asleep at).

See you soon!



Posted Mar 18, 2009, 11:12 pm
Today we went to a part of Essen that is called Kray. BlackCat needed to get a package from the post office there so we went there all together. On the way back to a bus stop we saw this wonderful church. It is the St. Barbara church. BlackCats grandparents married in this church. Doesn’t it look nice?
The church tower
The front door of the church
Another view of the tower.

Posted Mar 18, 2009, 11:14 pm
That’s us in front of the pitman statue in Steele. Pitmen were really good for the city Essen, because they had a lot of coal mines here. Now there are only a few ones left and no one is still working, but this statue should remind you of the pitmen that did the work to make Essen to such a big city like it is now.

Posted Mar 18, 2009, 11:15 pm
Today we went with BlackCat when she visited her boyfriend at work. He is working in a company that is in the Margarethenhöhe.
The Margarethenhöhe is a jewel of the city. It is one of the loveliest examples of the German garden city idea. This area of the city is idyllic and was donated in 1906 by Margarethe Krupp on the occasion of her daughter Bertha’s wedding. Maximum two storeys high, comfortably equipped flats for workers and employees were developed following the plans of architect Georg Metzendorf. Even though the area gives a feeling of unity, no house is the same. Various design elements such as bow fronts and hedgerows, arched gables, plaster and natural stone foundations were used to give homes individual appearances. The estate has been under historical preservation since 1987.
It was really nice there but it was still dark, so the photos aren’t so good.

A picture of Margarethe Krupp

Posted Mar 18, 2009, 11:16 pm
This is one shop in the city of Essen. We found it when we were just walking around there. Doesn’t it look nice?

Posted Mar 18, 2009, 11:18 pm
Today we made some cookies for the budgies of BlackCat. She found a recipe online how she can make cookies for her birds herself and wanted to try it. So we went with her in the kitchen and helped her as good as we could.
Looking for the grain feed
Putting an egg to the flour
Mixing it
Putting the grain feed into the mix of eggs and flour
Mixing it again
Making little cookies of it (not perfect, we know)
and now we have to wait 15 minutes…
The cookies are ready =)!
And the birds are happy about it.

Posted Apr 12, 2009, 11:14 pm

I went to Brussels today!

Marjolein had a schooltrip so we first went to the European Parlement!

We weren't allowed to take photo's inside but Marjolein secretly took this one.

After this visit we went sightseeing in the city and we saw the most famous guy in the ciy: Manneken Pis!

We also went to the marketplace.

It was a very pretty market with lots of old buildings.

And of course we bought some really nice chocolate, Belgium is known for it's chocolate!

It was a very cool day!


Posted Apr 12, 2009, 11:17 pm
We took a biketrip around the city 's-Hertogenbosch! We first went to the Market.

We saw some of the wall that is around the city.

We went to the supermarket to get food and stuff. This was also our last stop in The Netherlands, from here we went to America, because there is a postoffice in the supermarket! Bye bye Holland!

Hugs Thiele


Posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:28 pm
Just checking in to say that Roots bear, Tiger Lilly and I have arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona. We are excited to see what is in store for us!

Posted Jun 24, 2009, 6:18 am
Upon our arrival last week We met another TV, his name is Casanova.

The weather hasn't been as beautiful as Ashley has hoped. Arizona is known for its monsoon summers. It tends to rain during the day unexpectedly. To keep us occupied Ashley lets us watch movies. Today we watched Coraline.

Posted Jul 4, 2009, 10:23 pm
So we got up very early this morning and watched Ashley pack some clothes. All five of us jumped in and got cozy for the trip.

After a long ride, we finally were able to peep out of the bag. Ashley gave us a piece of paper to hold on to. Between us all we figured out that we were getting on an airplane from Phoenix, Arizona to Houston, Texas.

We thought we were in for a weekend in the Lone Star State, but when we got there we boarded yet another plane. During this flight, Ashley had an empty seat next to her so we got to enjoy the ride outside of the suitcase. We made sure to get our seatbelt on securely.

This flight was not as long as the other and when we arrived Ashley told us to look out the window. We had arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Big Easy!!

After a short taxi ride we arrived at the hotel we were staying the weekend at, The Ritz-Carlton right on Canal Street.

The next day, we took a tour of French Quarter in a horse drawn carriage. Because there were a lot of passengers, it was hard to get pictures of me and all Ashley's other visitors with all the special things we saw. We learned all sorts of history about the area, especially since The entire Quarter is a National Historic Landmark and fortunately the area was relatively unaffected by Hurricane Katrina compared to other surrounding areas.
We passed the infamous Bourbon St. This is the location of Mardi Gras festivities in the Spring, as well as The French Quarter Festival and Southern Decadence.
The whole tour lasted about 90mins and we went on almost every street of the district. We started and ended in Jackson Square which was also known as Place d'Armes. During the day, many local artists have their work on display and for sale. The park is situated in front of The Cabildo, which is where the Louisiana Purchase was finalized and signed, The St. Louis Cathedral and The Presbytère, which housed the Roman Catholic Priests and authorities in the 18th century.
Originally, the area was used for public execution of disobedient slaves. After the Battle of New Orleans in 1814 the park was renamed for the Unites States President Andrew Jackson and a statue was erected in his honor.

After a long day of walking and sightseeing we went for dinner at Jean Lafitte's Bistro which was above The Old Absinthe House. Jean Lafitte also had a major role in the outcome of the Battle of New Orleans along with Andrew Jackson.

After eating lots of yummy food including World Famous New Orleans Blackened Catfish, and Brie and Risotto balls, and many drinks we finally returned to the hotel for a nice relaxing evening before leaving the next day. Even though the trip was short, I look forward to my next adventure with Ashley. She said we might even get to see fireworks because Independence day for the USA is coming up soon!

Posted Jul 9, 2009, 3:56 am
July 4th is America's Independence Day. More specifically is it the federal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. On this day, America was officially free from the rule of the Kingdom of Great Britain. During this time of the year, and specifically on the 4th itself, many people celebrate by having events and get togethers such has barbecues, picnics, parades, concerts, carnivals and firework displays. Also, a lot of people wear very patriotic clothing, with flag emblems on them or the colors red, white and blue.

Because Flagstaff is not only a forest, but also technically a desert climate as well, it is very dangerous to have them if it is too dry. We were thinking that we weren't going to see any this year. We spent most of the morning and afternoon at Ashley's companion's house. He let us play some video games with him.

After killing lots of Zombies, Adam told Ashley that this year Flagstaff was actually going to have Fireworks. So we loaded up a blanket and sweaters because it can be quite chilly in Flagstaff at night and headed over to where the show would be taking place. There were lots and lots of people there. The show was very exciting, but because it was nighttime, it was hard to get a picture with me at the fireworks. But here is one of my favorite pictures of the whole show.

Ashley is hoping to get some time this week to show me and the other TV's around Flagstaff and give us a tour. We are hoping to get some good pictures because it is very pretty this time of year.

Posted Jul 14, 2009, 12:25 am
Today we went on an outdoor adventure. It was very beautiful outside, and the weather was perfect. Casanova, Roots Bear, Ricky the Rat, Tiger Lilly and I got to ride in Ashley's backpack. We are all ready to go!
Ashley explained to us that we were going on a hike, as well as geocaching. Geocaching is somewhat like a treasure hunt. People list the coordinates, and clues to a hidden container on the website [][/url]. Sometimes there are trinkets inside the canister, and sometimes it is so small that you just sign the log. Ashley explained that sometimes it can be frustrating, but the excitement from finding the cache is worth the hunt. To get to the trailhead, we had to go off-roading a little. The bumpy road opened up to a small clearing and we spotted some female elk. Elk are one of the largest species of deer, and look almost identical to Red Deer found in Europe. We saw a lot them, but it was hard to get very close.

Soon after the elk sighting, we arrived at the trail. There was no marker her, but as we got closer we found a trail marker that let us know how much further to out destination. After hiking 2 miles we only have a little more than a half of a mile to go.

As we were getting closer, it got very windy so Ashley packed us into the backpack so we didn't fly off. She didn't want to lose any of us. Not too long afterwards, Ashley unzipped the pouch we were resting in and got to see the view.

We took in the view and rested awhile, then got to searching. 15 minutes later, Ashley's friend found something that he thought was the cache, but it was a teaser. It took a little while and just when we were ready to give up, Ashley figured it out, and the cache was found. Inside there were lots of different things including fly paper, bug bite medical swabs, and a travelbug, which Ashley explained was somewhat like a Toyvoyager. Usually, it is a tag or coin that travels to different geocaches. We didn't take anything this time, but we did sign the log and headed back. It was great fun and I can't wait for the next adventure I get to go on!

Posted Jul 26, 2009, 8:39 pm
Just writing to check in. Life around Flagstaff has been pretty slow. The weather here has been really strange. Early in the day it will be an enjoyable cool temperature, then towards the afternoon dark clouds start to develop followed by strong winds and heavy thunderstorms. The storms were frightening at first, but now they are quite beautiful. Ashley explained this weather is called Summer Monsoons. The rain during this time of the year is highly variable and is characterized by random bursts of downpour followed by breaks that can last for minutes or days. Due to the weather, venturing outside and taking pictures has been quite a task. Ashley has promised to show us around this upcoming week even if the weather is less than favorable.

Posted Sep 6, 2009, 5:15 am
Wow! Today was a long day. Ashley moved into a new apartment today. We spent a lot of time packing and moving boxes. During the move, it started raining so we scrambled as fast as possible to get everything inside. Ashley's new place is very nice, but it is quiet here as we are the only ones here. Don't worry, Ashley did not make us work too hard. Aster making the bed we took a nice nap!

Posted Sep 6, 2009, 5:15 am
There has been ALOT of thunderstorms here lately. Ashley said that it has been the rainiest summer she has seen since living in Flagstaff. We have been unpacking and organizing since we moved and Ashley has been letting us watch movies every day. Today, we watched Juno! This is Ashley's favorite movies. It is a very sweet comedy with a good story and lesson to it. We laughed a lot!

Also, Ashley started her fall semester at the university. She has only been in class for a few days and already has lots of reading today. Ashley is studying all about exercise and how it effects the human body. We got to read about Carbohydrates and Exercise fuel. It was very interesting.

Posted Sep 20, 2009, 11:18 pm
Our group has arrived with Abby in Canada!  Hinz + Kunz, and Aimee were on-hand to greet us, and Dottie Grace arrived at the same time we did.

Posted Sep 22, 2009, 12:52 am
Before I head off to my new host, Ashley, the other Tv's and I set off on a cupcake baking extravaganza! Ashley and many of her friends have birthdays soon so we made lots of cupcakes of different colors and decorations.
First thing we did was pre-heat the oven and put pretty cupcake liners into the pan. Not only did this make the cupcakes pretty, it also keeps them from sticking to the pan.
Next, after mixing the batter, we each took turns filling the cups. We used a measuring cup to make sure we didn't put too much batter so that they don't overflow when baking.
After baking the cupcakes we put Reese's Peanut Butter candy kisses on the top while they were still warm. The heat made them melt.
The last step was to put frosting and sprinkles on, then to eat them. They were very good!

Birthday celebrations and dinner parties are lots of fun. It was a great way to end our stay with Ashley. Now we are off to AbbyB

Posted Sep 26, 2009, 7:40 am
We decided to explore Abby's gardens.

The front gardens had lots of flowers.

We met lots of these gnomes.  They were all identical and they were all curiously named Smedvik.

There were so many dahlias, in all different colours.

Next, it was off to the backyard.

We played in an apple tree...

and a pear tree.

I had a look to see if there were any ripe tomatos to eat.

Look at all of these grapes!  Can you see me?

Mmm, raspberries.

Lastly, everyone posed for a picture with this fellow, who guards the raspberry canes.

Posted Oct 2, 2009, 5:54 am
Today I went to downtown Vancouver.  As soon as the rain stopped, I went sightseeing.

This is the war memorial at Victory Square.

This is the infamous Gastown Steam Clock, the first of its kind in the world.  As you can see, it it very popular with tourists.

This is a statue of Gassy Jack, the founder of Gastown, which is the oldest part of Vancouver.  He owned a saloon that burned down in the Great Fire of 1886.

This is Waterfront Station, an old CPR train station.  Now it is a transfer station for many different types of public transportation: trains, buses, the Skytrain and the SeaBus.

This is Canada Place.  One of the most well-known waterfront features of Vancouver.  At the front is a hotel, at the back is an IMAX theatre (which closed down today), and in the middle, inder the sails, are large rooms used for conventions.  The sails are lit up at night with multi-coloured lights.

This is the new Vancouver Convention Centre, which will be the media centre during the Olympics.  It is huge and practices green roof technology, the largest green roof in Canada.

The green area you can see behind me is Stanley Park, the largest park in Vancouver.

This is the Marine Building.  It is the best example of art deco architecture on the West Coast of North America.  The interior was used in the Fantastic Four movies.  It was built right at the beginning of the Depression, and because the contractors went bankrupt, the interiors were not completed as they were originally meant to be until recently.

Lastly, this is the Vancouver Art Gallery, the largest in Western Canada.  The building itself used to be the provincial courthouse.  The gallery is a popular spot for protests and large gatherings and demonstrations.  On the right-hand side of the photo you can see the clock that is counting down to the 2010 Olympics.

Posted Oct 8, 2009, 8:13 pm
Today I saw a little piece of Beautiful British Columbia (they even have that on their license plates).  Part of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, which is the next city over, are farmland and there are a lot of dikes that the public is allowed to walk on.  This particular area is near the Allouette River.

This is the river.

Posted Oct 8, 2009, 11:22 pm
Today I went to the local recycle depot.  They recycle pretty much everything.

Abby was only able to get this one photo of the other side before she was yelled at by an employee for taking photos.

Posted Oct 12, 2009, 7:05 am
Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year Abby and her family have a big meal.  This year there was a turkey roast, stuffing, brussel sprouts and candied yams, with sparkling apple juice to drink.  Yum!

For dessert everyone got a homemade pumpkin tart.

Posted Oct 12, 2009, 11:44 pm
We all went to the local pumpkin patch!

There were lots of things to see.  They had these big teepees, where people could sit inside.

There was this maze thing that had a lot of different displays.  Abby didn't take anyone's picture with most of them because it was not sunny in the maze and therefore very cold, but there were animals, Disney characters, and lots of other things.

This was near the pirate display.  Can you see me?

This was near the dinosaur display.  Creepy.

There was even a gnome village.

Then, we had a look at the pumpkin patch itself.  See that bush on the right?  It continued on way behind that.

Hey, look!  It's Charlie Brown!

Abby's family bought lots of pumpkins for carving and baking, and they will carve them in a couple weeks.  Maybe I will even be around to help.

Posted Oct 22, 2009, 3:59 am
Today I went to the UBC Apple Festival.  It is held once a year at the University of British Columbia's botanical gardens.

This is where the main event is.  There is apple tasting, cider apple chips and candy apples for sale, information about local apples, experts on growing apples, people selling crafts and even a kids zone where there were crafts and balloon animals.

There's even chili being served in an authentic WWII chuck wagon!  It's going fast because it's cold out and could rain any moment.

Part of the botanical gardens is an area where they grow fruits and vegetables.  All of the produce is donated to the Salvation Army.

Abby bought everyone tickets to the 1:30 apple tasting.  There are volunteers handing out samples for about 60 types of apples.  Abby and Erin say they have a tried and true method for tasting every single kind before the half an hour is over.

We were first in line.  Abby took this picture of me before we went in because she said that we would be busy eating and would not have time for pictures if we wanted to try every kind of apple.

I did it!  Every single kind that they were handing out, including the apples that astronaut Yuri Gagarin took into space, and a brand new kind developed in the interior of British Columbia that does not have a name yet.

The apple fest was a lot of fun. I didn't even know that many kinds of apples existed...

Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:17 am
It is Abby's nineteenth birthday and we are baking her a tea cake.

The first thing we did was make the tea.  We are using organic creme brulee rooibos from David's Tea.

Next we mixed butter and sugar.

Then added eggs and almond extract.

We mixed flour and baking powder,

Then added it and the tea to the batter.

The whole time Lou was helping.

In the oven!

It was really good!

Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:21 am
Happy Halloween!  This year I'm a cowboy!

Posted Nov 1, 2009, 6:24 am
We helped Abby carve her pumpkin.

We decided on pumpkin pi.

Then, we decided to roast the seeds.

While we were waiting, we put the pumpkin outside.


Posted Nov 30, 2009, 8:04 am
Dear Mommy,
I have excellent timing! I arrived the day before Thanksgiving. Jayme lives in Japan, but she celebrates the American holidays since she's American. Its a good thing too, after that long ride in the envelope I was famished! We started in with the cooking the day before. First we had to go get some supplies. One of the places we went to was a place to get very fresh organic eggs. Its a weird sort of place. They had many animals for the children to look at, and then only a small store with the eggs and some pastries. Here are some pictures.
A monster almost got me!
After we got home it was time to start the cooking. Jayme said she was only going to make dessert early this year since it was just her family we had to cook for. We were making buckeyes. Yum! Here you can see the peanut butter balls.
Then they had to be dipped in chocolate.
Oh they were delicious. And I think we made a few too many for just her family, don't you think? ;) Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I can't wait to tell you about it!

Posted Nov 30, 2009, 8:15 am
Dear Mommy,
We woke up to the most delicious smells... and we headed towards the kitchen. Only to realize the baby gate was up and Jayme was threatening everyone who came near her kitchen with a spatula. Yesh, I didn't know Thanksgiving was so serious! We waited and waited and finally just in time for lunch the Thanksgiving meal was served. It was worth the wait!
After lunch we went for a walk along the beach to burn off all the calories! Here is where we started. See the sea wall in the distance?
Well we walked all the way over there. Its really quite pretty. Some of the graffiti on it is just great.
And since the tide was out it was a nice place to rest and take a break.
We walked on a little further and found a small beach called sunset beach. Its really too cold for swimming, and there are lots of jelly fish this time of year, but some people were walking at the waters edge.
Finally it was time to turn around. Back where we began was a playground shaped like a pirate ship. We stopped there to rest while Jayme's children played.
Overall we had a very relaxing Thanksgiving. I wonder what adventures we'll go on next?

Posted Dec 15, 2009, 8:22 am
Dear Mommy,
I'm sorry I haven't updated more quickly! Jayme's been quite busy. Us toys have been trying to help, but there's lots to do. We have done a few little trips though. First we went to a place called Comprehensive Park and took a walk. There are many walking trails here. Today we simply walked along the beach then to a small fish pond so that the boys could see the fishes.
More soon,

Posted Dec 15, 2009, 8:32 am
Dear Mommy,
We also got to go to a place called Murasaki Mura. Jayme was excited to go. Here we are at the entrance. The dog/lions next to us are called Shisas. Shisas are the traditional protectors on Okinawa, and culturally are taken from the Chinese. Okinawa was not owned by the Japanese until recently and it has a rather unique blended culture since it used to be a very common trade stop because of its location. Culturally they have picked up many things from the Chinese and Japanese, but because the Americans have been here since World War II there are also some odd American traditions interspersed with it all. But the Shisa are the protectors all over Okinawa. They are lion/dogs and are found in pairs, one to let the good spirits through and the other to catch the bad spirits. Almost all homes and businesses have them and you can make your own here at Murasaki Mura. Jayme says she assumes there are ones people made and either couldn't or wouldn't pay for so they added them to the many decorations.
We got to walk around Murasaki Mura, but unfortunately we did not get to do any of the crafts there as it began to rain! Boo. Here are the pictures before the rain.
Maybe we'll get to go again one day, it sure looked pretty and some of the crafts they did there looked very neat.
More soon,

Posted Dec 15, 2009, 8:44 am
Today we went to a very special place on Okinawa. It is the Peace Memorial Park. The Peace Park here on Okinawa has taken many years to build. It is to memorialize all that were killed on Okinawa during World War II and also a reminder of the cost of war, and the value of peace. The Peace Park consists of different sections. There is a museum there that has maps and a history of the battle on Okinawa as well as exhibits to see and stories of those who survived are told. There is also a Memorial that you can walk through outside that lists the names of all those killed during the Battle of Okinawa on the edge of a cliff. Finally there is an area with many memorials you can walk through, most of which are stones with the information carved into them in Japanese, which unfortunately Jayme can not read. Today we only saw a small portion of the park, the last area where there are memorials and nice walking paths. Here we are at the beginning of the walk, below us you can see the black stone with engraved names and the museum.
Here you can see the water at the base of the cliffs, isn't it beautiful?
Next to some of the memorials are paper cranes like these. Many of them are donated by local school children who come to visit. Isn't this an amazing amount of cranes? And these are the ones displayed outside where they must be replaced often. There are many in various locations and inside the museum.
Here is an example of one of the memorials up here.
Finally here is the view of the stones again as we were walking back to the car to go home.
It is a very beautiful and sad place to visit. But it is time to celebrate peace as well, and Jayme says we have a few plans for Christmas upcoming, I hope I'll be able to tell you about them soon,

Posted Dec 18, 2009, 1:44 am
Dear Mommy,
Today we went on a long ride up to a base called Courtney. They were having a small Christmas festival here. Here I am at the entrance.
First we sat and watched some carolers.
Then we took the kids over to the kiddie land. They had an area for rides and for bounce houses.
Then we went to look at the hmmwv they had out. They also had a larger truck and police car, but there were too many people there to take a photo.
We wanted to see Santa, but it was far too busy so we couldn't this time :( Maybe another time. But we had lots of fun and I'm sure we'll do more soon!

Posted Dec 18, 2009, 2:05 am
Dear Mommy,
We had lots to do! We made cookies and put them along with buckeyes in these little bags. The bags are for the Marines to take home with them along with other stocking stuffers from the Christmas party. You see, there are many single men out here who are very far from home and so Jayme's job is to try to help them (and the other families) to feel a little less lonely, especially during the holidays. So we cooked and cooked cookies!
Then we bagged them up.
Look at all these bags! 100 of them here, another woman was doing another 100. That's a lot of cookies!
Finally we also made a couple of Christmas tree cakes for the party itself. Doesn't it look yummy?
And then we were off to the party! It was at the bowling alley. They were supposed to have things outside as well, but it was raining :( This isn't a very good picture, but it was quite crowded and we didn't get to bowl at all! But here is the party itself.
But most importantly...someone very important came to the party. After he was done greeting all the children Jayme was able to ask him to take a photo with us as well. Did you know that Jayme knows Santa?! I'm very impressed. Here are all of us visiting right now with Santa!
Whew. Very tiring! I wonder what else we'll do for Christmas?

Posted Dec 26, 2009, 9:39 pm
Dear Mommy,
I have lots of fun Christmas stories to tell you, but first I wanted to show you the decorations here at Jayme's house. She actually has two nativity sets. You see, she bought one the first year, but then realized her kids always wanted to touch it so she found one online that's a childrens nativity set that they can play with. Unfortunately she says this means there's almost always a piece missing, but at least now they don't try to get her set anymore. And it is pretty cute.
Here's the adult nativity set. Its still pretty kid proof, but looks a bit nicer.
Then there were the Christmas cards Jayme received! A few from toyvoyagers, a few from postcard friends, and a few from family. Not too many cards, but she put them out anyway.
Finally there was of course the tree! I won't put up a big picture of the tree yet, you can see that on Christmas Day :) But I will show you some of the small ornaments on it. Jayme and her family each get one ornament every year for a Christmas present. It may be something from a movie or cartoon they like or something on a trip. Like the Minnie ornament Jayme got at Tokyo Disney. Or it may be something that reminded Jayme of her kids. Like the panda ornament because her oldest son used to carry a panda around non-stop as a lovey for awhile. And then of course, there's a few small ones the children made as well. Here are some pictures of them.
I hope you liked the pictures! I'll be sure to write all about Christmas very soon so you can see what fun we had!

Posted Dec 31, 2009, 11:39 am
Dear Mommy,
I'm sorry I didn't get my update up sooner to tell you about Christmas! But here it is now.
On Christmas Eve our first priority was of course making Christmas cookies! The kids had lots of fun making them. We toys mostly stayed out of the way since we didn't want to get all floury or coated in icing.
Here are the ones we left out for Santa.
After getting every ready for Santa we went on out to the Christmas Eve light show! We got there quite early before nightfall. Here we are waiting and watching some shows near the stage. You can't really see the shows from here, but they just had people coming up doing short acts juggling or what not.
They also had a small festival area for the kids with games and rides, so we took the kids over to do some rides while we waited.
The best part of all for the kids though was that we got to see some real snow! Even though it was very warm that night (Jayme was in a tshirt!) they had a snow maker they kept running to build up snowmen, and igloos and other things. It was very, very packed in the snow area. Lots of children checking it out! Many of them will live on Okinawa all of their lives and not really have a chance to play in the snow. Here I am in a brief picture I managed to squeeze in while we were trying to carefully keep an eye on Jayme's children.
Finally the lights came on! Aren't they pretty? They have a few very elaborate light set ups.
Whew! After that we went home and put the children to bed and helped Jayme do some last minute wrapping.
Finally we all got to bed and when we woke in the morning Santa had visited and brought more presents! Here we all are under the tree with the gifts.
We spent Christmas Day at Jayme's house playing with the boys and their new toys. Maybe I can take some pictures of them later. For now, Merry Christmas Mommy! Hope you had a wonderful one!

Posted Jan 11, 2010, 1:25 am
Dear Mommy,
Its been quite rainy here recently, but we've been trying to get out whenever the sun is out. The children are quite restless from staying indoors and they need to get some energy out! So we headed to one of the giant slide parks on Okinawa. Jayme's children really love this slide. Here it is from the bottom, you have to walk up quite a few stairs
And here's the view from the top looking down. Its a rollerslide so there are many rollers you slide down. The Japanese children go down standing up, but Jayme's children are a bit young for that so they go down sitting on a piece of cardboard.
They also had a small beach nearby so the children tried to build a sand castle.
More soon,

Posted Jan 11, 2010, 3:23 am
Dear Mommy,
Like I said in the last update, its been very rainy! And Jayme's children are even driving us toys a bit up the wall with too much energy, so we also headed to an indoor playground. Its a place called Mona Kids. Here is the entrance, isn't it cute?
We had a snack inside
And here's the play area for the children. There's lots of tubes and ball pits for them to play in.
While the children were playing Jayme got to sit and rest and read a bit. I read some Lord of the Rings with her.
More soon,

Posted Jan 13, 2010, 12:38 am
Dear Mommy,
I was quite excited when I woke up and it was actually sunny! Jayme said we were going to go out, but first we would make some lunches to take to eat in the car since it was going to be a bit of a drive. She said we were going to use these things called egg molds. First you boil and peel the eggs, then you put them in molds like this.
Here we are with all the egg molds.
Then you put them in the fridge until the cool, and when you take them out they've been molded and will hold their new shape. Neat huh?
We packed them along with other snacks into a bento box, which is a boxed lunch. Bentos are very popular in Japan. Jayme says she makes "American" bentos because her family doesn't like eating rice when it gets cold, which is a traditional bento food, so instead she makes her own type of boxed lunch. But it does look yummy... you can see the eggs are wrapped in saran wrap and placed in with the other food.
Then we headed off. It was a long carride up the coast until we arrived. Finally we arrived at the Busena resort! If you can see that pier far out in the distance, that's where we're headed.
We took a nice walk along the way, I thought this anchor was kind of neat.
And finally we made it to the pier.
We walked to the end and they had what's called an Underwater Observatory. You go down 2M under the water and you can look out the portholes! The area is really rather small, with only about 25 portholes, but its very neat. We stayed there for a long time watching the fish go by.
Finally it was time to head home, but we did stop at the playground on the way to let the children run a bit more. Can you tell Jayme spends a lot of time at playgrounds? Here's a view of the playground from one of the many things to climb on.
We toys took a rest on the rock wall.
Whew! I'm glad we finally got to go out and have some fun, hopefully I'll have another neat update soon,

Posted Feb 2, 2010, 12:10 am
Dear mommy,
Sorry for the late update! We've visited a few places I'll tell you about, but Jayme hasn't had time to sit down it seems lately. First we celebrate Jayme's son Jacob's birthday! He's five years old.
For his birthday he wanted to go visit the aquarium so off we went! Here I am outside the building.
When you walk down to the entrance this is the view of the water there.
We got to see many fish. The Churaumi aquarium has the largest salt water natural light coral tank.
They also have the largest view screen to see whale sharks. Do you see him behind him? He's huge!
We made a new friend at the aquarium. He said he wants to be a toyvoyager too! He still has to pick a name for himself though.
Finally when we got home we decided to have some fun with the legos got for Christmas an his birthday. It took forever to put them all together!
More soon,

Posted Feb 2, 2010, 12:22 am
Dear Mommy,
We also got to visit a ferris wheel! Here I am outside the ferris wheel.
And here are all us toys who are visiting on the ferris wheel.
Here's the view out the window. The water there is sunset beach.
More soon,

Posted Feb 2, 2010, 12:30 am
Dear Mommy,
We also got to visit the grounds of Shuri-jo castle here in Okinawa. Shuri is the most famous castle on island. It was the main castle for the Ryukyan kings. It has been destroyed 5 times, most recently during WWII and they continue to rebuild it. Now you can visit and even pay a fee and enter the reconstructed castle. We only visited the outside today, but I thought you would like to see these photos of the outside of the castle and grounds.
Whew! We've done a lot in Okinawa. After our visit to Shuri it was time to pack up and head on over to Australia. I hope I'll have another update for you soon!

Posted Feb 10, 2010, 7:29 am
I've arrived back home in Australia! I'll do a proper update later, Sara just started TAFE (community college) so she's been crazy busy lately! Write soon mom! Miss you!

Posted Mar 26, 2010, 2:16 pm
Hi Mom!! I am here!!  I am a bit slow in flying but I finally arrived in Hong Kong!  I am greeted by some TVs here.  Sniff, Snuff, Blinchick and Mocha.  They tell me they are having a very good time and are glad I am joining them. 

First they introduce me to our house guards, Bobo and Gigi.

Posted Mar 27, 2010, 2:05 pm
Hi mom! So sorry it's taken me so long to update - I've been really bored sitting here but Sara has had us help with her homework. You would be amazed at how much I know about Australia now... Sara keeps saying if someone wants to come to Australia let her know and she can plan out their itinerary, she's quite enjoying it - but one of the classes is taking up more of her time than the other class - you know the one where she actually goes to school? Geez!

She actually got to take us out - we got to go to Parkes which is known for one thing - the radio telescope. It actually communicates with satillites, and I think it has something to do with SETI if you know what that is... it helped with communication when the first man landed on the moon. The communication actually went through Parkes and onto the United States. Crazy huh?

There are heaps of photos around the site and the museum (since the satelite dish is kind of attached to the top of the museum, how it's holding that amount of weight no one knows. Sara hasn't had a chance to go there - but she would really like to in the future! Anyways, we should turn off everything so no more photos unfortunately!

If you want to see what Sara is doing in school - you can check out some of the photos here. We haven't gone with her to school yet since she only just started bringing her camera and she thinks she might get a few funny looks. Especially back in the kitchen - so unfortunately, no photos back there - but maybe we get to see the dining room in the future? That would be pretty cool!

Write again soon!

Posted May 4, 2010, 2:30 pm
Wow, it took me a long time to update this on behalf of Thiele, but just before he left to Hong Kong I took a few photos of him... it pretty much sums up everything that I've been doing... and why I am, and was so inactive on toyvoyagers... although, the toyvoyagers helped me a lot surprisingly! :-)

Thiele helped me with my tourism studies... getting brochures from all over the world... and any time I wasn't at school or studying... I was mystery shopping... another reason why it seems he did so little while he was here... I do hope he enjoyed his time while visiting though!

Posted May 16, 2010, 12:10 am
Today we start off the day by eating some traditional Chinese breakfast. 

Chinese like soybean a lot.  You can drink soy milk, which is a nutritious drink, especially before dairy milk was introduced from the West into the diet.  Just like milk is made into cheese, the soy milk is made into tofu.  If they make it very soft and young, it is like a pudding.  In Northern China, it is usually eaten with soy sauce, salty peanuts, pepper and scallion with a savory flavor.  In Taiwan they like it sweet with beans.  In Hong Kong it's usually sweetened with ginger syrup.  This one looks a bit dark because of the black bean in it.

Next is rice noodle roll, "cheung fun".  It is made by rolling a sheet of rice pasta.  Sometimes it's eaten plain, with just sauces.  Like what we have now.  With lots of sesame seeds, soy sauce, hot sauce and sesame sauce.  Or you can add beef, shrimp, mushrooms, or other ingredients inside the roll.

At night we visit Mong Kok.  It is, according to the Guiness World Record, the place with the highest density of population.  Some of the streets are closed off on weekends and nights to make room for all the pedastrians.

One of its famous landmarks is the Woman's Street, a street filled with street vendors selling everything from fake name brand handbags, clothes, toys and tourist souvenirs.

This one has some pretty Chinese dress.

There are also a lot of food stalls too.  This one specializes in a snack called eggies.

This one has snacks like stuffed pepper, meatballs and other things on a stick like a kebab.

People line up on the street to buy snacks.

Posted May 16, 2010, 1:27 am
Today we go to try dim sum.  It is the style of dining for breakfast or lunch here. 

My TV friends show me how to mark what she wants on the order form.  The dishes all come in small size and are expected to be share, so everybody gets to eat a little of everything.

This is the Hainanese Chicken rice.  It's considered a National dish of Singapore.  The rice is cooked with ginger, garlic and chicken stock to give it a delicious flavor.

More dim sum arrive at the table.  They come served in small dishes or bamboo steamers.

The sesame ball has a creamy custard filling.

This is a dish for me!  It's fish head with soy sauce.  Well, certainly not how I usually eat my fish but hey I am adventrous!!  It tastes pretty good.

Afterwards, we take the bus to cross the harbor.  The Victoria Harbor separates the Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Penisula (which is connected to mainland China).

In all honesty, tunnels under the water sounds creepy so I am glad we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Wow a lot of tall buildings!

Central is the financial district of Hong Kong.  Many multinational financial and trade businesses have their headquarters here.  Here you can see from the left the Bank of China Tower (designed by I. M. Pei and the 4th tallest building in Hong Kong), Cheung Kong Center and HSBC HQ.  The little brown building behind me is the old Bank of China office, which looks really tiny compared to all the shiny new buildings.


Posted May 16, 2010, 3:56 am
Today we are travelling again.  We wait at the ferry terminal after passing through immigration.  I wonder where we will be going?  It's time to board the turbojet!

Goodbye to Hong Kong for now!

I love watching the sea, but I think the other guys are getting a bit green in the face.  I hope they won't throw up....

After an hour, we arrive at the new place.  Everything looks a bit different from Hong Kong.  There are signs in Portuguese, Chinese and English.

Mystery solved!  We are in Macau!

Posted May 20, 2010, 4:57 pm
Today on our way to downtown Macau we pass by the Macau Tower.  You can try the world's highest bungee jump from there.  Which of course we are not interested in.

First we want some breakfast.  We go to a this place, Margaret's, which is very famous for its egg custard tart, nata, as you can imagine from the long line.

We finally get our natas.  They are so delicious, fresh from the oven, with a flaky crust and a creamy warm custard filling slightly burnt on top.

Now we are full, we can do some sight seeing.  We first go to the town square, Largo do Senado.

From the square we walk up to the most famous landmark of Macau, Ruinas de S. Pablo.  The church, originally built in 1602-1640, was destroyed by fire in 1835.  The facade was left standing alone.  This is a World Heritage site.

There are a lot of shops selling snacks along the street to St. Paul.  We can watch the staff make the snacks.  This lady is making sesame candy by rolling the sweet roll in coconut, peanut and sesame, then chopping them into bite size pieces.

Here she is rolling up little egg pancakes to make phoenix rolls.

This man is making little almond cookies.  He puts them onto a big bamboo basket then into the oven to roast.

Here the machine is making dorayaki, a Japanese pastry.  It will be filled with red beans in the center.

There are also all type of jerkies, made with beef, pork, boar...

Lots of candies and cookies to choose from!!

Enough food for now... let's go on more sight seeing!

We pass by this bookstore.  Macau was a Portuguese colony, so the buildings have a European influence, and streets have Portuguese names, even though the residents speak mostly Chinese and English.

We see some tile paintings showing how Macau looked like when the Portuguese first arrived.

We now visit Casa de Lou Kau.  Built in 1889 it was the home of Lou Kau, a prominent merchant, and is a showcase of traditional Chinese style mansion.

I imagine old grandpa Lou used to sit here and sipped his tea...

And the mother watching from upstairs as the little children played in the courtyard below...  Traditional houses have a courtyard in the center of the house to let in more light and air.

A beautiful lattice work on the wooden window.

I wonder if this is where they had dinner.

This is the family altar, where they would offer incense to the gods and the ancestors.

Afterwards we stop by the library so our host can check her emails.  The library is in Holland garden, so named because the Portuguese had a battle with the Dutch here.

Can you spot us?  Also did you notice the design on the plants?  It's a picture of the St. Paul's ruins which we visited earlier today.

As Macau is a small place of only less than 30 sq km, people like to get around with mopeds.

Posted May 20, 2010, 8:03 pm
Macau is famous for its casinos.  It is called Las Vegas of the East, and actually has more gaming revenue than Las Vegas.  Today, we go visit some of the casinos.  We are too young to go inside the casinos but some of the hotels are very pretty inside and worth a visit.

The first one we visit is the City of Dreams.  At the entrance, they have a screen showing an underwater world.

We walk around but it's mostly shops.

Next door is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

They have a lot of memorabilia from famous musicians.  Here's something from Elton John.

A guitar from Eagles.

Hey Mommy do you know whom these things belonged to? A diamond studded glove!

Posted May 20, 2010, 8:30 pm
We walk across the street to visit the Venetian.  It's by the same owner of the one in Las Vegas.

It is so beautiful inside!

Look, this escalator is curved!!

They have a huge food court, with a large variety of food: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Macanese, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, dessert and more...

They have a canal inside the hotel and you can even get on a gondola!!  The steer will sing as the boat floats down the canal.

There is also a square modelled after the San Marco Square in the real city.

Posted May 22, 2010, 4:41 am
Today we go to visit Casas-Museu da Taipa.  They are the restored buildings which were once the residences of Portuguese officials and Macanese families (Portuguese who were born and grew up in Macau) in the early 20th century. 

On the way to the houses, we walk along a small street.  We see a small temple.

This used to be a firecracker factory, but not anymore.

Further down the road, there is another temple.  This one is for the bodhisattva Kwan Yin, who is often portrayed as motherly figure like Maria.

Inside we see a lot of large coils hanging there.  What are they?

They are incense.  By making them this shape they can burn for a long time.

We take the stairs up.  The trees lining the steps are over a hundred years old.

On top of the stairs is a small church, Our lady of Carmel Church.

Next to the church is a small park, where there is a statue of Luis Vaz De Camoes, the National poet of Portugal.

There are some exercise equipment in the park.  It looks like gym equipment but it's for outdoors, and it's free!  Since we have been eating so much, it's time to do some exercise!

Oh, I think I spot the houses we are looking for!

They are very European looking.  It must be very nice living here.

On the other side of the lake, we can see the casinos that we visited yesterday.

This is the typical style of street signs in Macau.  Very elegant, isn't it?

Nearby there is a garden.

It's a beautiful pond with koi fishes and lotus.

I have to say the fishes look rather fat and delicious...


Posted May 31, 2010, 3:58 am
We are back in Hong Kong. 

We go to a department store, and happen to see a man from the Dragon Well village in China talk about tea. 

Here you can see the bags of tea as well as a bamboo tray of harvested leaves that are being dried.

He is demostrating how they pan fry the tea leaves after they are harvested.  There is a fire under te circular wok, and he keeps stirring and rolling the leaves with his hands.

Then our host takes us to try a new dessert. Yay!!

This is Taiwanese shaved ice.  It has become popular in Hong Kong recently.  As you can see it is very pretty, with very thin sheets layered one on top of the other, looks like layers of cream, and is different from the regular shaved ice.  Instead of granular ice crystals, this one is smooth almost like ice cream.  This one is the mango flavor.  It is topped with syrup with cubes of dragon fruit and mango.

We order another one, this one is sesame flavor, with red beans.  Delicious but I like mango better.  I wish I can eat this every day!

Posted Jun 1, 2010, 9:41 pm
While we had a really good time in Hong Kong, sadly it's time to leave.  This time I am flying with my host and my new TV friends, so there's no problem of me getting lost! 

We are at the airport now.  Good bye Hong Kong

It has been a really fun trip.  Now I am heading back to the U.S. I wonder what adventure I will have there?

Posted Jun 12, 2010, 3:16 am
I am now in Miami!  Today we go to Miami Beach.

First, we go to Lincoln Road.  It's a Pedestrian walkway with shops, restaurants and even performers and street vendors on weekends.

We have a bit of lunch sitting outdoors.

Then we go and visit the Botanical Garden.

This man looks like he has a bad hair day!

It is a beautiful garden with some interesting statues.

We help our host release a BookCrossing book at the garden.  Hope someone will pick it up!

One part is arranged as a Japanese garden.

Hmmm, I wonder if the koi tastes good?

I listen to the whisper of the bamboo trees and feel very meditative.

Not far from the Botanical Garden is the Holocaust Memorial.

As we walk around the pond, there are displays with photos about the Holocaust.

The photos make me feel very heavy in my heart.

We then walk through this tunnel.  The slits on the wall allow sunlight to enter in an interesting pattern.

At the end of the tunnel we see this monument.

The figures all look like they are suffering in great pain.

This is a quotation from Anne Frank: "Then in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."  When I learn from our host that Anne was a young girl who was killed in the war, I am so sad I want to cry.  I hope there will be no more war like this!

Posted Jun 12, 2010, 4:27 pm
Today we go to the Knaus Berry Farm.  It's opened by some Quarkers and the place is only open during winter.  In the summer they return to Pennslyvania.  They are famous for their cinnamon buns and people will drive an hour to come get them.

They sell a lot of strawberries grown from their farm.  Usually strawberry season here is February but because of the cold winter we have them now:

There are other veggies too.

Here are the cinnamon buns.  It's still early so there is not a line, but later it will extend outside the store.

Cinnamon buns, strawberry shake, and some veggies for dinner.  Yummy!  There is no table or chair so we eat in the trunk.

Posted Jun 19, 2010, 3:29 am
Today we go down to "The Keys"!!  Florida keys are a chain-like cluster of about 1700 islands in the southeast United States, beginning from 15 miles (24 km)south of Miami.  At the nearest point, the southern tip of Key West is just 94 miles (151 km) from Cuba.  The word "key" comes from the Spanish "Cayo", meaning small island.

Marathon is located among the "Middle Keys", about 2 hours from Miami.    We arrive at the beach.

We go there for the dragon boat festival.  Here are the atheletes getting ready!

Here they are loading up the boat.  The dragon boat is a long boat that seats two paddlers in 10 rows.  The watersport originate in China.

We wave them off with a good luck!

The beach is really beautiful!!

It's kind of far out there but can you see the boats racing out on the water?

On the shore there are some vendors for food as well as arts and crafts.

After each heat, the racers come to check out their time at the score board.

What a beautiful day to be out on the Florida beach!!

Posted Jun 21, 2010, 2:55 am
Today we go to a hospital!  Don't worry mom, nobody got hurt.  But we are going to visit some sick sea turtles!  This is a very special hospital in the Florida Keys.  They take care of turtles that are sick.  Thy have a website

Look, they even have a turtle ambulance!

We go to the visitor center first.

We read some information about sea turtles.

These are the shells of the different species of sea turtles.  They are very large animals!!

We watch a slide show telling us more about sea turtles and why they end up at the hospital.

This is the emergency room.  The lady is using a toy to show us what they do when a turtle is delivered to an emergency room.  Did you know that turtles are conscious breathers?  That means that while they are under anaesthesia an assistant has to stand by and pump oxygen into the turtle's lung at regular intervals so it won't suffocate.

They have equipment to take digital X Rays of the patients.  Digital is useful because the doctors are volunteers so they are not at the hospital all the time.  Now they can view the digital image from where they are and give diagnosis quickly.  These x rays show that the turtle has a fishing hook in the stomach!  Ouch, that must really hurt.

Next we walk over to visit the patients.

We meet Kentucky.  She has been biten by a shark but is lucky enough to live to tell the tale!  (you can read more of her story at

Here you can see clearly the shark bites on her shell.  She is so excited to see us, I guess she never tires of retelling her adventure!

This turtle suffers the bubble butt syndrome.  This happens when a motor boat hits the turtle so hard that the shell is misshapened.  An air bubble forms inside the shell.  This is a problem as the turtle can no longer sink below water, meaning that he cannot find food or shelter from predators.  The doctors have not found a cure yet, but they put a weight on the shell so the turtle can sink below the surface.  However, as the turtle grow, the old plates on the shell fall off, so the weight is not a permanent solution.  The turtles will thus have to spend the rest of their lives in the sanctuary.

Here is another turtle recuperating.  You can see that on her flippers there are some scars.  She has tumor but it has been removed.

This is Romeo.  He's a baby but sadly has lost a flipper already!!

This is Joe.  He was born without one flipper then got another one bitten off by a predator.  But we are told that Joe seems to swim around pretty well with just two flippers so they may release him into the wild.

Isn't he a beautiful turtle?

Besides the individual Intensive Care Units, there are two big pools.  It used to be a swimming pool of a hotel.  The pool gets water from the sea outside.  Here lives the turtles who are soon to be released back to the wild as well as those permanent residents.

Here you can see the weight attached to the turtle's back to keep him from floating all the time.

We are given some pellets to feed the turtles.  My host cannot manage holding the feed and us and the camera (she needs another flipper -- I mean hand) so there is no picture.  She says she doesn't want to feed us to the turtles by mistake. 

I am really glad to vist the hospital.  It's nice knowing that the injured turtles are well cared for.  We hope that all the sea turtles will recover soon.  We also hope that humans will stop throwing garbage into the sea, respect slow boat zone, so that the turtles will have a easier life.

We save the band for souvenir.

Afterwards we have lunch.  We sit outside so we can enjoy the breeze and the view.

We have a fish rueben and a basket of fish and chips.  Delicious!!

Posted Jul 8, 2010, 4:11 am
Today we go to South Beach to attend the Hands Across The Sand event  It is an event where world wide people join hands at beaches on June 26 12pm local time to protest off shore oil drilling and to bring awareness to alternative energy sources and conservation.  As a pelican I have been watching and reading news about the oil spill, so I am really concerned about the issue.  I think it is very important that we join the protest, so I ask our host to take us there.

We park our car and walk on Ocean Drive, which is famous for the pastel colored art deco buildings.  Everybody has been to the SoBe already, as it's one of the hottest tourist spot in Miami, but for me it is new and exciting.  A lot of movies and model shots are taken here.

As typical in Florida, it's a beautiful day at the beach.

It will most certainly be tragic if this lovely beach is spoiled by oil spills.

Look someone are playing mahjong on the beach!

This guy is selling coconut.  He cuts it open so people can drink the juice.

Over 2000 people show up today.  Some carry signs.

People are chanting "Drilling means spilling!" "Spilling means killing!"

Some helicopters fly by.  We think they are the news crew so everybody waves at them.

Everybody lines up and hold hands!  The line stretches over 13 blocks.

The people are really excited to see me and have a pelican join in the protest!  Please, don't spoil the beaches!!  Don't kill us pelicans!!  We hate dirty oil on our pretty feathers!!

Posted Aug 20, 2010, 3:32 pm
Today we go to a big birthday party!!  It's the 114th birthday celebration for the City of Miami!!

It's held at the Miami Arena, where they hold concerts and basketball games.

The arena is by the bay so we can't take a real picture but here's a wall poster of how it looks like.

On the way to the arena, there are a lot of displays.  I guess these are basketball signed by famous players?

Pictures of the game:

and concerts:

Restaurants are giving out samples of their dishes.  We try a little bit of everything and go back for seconds.  And thirds...

The library is giving away free books to promote its annual book sale.

Miss Miami and Miss Teen Miami have also joined the party!!

They are signing the huge birthday card.  We get to put our names on it too!

Of course a party can't do without a band and some music!

And a big birthday cake!!  What a blast!!

Posted Aug 20, 2010, 4:26 pm
Weather has been very hot lately so we mostly stay in the house.  Today we decide to try our hands in the kitchen again.  This time I learn to make dumplings.

First we gather the ingredients.  We are making vegetarian dumplings, so we have carrot, tofu, mushroom, woodear, ginger and pickled cabbage.

We start by chopping up the ingredients into little pieces.

We mix them all in a bowl and season them with soy sauce, pepper and sugar.

We put a spoonful into the center of a dumpling wrapper sheet, and then seal the sheet into a dumpling.

I think mine is the prettiest.

We work hard to get a platetful of dumplings!! I am hungry already.

We boil the dumplings with noodles and vegetables to make a nice bowl of noodle soup!  Doesn't it look delicious?

Posted Aug 28, 2010, 3:13 am
Hi mom ready for another cooking class?

Today we are making Vietnamese summer roll.  Perfect for this hot weather!

First we soak the rice vermicelli to make it soft.

Next we cut the carrot into long thin sticks.

We also have some basil leaves.  It's very important as it adds a nice fragrance.

We then chop up some nuts.  Usually peanuts are used but we don't have them so we use cashew instead.

We prepare the sauce using vinegar, sugar, red peppers and garlic.

Now we are ready to make the rolls!  First we put the rice wrapper on a big plate.  It's dry so we have to sprinkle some water on it to soften it.

Next we put some lettuce at the bottom, and put the carrot, vermicelli and basil on top.  Last we sprinkle some nuts on top.

Now we roll it up neatly.

It looks very pretty and taste very delicious too!  And it's so easy to make without any cooking involved, perfect for summer!

Posted Sep 8, 2010, 4:22 pm
Our host's friend gave her a pineapple which he grew in his own garden! 

It's a small and very cute pineapple!

We chop off the head!

Then cut off the rind and cut them into little pieces!!

I want a bite, I want a bite!!

Posted Sep 8, 2010, 5:32 pm
It was a nice time in Florida, and I got to visit Hong Kong too!  I have been to four continentals already!  Now that I have rested my wings a bit I am flying back to Europe for the winter!  (I know, usually birds fly south for winter but hey I am a unique one!)

Today I say good bye to all the dear friends I met here.  Hopefully we will get to meet again, some where, some day!

Posted Oct 3, 2010, 6:23 pm
Big Hello from Europe!

I have finally arrived and I am quite ok. I also already found new friend here. Some of them are home staying toys, but there are two toyvoyagers too! Great.

Look how they were waiting for me to get out of my nice blue envelope! (Thanks for it Tarepanda  :D )

And here we are - the whole bunch of us together!

One of the toys is Edward R. Bear, he is huge fan of all kinds of tea. And he invited me for a chat over a nice cup of green tea to get to know each other... nice!

So as I already wrote, I am ok and getting ready for some new adventures here in the Czech Republic!

Love, Thiele

Posted Oct 14, 2010, 7:17 pm
Hello hello!

Here is finally my first proper update here from the Czech Republic. Last weekend we have had great weather, so we decided to go on a small trip to the Moravia Karst area.

First we saw some funny packs made of straw on the field. I just had to have a picture with one of these  :cyclops:

Then we were passing the entrance to one of the caves in the area, but we didn´t go in. We will do this later when the weather will be worse. But look at all those rocks and colorful trees, isn´t it nice?

After this we visited the Macocha Abyss. This place is just a biiig hole in the ground in the middle of the forest crowded with tourists. It is more than 140m deep - you will find more information here if you are interested.

On one of the pictures you can see a small platform behind me - you can go there too and check the abyss almost from the bottom - it is quite impressive view. I know it, because we did the walk down there.

These 2 images are from the lower platform.

And here are the tourist signs we saw on our way back up.

Hard work climbing the stairs - we had to rest for a while.

And last images are yet from the top - there is this pension and restaurant, more tourist signs.

And we also found these funny wooden cats!

Well, I will write again soon!

Posted Oct 23, 2010, 8:46 pm
Hello Mum!

Other TV´s who are in my current host´s house told me about going to a firing range. They said that they both went there and got the chance to shoot and also they told me it was fun.

So I asked my host if I could go too and try it out too. And you know what? My host said yes and we went right away!!

I must say that this sport is quite difficult. Check out the images, I look though, don´t I?  B)

First, you have to load the gun:

Than you can fire:

Here is the range:

And than of course you want to know how accurate you were! I am using a small monocular for it. Wow, it looks like I did quite well  :cyclops:

After the shooting you must clean the guns too. I was helping with it!

I just love being a toyvoyager!! Love, Thiele

Posted Oct 30, 2010, 5:15 pm
Dear Mum,

we have had really nice weather these days, so we decided to go for a walk on Thursday. In the village next to ours there is an old quarry. It is a very nice place for walks, especially now during fall. The entry is forbidden, but who would stop a brave toyvoyager from getting there, ha?

Look how nice this place is.

We have found special quartz stones so called geodes, which sometimes contain nice crystals inside of a ball-like surface.

After this walk we went to another place, where there is a view tower. Here I am on the top, checking the nice landscape all around us.

Speak to you soon, Thiele

Posted Oct 31, 2010, 6:38 pm
Hello Mummy!

Yesterday we decided to go for a trip to the caves. We chose the Balcarka cave, because my host said that in this one is best chance for good photographes.

This is in front of the cave - with monument looking like stalagmite.

And here we bought our tickets.

We were passing these rocks on our way to the entrance.

And voila, whole series from the cave.

Where we were done with the cave, we decided to collect hips. We helped and thanks to us our host has almost 2 kilograms!

Last thing we saw was this special hole in the ground. This happens when the ceiling of the cave collapse. The result is caaled the sink - because all the water disaapears in this hole - the same way like in the sink in the kitchen. Funny...

It was great day  :rolleyes:
Bye for now, Thiele

Posted Nov 13, 2010, 6:23 pm
Hi everybody,
this week my host´s husband went to a scientific conference held in Plzen city. You may not know that famous „pilsner“ or „pils“ beer all around the world has been named after Plzen (originally Pilsen in German).

Most of the time we spent in a hotel, while our host daddy was listening to speeches and presenting his research. (He is sort of crazy scientist working with something like acoustic emission, you know?!)

However, part of venue program was an excursion into the infamous Pilsner Urquell Brewery. And we have loads of images for you.

Check it out!

In the first hall we have seen the barley-malt preparation facility (there was a strange smell in the air that I have never experienced

In the next hall, shiny copper boil tanks demonstrated original way
of brewing. They don´t use them anymore, most of the production
comes from modern, PC-controlled stainless steel tanks. The old
ones, however, are much nicer.

Here, you can see me on a drainage valve that I tried to turn.
However, it was too heavy for me.  The guide suddenly saw me
there so I jumped back into the host daddy pocket.

This is a dispatcher cabin with all the PCs and control systems.

These are the new steel tanks I mentioned earlier.

Brewery underground consists of many kilometers of corridors and
cellars. We have seen giant wooden barrels. There, some special
beers are aging.

We have been even offered a small taste-beer. This beer was
non-filtered and non-pasterized. You cannot imagine how tasty and
aromatic it was! Yummy!

That’s it for now! Take care and stay tuned, because more is coming from


Posted Nov 18, 2010, 6:34 pm
Hi Mum,

on our way back from the conference we stopped at the Veveri castle. It is veeery old one and you can find it near Brno city. This castle is from 13th century and the whole complex is in reconstruction.

I must not forget the name of this castle is Veveri - in english it means something like a "squirrel castle". Funny, isn´t it?

We checked it out from the outside. I wanted to fly over it and see the inside too, but my host daddy didn´t let me. He said that the squirrels are veeery dangerous in this area and that they could catch me... hmmm, scary.  :o

Bye for now, Thiele

Posted Dec 18, 2010, 3:06 pm
Hi Mum, sorry for the delay with updates. My host mum had sick eye, so she couldn´t use the computer much.
But now it is time to catch up… so get ready, I have two lovely updates for you.

This one is from our trip to Rajec Castle. This castle is from 18th century and it is very popular place for weddings, concerts and such.

Looks nice, but it must be much more pleasant in summer =)

Here is the entrance…

And here is the castle itself.

Yours, Thiele

Posted Dec 18, 2010, 3:14 pm
Hello again!

Couple weeks ago my host dad had some business to do in the city called Olomouc.
So we decided to come along… the weather was really ugly with loads of rain and wind, so we couldn´t do much sightseeing. But still it was a good time.

After the meeting we went for a lunch. There is a nice restaurant at the top of highest Olomouc building.
This is it.

Here we are in the restaurant, waiting for the meal and enjoying beer  :cyclops:

And this is the view…

And the square in front of the restaurant.

We also did some shopping and stopped by in a nice café… I had a lovely cappuccino – yummy!

I will write again soon, Thiele

Posted Dec 29, 2010, 8:06 pm
Hello again,

here is my Christmas Holiday report  :)

On 23rd December we went to Brno. It is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. We wanted to look at the traditional Christmas market there.

We saw big Christmas tree, wooden crib, a little bell – you are supposed to make a wish when ringing it.

We also came across this funny sculpture watch. Do not ask me, I have no idea how to read time on it…

Next day it was the 24th December (Christmas Eve for us, but they call it “the generous day“ here).
It is the main holiday day here in the Czech Republic. You are supposed to decorate the tree and prepare a magnificent dinner. After the dinner it is present-giving time.

So first we helped with the tree decorations… look.

And later we helped with cooking. The traditional dinner is a fish (mainly carp) and potato salad. We did the salad like this (watch and learn):  B)

First you have to cook potatoes, carrot and celery.

While we were cooking it, our host mum made a homemade mayonnaise.

Now, when the vegetable is cooked, you need to peel it and cut it on small pieces and put it into some bowl.

Add carrot and celery…

Add potatoes…

Add pickled pea and also pickled cucumbers.

Add two boiled eggs cut into pieces.

Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper…

After you mix it all together you are done. If it is too thick add some extra cucumber pickle water.

Now you leave it in a fridge (or just outside the house) for couple hours to cool down and you are ready to dig in.

Here I am getting ready for the dinner.

And finally present-giving time! We TV´s got this one all together. It was full of yummy sweets, mainly local ones that we had never seen before.

And here we are all together under the Christmas tree. It is nice to spend this special time with good friends!

Love, Thiele

Posted Jan 15, 2011, 8:24 pm
Dear Mum!

Sorry for the delay with updates, but we are veeery busy with school at the moment. Today I wanna show you just a few images we took on our walk to the Macocha Abyss.
My host mum and dad go there every 1st January and we decided to join them…
Because I already told you all about the abyss, just enjoy images this time =)

My next update will be from Russia, I can´t wait  B)

Love, Thiele

Posted Jan 30, 2011, 9:24 pm
Sorry for the delay, we were very busy this week)
Today I want to show you some photo of our walk in the centre of Moscow - Red Square
It was snowy and so enjoyable!

Posted Feb 1, 2011, 6:16 pm
Yesterday we were near the Bolishoy Theatre
and meet a great collection of russian toys - matreshkas)