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Life Missions

(1 out of 5 complete)

Find mushrooms in 3 countries. (1/3)

Lie on the 5 different beaches. (2/5)

Sit in front of 7 different fountains. (3/7)

Make 3 trips on boats. (0/3)

Meet another crab on her trip.

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Travelog for: BineHH

East Lansing, MI, USA - 20th August 2011

By: kessalia

Mel only does one or two BBQ gigs with her dad per year now, but he only calls her in when it's a BIG gig.  So we all got up way way to early and drove all the way to East Lansing, near the state capital.  We didn't get to sight see though, because we got right to work!

Well, the people got to work.  We mostly just sat and watched.  ;)

There wasn't a lot to do while the smoker was warming up, but we couldn't go far because we were in charge of watching the fire to make sure it stayed hot enough, but not too hot!  We took turns watching the thermometer and called Mel if it needed more wood.


The smoker is big, but there are a lot bigger ones out there. We filled it all the way up and could have used more room!


We cooked baked potatoes, ribs, baked beans, chicken, and pulled pork.  Poor Einstein, Mel had forgotten to warn him!  He spent most of the day in the truck.  All of us were working so hard we didn't remember to eat anything!  Though we did snack on Mel's bag of chips while we all sat in the truck during the BIG storm that blew through!  Mel had to stay outside and keep cooking but she made sure we were safe.

At the end the sun came back out and the sponsor wanted some photos, so here Mel posed with the guy who provided the sauces, and her dad.  And some of the trophies they have won for their cooking!


Check out this funny one Dad just won in Texas this spring!  It looks like a TV sized outhouse!  :p


* Posted Aug 26, 2011, 3:30 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jackson, MI, USA - 28th August 2011

By: kessalia

Hello!  This weekend Mel used her one day off to take us to a Civil War muster in Jackson, Michigan!  The American Civil War started 150 years ago. 

We wandered through some shops which had historical costume supplies and other interesting things.  The boys were talking about uniforms while us girls admired the hoop skirts and hats.  We took a break at a lovely flower bed while they were admiring guns an knives.  Boys.


We also saw some of the security for the event, sheriff deputies on horses, to fit with the theme!


The big event of the day was a reenactment of the Battle of Bethel Church which happened in Virginia in June of 1861. 

The Union troops lined up right in front of us! 


Then they marched over the hill to attack the southern troops.  There were canons also, that were really loud.


We missed a lot of the battle because it happened over that hill, but all of the good seats were taken.  :(

The Union troops were attacking a fortified Rebel position with half as many men.


Despite having the advantage of numbers, the Union ended up having to retreat, mostly because of confusion between units, it seems.  At one point in the real battle, some of the Union troops were shooting at each other!


Here the Union is trying to regroup for one last charge, but it didn't succeed and they retreated all the way back to the city. The Rebels only lost one soldier in the fight.


On the way out, Mel walked over to another part of the park to see if the big fountain was running for me, but it wasn't.  :(  But we did find a 9-11 memorial with an actual part of one of the World Trade Center buildings.  We decided it would be a good place for group shot!



* Posted Aug 29, 2011, 5:05 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Grand Haven, MI, USA - 1st September 2011

By: kessalia

Hello again!  :D  Yesterday Mel was at the post office with me, she had her hand on the door, when she decided that she just could not let me leave without seeing the WORLD'S LARGEST Musical Fountain for my life goal!  So I got delayed one more day, but it was worth it. 

So instead of the post office, we went to the beach.  I got to play in the sand while all of the kids played in the big waves! 


I am an expert burrower, as a crab... 


It was a lovely day, but windy!  Sand got EVERYWHERE! 

We went to drop off the library books we'd checked out after the Pirate Festival, and then went home to kill some time waiting for it to get dark enough.  Then we all hopped into Mel's carry bag and off we went to downtown! 

We found a good seat in a small gazebo and waited.  It didn't look like we were doing much at all except for watching boats go by in the river.  Then there was a voice!  It was the fountain itself, it said, and it told us hello.  Then music started, and lights came up.  It was pretty!


The water shoots high in the air, and even moves around and 'dances', though you can't see that from the still photos.  The lights constantly change color, all in time to the music.


Lat night was a 'best of..." night so they played a big variety - from David Bowie to a classical piece to Phantom of the Opera to Lady Gaga!


I had trouble seeing at first but Vanilla offered me the best seat around, on herself. She's a good friend! 


I think this is the best picture of the fountain and shows better how big it is.  But I am blurry in it.  Silly camera.  Mel says her great grandfather invented and built the original pipes for the 'peacock' in the middle, which is one of the most popular features!

After a good nights sleep, Mel let me pick out my own travel envelope and off we went to the post office for real this time!  I picked a pretty pink one!  I think Gizalba and the toys with her will like it!  I hope I will see them all soon!

* Posted Sep 2, 2011, 8:34 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Croft, Warrington, England - 14th September 2011

By: Gizalba

Hi Mum and Mel! :D I'm here!

I heard some discussion going on outside of my envelope, and I heard a birdy voice say 'I recognise this writing!' I guessed that it would be Buzz, and sure enough his was one of the faces that appeared. It was rather intimidating to be stared at like that, but Buzz dragged my safety bag out and then I could introduce myself. My relative Michel is here! :) I jumped up to show my affection and everyone laughed that he looked like he was being attacked by a crab :p I also managed to create a scary crab shadow by sitting on his head.

Buzz was very chuffed with the bird picture on the card, and even more impressed by the drawings! Edelweiss, Michel and Pengy were really happy that their pictures are on the card too :D I have included a close up so you can see it properly (technically I still feature on that photo, just I am in pencil form B))

I had also brought them some nerd sweets, Edelweiss liked the packet because it had her colour on. Buzz and I found them very tasty.

I can't wait to explore this new place Mum!

NOTE: My new host helped me to edit the envelope pic to hide the addresses (she couldn't figure out how to 'blur'), it is a bit messy but at least you can see the pretty butterfly :D

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* Posted Sep 15, 2011, 10:51 pm Last edited Sep 15, 2011, 10:57 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Pier Head & Albert Dock, Liverpool, England - 20th September 2011

By: Gizalba

Today I got to go on a trip! :) But when we got there we realised there was someone missing... :o Edelweiss! There was a moth whizzing around the other day and since Edel is made of wool she had crawled into her plastic bag with the cedar wood for safety. When my host scooped us all off the shelf in a rush this morning, Edel was still in her bag on the other shelf! :( So sad. But when we got back she said she'd had a nice rest, and was happy to see our photos :)

It was a day of typical English whether; dull sky and the constant threat of rain. We made our way past St George's Hall (the one with all the collumns) and through St John's gardens. These are part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO world heritage site (gosh what a mouth full!), along with Pier Head and Albert Dock which we are making our way towards.

We found a statue with people in chains and the words 'England expects every man to do his duty'  :stare: We didn't have time to look at what the surrounding buildings where, but perhaps it was to do with the courts...

We reached Pier Head where the Royal Liver Building is. This is the main landmark in Liverpool and according to legend if the birds on top fly away, the city will no longer exist :p Michel, Pengy and Buzz Bluejay said they'd viewed the top of this building from the other side of the city when they visited the cathedral a few days before I arrived.

We wandered along a bit more to reach Albert Dock, where The Beatles music band museum is. THEN... we saw the Yellow Duck Marine! :D It is a site-seeing bus/boat created due to The Beatles 'Yellow submarine' song. It tours the main sights on land, then splashes into the river and turns into a boat. We heard the driver saying in a strong scouse accent 'The louder you scream, the bigger the splash!' LOL. Buzz, Michel, Pengy and I started singing 'we all live in a yellow submarine... a yellow submarine... a yellow submarine...' Because we're cool B) We got so carried away singing we didn't get the big splash on camera, but I have included one of Michel's pictures he snapped just before it sailed out of site.

Next we spotted some Superlambanana decendants :cyclops: The original one was much bigger and bright yellow, as you would imagine a bannana would be ;) It was created for Liverpool due to its history of bananas and lambs being common cargo at the docks, and also to make a point about the dangers of genetic engineering. In 2008 125 small replicas were made, with lots of different designs and scattered throughout the city. The superlambananas you can see me with are part of a collection of 8 new ones which arrived in 2010. As you can see, my favourite is the underwater one! Can you spot me?! ;) I went a bit overboard trying to get a picture of it from all different angles!

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* Posted Sep 20, 2011, 9:11 pm Last edited Sep 20, 2011, 9:40 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cheadle and Winwick, England - 12th October 2011

By: Gizalba

Hello mum! I'm still here :) Sorry I haven't updated in a while.

The first pics below are of a nice island-type thing with ducks and geese and swans on, in the middle of a business park at sunset. Usually business parks are horrible to look at, but we thought using the water to attract natural wildlife was a good planning idea. This was in Cheadle, Manchester.

The second pictures are of a church in the next village along from my host's home village. It was the end of a lovely hot day which felt like summer. The weather was quite strange for the beginning of October, but we weren't complaining.

Can you see me waving next to the church?! ;) There aren't many pictures as on one day the camera battery died, and on the other we were in a rush, but I hope you like the few we did take. My host forgot to take one of me and the church clock, but you can see it on Buzz Bluejay's blog if you wish.

Love BineHH

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* Posted Oct 14, 2011, 9:33 pm Last edited Oct 14, 2011, 9:41 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

North West to North East, England - 13th October 2011

By: Gizalba

A few weeks ago we all got packed into a bag, ready to travel to my host's term-time home in Durham, North-east England. It was very exciting! 

The hills were covered in fog floating above, but it was still nice to watch the landscape through the car window.

We then stopped off at a service station for a break. Unlike the rather dull motorway stations this was a friendly country one with farm animals. Just as we were leaving we looked across at the cows and then stared :stare: Buzz said 'is that a deformed cow?!' Pinky Bear exclaimed 'That cows got humps!' then I shouted 'That cow's a CAMEL!' :O Ahahaha. So funny. It was extremely windy so much so that my host had to try several times to get the camera still, but we were determined to get the random field camel on camera :D My host had never seen a Camel in a field before. In England we usually only see Camels in zoos!

I don't think Mr Camel was aware that he was not a cow :P He was on the other side of the field though so I have added a really zoomed in pictures for you to see :)


* Posted Oct 15, 2011, 7:21 pm Last edited Oct 15, 2011, 7:22 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Durham, England - 15th October 2011

By: Gizalba

So, on the 3rd of October (quite in the past now!), we arrived in the university Halls of residence. On another day there was a double rainbow! We rushed over to climb onto the windowsill, but sadly it was fading quickly :( I don't know if you can see the remains of one of them just above the roof on the opposite building?

I went for a personal wander out of the room to snoop at the kitchen, and look out of a window on the staircase. The others are going to come on an exploration of the building with me on another day, maybe early morning so that other students don't wonder why there are toys climbing up and down the strairs ;)

The end pic is of our new Toyvoyager accommodation :p The shelf is very much like the one back at my host's home, only this one is more spacious so we can all fit on :)

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* Posted Oct 15, 2011, 9:32 pm Last edited Oct 15, 2011, 9:39 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Durham, England - 22nd October 2011

By: Gizalba

Helloo mum!

Every saturday now, a private tutor comes to teach my host statistics (because she really fails at understanding anything to do with numbers!). Anyway, that is rather dull, but the room where she is tutored is really pretty, so last Saturday we took some photos. It is in the building where my host lives, but all sorts of people book it. Today we couldn't go in as there was a wedding! :) 

We had a bit of a chuckle about the bum on the wall :D My host said it was artistic but we just thought it was funny! :p

I'm not sure if TVs are allowed to take photos of the room... but we didn't touch anything ;) It was such a beautiful morning with the light beaming in through the windows.

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* Posted Oct 29, 2011, 4:03 pm Last edited Oct 29, 2011, 4:07 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Durham City, England - 30th October 2011

By: Gizalba

Today we had a quick trip to town to get some shopping essentials. We visited the town centre with these pretty statues. The second one is Neptune I think, he looked very superior with his Trident :)  Due to the clocks moving back it seemed to get dark extremely quickly!

On the way back along the river we took a nice picture where you can see the small crescent moon. Can you spot it?!

Ten minutes later we reached my host's college, but it was so dark by this time that I kept coming out completely white when we tried using a flash! I turned into a ghost :D For the best effect I had to remove myself from the picture :o I wanted to include this pic though as we thought it looked rather eerie, the night before Halloween!

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* Posted Oct 30, 2011, 9:38 pm Last edited Oct 30, 2011, 9:56 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

College in Durham, England - 1st November 2011

By: Gizalba


*Disclaimer: All amazing decorations were designed and created by the corridor below, not my host!*

We got an exclusive preview before the guests started arriving, to avoid getting crushed or damaged by alcohol ;)

We first entered Willy Wonka's corridor of sweets, and I tried to grab a lolly pop. There was also a Pinata who we wanted to make friends with, but we decided not to talk it because otherwise we would be too sad that it got smashed later. My host felt quite traumatized to watch this happen 

The games room was next, with the notorious Jenga blocks which had dares on B)

JUNGLE! This room was awesome, although not so fun to clean up the next morning  (my host went to help with the clean-up as the party creators had put so much effort in).

There was also a Halloween room but sadly the owner of the room hadn't opened it to tourists yet and may not have been too pleased with TVs banging on the door :p My host said it was pretty cool with lots of cobwebs, spiders, a pumpkin and apple bobbing as punishment for those who had not arrived in fancy dress! (The dress code was tribal)

P.s. Sorry that I am a bit white on some of these pictures, my host isn't great at using her camera so it's a bit hit and miss as to whether the flash makes me pale or not!

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* Posted Nov 8, 2011, 5:41 pm Last edited Nov 8, 2011, 6:06 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Durham, England - 3rd November 2011

By: Gizalba

Sorry these pics are late mum, but this was my departure from Durham. The night before I went to look at the evening sky through the kitchen window. Unlike last time I looked it wasn't raining so we could open it to get a better view. There is also a pic of me outside of the shower rooms further along the corridor... because showers are really interesting :p

In the morning Boris Tonks was leaving at the same time as me, to set off on his very first adventure! I wished him luck, and I think it comforted him that I would be next to him in the bag until we reached the post-office. Then we called goodbye through the packages as we went our separate ways. I wonder if any of the humans at the postoffice were alarmed by the parcels speaking?

I do hope Boris arrives in the USA okay.

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* Posted Nov 12, 2011, 5:47 pm Last edited Nov 12, 2011, 5:52 pm by Gizalba [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dortmund, Germany - 8th November 2011

By: dragonfly

Hi Mummy!
Today I arrived at Germany! I hope I have a great time here!


* Posted Nov 8, 2011, 7:41 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dortmund, Germany - 10th November 2011

By: dragonfly

This evening me and Calliope  have cook for all! :D


* Posted Nov 10, 2011, 9:05 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dortmund, Germany - 16th December 2011

By: dragonfly

Hi Mummy! Today we was in the Westfalen Park. There are in winter many lights when its go dark. It was really beautiful...












* Posted Dec 16, 2011, 8:25 am Last edited Jan 1, 2012, 7:33 pm by dragonfly [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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