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Travelog for: Sully Monster

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 15th January 2008

By: sararingham

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

I hope to travel around the United States a bit and see some haunted areas and maybe even see Los Angeles and the Hollywood Walk of Fame! We can only hope, we can see where mom will send me! I have a few brothers that are going out into the wild too very soon. One of my brothers Jimbo Elephant had his first stop over in Hawaii today! How exciting. My brother Shaggy Bear is on his way tomorrow to Germany to be with anni. I'll be off tomorrow too, there's a lot of kisses and goodbyes, but I know my mom will keep me safe. :-)

That's a picture of me, but of course I'm going to love my photo taken anywhere I go and I hope my hosts will take lots of photos of me and update my blog heaps since I can't do it myself sadly! I wish I could though...

...and here's a picture with me and Shaggy Bear aren't we cute together?

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

* Posted Jan 15, 2008, 10:56 am Last edited Jun 8, 2008, 5:13 pm by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 19th January 2008

By: sararingham

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


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


Have a good and safe journey little Sully Monster.

* Posted Jan 18, 2008, 3:57 pm Last edited Jun 8, 2008, 5:13 pm by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 26th January 2008

By: masucci

Hi Mom!

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


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


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

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


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


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


* Posted Jan 27, 2008, 2:29 am Last edited Jan 27, 2008, 2:34 am by masucci [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 29th January 2008

By: masucci

Melissa had big plans for the last couple days.  Sight-seeing, checking out the snow statues, being out in the wintery weather.

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


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

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

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


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

* Posted Jan 29, 2008, 6:57 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 31st January 2008

By: masucci

We got a new visitor today!

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


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

* Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:39 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 31st January 2008

By: masucci

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


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




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

* Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:46 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 2nd February 2008

By: masucci

Just a small update to show you the town Melissa lives in.


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


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

* Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:52 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

We got another new visitor today!  Just in time to go see the snow statues this afternoon.

That's Little Teddy, Weasley, me, and our new friend Winnie the Pooh!

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

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 6:16 pm Last edited Feb 11, 2008, 6:17 pm by masucci [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First the big month-long ones:

King Kong fighting a monster!

Oh yeah, the theme was Frightful Creatures with Chilling Features...

The Abominable Snowman!

The Ghostbusters fighting the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

More coming in the next post!

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 7:43 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

Melissa really liked this one.  It's a bunch of different monsters wreaking havoc on models of all the campus buildings.  Like there's Godzilla in something called the "Chem Sci".

One of the Sororities made a monster out of a can of Monster energy drink!  :D

The gay pride group paid homage to me!

This is the monster from "Tremors".  The description says something about not eating Kevin Bacon - lol!

This is of Frankenstein and Frankenstein's monster.  This was the winner in the "Women's Groups/Sororities" category.

More coming soon!

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 8:03 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

This is the Kracken destroying a ship like in Pirates of the Caribbean!

T-Rex from Jurassic Park

This is one of Melissa's favorites.  It's of demons haunting a child's bedroom.  Look in the last photo at the ice rocking horse!  Wow!


From the children's book "Where the Wild Things Are"

This one was the winner in the "Men's Groups/Fraternities" category.  It's of Van Helsing killing vampires.  It's so amazingly detailed that even all the photos Melissa took can't even begin to show it all.

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

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 8:30 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

Come to find out, Melissa just realized she didn't take many photos of the one-night statues.  They're not as nice as the month-long ones, as a whole, as you can imagine.  But here are a few of the ones we liked:

Trogdor from Homestarrunner.com
Melissa squealed when she saw this and her mom, who was with us, looked at her like she was nuts.  She doesn't get the reference. :(
They won first place in their group (on-campus residents).

The Grim Reaper, made by a group of Lutheran students.  Ironic? ;)

A smaller version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man


This is a monster rock band, made by a music fraternity that Melissa is a member of.  They won first place in their group (campus organizations).

This is a couple teams playing broomball, so you can see what that's like.  It's a BIG deal here, almost a third of the student body participates.

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

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 11:08 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 14th February 2008

By: masucci

Happy Valentine's Day, mommy!


I hope you had a wonderful day!

Love and miss you,

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

* Posted Feb 16, 2008, 1:38 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 17th February 2008

By: masucci

The town of Hancock, MI has a very strong Finnish Heritage. 

We found a little information about it on Hancock's website, if you would like to see it, here: http://www.cityofhancock.com/cityinfo.html

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

There's a small park on the waterfront called "Porvoo Park" in honor of this sister city relationship.  It overlooks the city of Houghton, across the Portage Canal, and gives a good place to take a photo of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.

You can't see much due to the snow, but in the summer there's a boardwalk along the water, lots of picnic tables, and there's a set of condos to the right.

To the left is the bridge:

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

There's a little information about it, if you're interested, here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage_Lake_Lift_Bridge

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

* Posted Feb 21, 2008, 2:11 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Hancock, MI, USA - 20th February 2008

By: masucci

This is a kind of funny place that we went to.

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

It 'measures' the current and previous year's snowfalls against the record snowfall for this area.  I'll show you... :)

Here I am being held up against it, because the snow banks on the side of the road were too deep to get much closer.  Melissa hoped she could put me next to it so you could see how big it is.  Let's just say when it says "390.4 inches", it means it!

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

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

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

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

* Posted Feb 26, 2008, 11:54 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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