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Watch a real soccer (football) game.
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Visit lots of historic places.
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Go to Japan and see some cosplayers.
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Storm a castle.
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Learn about the culture of many places.
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Travelog for: Weasley

Vienna, West Virginia, USA - 25th January 2008

By: MissMelissa

I woke up this morning and was shocked to find yet another little alien hanging out at my house.

Don't look now, Davey, but there's one right behind you!



This little alien introduced himselfAuggie'scousin, Weasley. Apparently, Harry Potter fever has struck his home planet as Netflix has finally started shipping there. This struck me as a little odd, but believable. After reading the entire dictionary in 22 minutes, he told me he was ready to set out on his journey in excellent English.

He is to live with Zachary, 13,  after gaining all the worldly knowledge that he could. Then he said he was sleepy and was going to nap in the Regeneration Pod. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was a colander.


ON MY WAY TO MICHIGAN!

Here is my travel itinerary so far:

masucci- Michigan (ARRIVED, LEFT, HAD A GREAT TIME!)
Yumi-Japan(WILL BE VISITING LATER)
Moshua-India (ARRIVED!)
Annbear-Switzerland

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* Posted Jan 25, 2008, 5:06 pm Last edited Jun 7, 2008, 5:01 pm by MissMelissa [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 31st January 2008

By: masucci

Hi Mom!

I made it to the USA today - my new host Melissa was very excited to greet me.

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:

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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:

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It was so cool to meet another alien!

And I met Little Teddy, and Sully Monster, who both arrived last week.  They were scared of me at first, since I'm alien.  But now we're fine.  We're going get along great!

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Look!  They have a Weasley-size Christmas tree!

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* Posted Feb 5, 2008, 9:07 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.

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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!

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Peekaboo!

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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, 9:11 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.

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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.

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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, 9:12 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.

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That's Little Teddy, me, Sully Monster, 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, 6:18 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

Wow!

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:

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King Kong fighting a monster!

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

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The Abominable Snowman!

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The Ghostbusters fighting the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

More coming in the next post!

* Posted Feb 11, 2008, 7:44 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

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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".

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

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The gay pride group paid homage to Sully Monster!

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

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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, 8:04 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 7th February 2008

By: masucci

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

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T-Rex from Jurassic Park

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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!

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Godzilla!

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

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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, 8:31 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:

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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).

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

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A smaller version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

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Beowulf

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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).

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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, 11:11 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!

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I hope you had a wonderful day back home!

Miss you,
Weasley

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

* Posted Feb 16, 2008, 1:40 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.

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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:
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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, 2:08 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... :)

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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:
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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, 11:56 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 21st February 2008

By: masucci

We went camping!

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Well, since it's so cold outside (it's still be pretty consistently below 0 degrees F everyday) we went camping indoors.  But we still had a lot of fun.

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Peekaboo!  Look at our tent, perfect size for us TVs!

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Here are all of us posing outside.  There was also another tent that we could put a picnic table under to have lunch.  Unfortunately, Melissa couldn't find a TV-sized picnic table.  That's okay though, we sat underneath the tent and ate lunch and enjoyed ourselves anyway.

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I call this shot "Happy Campers"!

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

Miss you!

* Posted Feb 28, 2008, 1:04 pm Last edited Feb 28, 2008, 1:05 pm by masucci [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 25th February 2008

By: masucci

Today is Sully Monster's last day with Melissa.  He is going to another part of Michigan to visit a new host.

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We visited Melissa's mom today, who has a new St. Bernard Puppy, named "Moose".

Don't worry, he snuffed us a little bit to make sure we weren't dangerous and then Melissa made sure we were safe.  He sure is big, and he's just a puppy!

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We all had a little pow-wow and said our goodbyes.  I'm going to miss my friend, but I'm excited that he gets to see more of the world.

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A couple final group shots.  *tear*

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And off he goes.  He's going to have a blast.  Melissa was his very first host.

* Posted Feb 29, 2008, 7:55 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Hancock, MI, USA - 25th February 2008

By: masucci

Yesterday Sully Monster left us and today we got a new visitor, [url]= h t t p : / / w w w . t o y v o y a g e r s . c o m / i n d e x . p h p ? a = t o p i c & t = 1 0 1 6 0 0 & s u b m i t = G o ] A r c h i b a l d[/url].

Today we made Broccoli-Cheese soup with Melissa.  Usually she makes everything from scratch but today we just made it from a "kit" because she's been so busy she doesn't have a lot of time.

http://www.toyvoyagers.com/index.php?a=topic&t=101600&submit=Go

But we tweaked the kit to make it taste really awesome so it's okay. :)

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Melissa says not to worry, that none of us got close enough to the heat to get burned or anything.  It was yummy, and a great way to meet our new friend!

* Posted Mar 27, 2008, 5:21 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


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