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Travelog for: Thiele

Okinawa, Japan - 24th December 2009

By: JaymeC

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 26, 2009, 9:39 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 25th December 2009

By: JaymeC

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 Dec 31, 2009, 11:39 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 11th January 2010

By: JaymeC

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, 1:25 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 11th January 2010

By: JaymeC

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 11, 2010, 3:23 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 13th January 2010

By: JaymeC

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 Jan 13, 2010, 12:38 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 2nd February 2010

By: JaymeC

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, 12:10 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 2nd February 2010

By: JaymeC

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, 12:22 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 2nd February 2010

By: JaymeC

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 2, 2010, 12:30 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 10th February 2010

By: sararingham

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 Feb 10, 2010, 7:29 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Parkes, NSW, Australia - 19th February 2010

By: sararingham

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 Mar 27, 2010, 2:05 pm Last edited Mar 27, 2010, 2:05 pm by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 1st March 2010

By: sararingham

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 4, 2010, 2:30 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ho Man Tin, Hong Kong - 26th March 2010

By: tarepanda

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 26, 2010, 2:16 pm Last edited May 15, 2010, 9:49 pm by tarepanda [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mong Kok, Hong Kong - 27th March 2010

By: tarepanda

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, 12:10 am Last edited May 31, 2010, 2:42 am by tarepanda [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Central, Hong Kong - 28th March 2010

By: tarepanda

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, 1:27 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Macau, China - 28th March 2010

By: tarepanda

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 16, 2010, 3:56 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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