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Travelog for: Atta

Graz, Austria - 11th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Brrrr....it's getting winter here! The days are getting shorter and it is also getting dark earlier. We enjoy our time inside where it is warm and snuggle up with a cup of tea and a blanket!

And one day, we even had the first snow this autumn/winter. It was quite heavy and for a few minutes everything was white. But soon the snow melted away.

I'm waitng for the first big snow here so we can have a snowball fight or build a snowman!

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* Posted Nov 11, 2009, 12:52 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 16th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Today we went shopping. My host mom is a bit unlucky with electronical things lately, first the computer, now the cell phone. So we went to the city center and looked for a new phone. We finally agreed on a phone and when we returned home, we toyvoyagers had to explain the phone to our host mom... she is not really friends with her new phone yet  :rolleyes: .... but we're proud of her when she manages to take a call  ;)

We also bought some baby clothes because a friend of our host mom just had a baby boy. We tried the clothes on and we found out that we are even smaller than newborns!
That was fun.

Maybe I'll get such a cap and some gloves for Christmas! B)

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* Posted Nov 23, 2009, 12:48 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 26th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

In preparation for the upcoming Christmas Time - here in Austria they call this time "Advent" - we did some cleaning!
First we loaded the washing machine, put in some washing powder or more a liquid. We even wanted a turn in the machine, but our host mom told us that it would be too dangerous for us... So we just sat there and watched the clothes turning!

Then we went in the kitchen to load and unload the dish washer. After having cleaned the kitchen we went on to the living room and used a glass cleaner to clean the glass table there and last but not least we took a tour on the hoover!

When everything was clean we did a little nap on the couch!
I think we were good TVs today, kind of Santa's little helper  ;)

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* Posted Nov 28, 2009, 8:11 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 27th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

We met another TV today. It's a travelling polar bear. His name is Papelbon.

We were really happy about the arrival of a new friend and he told us about his adventures and we had a chat about the different countries we have visited and the different host parents.

In the afternoon we did some baking. My host mom loves to bake, so we helped and tried a new recipe. It was for an Italian cake, called Panettone. It's made of a yeast-dough and takes a lot of time as it has to rise two times before baking!

But it was worth waiting... the small cakes were really delicious! Most of the cakes were a present for my host-mom's step-mom, but there were enough left for us TVs too. Yummi  :p

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* Posted Nov 28, 2009, 8:37 pm Last edited Nov 28, 2009, 8:39 pm by marcie08 [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 28th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

It was such a nice day today, so we decided to go to the Stadtpark. That's a huge park in the city with lots of old trees and benches where you can relax, where kids and also older kids  ;) play sports in the summer.

Now there are small mountains of leaves everywhere and we really wanted to jump right in. But there were the gardeners there and I'm sure they wouldn't have appreciated it.

And there's something else in this park: There are so many squirrels jumping around there, searching for nuts! They are called "Hansi" here in Graz. I don't know why and my host mom doesn't either. But she told me, that they have always been called that and nobody really know why anymore....

You have to look carefully at the pictures so you can see the sqirrels there. I marked them in a few pictures (the pics are black and white and the squirrel is colored.)

They were sooooo cute  :D


* Posted Dec 2, 2009, 3:09 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 29th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Another TV arrived today! It's a Canadian eagle- he even has a maple-leaf on his foot! He brought us chocolate and a cute TV-calendar-postcard!

He arrived just in time for some decorating for Christmas! Here in Austria they have a tradition: They have a special wreath here, called Advent-Kranz in German. It has 4 candles on it, one for each Advent-Sonntag (Advent-Sundays)- that are the Sundays before Christmas! You can see me decorating! We put the candles on the wreath and then some bows- they have moose on it!

That was fun!


* Posted Dec 6, 2009, 7:59 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 30th November 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

We started baking cookies today!

First we made a shortcrust dough! It had to rest then for a while. After resting we took the rolling pin to make the dough really thin. With a cookie cutter we made some small boots- these will be some delicious cookies!
While they were in the oven we made the dough for some macaroons. It was really tasty! We were even allowed to try it!

We also made other cookies called "Florentiner". I guess they are named after the city of Florence, Italy. They are made of dried and candied fruit, with almonds and honey. Then you dry it in the oven.

Phew- it was really hard work!


* Posted Dec 9, 2009, 8:13 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 2nd December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Today we continued with the baking! We wanted to frost some of the cookies, so we had to cut the chocolate first and let it melt over a bowl filled with hot water. When the chocolate was molten, we let it cool a bit and then dipped the cookies in the chocolate. We let it dry on a baking sheet.

We then made two kinds of macaroons: with chocolate and with chocolate and almonds. The chocolate ones were sprinkled with cocoa, those with almonds drizzled with molten chocolate and almond slivers.

We went on with decorating the small boots we had baked two days ago: We frosted them with white and red icing.

Finally we took the Linzer cookies and filled them with apricot jam!

I cant wait to taste them!  B)


* Posted Dec 14, 2009, 8:16 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 6th December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Today my host mom's and host dad's families were invited for an afternoon of cookies and tea! Because it was also the 6th of december, we have been visited by St. Nicholas who puts presents in the boots of good children. Sometimes he also comes personally, especially to small kids, with a huge bag full of presents and his huge golden book, where he can find all the information about a special child for exampel that it has been good in school or that it doesn't follow all the rules... then the kids promise to do better next year and get the presents. In the old days they were given oranges and tangerines, apples, dried fruit and peanuts. Today it's also chocolate, toys... Very traditional presents are also underwear and socks, but kids don't like to get practical stuff!
Kids that havent been good are visited by the Krampus, a very unkind creature with lots of fur and some birch and some chains...see here for more information on the Krampus.

Of course we all have been good, so we found some goodies in our host mom's boots. There were also present for our host dad: some traditional boxers  :rolleyes:


* Posted Dec 19, 2009, 3:18 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 14th December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Look at all the holiday decorations:

A huge moose - that's so cute! And of course a mistletoe above the door! And some Christmas ornaments in a huge glass.

Then we did something really traditional during the wintertime in Austria: We watched skiing! Skiing is really popular here and the Austrians have a really good ski-team  :)

In the late afternoon we went to the city center and looked at the decorations and the Christmas markets there!

I'm enjoying this Christmas time here!


* Posted Dec 21, 2009, 9:51 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Schladming, Austria - 19th December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Today my host mom surprised us and told us that we were going to Schladming, a town in Upper Styria, in the mountains. So we packed our bags and skis and the skigear and went to Schladming.

It was pretty cold there - -15°C - but a beautiful snowy landscape! My host mom tooks us with her to the skislopes and we went up the mountains with a cable car and some chair-lifts! We lookes at the map to decide which slope to take!

We also went to a skihut-restaurant to warm ourselves up and eat something. Usually it's "Gröstl", that's a dish made of roasted potatoes and noodles, sometimes also with dumplings and sausages, or meat. (See picture here.)

In the evening we watched a ski race held by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. It was a realty tv show, where Austrian celebrities learned how to race. The celebrities raced together in a team with a former Austrian professional skier, like Franz Klammer, Stephan Eberharter or Fritz Strobl.

Skiing was really fun!


* Posted Dec 26, 2009, 8:48 pm Last edited Jan 8, 2010, 12:29 pm by marcie08 [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Graz, Austria - 24th December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Today we are celebrating Christmas! So my fellow TV-friends and I wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas (though it is for you the day after tomorrow if I'm right?).

Here in Austria they wish "Frohe Weihnachten"  :rolleyes:

The presents are brought here by the Christkind, which is kind of an angel who flies up in the sky! You have to write a letter with your wishes to the Christkind and put it at the window in december. The Christkind gets the letter while you are sleeping and it brings the presents to the good children (the younger and older ones) in the afternoon on Dec. 24th. It also brings the Christmas tree. Normally it rings a small bell as soon as it has finished decorating the tree. Then you are allowed to enter the room. But of course, the Christmas is no longer in the room but has flown on to the other children!

We looked at the tree with the candles and then we had a delicious meal. And of course we got presents!

Oh, and do not worry Mom, I'm still more than welcome here and I can stay as long as I want to!


* Posted Dec 24, 2009, 8:53 pm Last edited Jan 8, 2010, 12:30 pm by marcie08 [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

London, Great Britain - 30th December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

We flew to London to celebrate the New Year there!
We took the Heathrow Express from the airport to the city center and then traveled on to our hotel, which was right next to St. Paul's Cathedral. In the afternoon we went to the London Eye. Unfortunately is was raining cats and dogs, a really typical British weather and it was pretty cold, too! The pictures were unfortunately too dark, so you can't see me inside the Eye.  :(
My host-mom bought a London-Eye-bear and we TVs chatted with him. He won't become a TV but will stay with my host-mom's stepmom.

Puh, what a day! Time to go to bed! Tomorrow is new year's eve and we want to celebrate!


* Posted Jan 7, 2010, 3:40 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

London, Great Britain - 31st December 2009

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

After a quick coffee and a pain au chocolat we started our sightseeing-tour!
We first went to a monument for the big fire in London in the past and walked through the streets of London. We saw a traditional English pub. Then we went to the Tower and the Tower Bridge. It was pretty cold again today, but despite the cold there were so many people out there sightseeing!
Of course we also did a little shopping at Harrod's!

Then we prepared for the evening ahead!
We walked to the Thames and the fireworks viewing areas there. There were so many people, but we managed to get a nice place on a bridge. Then we had to wait for the Big Ben to strike midnight. To keep ourselves warm, we danced to the music. Finally we heard the clock strike and then everybody started counting: 10, 9, 8,, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
People started wishing each other a happy new year and started ooohing and aahhing over the fireworks. They really were great. Maybe you have seen them on tv? And then all the English speaking started singing: \"Auld Lang Syne\". My host mom knew the song as there is also a German version, but she didn't know the English words. But she said that she has regognized the song from "Happy new year, Charlie Brown".

When the fireworks had ended, we went back to the hotel and had a drink in the bar there!

Hope you had a great New Year's Eve, too!


* Posted Jan 7, 2010, 4:36 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

London, Great Britain - 1st January 2010

By: marcie08

Hi Mom!

Today we started with a lazy breakfast in bed - delivered by the roomservice! And we were quite hungry from all the oohhhing and aahhing yesterday  :rolleyes:
While having breakfast we wtached the Vienna New Year's Concert which is broadcastet from Vienna to many many countries all over the world. My host mom told me that it's very traditional in Austria to watch the New Year's Concert on tv while having a late breakfast! As Mom also missed the Viennese Waltz at midnight - which is another very traditional thing to do in Austria - we waltzed together when the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra played a waltz. But, no photos of that...I guess my feet aren't made for dancing...

We then took the underground to the Houses of Parliament and walked around in that area. We also went to the Buckingham Palace, but we haven't seen HM the Queen. But we saw one of her guards, with his cool felt-hat!

In the afternoon we went back to our hotel and then visited St. Paul's Cathedral! We went up so many stairs which have been old and uneven and kind of slippery sometimes but finally we had reached the platform and were able to have a look over the city!

I have to say, I really liked London. Maybe I'll come back for a visit some day....


* Posted Jan 8, 2010, 12:26 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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