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Be at the Olympics.

Go to Sydney Opera House.

Walk the Great Wall of China.

Go to Disney Land.

Go to a Superchick Concert.

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Travelog for: Annie

Avebury, England - 24th August 2009

By: Steve & Helly

Next we stopped at 'The Avenue', an avenue of standing stones which leads to Avebury Stone circle. We then drove through Avebury itself but couldn't stop as we needed to be getting on.


* Posted Sep 7, 2009, 8:19 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sawtry, England - 24th August 2009

By: Steve & Helly

Finally, after a three hour drive, we arrived at our hotel.
This is it.

I was really ready for a rest, so I settled down in this lovely chair. However, before I dozed off I thought I'd introduce you to Helly.


* Posted Sep 7, 2009, 8:25 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

St Ives, Cambridgeshire, England - 25th August 2009

By: Steve & Helly

We arrived at the English 2CV National at 10.00am.

Wow, I may be a glam chick but there were some pretty glam cars. We parked up in the 'overflow' field and it took us hours to walk around, not least because Steve & Helly kept bumping into people they knew.

Here are some of the cars we saw. Pierre was SO excited he could hardly contain himself.


* Posted Sep 7, 2009, 8:37 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Stans, Switzerland - 4th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

I arrived in Switzerland and was greeted with a snack of local products like Ovomaltine (a malt/chocolate like pwoder to dissolve in milk), mint sirup and local produce.
I had a quick look around the appartment. I had to check out some of the shoes...
anything decorative...
the means of relaxation...
and the bathroom.
I had a quick look at the neighborhood before retiring for an exhausting weekend ahead.

* Posted Sep 7, 2009, 3:59 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Niederrickenbach, Switzerland - 5th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

There was a big article in the newspaper about hiking in Switzerland and how it has become very popular again. Well, we agree. We drove to Niederrickenbach and took the cableway up to Maria-Rickenbach.
There's a monastery of Benedictine nuns up there which is a place of pilgrimage. No road leads up, so the mail, groceries etc. are also brought up by cableway.
Maria-Rickenbach is a bit above 1000m high. Our destination was the Brisenhaus at 1753m.

* Posted Sep 8, 2009, 7:19 am Last edited Sep 9, 2009, 12:25 pm by Apperveilchen [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mt. Brisen, Switzerland - 5th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

After walking a gravel road with some incline for a while, the way got really steep and was more a path through the cow pastures.
It got colder when we got closer to the tree border and the clouds were hanging low.
Up there behind me is the Brisenhaus. The way up there is scheduled for another 30min because it's so steep.
On the way back down we had a look at the garden of the monastery. It was beautiful, very peaceful and had a great view.

* Posted Sep 8, 2009, 7:42 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mts Walenstöcke, Switzerland - 10th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

We were off on another hike, taking advantage of the (still) good weather here in Central Switzerland. This time we took a small ropeway from Oberrickenbach to the Bannalp, Chrüzhütte and walked from there over mountains calles Walenstöcke to Engelberg. It's called the 'Walenpath'
Here they are:
Zoomed in, these made a very nice picture, the way they lay there like ying and yang or something similar.
I was fascinated by how nature worked those very artistic lines into the rock. The way was very steep in this part and the drop to the side was scary, I was happy to be carried. I thought it funny that my hosts walked to slowly, but they assure me that it's proper to walk slowly but steadily when hiking in the mountains. 

We still made very good time to the highest point of our hike where we broke for lunch. There at 1943m we had this view of Mt. Brisen, on the other side of which we walked last time.
The cows have a lot fo freedom here and even when it's nearly silent otherwise, there's the sound of a cowbell from somewhere.

And here I am looking out over Oberdorf.
The higher of these two outcrops was the highest point of our tour.

After 2 more hours of walking, first down and then up again (how annoying!), we thought we deserved a little rest with view of the Titlis glacier and Engelberg.
We enjoyed the barefoot path at Brunni and made the steep descent to Ristis, where we took a big cableway to Engelberg. We had to hurry to the station to catch out train back to the car.
The train switches to kind of a cog railway for the very steep passages. Here the paper travel tag came loose from my necklace. What shall I do about that?  We don't have many things here to make a good and sturdy traveltag.

* Posted Sep 11, 2009, 9:35 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Stans, Switzerland - 15th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

The weather turned were cloudy. We hardly get out of them at the moment and I have't seen the sun in quite a while. Work for my host has been really busy but today we need to go grocery shopping. We walked the short distance to the shop and carried back many bags. LOok at the different kinds of Swiss cheese we got. And none of them really have a lot of holes. I don't know where that saying came from.


* Posted Sep 18, 2009, 9:57 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Stans, Switzerland - 19th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

I woke up to another foggy day. Can you believe there's a big and normally very visible mountain there?

On Saturday mornings there's a small famer's market on the town square. We went there and could see the boyscouts and a few people of the guard all dressed up. It was quite busy.

After we were done with our shopping we went to Hergiswil to look at the glass ware that's produced there.
Directly at the lake there are some big properties atht we could barely see from the road.

We continued on the the supermarket...
and then to Lucerne.

* Posted Sep 21, 2009, 2:28 pm Last edited Sep 21, 2009, 2:38 pm by Apperveilchen [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Luzern, Switzerland - 19th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

Then we drove on to Luzern.We were fascinated by the many bicycles parked outside the main station. But traffic in Lucerne is bad and one needs private parking spaces when living there.

We made our way to the former bank building that now houses the Rosengart collection, a museum for Picasso, Klee and some other painters of the late 19th - early 20th century. (the building in the back, behind the IMPORT sign)

TVs weren't allowed inside but we took some pics with the information and postcards of some of the paitings later on:
A particular favourite of our host's is also Klee's drawing of 'The governess' previously entitled 'Das artige und das bösartige Kind' (The good and the mean child) seen on the lower left.

Here we are in front of the famous chapel bridge:
and the many swans.

And with some of the old houses along the Reuss river.
(the city hall)
(Gutsch castle in the background)
(the Jesuit church)

In the old town:

* Posted Sep 21, 2009, 2:59 pm Last edited Sep 21, 2009, 3:03 pm by Apperveilchen [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Stans, NW, Switzerland - 24th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

Happy Birthday!

It’s my birthday and nearly time for me to leave Switzerland, so I will take this chance to show you where and how I’ve been living.
This is where I arrived:

Nearly at the center of the town:

I like the gargoyles at the church and the colourful pictures on the church tower.

I have to go shopping for my birthday dinner. See how the leaves are starting to turn colors on the Bürgenstock?
At the supermarket there are these big baskets to return the plastic bottles to. Milk on the left, water and sodas on the right.
Here’s the entrance to big bread selection:
And this is only part of the chocolate isle, can you believe it?!
I got some hard caramel for my birthday and of course cheese. I like the Heidi cheese a lot. Can you see the one with the flowers in it? The white one is soft cheese filled with chilli from the Engelberg monastery. But my favourite is the cheese with walnuts.

In the evening my host had some blackforest cake (without cherries) for me and I got a candle for my first year as a toyvoyager. May there be many more!

* Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:08 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Stans, NW, Switzerland - 25th September 2009

By: Apperveilchen

Today I witnessed the Alpabzug(Swiss), Almabtrieb(German) from the window. This is where the cows are led from the mountain pastures to the barns in the valleys. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go down and see it from close-up. But you can see how the cows have extra big and festive bells, that don't allow them to eat and are decorated with flags of Switzerland and the cantons. Traditionally there are also flower-decorations on the cows.


* Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:29 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Okinawa, Japan - 18th December 2009

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
I was horribly horribly afraid that I was lost in the mail! It took so very, very, very long to arrive! Jayme said she was quite worried too. So it was with great happiness that she opened the envelope one day and found me! And I was very happy to find she found me while she was cooking, after being in my envelope for so long I was quite hungry! We backed many cookies!
Then we put most of the cookies in bags (we snuck a few that 'broke'). They are going to be stocking stuffers for the single Marines out here in Okinawa for them to take home after the Christmas party. You see, they're out here by themselves without their families so part of Jayme's job is to help them feel at the very least thought about and a little less lonely. Cookies always help with that, right?
We bagged up about 100 bags of cookies and candies!
Then we made some cakes as well, here I am with one of them.
After that we headed over to the party. Unfortunately it was quite rainy so we had to do everything inside. Because it was so busy we didn't get to bowl, but it was at the bowling alley. Here I am at the party.
And then we got to meet someone very special! Santa came to greet all the children, but he knows Jayme well so after he was through with the children he said he'd take a photo with all of us tvs! I was very happy to meet Santa.
I'm glad that I arrived in time for Christmas at least! I'm sure we'll have lots of fun, and I'm glad I'm not afraid I'm lost any longer! I'll write more to you soon mommy,

* Posted Dec 18, 2009, 2:20 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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, 9:35 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, 11:30 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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