Travel Classroom

Welcome 1st and 2nd graders! Henry is in 1st grade and Oliver is in 2nd grade and both are looking forward to participating in school activities from wherever they are in the world to share their experiences with their classmates. This is where you can find some fun and interesting stuff about the places we visit. This page lists our destinations from the end of our trip first to the beginning of our trip last so start at the bottom if you want to follow in the order we traveled.

hsjschoolk.jpg schoolpic-kindergarten-2005-06.jpg

Henry ———-Oliver

Note: Once you click any of the links, you will start the slideshow and some controls will appear at the bottom. We recommend you increase the time to 7 or 8 seconds from the default of 4 in order to read the captions. The controls will disappear after a few seconds and can be accessed again by left clicking to change the time again, pause or exit the slideshow:

Cambodia May 26 – June 2

Cambodia was an exciting place to visit. It is a very poor country and everyone works very hard. We were lucky enough to visit a small village and help one of the families build a new roof made of palm tree leaves for them. We learned about the importance of installing water filters so people do not get sick from water that has not been cleaned. We also helped to teach English in the local school. Camboidans like to learn English so that they can work with tourists that come to their country who speak English. We also saw a floating village – this is a village that is built on top of floating rafts and boats because everyone in the village works on the water by fishing. Even the school was floating! It is hard work and they do not have much. Cambodia has beautiful temples that have been standing for centuries and people come from around the world to see them.

We hope you enjoy our slideshow of Cambodia:

Cambodia Kids (56)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipP83k7BFTFZ3sGBXrz4xesfsQCSPtKpBge5MgOn

Thailand April 28 – May 26 days

Hello friends!

We had a great adventure in Thailand! Thailand is a country in southeast Asia. It is surrounded by several other countries and it also has a beautiful coast facing the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand. The northern part is filled with vast jungles and mountains. It is a very exciting place to visit.

We landed in Bangkok. Bangkok is a very big city with all of the modern things that you find in America – malls, great restaurants, movie theaters, and it has bright pink taxis! We liked to ride in the tuk-tuks and the Skytrain. This is an elevated train that takes you all over the city and on board it is nice and cool from the air-conditioning and they have TVs on board! We wanted to go to the beaches in the south of Thailand but needed to wait for a train with available seats and that wasn’t for three days so we bought our tickets and explored the city. We went to see the Grand Palace where the kings lived and where some beautiful temples are. We had never seen buildings with so many colors of the rainbow in them. They are also painted with gold and protected by dragons and serpents and fierce warriors!

We took an overnight train to the south to an island called Koh Samui. The beaches in Thailand are world-famous and everyone comes for the blue water and white sand and you can even get a massage while you are on the beach! We played in the sand for 8 days! This was our vacation from our adventure. It was time to take a rest. We visited the middle of Thailand and had a real adventure there. We went to a place called the Tiger Temple where the monks who live at the temple take care of about 15 orphaned tigers. We were allowed to visit with the tigers and pet them and get our pictures taken with them! Some were huge! The next day we went swimming in beautiful waterfalls where beautiful butterflies were flying all around. It was like a fairytale place. Then we went riding on elephants and the best part was that we gave them a bath in the river. The elephants rode us right into the river and then went underwater to rinse off after we scrubbed them. What fun!

We went to a floating market which is a market but instead of stores people sell things out of their boats! In the old days, people who lived on the rivers found it easier to get around by boat so that is how they shopped and they still do. They sell coconuts, melons and a fruit called Dragon Fruit. We took another overnight train northward to a city called Chiang Mai. We saw Thai dancing and went to markets at night (it is too hot during the day to shop so everyone goes at night). The night markets are fun because there is music and food and everyone is selling beautiful crafts like flowers made from soap and flutes made of bamboo. We went to the zoo to see some pandas that China had given to Thailand.

We traveled further northwest into the jungles of Thailand. The roads were windy around the mountains. We went to see more elephants but this time we watched them do some tricks. The elephants don’t mind doing the tricks because it helps to pay for their food and medicine and the people who take care of them. There are not many places for the elephants to live anymore in Thailand so conservation money is important. The elephants seemed happy. Finally, we went deep into the jungle to visit villages where people have lived for many centuries and they have lived life the same way. They live in bamboo huts and the roofs are made of leaves. They pump water from the ground and they fish and hunt for food. Sometimes they have a school. We met the villagers and watched them weave clothes. In one village the women wear heavy brass necklaces around their necks. It makes their necks look long but they really don`t have long necks. It was interesting to see how people can live so differently than we do at home yet they are still people like you and me.

Here are some fun facts about our adventure in Thailand:

How did we get there? We flew from India to Thailand and landed in Bangkok.

Where did we sleep? Sometimes we stayed in big hotels and other times we stayed in tiny huts called bungalows. One bungalow had a shower that was outside so you could see the stars while you washed your hair.

What was the weather? It was very hot, nearly 100 degrees, but cooler in the mountains.

What language do they speak there? They speak Thai.

What words did we learn? We learned Sawadii (Sa-wa-dee) means “Hello” and Khawp Khun means “Thank you” and Laa Kawn which means “Goodbye”.

What animals did we see? We saw elephants, tigers, monkeys, pandas and lots of gecko.

What new foods did we try? In Thailand they have lots of shakes – everywhere. Sometimes we had banana shakes, watermelon shakes, pineapple shakes and lemon shakes! Mom was happy that we were getting a lot of fruit and vitamins. We also tried Pad Thai which are yummy noodles with chicken and vegetables. Our parents ate lots of spring rolls which are crispy tubes filled with vegetables.

What was different from home? The clothes were very different. The women all wore long skirts and matching tops for work in bright colors made of silk. The buildings were very different and the roofs had points coming out to keep away evil spirits and buildings were protected by serpents or dragons.

What was the same as home? Kids like to play on the beach and everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Elephant riding
Natural Attraction: The nice beaches
Historical Attraction: The Grand Palace

Counts as of 5/26/08
Days 285
Number of Countries 21
Number of Places Slept 148
Ferries 16
Planes 16
Buses 7
Trains 11
Photos Taken 13,500

We hope you enjoy our slideshow!

Thailand Kids (89)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPh8AeXhzacFw_CHp8ytMkDS-AEcdDIhRZJlTbK

India 2 Kids April 7 – April 27…………21 days

Hello friends!

Part 2 of our India adventure was as exciting as the first part. After resting in the city of New Delhi for a couple of days, we headed out for 10 days into the mountains in the northern state of Uttaranchal. It is here that there are a lot of farms, hill-tribes, rare tigers and the mighty Himalayas. The state continues many old ways of doing things such as plowing the fields with ox and having outdoor markets where you buy your food because there are no food stores and there are also new things like internet cafes with computers to use. It was not unusual to see a man sitting in front of his house made from mud and grass talking on a cell phone! Old and new is what made our adventure in India so exciting.

Our first stop was to go on a tiger safari. Indian tigers are very rare because many have been hunted for their fur, teeth and claws. Now there aren’t many left. We went on a jeep safari in the evening and in the morning when the tigers come out to find their food. We heard them roar, we saw their footprints and we saw the deer running away but we never were able to spot a tiger there. But we saw wild elephants and jackals and pointy-nosed alligators and we got to ride up high in the jeep. It was fun! We hope that the tigers have lots of babies so that they won’t disappear from the earth.

We visited lots of towns as our truck wound around the mountain roads zig-zagging higher and higher. The weather got cooler and cooler. We road boats on the lake and went horseback riding just like you can do at home. Indian people enjoy the same fun activities that we do for fun. We even got to play air-hockey, rode on some bumper cars at a small carnival and we bought some more Roald Dahl books from a bookstore that had English books. Remember that in India most books are written in Hindi.

The next town we went to was Kausani where we stayed in a motel that overlooked the Himalaya mountains. We had to wake up at 6:00 in the morning to see them before the clouds covered them up. They looked huge and were pointy and they were all in a row. We couldn’t see Mount Everest but we could see one mountain called Nanda Devi that is more than 25,000 feet high. All of the mountains were covered with snow. We wished we could climb them. We haven’t touched snow in a long time! While we were there we met some local children. They didn’t have much to play with so we shared our plastic animals and we made a zoo with cages made out of toothpicks! It was fun and we gave each of the children a pen and a school notebook so they could practice writing. They invited us into their home and we met their family. About 10 people lived in just one room together. They all were happy to have visitors and they showed us their new baby cow and offered us some tea. We sang some songs with them and met their grandfather. It was fun! We could not speak their language (Hindi) but our friend Rajeev helped us. The next day we trekked through some villages that were far from the town. The people were friendly and were busy working the fields to grow wheat and rice and the children were swimming in the river to keep cool. The men were bringing supplies from town. One man we met walked 7 hours to get a big bag of rice from town that he carried on his back. The bag would feed his family for 2 weeks.

There is a famous river in India, the Ganges. It is very sacred and people pray at the Ganges and bathe in the water and sprinkle the water on things that need good luck like their cars. Every night they have a ceremony near the Ganges where they sing songs and light candles. It was very pretty. We attended two ceremonies while we were in Rishikesh and Haridwar. We even took a bath in the Ganges ourselves and bought a little boat made from leaves that was filled with flowers and a candle and sent it floating down the Ganges as an offering to the spirits. Some people travel hundreds of miles to get to the Ganges. The water was very blue and clean where we visited it.

We came down south out of the mountains and spent a week in New Delhi going to museums, shopping at the outdoor markets and taking rides in the tuk-tuks. We really enjoyed our adventure in India and we were very happy to have spent it with Rajeev who showed us all of the best places!

Here are some fun facts about part 2 of our adventure in India:

How did we get there? We rented a truck and drove all over Rajasthan for part 1 and all over Uttaranchal for part 2.

Where did we sleep? In the mountains there were no old palaces to sleep in so we slept in motels.

What was the weather? It was very hot, nearly 100 degrees, but cooler in the mountains.

What language do they speak there? They speak Hindi and some people speak English.

What words did we learn? We learned Namaste which means “Hello” and “Goodbye”. Darnyawah means “Thank you”.

What animals did we see? We saw elephants, jackals, spotted deer and pointy-nosed alligators.

What new foods did we try? Our parents tried more Indian foods than we did. They ate things like kofta (fried cheesy dough in sauce), lentils and rice (beans in sauce with rice). We found some American food at a store so we had peanut butter and jelly, Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops!

What was different from home? The music was very different. The women sing with a very high voice and the instruments are very different. We went into a music store and the man played different instruments for us. One was the sitar that looks kind of like a guitar but has only 4 strings instead of 6 and the round part was made from a polished pumpkin.

What was the same as home? Kids like to play on playgrounds and everyone likes ice cream (but you have to eat it fast before it melts in the hot weather!)

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Tiger Safari

Natural Attraction: The Himalayas and The Ganges River

Historical Attraction: The nightly ceremony by the Ganges River

 

Counts as of 4/29/08
Days 260
Number of Countries 20
Number of Places Slept 137
Ferries 13
Planes 14
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 12,000

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of Part 2 of our adventure in India!

India Part 2 Kids (81)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNzVs-y6PJREnMn5e7hzf6x6yRTOWzshj91vvoN

 

India March 22 – April 6 ……..16 days.

Hello friends!

We had a great adventure in India for 40 days! This part is about the first half. We loved it! India is part of Asia and has 1 billion people living there. We landed in the capitol of India – New Delhi. We hired a van and a very nice driver named Rajeev. He spent the whole time with us and taught us a lot about India. He became our friend and he bought us chocolate everyday.

For the first few days, we toured New Delhi. There are lots and lots of temples where people go to pray to their gods. The women wear brightly colored sarees which is a long cloth that you wrap around you like a skirt and a scarf. All the women look like princesses. Many men wore turbans on their head. The color of your turban told what type of work you did. But people have to work very hard in India because India does not have as many conveniences that America and other parts of the world have. Lots of people have to grow their own food, travel far to get water, make their own tools and catch a ride with someone who has a vehicle if they need to get somewhere. Sometimes we would see a car with 15 people in it or a motorcycle with 5 people on it!

India protects their cows because they believe they are sacred so cows are allowed to walk wherever they want to. they were in the middle of the streets and on the sidewalks. We always had to walk or drive around them. It was fun!

We spent the first half of our time there on a tour of Rajasthan where the kings (called maharajas) built fantastic forts and palaces to protect the towns from invaders. The Indian people are very skilled artisans and we saw a lot of the beautiful things they made to make these palaces “fit for a king”. They made carved marble so detailed that you could see through it like a screen and they had rooms made entirely of patterns of glass in the shape of flowers and plants.

Many of the palaces and forts were in the desert. It was very hot and there were a lot of camels that people used to carry wheat, grass or potatoes. Some people lived in mud and grass huts and whole families would sit under a big tree to keep cool in the heat.

The Taj Mahal was the most beautiful building that we saw. It was made of white marble and colored stones that were in the shape of flowers. One of the kings built it for his wife whom he loved very much to remember her after she died. Henry celebrated his 7th birthday while we were at the Taj Mahal.

The money is called rupees and the peacock is the national bird and the rose is the national flower. There were peacocks and roses everywhere. All of the markets had very colorful clothes, bed covers, blankets, bags and lamps. India is the most colorful place we had ever seen!

Here are some fun facts about part 1 of our adventure in India:

How did we get there? We flew from Hong Kong and headed west until we got to Delhi.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in places that used to be mansions for the rich people that they turned into hotels. They were called havelis.

What was the weather? It was very hot. It was the hottest place we had been on our adventure. Every day was nearly 100 degrees. During the hottest part of the day, we would ride in the air conditioned van. Lots of places and markets were open late into the night because that was the only time people would come out to shop.

What language do they speak there? They speak Hindi and some people speak English.

What words did we lear
n? We learned Namaste which means “Hello” and “Goodbye”. Dhanyavaad (sound dar-nya-wah) means “Thank you”.

What animals did we see? We saw elephants, cows, buffalos, black-faced monkeys and white-faced monkeys, camels, lizards and snakes.

What new foods did we try? Everyone eats Indian bread called “Roti”. It is like a flat pancake and roasted over a fire and made from wheat. We tried coconut water that you drink right out of the coconut.

What was different from home? India was the most different from home. The food was very different. Mostly everything was made from vegetables, in many different shapes and cooked in colorful sauces. India has small vehicles called tuk-tuks. We loved riding in the tuk-tuks. They had one wheel in front and two in the back and they had a roof but no doors. 4 people could squish in. They didn’t go very fast but you got a nice breeze and we could see everything very easily. They were much more fun than taxis!

What was the same as home? Everyone was very friendly and everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: We liked to watch traditional Indian dances and listen to Indian music.
Natural Attraction: The desert
Historical Attraction: The palaces and forts

Counts as of 4/6/08
Days 234
Number of Countries 20
Number of Places Slept 130
Ferries 14
Planes 13
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 10,800

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in India Part 1 – Rajasthan!

India Part 1 Kids (129)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMeJDDk72KZx0K0zZTBUaRPPiv63ROwT3P6S-pg

Hong Kong March 18 – 21 3 days

Hello friends!

We went to Hong Kong for three days after New Zealand. Hong Kong is part of China and is on the continent of Asia. We loved our airline, Cathay Pacific, because they gave us a great kid’s kit on the plane with lots of activities in it! Hong Kong was very interesting and very different from home.

When we arrived, the city was built across many hills across bays of water. There were skyscraper and bridges everywhere. It looked brand new. Our first day we visited the Hong Kong Bird Market. This is an outdoor market where everyone buys and sells beautiful singing birds. Then we went to the morning flower market. Then we went to the jade market. There is a market for everything! Jade is a light green stone that the Chinese are famous for carving. We learned that Oliver was born in the Year of the Rabbit (1999) and Henry was born in the Year of the Snake (2001) so we bought souvenirs with a rabbit and a snake on them made of jade.

In the food markets, there were lots of different fruits and vegetables that we had never seen before. Some we couldn’t tell if they were a fruit or a vegetable. So, we bought blueberries and strawberries because we were too nervous to try some of the others. We had a picnic in the park next to a bird aviary and watched the birds and the local people who live in Hong Kong walk by.

We walked for miles and finally made our way to the waterfront where all of the action was. Skyscrapers were everywhere and each building had different colored lights all around them. They had an IMAX theater and they were showing a movie all about Greece so we went to see it so we could remember our trip to Greece! For dinner we had noodles and ate with chopsticks. We had a meal called Dim Sum where they bring you different shaped foods and you pick the ones that you want instead of choosing from a menu. It was fun but we brought some peanut butter and jelly just in case. We ventured to the highest point in the city by taking a bus, then a ferry, then a double-decker street car, then the longest escalator in the world and then a funicular. We saw most of Hong Kong along the way. It was a great day. And in Hong Kong, every night they have a light and laser show over the river and all of the skyscrapers light up and lasers shoot from the rooftops while music plays all around you. It was cool.

Mom and Dad surprised us with a trip to Disneyland Hong Kong the next day. We were driving in the taxi and suddenly we saw a sign for Disneyland! We were so excited! We went on Space Mountain (a roller coaster in the dark) 5 times and then we went on a Buzz Lightyear ride 3 times! We had a great time in Hong Kong.

Here are some fun facts about part 3 of our adventure in Hong Kong:

How did we get there? We flew from New Zealand to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in a hotel called the Regal Oriental.

What was the weather? It was spring-like weather.

What language do they speak there? They speak Chinese.

What words did we learn? Ni Hao means Hello.

What animals did we see? We saw birds – lots of singing birds.

What new foods did we try? Dim Sum.

What was different from home?
People eat shark fin soup!

What was the same as home? There wasn’t much ice cream but everyone likes Disneyland!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Disneyland
Natural Attraction: Victoria Harbor – the main waterfront
Historical Attraction: Visiting the Bruce Lee monument. Bruce Lee was a great Kung Fu fighter and actor.

Counts as of 3/20/08
Days 217
Number of Countries 19
Number of Places Slept 119
Ferries 13
Planes 12
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 10,000

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Hong Kong!

Hong Kong Kids (49)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipN7DXClrz6K1dva6gN0e8jY11_q4GJamb4qZgOP

New Zealand Part 2……February 22 – March 18 ——–28 days

Hello friends!

We began the second half of our New Zealand adventure by heading towards the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook, standing at 12,316 feet. The glacial lakes we passed along the way were the bluest color imaginable. We hiked along the Hooker Valley Trail over swing bridges and rocky pathways until we reached the base of the mountain and its massive glacier. We told stories, practiced spelling, boulder-hopped, held hands tightly along cliffs and dipped our toes in the frigid glacial water. We were very lucky to see Mt. Cook’s peak and glistening face on such a great, sunny day because it is often covered with clouds. The famous New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, had a mountaineering school nearby. He was the first to climb to the top of Mt. Everest with his friend Tenzing Norgay.

We stayed in a town called Wanaka for a few days in a cool tent right next to a pretty lake. In New Zealand it is great if you can camp because the outdoors is so beautiful. We stayed next door to a family from New York. We all played together and went on some hikes together. The only traffic on the way was a herd of sheep in the middle of the road.

We headed towards the west coast where there were lots of rainforests. We stopped and explored many of them looking for fiddleheads (the Maori symbol of New Zealand meaning growth). Everything was green. Besides rainforests, there were rocky beaches to visit some sea lions lying the sun and further along were the mountains that tower overhead on their way down the coast with frosty glaciers to visit. In New Zealand, you could go to a rainforest, the beach and a glacier on top of a mountain all in the same day.

We visited natural thermal springs in Hanmer Springs which was not only full of minerals and vitamins for your skin but the fast waterslides made for great fun – even our Dad went on them. The thermal water gets heated underground by the heat of the earth and then the water is piped into pools. New Zealand was made from volcanoes so there are still many hot spots underground.

Along the way, we practiced math. Whenever there was something to buy at the store, Mom and Dad would let us pay and we had to figure out how much change we were going to get. It was fun. We listened to the soundtrack of Dr. Dolittle a hundred times until they learned all of the words by heart. Dr. Dolittle knew animals all around the planet and could speak their language and we wanted to be like him. We want to protect the animals like he did and try to meet as many as we can. We still haven’t seen a Push-Me-Pull-You. Mom is also reading us the book called Dr. Dolittle.

On the North Island, we explored more about volcanoes at an outdoor museum where actual homes remain covered by volcanic soil and we saw things that people dug up after the eruption that belonged to people who had lived there. Most everyone escaped but their houses and village did not. In other places on the North Island smoking pits of land and hot mud pools were everywhere. We learned that volcanoes are really powerful and very real.

We ended our trip with a visit to a Kiwi sanctuary where we saw the rare but funny birds scamper around their nocturnal house. They didn’t have any predators until people brought stoats (similar to a weasel) to New Zealand to catch rabbits who were eating all of the farmer’s crops. Instead, the stoats preyed upon the kiwis and now the kiwis are endangered. It is very strange to see a bird with no wings! We ended our stay on St. Patrick’s day and we spent hours decorating the sliding glass doors of the hotel with shamrocks, pots of gold and rainbows.

Here are some fun facts about part 2 of our adventure in New Zealand:

How did we get there? We drove our rental car from the middle, to the west coast, to the south, then up the east coast, then across to the west coast, then back to the east coast then to the north coast then to the north island right up the center. Phew!

Where did we sleep?
We stayed in motels and 4 nights in a great tent.

What was the weather? It was not too cold and not too hot – just right for shorts except when we were near the glaciers.

What language do they speak there? They speak English and Maori

What words did we learn? Sunglasses = Sunnies, Torch = Flashlight.

What animals did we see? We saw Fur Seals and Kiwis.

What new foods did we try? We tried a new ice cream flavor called Hokey Pokey which has little chunks of peanuts and honey. We also loved Cadbury Moro bars and Cadbury Crunch bars.

What was different from home? Mud pools! We had never see boiling mud before!

What was the same as home? New Zealand is a beautiful place just like home is beautiful AND everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Visiting the kiwi sanctuary

Natural Attraction: Mud Pools, Hiking to the glaciers
Historical Attraction: Exploring the volcano museum

Counts as of 3/17/08
Days 214
Number of Countries 18
Number of Places Slept 118
Ferries 14
Planes 12
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 9100

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in New Zealand Part 2!

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMv6D6nOiD4j7s_ahDGbFSvKjQVdu4uBeIJga7G

New Zealand Part 1……February 9 – February 21 ——–13 days

Hello friends!

This is part 1 of our adventure in New Zealand. New Zealand is a beautiful place with mountains, green hills and millions of sheep. New Zealand makes a lot of things out of wool from all of those sheep. It is a land of adventure and lots of people go there to go hang-gliding, parasailing, jet-boating and, most famously, bungy-jumping. We didn’t do any of these things but we watched other people do them. Most involve jumping off of a very high place and travel down by kite, parachute or rope – too scary for us! Besides, we need to stay in one piece so we can finish our adventure around the world.

New Zealand was originally settled by Maoris who came to New Zealand from the islands in the South Pacific. There are still many Maoris and we saw a lot of their crafts and culture. The symbol for New Zealand is a new fern still rolled up. This is the Maori symbol for birth and growth. All of the kids in school learn English and Maori language. New Zealand has lots of different environments. Sometimes we were near a lake surrounded by huge rocky mountains, sometimes we were wandering through a rainforest to find waterfalls and sometimes we were hiking over grassy hills where the sheep graze and where it is usually very windy and other times, we would walk on beaches along the coast looking for marine life.

Besides the millions of sheep and cattle everywhere,one day we took an adventure across a lake into a cave that was filled with water. We got into a little boat and the captain was able to move us further and further into the pitch-black cave by pulling on a rope attached along the wall of the cave. Then, when we were very deep into the cave and you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face, we looked up at the ceiling and there were thousands of tiny glow-worms beaming their blue glow like stars in the sky. Who would have thought that little insect larvae could look so beautiful. We went on a cruise into the ocean and sailed beside giant fjords which are steep mountains that rise out of the water. We felt like we were at the end of the earth! We practically were as this was the most south we had been on our world adventure. Dolphins followed our boat back to the land. One even splashed us and got our faces wet.

We also saw some endangered animals. We drove to a lookout at dusk which is the time that the rarest penguin of all, the yellow-eyed penguin, returns home from a day of fishing. We waited in a “hide”, which is a small shelter with tiny windows so that we can stay hidden from the penguins so they don’t get scared away from us and one by one the penguins came out of the ocean and headed towards their nests hidden in the grassy cliffs. They had yellow eyes and fat pink feet! We also stopped by a big cliff where the endangered Royal Albatross lives. It is a huge bird with a 6 to 7 foot wingspan. They are endangered because when the birds fish, they often get caught in the nets of fishing boats. They need to live in high, windy cliffs so the wind can lift their heavy bodies. We also saw the smallest penguin in the world – the blue penguin. We waited on the shore at 8:00 at night to watch them come ashore. Unfortunately, some of them chose to live near a busy road so we had to stand guard to make sure the cars didn’t hit them as they crossed the road. We wished they had a safer place to live. We also saw lots of sea lions and fur seals. All of these animals like the cold water near New Zealand.

The best part of visiting New Zealand was to visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory! We got to see how they make all of the different kinds of chocolates and they gave us free samples all along the tour. Dad rammed the car into a parking meter and a tree outside of the factory. He was in such a rush to get into the factory to start eating all of the chocolate that his anxious foot hit the gas instead of the brake. Luckily there was no damage and we had a good laugh (and Dad got his chocolate).

Here are some fun facts about part 1 of our adventure in New Zealand:

How did we get there? We flew east from Sydney, Australia to Queenstown in the southern part of the South Island.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in motels.

What was the weather? It was not too cold and not too hot – just right for shorts. It was cloudy and rainy sometimes.

What language do they speak there? They speak English and Maori

What words did we learn? Bungy – is the name of the sport where you jump off a bridge attached to a big elastic rope and bounce over a river or gorge. Yikes.

What animals did we see? We saw Dolphins, Glow-Worms, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, Royal Albatross and Sea Lions.

What new foods did we try? We enjoyed a lot of foods that we missed from home like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, Frosted Flakes and Quaker oatmeal.

What was different from home? The extreme sports – we`d rather stick to skateboarding, roller-skating and biking.

What was the same as home? The houses look like they do at home and there are fun playgrounds and everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Watching Bungy Jumping
Natural Attraction: Glow Worm Caves
Historical Attraction: Cadbury Chocolate Factory (we saw some old chocolate wrappers – that counts as history!)

Counts as of 2/21/08
Days 186
Number of Countries 18
Number of Places Slept 105
Ferries 13
Planes 12
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 9100

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in New Zealand Part 1!

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNz0lfGC51nUHKsXPV-6K6O_D9PBxiWqZB_EJKJ

 

Australia – Part 4…The Great Inland Road…..January 30 – February 9 ——-12 days
Hello friends!

This is part 4 of our adventure in Australia. After exploring life in the sea at the Great Barrier Reef, it was time to explore wildlife on the land again. We took a road called the Great Inland Road all the way from Daintree National Rainforest all the way back to Sydney. The road was 1800 miles long and we took 28 days to drive from Sydney north up the coast until Daintree and we took only 6 days to drive back.

Our first stop was a bat rescue center where we got to be up close with the flying foxes that we had watched every night over the Australian skies. We saw that they were very cute and a nice lady rescues orphans or bats that get caught on fences. She feeds them and helps them get better and then releases them back into the wild. She explained that although they don’t look like monkeys, monkeys are their closest relative and they are almost as smart. When the lady went into the cage that had about 50 bats in it, she called “Tilly, come here” and amazingly, only one bat moved and wandered over towards the lady while clamping onto the fence – all upside-down, of course.

That same night, we ended up at a camp where you could sleep in old train cars or in triangular pods that looked like small space rockets. We were the only ones camping that day except for the dozens of wild kangaroos and wallabies that hopped around the campground checking us out. This was the first time we had seen these creatures in the wild and there were a bunch! The exciting part was that some of the kangaroos had joeys which were really cute and they looked like small puppy dogs when they were hidden in the pouch. The bush was also filled with cool birds and we were excited to see the famous Australian Kookaburra. This is a big bird with a long beak colored white and brown. They were fun to watch. Our mom taught us a song about a kookaburra that went “Kookaburra lives in the old gum tree. Merry, merry soul of the bush was he!” We saw a walking stick also which looked just like a stick! We never had seen those at home!

Back on the road, we saw wildlife and dangerous motorlife! By that we mean road trains which were trucks that had not one, not two, not three but four trailers behind the truck carrying loads of coal. Instead of using real trains, they use these trucks to haul the coal around Australia. They were huge and the whole car would shake when one went by. Sometimes the road was narrow and my Dad had to pull off onto the dust to let these road trains go by. Along the way we saw wild emus and colorful parrots along the road. Sometimes we wouldn’t see another car for a long time. We passed by a lot of farms and windmills. In Tamworth, we stopped overnight so we could watch the Superbowl on t.v. Can you believe they showed the Superbowl in Australia! Of course, we were sad that the Patriots lost. Tamworth had a giant gold guitar in the city because it is famous for country music like Nashville is in the United States.

Eventually we made it back to Sydney and went to some museums and to the botanical gardens. In the museums we were able to learn all about the animals we saw in Australia and we were able to see where 2000 bats live in the botanical gardens. We also learned about Captain Cook who was a great explorer from Great Britain who came to Australia and brought news back to the rest of the world about Australia and the magnificent animals that live there that are like nowhere else on earth. Captain Cook made maps of the land in the Pacific Ocean and made friends with the native people that lived there before he arrived.

We were sad to leave Australia but spent a long time visiting and learned a lot about the ocean, the rainforest and the birds and marsupials (animals with pouches). Now it was time to visit Australia’s neighbor, New Zealand!

Here are some fun facts about part 4 of our adventure in Australia:

How did we get there? In our rented car, we drove south, south, south
Where did we sleep? We stayed in motels, space pods and apartments.
What was the weather? It was hot in the north but it got cooler as we headed away from the equator and closer towards the south pole.
What language do they speak there? They speak English.
What words did we learn? In Australia, a cookie is called a biscuit.
What animals did we see? We saw Flying Foxes, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus, Walking Sticks, and Kookaburras
What new foods did we try? Can’t think of any – we mostly had favorites like pizza, pasta and cheese sandwiches.
What was different from home? Street names are very different. Our motel in Tamworth was on Goonoo Goonoo Road!
What was the same as home? There were fun playgrounds and everyone likes ice cream!
Counts as of 2/09/08

Days 176

Number of Countries 17

Number of Places Slept 98

Ferries 13

Planes 11

Buses 2

Trains 7

Photos Taken 7998

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Australia Part 4

Australia Part 4 Kids
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMwwWh_OtxVBBxnY5rsmgs5nt5iFGAYiwN470Yd

Australia – Part 3…The Northern Tropics…..January 11 – January 28— 18 days

Hello friends!

This is part 3 of our adventure in Australia. After camping on Fraser Island, we continued to head north up the east coast of Australia. That means we were never far from the beach. Our next big exciting adventure was going to Mon Repos sanctuary to see if we could find some nesting seaturtles. We tried to find some in South Africa but never did. This time there were rangers on the beach using special lights to spot the turtles without scaring them back into the water. When they spot one, the call a group onto the beach to watch. We couldn’t turn on lights or take photos with flashes. We gathered around a turtle who had already dug her nest which was a ditch in the sand. We watched her lay over 100 eggs! Then she covered them up and returned to the sea. The neat fact is that if the eggs hatch in warm sand, the turtles will be girls and if the sand is cool, they will be boys, The mother turtle never meets her children. We watched two turtles in one night. The turtles were so big – they were as big as the hood of a car! The Loggerhead turtles are endangered because they get caught in the nets of fishing boats and drown. It was very special to see them.

We were looking forward to one of the great places to visit in Australia – the Great Barrier Reef. We drove very far until we could get close to one of the islands that are part of the Reef. Australia had a lot of rain and rivers were overflowing! Many boat trips out to the Reef were cancelled. So, we explored wild beaches, did lots of schoolwork and rented movies. We stayed in motels that had DVD players so we were excited to rent some movies! We rented Balto, Barnyard, and Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End along our way. We kept heading north and stopped in an Aboriginal Cultural Center where we listened to an aboriginal man play their native insturments and we got to throw boomerangs which the Aborigines used to hunt birds.

Finally the rain and wind died down enough for us to take a boat ride out to the Reef. The captain let us drive the boat and we even saw a pod of dolphins following us out to sea. We went so fast that the water was splashing us on deck. Even though it was cloudy on the land, once we got out to sea, it was sunny. In the northern part of Australia in the summertime, there are nasty marine stingers in the water so we had to wear stinger suits with our googles and fins. We jumped in the water and saw lots of sea creatures including the big Wrasse fish that has huge lips and a bump on its head. It can change from a girl to a boy. Also, we saw an octopus and a giant clam! We saw hundreds of fish including Parrotfish who scrape the food off of the coral and you can hear their teeth scraping under the water. We went out a second time and while Oliver and Dad were snorkeling, Mom and Henry had just jumped in and then Henry got his unprotected neck stung by a jellyfish! Luckily it wasn’t one of the dangerous stingers that can put you in the hospital, but it was still a very painful sting. When Henry felt better, we went exploring on an island and our guide showed us how we could survive on ants and we ate some! Their bodies had a lemony taste. It was cool! We visited a white beach that had the purest sand in the world. It was so pure that NASA used it to make the important Hubble telescope. It was really soft sand.

We traveled further north up the coast. We listened to music in the car and looked at our Lego catalogs and circled the ones we want to buy when we get home and we did spelling bees. Mom read us stories by Patricia Polocco and we talked about them. We went to an aquarium to take pictures of some of the sea creatures we saw. We visited towns that had great playgrounds that even had cool sprinklers because it was so hot. The big towns had giant pools right near the beach because you couldn’t swim in the ocean because of the stingers. There were hundreds of colorful parrots in the trees in Australia. They all squawk really loudly! We climbed down to the bottom of the highest waterfall in Australia called Wallman Falls. It was a hard hike in the rainforest. We visited the Daintree National Rainforest – home of the shy Cassowary. We figured we wouldn’t see one since few people get to see them in the wild but it was fun to know they were somewhere in there. A Cassowary is a flightless bird smaller than an ostrich with a big bony crown sticking out of the top of its head. They are endangered because people were cutting down all of the tree in Daintree and they couldn’t hide from predators. After exploring the rainforest and swimming in a cool stream, we headed back towards to our motel. It was getting dark and we went down a quiet road and we were shocked and surprised to see a huge Cassowary crossing the road right in front of us! We couldn’t believe our eyes. Mom got some blurry pictures because the shy Cassowary headed right back into the rainforest but we were so happy to have been one lucky family to see one in the wild. It was very big, with black feathers, a blue and red head and a bony crown. Yeah!

We headed to the city of Cairns for one more snorkeling trip. Henry wasn’t even afraid of the jellyfish after getting stung. He knew that it was important to visit these places because we didn’t know when we would be coming back. This time we went far out into the ocean to a floating dock that had snorkeling, a glass-bottom boat and a semi-submersible boat which has big windows under the water. We saw lots of fish, more giant clams and colorful coral. The coral was all different colors. The important thing we learned is that if the world doesn’t stop polluting, then the pollution will make the air too hot which will make the water too warm and that will kill all of the coral. If the coral dies, the fish will have no food. It would be a very big problem for the earth and we would all be very sad. We must not waste or pollute to protect these special places and for all creatures to have food.

Here are some fun facts about part 3 of our adventure in Australia:

How did we get there? In our rented car, we drove north, north, north.

Where did we sleep?
We stayed in motels and apartments which were more like little houses.

What was the weather? It was hot as we got closer to the equator and it was rainy. It was sunnier out in ocean. The kids went back to school at the end of January.

What language do they speak there? They speak English.

What words did we learn? In Australia, they call a cooler that you put food into to keep it cold an Eskie (like Eskimo).

What animals did we see?
We saw Flying Foxes, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Giant Clams, Octopus, Parrotfish, Wrasse fish, Parrots and a Cassowary.

What new foods did we try? We had passionfruit icecream and black sapote icecream which is a chocolate-like fruit.

What was different from home? Alot of people walk barefoot – everywhere. In grocery stores, banks, and even gas stations.

What was the same as home? There were fun playgrounds and everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: The Water Parks
Natural Attraction: Great Barrier Reef
Historical Attraction: Aboriginal Cultural Center

Counts as of 1/29/08
Days 166
Number of Countries 17
Number of Places Slept 91
Ferries 13
Planes 11
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 7800

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Australia Part 3 – The Northern Tropics!

Australia Part 3 Kids
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipO1aoyuPljPhO0w-7n9ZY7VinVFMMVPjfj9BroJ

Australia – Part 2…The Coast…..January 2 – January 11 ——9 days

Hello friends!

This is part 2 of our adventure in Australia. We left Sydney and headed north. Australia is nearly as big as the United States and we didn’t have time to travel all around it so we chose to drive up the east coast. It was like travelling from Florida to Boston, and back. This part is about our first 9 days on the road. We saw a lot.

In Australia, it is sometimes hard to find wildlife in the wild so we visited a sanctuary and a zoo to get a look of some of the animals that live here. First we visited the Blue Mountains. They are called blue because of the blue haze that hovers over them in the sunlight. It comes from the eucalyptus trees that grow everywhere. We went on some good hikes there. There are three famous rock formations called the Three Sisters named by the Aboriginal people that first lived in Australia. We took a great train ride on an old-fashioned locomotive that zig-zagged through the valley – it has to zig-zag down the mountain because the mountains are too steep for it to go straight down.

We headed further north and found a sanctuary for koalas. A sanctuary is like a zoo but smaller with only a few animals that it tries to protect. Here we got to touch and pet the koalas. Koalas sleep most of the time but when they are awake, they are very, very cute and cuddly! We met some other animals in the sanctuary including a possum which is nocturnal but he was in a dark cage and we were able to play with kangaroos and wallabies. Kangaroos are as tall as us so you need to watch out. Wallabies are smaller and prettier. All of these animals are marsupials – they all carry their babies in their pouches.

We drove further north. We try to find things to do to keep us busy in the car. We do lots of things like listening to stories that are on our iPod. In Australia we listened to Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. That took many, many days to finish. It was exciting! For Christmas, each of us got a stuffed bat. You might think that having a stuffed bat is kind of strange but these bats are extremely cute and fluffy. Remember in Sydney, we told you about how there are thousands of bats living here. We play lots of imaginative games with our bats and they go wherever we go. We have magazines in the car such as National Geographic – Kids. These magazines have great facts and pictures. We also have two books called Wildside that we got for Christmas. They are funny pictures of animals and humans with a funny joke. For example, it shows a bunch of ostriches and one of them is on his way to flight school because he really wants to learn how to fly! It is a really funny book. We also listen to our favorite music like Disney songs, pirate songs and songs from movies like The Polar Express. We also build things in the back seat from things that we collect. We collect things we find outside like string, paperclips, rubberbands, sticks, wire, and almost anything plastic. Then we built gadgets like tightropes for our bats to do tricks on or hang upside down. We can build webs and satellites with all of our stuff. We also look through toy magazines that mom picks up at toy stores and circle our favorite lego sets or Playmobil catalogs. We also practice schoolwork in the backseat. Mom and Dad ask us questions about the days of the week, the months of the year, telling time, adding numbers, counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s, counting backwards and lots of spelling. Sometimes we draw designs and pictures on paper with our crayons or colored pencils. Next thing you know, we are at the next town and we begin looking for a place to stay for the night. We are always busy. We make things outside, too, with things we cannot fit in the car. Each country has different types of trees so there are cool sticks, leaves and rocks to build things like forts and pictures.

After the sanctuary we went to the Australia Zoo. It is one of the best zoos in the world! We saw lots of animals that we had never seen before. The Australia Zoo is careful to create a natural habitat for each animal – they are not in boring cages. We saw a crocodile show with Terri Irwin who is the Croc Hunter’s wife. The Irwins own the Australia Zoo. They do the crocodile show in a huge stadium called The Crocoseum which sounds like The Coliseum which is where they had big shows in Rome in the old days.

We headed north some more to visit Fraser Island. Fraser Island is a cool place to go because it has giant forests, very blue lakes, streams and ocean. What is interesting is that Fraser Island is the only island in the world entirely made from sand. The forests grow from sand, the streams go through sand and huge sand dunes are there for climbing. The extra fun part was that we could drive right on the beach as long as it was low tide. When the tide came in, we camped right next to the beach behind some small dunes that protected us from the wind. A wild dingo came to our camp site sniffing around but then ran away. It was great. We saw more wild dingos in the forest. We are not supposed to feed wild animals because it is important that they get their food in the wild. The food in the wild is healthier for them and keeps them away from people. Some people think it is fun to feed wild animals but we have learned that it only causes endangers the animals and the people.

Here are some fun facts about part 2 of our adventure in Australia:

How did we get there? We rented a car and drove north from Sydney.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in motels and camped two nights on Fraser Island.

What was the weather? It was summer in Australia. It was the first time we had ever travelled north and felt it get hotter and hotter. It was still summer vacation for Australians.

What language do they speak there? They speak English.

What words did we learn? Mate – is a friend, Crikey = Yikes!

What animals did we see? We saw lots – check out the slideshow to see them!

What new foods did we try? Tim Tam is Australia’s favorite cookie. It is soft vanilla cookies covered in chocolate. Yummy.

What was different from home? People drive on the left-hand side of the road just like they do in South Africa and England.

What was the same as home? Everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Australia Zoo
Natural Attraction: Dingoes on Fraser Island.
Historical Attraction: Zig-Zag Railway

Counts as of 1/11/08
Days 149
Number of Countries 17
Number of Places Slept 84
Ferries 13
Planes 11
Buses 2
Trains 7
Photos Taken 6106

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Australia Part 2 – Sydney!

Australia Part 2 – Kids (59)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPZRDfAZSvO9r_x75vI4ME4tQPoJOw7YB8jU0F1

Australia – Part 1…Sydney…..December 22 – January 2 11 days

Hello friends!

This is part 1 of our adventure in Australia. It is all about the great city of Sydney. Sydney is the biggest city in Australia. For the next 11 days we stayed in Sydney and it was the longest we had stayed in any one place on our whole adventure. We were really excited to stay in one place – it was going to be like our home away from our real home in Marblehead. Even more exciting was that this is where we would be spending Christmas and New Year`s Eve! Sydney is a very exciting place to be for New Year`s Eve.

We had a great flight from South Africa to Australia. The airplane had lots of choices of kids movies. We watched Ratatouille. It was funny. Then the stewardess surprised us with Wiggles funpacks that had games, stencils, stickers and puzzles in them. The Wiggles are from Australia so that is why they give out Wiggles funpacks. The plane travelled overnight so we slept on the plane and when we woke up, we were in Australia. Our hotel had a monorail that went right past our window. A monorail is a slick train that rides on a single rail above the roads. Our hotel was right next to a fun area called Darling Harbor. Darling Harbor had lots of fun activities for families with restaurants, movie theaters, fountains, playgrounds, a harbor with fancy boats and funny men who perform tricks for everyone.

We had Christmas in our hotel. It was fun! We went Christmas shopping and got some green wrapping paper and our mom cut it into the shape of a Christmas tree. Then we stuck it to the wall in our hotel room. Next we cut out Christmas ornaments and colored them and stuck them on the tree. We also made a paper fireplace and we placed our stocking bags next to it. We listened to Christmas songs on our computer and watched The Grinch on television. The next morning we were happy to find surprises under our tree including our favorite legos. We stayed in the hotel all day and played.

Sydney is around a great big harbor. Next to the harbor is the famous Sydney Opera House. It is very cool because the roof is shaped like sails. Some people think the roof is shaped like waves or shells or petals. Over the harbor is the Sydney Harbor Bridge. One day we went for a cruise and went under the bridge and right past the Sydney Opera House. We also walked across the bridge. The Sydney Harbor leads to the Pacific Ocean. This was our first time seeing the Pacific Ocean. A lot of people from America see it from California but we saw it from the other side! Everyone surfs in Australia and the waves are big here.

What was really cool about Sydney was that there were huge bats! They were so big that they are called Flying Foxes because they look like little foxes with wings. They come out in the evening and they all go looking for fruit and flowers to eat for dinner. They are very cool to watch.

When we visited Australia, the clock was 16 hours ahead of Marblehead. That meant that when Marblehead was sleeping, we were already up having lunch. This also means that Australia celebrates the new year before America so they have a very big fireworks show since they are one of the countries to have midnight come first. We got to the park very early to get a good seat overlooking the harbor and we waited all day for the show. It was great! They had 2 fireworks shows – one at 9:00 and another one at midnight. They also had an electric boat parade. They even shot fireworks off of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Here are some fun facts about our adventure in Sydney, Australia:

How did we get there?
We took a plane east from South Africa to Australia. It took about 11 hours.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in a nice hotel called The Radisson on the 6th floor overlooking the monorail.

What was the weather? It was summer in Australia. The kids were out of school December and January. It was warm.

What language do they speak there? They speak English.

What words did we learn? In Australia they say “G’day Mate” for “Hello” and instead of “You’re Welcome”, they say “No Worries”.

What animals did we see? In Sydney we saw Flying Foxes.

What new foods did we try? We love chocolate eggs called Kinder Joys. It is a chocolate egg as big as a real egg and after you eat the chocolate, there is a toy inside. You never know what you are going to get. It is fun (and yummy).

What was different from home? They have Burger Kings but instead of calling it Burger King they call it Hungry Jacks, but it really is Burger King. Also, there are very colorful parrots flying all around. And they have these speed boats in the harbor that can go really, really fast and then the driver does a 360 spin out and everyone gets a wild ride.

What was the same as home? Everyone likes ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: New Year`s Eve Fireworks
Natural Attraction: The bats in the park.
Historical Attraction: The Sydney Opera House

Counts as of 1/2/08 in Sydney

Number of days on our adventure 138
Number of Countries 17
Number of Places Slept 75
Ferries 11
Planes 11
Buses 2
Trains 7

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Australia Part 1 – Sydney!

Sydney Kids (50)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipP6hqHgPtdeDppxNBBM8dV5T78Khu4mQcD5gaQZ

Zimbabwe – Botswana – Namibia…..December 13 – December 21….. 8 days

Hello friends!

We spent our last 9 days in Africa in 3 countries: Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. We were lucky to see some wonderful things while we were in each country.

We first visited Zimbabwe. We took a plane north to Zimbabwe from South Africa. On our first try, we could not land because there were so many clouds that the pilot could not see the runway and the radar wasn’t working correctly at the airport so we had to go back to South Africa. The next day we tried it again and it was a sunny day so we were able to land. We checked into a very big hotel and walked over to the place that we had come to see…Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls are the biggest waterfalls in the whole world. We couldn’t imagine how big they were going to be since we had seen many waterfalls on our adventure. But they were HUGE! The way they were spread out was like a river that suddenly falls into a deep, deep gorge. We stood on one side of the gorge and watched them spill on the other side. They dropped so far into the deep gorge, we couldn’t even see the bottom especially from all of the water that sprayed up from the bottom when it hit. There was so much water all around that we even got rained on! It was fun because it was a hot day so it felt good. After the rain, we got a big treat – a giant rainbow that ran above the entire falls. That was one big rainbow. Victoria Falls aren’t the tallest waterfalls in the world but they are the biggest and have the most water coming over the edge at one time.

The next day in Zimbabwe, we went to a market where the people in Zimbabwe sell the crafts that they make. They make things out of stone like statues and they make things out of wire. We bought bracelets made out of elephant tails and we bought coins and paper dollars that had pictures of African animals on them. We have been collecting coins and paper dollars from each of the countries that we visit. Everyone at the market was very friendly and they were excited to show us their crafts. At our hotel we saw many creatures including a moth that looked just like a stick for camouflage and a family of mongoose who lived in a burrow under a bridge outside of our hotel room. We had to keep our glass sliding door locked otherwise the smart baboons can slide the door open and forage through our stuff!

The next day we drove to Botswana and that was about one hour away heading west. We stayed at a place called Chobe Safari Lodge because it was next to the Chobe River. Many animals come to the Chobe River to drink water. We spent 5 days at Chobe Safari Lodge and went on four safaris. Three of the safaris were in jeeps and one was a water safari in a boat. We saw some animals that we had seen in South Africa but we also saw some animals that we had not seen before like great birds such as the Lilac-Breasted Roller which has 7 different colors on it. It is also the national bird of Botswana. We saw another very colorful bird called the Carmine Bee Eater. We suppose they eat bees but we never saw them eat bees. We saw a lot of Kingfishers who have long beaks to catch fish and shrimp and we saw African Darters that dart from the sky into the water and also catch fish. We didn’t know there were so many cool, colorful birds in the world!

There are crocodiles and hippos in the Chobe River next to our hotel so we had to be sure not to walk too close to the water and not walk at night when the hippos come out to eat the grass. We were really hoping to see a hippo open his mouth wide – we had never seen one do that. Instead, they were always staying underwater and only showing their ears and eyes.

We took another boat ride to go to Namibia to visit a Namibian village and see how people lived hundreds of years ago and how many still live the same way today. The village we visited had a giant Baobab tree that they believe is 200,000 years old! We learned that the seed pods that grow on the branches are shaped like the bottom of a shoe so the villages pick the seed pod and crack it open. When they open it up, it makes a right shoe and a left shoe. They sew on some leather to make it like a flip-flop and they make their own shoes from it! The guide brought some candy for us to hand out to the children and after we did that, we saw the different kinds of baskets that they make out of grass and bought some. Their houses are made of mud and sticks with a metal roof. They didn’t have toys like we have but they had a soccer ball and they also rolled a tire to see how long it could stay up without falling over. Someone had just dug them wells to get fresh water so they wouldn’t have to go down to the river where the crocodiles and hippos lived. That was very helpful to the village.

We really enjoyed our visit to these countries and learned a lot about Africa.

Here are some fun facts about part 3 of our adventure in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia:

How did we get there? We flew from South Africa to Zimbabwe, then we took a van to Botswana, then we took a boat to Namibia and back to Botswana and then a van back to Zimbabwe then a plane back to South Africa.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in a hotel called The Kingdom and Chobe Safari Lodge.

What was the weather? It was warmer in these countries than South Africa because as we travelled north towards the equator, it got warmer. It was still summer.

What language do they speak there? They speak English where we went.

What words did we learn? We did not learn any African words only the existence of an endangered animal called the Puku.

What animals did we see? New animals that we saw were all kinds of birds.

What new foods did we try? At the restaurant at Chobe Safari Lodge, we tried lots of different foods including impala, kudu, warthog, wildebeest and springbok. They all tasted delicious and not weird.

What was different from home? There aren’t dangerous, wild animals at home to watch out for. At home you see dogs and squirrels crossing the street and in Africa, you see warthogs crossing the street!

What was the same as home? They love to play soccer and everyone likes to eat ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Safari in Chobe National Park
Natural Attraction: The Chobe River
Historical Attraction: The 200,000 year old Baobab Tree

Counts as of 12/21 in South Africa

Number of days on our trip: 124
Number of Countries: 16

Number of Different Places Slept: 71
Ferries 11
Planes 9
Buses 2
Trains 7

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia!

Zimbabwe – Botswana – Namibia Kids Slideshow (77)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOaUiHMqAfQHsLaxAaVgnX8i804QkSDbxy2f_Fd

South Africa Kids – Part 3…..November 27 – December 12……..16 days

Hello friends!

This is part 3 and the final part of our adventure in South Africa. For the next 16 days we visited more animals, climbed mountains and visited the great city of Cape Town.

First we went to a place called Addo Elephant National Park. There are thousands of elephants there but we only saw a few so you can imagine how big the park is if they were all hiding somewhere! We took our own car again on this safari and looked for animals. We found some that we hadn’t seen before including the bush pig and meerkats. Since it is a natural habitat and not a zoo, animals hunt other animals for meals and we saw bones of elephants and tracks of predators in the dirt. The next day we stayed in a house overlooking the Indian Ocean and a South African boy named Keaneau lived nearby and he knew all about snakes and crocodiles and wild dogs. Kids in South Africa learn a lot about creatures that live in their backyard the same way that we learn about creatures in tide pools in our backyard in Marblehead. He showed us all around and his grandmother had pet tortoises that were so big you could probably ride on one.

We visited places called Monkeyland and World of Birds where we learned all about the different kinds of monkeys and birds. Some monkeys are mischievous and will take your camera if you don’t guard it! The birds were incredible – some were taller than us. A cockatoo landed on our dad’s head and tried to eat the button on the top of his baseball cap. We spent almost the whole day at those two places. The birds didn’t fly away because there were gigantic nets all around but you didn’t really notice them so it seemed like we were out in the forest.

The exciting day for us was when we visited an ostrich farm. We saw lots of baby and adult ostriches. Then we saw some ostriches wearing towels on their back. Next thing you know, both of us got to ride on top of the ostrich and run around the fenced in area. It was really weird – riding a bird. They run really fast so two men had to make sure we didn’t fall off. We also learned that ostrich eggs are so strong that you can stand on them and they won’t break. We also got to visit some fantastic caves that went very deep into the mountain. Over thousands of years the water that drips forms things that look like giant icicles hanging from the ceiling or coming up from the floor. They are called stalactites and stalagmites. They take thousands of years to grow. We also went to a special park where we pet a cheetah and we also put on special gloves so that different raptors like owls, hawks and falcons could land on our arm.

We went to Cape Town which is a fun city in South Africa. We visited the top of a big mountain there called Table Mountain. They call it that because it is very flat like a table. We took a cable car to the top. The next day we had a great time because we got to visit with penguins and they weren’t in a zoo but we got to visit with them where they live. We swam where they swim and played in the sand where they dig their burrows. They lived in a great place and they were very cute when they waddled around. We even saw one penguin with an egg!

We drove all the way to the Cape of Good Hope which is a penninsula that goes far out into the ocean and it is close to where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet at the bottom of Africa. It was very windy because one ocean flows one way and the other ocean flows in the other direction making a lot of wind. We could not look for whales because the whales already migrated south to cooler waters near Antarctica because it was getting too warm near South Africa for them. Back in Cape Town we learned about one of the great leaders of South Africa named Nelson Mandela. He is a very smart and peaceful person who helped the South African people be free.

Here are some fun facts about part 3 of our adventure in South Africa:

How did we get there? We drove our Toyota everywhere.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in cabins, little houses, hotels, and bed & breakfasts where you stay at someone’s house and you stay in one of their rooms and have breakfast there.

What was the weather? It was summer in South Africa so it was warm. The kids get out of school in early December and go back at the end of January – that is their summer.

What language do they speak there? They speak English and Africaans.

What words did we learn? When South Africans want to say “Right now”, they say, “now, now.”

What animals did we see? New animals that we saw were Bush pigs and meerkats and penguins.

What new foods did we try? We had crocodile again.

What was different from home? South Africans do not celebrate Thanksgiving and they don’t eat peanut butter and jelly.

What was the same as home? They have toy stores that sell our favorite Legos and everyone likes to eat ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Ostrich Farm
Natural Attraction: The Penguin Colony
Historical Attraction: Nelson Mandela monument

Counts as of 12/12 in South Africa

Number of days on our trip: 116
Number of Countries: 13
Number of Different Places Slept: 69
Ferries 11
Planes 6
Buses 2
Trains 7

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in South Africa Part 3!

South Africa Part 3 Kids Slideshow (67)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPWEWO0oGfhVYQTwfSL3ocpNGk8TODym3AVib1M

South Africa Kids – Part 2…..November 7 – November 26……20 days

Hello friends!

This is part 2 of our adventure in South Africa. For the next 20 days we went to some African villages, went to another African country, saw a new ocean and went on a water safari and saw some dangerous animals! At the end of this part of our adventure, we had been away for 100 days!

We visited the small country of Swaziland. Swaziland is surrounded by South Africa. We liked it there and the people were very friendly. Swaziland is led by a king – it was the first country we had been to that has a real king! We didn’t see him but we saw pictures of him everywhere. In Swaziland we visited a village where they showed us how most people lived in Africa in the old days. They lived in houses made of sticks in a shape that looks like a beehive so they call them beehive huts. Everyone has a job and the whole village works together. The grandparents are the leaders of the village. In the village they make lots of crafts by weaving blankets, making jewelry from beads, making baskets from thick grass and carving decorations out of wood. We bought lots of things. Our favorite were two cars made of wood that we play with all of the time.

We stayed in lots of interesting places and even though we didn’t always go on a safari, there were always animals around somewhere. One time we were in a cabin in the bush and there were warthogs looking for food right outside! Sometimes the wildlife was dangerous like the time a scorpion landed on Oliver’s shoulder (no bites) and our Mom got stung by a jellyfish. Neither of us got hurt but we always have to be careful. We were excited to head towards the beach because this was the first time we got to see the Indian Ocean. It was warm and very blue. We went on a water safari where we saw lots of crocodiles and hippos.

We went to a village in South Africa where we learned about the Zulu people. We slept in a beehive hut and listened to Zulu music which they played on giant wooden xylophones and drums and they could make loud whistling sounds like birds. We watched them dance and the next day we learned how to throw spears! It was a lot of fun to see how other people live. There are beautiful mountains in South Africa and we went on a lot of hikes. We went into some caves on one of our hikes and saw some cave paintings painted by ancient Africans that we call cavemen. The paintings were almost 5,000 years old.

Here are some fun facts about part 2 of our adventure:

How did we get there? We rented a car in South Africa and drove everywhere in it. It was a Toyota.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in cabins and sometimes apartments that had a kitchen and livingroom, other times we were all in one room.

What was the weather?
It was summer in South Africa so it was warm.

What language do they speak there? They speak English and Africaans and Zulu where we visited.

What words did we learn? We didn’t learn any Africaans but we did learn some new namew of some new living things that we didn’t know before like the flower of South Africa called the Protea and the bird you see most often is called the Helmeted Guinea Fowl.

What animals did we see? In this part of our trip we saw a lot of hippos and crocodiles and snakes.

What new foods did we try? We didn’t try any new foods on this part of the trip but we had two favorite restaurants called Wimpy’s and Spur because they had fun climbing tubes to play on.

What was different from home? There are more dangerous animals and creatures that live in the wild that you have to be careful of.

What was the same as home? Everyone likes to eat ice cream!

Favorites

Tourist Attraction: Zulu Cultural Village
Natural Attraction:
Drakensburg Mountain Range
Historical Attraction:
Cave Paintings

Counts as of 11/26 in South Africa

Number of days on our trip: 100
Number of Countries:
13
Number of Different Places Slept:
62
Ferries
11
Planes
6
Buses
2
Trains
7

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in South Africa Part 2!

South Africa Part 2 KIDS (73)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPpSte02AGBcqX4VkonzivTpoA7J_Bll9GlrpIO

South Africa Kids Part 1 October 29 – November 6………9 days

Hello friends! We visited South Africa for almost 50 days. There was so much to see. This part is about our first 9 days which was very exciting. South Africa is the country that is the farthest south in Africa. We landed in Johannesburg and travelled clockwise around the country.We saw lots of wildlife. We were surprised to see monkeys and baboons right on the side of the road searching for food in the grass. We started by seeing small creatures until we went on a 2 day safari in a real safari jeep that could drive through water, mud and in the bushes. The whole place where the animals live is called “The Bush” because there are mostly bushes for the animals to eat. We saw BIG animals and lots of them. The safari was very cool – we went on morning drives at 6:00am so we could catch the animals out searching for breakfast and then we would go out again at 4:00pm to see them hunt for dinner. We learned about how to find animals by looking for their footprints in the dirt. We also learned to watch for predators like lions if all of the birds were chirping loudly or if the antelope started running away.

In South Africa we went hiking in a canyon and watch hippos swim in a nearby stream. We learned that hippos are very dangerous and that you should never get close to one. After the canyon trip, we spent 3 days in one of the largest national parks in the world called Kruger National Park. We drove in our own rented car for 3 days and saw lots of animals who live in the park. The park is so big, that it is bigger than some countries! If you watch our slideshow, you will see some of the animals that we saw. The baby animals were especially cute and because it was Spring in South Africa, many babies were just born. Insects were quite big in South Africa including the millipedes and the famous dung beetles. We had a list of all of the animals to look for and when we saw one, we would make a check next to its name and look for others.

Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We were in Morocco which is in the northern part of Africa then we flew overnight to South Africa. It was the longest flight so far.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in hotels and huts called rondowels that are round with roofs made of sticks.

What was the weather?
South Africa’s seasons are the opposite of America. In South Africa it was the beginning of summer but at home it was the beginning of winter. So, it was warm during the day and a little cool at night. We didn’t have any rain.

What language do they speak there? They speak English and Africaans where we visited.

What words did we learn? We didn’t learn any Africaans but we did learn some English words that are different there. For example, they call the trunk of the car the boot. Instead of barbeque, they call it a braii (like bry). We also learned the names of new animals like Kudu and Nyala.

What animals did we see? Too many to list – check out the slideshow to see them.

What new foods did we try? Crocodile and Ostrich!

What was different from home? Everyone drives on the opposite side of the road. Monkeys are everywhere.

What was the same as home? Everyone likes to eat ice cream!

We hope you enjoy our slideshow of our first adventure in South Africa!

South Africa Part 1 (111)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipNc3ocUbDO1DVuPTKd4t5eY8vKsyvxSB8x_hf3-

Morocco Kids October 12 – 28 17 days

Hello friends!

We visited Morocco for 17 days – this is the longest we spent in any country so far on our adventure. Morocco is part of Africa. We had never been to Africa before. We went all around Morocco in a clockwise direction. Morocco had lots of different environments: mountains, snow, desert, valleys, ocean and mud. Morocco was very colorful. People make a lot of things that they use like carpets, cookware, blankets, jewelry and baskets. They make them from things they find in nature like wool from sheep, clay from mud and grass.

In Morocco we went to a town that was painted light blue. It was very bright and everyone was very friendly. We bought carpets and a jacket for Henry and lots of crafts and sent them home to Marblehead since we cannot carry them. We went to an old city called Fes that had walls all around the city to protect it. There were lots of windy alleys within the walls. We met lots of people who made instruments, shoes, decorations, lamps and leather bags. All of the doorways were very fancy shapes and not just rectangles. It made us curious to see what was behind each one. We took camel rides out to the desert and fed apes in the forest.

Lots of houses are made from mud and some houses are big and called kasbahs. The kings of Morocco lived in very big kasbahs. Most of the people work very hard farming. There aren’t a lot of grocery stores. They must grow their own food. We made some friends who lived in the mountains and we played soccer and played Uno and the boy was named Abdul and he showed us how to make french fries from potatoes. We helped them pick and peel corn and we even went to a wedding with our new friends. Abdul didn’t speak english, he spoke Berber but it didn’t matter because we still had lots of fun.

We got to watch women weave wool and cotton to make blankets and rugs. They let us try. It takes a long time to make a rug. Morocco used to be covered with ocean water thousands of years ago so there are lots of sea fossils. There are also special rocks that when you break them open, they have colorful crystals inside. We brought some fossils and crystal rocks home.

Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We were in Egypt so we flew to Spain which is near Morocco and then took a train to the south of Spain and then took a ferry across the sea to Morocco. Then we rented a car and drove 1,700 miles.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in hotels, caves, tents and kasbahs.

What was the weather? It was hot in the desert during the day but cool at night. In the mountains it was cool but not too cold. It only rained one day in two weeks. Everyone wears robes just like in Egypt to stay cool.

What language do they speak there? They speak French, Berber and Arabic but many people also speak English.

What words did we learn? Marhaba – Arabic for Greetings.

What animals did we see? Barbary Apes, Camels, Donkeys, Lizards, and Horses.

What new foods did we try? Couscous and meat cooked in a tagine,

What was different from home? Everyone wears robes, the houses are made of mud and people ride donkeys everywhere.

What was the same as home? Everyone likes to eat ice cream!

Favorites

Meals: Chicken Kebaps (like a chicken shish kebab)
Drink: Guava Juice, Apple Tea
Dessert: Ice Cream
Tourist Attraction: The Arabian Horse Show
Natural Attraction: The Desert
Historical Attraction: The markets

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Morocco!

Morocco Kid’s Slideshow (109)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipO7VOWGjraQMpmbN_eBE8O_GWs8n627znkso04u
Egypt Kids October 1 – 11 11 days

Hello friends!

We visited Egypt for 11 days. Egypt is part of Africa. We had never been to Africa before. We went to two cities – Cairo in the north and Luxor in the south. Both cities are built along the long Nile river. Cairo is a very busy city with lots of people and Luxor is in the country but surrounded by ancient temples and spirits.

Egypt is famous for its giant Pyramids where the mummies of the kings were placed with all of their treasures after they died. We went to visit the Pyramids and went inside one of them. The passageways inside are very small and were supposed to be secretive. However, since the kings were buried in giant pyramids, everyone knew where they were and knew that priceless treasures were hidden inside them – even the treasure hunters who were called tomb robbers. Eventually, all of the treasures were stolen from the Pyramids by tomb robbers. So the Egyptians instead decided to bury their king’s mummies and treasures in hidden underground tombs in the dry, hot desert in Luxor which is called the Valley of the Kings. They stayed hidden for a long time but eventually, the tomb robbers found those also. Except for one that remained hidden for thousands of years. Do you know whose tomb it was? The most famous king from Egypt – King Tutankhamen or King Tut, for short. A scientist named Howard Carter spent 5 years digging around the Valley of the Kings and just when he was about to give up, he found the treasures of King Tut. There were so many different treasures hidden in King Tut’s tomb that today they fill an entire floor of the Egyptian Museum. It is because of Howard Carter and his team’s efforts that we can all see the treasures that the ancient Egyptians created. We can see them in books and museums around the world. There were thousands of treasures buried with King Tut. Oliver and Henry liked playing “I Spy” in the Egyptian Museum. We would go into a room with treasures in it and try to find something special that was mentioned in our book such as a gold crown with a snake on it or a mummy of a cat or a necklace with a jewel shaped like a beetle on it.

Egypt is also famous for its hieroglyphics and its papyrus. The hieroglyphics were the symbols that were used to tell stories and communicate – sort of the first alphabet. Papyrus was the first material that you could write or draw on that wasn’t a rock. Rocks were too heavy to carry but papyrus was light because it was made from a plant. With papyrus, stories could be shared more easily. We saw lots of hieroglyphics and we saw how papyrus was made from plants. It is fun to try to write secret messages with hieroglyphics. We bought a piece a papyrus with a picture of King Tut on it and it had Oliver and Henry’s names written in hieroglyphics on it.

Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We were in Romania so to get to Egypt, we had to go back to Budapest in Hungary first by overnight train and then catch a plane to Egypt. The plane took off at midnight and landed in the middle of the night.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in 2 hotels and slept on 2 trains.

What was the weather? It was hot! There is a lot of desert in Egypt so sometimes it is scorching hot! A lot of people wear loose, light robes instead of heavy, tight clothes so they can get a little breeze on their skin.

What language do they speak there? They speak Arabic but many people also speak English.

What words did we learn? Marhaba – Arabic for Greetings.

What animals did we see? Cats. Cats are everywhere. Camels – they ride camels in the desert.

What new foods did we try? Pita bread, Guava juice,

What was different from home? The city had so many people you could barely see in front of you. In the country, there are palm trees along the Nile.

What was the same as home? Everyone likes to eat ice cream!

Favorites

Meals: Chicken Kebaps (like a chicken shish kebab)
Drink: Guava Juice, Tea
Dessert: Ice Cream
Tourist Attraction: The Egyptian Museum
Natural Attraction: The Nile
Historical Attraction: Pyramids

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Egypt!

Egypt Kid’s Slideshow (65)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipO8w0dXsrItfGdbmMG6uWlmboyLyTPB8A-i0ZOr

Bucharest, Romania September 27 – October 1 4 days

Hello friends!

We visit to Romania lasted 4 days. One day on the train to get there and 3 days in Bucharest which is the capitol. We had friends in Bucharest who showed us all around.Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We were in Turkey before so we took a train to get from Turkey to Romania. It took 15 hours! But we had a cabin and we slept in bunk beds! It was fun!

Where did we sleep? We slept on the train the first night and then slept in a nice hotel with lots of space for the next 3 nights.

What was the weather? It was just like Marblehead, sunny but maybe a sweater for the evening.

What language do they speak there? They speak Romanian.

What words did we learn? Unfortunately, we did not learn any because we were with our friends who spoke English.

What animals did we see? Black Squirrels.

What new foods did we try? Romania had foods like America so we had lots of familiar foods.

What was different from home? The architecture of the buildings was a lot fancier than at home.

What was the same as home? They had Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and everyone eats ice cream.

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Romania.

Romania Kid’s Slideshow (33)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOgnlfYy3VEYV-cfGAKgu1TIaTj-5xac6ZdUCMv

Turkey Kids September 19 – -September 27 8 days

Hello friends! We visited Turkey for 8 days. We went to two cities – Ephesus and Istanbul. Turkey is very different from Marblehead but we always find things that we have in common when we visit different places.Turkey is famous for having some of the oldest cities in the world. Most people are Muslim which means they go to pray in a mosque instead of a church. The mosques are beautiful and have rounded roofs. Turkey is also famous for being on two continents – part is on Europe and part is on Asia! We went to both sides. Turkey has two seas that touch it – the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. We saw both! It took us a long time to go all the way across Turkey to see both seas but we did it!Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We were in Greece and we took a boat from one of the islands of Greece across to Turkey. The Greek Islands spread all of the way over towards Turkey.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in 4 hotels in 8 days. That is one hotel every other night.

What was the weather? It was warm. We wore shorts and sunglasses. Mom and Dad wore long pants because in Turkey, the people prefer to cover their skin but for kids it is ok to wear shorts.

What language do they speak there? They speak Arabic but many people also speak English.

What words did we learn? Marhaba – Arabic for Greetings.

What animals did we see? Cats. Cats are everywhere.

What new foods did we try? Chicken Kebaps, Apple Tea, Sallem (type of hot milky drink with nutmeg)

What was different from home? There are mostly Muslim people who go to pray at the mosque many times a day. When it is time to go to the mosque to pray, the mosque leaders call out over the speakers across the towns and cities. Muslim women here where scarves on their heads when they go outside. Also, there aren’t many supermarkets, everyone shops at the outdoor market.

What was the same as home? Everyone loves to go festivals and everyone eats ice cream.

Favorites

Meals: Chicken Kebaps (like a chicken shish kebab)

Drink: Peach Juice, Apple Tea
Dessert: Gelato Ice Cream

Tourist Attraction: The Blue Mosque

Natural Attraction: Crossing the Bosphorus (like a canal) that allows ships to go from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea.

Historical Attraction: Ephesus

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Turkey.
Turkey Kids Slideshow (48)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipN74-1ndNV7-H__yPriqDoeV9UHon-GVplzjBAA

Greece September 8 – -September 19 11 days

Hello friends!

We visited Greece for 11 days. Greece is where Hercules comes from and the first marathon race was started here. Greece is famous for having a lot of ancient ruins and for a being a beautiful country with many islands in the Aegean Sea. The most famous ancient ruin is on the highest hill in Athens. It is build on a high hill because the ancient Greeks believed that they would be closer to the gods in the sky if they built it on a hil.Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We started in Dubrovnik, Croatia and made a backwards 7 across the sea. First we took a 6 hour ferry across to Italy. Then we changed to a bigger ship and took a 15 hour ride south to Greece.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in 6 hotels in 11 days. That is almost a different bed every 2 nights.

What was the weather? It was warm. We wore shorts and sunglasses. The weather was like Marblehead’s weather. It was about 80 degrees and the sea was warm for swimming. It was very windy on the Greek Islands.

What language do they speak there? They speak Greek but many people also speak English.

What words did we learn? Kalimera means Hello.

What animals did we see? Donkeys. Donkeys are everywhere. The Greeks use them instead of cars, They are very strong.

What new foods did we try? Baklava, Honeydew Melon

What was different from home? All of the houses, buildings and churches were painted white. Santorini was madel of there volcanic soil on Santorini. Volcanic soil has lots of vitamins and minerals that the lava brings up from the earth’s core and it makes all of the crops grow big and tasty.

What was the same as home? Everyone eats ice cream.

Favorites

Meals: Pizza, again.

Drink: Milk.
Dessert:
Gelato Ice Cream

Tourist Attraction: The island of Santorini and its white buildings.

Natural Attraction: The black lava beach in Santorini

Historical Attraction: The famous Acropolis with the ancient temples.

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Greece.

Greece Kids Slideshow (62)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOwHlxgoRaLe_uMoHfDNBnqWxaITHLvFl-TssR2

Croatia August 26-September 8

Hello friends! We visited Croatia for 14 days. We didn’t know much about Croatia which made it very exciting to explore.Croatia is famous for being a beautiful country on the Adriatic Sea. It has cities, country villages, beaches, ancient ruins, bat caves, waterfalls, mountains, castles and islands.Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We took a train from Budapest and went southeast to Zagreb, Croatia. The train ride took about 6 hours. Then we rented a car to explore the winding roads around the country.

Where did we sleep? We stayed in 12 different hotels in 14 days. That is almost a different bed every night.

What was the weather? It was warm. We wore shorts and sunglasses. The weather was like Marblehead’s weather. It was about 80 degrees but the Adriatic Sea was cold.

What language do they speak there? They speak Croatian but most people also speak English.

What words did we learn? Havala (pronounced Hawalla) means Thank you.

What animals did we see? Cats. Cats are everywhere. There are as many cats in Croatian towns as there are squirrels in Marblehead. We also saw Dalmatians which come from Croatia.

What new foods did we try? Tomato Soup, Olives

What was different from home? The soil was reddish and the rocks were white. The toilets flush differently. You push a button on the top of the toilet.

What was the same as home? Everyone eats ice cream.

Favorites

Meals: Pizza

Drink: Peach Juice
Dessert: Gelato Ice Cream

Tourist Attraction: The drawbridge at Dubrovnik Castle

Natural Attraction: Walking along the lakes at Plitvice National Park

Historical Attraction: The Roman Ruins in Pula

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Croatia:
Croatia Kid’s Slideshow (58)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMEjcWsn731V-4JzHiBUTVA0ejt6w4vtLH-gKEx

Budapest,

Hungary August 22 – 26

Hello friends! We are in Budapest, Hungary! We visited Budapest for 4 days. Everyone told us that Budapest was a beautiful city so we wanted to see it.Budapest is famous for being a beautiful city on the Danube River. There is a palace on a hill overlooking the city and 7 bridges that cross the river. The most famous bridge is called the Chain Bridge. We played on the playgrounds and went to a museum where you can see things that they found underground. We saw statues that were sometimes broken and we saw some old tools made of metal. There are lots of fancy buildings with colorful roofs and steeples and at night, the whole city lights up.Here are some fun facts about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We took a plane from Paris to Budapest. The plane ride took about 1 hour. Then we took a taxi to our hotel.

Where did we sleep? In a big apartment. It had two bedrooms and a kitchen and a t.v.

What was the weather? It was warm. We wore shorts and sunglasses. The weather was like Marblehead’s weather. It was about 80 degrees.

What language do they speak there? They speak hungarian.

What animals did we see? The same animals that we see in Marblehead – squirels, dogs and cats.

What new foods did we try? Wiener Schnitzel (fried veal), Peach juice (everyone drinks peach juice)

What was different from home? Most restaurants have their tables and chairs outside. Everyone likes to eat outside.

What was the same as home? Everyone eats ice cream and there were lots of kids skateboarding.

Favorites

Meals: Pizza

Drink: Peach Juice
Dessert: Gelato Ice Cream

Tourist Attraction: Swimming in the big pools.

Natural Attraction: Walking along the Danube

Historical Attraction: Palace on the Hill

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our adventure in Budapest:

Budapest Kid’s Slideshow (37)

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMa80lG4MeTelMH9UKoneRmkFZ-iKDc4fM-rn5y

Paris August 19-22

Bonjour mes amis! We visited Paris for three days and it was terrific! Paris is a beautiful city with lots of parks for families and, especially, kids! Here are some things you might like to know about our adventure there:

How did we get there? We took a plane overnight then a train from the airport to get to Paris. We had been to Paris before (2 years earlier) and we were excited to go and do our favorite activities.

Where did we sleep? In a hotel. Our hotel was great because it had bunk-beds for kids!

What was the weather? It was a little cool and drizzling. It was about 70 degrees. We wore raincoats and long pants the first day but it warmed up every day after that.


What language do they speak there?
They speak french.

What words did we learn? Bonjour (Hello), Au Revoir (Good Bye), S’il vous plait (Please) and Merci (Thank you)

What animals did we see? Ponies and donkeys in the park for riding.

What new foods did we try? Omelettes and french onion soup.

What was different from home? The money is different looking and everything is in centimeters and meters instead of inches and miles.

Favorites

Meals: Chocolate Crepes
Drink: Hot Chocolate
Dessert: Chocolate cake
Tourist Attraction: Luxembourg Garden’s Kids Activities
Natural Attraction: Walking along the Seine
Historical Attraction: Oliver: Notre Dame; Henry: Eiffel Tower lit up at night.

We hope you enjoy this slideshow of Paris

Paris Kid’s Slideshow (56)
https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMxaYlLgs2d7kXlm-R_2jW1KXOcEDa92jPWAsA4

Advertisements

2 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Hello Henry! We’ve been following your trip on our world map. Everyone sends a big HELLO! The top three questions the students have are 1. How are you enjoying the food; 2. Are you making new friends; 3. How are you feeling traveling around? We hope to hear from you soon. Love, Mrs. Quillen’s class

  2. Hello Jalbert’s!!! Eric and Anna say hello. All they want to do now is travel!!!!! Please keep up the great work putting thie trip of a lifetime together and documanting your travels. Best Regards, Brian, Johanna, Eric and Anna


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: