Sat, 2006-06-03 16:24

The Alice Springs Desert Park and The Royal Flying Doctors

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-06-03 16:24.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we got up and we went to The Alice Springs Desert Park. First we bought our ticket to get in, then we picked up our audio guides and then we walked through the Park. We saw all of the different habitats. One of the buildings at the park was the Nocturnal Habitat where it's dark inside and the animals are awake because they move around at night.

I saw lots of snakes, some spiders and some bats called Ghost Bats.

Then we started walking outside again and we saw Kangaroos and Emus. The Kangaroos were sleeping in the sun, not hopping around.

Then we walked back and we got in the car and went to a tour of The Royal Flying Doctors. They are doctors that fly in airplanes to help people that are in the middle of the Outback and are not near any town where they could see a doctor. The kids even go to school by listening to a two-way radio. It's a very remote way of teaching someone. It was very interesting to learn about.

Fri, 2006-06-02 03:48

Amazing Sunrise, Road Trains and Traveling to a Town Called Alice

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-06-02 03:48.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up really, really, really, EARLY AGAIN, this time to see the sunrise at Uluru. Sunrise was at 7:23 am and we got there just in time to see the sun brightening up the sky. The sky was full of clouds and they looked red underneath. It was really cool.

After the sunrise, we went to the Cultural Centre and learned about the Aboriginal People who live in the area. Uluru is a sacred and important part of their life. Some people come here to climb on Uluru but the Aboriginal People very politely ask that they don’t out of respect for what it means to them and their way of life. After we left the Cultural Centre we drove around Uluru one more time and we saw people climbing. It made me sad.

After that we packed up and headed onto the highway to Alice Springs. Along the way through the Outback we saw these things called “Road Trains.” Road Trains are big trucks pulling two or three really long trailers. It’s like nothing I have ever seen at home.

We arrived in Alice Springs and got settled and went out to explore for a bit. It’s been a long day and I am tired.

Thu, 2006-06-01 03:47

Flying to Ayers Rock - Uluru, Amazing Sunset

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-06-01 03:47.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up really, really, really EARLY to fly to Ayers Rock (the native people call it Uluru). It was a 3 hour flight and before I knew it we were there. We got our rental car and drove to our hotel called Sails in the Desert. Dad and I went to find lunch and then after lunch I went swimming in a very cool pool. The water came all the way up to the edge and was equal with the edge. It was warm and hardly any people were swimming so I almost had the whole pool to myself!

Later on, we drove to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park just down the road. We were told that sunset would be at about 6:03 pm so we got there just before. We got to the sunset viewing area in front of Uluru. The rock was bright red and as the sun set it changed colors every 30 seconds or so. It was amazing. Uluru has become a symbol of Australia and now I know why. It’s HUGE and RED and BEAUTIFUL.

After we left the park we went to a outdoor barbeque restaurant for dinner. First you pick out what you want to eat. I choose hotdogs. After we got the food, I went to the grill and cooked it myself. It was really fun!

Tue, 2006-05-30 23:33

Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge and Ellis Beach

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-05-30 23:33.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we rented a car. It’s BRAND new! I got to ride in the front with my Dad so that Hannah and I would leave each other alone. First we drove up to Port Douglas and had lunch. In fact, we had Mexican food for the first time in five months!!! I had a bean and cheese burrito which was yummy. I miss Mexican food.

After that we left Port Douglas and drove further up the coast to a place called Mossman Gorge. It’s the southern most part of the Daintree National Park which is a rain forest. I have never been in a rain forest before. It was COOL! Actually it was HOT and HUMID. But it was VERY VERY green and damp. There were all kinds of big trees and a canopy overhead that made like a roof. We walked a while and found a suspension bridge and we went on it and made it rock. My Mom was trying to take a picture but the bridge just wouldn’t hold still!

Anyway, after that we had ice cream, a 99 cent Flake just like England. My Dad said we’d find them all over Australia. I want another one!

Then we headed back and stopped at a great place called Ellis Beach. Soft sand and warm water. We waded in the water and had a great time!

Another fun day in Australia!!!

Sun, 2006-05-28 23:28

The Great Barrier Reef and I Found Nemo (but not Dory!)

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-05-28 23:28.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

This morning I got up at 6:00 am and got in my swim suit. We got on a mini bus and headed over to the Wharf in Cairns where our boat was waiting to take us to the Great Barrier Reef.

We got on the boat however before we got on they took our picture getting on the boat. Then we got on the boat and headed out for an hour and a half until we got to the pontoon out on the Great Barrier Reef (the middle of nowhere). Then we got off of the boat, got settled and my Mom and Hannah went off to get their gear on for their scuba dive. My Dad and I went to watch them and then we got all of our stuff on to go on the snorkeling tour.

We went out on the first snorkel with a marine biologist who explained everything we were seeing. She would dive down to the bottom of the ocean and bring up animals for us to see like sea cucumbers. There was a diver with a camera that took pictures of us while we snorkeled. And sometimes when she took your picture, you would get to see Wally, the HUGE fish. I saw Nemo, but not Dory, and I saw lots and lots of colorful fish. I also saw one HUGE school of fish.

After our snorkeling time, my Dad and I had a rest and some lunch with my Mom and Hannah. After lunch, my Mom and Hannah went on their second dive because they had such a good time on their first dive. Then, Dad and I got ready for our second snorkel, the adventure snorkel tour, father out on the Reef.

First what you do is get on a boat that takes you out a long way and then you have to jump off of the boat into the water. That was REALLY fun! To get off of the boat, I had a snorkel vest on, and then what you do is that you push down on the snorkel vest and jump off hoping that you won’t sink. Then you join the group and go off on the snorkel. Also, there is a ring that the marine biologist said we could use if we needed to hang on to something. The drop off was simply AMAZING. You see this GREAT coral, and water going down forever and forever and forever. It really is a drop off. Just like in the movie Finding Nemo.

Sat, 2006-05-27 23:27

Traveling to Australia, Down Under!!!

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-05-27 23:27.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Yesterday we got on a night flight to Australia. It was a 9 hour flight so I slept the whole way. On Saturday morning we landed at about 5:30 am. We got a ride to our hotel (really an apartment) and checked in. Then we went to sleep again for a while since we were so tired.

After we woke up, we explored the town of Trinity Beach and had a cheeseburger and fries for dinner. It tasted great! Then I had ice cream, it tasted great too!!!

We went to bed early because tomorrow we get up to go to the Great Barrier Reef. I can hardly wait!

Thu, 2006-05-25 23:03

Going to Sieffre’s School

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-05-25 23:03.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today was really, really, really FUN! I got up early with Dad and we went on the train to Zushi where Sieffre and his family live. We met Sieffre and Steffan at the station and we walked together to their school.

At first, they all practiced for a sports day that is coming up. After that I went with Sieffre to his classes. His first class was when they practiced Japanese writing. I got to learn how to write my name in Japanese. I used a pencil to write, not a brush, that’s just for calligraphy. After writing class we had history class and then we went to math where they are learning fractions too. After that, we had lunch in the cafeteria. I had spaghetti with sauce and a bun and milk.

After lunch we had time to play and then we took pictures of the class and then I went home. I had a great day because it was lots of fun to play with kids that speak a different language from me. I learned that kids around the world are a lot like my friends at home, they just like to have fun. By the way, whenever the teacher left the classroom, it was chaos. And then when the teacher came back into the classroom, everybody went back to their seats and paid attention.

It was a great day!!

Tue, 2006-05-23 23:02

Toyota Factory Tour, 9 Trains and Back to Kamakura

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-05-23 23:02.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up really early and caught the first of 9 trains of the day. We got to Toyota by about 10:30 in the morning and waited for our tour to start. We got on a bus with other people and first they took us to the part of the factory where they assemble the cars. They were building Prius’ and Camry’s today.

Then we saw the part of the factory where robots do all of the welding for different parts of the cars. It was AMAZING to see the robots work. It was like they were dancing. There were sparks flying EVERYWHERE!

My favorite part of visiting the Toyota factory was sitting in the cars in the showroom. It was really COOL!!!

Mon, 2006-05-22 23:01

Exploring with Kyoto with Dad

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-05-22 23:01.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today Dad and I explored Kyoto while Mom and Hannah went out with Kazuo to temples and later to shop. Kazuo made another great dinner and we went to bed. Tomorrow we have to get up early to go to see the Toyota factory!

Sun, 2006-05-21 23:00

To-ji Temple Market

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-05-21 23:00.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we went to the To-ji Temple Market, a market my Mom heard about. It was very crowded with lots of visitors and people selling all kinds of things like food and antiques. It was really HOT and my Mom and I couldn’t find anyone selling water. So we got lots and lots of cups of shaved ice to eat to cool off. Finally we found someone selling water and it tasted really good.

After that we had lunch and then explored in Kyoto some more. We went all the way to the top of the Kyoto Train Station on escalators that went up and up and up and up and up. It was amazing!

Sat, 2006-05-20 22:59

Bullet Train to Kyoto, Meeting Kazuo and Learning to Make Sushi

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-05-20 22:59.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we took our first bullet train all the way to Kyoto. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. We got to Kyoto really fast. The owner of the place where we are staying is called Kazuo. He picked us up at the train station and took us to his guesthouse called Bon.

We unpacked and then walked with him to the market to buy groceries for dinner. He is going to make sushi, my favorite. We picked out all kinds of fish and then went to the store to buy the vegetables we needed.

When we got back to Guesthouse Bon, Kazuo showed me how to make Edemame. Then he showed me how to cook I the tofu pockets for Inari. It was really fun. He let me help a lot and cook on the stove.

We had a feast of sushi and a lot of fun. After dinner Kazuo and I played War with cards. We had a lot of fun. It was a great day!

Fri, 2006-05-19 22:58

Giant Buddha and Meeting New Friends Sieffre, Steffan and Ffiona

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-05-19 22:58.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Last night I slept on the floor on a futon for the first time. It was really different but I liked it a lot. In the morning, we just folded them up and put them away. Then we went to see the Daihatsu, a giant Buddha at a temple in Kamakura. We rode a tram to get there and it was HUGE. Hannah and I went inside the statue which was made of bronze. It was hot inside and you could see out the top of the head.

After that we went on the train to visit a friend of my Mom’s for tea. Her eldest grandson, Sieffre is 11 and he and his brother Steffan and I had fun playing together. Hannah had fun playing with Sieffre’s little sister Ffiona who is six years old. We had dinner together at a place where you cook your own food on hot plate in the middle of the table. That was really fun. I like to cook. I might go to school one day next week with Sieffre.

Thu, 2006-05-18 22:56

Traveling to Japan, Arriving in Kamakura

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-05-18 22:56.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we went to the airport in Hong Kong. While my Dad and Hannah got something to eat, my Mom and I went shopping for a suitcase that rolls. We found one and I wheeled it all over the airport before our flight left. Four hours later, we arrived in Japan, found our train and arrived in Kamakura where we will be staying some of the time while we are here. We are staying in a guest house in the garden of a woman named Miyako who is really nice and makes us feel really at home.

We are going to sleep on the floor tonight!

Wed, 2006-05-17 00:36

Hong Kong Stock Market

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-05-17 00:36.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today my Dad and I went to see the Hong Kong Stock Market Building. It was very interesting. We got to see all of their computers and big screens. It was their lunch hour, so the traders were not there.

I was interested in the stock for Cathay Pacific Airlines. If you wanted to buy a share of the company, it would cost $13 Hong Kong dollars. So it's just over $1 US to buy a tiny piece of the company. If you wanted to buy the whole company, it would cost $13 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Tue, 2006-05-16 00:30

Traveling from Beijing back to Hong Kong

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-05-16 00:30.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up REALLY REALLY early to get our flight back to Hong Kong. I got up at 4:30 in the morning. We got to the airport, had breakfast and boarded our flight. I fell right to sleep right by my Mom who was also asleep. When I woke up I watched Cheaper By The Dozen 2 which I didn't like as well as the first one.

After we got to Hong Kong, we found the Express train to the center of the city. The train seats had personal TV's in the back of the headrests. It was a 28 minute ride and we went over some bridges along the way. We got a taxi to our hotel and checked in. I fell asleep again because I was so tired.

When I got up, Hannah and I went swimming. There is a typhoon on the way, so we wanted to swim before they closed the pool. We are watching the progress of the typhoon on the weather channel. It is supposed to be here in the middle of the night.

Mon, 2006-05-15 01:03

The Great Wall

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-05-15 01:03.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up really early to go to the Great Wall. We drove for an hour and a half to get there. On the way, I could see the Wall on top of the mountains. We got our tickets and headed up the hill to the stairs. Then we climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed to the very, very top. It was a long way up. You could see forever when you got to the top. Then we climbed all the way back down.

We drove back to the Summer Palace and had lunch. It was a long day but lots of fun.

Sun, 2006-05-14 01:13

Duck Number (over 100 million ducks sold!) Mmmm Good!

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-05-14 01:13.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today for lunch I had roast duck for the first time. Actually it's called Peking Duck and Beijing is famous for it. The chef brought the cooked duck to the side of our table and first cut the head off, sliced it in half and gave it to my Dad to eat. Then he sliced up the rest of the duck. I ate it in a pancake with plum sauce. It tasted interesting.

The restaurant has had lots of famous visitors like George Bush Sr., Pele, and me! They keep track of the number of ducks they serve and have a big counter in the main room of the restaurant.

In the morning we visited Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.

For dinner we met Iris and had a great meal at a restaurant decorated like the way the royalty lived in last Chinese Dynasty. There was a lot of bright colors and great dancing and music. It was fun!

Sat, 2006-05-13 01:20

Shopping at the YaShow Market

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-05-13 01:20.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we went all over Beijing and explored lots of places. One place we went was called the YaShow Market.

When we went in the first thing I saw was a Ferrari shirt that I had seen at the Ferrari factory (there it was $200). Well, after my Mom talked with the person selling the shirt, I got one and it was only $30. And it looks real! I love it.

We walked through the rest of the market and I thought it was kind of scary because everyone is asking you if you want what they are selling and they just don't take no for an answer. If you stop to look at something, you are in big trouble because they won't leave you alone!

The best part of the day was having lunch with my Dad's friend Iris and her friends Stellar and Claire. We had good food at a really big table with a lazy susan in the middle. Claire was fun to talk to since she is learning to speak English. She is 7 years old. I really liked meeting her.

Fri, 2006-05-12 01:26

Traveling to Beijing

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-05-12 01:26.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today was a travel day. We got up and packed, got to the airport and got our flight to Beijing. I watched a movie on the flight. I am excited because on the way back to Hong Kong next week I will get to watch Cheaper By the Dozen 2 which I missed seeing before we left home.

Thu, 2006-05-11 01:28

Exploring Hong Kong

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-05-11 01:28.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we rode the metro in Hong Kong. It was really different than the others because people lined up in straight lines to get on and off and there are glass doors on the platform that open when the train arrives.

We went shopping in a place called Kowloon because my Dad wanted to see some electronics. My Mom and I looked at suitcases and we had lunch. On our way back to our hotel, we had ice cream and then rode the Star Ferry back across Victoria Harbour. We went to a tea shop and then back to the hotel. Tomorrow we go to Beijing!

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