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Wed, 2006-05-10 05:13

First Day in Hong Kong

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-05-10 05:13.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning I woke up in Hong Kong. I looked out of our window and could see Victoria Harbour with ferry boats and cruise ships, and on the street below us I could see the 100 year old double decker trolley cars taking people to work.

We had breakfast at Starbucks for the first time in a long while. It was great! Then we walked through Hong Kong Park where I saw a really "cool" and cool fountain where you could stand in the middle and not get wet.

We walked to The Peak Tram and got on board to head to the top of Victoria Peak. The Tram is over 100 years old too. The Tram ride was very steep and we got to see the skyline of Hong Kong behind us. When we got to the top, we walked around and could see forever.

We had lunch and headed back down the mountain. It was hot and sticky today.

Tue, 2006-05-09 07:54

Leaving Phuket, Traveling to Hong Kong

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-05-09 07:54.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning before we left for the airport I went with my Mom to ride an elephant. We got up really early and we got dressed and everything and then we went in a car for a 5 minute drive to a place where you can ride an elephant. There was a seat on the elephant that fit two people and the elephant handler sat on the elephants head. Our elephant’s name was Guitar and his handler was very nice. Guitar had spotted ears. It was pretty bumpy but way better than riding a camel. I would choose an elephant over a camel any day.

After that we went to the airport and caught our flight back to Bangkok. Then we changed terminals at the airport and boarded our flight to Hong Kong. That’s where I am right now!

Sat, 2006-05-06 07:53

Phuket, Swimming, Elephants

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-05-06 07:53.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Saturday we traveled to Phuket. It was a quick one hour flight and when we got there it was cooler than Bangkok. There are palm trees everywhere and a great swimming pool. We are going to have 3 days off here. Just to have fun.

Sunday morning we rested and went swimming and relaxed. We watched movies at night and went to sleep.

Monday was the same. Swimming, relaxing. Great!

Mon, 2006-05-01 07:52

Fun in Bangkok...

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-05-01 07:52.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

It’s Monday and we had a great day! After resting a bit, we went for a swim and then went by a river taxi to dinner at a restaurant where they had traditional Thai stories told by dancers. They were in bright, shiny costumes that were very beautiful. I had a good dinner, I really like Thai food! Then we went to bed.

On Tuesday we rested in the morning and then went to explore in the afternoon. We went to a big shopping center called the Siam Center and looked around. That night we had Thai food for dinner, I had Pad Thai noodles with chicken, my favorite!

Wednesday we took a tour of the Royal Temple and the Grand Palace. First though, we walked through the flower market to buy some flowers to leave at the Temple. The flower market was busy and full of flowers and other plants. It was a really hot day and very humid too. We got to the Royal Temple and I was amazed at the buildings and the colors. Lots of gold. Lots of mirrors. Lots of statues. Different than anything I have ever seen before. We saw the Grand Palace where the King of Thailand has special events. He doesn’t live there, but close by. Then we went to a special place where they showed us how they make jewelry and polish gems. We looked at everything but didn’t buy anything.

We went swimming when we got back and it felt so good in the hot weather.

On Friday we got up really early and left at 7:00 in the morning for a tour of the Floating Market. We drove for a couple of hours to the market and when we got there, it was amazing. We parked the bus, then got into boats called “long tail” boats that go on the canals. They go really fast and then slow around the corners. We walked through the market where people were selling vegetables and fruits and all kinds of spices and things. They were selling boat to boat. Some were cooking on their boats and handing the food to people on the shore. We were so hot it was too much. It felt good to get back in the bus and be in air conditioning. After we got back to the hotel we went swimming again, it felt really good.

Sun, 2006-04-30 07:51

Traveling to India, whoops, Thailand!

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-04-30 07:51.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we got ready to go. We packed and got organized. We said our goodbyes, which made me sad. I am going to miss Igal and Anat and their kids. Igal drove us to the airport and after we went through security, we went to the ticket counter. The woman behind the counter asked my Dad for our tickets and passports. Then a minute later she asked him for our visas to travel to India. He said “what do you mean?” She checked on the phone and asked again but in order to go to India we needed to have visas. Then my Mom asked where else they were flying that night and after a few other choices, she mentioned Bangkok, Thailand. My Mom and Dad both said “great!” and before I knew it, we were on our way to Bangkok.

It was a long flight (10 hours) and I slept most of the way. We arrived in Bangkok in the afternoon on Monday and got a ride to our hotel.

Thu, 2006-04-27 07:50

Staying with Igal, Anat, Omer, Rotem and Alon (Milky too!)

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-04-27 07:50.

Posted in | michael's blog »

We had a great time staying with Igal, Anat, Rotem, Omer and Alon my Dad's cousins. Their dog Milky is lots of fun too and it makes me miss Henry and Millie.

We had fun with them, went shopping with cousin Ronit and Grandma Rachel the next day (I needed new shoes, mine were worn out) and then on Friday I helped get ready for a big family birthday party for Igal. He is 50.

Anat taught me how to make a chocolate cake and I helped get things ready for the party. The party was great fun, there were about 30 friends and family to celebrate. We also celebrated Grandma Rachel since her birthday is the 30th of April.

Wed, 2006-04-26 07:47

Visiting Jerusalem, The Old City, and Visiting the Katzmans

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-04-26 07:47.

Posted in | michael's blog »

On Tuesday we took the bus to Jerusalem. We went to our hotel and then headed to the Old City of Jerusalem. We had lunch there and then started exploring. First we went through long alleys called the Arab Market. I bought a red sweatshirt that says Coca Cola in Hebrew. The alleys were narrow and seemed to go on forever. It would be easy to get lost in there. One alley had food shops. The smell was bad, especially the butcher shop.

We went to the Western Wall next. There were lots of people saying prayers and putting little pieces of paper in the wall. It was interesting to see. After that, we went to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It has the tomb where Jesus was buried after he died and many other special places where he was. There were lots of people there too.

After that, we were tired and went back to the hotel. We had Indian food again (same restaurant, different town) and went to bed.

On Wednesday morning we met up with our cousin Ezra and my Grandma Rachel. I went with Grandma Rachel to visit some other cousins the Katzmans while Mom, Dad and Hannah went to visit Yad Vashem. Grandma Rachel and I arrived at the Katzmans and I got to meet everybody. We had lunch which was pizza and then I played all afternoon. They even get to jump rope in their living room! I played with Aaron David and all of his sisters that afternoon. I had fun with them. Later my Mom and Dad and Hannah arrived and we went to see their Dad, Trevor at his office. We had dinner together and went on some rides (a UFO!) and then made our way back to Rehovot to the Steinmetz’ where we are staying.

Thu, 2006-04-20 07:45

Petra, Ein Gedi & The Dead Sea

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-04-20 07:45.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

We got up early Saturday morning and a little bus picked us up to take us to the Israeli-Jordanian border. The guide helped us with getting through on the Israeli side and another man helped us on the Jordanian side. After we had passed through, we met up with our guide and driver for the day.

We drove on the King’s Highway all the way to Petra. When we got there we got out of the van and we got our tickets and headed to see the ancient city of Petra. We walked through canyons in the shade and then along the way in the sun, it was very hot and dry. We came around a corner and saw the temple from Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was huge and carved out of the hill. Amazing. We walked along further and saw more home and caves carved into the mountain. It was beautiful sandstone with lots of colors.

I rode a donkey most of the way back. It was better than walking. We had lunch and drove back to the border and made our way back to the hotel. It had been a long day and we were tired. It was great though!

Sunday we got packed and took a bus to Ein Gedi at the Dead Sea. Two men on the bus got in an argument, the bus driver got distracted and didn’t stop to let us off. One hour later he remembered and felt really bad. He arranged for another bus to pick us up and take us back to Ein Gedi. When we finally got there, it was the end of the day and we were hungry and tired. We checked into the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel (along with 200 school kids who arrived moments after we did). Our room had bunk beds and was like camp.

Monday morning we went to the Ein Gedi Preserve and went hiking. On our hike we saw waterfalls and great pools of water where we went swimming. The water felt very comfortable. On our hike back down the mountain, I saw baby Ibex’s. The looked like goats kind of. There were lots of them and it was fun to see so many babies.

After the Preserve, we crossed the highway and headed for the Dead Sea. We had lunch and then bought tickets for the shower (which is important because it’s so salty). I walked into the water and sat down like I was sitting down on a chair, then I floated. It was really cool. The water was warm and felt great. I got some water in my mouth and it tasted disgusting. The only way to get rid of the taste was to wash my mouth with fresh water. After that I was careful about getting the water in my eyes and mouth. It was a neat experience to float like that.

Mon, 2006-04-17 19:30

Traveling to Barcelona, Tel Aviv and swimming in the Red Sea!

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-04-17 19:30.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

Monday morning we got up EARLY and got ourselves to the Gard de Lyon, the train station where we would be catching the really fast French train called the TGV. It was very luxurious. We had comfortable seats and a table to work while we whizzed along through the French countryside. We changed trains at a place right next to the border of Spain. We waited about one hour, then got on a not-so-nice slow-and-stopping-all-the-time train. We arrived in Barcelona, Spain at about 10:00 at night. We got a taxi and made it to our hotel where we had a HUGE odd room. We fell into bed ready to get up early again on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning my Mom woke me up and I took a shower in the biggest round bathtub I have EVER seen! It was weird. But fun. Then we went to the airport to get checked into our flight to Israel. We got on the plane and had good seats. Hannah and I sat together and watched a movie and before we knew it, we were landing in Tel Aviv. We went through Passport Control and found a taxi to the home of my Dad’s cousins where we are staying. What we didn’t know was that they have a great golden retriever called “Milky” who is fun and friendly. It is great to be with a dog again. We fell into bed and slept and slept.

Wednesday my Mom and Dad let Hannah and I sleep as long as we wanted to. It was great! We did some packing for our trip on Wednesday to Eilat at the Red Sea. We only need to take a few things, like bathing suits and shorts! It’s going to be hot and we are going to swim a lot. I got to have dinner and ice cream with my Grandma Rachel, my Dad and his other cousin Ezra, his wife Ronit and their three children.

Thursday morning we got a taxi to take us to the bus station for our trip to Eilat. Many hours later, hot and dusty and tired, we arrived in Eilat. We checked into our hotel and went to the beach to go for a swim. The Red Sea was amazing. Hannah and I jumped in and swam for a long time. There are piers where you can sit in the middle of the water. Our room is very good, and there is a HUGE lobby with three restaurants and two shops. I bought a pair of goggles for swimming. The Red Sea was much better than the pool. You can swim in the Red Sea with your goggles on and look down and see some fish. The water is very salty, but it is very hot water. When you get out, you rinse off in a shower at the beach. We had Indian food for dinner and then we went to bed.

Thu, 2006-04-13 12:14

The Eurostar, Paris and the Eiffel Tower

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-04-13 12:14.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

Thursday we boarded the Eurostar train that goes from London Waterloo station through the Chunnel (channel tunnel) to Paris. It was really, really cool! This train goes under water for 27 minutes at approximately. Slow in London, faster in the Chunnel, and then really fast when it arrives in France. We had breakfast on the train. It was great! We arrived in Paris about 2:00 pm and got a taxi to our hotel. We got there and got into our room where Hannah and I had our own room and two beds. After we got a bit unpacked, we headed out to find some lunch. I got my first taste of a crepe which was warm and had sugar all over it. It was delicious! Can’t wait to have another one!

Friday morning we walked across a bridge over the Seine River to the Louvre Museum. We had a special guide that took us through the museum named Ellen. Her company is called Paris Muse and they have special tours for kids. Our tour was like a treasure hunt where Hannah and I hunted for clues in different rooms of the Museum. Ellen took us through 9,000 years of art, with the oldest statue coming from 9,000 BC. My sister and I saw the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. We got to stand in a special kid’s area so we could see her without a lot of tall adults standing in front of us. When I walked by the Mona Lisa I noticed that she was slanted and her eyes followed me. It was nice to see such a famous painting.

That night we went to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up. The line was so long that we decided to come back another time to go to the top. It was amazing looking at it. Every hour, they turn on special lights that flash and the whole tower looks like it is sparkling.

Saturday it rained in Paris. But that didn’t stop us from seeing Saint Chapelle, which has the most stained glass windows I have ever seen. Then we went to Notre Dame Cathedral which was HUGE. There were gargoyles all over it. And these things called “flying buttresses”. They were cool.

Sunday my Mom and I and Grandpa and Ann went to church at the American Cathedral in Paris. Since it was Easter Sunday, the church was full of flowers and it was today we went to church on Easter and when I woke up, I got a very big surprise from the Easter bunny. He brought me a DS game called Nintendogs with a Husky dog and the movie Wallace and Gromit, the Curse of the Were Rabbit. Then we went to church that spoke English and then went to the hotel.

Fri, 2006-04-07 12:12

Exploring London with Grandpa, Ann and more fun!

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-04-07 12:12.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

Friday morning my Dad, Hannah and I went to the Science Museum in London. The coolest thing I saw there was when we went to see a movie in the IMAX Theatre. The movie was about a journey in space where you got to figure out how all the Apollo’s went to the Moon. They showed how they practiced for their trip to the Moon and I got to wear 3D glasses to get the full effect. After that, my Dad did a simulation where the computer changed his face so that he looked like a woman! He looked like a hairy hamster! It was really funny!

After that, we headed to the London train station called Waterloo to meet Grandpa and Ann. We got there just before their train arrived from Scotland. It was so GREAT to see them; it’s been a long time. We took the Underground to their hotel and helped them get checked in. Then we all went out to dinner and after that my Dad, Mom, Hannah and I took the train back to Bromley South and got back to Grandma Rachel’s and went to bed.

Saturday was a great day. We all went to the British Museum and met our friends Ed and Benjamin who we met when we were traveling in Egypt. They live in London and we met there to explore in the Egyptian area of the Museum. Benjamin had been there before so it was a lot of fun. He brought his little sister Emelia too. It was great to meet her and she and Hannah had a good time together at the Museum. After we finished there, we went to a great place for lunch called the Ultimate Burger. It really is the ULTIMATE burger too! I had a cheeseburger, catsup only, and French fries. It was the BEST! Then we took a bus to Trafalgar Square, walked over the Jubilee Bridge and walked over to the London Eye. The line to get a ticket at the London Eye was miles long as was the line to get on the Eye. So we decided to save it for another day. We said “goodbye for now” to Ed, Benjamin and Emelia. I look forward to seeing them again someday like when we come to London next or maybe if they come to visit us in California!

Thu, 2006-04-06 12:49

Back in London, having fun!!!

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-04-06 12:49.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

Sunday morning I woke up in Canterbury and we packed up to travel to Grandma Rachel’s in Bromley. We arrived at lunchtime and had a great afternoon catching up and relaxing. Grandma Rachel made a yummy dinner.

On Monday my dad and I began the cleanup of the garage. While we were sorting through the garage, I found a tripod that had belonged to my Grandpa Phin. It was a lot of fun to figure out how it worked. Then I attached my camera to the tripod and took some pictures. I helped my dad and we found lots of interesting things. We cleaned it up a lot. After that we went out to fish and chips with my Grandma’s friend Liane and her grandchildren Eloise and Zoe. It was really fun and I loved the fish and chips. We are going to try to play together tomorrow.

Tuesday I went to London on the train with dad and we went to the Chinese Consulate. We have to have Visas for our travels to China in May. The Chinese Consulate had very long line and when we got to the front, we told the person that we were traveling to China and she helped us. We are to go back on Friday to pick up the Visas. Then my dad and I went over to Liane’s house so that Zoe, Eloise and I could play. We had a great time together. It was fun to see them again. Then we had a yummy dinner with lots of ice cream for dessert. It was great!

Wednesday was a day in London with my dad’s friend Sharon. We met her at Harrods for lunch in the cafeteria. I had a bagel with melted cheese and then afterwards we went to the food hall and picked out candy from the huge cases of candy. It was really fun. Then I showed my mom the hot chocolate bar upstairs. I want to go there with my Grandpa Don when he gets to London. Then we went to a famous London toystore called Hamley’s. We went up to the very top floor and looked all the way down. Then my mom and I checked out each floor. My impression was that it was a small store, but then there were seven levels of it. I picked out some lego and a model to put together. We went back to Bromley on the train. Grandma Rachel made a yummy dinner of salmon. I had three helpings. It was delicious!!!

Sat, 2006-04-01 11:47

Canterbury, The Tale of My Day

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-04-01 11:47.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today I woke up and went to breakfast with my dad. I had some eggs and some bacon. It was very good. After breakfast what we did was visit the University of Kent at Canterbury where my dad went to university. I saw big antenna. Now I understand why my dad likes them. I saw where he lived during university and attended classes. I enjoyed seeing where my dad learned everything he knows.

After that, we met up with mom and she and I had lunch at Subway. I had a melted cheese sandwich, Doritos and a Coke. It was heavenly. After that, we met dad and Hannah and went to visit the Canterbury Cathedral. When we went inside, the first thing I noticed was that a choir was singing. They were practicing for a concert that evening. My mom said the music was Handel’s Messiah. It was cool music and I liked it very much. My favorite thing about the cathedral was hearing the people singing. Later in the afternoon I went back with my mom to a service called Evensong. It was more singing and it was really nice.

Fri, 2006-03-31 11:46

Three trains, Four Taxi’s and One Ferry

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-03-31 11:46.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up really early and took a taxi to the train station. This time the driver charged us even more because he was not told by the hotel that we were only going a short distance. Anyway, we found our TGV train to Paris and got on board. The TGV train was super fast and super smooth. We arrived in Paris right on time and hopped into a taxi to get to another train station across Paris.

We got to the next train station and found our next TGV train. It also left on time, but on the way, we were diverted to different destination train station because there were students protesting at the station where we needed to catch our third train. It worked out OK though, because we ended up making it to Calais on time to catch our ferry to Dover, England.

We bought our tickets on the SeaFrance ferry, the newest and biggest ferry in their fleet. We had a fun trip across the English Channel and arrived at Dover where I saw big white cliffs as we approached the harbor. We then got in another taxi that drove us to Canterbury where my dad had gone to University. We checked into our hotel, called the Pilgrim’s Hotel, had dinner and fell asleep. It was a long, long day of traveling.

Thu, 2006-03-30 11:45

The Day of the Pocketwatch

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-03-30 11:45.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we got up for breakfast and my dad said to hurry because there would be a surprise in the dining room. When we got to the dining room, I walked in and I saw a HUGE dummy. I mean mannequin dressed up as a waitress. We had breakfast and it was kind of creepy having her watch me eat.

After breakfast, my mom and Hannah and I headed out to shop for a pocketwatch. We went to several shops that had them. Geneva is the center of watches and there were lots of pocketwatches to look at. We finally we stopped at this one shop that was selling a nice range of pocketwatches, a whole drawerful. Among all of those was one that I really liked. It had a airplane on the front and an eagle on the back. It had regular numbers and also showed the date. That was the one I wanted and we got it and I wore it out of the store. I love it.

We had fun exploring in Geneva for the rest of the day and then we packed up for our journey to England on Friday.

Wed, 2006-03-29 11:42

Bye for now Italy, Hello Switzerland

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-03-29 11:42.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up really, really, early and Pierfrancesco picked us up and took us to the train station in Florence. It was sad to say goodbye and he watched our train leave the station.

Our first train was a EuroStar to Milan. When we were going through a tunnel, the train slowed to a stop for no reason that was told to us. We were a little worried because we were in a tunnel in the dark for about 10 minutes. Then the train started up again and everything seemed fine.

Once we got out of the tunnel, we stopped again on a bridge and waited about 5 minutes. Then we started again and made our way to Milan. Once we got off of the EuroStar, we went to the next platform to catch a fast train to Geneva. We were in a compartment that had room for six passengers. It was during our time on this train that the eclipse happened. My dad and I took out some cardboard and made a pinhole camera. I held it to the window in the passageway of the train and saw the image of the eclipse on the cardboard. It was really cool! The picture from the eclipse is at Space Weather dot Com.

We arrived in Geneva at about 5:00 pm and we got a taxi to our hotel. It was really close to the train station and the taxi driver was very grumpy to take us such a short distance. My dad gave her a nice tip and she cheered up.

After unpacking, we went for a walk into Old Geneva and found a Thai restaurant. We had a delicious meal with all of favorite Thai food. After dinner, we walked back and it was beautiful. I am excited for tomorrow because my parents have promised me a pocketwatch and we will go looking for one.

Tue, 2006-03-28 11:22

Cheese and Ferrari’s

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-03-28 11:22.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

This morning, REALLY EARLY, my dad woke me up and said it was time to go on our road trip. It was still very dark when we got in the car and headed out. I didn’t sleep at all on the way because my sister was curled up on the seat hogging all of the extra space.

The road we went on was called the A1 and is the main road between Rome and Milan. We traveled on the windy part, with lots of bridges and tunnels and LOTS and LOTS of big trucks. We were on the part from Florence to Bologna (not the sandwich meat, it’s a city!). My dad had arranged for us to have a early morning tour of a dairy in a town called Modena where they make the real Parmiagianno-Regianno cheese that we all like so much on spaghetti.

We got there at 8:00 am sharp and the cheesemaker and his helper were stirring four different big vats of milk. After mixing it, they used cheesecloth to collect the big hunk of cheese particles into a big ball. Then, after it drained for a few minutes, the cheesemaker got out a HUGE knife and CUT THE CHEESE (not the kind you are thinking of!). I mean that he cut it in half. Then, he lifted each half out of the vat and placed the big ball of cheese into a round mold and put a weight on top to make it flat and push all of the rest of the liquid out of it.

It takes almost a month before the cheese goes into the warehouse to age. Then it can be from 1-3 years before the cheese is ready to be sold and eaten. The best part was when I got to taste the cheese. It was way tastier because it was fresh from right there in the dairy.

After leaving the dairy, we went to visit the town where the Ferrari cars are built. They have a special gallery with Ferrari’s from the time that the company started. My favorite one was the 2004 Formula One. I liked it because it had a very odd shape that looked like a spacecraft. It was bright Ferrari red like all of the Ferrari’s there. I got to drive a Formula One simulator and that was cool. I kept on driving off the track onto the grass and the gravel, but I didn’t crash my car like my sister did!

Mon, 2006-03-27 11:21

Swimming, Dog Washing, Out to Dinner with Anna and Francesco

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-03-27 11:21.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today has been really fun. I pushed my sister into the swimming pool (which was VERY cold!!!) and then I jumped in myself. It was a big surprise how cold the water was…then, after that, Francesco and Hannah and I helped the dogs get clean. It was very fun! First we filled a big tub with water (it took a long time!). Then one by one, we cleaned each dog. Amanda, who is the smallest got the most wet. The least wet was Artu, who is the biggest. Luna and Giotto, the parents of Amanda and Artu, joined in the bath as well.

I have been looking forward to helping wash the dogs for a long time. When they are wet, they look a lot smaller than when they are dry.

Then in the evening, Francesco and Anna invited us to join them at one of their favorite restaurants for dinner. I got to ride with them in their car on the way there. It was fun to be with them. For dinner I had penne pasta with tomato sauce and it was DELICIOUS!!! I loved having dinner with them.

Sun, 2006-03-26 11:17

Snoopy and Siena and Gelato (yes, again!!!)

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-03-26 11:17.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning early, our friend PierFrancesco and his wife came to surprise us with a chance to meet their beagle Snoopy. Snoopy was really soft and had a great bark, kind of like a howl! He has beautiful ears and a lot of nice colored spots on his tummy.

Then we hopped in the car and PierFrancesco took us for a visit to the town of Siena where we met two more friends, Francesco and his sister. First we went to have lunch at a restaurant where I had my favorite, penne pasta with tomato sauce. My mom tried a couple of really different things, she had chicken spleen pate on toast and wild boar in the sauce on her pasta! She really liked it!

After that, we walked around Siena and I got to see the place where they race horses in the summer. Each neighborhood in Siena has one horse and the rider doesn’t use a saddle. The rider isn’t the winner, the horse is! It’s a famous tradition in this area. It was a fun day.

On our way back, PierFrancesco told us about his most favorite gelato in Florence. So we stopped and my mom got the kind that I love, chocolate chip. After we got home I ate it and he is right, it is the BEST!

Then I went to bed.

Sat, 2006-03-25 11:15

Leonardo’s Machines and Gelato (again!)

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-03-25 11:15.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today my dad and I and Hannah went to a Leonardo Da Vinci Museum where they had built many of the machines that Leonardo drew in his sketchbooks. The machines were made of real wood and string and things that would have been available during the time that he lived. The displays were interactive and my favorite one was like a helicopter. It was a platform with a pole in the middle and cloth for the blades that turned in a spiral. The way it turns forces air upward and keeps on going until it lifts the vehicle into the air. What Leonardo didn’t know because he didn’t have a chance to really test it, was that the vehicle was too heavy to fly.

It was amazing to me that someone who lived so long ago invented so many things that are used today.

After the Museum, we went to have gelato with my mom. I had a great day!

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