Sat, 2006-02-25 07:55

Mountains, Sheep, Lambs and Water

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-02-25 07:55.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we got up and packed for a few days away. Kostas took us through the mountains in the Peloponnese to the sea. We stopped in a little village for lunch and we had ice cream again! I know, I know, too much ice cream…but it’s good for you, it’s milk!

When we got to the sea we met Kostas’ girlfriend Evi and her family. They were very nice. Then she and Kostas helped us find a hotel on a nearby island. We took a taxi boat that went really fast to the island of Spetses. We checked into our hotel, had another yummy dinner and went to sleep. It has been a long and beautiful day!

Fri, 2006-02-24 07:54

Our New Friend Kostas

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-02-24 07:54.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Very early this morning (1:00 am) my Dad woke us up for our flight to Athens, Greece. We went to the airport and waited for our flight at 3:45 am. I slept on the flight except for the end where there was horrible turbulence. There was a rainstorm that made it bumpy.

My Dad’s friend Kostas picked us up and took us to his house. My Grandma Rachel in England had told me that Kostas was a great person and now I know that! We went to bed when we got to his house because we were so tired. When we got up, we had a yummy meal. Then we went for a drive and had ice cream. The ice cream was great!

When we got back to his house, my Dad fell asleep and Kostas, Hannah and I watched The Incredibles. It was fun!

Thu, 2006-02-23 07:53

New Cairo, The Mall and Flying to Athens in the middle of the night!

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-02-23 07:53.

Posted in | michael's blog »

We woke up and got off the train in Cairo at 7:00 in the morning and got a taxi to a really fancy hotel in New Cairo. It was very different than Cairo. It had lots of rich people in the hotel doing business. We got into our room and went to sleep.

My Dad went to meet his friend Wael and Hannah and I went swimming. When my Dad got back we went to a new American style shopping mall called City Stars. It has KFC (where I had dinner!) There was also McDonalds, Chilis, Radio Shack, and other stores I recognized. There were lots of people shopping and eating. Then we went back to the hotel to sleep (but only until 1:00 in the morning!).

Wed, 2006-02-22 07:52

Karnak Temple and the Mummification Museum…and the Train to Cairo

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-02-22 07:52.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we visited the Karnak Temple. It was very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, BIG! We walked through the whole temple to the very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, END! It was impressive.

We went back to swim one more time before getting ready to check out of the hotel. Then Benjamin arranged for a taxi boat for all of us to visit the Mummification Museum. The Mummification Museum was small, but interesting. I learned that the Egyptians didn’t save the brain. They thought the heart was more important. So they used special tools to take the brain out of the head. Like a little tiny scraper that they put up through the nose. Then they scraped and scraped and the brain came out of the nose. Isn’t that GROSS!

After that we said our goodbyes to Ed and Benjamin and went to the train station. This time my Mom didn’t get lost! We went to bed as soon as we got on the train.

Tue, 2006-02-21 07:51

The Valley of The Queens and the Temple of Hatshepsut and Swimming!

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-02-21 07:51.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning Benjamin, Hannah and I went for a quick swim after breakfast. They we went on the taxi boat with Ali across the Nile to go visit the Temple of Hatshepsut. I really liked the temple, and the guide said to remember to call it the temple of “hot chicken soup”! It was hot there, and no shade.

We left there and went to visit The Valley of the Queens which wasn’t very far away. We went into a couple of tombs there and explored around, and then made our way back across the Nile on the boat taxi again. We went swimming again, had dinner and went to bed. It was a full day!

Mon, 2006-02-20 07:50

Luxor, New Friends and The Valley of The Kings

Submitted by michael on Mon, 2006-02-20 07:50.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we arrived in Luxor at 5:00 am. We went to our hotel. checked in and got into our room. My Mom and sister went to bed and my Dad and I took a shower and went down to the restaurant to get some breakfast. But then we wanted to go look at the pool before breakfast. At the pool we experienced a nice coincidence. The man and his son that we spoke with at the train station in Cairo were there! The decided to stay at the same hotel!

We introduced ourselves and learned that the man’s name is Ed and his son who is 10 years old is named Benjamin. My Dad asked if they would like to have breakfast together and they said yes. We had nice breakfast and long talk. We agreed to go to The Valley of The Kings together later in the day.

We met and got a taxi to the ferry and man named Ali asked us over and over again if he could take us to The Valley of The Kings in his taxi. We said yes, and we were off. We got to The Valley of The Kings and we went to see the tombs where Egyptian kings are buried. The first tomb we explored was King Tut’s. It wasn’t as big or fancy as I thought it might be. It really had his mummy in it. We didn’t get to see his mummy because it was inside a wooden coffin.

Then we visited 4 other tombs. I really like the dark holes that we explored inside the tombs. The paintings on the walls were very colorful and fun to see. One of the tombs we explored had 142 steps. Now these steps weren’t flat. They were really steep. That means that you go down into the tomb really steeply, and then steeply back up to get ourside. It was really cool!

Then we went back over the river Nile and we got to take a taxi boat back to the hotel with Benjamin, Ed and our family. The taxi boat was a very very cool thing to do!

Sun, 2006-02-19 07:49

The Citadel, Ancient Churches and losing my Mom

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-02-19 07:49.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we went to the Citadel which is a huge fortress with a beautiful mosque inside. We got to see how the Muslim people pray and how beautifully they decorate their mosques. Hamada was with us and explained everything. After we left the Citadel, we visited the ancient Coptic area of Cairo. That’s where the ancient Christians lived and worshipped. I liked the way the churches were designed. The artwork inside was absolutely beautiful. They used lots of dark and bright colors and shiny golden parts. My Mom and I each put some money in a box and got candles to light. My Mom told me that each candle means that you can say a prayer and light it and that stands for your prayers. I lit my candle and said a prayer.

Then we had to get to the hotel and get packed and go to the train station. Once we got there, we waited for our sleeping train with many other people. Then we met some people standing next to us. They were very nice to us, and they said that they were traveling to Luxor too and they had the later train. They also said they didn’t have a hotel picked out yet. My Mom mentioned the name of the hotel where we would be staying called the Sheraton Luxor Resort.

Once we figured out that we were on the wrong platform and that our train was just about to leave. So we ran and ran and ran to make our train. We went underground to the next platform but my sister was yelling and we didn’t know why. And then we went to train and we got to our car and then we noticed that Mom was missing and then we knew that was why Hannah was yelling. My Dad ran off to find my Mom. I was very scared. It took 5 minutes to find my Mom. When we found my Mom, she explained that she took a wrong turn and ended up on another platform. I was so happy to see her. We got on the train and we got on our sleeping car and went to bed.

Sat, 2006-02-18 07:48

The Egyptian Museum and Dinner Out with Friends

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-02-18 07:48.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we went to The Egyptian Museum. We got to see the amazing King Tut burial mask. We also got to see both of his coffins. They were beautiful covered in gold and stones. Then we went to go see all of the things that they buried him with. Did you know that took out his heart, lungs, liver and stomach and put them in jars for the afterlife? Then we saw the golden boxes that his coffins were in. What they were was one huge golden box. Then there was another one that fit inside. And then another one and then the coffins one inside each other. I thought that was a very clever idea. What I saw that I thought was the coolest thing was that we got to go see some mummies. There were about 8 or 10 mummies and they were different kings and queens from ancient Egypt. We also had our very good guide named Hamada to help us understand all of the things that we were seeing.

At the end of the day we went to dinner at an Egyptian restaurant with friends of my Dad’s. It was nice to meet them and their daughter. My favorite thing that I ate for dinner was the yummy bread. Egyptians make delicious bread.

Sat, 2006-02-18 07:27

Cairo, Pyramids and Camels!

Submitted by michael on Sat, 2006-02-18 07:27.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Thursday – Today we had a quiet day and we were all really tired. My dad and I took a very smoky taxi to the train station to buy our tickets for going to Luxor on Sunday. When we got there, the loudspeakers said it was time for prayers and I saw lots of men rushing to a big carpet, taking their shoes off (and putting them down in a special pattern) and then going onto the carpet to pray. Then we came back, had dinner and went to sleep.

Friday – Today was a great day! We got up very early and met a fabulous guide and two drivers to take us all for the day. My favorite part of the day was when we took a camel ride in the desert next to the pyramids. Also I really liked going into one of the pyramids. We crawled down a long, low tunnel for a while to a big room where the king was buried in a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus wasn’t there anymore; it’s in the museum that we are going to visit tomorrow. I can’t wait to go tomorrow because I’ll get to see King Tut’s golden burial mask.

Wed, 2006-02-15 18:00

Back to London to see Grandma Rachel and have fun with Tori and Randy!

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-02-15 18:00.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

Friday – After arriving in London today and making our way to Grandma Rachel’s on the train, we had a good dinner with her and a quiet night.

Saturday – I had a quiet day with my family and Grandma Rachel. Everybody was on the computers except for me. It was hard to get a minute to myself. But I lived.

Sunday – Today our friends Tori and Randy arrived. They were tired from their long trip, but we had tea and biscuits when they got to Grandma Rachel’s and we had a quiet evening.

Monday – This morning we got on the train in Bromley and made our way to Victoria Station in London. Then we took the underground to the Tower of London. The thing I really at the Tower was seeing all of the suits of armour. After that, we went to ride on the London Eye, a very big ferris wheel that takes exactly 32 minutes to go all the way around. Instead of two-person car, you ride in a glass chamber that can old almost 15 people. It was almost night time, so we could see Big Ben the clock and the Houses of Parliament from the chamber. I really liked it. Then we took a black London cab to Piccadilly Circus where we had tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom of the Opera has a chandelier that rises up and crashes into the stage during the story (don’t worry, no one really gets hurt). My mom had a very bad headache so she had to sit outside for the second half of the show. I was sorry about that.

Tuesday – Today we explored in Bromley and got everyone ready for leaving on Wednesday.

Wednesday – This morning, really early, my dad got up and took Tori and Randy to the airport to fly to Belgrade to be with Steve and go to school. My mom and sister and I went to London on the train and met my dad there. We had lunch and then went to the airport to fly to Egypt. It was my first time on a jumbo jet. I got to see the top. I didn’t get to go sit in it because I was in coach class. But it was very cool. When you look out of the window of the plane, you can’t even see the whole wing because it is so big. It takes at least a minute to take off. It needs a very long runway to takeoff and land. When you have three rows, the outside rows have three seats and the center row has four seats. We were all in the center row. All of my family in a row. We got these little games from the flight attendant for the trip. They even had the batteries with them. And also a little backpack to put them in. Also there was a sketchbook and pen. On the plane, I watched some videos on a screen in the back of the seat in front of me. I watched Wallace & Gromit, The Curse of the Were Rabbit, and Cartoon Network. It made lots of the time go by. For the rest of the time, I drew in my sketchbook. The flight was exactly four hours and twenty-three minutes. We flew on British Airways, a very British way to fly.

Fri, 2006-02-10 19:00

A Great Time in Belgrade, Serbia with our friend Steve Smith!

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-02-10 19:00.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we took a taxi from Diosd in Hungary to the train station in Budapest. We got on the train for a six hour trip to visit our friend Steve Smith in Belgrade, Serbia for a few days.

On the train we crossed over the border between Hungary and Serbia. At one stop they checked our passports to leave Hungary, and at the next stop ten minutes later, the Border Patrol stamped our passports for going into Serbia. I got my first passport stamp for coming into Serbia.

Our friend Steve met us at the train station and we went back to his apartment. You have to climb lots of steps because he lives on the top floor. It’s a great place. I had my own room with a slanted roof like home and a skylight in the ceiling.

Wednesday – Today we took a big walk and explored Belgrade. We stopped in a pastry shop and I had a chocolate filled pastry. It was hot and delicious. We walked all over and then in the night Steve and a friend of his took us to a Partisan vs. Moscow basketball game. The Partisan fans were very LOUD and ROWDY. They threw firecrackers and the police there had helmets on and shields with batons.

Thursday – Today we explored some more and then went to have lunch with Steve. We got to see where he works and meet some of the nice people there. We had lunch down the street and I had pizza. After that, we went to a craft shop where my mom bought mittens. Then we walked to a market and went on a trolley car. It was fun.

Friday – This morning we walked through a HUGE fort near where Steve is living. It was amazing. It was an icy morning so we had to watch our step. I wish we had more time at the fort. Maybe next time we visit. Then we left for the airport and flew to London.

Tue, 2006-02-07 19:00

Budapest, Hungary

Submitted by michael on Tue, 2006-02-07 19:00.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we left the house where we were staying and took a bus into Bupdapest. We found a café where I had noodles to eat. The weather in Budapest was very cold and snowy. I had to put everything on that I had to stay warm. Then we went on the metro and the escalators to get there were very fast. You had to jump on to get onto them. The metro took us to a place called the Hotel Gellert where we wanted to go swimming. The pool was closed but would open again the next day. So we went home on the bus.

The next day we went into Budapest on the bus again and went to the Hotel Gellert. My dad and I went to the pool together. We had to buy a ticket to get in because it is a very, very, very famous pool. It is one of the top 10 swimming pools in the world. You want to know why? Well, it’s because that one of the pools outside has a wave maker. And also, all of the water in every single pool is natural hot springs water. Since it’s winter, the outside pool was closed, but my dad and I went swimming inside.

The pool inside is the exact same thing, it has natural fresh warm water. I sat under a lion’s head that was spouting water out of its mouth. It felt really good. The whole pool is hot tub temperature. Then there was another warmer pool that was even bigger than the kiddie pool at La Madrona. All of these older men were gathered around it. Then we went to the spas where only men could be there. They didn’t have to wear anything at all. Don’t worry, I was wearing a swimsuit and so was my dad. Boy did I see stuff that I should not mention to other kids my age.

After the pool we had dinner at another café. Then we took the bus back to Diosd, the village where we were staying. Then the day after that, we went into Budapest again to see the castle. It was a very old castle way up on a hill.

My favorite thing about Budapest was probably the pool because I love swimming.

Fri, 2006-02-03 18:00

Dublin, Ireland

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-02-03 18:00.

Posted in | michael's blog »

We drove to Dublin today and checked into a hotel called the Bewley Hotel. After we put our bags in our room, we went exploring in central Dublin. We had tea and scones there. Then we walked around and went to a pub where my mom had a Guinness and they played Irish music.

The next morning we went into Dublin again and saw The Book of Kells. It’s a very, very old book that has writings and drawings done by monks over a thousand years ago. They used ink stains from fruits and vegetables and stones like lapis lazuli (which is blue) to make the colors in the drawings. They added gold leaf to the drawings to give them some kick. One thing I learned was that was when they decorated a letter in a very special way, they never used that pattern again in the book. The next time they made that letter, they used another pattern.

We left the library where we saw the Book of Kells and went to the aiport. We got on our plane which was Aer Lingus (it had shamrock on the tail and the plane was green). We flew on a Airbus 320 airplane which is three seats on one side and three seats on the other side. We flew to Budapest, Hungary. We got in during the night and a man was waiting for us to take us to the house where we stayed.

Thu, 2006-02-02 19:00

Cork & Kilrane, Ireland

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-02-02 19:00.

Posted in | michael's blog | read more »

First we started off by seeing a calf that was born the during the night before. He was little and sleeping in the field.

Then we left Kinsale and made our way to Kilrane. We stopped at Blarney Castle and guess what, I got to kiss the Blarney Stone! That means that I can tell lies for seven years! That’s the whole truth, REALLY! Then we went to our next farm Bed and Breakfast, and five minutes after we arrived I got to see a newborn baby lamb. It was only about three hours old.

The next morning after breakfast I got to feed the chickens and my sister got to feed the newborn lamb that had to have a bottle. Then we got to walk down the lane leading the sheep and the new lambs to a nice fresh pasture. Once they got out onto the grass, they loved all of the space. They were a little bit scared. The twin lambs that were born outside were so happy to be in the field. Then they were all gambling which means that they are hopping and hopping and hopping across the field. And that does not mean that they were betting!

The next day on the farm we were going to leave to explore for the day, but then Phil, the owner of the farm, said that there was going to be another lamb born very soon. So we decided to stay at the farm and wait for the lamb to be born. My dad and sister went to the post office while my mom and I helped make marmalade with the Phil the farmer and her friend Frances. Every now and then I ran out to check with the farmer’s husband Gabriel to see how the ewe was doing. Then, when I saw them put the ewe into the barn where the lamb would be born, I ran and ran to the kitchen to find my sister and dad who had just gotten back. We went out to the barn and when I looked into the barn, I saw the baby had just been born.

I didn’t get to see it being born but just the moment after. The lamb looked very yellowish and had a swollen eye. The ewe was licking the baby but it wasn’t moving. In a moment though, it stood up and it didn’t want to eat yet, but it did soon after that. After the lamb was settled, we went into the farmhouse kitchen and had a meal with the farmer and her family. We had potatoes and pheasant with vegetables. I had some freshly baked brown soda bread and some white bread too. I also had some cheese that was an Irish cheddar.

Sun, 2006-01-29 19:00

Killarney & Kinsale, Ireland

Submitted by michael on Sun, 2006-01-29 19:00.

Posted in | michael's blog »

Today we drove from Limerick to Kinsale to a farm Bed and Breakfast. We got to see about 150 cows. We went for a very long walk on the beach by their house. It was low tide. When we got back from dinner, it was high tide. It was like the ocean.

Fri, 2006-01-27 19:00

Limerick & Galway, Ireland

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-01-27 19:00.

Posted in | michael's blog »

First I am going to tell you about my adventure on my flight to Ireland. When we went to our gate to get on the plane, finally when we were going to get on, we heard an announcement…”Go to Gate 10”. I thought it was going to be just two gates away, but I was so wrong, so wrong that you couldn’t even count my steps. We went from Gate 22 to Gate 10. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but we were in such a big airport, it took 20 minutes to walk to the new gate. So once we got to Gate 10, we had to get on a bus that took us all the way back to Gate 22, and then we climbed the stairs into the airplane. When we got inside the airplane, it had three rows on each side. My dad and I sat together and my mom and Hannah sat many rows behind us.

The reason why we had to take a bus to get back to Gate 22, was because the ramp from the terminal to the plane was broken. When we got off of the airplane in Shannon, Ireland, I found out that the ladder they use to get in and out of the plane is hidden underneath the plane when it is not in use.

Then we went to our Bed and Breakfast for the night.

The next day, I made friends with the owner’s dogs named Holly and Tess. We played ball and romped around. Then my family and I drove to Galway which is a fishing town for the afternoon.

Wed, 2006-01-25 12:41

Wales, England

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-01-25 12:41.

Posted in | michael's blog »

We visited a castle named Caernarfon. It was about 700 years old. It was a lot of fun going to a castle. It was like I went back in time. We climbed a tower to the top and looked out over the river. We saw where the archers shot their arrows from. I look forward to seeing more castles.

Tomorrow we leave for Ireland. I am looking forward to flying there and seeing what is there. My middle name is Patrick, I have a friend named Patrick too and Saint Patrick was very important to Ireland. I am also part Irish.


Fri, 2006-01-20 12:40

England, Fleet Air Museum, Cheddar Gorge, Wales

Submitted by michael on Fri, 2006-01-20 12:40.

Posted in | michael's blog »

This morning we went to a British Royal Air Museum. It was called the Fleet Air Museum. My dad and I saw a Concorde. For the people that don’t know what a Concorde is, it’s a supersonic aircraft that reaches speeds up to Mach2. It looks big, but it is the tiniest aircraft ever. It doesn’t use the jets that you see on normal aircraft. It uses big beautiful engines called Rolls Royce Olympus. I am also going to tell you about another aircraft that I really liked. It is a new kind of plane. It just came out a while ago, but there’s a new version coming out this year. It uses air to lift it up and then uses more air to get it going and then it switches to jets. What I got to do was play a game where there was a circle, and a pole in the middle, a beam across and I got to fly a mini aircraft that looked just like it.

Then we drove to Cheddar Gorge. It is the place where they invented Cheddar cheese. Then we drove on to our next Bed & Breakfast which was a farm in Wales.

The Henlley Farm was great. It had 10 cows, 129 sheep, and 3 pigs and a beautiful Welsh Mountain Pony named Tom Pepper. I got to go out and pet him. He was a very, very nice pony. I also got to see two new lambs and a calf that was five days old.


Thu, 2006-01-19 12:39

England, Stonehenge & Salsbury Cathedral

Submitted by michael on Thu, 2006-01-19 12:39.

Posted in | michael's blog »

The next day we drove to see Stonehenge. It’s a very, very, very OLD place where people placed HUGE rocks in a circle. The people that built it wanted to build a clock for the seasons of the year. I think it was really cool to see something that old. After Stonehenge, we drove to Salsbury Cathedral. There was a HUGE organ and the stained glass windows were really cool.

That night, we stayed at our first Bed & Breakfast. It was called the Mildmay Arms and Pub. We went to that Pub for dinner. They had a HUGE menu. I had chicken nuggets for an appetizer and cheeseburger for dinner. I was VERY hungry!


Wed, 2006-01-18 12:33

England and Wales

Submitted by michael on Wed, 2006-01-18 12:33.

Posted in | michael's blog »

When we left Washington D.C. we flew on a one hour flight to JFK Airport in New York. Then we waited for our flight to London. When it was time to board the airplane, I got to see how big the airplane was and it was HUGE!!! They needed two doors to get into the whole airplane. We got to fly in a special section call Business Class and the airplane was a Boeing 777. That is one size smaller than a jumbo jet. It did not have two levels, but we had nice big seats with a television at each seat and lots of space.

I got to listen to the radio, watch Cartoon Network, and have dinner on the plane. The dinner was kind of good. I had pasta. We also slept on the plane, not for a long time, but about 5 hours. There would be a HUGE screen in the front of the plane that showed where the airplane was and what altitude it was and the outside temperature.

When we got off the airplane, we were still very, very tired. Once we got our luggage, which was very, very heavy, we got on a train to London’s Paddington Station. Then we got a taxi that took us to Victoria Station. When we got into the taxi, it had the guy on the opposite side of the car, driving. And on the opposite side of the road. So, I was kind of scared when we first did it, “we’re going to CRASH!”. Ha ha ha!

Also, we got to see lots and lots of double decker busses. They were red. Once we got into my Grandmother’s house, we settled in and my sister Hannah slept all the way until we needed to go to bed. We were met by my Auntie Shelley and had dinner with her and her boyfriend, David.

We then had a couple of quiet days in London to rest and catch up. We also had fish and chips for the first time. Now I know that chips are French fries.


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