Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Spooktacular Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Guess what I am this year?


Yes, I am a little white mouse with pink ears, nose, paws, and belly. :)  And glasses!  Hehe.  I made my mouse mask when I was with Hodel in Cincinnati this summer, and I've been waiting and waiting to use it for my costume!  I went trick-or-treating with my friends Kim and Astrid.  They were dressed as Cho Chang from Harry Potter (just like Hodel when she visited me last year!) and a Hawaiian hula dancer.  It was super windy and cold and a little rainy, so we didn't trick-or-treat as long as we wanted to, but we still got some good stuff.  Now I am in my pajamas, eating candy and watching my favorite Halloween movie ever - Hocus Pocus.  If only I didn't have to go to school tomorrow...I think when Halloween falls in the middle of the week, we should get the next day off from school!  It's only fair. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh Canada, Part Two!

I'm back, as promised, to finish posting about my Canada trip!  We discovered that Toronto was only about an hour and forty-five minutes away from Niagara Falls, so we decided to drive there and see it.  I was super excited because I love waterfalls!  It was raining all morning, but by the time we got to the falls it had just stopped and the sun came out.  That meant there was a rainbow over the falls!  It kind of faded in and out as the clouds moved over the sun, but it was so pretty.

These were by far the biggest falls I've ever seen.  Not the tallest, but definitely the widest!  There were actually two separate waterfalls - this is Horseshoe Falls, which is the big, main part of the falls:

Me in front of Horseshoe Falls!  When the wind was blowing, you could feel mist on your face from all the water.

There was a smaller set of falls to the left called the American Falls.  They were pretty because of all the rocks they had at the bottom for the water to crash over.  That's New York in the background!

Me by the American Falls!

 When we finished eating dinner it was getting dark out, and they turned spotlights on the falls as we were walking back to the car.  It was so, so beautiful!  I couldn't try to take any pictures because it started to pour rain, so I will just have to remember how pretty it was.

On our last day in Canada, we went to Casa Loma in Toronto.  It was built by a very rich businessman in 1911, because he had always wanted to live in a medieval-style castle.  I was terribly excited as I walked down the steps from the parking area to get my first glimpse of it!

Then I saw it through the trees, and it looked just like a real ancient castle!  There was a fountain out front, and I almost got wet trying to take my picture with it because it was so windy out, and the gusts were blowing the dripping water straight to the side!

The inside of the castle was beautiful...I wish I lived there!!  Here is the lady of the manor's sitting room where she entertained her friends, and the greenhouse:


The terrace outside was full of plants and flowers even though it was October.  I climbed up into a little gazebo to look at everything.

Can you see me on the bench inside?

Everything was so pretty to look at.

Here I am back inside, in the library.  I like this picture because of the light shining in on my head!  I think it makes me look very ghostly.

After we finished looking around Casa Loma, we had to leave and make the long drive back home to Michigan. :(  I loved Canada!  I want to go back again someday.  Here is one last picture from my trip - it's me looking out the top window at Casa Loma.  I was pretending I was a princess locked in the tower room, trying to come up with a plan to escape.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh Canada...

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post more about my Canada trip...I've been so busy!  My teacher this year really, really likes homework. :(  Boo!  But's that's another post for another day.  Now, finally, back to Canada!

I was super excited when we drove across the bridge into Canada and saw the French welcome signs at customs, but by the time we finally got to the hotel it was one in the morning and despite my best efforts, I was drifting off in the backseat on top of all the pillows.  I was so tired!


We stayed in the city of Toronto in Ontario, at the Isabella Hotel.  The hotel is a historical landmark built in 1891.  It was neat, but everything was teeny-tiny - Katie, Matt, and I could barely fit in the elevator together!  Here I am by the lobby door.  A lady saw me getting my picture taken and exclaimed over how cute I was, and said she wanted a little doll just like me.  I was afraid she might try to buy me right then and there, but I guess I shouldn't have worried because I know Katie would never have sold me even if she did.

On our first day we went to see historic old Fort York.  It's a bunch of buildings from the War of 1812 era
that are still standing right in the middle of Toronto and are fixed up to look as they would have back then.  I was super excited because Fort York is from the time of Caroline Abbott, the newest American Girl doll!  And we were right near Lake Ontario where Caroline lived, except of course we were on the Canadian side of it.  I couldn't wait to see Fort York!

Here I am walking through a park just outside the fort called Garrison Commons.

There was a big stack of very old wooden beams just outside the fort that I had to explore.

And here I am in the guard's station at the front gate!

I gazed out the window of the officers' dining room and pretended I was Caroline.  I wish I'd brought a fancy 1800's dress to wear so I could REALLY have felt like I was a girl from long ago...

Down in the basement of the fort was the original officers' kitchen.  It's the oldest kitchen in Toronto and it was all blocked off because it's considered an archaeological dig site.  They've found all kinds of broken dishes and other old things buried there.  The fireplace was huge!  It was dark and spooky down there, and it was very easy to imagine that old kitchen was haunted.

Also down in the basement was the storage vault where the officers kept their valuables.  It was lit by an old lantern and was even spookier than the kitchen!!  I was afraid a ghost might slam the door behind us and lock us into that damp, cold little room.  I felt some cool breezes that might have been ghosts floating by, but they didn't lock us up anywhere.  Phew.  Maybe they were peaceful ghosts who were glad to have visitors.

It was less spooky up in the barracks where the junior officers used to sleep.  It looked like a camp cabin all full of bunk beds!

Except modern camp cabins don't usually have these huge, awesome fireplaces on the back wall!  I bet Caroline's mother cooked her family's meals in a big brick fireplace like this.

When it was time to leave Fort York, we could see our next destination rising up out of the trees in front of us - the CN Tower!!  The tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, and we were going to go all the way up into that round part to eat dinner!

We took an elevator up to the top, and there were glass panels in the elevator floor and walls so you could see how high you were as you traveled up.  It was a little scary, but cool!  We ate our dinner in a restaurant with glass walls that looked out over the city.  It was awesome!

What a view to eat your dinner by!!

It was a long day, but it was still exciting when we drove underneath this cool archway on our way back to the hotel.  I wish we had something like this back home in my city to drive under. 

So this has been Part One of my Canadian adventure...I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully) to write about Part Two, with Niagara Falls and Casa Loma!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bienvenue au Canada!!

Bienvenue au Canada - or, in English, Welcome to Canada!!  Yes, that's right - I went on a road trip to  another country last weekend!!  Okay, so I didn't technically leave the continent, but I am still an international traveler now. :)  I am still sorting through the tons of pictures I took on my trip, but I just couldn't wait to post a few! 

Guess what's behind me here - Niagara Falls!!!

And here I am visiting Casa Loma, a house in Toronto that was built to look like a castle!

I have lots more things from my trip to share, but I have to go to bed now. :(  No more staying up late now that my vacation is over!  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!!  I spent my weekend up at Katie's parents' house and had a great time eating tons of homemade treats, which you always get plenty of at Mr. and Mrs. H's house.  I brought my Petey Penguin with me, along with his new Mickey Mouse ears that I got in Disney World!!  Doesn't he look so cute in his mouse ears?

I can't believe the summer is over...I have to go back to school tomorrow!  My backpack and first day of school outfit are all ready to go and my alarm is set for wayyyy too early. :(  But at least I get to see my friends again.  Goodbye, summer - it's been fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Off to Work I Go!

I've been bugging Katie to let me go to work with her for ages and ages now, but she always says no.  I guess she really must have missed me while I was gone, because last Thursday night she finally said I could go with her! 

So on Friday morning I got up early and dressed up nice and we drove into the office.  Katie had to fill in for someone at the downtown branch, so we got to be right smack dab in the middle of the busy city, with cars and people going right by our windows all day.  It was neat.  I learned a lot about working in offices!!

The first thing I learned is that you have to drink a lot of coffee.  Even if you do not like coffee very much (or if you are not allowed to drink it, like me), you should still find something hot to drink like tea or hot chocolate because it's also usually very cold in offices.  It may be 85 degrees outside, but you'll be lucky if it's 65 degrees inside.

Once you have your nice hot beverage, it's time to buckle down and get to work on the computer!  I pretended I was doing some very difficult and complicated office-ey tasks, such as analyzing the Weekly Estimated Net Usage Statistics of...well, something.

That got boring after awhile, so I looked out the windows and watched all the cars and people going by.  You can see some interesting things in the middle of a downtown city, like a bike race, even though they rode by much too fast for a picture!

Then I played with the toy I brought along - my new Calico Critter!!  I got him with Hodel.  He is a baby squirrel and his name is William.  He is so cute and I love him so much.

Apparently offices tend to have lots of plants and decorative books sitting around that are not really meant to be read, but are just artfully arranged here and there for show.  William is very mischievous and likes to climb up on lots of things, so he had lots of good spots to play.

I had a good time on my first day in the working world!  But I think I'd rather keep going to school with my friends right now, so I'm glad I'm not grown up and ready to go out looking for jobs just yet. 

Plus, all the little clips holding up my mature twist hairdo gave me a headache. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Home Sweet Home!!

I am finally home from my big summer trip with Hodel!  And what a trip it was...I went to Disney World (I met Princess Merida from the new movie "Brave" and she said I had pretty hair!), went to a Shakespeare acting camp and played Titania in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," went to the zoo (they expanded the penguin section since my last visit!!  Eee!!), and a Cincinnati Reds baseball game, and celebrated Hodel's birthday!!  Phew.  One of my best summer vacations ever, for sure. :)

Here are some of my favorite photos from my trip!

Hello, Hodel!  Together again at last:

Going swimming to beat the heat!

At the Magic Kingdom, about to go meet some beautiful Disney princesses while dressed as beautiful princesses ourselves (doesn't Hodel make a perfect Jasmine?)  

The princesses with our Minnie souvenirs (of course I wanted the Minnie dressed as a princess)!

Best friends in turquoise:

  Classic summer fun - BUBBLES!!

And finally, Hodel the birthday girl and me having fun at her party!

 Hodel posted all these photos and more on her Facebook page!  You can see all of Hodel's pictures and posts about her own travels (she left for New York right after I came home!) right here:

Even though I miss Hodel already, I am so happy to be home!  I'm ready to catch up on all my blog reading and spend lots of time with Ginger Rogers, my guinea pig.  If only I didn't have to go back to school in two weeks! :(

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Favorite Disney Girl

Do you have a favorite Disney movie or character?  My answer to those questions is very easy.  It's Mulan for both - no comparison!  She is tough and brave and smart, and the scene in the movie where she decides to go to war in her father's place to save his life is really awesome...watching it kind of makes me want to give myself an epic haircut with a sword just like Mulan does. :)  Here is a clip of the haircut scene, complete with the synthesizer soundtrack that just makes the whole scene perfect:

I have seen almost all the Disney cartoon movies, I think.  I like most of them, but I'll confess that I don't like the character of Cinderella very much at all (sorry if she's your favorite). :(  I just think Cinderella is one of the wimpiest girls ever, because all she does is cry and cry and give up when things don't go her way.  If it weren't for her mouse friends making her a ballgown and getting her the key to unlock her room so she can see her prince at the end, and of course her fairy godmother fixing things so she can go to the ball, all she'd do is sit alone in her room and weep piteously.  She'd never go anywhere or do anything.  I think she would drive me a little nuts if she was my friend, to tell you the truth.  But not Mulan - she's the kind of person you could have an adventure with.

I've been a little fixated on Disney stuff lately, because...I'm going to Disney World!!  I've always, always wanted to go there, and now I finally will get to.  I almost got to go to Disneyland in California, but Katie LEFT ME AT HER SISTER'S HOUSE because she said I was too short to go on any of the rides.  I thought that was very mean of her.  I may not be a Cinderella fan, but I still wanted to see her famous castle!  But now my best friend Hodel has invited me to go to Disney World with her, so at last I will get to see what it's like.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Visiting Patient

Guess what.  A girl named Samantha has come to stay at my house for a little while.  She belongs to the sister of a good friend of Katie's.  Poor Samantha was in a flood recently and now she has to have surgery, and she is staying here to get her procedures done.  She does not look too bad, except for her hair being messy, but she is very shaken up.  We put her in my bed to nap after her extremely traumatizing journey to my house in a trash bag, and I brought her some tea in my favorite penguin mug.

Samantha told me all about the flood while she drank her tea.  She was being stored in a box in the basement, she said, when all the water started to come in and get her.  She was terrified and could not get out of the box; all she could do was try to keep her head above all that water, and thankfully she did and did not drown.  I got shivers down my spine listening to her!  Her story also made me remember my own past, from before I came to live with Katie. 

Before I got adopted through Ebay, I had to live in a box for a very long time.  Years, I think, but I was so sleepy and sad from being in the box all the time that I lost track.  Then when I finally got to Katie's house, her little brother got me from the delivery man and decided to play a trick by taking me hostage in his closet and leaving a ransom note for Katie to find.  He even took me out of the box and tied my wrists together, like I really was a hostage, and laughed his head off the whole time!  I thought I had come to live with crazy people, and actually wished I was back at my old house in the box!  But then Katie found me and untied me, and she was nice.  Even her hostage-taking little brother is actually nice, I discovered - he taught me and Hodel how to play Frisbee golf one summer when she was visiting.

So I know what it's like to be locked in a box and not be able to get out, though I was very lucky to never be in a flood.  I told Samantha not to be scared - she will get all fixed up and feel better than ever.  But I can't promise she won't have to go back in a box, because she probably will.  She is being saved for a little girl who might come along sometime in the future, so I think she will have to wait for that girl to someday be born and get big enough to play before she can come out and have adventures again.  Poor Samantha. :-(

She is so pretty, though, and very nice...she will make a wonderful friend for that little girl someday!