Thursday, October 24, 2013


What I Want To See In Hawaii

Only two days now until we head off to Hawaii, and I am making a list of things that I want to make sure the Oldies take me to see. Volcanoes of course. Mum has been wanting to get close to one for as long as I can remember, and the active one in Hawaii is easiest to get to. Pearl Harbour because we are history nuts. The Arizona memorial, the chance to walk on the submarine "Bowfin" and the mighty battleship "Missouri", and an aviation museum that has some aircraft types that we have never seen. Mauna Kea Observatory; Dad never managed to get there while he was a working astronomer but Mum and he have this one on the top of their list. It is really high, over 14,000 ft, and the Oldies may have problems with altitude sickness. Small bears never do. And after a week of checking these places out, touring around Oahu, and the inevitable shopping, it will be great to board our ship and settle in for the 18-day cruise back to Sydney via Tahiti, Fiji and New Caledonia. Only two more sleeps!!! So hooroo (that's farewell in Australian) until I get back, or as they say in Hawaii, "A hui hou kakou".

What's this????? I just found on the web that there is a place called Teddy Bear World! Now that just has to be on my list.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Cashed Up and Ready To Go!

Only four sleeps left before we head out for Hawaii and I am getting really excited. Today I emptied all of the coins out my cash-cow and turned them into US dollars at the bank. I think that I will be all right for cash. Unka Patrick made me the other thing that he says is very necessary, my very own Hawaiian shirt. Evidently it is a bit hard to find small bear sized ones in Hawaii. So I am ready to go, and finding it hard to wait until Saturday.


Monday, October 21, 2013


Another Fun Weekend

This has been a great weekend in Canberra, although there are huge fires burning around Sydney. I am sad to hear that lots of the Blue Mountains are burning. You can see pictures of my holiday there if you search the blog. Here it was warm and sunny but with a lot of smoke from the fires. On Saturday we got all of our telescopes out for a group photo. There are a 10" Dobsonian, 6" and 8" Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrains, a special Coronado Personal Solar Telescope, and a 60cm Meade spotting scope. It looks like a bit of overkill, but each one has its own special use. And they make good climbing frames when the Oldies aren't looking. On Sunday we met Unka Mark and Aunty Vicki for lunch at a cafe in the riverside park in Queanbeyan. This park has had a lot of work done to it since I was there last. The gate is made of old tools welded together. I found hammers, spades, shovels, rakes, horse shoes, rabbit traps and some things that I don't know the name of. Another area has an old plow and bits of farm machinery. I couldn't quite work out what the wheel on the plow did. The strangest thing was a ginourmous snail. This thing was taller than the Oldies. I managed to climb up and grab one of the eye-stalks but couldn't get the snail to move. Sunny days in parks are one of my favourite things.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Surprises at Unka Mark & Aunty Vicki's

The Saturday before last we were invited over to Unka Mark and Aunty Vicki's for dinner. Talk about surprises! They were just back from a caravan trip around Victoria and parked in their driveway was a brand new vehicle. I am not sure just what sort of thing it is. It has four comfy seats like an ordinary sedan, but has a cargo back on it like a ute (for U.S. readers, a ute is what you guys call a pick-up truck). Unka Mark says it is a "crew-cab ute" so I guess that's what it is. Anyhow, he took Dad and me for a drive in it, mostly because Dad had left some stuff at home that he was supposed to have taken across, and like most sensible vehicles it has a small bear-size seat on the dash. I like it. The strangest thing was a cow they bought for us. It looks a bit like my cash cow, except for the big eyes, but in the dark it is kind of scary. The cow has a solar battery in it and the eyes light up in the dark. I put it out in our courtyard where the Sun can charge it up during the day. It sure scares the stray cats that check out the courtyard some nights. The small thing in the daytime photo? That is a small brass bust of Tutankhamun and, guess what?, it is actually a pencil sharpener. You never know what Unka Mark and Aunty Vicki are going to bring back when they travel.

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Monday, October 07, 2013


Arabian Artifacts

How time gets away. Here we are over a year after our Dubai trip and I still haven't shown anywhere near even a small collection of the best photos. And the same for our New Zealand trip, and the Oldies Eurotrip. I just don't get much time at the computer. The big holdup at the moment is Dad, getting a set of talks ready for our next trip. We leave for Hawaii in less than three weeks and, after a week exploring the two main islands, we sail back on "Celebrity Millenium". Dad is the Enrichment Lecturer on the cruise. That means even more photos to process and show when we get back. A small bear-type travel reporter is always busy.
Anyhow, here's a few of the artifacts that impressed me in Dubai. The brass camel that I am sitting on is part of the mind-boggling collection of stuff at Sindbad's Antiques in the Souk Madinet Jumierah. You can spend ages browsing in this shop and almost nobody gets away without buying something. No, the Oldies did not buy me the camel. The big round plate thing is an astronomical calendar. The Oldies were very excited to see this in one of the corridors of the hotel. They actually know how it works. I preferred the huge coffee pot. How huge is it? Measure it from the photo: 1 sitting Bart = 18cm bottom to top of head, so measure the number of Barts and apply the fiddle factor. The other thing I tried at every opportunity was looking inside the big vases and pots that Dubai is full of. I just know that at least one of them has to contain a Genie. The ones in the picture are much taller than the Oldies (mind you, neither of them is actually very tall) but any genies that the pots contained were not in residence when I climbed up and looked. Next trip I will definitely catch me a genie.

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