Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tightropes,bunnies and the heat Photos

Here are the pictures I promised:
Ketut Liyer, the medicine man

Me and my dad at the tree top adventure place crossing a "bridge"
( see I'm not that big a chicken!)

Some bunnies at a market

A monkey in the monkey forest

A Balinese dancer

My hair after it got braided today

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tightropes,bunnies and the heat

On friday we left Sanur and headed to Kuta. Our plan was to go to Waterbom , a water park on our way to Ubud. We were dumb though and brought our huge packs. At the entrance the person said yes our back packs would fit in the provided lockers. Some advice: In Asia people often say yes, often just to please you. This was the case in this situation. It turned out the lockers were puny and we couldn't stay because we had nowhere to store our stuff, so we headed to Ubud, hot and mad at Waterbom.

On Saturday we visited some monkeys and a medicine man featured in the book Eat Pray Love, which my mom read and liked a lot. The medicine man predicted we would all live a long,long time but I am convinced i'll die of heatstroke before we leave Bali. The medicine man/fortune teller guy also paints pictures of hindu gods. Today we went and bought one of Saraswati. Today we also hung out in the pool and went to a spa.

Yesterday we went ziplining,well tree top adventuring. I was expecting climbing a ladder up high and swinging through the trees. Aparently that though is not the definition of a tree top adventur park. Within seconds of arival, my mom hurt her knee. Then it was up to me and my dad to do the obstacle courses in the sky. We probablly chose the worst day of our trip to zipline. Beacause of the rain all the swinging bridges /obstacals were slipery. Belive it or not it's hard to cross wire tightropes, climb nets,crawl through tubes and go flying on a cable in the rain.

Eventully after a instructer(not listening to me and forcing me to go on what looked like a suspended skate board) ruined the end of our visit, we went to see some temples. After admiring brick statues for awhile we went to the market for some lunch. Once we had petted some bunnies and ate some soup,corn and fruit(which cost $4to feed us and our driver) we drove to one more temple before coming back to our hotel. Later we went to see some Balinese dancing.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Bali and I hope to get my hair braided before we leave.

Weather report: Tropical rainstorms but unfortunatly still increadably HOT!!!!!!!!!!!

The computer isn't letting us upload photos now but i'll post some later as some evidence that i wasn't a wimp and really did the zipline stuff.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Travel Rat Returns ( dun,dun,dun)

Travel Rat apologizes for not writing for 672 days ( 1 year 10 months and 2 days) she has been busy doing the things she wanted to doin the last post , playing with her pet rats Lyra & Lili, doing home work, hanging out with friends and recently packing for a trip to Bali.

On Monday ( 3-24-08) we boarded a plane to San Francisco. After the 2 hour flight we waited in the airport for another 4 hours. We then got on a 14 & 1/2 hour flight to Hong Kong on Sinapore air. Singapore air is known for being one of the nicest air lines ever. Unfortanetly I was dissapointed beacause our TV's were broken. Luckily the un-movie watchers behind us agreed to trade rows with us. On our flights I watched 4 movies: High School Musical 2 ( ugh), Enchanted, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and The Bee movie. Once we arived in Hong Kong we waited in the airport for around 2 hours and then got on another 4 hour Sinapore air flight to Singapore.

Not only is Singapore air a nice airline, but Singapore Airport is also really nice. We spent a hour of the 4 hour layover loungeing on chaise lounges. Unfortunatly I discovered the free movie theater and swimming pool too late. We hung around a while and then got on a 2 hour flight to our final destination, Bali.

By the time we got here we had been in an airport or on a plane for 33 hours. As soon as we arived at our hotel( around 8 pm ) we dived into the pool and out of the heat. We then crashed and fell asleep.

Yesterday we shell hunted on the beach, swam in the pool and walked around untill it was so hot I almost fainted (around 10 am.) At around 4 pm we took a cab into Kuta where we bought some hardrock cafe souvineres for Tina ( see London post .)

Today we will probally go back into Kuta to a water park and to get my hair braided. Afterwards we will leave for Ubud.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dublin Ireland: HOME

I WANT TO GO HOME. I want my own bed which isn’t rock hard and has springs poking me in the back. I want my friends. I want someone to talk to-- an American kid who speaks English. I want my taco del mar fish taco, I want my Taco Bell seven layer burrito, I want my meal at Milos, I want my sushi from Mio, I want my root beer, I want my three musketeers, I want my good frosting and cake. I want to see the Simpsons every day, I want to see the Amazing Race, I want to go to school, I want to have more stuff than what I have that fits into a backpack.

I want to not have to wear the same pair of pants for 20 weeks in a row. I want to be able to understand people. I want to be able to go to Target or Fred Meyers where they have EVERYTHING!!

Not like some places in the world where all they have in the grocery store is 1500 yen melons. I want my friends Ruby, Sophia, Emma, and Aditi to play with.

I want to be able to walk down the street and not have a million smokers gag me out. I want ice, just cubes of ice. They should not be a luxury in places where the water doesn’t kill you. I want to go to the dentist and get my teeth fixed, this is sad, I mean like going to the dentist or doctor is supposed to be bad, but I want to go there! I want to go to the grocery store and get cheap avacados.

I want to go to my piano lessons. I want to go to the swimming pool and have swimming lessons. I want to not have to wear my stupid tennis shoes that I’ve worn for the past 10 months and make me gag whenever I look at them.

I want to go to a movie that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars and doesn’t come out two years later than they do in the US. I want to read kids magazines like American Girl and National Geographic Kids. I want to see my stuff. I want to see my mom and dad in different clothes because they’ve worn the same ugly stuff for the past ten months and I want to barf when I see their clothes. (no offense mom and dad) I want to go to Portland, I want to go to the US, I want to come home. Please Rescue Me from this trip that goes on and on and on and on and on…………I want to go home!!!

PS It may sound weird missing this stuff, but you have not been on a trip around the world for the past 10 months.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

London England: Wizards & Muggles & Rats oh my!

London England: For Wizards Only

Wizards beware, you are not the only ones who can have a magical time seeing sights in London. Even though I’m a muggle (That’s non witch for you people who are not Harry Potter fans or muggles. If you are a muggle you should not be reading this and skip down to the part just for you), I have enjoyed seeing many things from the Harry Potter movies.

I have been to Kings Cross station where platform 9 ¾ is,
Does this mean I am a wizard??????

I have been to the Leaky Cauldron which looks nothing like it in the movie, but it's five minutes from our apartment. In Oxford I saw the spot in the fourth movie (The Goblet of Fire) where Mad Eye Moody turned Malfoy into a ferret,

and the dining hall

and the staircase where Professor McGonagall greets the first years in the first movie.

Sometime we are going to see the London Zoo where Harry talks to a snake. We have also heard that there is a rat exhibit there. Do you think Scabbers, aka Peter Pettigrew, aka the person who betrayed Harry’s parents lives there? I also peeked in the window of Gringotts bank, which is really the Australia House. We also will go to Ledenhall Market where Diagon Alley is.
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Heriomine Granger stood here.

London England: For Muggles Only.

A muggle has met us here in London. Her name is Tina and she is my babysitter in Portland.
Me and Tina

She was here for about seven days. While she was here we have seen the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace,

walked across the Millennium Bridge, seen Trafalgar Square, British Museum, Leicester Square, Tower of London (where we rode on a moving sidewalk by the crown jewels), St. Paul’s (where Mary Poppins fed the birds), Tower Bridge, Harrods (very expensive department store. I found out that I’m getting a new cousin when my cousin Sophia called me there), Oxford Street, Notting Hill and Portobello Road.

Tina hung out with me while my parents went out every night, and when they went to Gordon Ramsey for lunch.

I have ridden on a couple double decker dylan buses. I like London, especially because they speak ENGLISH. I love English.

I guess this was where the hamsters from (h)Amsterdam went!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Italy, Switzerland, (h)Amsterdam & Brussels: Catching up with the Rat in Europe

Travel Rat is sorry she hasn’t written in awhile. It seems like we are ALWAYS on the move.

In Rome we saw St. Peter’s Basilica, a huge church, threw coins in the Trevi fountain where my mom and dad said that if you throw a coin in you return to Rome. They said that they threw one in when they came here before and now they are back.

My mom had her pants sliced next to the pocket by a pickpocketer, but nothing was stolen. She had to sew up the pants because we could not find a seamstress in Rome. After watching her awhile I noticed that she is not the best sewer.

Everyday we get gelato. Sometimes we share a bowl and sometimes I get my own bowl. My favorite flavor is Nutella. The flavors we have tried are strawberry, banana, mint chocolate, chocolate, blackberry, limone and a hundred more flavors. That was my favorite part about Italy, we got to eat gelato twice a day.

We have walked every day here like crazy. We walked from our apartment in Trastevere to the Spanish Steps, we walked from our apartment to the Vatican and then to the Spanish Steps and then home and we walked to the Coliseum, I was very tired!

Florence there was not much to see. I didn’t like our hotel.

In Venice I got one topo shaped mask (which is rat in Italian) and one red and orange feathery mask.

I liked walking around the canals and kicking the pigeons out of my way in San Marco. I was getting revenge for a pigeon pooping on me in Florence.

In Switzerland we just stayed at a friends apartment and my mom cooked. It was really cold here and snowing. We paid 27 Swiss francs for a meal at McDonalds. That is 21 US dollars. Not worth it!

In (h)Amsterdam I was really upset that I didn’t see any hamsters. My mom had promised me that I would see hamsters wearing sweat suits, and gold chains and baseball hats on backwards, crossing their arms and dancing back and forth. I don’t think I’ll believe my mom when she talks about dancing rodents anymore. She told me she had a dream that in Italy she saw rats dancing in medieval costumes.

But we did go to the Anne Frank House. I felt like it would have been really tough to live there for two years and not get to go outside. I also thought that the bookcase opening into a door was kind of cool.

Now we are in Brussels Belgium. We’ve eaten mussels and french fries and I’ve already bought a box with chocolate. I’m collecting a box in every country we go to.

Tomorrow we are going to London. We hope it will be easy to find food, even though it is Easter. On our third day in London Tina arrives. We are shipping her here because we miss babysitters and friends so much. We are asking Tina to bring us some toothpaste, some American magazines and Grand Central Bakery cookies and other stuff we miss from home. I hope to go on the London Eye and see Harry Potter filming sites like platform 9 ¾ and go to Oxford where I want to see things from the Dark Materials books.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Paris France: A Nine Year Old Considers the Bigger Questions in Life

Would you rather be buried in a pyramid, a catacomb or a graveyard?
Would you rather step in dog poop, have a pigeon poop on your head, or go to the bathroom in the Paris Metro?
These are the questions I have been asking myself while I have been in Paris.
I would prefer to be buried in a pyramid and step in dog poop since the pyramid looks cool and when the pigeon poops in your hair you have to put hand inspection on it, rather than just rubbing your shoes on the grass. The bathrooms in the Paris metro looks really disgusting.

The most important things we have done in Paris include seeing Sacre Cour, (where a pigeon pooped on my mom’s head), Musee D’Orsay, Notre Dame( a huge church),

going to a tea place like Mariage (where I stepped in dog poop—they do not clean up their dogs poop here!) and the Eiffel Tower.

We had my mom’s birthday party and I made her a card with Paris rats on it, and she chose to go to a Mexican restaurant for her birthday dinner. We went the Louve which is huge. There were no rats in the pictures, but my favorite was one with a squirrel.

Went to Disneyland Paris. Space Mountain is no good here. I bumped my head on it 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times. We got to design or own roller coaster and then ride on it. It was fun except I should have made it faster and have more sideways loops. We also went on the Rock n Roll Roller coaster.

A few days ago we also went to the catacombs. Bones Bones Bones.
Yesterday was my birthday and I got 20 birthday e cards and a few calls. I had one mini lemon tart, one mini autumn leaves cake, 1 mini opera cake (yuck) and chocolate macaroons for my birthday cake.
I would have liked it more to have spent it with my friends in Portland. Thank you for all of your emails and messages!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Cairo Egypt: Cruising on a Camel

Today was our first full day in Cairo Egypt and we had a ride on a camel, saw the pyramids and saw the sphinx. The camel ride was fun but freaky, I would much rather ride on an elephant. The camel owner made me stand on the back of a sitting camel. It burped and I thought it was trying to stand and accidentally jumped off!

The pyramids are huge. My dad went inside one but my mom and me chose to go see a 4000 year old boat that they dug up and put together. The Sphinx is also huge. While we were at the Sphinx we saw some pottery pieces that our guide said were once water bottles for the workers at the pyramids.

Before that, we rode the subway to an old Coptic church and a Greek cemetery. The weather here is perfect compared to the places we’ve been since New Zealand. It’s only been three weeks since we’ve left New Zealand, but it seems like a year.

p.s. none of our pictures were photoshopped, we are really here!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Things I’ll remember about Cambodia

Melting in the heat:
It is way to hot here which means we have to get up at 5:59 and be at the temples by 7:00. And it is HOT by 9:00

Getting grabbed by a monkey, not fun:
Yesterday a monkey grabbed my pants.

Taking trips to various temples, including Angkor Wat:
Cool but still hot

Climbing steep steps:
At some temples you have to climb to get to

Having bad food, except when we ate lunch at the Sofitel:
Much better than are other meals.

Seeing lizards in our hotel room, at the Golden Temple Villa:
Which means not a good hotel

Kids younger than me begging:
Every one is poor

Taking horrible, hhhhhhhoooooorrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiibbbbbblllllllleeeee, HORRIBLE ,HoRrIbLe malaria medication:
To me the temples are not worth it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Con Chuôt (A Rat) in Viet Nam

Now we are in Viet Nam. The thing that I do not like is the heat. On February 3, we went on a tour of a tunnel and had to stop halfway through because the heat had made me sick. We are staying at the house that Bay and her family own. Only one room has air conditioning in it. It is amazing they can live so well in this heat, plus sometimes they eat hot soup!

A few days ago I picked fabric and got fitted for an ao dai (pronounced ow yai). An ao dai is the traditional Vietnamese outfit. We won’t be here to pick it up, but our friend Bay will.

We have had good food here,

and we have ridden on motorbikes because the family owns no car.

A few days ago we were in Da Lat. We went to one place called the Crazy House. It is a guest house which will be finished in 2010. Some of the rooms have a fireplace shaped like a kangaroo or uneven bamboo steps. One of the rooms you have to climb a giraffe’s neck to get to. No wonder the locals call it the crazy house!

That was not the only crazy place we went in Da Lat. We went to a monk’s temple where my dad got me into something where I painted a rat for him and the monk painted my picture.

Yesterday we went on a rickshaw. It’s different than the kinds in China or Lhasa because the driver sits in the back and there is only room for one grownup and a kid in each one.

Today we are leaving to go to Cambodia. Because we are going to Cambodia, I have to take malaria pills. Yesterday I didn’t have enough food before I ate one and I threw up the whole morning. Because of that I don’t know if I want to go to Cambodia.