Monday, October 31, 2011

Highlight of the day

So of all the cool things we did in Cleveland, do you know what my favourite part of the day was?  It was when we wandered through the gardens on the way to the waterfront.  Now we have walked through about a billion gardens in our time but this one was extra good - it was an edible garden!
Milla wandered through the garden too
 I really wanted to eat a carrot but they weren't big enough to pick.  Instead I picked myself a radish.
Love at first bite?
I have never eaten a radish before.  I am not too sure I actually like eating radish but I loved being able to pick and eat my own food!
Love AJ Pickle

Downtown Cleveland

After all the busy-ness of being in Cleveland for a wedding party and getting ready for Halloween we had only one day in Cleveland to look around the city and hunt for treasures so we caught the train downtown and let our adventure begin.

Sarah had warned us that Cleveland wasn't much fun but we found plenty to do to keep us busy.  There were plenty of things to climb... statues, stair railings, even lamp posts.  Everywhere we went, AJ found something different to climb.  

There were parks and gardens and cool places to explore as we wandered around looking for treasure.  The best geocache we found was along the waterfront.
It took forever to find the cache because there were Muggles fishing in the area where the cache was hidden.  We did find a tiny little fish that was actually right next to where the cache was hiding in plain sight!

The giant stamp may say FREE but all in all, I give Cleveland a big stamp of approval!

Love Princess George

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Time for Jack-o-lanterns

Now that the wedding is over and we are all recovered from the fun and excitement, we have another big project to get organised - Halloween.  Now as Aussies, we really don't know how to celebrate Halloween, sure we try really hard by making creepy Jack-o-lanterns, baking witchy fingers and dressing up in costumes but that is it.  You can imagine how super excited we are about celebrating Halloween properly.

Finally it was time to make the Jack-o-lanterns.  I have to say that American pumpkins are ginormous and I am pretty sure that they weigh more than I do!

We started off by drawing our faces on the pumpkins, well not 'our' faces, the faces that we thought would look best on a pumpkin!  Once the faces were drawn it was time to get into action and make the Jack-o-lanterns.

Tony was the pumpkin carving expert and cut them out for us.  We helped with the finer details but let him do the hard work.  We did the messy work and scooped the guts out of the pumpkin.

Victoria must know us well already and figured that we would be hungry before we finished so she decided to sort through all the pumpkin goop and collect the seeds to roast for us to nibble on as we worked.

There was soooo much goop in the pumpkins that it took forever to sort through it all to get the seeds to roast.

Eventually the pumpkins were carved and ready to carry out to the front of the house to join all of the Halloween decorations that were there.

Only one more sleep until Halloween, hurrah!  I can't wait...

Love a super excited Princess George

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life in Westlake

I think that I could get used to living in Westlake, there are heaps of places to play.  There is plenty of space in the yard to kick or throw a footy and just up the road there is a lake and some woods to do some serious exploring.  
It didn't have time to do heaps of exploring, I had to get back to the McNamara's to get ready for the cook up - I was in charge of cooking the hot dogs over the fire pit.  

I was also the head marshmallow toaster.  I briefly handed over the title of head marshmallow toaster to Tony so that he could make some s'mores for me.  Don't tell Tony, but I have to admit that I tasted the s'mores - marshmallows and chocolate smooshed between some crackers but wasn't a huge fan so I gave mine to mum to munch on.  I was pretty glad that most people at the party wanted real food I and went back to toasting and eating every marshmallow in sight.

I like hanging out around here.  I hope I get more time to explore properly before we take off to another part of the country.
Love AJ Pickle

The Day before the Big Day

In one more sleep Marah and Edrick get married (again) and we get to have a gigantic party.  That means that today we have to make sure everything is ready for the big day.  I had the job of being the official helper-outer-er and photographer.  There were flowers to be arranged... food to be prepared... words of wisdom to be written... and hair to be cut.  Busy, busy, busy!

I can't wait until tomorrow.  I think that I am almost as excited as Marah and Edrick!
Love Princess George

Waking Up in Cleveland

Last night I went to sleep in Chicago and this morning I woke up in Cleveland!

We caught the Amtrak overnight and I am happy to say that sleeping on the train is way more comfortable than sleeping on a plane!  Did I mention that I seem to only fall asleep on a plane when the pilot announces that the plane is ready to descend.  I really must work on that before we have to fly home.

I wonder what adventures I will find in Cleveland?
Love AJ Pickle

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Following Ferris

Have you seen the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off?  It isn't really a kids movie but mum and dad let me watch it a while ago and I think it is pretty cool.  Anyway, just in case you haven't seen it, Ferris is about a boy, his girl-friend and his best friend and all of the crazy things that they do when the wag school.  Now since I am already wagging school, I thought I should do some of the things Ferris did on his day off.

Since I am still a little kid, I couldn't sneak in to a restaurant and pretend I was someone famous.  I would have sung a strange song in a parade but there wasn't a parade to be found.  Even if I knew someone in Chicago with a fancy car, I'm not big enough to see over the dash if I took it for a joy ride.

Really, the only other Ferris thing I could do was visit the John Hancock Observatory and look down on all the little people.  (Of course I couldn't look down and see my parents, they were with me!)  I could have stood on the railing just liked they did in Ferris, but I had been walking around Chicago all day so I needed the seat.

I might not be as cool as Ferris, but I had a great time looking out over Chicago, during the day AND at night.

Since I am not actually from Chicago, I listened to the audio tour to find out a bit more about Chicago.  I found it so interesting that I did it twice, first as a kid, then I listened to the adult version.  To be honest, I learnt heaps more from the kid version.

Did you know that even though it is pretty windy in Chicago, it is more likely that it is called the Windy City because of all the wind caused by the politicians.  (I wonder if they mean wind from farts or from the hot air of talking rubbish?)

Also, the very first ever ferris wheel was invented and built in Chicago by Mr George Ferris!

So many interesting facts from the kids version of the tour that mum and dad didn't know about!

I did get to do something that Ferris didn't get to do - I washed the windows of the Hancock Observatory.

 (Don't worry Nan, we aren't really outside the building, 100 floors above the ground!)

I have had heaps of fun in Chicago, it is a shame that tonight we are leaving!
Oh well, plenty more adventures to be had.
Love AJ Pickle

Old Friends in New Places

Can you believe that even though we are in another country we get to catch up with one of our best friends who is an old neighbour?

Paula showed us so many different and amazing places all in one fun filled day.

First there was Millennium Park and the giant jelly bean as well as other really cool sculptures in a great park.

We could have spent all day just playing in Millennium Park and looking at all the crazy and beautiful reflections in the jelly bean (look, can you see all of us in the reflection?)
We knew that there were other amazing things to see and do so we kept on exploring.

Eventually we got hungry so wandered down to Navy Pier for some lunch and to see if there were any more adventures to be found.

There were rides that we could go on but we didn't go on them, we wimped out because it was cold and really windy.  There were ice creams to eat and we made sure that we ate some of them.  There were even some shops to wander through for some fun.

We found some great gardens to relax in but our favourite place was at the very end of Navy Pier where you could just look out over the seemingly endless water of Lake Michigan.

Navy Pier was great but we really think we need to come back in summer to really experience it all properly and go a little crazy.

We had an amazing day but what made the day with Paula even more special is that she doesn't even live in Chicago any more.  When she knew we were in town, she flew in just to see us, how awesome is that!

See, clearly Paula is crazy enough to be a part of our family!

We love you Paula, come to Melbourne and visit us really soon!
Love the superRelish crew

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dreaming of Dolls

We had grand plans that after visiting Lincoln Park Zoo that we would wander downtown and do some exploring.  We wanted to go to the observatory at the top of the John Hancock Building but it started to get foggy and they said that the visibility was down to only 4 miles.  I don't really know how far that is but since you can normally see for 80 miles I figured that is wasn't very far.

Initially I was disappointed that we didn't get to go to the observatory but I soon cheered up when I stumbled across this place - American Girl Place!  It was a ginormous shop full of dolls and doll stuff.  I spent ages wandering around trying to pick out my favourite doll.  There were dolls from all different times in America's history.  My favourites were Kit and Julie, mainly because they looked a little bit like me.

This one is Julie, she is from the 1970s.  I really like her, her hair was just like mine before I had it cut and her bedroom is decorated the way I want to decorate mine.  If only she had blue eyes like me we could be sisters!

As much as I loved Julie, I ended up buying (with my own money!) a miniature Kit doll because she look most like I do now.  She is from the Great Depression in the 1930s when there wasn't much money for special things like gorgeous dolls or huge holidays.

There were other girls there with dolls that looked like them, but they weren't the dolls from history, they were dolls made to look like them, they even had matching outfits.  It was kind of creepy, a little bit crazy but at the same time very very cool.  Some of the girls were wearing heaps of makeup and were having their photos taken in a special studio and their photos published on a magazine cover.  I don't think I would go that far but even if I do think it is crazy, I would really love my very own American Girl doll!

I wonder if Santa can get presents from America?
Love Princess George

PS - Santa, if you are reading this, I really have been a good girl :-)

We're Going to the Zoo

Everyone knows that we LOVE going to the zoo so when we found out that the Lincoln Park Zoo is just up the road from where we were staying, we simply had to go there.  Now being Friends of the Zoo at Melbourne Zoo (one of the most awesome zoos in the entire world) for ALL of our lives, we have spent plenty of time at the zoo.  The fact that we knew all the zoo animals before we even knew what farm animals were was a little disappointing to our country cousins but super impressive non the less.

To say that we have been known to be zoo snobs is fairly true, we are often not that impressed by zoos that aren't completely awesome.  Well we are here to tell you that Lincoln Park Zoo is totally AWESOME!

There was an African Experience that had heaps of interactive displays as well as super cute meerkats.

As an added bonus, most of the exhibit was indoors so we didn't freeze as we looked at everything.  I guess it is pretty good for the animals too, I am sure they would get pretty cold if they were outside in the cold, especially since the African animals are more accustomed to warmer climates!  I can only imagine just how cold it must get in Chicago, I mean it is only Fall (that is American for Autumn) and it is super cold.  It snows around here so if there wasn't anywhere inside to go and see the animals, I am sure they would be forgotten by everyone, except the people who work at the zoo for the entire cold winter.

Do you know they even had inside exhibits that didn't' have any windows to keep the animals inside?  In the bird house the birds loved their homes so much that they just stayed there.  It was a little more concerning when the giant orb weaving spiders weren't behind glass but the signs explained that the spiders were fed in their little corner so they didn't wander away.  Of course we didn't get too close, just in case but made mum get in close for a photo!

The primates had an inside / outside house too, a house that they could play outside in when it was warm and an equally awesome inside home for when the weather was cold.

The best part about the primate area was the computers.  Did you know that the primates there know how to use touch screen computers?  I didn't know just how clever they were.  The gorillas were amazing, they touched the different symbols on the screen in order, following the same pattern, just like playing a game of memory.  The primate keepers, were their teachers, and they were just like parents, they bribed the gorillas with fruit every time they got it right!  Even without the bribes, the gorillas were really cool.

As well as the normal zoo area, with zoo animals, there was a farm section too where you could see cows, goats, chickens and rabbits.  We hid out in the barn area for a while playing games and trying to warm up.  Did you know that as a family, we weigh almost as much as a horse?  Surely that little fact will impress the country cousins!  It is amazing what you can learn when you visit the farm, even if it is at the zoo in Chicago!

So all round, Lincoln Park Zoo was pretty darn cool.  All of this and more and it is FREE.  Can you believe that, a super-duper awesome zoo that is for free!  I hope we get to visit this zoo again some day.
Love AJ and Milla


Gnomeo, Gnomeo!  Wherefore art thou Gnomeo?  
We couldn't find Gnomeo OR Juliette but we did find the statue of the dude in Gnomeo and Juliette!  

Love AJ Pickle

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skeletons take over Chicago

If you look closely at all the pictures you will see that they are full of skeletons, vampires and other ghouls who have taken over Chicago.
Perhaps it would be safer if we stayed in Shaumburg instead of going in to Chicago?

Oh well, too late, here comes our taxi.  Look out Chicago, we are on our way.
Love AJ Pickle

Loving Lego Land

To all our Lego loving friends out there, you MUST go to Lego Land - it is AWESOME.

Now anyone that knows our family knows that 

so a visit to Legoland was top of our to-do list when we were planning a holiday.  

We are so glad that we did.

As well as meeting so many famous folk who were immortalised in Lego and exploring the Lego Jungle, there was heaps of other super cool things to do, including rides!  

Lego Movie Madness

One of the first things we did was watch a couple of movies in 4D - yep you heard us right 4D.  Not only did the characters jump off the screen, we could feel what the characters were feeling too.  If it rained on the characters, it rained on us, it even snowed on the characters and us too!  It was uber cool (and because we were first in line to the Lego Land cinema, we got to choose the first movie we watched.

Then we joined in on a master class (or 2) of Lego building.

Learning from a Lego Expert

Visited the factory to see how Lego is made.  We found out that there are 76 different colour Lego bricks and teleported some of the bricks we made to the moon!
With the Crazy Professor in the Lego Factory
There was even a play area, like in an indoor play centre with nets, slides and crazy things to climb on but we were much more interested in playing with some of the 4 million Lego!

You know, we haven't really seen much of the Chicago area, but we are pretty sure that if Lego Land Discovery Centre is anything to go by we could live here!
Love AJ and Milla
Apparently jet lag is when you are in living in one part of the world but your body thinks it lives in another and so it doesn't know if it should be awake or asleep.  I felt jet lagged for the first time ever this morning.  Of course I was super tired yesterday after all the travel we did so I was able to fall asleep at proper bed time, around 8 or so the problem was waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep.  I ended up watching some really trashy TV until mum woke up at 4.30 and declared that Jerry Springer really isn't a kids show and sent me back to bed!

AJ was a bed hog so I didn't want to get back into our bed, so I curled up on the couch for another hour or so of sleep but that was it.  AJ was still asleep and mum was starting to get grumpy, I think she was getting jet lagged too.  I was too wide awake to stay in bed so I went for breakfast with dad.  (Note to self:  Just because all the American folk I know love waffles, it doesn't mean they are nice!)

Mum and AJ were still sleeping when we went back to our room so Dad and I went for a walk to let them get some more sleep, I really didn't like the thought of spending the day with grumpy folks!  We also figured we could explore a bit and pick up some fruit to snack on as we were out, as well as trying to find a pre-paid data sim for the iPad so we can go geocaching.  We had no luck with the data sim - apparently you need to have a US credit card AND mailing address to get one but we did find some fruit.  We stocked up on bananas to munch on cos they were only 60c a pound!  (Sure I don't really know what a pound is, but they sounded pretty darn cheap and were delicious.)

I am pretty sure that if we didn't wake mum and AJ when we made it back to the hotel, they would have slept the day away.  Instead we rushed them downstairs for breakfast so that we could go out and explore for the day.

I just hope that after waking up so early today that I will have the energy to keep going all day long.  Next stop, a swim before walking to Legoland.

Love Princess George

Monday, October 24, 2011

When I Grow Up...

When I was a little kid, I used to tell everyone that I wanted to be a pilot, well actually I wanted to be a fighter pilot, just like Maverick in Top Gun.  For some reason I changed my mind and thought I might do something else instead, I just can't remember what.

Anyway, I am thinking that maybe I will be a pilot.  You see on the way from LAX to Chicago today, Jim and Jim, the pilots on the plane I was flying on, invited me into the cockpit to see where they worked.

AJ the Pilot
How cool is all this stuff!  I think that I could get used to jetting about the world!
Love AJ Pickle

Waiting and Waiting Some More

I woke up super early this morning, I was too tired to sleep, I had things to do and places to see and I wasn't going to school!  Once I was ready I had to sit around and wait for the taxi to take us to the airport.

Filling in time
We were early and managed to beat the rush and it didn't take long for us to be through customs and at the gate waiting for our plane.  Of course there was a slight delay so the wait was even longer.
Luckily I am easily entertained!

The flight from Melbourne to LA was long, really long but at least I managed to sleep a few hours this time  round!  I am pretty sure AJ only fell asleep as the plane was getting ready to descend into LA.

Ready for Take-Off
At LAX, we had to clear customs and recheck our luggage and wait some more.  I rested for a little bit but I was still too excited to sleep.  Instead I rested, thinking about how we could possibly be in LA, in a completely different country and it was really a few hours before we had even left Melbourne!
Waiting some more...

Finally we boarded the American Airlines flight for O'Hare.

Having flown 15 hours already and then waiting at LAX for another 4 hours, the 3 1/2 hour flight to Chicago was so quick, it was like it was over in the blink of an eye, or just one movie!

Of course, being in Chicago, we had one more wait, this time for a taxi to take us to hour hotel.
The Last Wait for the Day

Finally after what feels like a billion hours, the waiting is over and we are on holidays.  We have had a swim and some dinner and now it is time to get some real sleep before we go exploring tomorrow.
Let the adventure begin,
Love Princess George

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Place to Play

Some things may never change.  Mum is still dragging us along to work with her whenever she gets the chance.

At least now when we get dragged to Flemington there there is a new super cool playground for us to explore at Debneys Park!

There are so many cool things to play on, a climbing net, giant sider web, dizzy sticks, a ginormous flying fox and places to ride bikes, skateboards and scooters.  I haven't had a chance to go on the flying fox yet, there are always about 4 billion other kids waiting to have a go on it.  Maybe next time I am there I will get a turn on it too.
Love AJ Pickle

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Work

It is the weekend so that should mean that we get to spend the day relaxing and having fun right? I wish! Sure I went to ice skating this morning and had heaps of fun but when I got home I had to work, work, work. Mum had decided that my room was a mess and it needed to be cleaned. Why? I really don't know. It is my room and it is way cleaner than her room but I had to spend my day inside cleaning and it took forever.

With all of the things I got rid of - 3 garbage bags full of stuff to be donated to Vinnies and another 4 big bags of rubbish you would think that my room would be empty right? Wrong. It is still full of stuff. The best thing is, now I can actually find where my stuff is, just don't tell mum other wise she will say 'I told you so!'

Love Princess George