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Francesca from Barcelona

Meet Our Friends!

One of our favorite parts of traveling is making new friends. Over the next month, Michael and I are going to feature some of our friends from around the world.

This is our friend Francesca who we met in Barcelona. Francesca is an artist, and she loves to paint, draw, and sculpt. Lucky she lives in such a wonderfully artistic city! She even made the shirt she has on here. Everywhere she goes in Barcelona, Francesca can see art – from street vendors, built into the sidewalks, and even in the beautifully designed buildings.

El Drac in Barcelona

Beautiful Mosaics

Have you ever seen a mosaic? A mosaic is a piece of art made by arranging colored tiles. A great place to see mosaic artwork is in Barcelona, Spain. A famous architect named Antoni Gaudi made tons of buildings and sculptures using mosaics. Our favorite is the giant lizard in Park Guell – his name is El Drac (The Dragon in English), and he’s enormous.

Michael and I like to make our own mosaic patterns and pictures out of construction paper. Try your own and see what beautiful things you can make!

Yummy quinoa!

Have you ever had quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)? It is one of my favorite grains. Quinoa comes from the Andes mountains, and Michael and I tried it when we were in Peru. Here is a yummy recipe that you can make with your family. Try adding your own favorite flavors as well!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup canola, olive, or vegetable oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ½ of a white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, oil, and garlic. Once mixed, add in cooked quinoa and stir. Add in black beans, corn, peppers, and onions, and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator.

Animals in Australia

Michael and I saw such cute and unique animals when we went to Australia. There was lots of sea life, and of course kangaroos and koalas, but also some animals I’d never seen before. We saw cute little echidnas (pronounced eh-KID-na), which are also called spiny anteaters. They are prehistoric animals and one of only 2 mammals that lay eggs. We also saw quokkas, which look like really small kangaroos – but they can climb trees! They’re about the size of a house cat, and they are very friendly with humans.

Echidna small

Capybaras in Rio

Check out these unusual animals! They’re called Capybaras and Michael and I saw them when we went to Rio de Janeiro. They’re so cute and playful, but they’re actually the largest rodents in the world! They live in forests and near water, and some people actually keep them as pets.

 

Amazing Painting Elephants!

Welcome to my second theme week – animal week! This week we’ll be sharing some of Michael’s and my favorite animals from around the world.

Something we saw in Thailand that was SO cool was painting elephants! The elephants hold the brushes in their trunks and paint pictures. The money they raise by selling the pictures goes to help save the elephants. Check it out on YouTube!

Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai

My last, but definitely not least, post for Garden Week is Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai. Talk about beautiful! Yuyuan was started way back in 1559 and has huge rocks and even caves. My favorite part is the “Inner Garden,” which has ponds and Chinese-style pavilions. Different sections of the park are separated by walls that look like dragons!

I hope you enjoyed all these gorgeous places during my first theme week. Next week look for another fun surprise theme!

Yu Yuan Gardens Small

 

Botanical Gardens in Rio

Michael and I loved our trip to Rio and can’t stop talking about it! One of my absolute favorite things to see there was the Botanical Gardens. There are 6,500 species of plants and animals — you see new things everywhere you go! And 140 different kinds of birds, like toucans, hawks, and araras, the beautiful colorful parrots. Michael loved the monkeys in the gardens. There are also tons of sculptures and fountains, and a Japanese garden area. There are so many beautiful and amazing things to see in this world!

Botanical Gardens w Birds Medium