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

Rosenborg Castle Gardens in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is one of my favorite cities! Right in the city is Rosenberg Castle, with it’s beautiful gardens called “Kongens Have” (it translates in English to “The King’s Garden”). The gardens are beautiful, but also really fun. They have a garden maze, tons of flowers, lots of sculptures and statues, and an awesome puppet show theater! Plus a castle – what could be better?!

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Awesome Garden in Sydney

One of my favorite places to visit in Sydney, Australia, was the Chinese Garden of Friendship. It is an amazing Chinese-style garden designed by Sydney’s Chinese sister city, Guangzhou. It has a Dragon Wall, Tea House, and bamboo plants, but my favorite part to visit was this beautiful bridge and waterfall.

Chinese Garden Small

Garden Week!

Welcome to my first-ever theme week! One of my favorite things to see when Michael and I travel is nature. This week I’m going to share some of my favorite gardens from around the world.

Can you believe that in one of the world’s major cities you can find flamingos, ducks, streams and ponds, and beautiful Spanish and English gardens – all on a rooftop?! This magnificent place is called the Kensington Roof Gardens in London. The gardens cover 1.5 acres of land on top of the former Derry and Toms department store building in central London.

Check in with us all week to see more spectacular gardens from Michael’s and my travels!

Rooftop Gardens Small

Curious About Our Rio Adventure

Lots of people like the adventure Michael and I had in Rio. A place called Surprise Ride put our book in an activity box! A lot of kids already have it. Everything in it is about Brazil and the summer games.Brazil-themed activity box from Surprise Ride

It’s so fun to think about! We had a great time in Rio and we’re glad we get to share it with so many other kids. We have a picture of it!

You can see it at their web site, too!

More About Rio

Botanical Gardens w Birds MediumI thought all of South America spoke Spanish, but it turns out they speak Portuguese in Brazil! Michael and I learned this on our trip to Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro means “River of January” in Portuguese, because the first explorers came in January and thought it was a river mouth.

Rio is such a beautiful place, and there’s so much nature in the city. They have beaches and mountains, and tons of wildlife. One of my favorite places was the Botanical Gardens. We saw all kinds of beautiful flowers, turtles, monkeys, and the gorgeous colorful birds that the locals call Araras.

Awesome Music in Rio de Janeiro

Molly and Michael watch capoeira with their friend Livia in Rio de Janeiro.
Molly and Michael watch capoeira with their friend Livia in Rio de Janeiro.

Michael and I just got back from a beautiful city called Rio de Janiero. It’s a gorgeous oceanside city in Brazil, in South America — and the home of the 2016 Summer Olympics! Our favorite part of Rio was the music. They have instruments there we’ve never seen before. There was one that looked like a fishing rod to us. It’s called a berimbau. It has a single string and you play it by hitting the string with a bow. It sounds like a bass guitar, but you also use a shaker with it called a caxixi. ‘Berimbau’ is also the title of an old, well-known song.

There was also a pandeiro. It looks like a tambourine, but it’s different. The jingles have a different noise and the drum itself is used more often than with a tambourine. We also saw a large drum, called an atabaque. It is often made with special wood from a jacaranda tree.

One way they use all these special instruments is to play music along with a form of dance and a martial art called capoeira. You can see videos online – it is amazing!

Rio was an awesome city. There’s so much to explore everywhere we go!

Trip to Puerto Rico

Michael and I were so lucky to get to visit the island of Puerto Rico. It has such fun water activities. We played volleyball on the beach, went snorkeling, and went to an awesome water park. We also got to visit the rain forest. They have an amazing number of animals there, and beautiful waterfalls, and ziplines. Puerto Rico is actually an American territory, and it’s flag is similar to the US flag.