Friday, April 30, 2010

Rubber Chicken Mummy Missing from King Tut's Tomb

Yesterday I checked out the King Tut Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

It was great! Not only did I see King Tut’s stuff, I also learned a lot about his relatives and saw some of their belongings.

Those Egyptians were big on the whole after-life thing. They even mummified their beloved pets. Search as I could, I didn’t find any mummified chicken information.

In the past, Egyptologists believed that King Tut was murdered but just recently, through modern technology they found that he probably died of Malaria.

It’s been rumoured that there was a curse on King Tut’s tomb. Supposedly an inscription in the tomb said “Death will slay with his wings whoever disturbs the peace of the pharaoh”.

To find out the facts check out the Life of King Tut site.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Illegally Blonde

As you know, I really enjoy going on trips and I love to read books that take place in different countries. That’s why I was really excited when the book Illegally Blonde by Nelsa Roberto hit the shelves. It takes place in Canada and Portugal.

The book’s about a teenage girl named Lucy and her family who are deported to Portugal. Lucy is furious at being forced to move to a small Portugese village, miss prom and leave her boyfriend. How far will Lucy go to get back home?

Although the book is considered teen fiction, Mom loved it…and she’s at least 24.

Mom and I attended the launch for Illegally Blonde on Sunday. Here’s a picture of me giving author Nelsa Roberto a congratulatory peck.

You can pick your book up at the local Chapters or go to Nelsa’s blog, Out of the Wordwork.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dolphins of Atlantis

One really fun place to go is the Atlantis Resort in Bahamas.

I love the cool water park with its tons of slides. Here I am in front of the Mayan Temple.

Atlantis has a really neat marine habitat called the Dig. It’s themed around the fabled city of Atlantis. Over 50,000 marine animals live in the different displays. You can even snorkel with the Mantas here.

In another area you can actually walk under-water with the sharks. You don’t need to swim but you do need to wear a clear glass helmet. I ended up wearing a plastic pop bottle over my head but humans get a state of the art helmet.

My favourite animals are the Dolphins. There are a number of dolphin interaction programs to choose from including shallow water encounters, swimming with the dolphins and trainer for a day.

Dolphins are very intelligent. They communicate by squeaking or whistling through their blowholes. In the wild they live in pods (groups) of 10-30 animals and hunt fish by using something called echolocation which is like sonar; they send out clicking noises and listen for the return echo. From the echo they can figure out the location and shape of things around them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rubber Chickens at Sainte Chapelle

I couldn’t figure out what would be exciting about the gothic Sainte Chapelle church in Paris, France. So what if Louis IX, King of France built it in 1246.

My attitude soon changed when I went into the top chapel with all its stained glass.

The windows were stored during the war so that they wouldn’t be damaged. Most of the glass (2/3) is still original from King Louis’ time!

The best part is that every window panel tells a story. William and I spent over a half hour trying to find pictures of rubber chickens in the stained glass.

Guess what? We found one! Check out the picture. Doesn’t it look like the king is about to hit that guy over the head with a rubber chicken?

Supposedly there’s a secret door in the chapel but William and I didn’t find it because we were too busy looking for stained glass pictures.

If you go to Paris, you have to check it out. And don’t forget to let me know if you find any more rubber chickens in the glass.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sounding off with Ancient Greeks in Epidaurus

Here I am enjoying a quiet moment with friends at the amphitheatre of Epidaurus in Greece.

The ancient Greeks believed that Epidaurus was the birthplace of Apollo’s son, Esclepium, god of medicine. Over 2,500 years ago Epidaurus became a healing centre or sanctuary. With the money collected from thankful patients, a theatre was built beside the medical centre in honour of Dionysus, the god of acting.

The Greeks believed that entertainment had healing qualities. Now that I think of it, they were probably right. I find a good movie or play always lifts my spirits.

The original Greek theatre started out with 34 semi-circular rows of limestone seats built into the hillside. A few hundred years later, the Romans added 21 more rows. The theatre now seats over 14,000 people.

This theatre is special because it has perfect acoustics. In plain English, if a chicken on stage lets out a soft cluck, everyone can hear it, even the people sitting in the 55th row.
Boy was Dad embarrassed when I squawked!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hanging with the Gators in Florida

Did you know that the official state reptile of Florida is the Alligator?

You have to admit they are kind of cool in a creepy, horror movie kind of way.

Usually these creatures stay away from people but every now and then a nasty one comes along. It’s illegal to feed wild alligators in Florida because in doing so they may learn to associate people with food and lose their natural fear.

It’s also illegal to water ski after dark in Florida. That's because alligators are noctural and hunt at night.

The American Alligator lives about 50 years and can grow between 6 ½ and 13 feet. The largest alligator found was over 19 feet.

Believe it or not, gators can run up to 38 km/h for short periods of time. You definitely don’t want one chasing you.

These reptiles swallow their food whole. Larger gators eat fish, turtles, snakes, small mammals, smaller alligators, water birds and unsuspecting chickens…Gulp.

Gee, I think I better get myself out of here!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Feathered Dinosaurs at Science North

When I heard that many scientists believe modern-day birds are descended from dinosaurs, I had to check it out. So off I went to Sudbury, Ontario’s Science North to see a special exhibit called Dinosaurs Unearthed.

It was fabulous. I learned that dinosaur fossils with feathers were recently discovered in China! Many scientists even think that baby T-Rexes were covered in a type of feather to keep them warm. Here’s a picture with me and a cuddly animatronic (that means it moves) baby T-Rex.

Speaking of animatronic, there are 14 full sized moving dinosaur figures in the exhibit and almost 30 fossil replicas. They even have eggs.

Don’t miss out. The exhibit leaves Science North in September

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ghostly Happenings at the Banff Springs Hotel

I feel like I’m in a fairytale castle when I visit Banff Springs Hotel. There are so many fun things to do here. Swimming in its hot springs in the middle of winter is very neat. There's even a bowling alley here.

I love the scavenger hunt through the hotel which you can get at the concierge desk.

There are many ghost stories about the Banff Springs Hotel which is no surprise considering that it is well over a hundred years old.

In 1932 a woman died here on her wedding day when she fell down a flight of stairs. A year later, in the middle of the night, hotel staff heard music coming from the Rob Roy ballroom. When investigating they saw the image of a bride dancing by herself.

A bellman named Sam Macauley is also said to haunt the hotel. In life he worked there for many years. Just before he died in 1976, he said he loved the hotel so much that he planned on haunting it after he moved on.

Since then a bellman matching Sam’s description and wearing an old fashioned uniform helped two women get into their locked room and was seen walking through a wall.

I’m surprised there are no stories of chicken ghosts, seeing as many of the hotels fine restaurants serve chicken dishes.

Whether these stories are true or not, they add to the beauty and mystery of this gorgeous hotel.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Riding the Cowcatcher with Lady Agnes

On a visit to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff, I met Lady Agnes. Well, I didn’t exactly meet her because she’s been dead for awhile, but I heard a pretty wild story about her.

From looking at her picture, you would think she was just a run-of-the-mill little old lady. Lady Agnes Macdonald proved that looks are often deceiving.

In 1886, Lady Agnes took a train trip across Canada. She was so thrilled with the beauty of the Rockies that she had someone attach a candle box to the cowcatcher at the front of the train. There she sat with her skirts whipping in the wind for the rest of the trip.

Now that’s my type of Grandma.