Friday, 13 September 2013

Freddy visits the monkeys

Mini-Kolo had a long holiday and a lot of adventures so he is quite tired.  When there is an opportunity for a day out we always have a willing volunteer in Freddy.  Freddy started his day out by visiting the Quay Arts Centre in Newport.  Sadly there was no art in the galleries as they were setting up a new exhibition.  However, they cafe was in full working order and Freddy had lunch.

He had a panini with aged cheddar (it didn't seem to bother him how old it was), pickled red onions and crisps.  Freddy enjoyed that and it gave him the energy he needed to visit the monkeys.  Freddy visited the Owl and Monkey Haven which is near Newport, on the road to Ryde.

He visited all the monkeys.  He started by visiting Martin and Lulu with their new baby, Malou who was born in May this year.

This is Martin, the father, who is a white-throated capuchin.

Here are Luly and the baby Malou.  Freddy moved on to visit the Lar Gibbons, Somer and Rasmaya, these are fun primates they are always swinging around and having a good time.

There was a bit of wrestling going on here.  Freddy moved on to visit the Javan langurs, we lost dear Fudge this year, but the community goes on.  The red furred chap is Wheat and the darker ones are the females, Treacle, Makazive and Tonka.  These are lively primates who like to have a good time.

These are really handsome primates.  Next Freddy visited the ring tailed Lemurs, Crotched and Tornado.


Freddy visited the red tailed guenon Djebra.  He has had a sad history in the past but he looked much more interested in his dinner than that.

What a sweet face he has.  Next Freddy moved on to visit the Muller's gibbons Bono and Kajan and the siamangs Bog and Xhabu.  I am not sure who is who and most of them were far more interested in eating than in chatting to Freddy but one was friendly.

The next visit was to the Colobus monkeys, Tirana, Sana and young Praia.  This is Praia.

How cute is that!  The adults were more active swinging around and arguing with their neighbours.

The neighbours in question were the Rhesus macaques, they were a fun bunch.  The adults are Hobo, Dray and Tammy and the children are Spock and Minka.  They were all full of fun, arguing with the Colobus monkeys, swinging and playing.  Minka was particularly funny using the end of a pinapple as a plaything and sticking it to her face.  I wish we could have got a photo of that.

Little Minka is in the corner there.
Freddy visited the smaller primates.


Cotton-top tamarins.

Red-belly tamarin, when we did get a glimps of his tummy it was red.

Freddy also visited the owls. Understandably most of them were sleepy in the middle of the day and were in the back of their cages.  The snowy owls were very sweet though.

We are very excited that the Haven will be getting some Barbary macaques soon and we will go back to visit them.  They are the wonderful apes that you can see in Gibralta.  We are excited to meet them when they arrive.

Freddy had a great day at the Haven and will be back soon.  They are getting more and more monkeys there all the time and doing wonderful work.  To find out more about the monkeys and owls or to read about the work the Haven does see for further information.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Mini-Kolo in Boston

After a good flight on Alaskan Airlines Mini-Kolo and our people arrived in Boston.  They booked into the hotel and got a great view from the window.

They were on the 10th floor so they could see the Charles River.  More excitingly they were right behind Mass General Hospital, so there was plenty going on.  The night skyline was exciting with neon and plenty of activity.  Being behind the hospital, everytime they went out they saw lots of people in medical scrubs, carrying large mugs of coffee.

Mini-Kolo has been to Boston before so he knew exactly where to go to get a good pizza.  This gets a good baboon rating.

That made him feel at home.  An early night was needed after getting up at 4.30 am for the flight to Boston so in the morning he was keen for breakfast.  They went to Panificio in Charles Street for pancakes.

This cafe does get a high baboon rating, however, there were no bananas on the menu!!

They did quite a lot of exploring that day, including walking down Commonwealth Avenue and Boston Common.  Mini-Kolo met Mr Washington and was keen to show him that he was supporting the Red Sox.

Lunchtime, and a visit to Durgin Park resturant was called for!!  This resturant is a Boston institution and they do lovely fish cakes.

Mini-Kolo decided to try Boston baked beans with his fish cakes.  This was all very tasty and gets a really good baboon rating.

There was more exploring in the afternoon to walk off the fishcakes and fries.  Mini-Kolo managed to find the Charles River.

The next day Mini-Kolo explored Boston Harbour.  He enjoyed the sunshine looking out at the boats.

He also wants it to be known that he walked the Freedom Trail and a trail around South Boston.  He feels that justifies all the eating he did.  However, there is no photographic evidence of this.

In the evening Mini-Kolo met up with Michelle (@grrlysquirrel75).  This also gave him the chance to catch up with another re-homed baboon, Barrett.  They went to the north end where there is lovely Italian food.

This picture was taken before he managed to fall off his chair and out of the open window onto the sidewalk.  Fortunately our manpeson rescued him, although Mini-Kolo maintains that it was our manperson who caused him to do that in the first place.  Anyway, alls well that ends well.  He demanded a gelato to help him get over his injuries, but actually he didn't have any injuries, so sorry Mini-Kolo no gelato. 
They had lovely Italian food in the north end of Boston
The next morning Mini-Kolo went to Quincey Market for breakfast, he bought coffee and a red pepper scone (which sounds unusual to me).
He also spotted these yummy toffee apples, they looked very colourful, although we think there might have been too many E numbers in them to be good for Mini-Kolo.
With all that coffee on the streets and in the cafes I wonder why Boston is talked about in terms of tea!  Well historically we do all know what that was about but as a British baboon I will say no more!!
That day was supposed to be their last day in Boston, so after a bit more strolling and shopping they made their way to Logan airport in time for their flight.
So, why did they wake up here the next morning?
This is the highly expensive Fairmont Hotel in Boston.  Why were they there instead of at home in Baboon HQ?  Well you would need to ask British Airways about that!  They didn't spend long there as they got there at 1 am, but there were breakfast pancakes.  It would all have been very nice but they wanted to be back at Baboon HQ.
However, not to miss out on making the best of things Mini-Kolo found a farmers' market to shop in.
The market was in the square opposite to the hotel and it does look good.

There were fantastic baked goods and fruit.  Mini-Kolo decided that, rather than having lunch in the hotel, he would buy something from the market.

He bought golden raspberries which were yummy, some spinach and mushroom bread, pumpkin bread and, how could he resist? Banana bread.

Well eventually they had to return to Logan airport to go through all the check-in and security checks again.  Once he got through Mini-Kolo managed to find a comfortable seat.

Yes this is a much more comfortable seat than you usually find at airports and it made the 5 hour wait much more enjoyable.  Especially when he could watch planes taking off and landing.

It was a good job he was there because somebody needed to find the plane, nobody else was telling them where it was.  You do get a good view from Logan of nice homes and sailing boats on the sound.

Well they did get home eventually, more than 24 hours late and rather tired, grumpy and disorientated.  It was a good trip and they are happy they went, but the travel disruption was tiring and frustrating.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Mini-Kolo in Portland

Well Mini-Kolo was sad to leave LA but he was also excited to go to Portland.  Monkey had told him lots about it and he was keen to see it.  He flew from LA to San Francisco, stopped there for an hour and then on to Portland.  He got to the hotel very late in the evening so he just went to sleep and didn't see how marvellous the hotel was until the morning.  Now we don't usually take lots of pictures of hotels, they are not usually that interesting, but this one was.

The room had its own kitchen!!  What can you say, look at the cool lighting!!  Then there was a seating area.

OK most people know the Baboon HQ baboons are not major fans of shocking pink but hey this colour scheme was awesome, funky!  Even the carpets in the hallways were cool.  See the breakfast room.

There were cool sweets there all the time and you could help yourself to breakfast and there was coffee and cool things like yogurt and fruit available all day!  Way cool!  Oh yes and there was a roof garden.

Monkey and Mini-Kolo took advantage of the sunshine on the roof.  Check out this hotel if you are ever going to Portland. everyone there was awesome, so friendly and helpful, the baboon rating was stratespheric!!

OK they didn't spend all day in the hotel, honest!  Portland is a cool city and has a European flavour I think.  On the first morning they went out for pastries in a great pastry shop round the corner.  Maybe Monkey can tell me the name.  It was lovely.

Mini-Kolo had a pain au raison and an almond croissant yummy, you can just see Monkey's lemon tart behind.  Of course they had great coffee.  There was lots of lovely food in Portland we didn't photograph all of it.

Then they walked up to see the rose garden and the Japanese garden.  Mini-Kolo meditated in the Zen garden.

It was very peaceful.  He also met a very nice Japanese lion.  He is a lot bigger than @LeroySealion.

Mini-Kolo was very interested in the Oregon pines, he had heard of them and was fascinated to see them.  He had never realised how tall they were.


Later that day they had the second Tweet-up of the trip, they went to Lucky Lab, in NW.  This place got a good baboon rating, they had beer and pizza, not that Mini-Kolo was allowed beer.  As I have said we will do a special blog for the Tweet-ups, but here are a couple of pictures.

They met @danapixi, who brought @BorisKitty's pal @EdgardaKitty and @Kittehboi's Mini-Breeze, Cybercat919 and @Liedertafel_pdx.  They had lots of fun and some gelato afterwards.

Mini-Kolo caught up with two more rehomed baboons, DanaPixi's Awbrey and Willy's Marley.  Its so cool to catch up with the rehomed baboons and find out how happy they are.

The next day they went out for a walk exploring.  They managed to find Voodoo Donuts, that is an amazing place, they didn't have donuts, the colours looked scary to us, but there was an amazing long queue for them.  They also saw at least one drag queen, early in the morning after their performance, what a city!  Mini-Kolo met a Chinese lion this time at the Chinese garden.

They visited the Saturday market, walked along the river and had a lovely lunch in another French bakery and then went on the Portland street car.

That was exciting and they saw a cable car, we have to go back to ride in that cable car, we had planned to the next day but there was so much to do in Portland that it was difficult to fit it all in.

The next day they went to the zoo.  This is another thing that I will blog about separately but I will show you the highlights.

On the way to the zoo Mini-Kolo met some cool street pigs.

These pigs live on the street and have babies, they are really happy cos they live outside a gelato shop!!  Sounds good to me!

I was delighted they met a bear because I think this part of the US actually has bears like this.  Near the bears our friend found a Geocache!  We didn't know about these before but we will be getting into that now.

The major thing about Oregon zoo is that they have mandrills.

It ws not easy to get pictures of these guys because of the plexiglass, but our man person did well.

Now this is a handsome baboon and he had a family group with him.  He chatted with Mini-Kolo and told him that he has a good life in the zoo.  More about the zoo in a separate blog.
That evening we had a nice dinner in a Thai resturant called Red Onion, this got a high baboon rating, but it is very easy to over-order here so watch out.
Well the next morning we were due to fly to Boston, this was sad because we had to say goodbye to Monkey who was going back to Dallas.  We had a great trip with Monkey and it was good to spend time with him.  Thank you Monkey for spending your holiday with us an for finding us such a cool hotel.

Mini-Kolo got ready for Boston by putting his Red Sox shirt on while he was waiting at the airport.  A word here about our flight.  We flew Alaskan Airlines, we did not know what to expect with them but they got a really high baboon rating, it was a 5 hour flight so quite long, we felt really well informed, well looked after and comfortable.  We highly recommend to our friends who fly internally in the US, if you have not checked out Alaskan Airlines, do so it was a good flight.