Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Monkey Haven

We like to go to the Owl and Monkey Haven as often as possible and we always go after we have returned from our summer holiday.  When he got back from the US of A Mini-Kolo was all traveled out so we decided another baboon would go on the visit.  Freddy went last year so this year Aboo wanted to go.  He is good at climbing and swinging so we thought he might get on well there.

Since Freddy's visit the haven had got some Barbary macaques.  We particularly wanted to see them.  I always feel they are sort of like baboons without tails.  They are very cheeky in Gibraltar, teasing holiday makers.  Aboo was very excited to chat with this one.

They seemed to get on well, maybe that is because Aboo also doesn't have a tail.

He seems interested in what Aboo is saying to him.  Aboo was thrilled to have met him, we have been looking forward to their arrival in the haven.

We know lots of our friends like these little chaps, the marmosets, so Aboo visited them.  They were not keen to be filmed with him there, not sure why but he seemed to disturb them.  Well that didn't surprise us, he tends to disturb us too.

We always like the Lar Gibbons, they usually like swinging so Aboo taught them some new techniques, they seem interested but they are pretty good at swinging already.

We love the Jarvan langurs. We loved Fudge but sadly he died.  Now they have Wheat, he is the ginger one, the darker ones are all his girlfriends.  They are very mischievous and rush around all the time.

This one came over to have a look at Aboo swinging and have a chat!

A lot of the monkeys were not feeling like being photographed, they were so busy playing and moving around, we are always lucky to find a few who do.  However, we chatted with all the monkeys.

We always like this chap.  He is a red-tailed Guenon.  He has to live on his own because he was raised as a pet and when other zoos have tried to find him someone to live with it has not worked out because he has not been socialised that way.

Aboo really enjoyed his visit to the sanctuary.  All that chatting and swinging made him hungry so it was time for tea and cake at the Bluebell Cafe at Briddlesford farm.  It always gets a great baboon rating for cakes.

Aboo enjoyed that enormous piece of lemon drizzle cake.

If anyone is coming to our island remember the haven, they will always welcome you.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fun in Chicago

After four great days in Portland Mini-Kolo caught his flight to Chicago, Alaska Airlines again of course!  This airline gets a very high baboon rating for efficiency, snacks and customer service.

Now that's right this is when he was meant to be wearing his Cubs shirt.  Mini-Kolo's travelling wardrobe is very carefully planned!  The flight was fine and Mini-Kolo got a cab to the airB&B apartment that our people were renting.

It looks like a very grand entrance.  Mini-Kolo guarded all the luggage while they waited for the key-holder.  The apartment was spectacular.

How grand!!

The apartment was very near to Lake Michigan.  Mini-Kolo couldn't wait to have a look at that.  It is massive!!

You can't see the other side.

Mini-Kolo's next Chicago project was to have pizza.  The first night he tried the thin crust pizza.

Woo Mini-Kolo that was a bigggg pizza.  After that Mini-Kolo was full and tired and went back to bed.  He had a quiet breakfast at home the next day and then it was time for the big Chicago (Pugcago) Tweet-up!!

Mini-Kolo met @TommyPug's person, @Koosa_Party, @Sid_The_Catahoula's Lisa and @JennyRosePetal's mum (she came later and met Mini-Kolo for dinner).

They met at Navy Pier where Mini-Kolo nearly got hijacked by an adoring official Chicago Tour Guide.  @TommyPug's person brought their rehomed baboon Austin and Alan their bear from @ThisBear, one of the Koosa's came with their rehomed baboon Cornelius and Captain Bananas.  The baboons and Captain Bananas soon wanted to climb a tree.

They would have been able to see Lake Michigan and he Chicago skyline, if only they didn't have their backs to it!!

A portrait shot was required with everyone.

You can see Cornelius, Captain Bananas, one of the Koosas, Mini Kolo and  in front are Austin and Alan.

More climbing of course, there is an anchor at the end of the pier and what monkey, baboon, Koosa or bear could resist climbing on that.  Austin and Alan are high up in the little hole, Mr Koosa is sunbathing and Mni-Kolo, Cornelius and Captain Bananas are in the foreground!

It was a lovely day and they spent some time walking on the pier until lunch time.  They went to Bubba Gumps, where Mini-Kolo had a Dixie Fishwich.  This would have made him feel as though he was in New Orleans, but he hasn't been there, Leroy (@Leroy_Sealion) has.

Mini-Kolo really enjoyed this, oh yes there were chips (fries) with that and a blueberry smoothie, that was yummy too!

On the way back from the wonderful Tweet-up Mini Kolo came across the beginning of Route 66.

Leroy and his brother Henry found the end of it in LA in 2011, so we have seen both ends.  Maybe one day we will see the middle!  Mini-Kolo met @JennyRosePetal's mum later and they had burgers (veggie burger for Mini-Kolo), unfortunately it was dark and we didn't get a photo.  After a long, busy and hot day Mini-Kolo went home to bed.

The next day he went out to breakfast in a cafe in the neighbourhood where they were staying, French Toast appealed to him that day.

This was yummy and got him ready for his architectural river cruise.  It was rather wet during the cruise but Mini-Kolo got a couple of good pictures.

The cruise was very interesting and the skyline of Chicago was fascinating.  After the cruise Mini-Kolo had a mission.  He needed to go to Chicago's famous chocolate ship, Fanny May!

This was a great shop and money was spent there! Well buying all that chocolate was enough to make a baboon hungry so it was time for a late lunch of deep dish pizza.

This was nice and very filling!!  Mini-Kolo was so full he couldn't eat any dinner, in fact shock!  horror!  He couldn't even eat any of the chocolate he had bought.  Instead of dinner he went for a walk around a little bit of Lake Michigan.  What!!!  A baboon missing dinner!  Horrifying!!  Unheard of!!

At least that gave Mini-Kolo a bigggg appetite for breakfast the next morning.  He had:

crepes and, well after missing dinner he had:

French toast.  If any of you go to Chicago go to mHenrietta for breakfast, it was so good!!

Well sadly, after breakfast it was time for Mini-Kolo and our people to get to Chicago O'Hare airport for the  flight home.

It was a great holiday in the US.  Thank you to everyone who met us and entertained us.  We had a great time and hope to back somewhere next year.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Activities in Portland

After a good night sleep Mini-Kolo went down to breakfast in the rather fun breakfast room in the hotel.

You could serve yourself to breakfast and there were always sweets available on the tables.  Mini-Kolo tried out the waffle maker.

After that he went for a walk.  One of the big things that Mini-Kolo was interested in seeing was Oregon woods so he walked a trail through some woods.

The woods were so beautiful that he wanted you to see them.  It was a long walk and Mini-Kolo needed a caffeine fix after that.  He found a cafe that had a table and chair just the right size for him.

The Dragonfly Cafe in Portland was great and Mini-Kolo gave it a high baboon rating.

After that he needed lunch and he found a cafe that did an eggplant (aubergine) sandwich, with very yummy crisps.

The next day Mini-Kolo visited the Rose Garden in Portland, another good walk for him.

He saw roses, which were nice, but he also saw his favourite Oregon thing, the pines!

Mini-Kolo is fascinated by large pine trees.

Another tiring walk and he was ready for lunch.  He found a French bakery and bought sandwiches back to the hotel to eat lunch in their roof garden.

This was a tuna mayonnaise sandwich!

In the afternoon Mini-Kolo was called upon to help out the Portland Fire Department.  They had obviously heard that he had done a good job helping out the LA Fire Department last year.

On the third day Mini-Kolo decided to go up in the cable car to see Portland from the air.  This was a little way from the hotel so Mini-Kolo had to get the streetcar.  He waited for it outside the hotel.

It came along quite quickly and took Mini-Kolo to the cable car stop.

Now we don't usually do this but here is a picture of our people.  Somebody kindly took pictures of them from the viewing platform of the cable car.

Our people don't expect anyone really wanted to see them, but the interesting thing in this picture is the view of Portland and the Rocky mountains behind.  It was very high and quite a spectacular view.  It was rather windy so Mini-Kolo stayed safely in the rucksack.

On the last night in Portland Mini-Kolo had the best fish and chips he had ever had.  Now note what I just said.  Mini-Kolo, like the rest of us at Baboon HQ, is English.  It is believed that fish and chips is a totally English dish, so note that the best fish and chips Mini-Kolo has ever had was in Oregon.

Now stupidly I cannot give you the address of this bar, but it is in 23rd North West, north of Northrup Street.  It was surprising to Mini-Kolo to get coleslaw with his fish and chips rather than mushy peas, but he reports that it was fantastic.

Well finishing his time in Portland on a high, the next day Mini-Kolo moved on the last stage of his holiday, in Chicago. We will blog about that tomorrow.

Thank you for following Mini-Kolo's adventures in Texas and Oregon.  More adventures and food to come in Illinois.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Arriving in Portland, Oregon

Well Mini-Kolo made his flight to Portland OK.  Alaskan Airlines have great snacks so as soon as he took his seat he chose his snacks for the journey.

Mini-Kolo chose the fruit and cheese platter, which was very nice!!  What I can't understand is why he is wearing his Cubs shirt, that is meant for him to wear in Chicago where the Cubs are based!!  Editorial error or wardrobe malfunction??

Last year when we went to Portland, we had a big tweet-up.  We really enjoyed that but many of the people had travelled a long way and we didn't like to ask them to do that again so soon, but we did miss them, so maybe next time.

We stayed in the same fantastic hotel as last year, Inn at Northrup Station.  It is so funky, you really must go there is you ever stay in Portland.  They looked after us very as well.  Just look at the room!

Mini-Kolo really loved this model of the hotel with the trams outside. The funky corridor above is really special too.

We arrived at dinner time and wanted to eat quickly so we went back to the Lucky Lab at NW, where we had the tweet-up last year.  Yes, of course, pizza!!

Salad with it???  Is that really Mini-Kolo??

After the pizza and what appears to look like wine (I will have to look into that), Mini-Kolo was tired so he went to bed in the hotel.

In the next post we will tell you all about his adventures in Portland.  He had three very active days!!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Texas 2014

Mini-Kolo visited Texas in 2012 and the people there kept saying 'you come back now y'all'!!  So this year Mini-Kolo did!!  He visited our good friend Monkey and the first thing he did was to give Monkey a big hug. This was on behalf of our friend @ThisBear who asked Mini-Kolo to give Monkey a hug from him.

Here is the photographic evidence.  The next thing he did was to go for some TexMex food.  The lighting in the restaurant was quite dark so we didn't get a good picture this year.  However, Mini-Kolo Monkey and Leroy went to a different branch of the same restaurant last time.  I wanted to show the picture because Glorias in Dallas gets a very high baboon rating for food and service.

Well in Texas breakfast is important.  The first day he went for breakfast to a place that was so good that Mini-Kolo ate it all before we could photograph him.  Whoops!!

Oh yes there were other breakfasts.  Here Mini-Kolo had to choose between blueberry pancakes, cinnamon bun or omelette!!  The Crossroads Diner in Dallas gets a very high baboon rating for food and service.  Mini-Kolo tried all of these and loved them all.

Cafe Brazil in Dallas!!!  Ummm yes lovely omelette with fried potatoes, avocado,tomatoes and toast!!  What more could you ask!!  An exceptionally high baboon rating!!  Always a favourite!

Ah here is a favourite, Normas, also in Dallas!!  We love Normas!!  Their motto is 'life is short, eat dessert first'.  Sounds good to us!!

Far too much to choose from.  Mini-Kolo had French toast, that was yummy as well.  OK four days, four breakfasts but only three photos!

Then we went shopping in our favourite supermarket in Texas, Central Market!!  Well they say everything is bigger in Texas, so just look at this apple and the veggies behind.  Yes, they are big!!

Here is why we baboons love Central Market so much.  Look at these cakes.  Mini-Kolo chose a cheese cake for our lovely family there in Dallas.

One of our favourite places in Texas is the Stockyards at Fort Worth, near Dallas!!  They are great, so we went along!

Texas is very proud of its fine flag and here it is.  The Lone Star State flag!!

Mini-Kolo found a cactus in Fort Worth but I can see he stayed clear of it!

We loved this mural of a cowgirl!

Mini-Kolo met some friendly longhorns!!  Not the footballers this time but the animals.

They weren't all that chatty, but we love their horns!!

After that Mini-Kolo had a look at the cowboy hall of fame where he got to ride a horse his size!

That made Mini-Kolo thirsty. It was a very hot day.  He went to a saloon, well where else would you go for a drink in a cowboy town?  The specialty of this saloon was Buffalo Butt Bear.  See they even had the buffalo butt to prove it!!

Hey now is that some buffalo butt!!

Other than that Mini-Kolo spent a lot of time in Texas with our lovely family but he also went out to a new park in down town Dallas, near the art museum.  He was surprised to find that Southwest airline had provided seating for him.

Well after three great days in Dallas it was time for Mini-Kolo to move on to Portland.  He got to Dallas Fort Worth airport in time to catch his Alaskan Airlines flight, to Portland, Oregon.  We will report his activities in Portland in the next blog.  Well it might take more than one post, he did a lot of things there!!