Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 34

Day 34, October 26, 2023

The first part of today was to travel by Amtrak train from Baltimore Penn Station to New York. The trip took two and half hours including a stop in the big city of Philidelphia. Once we arrived in New York, we had a 20 minute walk with our luggage from the Moynihan Train Hall to our hotel near Times Square.

City of Philadelphia as seen from the train

We had a late lunch in our hotel room before Katherine headed to the Westside Theatre to see her puppetry teacher perform in the musical Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey 2 (Pods 1 and 4). The puppets were built by Monkey Boys Productions. Katherine was really excited to see her puppetry teacher again as they had not seen each other for many years.

  • Katherine outside the Westside Theatre

Here is an example of Pod 2

and Pod 3 of Audrey 2

How the puppetry of Pod 3 works

How the puppetry of Pod 4 works

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 29, 30 & 31

Day 29 & 30, October 21 & 22, 2023

We spent the weekend in Huntsville resting after our exciting day at the US Space and Rocket Center. I caught up our blog of all the adventures we had been on, and Katherine worked on the plan for the coming week as we will be pretty much on the go for the whole week in at least 3 cities. Our next base city will be Baltimore in Maryland, and Katherine is double checking how to get from the airport to our hotel, as well as the plans for our day trip to the Smithsonian in Washington.

Day 31, October 23, 2023

Today has been travel day. We started in Huntsville leaving the hotel at 9:30 and flew from the tiny Huntsville airport to Alanta which is less than an hour away by plane. We had 3 hours to explore the newly expanded Atlanta airport before we boarded our 1 hour 45 minute flight to Baltimore Maryland.

We used the Lightrail to get from the airport to the hotel in Downtown Baltimore- very challenging with the bags as the lightrail had 5 big steps to get into the carriage which is not good for managing a suitcase and dufflebag. However, if you are a baseball fan, we went past Camden Yards!

Tomorrow is our big day trip to Washington DC and the University of Maryland!

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 21, 22, & 23

Day 21, October 13, 2023

Today was travel day for Katherine and I from Bozeman, Montana to Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a very early start so we saw the sun rise over the snow covered mountains of Montana from the plane.

We arrived in Grand Rapids Michigan and were met by Katherine’s puppet making friend Pam Groom of Live Action Puppets. We are visiting Pam for 6 days, helping her with some of her puppet projects, and working on a group project of making a mechanical skeleton puppet for Halloween.

Day 22 & 23, October 14 & 15, 2023

In preparation for our visit, Katherine’s friend Pam suggested that Katherine makes a mechanical skeleton puppet along with Pam as Katherine loves Halloween and puppets. The process was based on a youtube video Pam found of another puppet maker turning a really big skeleton prop into a puppet

The skeleton we transformed was much smaller- only 23 centimetres tall! The process first started with disassembling the whole puppet into all it’s separate parts.

  • Deconstructing the 9 inch skeleton so it can be mechanised.

It’s going to take a couple of days to build this puppet as various parts such as the neck ball, the handles, and the stand all have to be 3D printed.

Georgina Monster


Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 18, 19 & 20

Day 18, October 10, 2023

Today Katherine’s friend Frank took us to visit the Museum of the Rockies. The museum has a general exhibitions area which includes local history including an exhibition of artefacts representing the local first nations tribes. The other half of the museum is the hall of the dinosaurs with an enormous collection of dinosaurs including a full T-Rex skeleton as well as multiple Triceratops.

  • A replica of Mike the T-Rex outside the entrance to the Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies is famous for the Wankel T-Rex. A replica of the T-Rex stands outside the building while the original skeleton was moved to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC

Day 19 & 20, October 11 & 12, 2023

Katherine helped her friend Frank for the last 2 days with a puppet project he was working on and needed her technical knowlege. We did go on a trip to an American Goodwill store and a hardware store as Katherine had never seen a Goodwill store, but had heard a lot about them. A Goodwill store is just like an Australian Salvos or Vinnie’s store.

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 15, 16, & 17

Day 15 & 16, October 7 & 8, 2023

Katherine and I spent time with her friend Averie helping her with some of her puppet making projects. On the Sunday, Katherine’s friend Averie took us to a restaurant Katherine fondly remembers from her experience at Beyond the Sock from 2015-2019 called Texas Roadhouse. Their rolls have a special glaze that makes them delicious. It was a wonderful rememberance of Katherine and Averie’s time spent at Beyond the Sock.

Day 17, October 9, 2023

Today was travel day from Denver Colorado, to Bozeman Montana. We are staying with Frank, one of Katherine’s puppetry friends from Beyond the Sock, and Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

We had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant, after which Frank showed us a shop called World Market where we found large jars of Vegemite!

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 13 & 14

Day 13, October 5, 2023

Since we arrived really late to the hotel last night, Katherine was very tired, so we spent a couple of hours with her friend Averie helping her with building a couple of puppets she needed help with. ,We then went back to the hotel to have an early night as tomorrow we are going to go and explore Denver.

Day 14, October 6, 2023

Today, Katherine’s friend Averie took us shopping so Katherine could get a wet weather jacket, but also we could go and see the famous Blue Bear that is standing outside the Denver Convention Centre staring into the building. The statue is huge, and as a public artwork, it’s proper name is I see what you mean (2005) by Lawrence Argent.

Georgina Monster


Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 6 & 7

Day 6 September 28, 2023

Today is our last day in Disneyland! We started our day with a walk through Downtown Disney where we needed to pick up a gift for a friend of Katherine’s at the Star Wars Trading Post! While we were there, we saw Chopper the Astromech Droid in his ghost costume for Halloween.

We then travelled by Monorail to the Tomorrowland stop and walked from Tomorrowland to Critter Country so we could meet Winnie the Pooh. He gave us a really big hug, but he thought Katherine’s Haunted Mansion ears were very scary. After meeting Winnie the Pooh, we had lunch nearby at the Hungry Bear Restaurant.

Our next stop was to head back to Town Square near the entrance of the park as Katherine had booked us on a Happiest Haunts walking tour at 1:30pm. While we were waiting in Town Square, we got to meet Carabelle Cow and Mickey Mouse in their Halloween Costumes.

  • Getting a hug from Winnie the Pooh

The Happiest Haunts walking tour was amazing! Our first stop was actually backstage behind the tour garden to see the real Professor Phineas Plump with his sales case, and Gus with his long beard. These are two of the three Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, but they are having a holiday while Jack Skellington has the mansion decorated for the Nightmare before Christmas overlay. Katherine was very happy to see the Hitchhiking Ghosts as she loves the Haunted Mansion, and she was able to get closer than you normally do to the ghosts! The walking tour then went up along main street, through the back of Frontierland, through New Orleans Square up to Pirates of the Caribbean where we got to skip the line and go on the ride!

The last stop of the day was to have a picture taken in front of the giant pumpkin that looks like Mickey Mouse. It has been an interesting week in the Californian Disney Parks. In a couple of weeks, we will be in Walt Disney World, Florida!

Day 7 September 29, 2023

Today, we didn’t go to the Disney Parks because Katherine needed to get ready for our next leg of our adventure to Seattle. We had breakfast at IHOP which stands for International House of Pancakes. While I relaxed in our room, Katherine got all our washing done, as well as packing our bags since we have an early flight tomorrow. We then spent the remainder of the day watching Disney movies and relaxing. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day!

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 5

Day 5 September 27, 2023

Today we went back to Disneyland. We started the day with breakfast at the Jolly Holliday Bakery. Katherine commented that the only thing that was missing were the penguins to serve our cups of tea just like in Mary Poppins. After breakfast, we went into Tomorrowland to go for a ride on the Monorail around Disneyland. It took us past Autopia, Spacemountain, through California Adventure, and past the entrance plaza. The Disneyland monorail was the first monorail in the Western hemisphere when it was built in the mid 1960’s.

After the trip on Monorail Blue, we walked back over to the Haunted Mansion to go for another ride on it in the daytime. Katherine prefers the Haunted Mansion when it hasn’t been decorated for Halloween by Jack Skellington. It was then morning tea time, so Katherine wanted to try a very famous Disney treat- Dole whip! Dole whip is pineapple flavoured soft serve ice cream. The soft serve is thicker in texture than soft serve ice cream you get at other ice cream places, but it was a very strong pineapple flavour.

Since we were nearby, and we couldn’t see the animals in the nighttime, Katherine decided to go on the Jungle Cruise again.

We then walked over to Minnie’s House in Toon Town to meet Minnie Mouse, and once we walked through Minnie’s house, we went into Mickey’s house next door and got to meet Mickey Mouse! On our way to have lunch in Tomorrowland, we encountered Geppetto! He is a puppet maker like Katherine because he built Pinocchio!

We had lunch at Pizza Planet in Tomorrowland, and after lunch we went on a trip around Disneyland on the real steam trains. While we were on the train we saw the Grand Canyon and the age of the Dinosaurs!

After our grand circle trip around the Magic Kingdom, Katherine and I popped over to California Adventure where we got to see Spiderman swing across the top of Avenger’s Campus!

Katherine was feeling pretty tired after our day exploring Disneyland, so we went back to the hotel to rest as we have our last day in Disneyland tomorrow!

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 4

Day 4 September 26, 2023

Today we went back to Disney’s California Adventure. We did not get to see the whole park the other day, so we started by walking down to the lagoon to see the second half of the park. At the lagoon, we could see the big ferris wheel called Pixar Pal Around

Our first ride of the day was The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Our next ride was on the Pixar Pal Around Ferris wheel. You can choose whether you go in the swinging side or non swinging side. We went on the non- swinging side- but this video shows the fun of the swinging side!

After the ferris wheel, we met Joy from Inside Out, and Woody! Woody gave us a really big hug! We then walked around to the brand new San Fransokyo where we met Baymax! We were able to give him a big hug, and he is very soft and squishy.

Next to San Fransokoyo is Cars Land! We went through the arch and saw the town of Radiator Springs just like it is in the movie! We had lunch at Flo’s V8 cafe. We got to meet Lightning McQueen, Red in his Haul-o-ween costume as well as Mater!

Tomorrow, we are heading back to Disneyland!

Georgina Monster

Georgina’s big USA Adventure- Day 3

Day 3 September 25, 2023

Today we went to Disneyland! First thing we did was have our picture taken in front of the entrance flower garden which has a big picture of Mickey Mouse.

Once we went through the tunnel, we came out into Town Square. Katherine and I were booked to go on a tour to celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company at 9:30am, so we decided to stay in Town Square and go and visit the Opera House where Great Moments with Mr Lincoln has been playing since 1965.

We then went over to the tours kiosk where we joined our walking tour. While the tour met in Disneyland, our first stop was actually over in Disney’s California Adventure as it has been built to reflect Hollywood of the early 1920’s when Walt Disney first arrived to set up his animation studio- Disney Brothers Cartoons. We got to go in a secret door in the Animation Building and go straight into a drawing class where we drew Ursula from the Little Mermaid!

We then walked back into Disneyland park and went back into the Opera House where we were earlier to look at the multiplane camera that Disney used to innovate depth of field in animated features.

  • The Mickey mouse face made of flowers at the entrance to Disneyland

The Disney 100 tour finished up near Sleeping Beauty’s Castle where a photographer was waiting to take our photos. Once the tour finished, Katherine and I walked into Fantasyland and up to the It’s a Small World ride.

After It’s a Small World, we walked across to the new Star Wars land called Galaxy’s Edge or using the Star Wars name- Black Spire Outpost. The really cool thing about Galaxy’s Edge is that there is a real Millennium Falcon, a real X-Wing, and Storm Troopers patrolling the outpost. We then went off-world back to Earth and walked to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.

After the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, it was time for the afternoon parade called Magic Happens! As a special addition to our morning tour, the tour guides had a reserved space for tour guests to watch the parade and eat our Disney100 giant cookie!

We then watched the Disney Marching Band perform near the Town Square flag pole as they had the flag retrieval ceremony. The first song they played was We don’t talk about Bruno from Encanto.

After the sun had gone down, we went back to New Orleans Square to go on the Jungle Cruise at night. It’s hard to see all the animals in the dark, so we are going to have to come back during the day time later in the week to see everything.

Just around the corner from the Jungle Cruise is Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. It was only a short wait, so we stopped by to see the show!

Our last attraction of the evening was the Haunted Mansion. Katherine really loves the original Haunted Mansion ride, but she has never seen this version of the Haunted Mansion where Jack Skellington has decorated the whole mansion inside and out for Christmas!

It’s been a really long day, so Katherine and I are looking forward to some sleep.

Tomorrow, we are going back to Disney’s California Adventure!

Georgina Monster

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