Solbit’s On the Program of Nelson Opera in the Park!

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Dear Nicalai,

Hey, look at me.  I’m on the program at the Nelson (NZ) Opera in the Park.  How cool is that!

Opera in the Park - Nelson

Solbit on the Program of Nelson Opera in the Park

Well, I’m not IN the program the way you were thinking, but I am ON the program, aren’t I?  Papa and Nona have emphasized again and again, that I have to tell the truth all the time.  So, I told you the truth, and, yet, I misled (fooled) you, didn’t I?

Nona says this was ok to make a joke, but she sternly told me that I am not supposed to mislead anyone for other purposes, like taking advantage of someone.  I know what she means, don’t you?

We went to the Nelson Opera in the Park last night.  Nona and Papa had tickets.  The opera people said I could get in free, because I’d be the first ever dinosaur to come to their performance.  Isn’t that nice of them? Continue Reading

Solbit’s First Dinner Invitation

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Dear Nicalai,

I got my first dinner invitation!  You have probably had a lot of dinner invitations already, but this is a BIG first for me.

A nice lady named Sue invited Papa and Nona to supper at her house here in Nelson, NZ.  When she phoned Papa, he accepted and asked, “What may we bring?”  She said, “I’m English, so don’t bring anything, but please be sure to bring your giraffe traveling companion.  What’s her name?”  Papa said, “She’s named Solbit,” but he didn’t tell her that I’m not a giraffe but rather an Iquanodon.

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Sue gave me my first dinner invitation! (You know me. The other one is Sue.)

After he hung up, Papa went straight to his laptop, where I was already working on a new post for Tales of Plastic Jurassic.  He said that I’d have to get off my blog so that he could google “New Zealand etiquette.” Continue Reading

Solbit Discovers Another Name for New Zealand

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Dear Nicalai,

We’re still in New Zealand.  I like it here.  The forests must be a lot like what my ancestors from the Jurassic period walked through and lived in.  Do you suppose that’s why I feel so comfortable here?  I wonder.

Solbit feels comfortable in the new Zealand forest.

Solbit feels comfortable in the new Zealand forest.

Papa and Nona continue to help me with my reading and writing.  They’ve pretty much turned this blog over to me.  Good thing too, because I’m learning so much by traveling that I have oodles and oodles of things to tell you.  Nona has to remind me to keep these emails to you short.  I could go on forever.

Today I want to tell you what I just learned about New Zealand. It has another name.  We were walking along the bay here in Nelson, and I saw this huge, beautiful mural.

DSC02461 Aotearoa

The mural reads “Ao-Tea-Roa.”

Nona especially loves art, so I pointed it out to her.  She was so busy trying to see a bird that she completely missed this huge mural!  She looked at the mural and then said, “Ao-tea-roa.”  I said, “What?”  Did you know that New Zealand had another name?  I’d be surprised, but, then, you are very smart, so maybe you already knew that New Zealand is also called Aotearoa.  I’m still trying to learn how to say Ao-tea-roa.  So are Nona and Papa.

Guess what Aotearoa means?  I’ll tell you:  “the land of the long white cloud.”  I guess it can have other meanings too, but, I can tell you that New Zealand certainly has plenty of long, white clouds.

hiking day from Horseshoe Bay to Oban

Solbit views New Zealand’s long, white clouds.

One more thing before I sign off.  You and I speak English, but Aotearoa is not an English word.  People here in Aotearoa speak English and another language, Maori.  We see a lot of signs here in both Maori and English.

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Here’s an example of an English & Maori sign.

Maori is also the name of a Polynesian people  who explored the Pacific Ocean in canoes, maybe a thousand or more years ago. Can you imagine crossing a big ocean on canoes?  Wow, they had courage.  Maori people are handsome and strong, too.  The ones I’ve met are very nice, but, look out! They enjoy making a scary face like this one.

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Photo of Post Card by Kiwi Vista that Papa bought for me to show you the scary face.

Nona just looked over my shoulder.  She said I’m going on too long and should close this email to you.

I’m your friend, Sparkle Orangie Lulu Breakit (Solbit for short).

Love,

Solbit

February 2014

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Meets The Cats of Queenstown

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Dear Nicalai,

Does your mom ever want you to do something that you don’t really want to do?  Does your mom ever think that you’re really cute in something that you don’t like?  Well, if so, then you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say, “Nona made me do it.”

Well, how could I refuse your grandmother, Nona?  I could tell that she had her heart set on me doing this:

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Yeah, she said, “Oh, Solbit, go make friends with those cats.  You’ll have a great time.”  We had just gotten to Queenstown (NZ).  All I wanted to do was go meet the Queen.  Oh, no, Nona insisted that I go to the Crafts Market by Queenstown Bay to meet all these cats. (Turns out, the Queen doesn’t live in Queenstown.  Go figure.) Continue Reading

Solbit On Top – Oops, Make that Bottom – of the World

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Dear Nicalai,

Hey, look at me.  I’m on the top bottom of the world! Yeah, I’m standing on the South Pole without my winter coat!

IMG_9883 Stotw

That’s a world globe I’m pictured on.  Papa told me that it’s like a map of the world that has been wrapped around a ball to look like our planet, the Earth.

I learned a new word today.  It starts with the letter L.  Can you guess what it is?  I gave you a hint in that picture.  Here’s another hint:  I am going across the globe.  I’m right by New Zealand, where we are visiting now.

DSC02453 Slatitude

OK, I’m going to tell you the answer.  When you are on the line going across the globe, you are on the “latitude” line.  “Latitude” is my new word!  Cool, huh? Continue Reading

Solbit Finds a Vietnamese Flower

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Dear Nicolai,

Wow, I’m having a wonderful time here in Vietnam.  Nona and Papa are too.  We love it here!

Today, Nona and Papa took me for a walk in a garden, a big garden.  A most unexpected thing happened to me.  I found a beautiful Vietnamese flower, but it’s not what you think.

Actually, I made a new friend.  Her Vietnamese name is Hoa.  Hoa is Vietnamese for “flower.”  In English, you pronounce Hoa as “wha.” Doesn’t that sound pretty?  I think so.    Here’s a picture of us in the garden by a pagoda.

Image 1 SHoaMeet

I think she’s pretty as a flower, don’t you? Don’t worry.  Just because I’ve made a new friend doesn’t mean you and I aren’t friends too.  I can have a lot of friends, and each one can be very special to me, just like you are special to me.

Right after I met Hoa, she invited me to meet a friend of hers. We had to go to where he was because he was working.  Yeah, he has to hold up a pagoda all the time.  Here’s his picture.

Image SHoaTurtle

Mr. Turtle is very good at his job don’t you think?  He’s very steady and dependable.  That’s good, because then the pagoda won’t fall down.

Hoa took me for a walk around the garden.  We came across two old men playing a board game.

IMG_7680 SHoa2Men

I didn’t know what the game was, so I asked them, “Hello, may I ask you what board game you are playing?” One of the men said in a gruff voice, “Go!”  I thought that was rude.  So, I didn’t want to be with them anymore, and I started to walk away.  Then Hoa called me back, “Don’t leave Solbit.  The man wasn’t being rude. He just told you the name of the game. The game is named Go.  He was just answering your question.”  I laughed at myself, then, and said, “Thank you and sorry I misunderstood.”

After we watched them play Go, we walked on.  We found a man who was fishing.

IMG_7681 SHoaFisher

He had a problem.  Do you see what it is?  He had good luck and bad luck.  His good luck was that he caught a big fish.  His bad luck was that the big fish pulled his fishing pole out of his hand, and, now, he lost both the fish and the pole.  I said, “I’m so sorry.  I wish I could get them back for you, but I can’t.”  He said, “That’s OK, I enjoy just sitting here by the beautiful lake and letting my mind wander where it will go.”  Hoa and I said goodbye to him, and then Nona and Papa showed up.  They invited Hoa to come along, and she said yes!  So now I have a new traveling companion.  Yippee.

Well, you have things to do, and I should close this email message.  Remember, I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

October 2013

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Rents A Falcon

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Dear Nicalai,

Hi, how are you today?  Oh, wait a minute.  It’s January, the beginning of a new year, and  I’ve learned that I’m supposed to say, “Happy New Year!”

Look at me.

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I’m at the Queenstown airport renting a Falcon!  No, not a raptor bird, I’m renting a car that’s called a falcon. Yeah, a real car.  It’s a Ford Falcon. It’s sleek silver. Speaking of colors, don’t you love the way the Budget sign complements my complexion!  Maybe that’s what drew me to them?  Back to the Falcon, though.  Here’s a photo. Continue Reading