Solbit’s Argentinian find: bathroom humor!

Dear Nicalai,

I’m am so sad today.  We have begun our trip from South America back to the US.  We’re waiting at the Trelew airport for a flight. Trelew is in Patagonia.  Papa is in the Men’s room.  He went there to get away from my whining again and again, “I want to stay here!”  Even after our wonderful seven months living in Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina, I’m not yet ready to go home.

Papa just came back from the Men’s Room.  He saw me still pouting to Nona, but he returned anyway. Right away, he found a way to cheer me up with some bathroom humor.

“Solbit, you have to look at this photo that I just took in the restroom,” he said enthusiastically.  “Papa, I’m not sure that would be appropriate,” I replied, even before Nona could close her dropped, disapproving jaw.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “I didn’t go low with my iPhone camera. You’ll appreciate this and so will Nona.  Nona, close you mouth and look here.”  Then he exposed his big iPhone 6 screen for us to see. “This is what I saw when I was standing in the bathroom and turned my head,” Papa explained.

Papa said he felt like “The Eyes of Trelew” were upon him, just when he needed his privacy!

Papa said he felt like “The Eyes of Trelew” were upon him, just when he needed his privacy!

“For just a fraction of a second, I thought a woman was staring at me through her sunglasses, and then I started to laugh, because I realized I’d been fooled,” Papa laughed, and we did too. “That is funny!” Nona exclaimed, “I wonder if there’s one in the women’s restroom?”  She and I checked.  There was! That one is a big mirror made to look like a man’s sunglasses though. Nona and I laughed again, and I almost forgot to be sad.

Papa said that the mirrors in the Men’s and Women’s rooms weren’t just “bathroom humor” but also art.  “Art?” I questioned, “in a bathroom? I don’t think so.”  Nona jumped in, “Oh, sure, art can be found almost anywhere.  Remember the mural outside of that pizza shop in Buenos Aires, Solbit?”  I did remember that painting of movie characters. Check this out.

Right there at the pizza shop was Don Corleone and Darth Vader.  Wonder if either of them liked pizza? Does Darth Vader eat or is he just a machine now?

Right there at the pizza shop was Don Corleone and Darth Vader.  Wonder if either of them liked pizza? Does Darth Vader eat or is he just a machine now?

Oops, our plane is here. We have to put the computer away and board. I’ll have to finish this email another day.  Stay tuned…..

Our art appreciation continued when we arrived at our next stop, Washington, DC.  Nona and Papa took me to the Phillips Collection — they collect art there.  We saw this amazingly detailed portrait called, “Mercy,” by Whitfield Lovell.

A fine portrait doesn’t need to be in oil paint on canvas. This dignified image of a man who was made a slave is in charcoal and on wood.

A fine portrait doesn’t need to be in oil paint on canvas. This dignified image of a man who was made a slave is in charcoal and on wood.

I guess art can be found in many different places and can be created out of many different things.  For another example, look at this.  Papa said he thought it was oil paint on canvas, and he’s right.

Nona really liked this ballpoint pen and crayon portrait by his wife, Sally Michel. I do too.  Hey, I have a ball point pen and crayons. Maybe I’ll try being an artist!

Nona really liked this oil on canvas portrait of Marsden Hartley by Milton Avery.  I don’t have canvas or oil paint, but, hey, I have a ball point pen and crayons. Maybe I’ll try being an artist!

Well, as you can tell, we’re back in the USA.  Although I’m sad to have left South America, I’m pretty happy eating great food at Uncle Tom & Aunt Barbara’s home on Capitol Hill, and we can just walk to the free Smithsonian museums on the mall here to see more art. It’s not South America, and I do miss hearing Spanish, but I can’t complain. Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

November 20016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • 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’s Shows that Small Is Beautiful

Dear Nicalai,

Being small, I notice things that bigger creatures usually miss.  What bigger creatures?  Well, Nona and Papa serve as two examples.  Sometimes they need help — my help — to see the smaller things in life.  In my opinion, seeing the smaller things in life is very much underrated.  Most people seem to want to just see the bigger things in life, see the bigger picture, see the grand plan.  That’s ok, I suppose, but, as a tiny creature, I can point out what they’re missing in life.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we’re in Bahia Bustamante on the coast of Patagonia.  Our lodge is so remote that it has no phone service, no internet, and no electricity, except in the evening when they start up a gasoline powered generator from 7 to midnight.  Now, back to my story about small is beautiful.

We went for a group walk with our excellent guides, Nicholas and Ignacio, to a special place.  It’s special because it has the remains of a forest where the fallen trunks and branches of huge trees have turned to stone.  So, while everyone else focused on looking at big stone logs —now don’t get me wrong; those were interesting — I focused on finding small things, and Nicolas helped me.

This very small lizard was bigger than I am, so Nicolas had to hold him, while I took a look.  Nice face, huh?

This very small lizard was bigger than I am, so Nicolas had to hold him, while I took a look.  Nice face, huh?

I easily saw this small gem, but Nona and Papa had to put on their old peoples’ eye glasses to see it.  Once she saw it, Nona agreed this was worth a photo shoot.

Nona picked this photo out of the many she took of this little pink flower. I think her photography is getting better with practice.

Nona picked this photo out of the many she took of this little pink flower. I think her photography is getting better with practice.

Being an open minded creature, I was willing to look at some big things, too.  I have to admit that, on first look at this big thing, I thought I was looking at a piece of a fallen tree.  Wrong.

It’s petrified wood. Stone.  Minerals have replaced the wood in a way that makes the stone look like wood!

It’s petrified wood. Stone.  Minerals have replaced the wood in a way that makes the stone look like wood!

Tall trees don’t grow in this part of Patagonia and haven’t for eons of time.  So, the petrified forest tells us what an ancient forest looked like, and, also, that the climate here used to be very, very different than it is at present.  Now big trees can’t grow here, but way back in ancient times trees grew all over this place.

I turned around and almost bumped into these two small things.

Nona needed no push to photograph these two.  She was on them with her camera in a second. Didn’t need her old person’s glasses, either.

Nona needed no push to photograph these two.  She was on them with her camera in a second. Didn’t need her old person’s glasses, either.

In addition to small things, I enjoy pointing out rarely seen things to Nona and Papa.  So, when I saw this foot print, I said, “Well, I think this must be the first real iguanodon footprint that we’ve ever seen!”  I mean, I was excited to think that I might actually see one of my own kind in the flesh, right here in Patagonia.

No such luck.  Turns out, this footprint was made by something called a “lesser rhea” - a bird - not an iguanodon.

No such luck.  Turns out, this footprint was made by something called a “lesser rhea” – a bird – not an iguanodon.

Bummer! On the other hand, later we saw a “lesser rhea,” and what a sight that was.  It looks like a big bird on stilts wearing a large, feathery tutu.  Papa said that it looks like another bird, an ostrich.  You won’t see lesser rheas in North America, except maybe at a zoo.  They like the freedom to run wild in the wide open spaces of Patagonia. I do too.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

October 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • 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 Asks A Great Kiskidee, “What are you looking for?”

Dear Nicalai,

Oh, girl, I think I’m going to be sad.  I’m usually pretty upbeat and happy.  So what’s my problem?  My problem is that it’s almost over.  Nona and Papa told me this morning that, in just a few days, our 7+ months in South America will come to an end.  (I’ve got tears in my eyes as I wrote that last sentence.) We still have Bahia Bustamante here in Patagonia to look forward to.  I’m going to make sure to enjoy that.

While we’re still here in Trelew — that’s an old town started by immigrants from Wales — we like walking by a pond near our hotel.  We see birds. One really surprised me.

Papa pointed, while Nona took this picture, and said, “That’s a Great Kiskidee. We’ve seen a lot of those in South America, haven’t we.”

Papa pointed, while Nona took this picture, and said, “That’s a Great Kiskidee. We’ve seen a lot of those in South America, haven’t we.”

Well, no surprise there.  That’s not what surprised me.  Just a little while later my surprise came along.

I pointed and called to Nona and Papa, “Look at that giant humming bird hovering there!  That’s even bigger than the giant humming birds that we saw in Iguazu Falls.”

I pointed and called to Nona and Papa, “Look at that giant humming bird hovering there!  That’s even bigger than the giant humming birds that we saw in Iguazu Falls.”

At first, Nona and Papa agreed, but then Papa chuckled, “Look Solbit, that bird hovers like a humming bird, but it’s just our old friend the Great Kisdidee. Fooled you!”

That bird had fooled me, but I think it also fooled Papa for just a moment, but I’m not going to embarrass Papa by pointing that out.  I’ll let him think he’s smarter than … well, smarter than he really is.  Although, I have to say that he is pretty smart.

I thought the Great Kiskidee was hovering because it was looking for something.  So, I yelled, “Hey, what are you looking for?”  That was my mistake.  The moment the Kiskidee heard my squeaky voice, it stopped hovering and took off so fast that I could hardly see it.  I’m pretty sure it had been looking for food.  Birds spend a lot of time looking for things to eat. They seem to be eating all the time. Not like us.  We just eat once or twice a day.  I think Papa might like to eat more often, but Nona keeps a lid on that.

I know what we were looking for: more birds.  We found this one, an austral thrush. It didn’t fly away when I asked, “Hey, what are you looking for?”

I know what we were looking for: more birds.  We found this one, an austral thrush. It didn’t fly away when I asked, “Hey, what are you looking for?”

This thrush replied, “I’m not looking for anything right now.  I’ve had my fill of insects this afternoon.  I’m just looking over there at those beautiful swans.”

The swans are so graceful and beautiful that I think the people of Trelew are really lucky to have them here.

The swans are so graceful and beautiful that I think the people of Trelew are really lucky to have them here.

Wow! Swans are a good thing to look at.  Just gorgeous!  Nona got out her huge book of birds, “Let me see.  Give me just a moment.  Ah, those are coscoroba swans!  Another new bird for us!”

“Oh, look over there,” Papa called to us.  There’s another old friend of ours, but I always like seeing them.” I recognized the bird right away.

The white tufted grebe came over to say hello to us.  It’s pretty confident around human beings … and a plastic Jurassic, too.

The white tufted grebe came over to say hello to us.  It’s pretty confident around human beings … and a plastic Jurassic, too.

“Hey, what are you looking for?” I asked our friend the grebe.  “Oh, I’m not looking for anything right now.  I’m just enjoying watching those lovely swans.  I just wish the city could do something about that ugly background over there.  You know, to show off those swans — well, and us grebes, too — with a more fitting background.”  I said, “Say no more, I know what you mean, girl.”

Well, walking around the pond and watching birds sort of perked me up.  I almost forgot to be sad about our pending departure from South America.  I need to remember to go for walks and go looking for birds next time I’m feeling down in the dumps, or anxious, or worried, or bored. I just feel so much better when I do that, don’t you?

Bye!  I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

October 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • 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.”

Tags:  travel, humor, children, around the world, dinosaur, Argentina, Trelew, kiskidee, coscoroba swan, white tufted grebe, austral thrush

Solbit and Papa Stand Up to a Dinosaur

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, you know how Papa is always teaching me new words, right?  Well, I just learned a new word, and it is long: “Paleontology.”  I’m still learning about it, but the word means something like the study of ancient life, going way back to 3,800 million years ago!  Wow! That is old; I mean ancient!

If you study ancient life — that’s what “paleontologists” do — you get to see some really cool things.  The paleontologists even let us ordinary people (and a plastic jurassic) see those cool things, too.  You just have to go to a paleontology museum.  That’s what we did here in Trelew in Patagonia.  Look at this.

This skeleton belonged to a big sea creature that lived before any human beings existed.

This skeleton belonged to a big sea creature that lived before any human beings existed.

We went to the Egidio Feruglio Museum of Paleontology. Some scientists must have spent a lot of time searching for all those bones.  Imagine how much time it would take to figure out which bone goes where?  I’m tired just thinking about it.  Apparently, some people enjoy that kind of thing.

Papa and I found something we enjoyed at the museum.  We compared ourselves to a very large dinosaur.

I usually think of Papa as being tall compared to me, but, compared to this dinosaur leg, I would have to call him “shorty.”

I usually think of Papa as being tall compared to me, but, compared to this dinosaur leg, I would have to call him “shorty.”

Of course, I wanted to compare myself to that leg too, but I wasn’t tall enough.

I’m barely as tall as that dino’s toe!  We had a laugh about that.

I’m barely as tall as that dino’s toe!  We had a laugh about that.

Who would think that going to something called a Paleontology Museum would get me and Papa to laugh? What a surprise!  Oh, I got another surprise, a really good one too, when we went into the museum’s gift shop.

It was as though the gift shop folks knew that Nona and Papa were bringing me to their museum.

It was as though the gift shop folks knew that Nona and Papa were bringing me to their museum.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when Nona called to me, “Solbit, come here.  Look who’s here to greet you.”  There were all my fellow plastic jurassic friends.  Who knew I’d bump into them here in Patagonia.  Life sure is full of happy surprises if you look for them, even in the most unlikely places.

Papa says we’re going to look for some more surprises at a town pond not far from here.  I’ll let you know if we find what we’re looking for. Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

October 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • 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.”