In Which I Travel Across the Everglades on Alligator Alley

Gale Lyons Hitty
By Hitty Flora Sunny State Hittys
On the Road to Key West

For the first leg of our journey to Key West, we traveled south on Interstate 75 and then East on Alligator Alley.

Collier County and Broward County are connected by Alligator Alley across what was once thought to be the vast, impenetrable wilderness of  The Florida Everglades.  The Everglades is a complex, interdependent wetlands ecosystem that covers a good portion of Southern Florida stretching to the Florida Bay.

When the highway was first proposed, the AAA (American Automobile Association) jokingly called it "a useless road" and an "alley for alligators"  However, the State Highway Board liked the name and officially  declared the name of the new road to be "Alligator Alley"

The current toll is $2.50.  At mile marker 37.5, we stopped at the Everglades Welcome Center.

I had my picture taken in front of the Wood Stork display.  The Wood Stork is an Indicator Species which means that it is closely watched and studied by biologists and environmentalists.  Changes to its existence could indicate changes to the ecosystem of its natural habitat.

After our short break, we were "on the road again".  Florida Keys---here we come.

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

Down the rabbit hole and into . . . Bolivia?

by Hitty Alice, Adventurer Extraordinaire

Wow - What a journey I have had! I said goodbye to all my Sunshine State Hitty friends on May 08. But when I went into my packing case, with only my book and a birthday card, which I couldn't even unwrap since it wasn't for me, I had no IDEA it would be a 3 week journey! I specifically heard the postal worker tell Shirley it would only be 10 days! Obviously, that postal worker has never made the journey and then been forced to sit in Customs for another week and a half. Needless to say, I was ready to stretch my legs. But I was also a little nervous. I'd had plenty of time to think about what my adopted human, Emily, would be like. Would she understand that even though I was tired, I wanted to get out and experience Bolivia right away? Would she know that, like my namesake from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, I, too, am a curious adventurer?

I needn't have worried. Shirley and Amanda knew just what they were doing when they matched the two of us! From inside my box, I heard Emily's squeals of joy as she ran around her kitchen looking for the scissors. And when I finally saw daylight, there was a big, smiling face ready to greet me! She told me I was just in time! "For what?" I asked. Turns out, the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center graduation was that night, and Emily had been praying that I would make it in time, because that would be a great first experience in Bolivia for me. Thank goodness I was already dressed and ready to go, because we still had tons of letter to finish before my adventure.

Emily explained that each of these letters would go to one of the Seniors, in something called a memory book. They were supposed to be done weeks ago, but, since she had been so busy having fun with the Seniors and getting all of her papers graded, she just hadn't had time to do them. So, here we are, two hours before being picked up to help with grad set-up, trying to leave her kids with one last reminder of how much Emily loves them, and more importantly, how much God loves them. I haven't even been to the the school yet, but it seems like that's exactly the kind of place I where I would want to learn!

I'll have to post the graduation pictures in a few days. Emily's camera started being temperamental shortly after this picture, so we have to beg, borrow, and steal other people's photos from grad. I'm beginning to realize that being in Bolivia is very different from the States. It takes a lot longer to get things done, for one. But I knew that from my 21 days in a mailing box!

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll
Posted by Picasa

3-Day Weekend...Off To Key West

Sure Hope I haven't forgotten anything!

Hitty Flora
© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

Olive Pitt and Chester Choose a Home

You may remember that Olive Pitt and Chester, the retired sailor, were married on Valentine's Day of this year.  They have just completed decorating their chosen bungalow. The room is one section of a bookcase display.  Foam board was cut to fit the walls and fabric was wrapped around the foam board and taped in place.

Olive Pitt chose a blue and white fabric with a twisted rope pattern to remind Chester of his sea-going days.  She decorated with several nautical items so that Chester would feel very much at home.  Chester admits that he has reached the time in his life when it's more comfortable to sit at home with his feet resting on his former sea chest than to actually return to sea.

Olive Pitt has added her own touches.  See if you can find them in the photos!

The bed has a brand new mattress.

Chester and Olive Pitt relaxing in their new home.

Ann S. and the Bonsai Hittys and Olive Pitt and Chester

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

The Indianapolis Children's Museum

By Hitty Flora of Sunny State Hitty Dolls 

The first day of our Indiana vacation proved to be very enlightening.  I overheard the humans planning the day.  The Children's Museum was mentioned.  It seemed that Amanda and Sam, the adopted humans of Hitty Amelia, were members and could go as often as they wanted.

"What was a museum and who would want to be a member?" I wondered silently.  Was it similar to an antique shop?  I knew about antique shops.

Not quite knowing what to expect, I was placed inside Shirley's purse along with her camera and her phone.  (We often travel together)

The Children's Museum is a big place.  We had to park in the garage and then we walked in that glass walk-way above the street.

The female humans were anxious to see the Barbie exhibit, a huge collection of Barbie Dolls on loan from Mattel.  The guys decided to go upstairs and look at the trains.

I have always considered myself somewhat of a "clothes horse" but, really, I cannot even compare with Barbie.  You have to wonder if she knew in her teen years that she would become so popular around the world.  It almost boggles the mind.

At a table in the room,  little girls and big girls could play with boxes of clothes and dress forms. Some of the clothes were pretty cute!  As you can see, however, Barbie and I are not even close to the same size.

After the Barbie exhibit, we met up with the guys to explore more of the museum.  There were some pretty scary things!  I almost asked to be put back into Shirley's purse.

All in all, it was a pretty fun day.  We stopped for pizza and then headed home for a nap!

Here are some photos of the Barbie Doll Exhibit

Welcome Hitty Buffington

The Sunny State Hittys welcomed a new member to their Florida home this week.  She is Hitty Buffington (Buffy for short) and she hails from the great state of Texas!

This beautiful Hitty was carved by Joshua Buffington and stands about 6 1/4' tall.  We especially love her hairdo and her big blue eyes.

To read more about this talented Hitty Doll Artist Click Here

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

Joshua Buffington Hitty Dolls

Joshua Buffington was eleven years old when he first started carving with his grandfather, a master wood carver who had been carving for more than 30 years.

"He always carved the good stuff--- like hand held things that one could get attached to real easy," says Josh.

That could easily be said of the Hitty Dolls carved by Joshua Buffington.  They are exquisitely detailed and delicate.

Joshua's first dolls were created in West Virginia about seven years ago.  He now carves in Texas.

This is a doll carved in 2007

Joshua also carves very unique multi-jointed dolls.  Click Here 

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

The Afters meet the Befores

In which I get a visit from old friends and discuss our new hobby.

By Hitty Amelia, a Hoosier Hitty

While humans tend to prefer airplanes, automobiles, and bicycles, most Hitty dolls choose either the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx as their magic carpet for getting from point A to point B.

One day this week Amanda and Sam (my adopted humans) went to the post office and came back with a pleasant surprise-- a flat rate box containing my old friends Hitty Olive and Hitty friend Sophie Dubois! Hitty Olive and Sophie are part of the Sunny State Hitty doll family. "Dear Friends!" I exclaimed, "What a pleasant suprise! What brings you to Indiana?"

Hitty Olive, wearing her new flashy Bolivian-style dress, was the first to speak. "Shirley sent us so Amanda could see how we were made."

Sophie continued, "She said Amanda was starting a new project and needed some models."

This was good news to me and I jumped at the chance to introduce my old friends to my new ones. "Come with me," I said. "You need to meet my new Hitty sisters." Hitty Olive and Sophie were all smiles until they saw where I was leading them.

Hitty Olive leaned in and whispered into my ear, "Hitty Amelia! Have your eyes come unpainted? Those are NOT Hitty dolls."

Sophie gasped and cried, "Eeeeek! This one's arm came off! At least I think it's an arm..."

"Well they're not Hittys YET," I explained, "but some day they will be. Amanda and Sam are going to try out carving. They have been looking for a hobby they could share and were inspired by a 'How to carve a Hitty' CD by Gale Lyons." (If I could have blushed, I would have after this as I remembered with pride when Sam referred to me this week as "our Hitty" to Amanda.)

"Oh, well that IS very exciting," said Sophie as she gently laid the basswood arm on the table.

"We are happy to help," continued Hitty Olive, as she straightened the skirts of her new dress.

My old friends and I retired to the safety of the top of the piano, away from sticky toddler fingers and spent the rest of the night catching up on Hitty gossip and trying to imagine what our new friends will look like when they are finished. Stay tuned to the Hitty Travel Doll blog to see how our friends are 'shaping up'.

"I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free." Michelangelo

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

Hitty Amelia's Lucky Day

In which find my very own special clover...

By Hitty Amelia, a Hoosier Hitty

A couple of weeks ago, when Hitty Flora was visiting with Amanda's parents, we noticed something unusual about the patch of grass growing next to the front stoop-- several four leaf clovers! Amanda's husband Sam found several in just a matter of minutes. Over the next few weeks, my adopted humans found, collected, and pressed into a book many four leaf clovers. I wanted to find one too, so this evening I went on a hunt.

Here I am in the clover patch looking...
Look! I found one! Isn't it beautiful?

Did you know that most believe each leaf of a clover represents something?
1st = Faith, 2nd = Hope, 3rd = Love, 4th = Luck!
Today must be my lucky day!

In Ireland, they say each leaf represents a member of the trinity with the fourth leaf representing God's Grace.

Amanda let me add my clover to the growing collection. I can't believe we've found so many!
We even have found a few with FIVE leaves and SIX leaves! Wow!
"A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have." Author unknown

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

In which I go to school and get a lesson in literature

By Hitty Amelia, a Hoosier Hitty

I would consider myself to be a fan of well written stories. After all, am I not the star of my very own award winning story? So when Amanda asked me what classroom I would like to visit next, I decided to go visit Mrs. G's Literature class. Mrs. G and Amanda are really good pals and have bonded over their love of all things Irish.

Mrs. G started by showing me around the classroom and introducing me to some of her students. They all seemed very nice and made me feel quite at home. The students were getting ready to watch a scene from the film "To Kill a Mockingbird" starring Gregory Peck. Mrs. G. reminded the class that watching a film is no substitute for reading the story yourself. I completely agree. Although, I wouldn't mind watching a movie based on my book! Here I am beginning to read the book...

After I explained to Mrs. G that I loved travel and adventure, she introduced me to one of her favorite stories, "The Last Unicorn." We spent several minutes discussing plot twists and turns and I decided to add this book to my reading list as well. Here I am with the book and Mrs. G's collection of unicorns.

Finally, we spent the remainder of class brushing up on our vocabulary. Here I am at the computer getting ready to do an online review. My word of the day is "cap-a-pie" meaning "from head to foot." This can be used as in, "Hitty was so excited to be invited to Mrs. G's classroom that she was beaming cap-a-pie. No one's smile could outshine her smile."

"I did not know I was so empty, to be so full." Schmendrick the Magician, from The Last Unicorn

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll

Hittykin Travels to Bolivia

Another Sunny State Hitty member is traveling to a new home.

Hittykin #56, created by De Ann Cote in 2007,  is moving to Bolivia to live with Emily, the bosom friend of Amanda (Hitty Amelia's adopted human)

Amanda and Hitty Amelia felt that Emily should be adopted by a Hitty friend and Hittykin was thrilled to be chosen.

Please wish her the best and help us pray for her safe delivery to her new home in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Ready to Travel in her new dress featuring the colors of the flag of Bolivia

 The Sunny State Hittys say goodbye to Hittykin

Not looking back.....Hello Santa Cruz.....Here I come!

© 2010 Hitty Travel Doll