Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Land of Beer and Chocolate

Mouse was beginning to get a bit bored at home waiting for the cold weather to set in so he decided to take a quick trip and have a weekend adventure.  Now you will no doubt be already aware that Mouse is quite partial to Chocolate, as well as cheese of course.

In a previous adventure Mouse went to a chocolate factory in the UK, but he knew that the best chocolate in the world comes from Belgium.  So it was the obvious place to go........Bruges.

An early start meant that Mouse could catch an early train and be in Bruges in time for lunch.  Hhhmmmmmm what would he have?

Mouse was very keen to get stuck in to his favourite sweet treat but after a quick lunch of the most delicious chocolate he had ever tasted he was ready to have a good look around this lovely historic city.

The city was filled with the comforting sound of horses hooves on the cobble stones and Mouse decided that this would be a great way to see what else it had to offer a well traveled rodent.

There were so many historic buildings to see and Mouse had a lovely tour around.
It did get a bit cold after a while but fortunately the carriage owner was well prepared.

The carriage driver was so knowledgeable about the city and gave Mouse some great ideas of things to do while he was visiting.  Mouse had no idea but apparently Belgium isn't just famous for chocolate, it is also well known for making the finest Beer in the world.  This he had to try out so he hopped off the carriage and went off to find a cafe for a beer.

He couldn't believe it, the beer was amazing and there was just so many to choose from.  He wanted to try them all but they are also very strong.
It was a good job they had some pretzels to go with it.  But Mouse was soon feeling very sleepy so went off to his hotel to get rested before another day exploring tomorrow.

Mouse woke up with a bit of a sore head.  That beer really was strong.  So he needed to get a good breakfast before doing anything else.  Imagine Mouse's surprise when he realised that Belgium is also famous for Waffles, and you can have them for breakfast!!

The first thing on Mouse's list for the day was to see the canal that weaves it's way across the city.

It was beautiful so he decided to take a boat trip to see the city from water level.

After the boat trip Mouse was getting peckish again so he went looking for a snack.  He came across a shop that not only sold Belgian chocolate but also the widest selection of marzipan that you could imagine.  He opted for Banana Split flavour.

Next on his list was to see how Belgian chocolate is made so it was off to the Chocolate Museum for a demonstration.

The chocolatier made it look so easy but Mouse knew it had taken him years to perfect the art of making the finest chocolates.  There was of course free samples to be had but all that chocolate had made Mouse super thirsty so he simply had to head off to try some more of that delicious Belgian Beer.

Mouse found a place that sold over 400 different beers.  So many that it took an entire wall to display them and every single beer has it's own special glass that it is served in.  A Belgian would never serve a beer in the wrong glass.

Mouse knew that he wouldn't get to try them all but this place sold a trial set of 4 small beers so he though that would be a good idea.
Each beer came with an information sheet that told you all about it and how it is made.  It was very interesting and one of the beers was even made with cherries.  To Mouse's pleasure it also came with some nibbles of salami and nuts.

The best surprise for Mouse though was when he found out that it is quite normal in Belgium to eat cheese when drinking beer.  Now he really was in heaven.
Mouse had a truly wonderful time in Bruges but unfortunately he had to be up early the next day to travel home.  One thing is for sure though........the Land of Beer and Chocolate is right at the top of Mouse's list of favourite places.

Mouse hopes you enjoyed this adventure and he will be back soon for another one.  Why not sign up HERE to the Where The Heck Is Mouse? newsletter so that every adventure is delivered direct to your inbox.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mouse Will Remember Them

As it is 100 years since the start of World War 1, Mouse thought he would do something special to mark the occasion.  He had heard about an exciting thing happening at The Tower of London in memory of all of the British and Colonial soldiers that gave their lives for our freedom during the First World War.

A major artistic installation entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' has seen over 800,000 ceramic poppies planted in the moat of the Tower of London, one poppy for each of the lives lost.

Mouse decided he just had to see it for himself so off he went on a day trip.  It was super busy as so many people also wanted to see this amazing sight.



It really was an amazing thing to see and Mouse was really glad he went to have a look for himself.  This year he will be saying an extra special prayer on Remembrance Day.  Mouse also wanted to share his favourite poem from World War 1 by Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Mouse hopes you enjoyed this adventure and he will be back soon for another one.  Why not sign up HERE to the Where The Heck Is Mouse? newsletter so that every adventure is delivered direct to your inbox.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Mouse In The City of Angels

Mouse has been on a rather exotic adventure recently and could wait to get back and share his story with everyone.  It has been a while since Mouse left the country so he decided to go further than he has ever traveled before.  As you may have guessed from the title, he chose Los Angeles in California, USA.

It was a long flight but Mouse was very well looked after and arrived at LAX airport safe and well and so excited to be in America.  He collected his hire car and was very glad that he had chosen the white convertible sports car as he thought this would make him fit in quite well with the Californians.

Mouse had always wanted to go to Beverley Hills so he decided that would be his first stop.


 

 And of course, when in Beverley Hills the only place to shop is Rodeo Drive so Mouse wanted to have a look to see if anyone famous was shopping.


 Unfortunately Mouse didn't see anyone famous so he decided to head for his hotel and get some much needed rest so that he would be ready for a big day tomorrow.

After a good night's sleep and a breakfast of Pancakes and Maple Syrup, Mouse headed out for an exciting day exploring Hollywood.  First stop was the iconic Hollywood sign.


 The sign was just as impressive as Mouse had hoped but he could not stay long as he had so much planned for the day.  Next up was a visit to Hollywood Boulevard to see the Walk of Fame.


 It was amazing to see so many names on the pavement that Mouse recognized, but he was looking for one very special star in particular.  After walking almost the entire length of the Walk of Fame, finally Mouse found the one he was looking for.


 Mouse was getting tired after so much walking but he still had time to seek out the Chinese Theater where many of the Hollywood Movie Premieres are screened and also where some very famous people have left their hand and foot prints outside.

There were so many to see but Mouse particularly liked seeing some of the older Hollywood legends.


Mouse was now exhausted and hungry so he needed to look for somewhere to eat.  He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the sign for a place called The Cheesecake Factory.  Now a place that has Mouse's two favourite words in it, Cheese and Cake, had to be a good thing.


Mouse was certainly not disappointed as there were 37 different kinds of cheesecake to choose from.  Mouse opted for Lemon Meringue and was blown away by how good it was.


Tired and full, Mouse headed off for a good sleep ready for another big day.

Having seen all the movie star names the previous day, Mouse thought it would be a good idea to go to Universal Studios Hollywood to see where films and TV programmes are made.


It was a great day out and Mouse got to see the sets where some very famous films were made on the Studio Back Lot Tour.  There were even some scary bits along the way too
 

He had a fantastic time but couldn't believe how quickly the time was passing and he was keen to see as much as possible while in LA so there was just time for one more picture before heading back to his hotel for some sleep.


The next day Mouse headed off to Long Beach as he had always wanted to see RMS Queen Mary, a retired Ocean Liner that was built in the 1930's and used to transport passengers between Europe and America. 

The ship was huge and Mouse imagined how impressive it must have looked when it was launched.

Also on Mouse's agenda for the day was a visit to the Griffith Observatory as the view over LA from there is a magnificent site.


The view really was spectacular.


The following day Mouse wanted to learn all about a sport that he had seen on TV in his hotel called Baseball.  The local team is the LA Dodgers so Mouse headed off to Dodger Stadium.


The stadium was huge and Mouse got to see all around it.  He even went down to the players dug out where he had a nice surprise at just how welcome he was made to feel.


After the tour Mouse was very excited to get to the Dodger Shop to pick up some souvenirs.


Unfortunately Mouse's time in LA had come to an end and he had to be up early the next day for the long flight back home.

Mouse hopes you enjoyed this adventure and he will be back soon for another one.  Why not sign up HERE to the Where The Heck Is Mouse? newsletter so that every adventure is delivered direct to your inbox.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Mouse Visitez Le Tour de France Grand Depart

Anyone out there who has an interest in cycling will not have failed to notice that the Tour de France started recently and luckily for Mouse, this year's Grand Depart consisted of three stages in the UK.

Mouse is a keen cyclist and so he did not want to miss this opportunity of seeing the world's greatest cycle race on home soil.  He therefore packed his suitcase and headed to Yorkshire for another adventure.

He headed out early to try and beat some of the crowds but it seemed that everyone else had the same idea.  The car park was already filling up.


It was quite a long walk for a little Mouse but he eventually arrived at his first planned stop, the Festival of Cycling, which was taking place at the venue where the race would officially be started by some special guests.


There was a lot going on at the festival and plenty to keep Mouse busy until the race was due to start.



After a while Mouse was getting curious who the special guests were going to be but he didn't have to wait very long to find out.  The Royal Helicopter buzzed past overhead and a few moments later landed right near where Mouse was standing.  The special guests were none other than Their Royal Highness' Prince William, his beautiful wife Kate Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry too.


It was soon time for the race to start and the cycling teams started to arrive.  Unfortunately it was so busy with people that Mouse struggled to see the cyclists but all was not lost because he did have a wonderful view of the Royal Air Force Red Arrows who did a flypast to mark the start of the race.


After the race had left Mouse headed back to his hotel to plan the following day and try to make sure that he had a good view of the cyclists this time.


Mouse decided that Holmfirth would be a good place to see stage 2 of the race so he went to bed early so that he could leave in plenty of time a get a good viewing spot.

Mouse was up an out of his hotel super early and this time he made sure that he had one of the best viewing spots available.  There was even a wall so that he could see over the top of people.  Now all he had to do was wait the 8 hours until the race passed through.


Luckily there were some friendly people around who saved Mouse's place when he wanted to stretch his legs.  There was cycling related things everywhere, even a spotty bike.


It was well worth the wait when the race finally did arrive, Mouse has a great view and even managed to recognise his favourite rider Chris Froome.


It was all over in a flash and Mouse was sad that he had to start his long journey home.  Fortunately the traffic was not too bad and Mouse got back home in time to see the highlights of the day's race on TV.


He couldn't believe the amount of people that had turned out to see the race all over Yorkshire.  What a fantastic way to start the Tour de France on only it's fourth ever visit to the UK.

After the highlights, Mouse wanted to look at all of the nice things he had bought while he was away.  His biggest decision was whether to have a drink of his Stage Winner Ale or the special box of Yorkshire Tea.


He opted for a nice warm mug of tea and sat there admiring his goodies.



Mouse hopes you enjoyed this adventure and he will be back soon for another one.  Why not sign up HERE to the Where The Heck Is Mouse? newsletter so that every adventure is delivered direct to your inbox.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Home of Cheese

Mouse has been busy again and has been to a place that is very special to all Mousekind.  Cheddar Gorge, where the original Cheddar Cheese came from.

It was quite a long journey but Mouse didn't mind because he was so excited about finally seeing where his favorite cheese is made.

He headed straight for the visitor centre to find out a little more about how Cheddar is made.
It was amazing, right there behind the glass, they were making the most wonderful looking cheese Mouse had ever seen.  In fact it was the most cheese Mouse had ever seen.
Mouse learned so many facts about how Cheddar is made.
He lost track of time staring through the glass and was only brought back to reality when somebody gave him a tissue to wipe his dribble from the window.  So he thought he had better continue around the visitor centre to see what else he could find.
There was a museum with all kinds of Cheese related artifacts.
There was the cheese store where Mouse saw and more importantly smelled an amazing sight.  A vast amount of Cheddar all maturing nicely, but begging to be eaten.
A really nice man saw how keen Mouse was on the Cheese store and decided to make his day.  He made mouse promise not to sink his teeth into any of the cheese, and also made him wash his feet really well, and then he took him into the cheese store.
Mouse thought he must be in heaven and wished he could move in and live in that room.  Of course that isn't allowed, but the nice man promised Mouse he could try as much cheese as he wanted in the shop.
Mouse thanked the man and made his way to the shop.  He wasn't disappointed and tried so many different types of cheddar he lost count.
Eventually Mouse decided on his favorite and made a purchase, along with a very interesting book.
Alas, Mouse's day out had come to an end and it was time to go back home.  He had spent a lovely day out and felt like a much more sophisticated Mouse now that he knew so much about his favorite food.

Once he arrived back home he couldn't wait to unwrap his purchases.
And there was even time for a light snack before bedtime.  What do you think he had?????


Mouse will recommend a visit to Cheddar Gorge to all his friends but if you would like to visit, have a look here http://www.cheddargorgecheeseco.co.uk

Mouse hopes you enjoyed this adventure and he will be back soon for another one.  Why not sign up HERE to the Where The Heck Is Mouse? newsletter so that every adventure is delivered direct to your inbox.