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Little Henry in America 1

Where in the world is Little Henry? . | . Little Henry recommends the web journal of Big Al

Little Henry in... Australia | America 1 | On to... America 2 | France | Italy | France 2 | England & Germany | Cambodia

Sydney to Los Angeles | Los Angeles | Orange County | Mission San Juan Capistrano | Mexican lunch | Laguna Beach
White House | Long Beach | Fantasyland | Frontierland | Tomorrowland | Hollywood | Pacific Aquarium
Disney Californian Adventure | The real Californian adventure | San Francisco

Little Henry in America - California

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Fourteen hours! Fourteen hours from Sydney to Los Angeles. Non-stop.
Well, I am glad it didn't stop I suppose as there was mostly Pacific Ocean underneath us.
Nobody told me it was going to be that long! Confined to a small backpack (so Big Al's dad couldn't see me) with no leg room.
Well, it's alright for you, you probably only have two legs, but I have four! Try folding them up in a small space.
And if that wasn't bad enough, I had to share my little space with a dog! Big Al never told me about Patch. Just shoved in together. At least he looked like he was sorry too.
And air sickness, that is another thing nobody told me about. That queasy nauseous feeling in the stomach.
Well, it's alright for you, you probably only have one stomach, but I have four!
The first stomach is called the reticulum. The second is the rumen. The third is the omasum. The fourth is the abomasum. And all four of them, all as queasy as each other, added together to make it a journey I wish never to repeat.
And while it is natural for sheep to regurgitate their food so as to chew it better (because we eat too fast), it is not natural to do it as often as I did!
Was I ever glad to arrive in the USA!

Little Henry 'Patched'

The most amazing thing about our trip from Sydney to Los Angeles that took 13 hours in a plane was that we got there before we left!
The plane left Sydney at 4 o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday. It arrived in Los Angeles at 10 o'clock the same morning!
Big Al's dad reckons it is because the world is round. He says that Sydney gets the sun first (dawn) as the earth turns, and eventually Los Angeles gets it (dawn) 19 hours later. Continuing on, Sydney gets it again 5 hours later (the next day) - (19+5=24 hours in one rotation of the earth). This is using daylight saving time in Australia.
We took a shortcut to Los Angeles going west to east taking only 13 hours, but the sun still took 19 hours to travel to the same place around the long way, east to west, so we beat it by 6 hours (19-13).
This means we got in 6 hours before 4 o'clock in the afternoon, or 10 o'clock in the morning.
Clear, isn't it?
I was watching the screen on the plane that told us what was happening. We travelled at 1100 km/hr! I betcha 4 decker sheep trucks don't go that fast. Even if some of them do go for 13 hours straight without stopping.

Henry on time

There are so many things going on here, it will take me a week of reading the newspaper to get up to date!
We are staying in Orange County which is south of Los Angeles city. This area has a lot of immigrants. Immigrants are people who come from other countries to live in America.
The majority of immigrants in Orange County are Mexican, so most things like newspapers and television stations are available in both English and Spanish versions. That is because the main language in Mexico is Spanish.
Those countries that were colonised by another country, in the past, tend to use the language of the coloniser. Thus, because Australia and the United States were originally colonised by Britain, we speak English. Are there other countries that speak English because of this? How about India? New Zealand?
Because Cuba and Mexico were colonised by the Spanish people, they speak Spanish. How about Argentina? Now, how many countries were colonised by sheep? How many sheep-language countries do you know? How about Baalivia? Denmaark? Maalaysia? Burmaa? Can you think of any others?
The funny thing about newspapers here is that there are three pages of funnies. Do people need that much mirth to get through the day?

Los Angeles Times

Today we went south of Los Angeles, down the Pacific coast to San Juan Capistrano to see the Mission San Juan Capistrano. I am not sure if I was supposed to climb onto the roof!
They had a bigger one as well. We all walked around and saw how some of the early Californian pioneers lived. They were Spanish speaking and Catholic and brought their religion with them.
We saw the old adobe brick buildings that they made. We saw some of the old implements that they made in a metal foundry including rakes and scythes. They also made their own candles and soap.
Included was a look at how the native indians as the time lived, with huts made of grasses and tree branches.
Like most countries that get colonised, there are original occupants. In the case of America, it is the American Indians. Just as it is the aboriginies in Australia.

Chapel roof

After I got down from the roof, I went tree climbing - but I soon found out that that was not such a good idea!
Nobody told me about cacti (that's plural of cactus). Ouch, ouch, ouch!
I am still pulling the spikes out of my feet.
Luckily for me, Big Al came to rescue me.

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Henry is cactus

This is the bigger Mission San Juan Capistrano. Lots of palm trees, red roof tiles, adobe brick walls, bells - but no whistles. Just a lot of Californian sunshine.
Adobe bricks are made out of mud. The soft mud is poured into a square mould and allowed to dry in the sun. When it is dry, it is taken out of the mould and used in building walls. These bricks last a very long time provided they do not get wet - or they will just wash away!

Missionary sheep

After all that walking around I was starting to get hungry. Those cacti looked delicious, but ouch, those spikes.
Big Al's dad says that that is why cacti have the spikes, to stop animals browsing on the succulent flesh of the plant. This is a natural protective mechanism.
Well, let me tell you, it works!

Henry is cacti

Then I found some grain!
Big Al said it was birdseed. Well, I didn't care.
Anybody got a dime?

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I taut I taw a puddy tat

Once we got out of the Mission we went for a Mexican lunch! After all we were in a very Mexican town.
So Mexican in fact that the people at the restaurant did not speak much English, mainly Spanish! Tacos, burritos and tortas. Tasty!
But a word of warning, watch the chilli. It usually sneaks in as a sauce, which can be red or green. And it sets your mouth on fire. So, watch it, but don't eat it!

Do I eat this?

The Californian coast. Laguna Beach and the biggest water trough I have ever seen. Lovely spot, with weird looking seagulls, completely different to those in Australia. Much bigger and browner.
And cute little sandpipers searching for food in the surf.
I tried the water but it is undrinkable! Even worse than the dam at home with blue-green algae on it. And terribly salty. It made me more thirsty than before.

Help! The boids are chasing me

I wrote my name in the sand, then I had to have a little rest. I could only have a little rest because I am only little.
Yes, sheep do sleep. And dream.
I dreampt I was on a beach in Southern California.

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Henry was here

Big Al's dad said that this place is the White House. He said that there was a lot of make believe going on inside, a lot of wooden expressions and not much going on behind the eyes.
Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. I know the White House is in America, but is it in Los Angeles?
Anyway, when we went inside there were lots of dolls - lots of folks about my size.
Big Al reckoned that although it looked like the White House on the outside, it was actually a doll museum.
Al's dad said they should have put me in charge of the White House. But I don't know if he meant the museum or the other one.

At the white house

This morning we went to Long Beach. Now Long Beach has many parts and we went to the part that is like a mini-Cambodia. There are lots of Cambodians who live there. I don't know why they don't live in Cambodia, maybe it is better here?
There are Cambodian shops. And Cambodian restaurants. So we went for a typical Cambodian breakfast of noodle soup.
It looks yummy.
Now, how do I pick up these chopsticks?

noodle breakfast

I got a phone call from someone called Nasa today. They asked me to go into something called a space program. I thought that America was a big country and they already had a lot of space, but they wanted me to try on the suit anyway.
They said they wanted me to go to the moon, but I said I hadn't seen all of California yet.
Besides, I know the moon is really made out of cheese.

Henry in space

Big Al and her four cousins took me to a place that seemed to be called Fantasyland. Big Al's dad said he thought we had been in fantasyland ever since we got off the plane. But Big Al says that this is the real Fantasyland.
They seemed so excited about it, I did not point out this apparent contradiction.
Well, if this is someone's fantasy, I cannot understand why they included so many crowds of people! Maybe this place is the combined fantasy of all of them.

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Henry at Fantasyland

Wandering around Fantasyland, I went to have a chat with a small elephant who said his name was Dumbo. He had no trouble hearing me because he had these enormous ears. I asked him what he thought about Fantasyland, but he just giggled, spread his ears and flew away. I thought that was a bit rude. (At least he didn't poop while he was flying....)

Henry & Dumbo

So I went to ask Goofy. I knew what his name must be because he forgot the question three times, and then he forgot about me even though I was standing right in front of him.
What a dope!

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Henry & Goofy

So I took my question to Pinocchio. I wood have thought that he wood know.
Pinocchio said "Fantasyland was where all your dreams and wishes come true. Whatever is your heart's desire, is yours when you enter Fantasyland."
Then an odd thing started to happen, his nose started to grow! The more he spoke, the longer it got.
"Leave your troubles and cares behind you and magically they will disappear, and..."
But his nose was getting so long, I thought it would poke out my eye, so I moved on.
"Watch out!" By jimminies, I nearly trod on a cricket.

Henry & Pinnochio

Then I met a white rabbit with a big watch.
I asked him about being in Fantasyland, and he pointed to his watch. So I listened to his watch and it said "tick, tick, tick, tick, tick."
I said, "it doesn't tell me anything except tick, tick, tick, tick, tick."
The white rabbit said, "well, it may not tell you anything, but it tells me something. It tells me I'm late, gotta go. Bye!"
And he rushed off.

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Henry & the white rabbit

The next minute I get whacked on the head by Pluto. Stupid dog.
"Let me up!" I bleated. But he wouldn't have it.
"Who owns you?" I asked.
"Why, Mickey Mouse, of course," he barked.
"Well, that makes you a mousedog, not a sheepdog, so let me go!"
"Oops, sorry," he woofed. And let me up.
He knows nothing about sheep, so he won't know about Fantasyland.
Does anyone know?

Henry & Pluto

Then we went for a drive. Big Al said her cousin is driving, but I know she is only 9, so I asked to see her licence. It was issued by some country called Disneyland and it wasn't a real licence, it was a license. A shame they can't spell too well over here. It was issued for a place called Autopia.
Asked Big Al about this and she said that in Disneyland, even the kids are allowed to drive.

Henry's licence

Yeah, that speedo is in miles per hour. And this is a genuine Chevrolet.
Now, how do I reach the pedals?

Henry and Chevvy

On the other hand, this is transportation in Frontierland.
I even had to check if there was water in the radiator, because there was no cap on it.

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Henry & jalopy

After all the activity so far, I was feeling mighty hungry, and I found some good hay in the stables in Frontierland. Just had to share it with the horses.
Then I had to go with Big Al on the paddlesteamer, called the 'Mark Twain.'

Hay supply

Rocketships was what we found in Tomorrowland. They went up and down and around and up and around and down and around and up.
Man, I had to hang on tight - and I was only watching from the side.

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Henry in space

Our last ride of the day was into a small punt and following a stream into the 'Small World.'
It was all going fine until Tigger grabbed hold of me and tossed me to Piglet. I didn't know I was going to be a part of the show.

Henry, Tigger & Piglet

One day we went to Hollywood. They have these stars in the footpath, oops sidewalk, with the names of famous people on them.
I went looking for my name and, sure enough, I found it.
It sure is cool to be famous.

Little Henry - big star

Further along Hollywood Boulevard, following the stars in the footpath, we came to the footprints.
I thought they would all be actors, but they had a duck! He was a big duck too, looking at his paddles!
But no sheep.

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Tracking Donald

Now here is someone for a little sheep like myself to watch out for. A sheepdog named Lassie!
It doesn't really matter what they are called, really. A sheepdog is a sheepdog, whether it is a kelpie from Australia or a lassie.
Come to think of it, did anyone ever see Lassie muster sheep?

Lassie's star

Just when I thought it was safe to stop worrying about long-haired canines, I found out that there are worse things to contemplate! I was scooped up by this red-eyed monster, and I thought he was going to sink his fangs into my rump.
But this is Hollywood, and someone offered him a dollar and he put me back down again.

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Olde Red Eyed Monster

When I am looking for my first haircut, I mean woolcut, I'll know where to come now.

Shearer's star

Another one for an innocent little lamb in the big wide world to watch out for...

William Fox star

Time to try some American cuisine. Burger King in Hollywood.
Fries in ketchup! Is that it? Why tomato sauce is not tomato sauce I do not know.
Why french fries are not french here I do not know.
But they seem like the fatty chips you can get anywhere else.

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Henry At Burger King

I was getting tired of walking, so I hitched a ride on a passing chevvy or lincoln or thunderbird or whatever it was. Can you see me?
Unfortunately it was stuck to the wall at Burger King and did not go very far.

Henry on Hollywood Bvd

I never could figure out why they couldn't spell it properly...


We went to the Pacific Aquarium at Long Beach, and was that ever a scary place!.
All sorts of things that creep and crawl and live underwater.
I was really glad that that lobster was on the other side of the glass!

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Henry & lobster

Watch out for that big yellow carnivorous fish!!!!!

Oh no!
Can this be the end of Little Henry's adventures?

Big yellow fish

No, that is not the end of me! Hrrrmmmmh.
That was Float, cousin of Bloat - who I saw with Nemo in a fishtank in Sydney. He was very gracious when he found out I knew Bloat.
He didn't hurt me at all.
A bit damp maybe...

Towelling Henry

We went one day to this park with all these groovy rides and things. Big Al said it was the Disney Californian Adventure. Big Al's dad said it was the Disney Californian revenue stream.
They had this big wheel going around and around. I watched it closely, like I did that golf ball.
Man I got so dizzy, I nearly fell off my perch.

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The Sunwheel at CA

They also had this torture tower called the Maliboomer. You sat in a chair at the bottom and had this harness strap you in so you couldn't get away. Then, after a countdown you are blasted 50 metres up the side of the tower in one and half seconds!
The expressions on the faces when they come down shows how scary it is. It must feel like your stomach is still on the ground.
Big Al's dad said that people often pay to go up. I don't believe this, do you?
He said I need to watch 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest.'


If you thought that was bad, you should have seen the trains that got out of control. They took off at breathtaking speed and everyone screamed. But they screamed the most when it went upside down!
See them upside down inside Mickey's head?
Luckily, no-one fell out.

California screamin'

Not sure that blue is my colour. Or is that color?

Henry in blue

Yo! Californian Adventure.
This week we hit the road and went north on California Highway 1 in the direction of San Francisco.
All along the coast are these fantastic palm trees. They are easy to see. Do you know what is hard to see? The coastline!
Fog, fog and fog.
When the warm air that is over the land hits the very cold water of the Pacific Ocean, the moisture in the air condenses to form fog. This fog stretches out to sea, but it disappears over the land within 50 metres of the beach! Can you see me?
Can you see the fog over the water?
Can you see Sydney?
No, I thought not, neither can I from here.

Palm tree Refugia

We went past Ventura and Santa Barbara and stopped at one of the old Spanish missions near Lompoc.
This one is called the Mission La Purisima Concepcion, and like many of the missions at the time was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1812. The Mission was largely rebuilt in the 1930s using the original building techniques of mud bricks and fired clay tiles.
This room housed the loom where they weaved their rugs and blankets. I made a close inspection to make sure they were doing it right.
(They were.)

Henry at loom

This is the Mission's soldier quarters. That camp-bed looked so comfy, I just had to have a snooze.

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Henry kip soldier's bunk

Just outside the door, watch out for the cactus! Can you see me?

Henry is cactus!

Further up the coast, at Morro Bay, we hit the trail. Up and down those rocks is hard work, and my soft blackies (I don't have pinkies) ended up a bit sore.
But I stayed on the trail.

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Henry on the trail

Watch out for the local Harris hawk.
He nearly had me.

Henry & Harris hawk

In the quaintly named San Luis Obispo, we visited the equally quaint local tourist attraction - Bubblegum Alley!
All along both sides were the remains of discarded bubblegum. The alley was at least 20 metres long and all the bricks had gum stuck to them.
Yuk! Can you believe that?

Henry & bubble gum alley

North of San Simeon, we went to a real castle!
It was built by William Randolph Hearst, mainly in the 1920s, '30s and '40's. He was a very very very rich man. It is remarkable for the site, with wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean, but difficult access, high up on a mountain.
They ranched a lot of cattle, but no sheep.

Hearst castle

WRH had this fantastic fire engine. That would be great back home in the Crowther Brigade for the bush fire season. But I doubt the Rural Fire Service would approve it!

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WRH firetruck

Along the coast north of San Simeon there was a pungent pong that assailed my tender nostrils. In other words, a real bad smell. I had to get Big Al to hold my nose again.
It was the elephant seal colony on the beach!
They rolled around on the beach and snored and snoozed. Occasionally they rolled over each other. And then they made a real noise!

Elephant sealing

Then there was a drive by the sea that was almost in the sea! The road wound around the cliffs just above the sea.
I would have felt a lot safer walking, so I closed my eyes for most of the way.

Big Sur

And I thought I was a herbivore.

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Next stop San Francisco. We started out going to the Golden Gate Bridge. I had seen plenty of gates at home in the paddock, but no golden ones. Anyway, it wasn't really a gate, and it wasn't golden - more a rusty red.
Nor was it all that big, why I was as nearly tall as it myself. A few more oats for breakfast and I could jump over it!

We continued over the small bridge to Muir Woods, a remnant (that is a remaining example) forest of redwood trees. Now a redwood tree grows to be the tallest tree in the world. I can believe that because I couldn't even see the top of some of them (my neck doesn't go back that far).

Henry in the woods

So, I figure the best way to see the top is to climb up.
So, I had a look around for the base of a big tree - there were plenty to choose from - and started out. I mean up.
Wish me luck!

Henry the treeclimber

So I went up, and up, and up, and up. This tree seemed never to end!
(Can you see me?)
Then I made a tactical error. I looked down! Man, was that a long way down dude!
The next thing I remember is that Big Al had me in her hands.
Big Al's dad said the American woods were obviously dangerous. In Australia we have drop bears, but here in America, they have drop lambs!

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Henry and the redwood

This tree fell over in 1939, which is a long time ago. When it is cut across, the rings inside tell us how old the tree is. Some of these rings have been painted white, but they are about 2mm apart and there is one ring for each year.
Someone counted the rings on this tree and found that it started growing in the year 909.
How many rings does it have? And how old was the tree when it fell?
The first correct entry emailed to me by April first will win a special treat!

Henry tree rings

This time as we went back over the bridge that was not really golden and was not a gate, I thought I would save the toll by walking over it!

Henry on the golden gate

But apparently this is frowned upon. I tried to point out what the sign said, but no-one would listen. Who ever listens to little lambs?
(Can you hear the sulky tone in my voice?)

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Henry, master trespasser

Near the bridge I met this sailor. I asked him what a sailor was doing in San Francisco. But he said if I didn't know, then he wouldn't tell me, being such an innocent little lamb.
Then he asked me if I could fill in for him while he went to town. I'm sure he meant while he went into town, but I said I would give it a go. And he gave me his kitbag.

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Henry and sailor

Whoa, was that a mistake!
Big ships. Planes coming and going. And that big sea, slowly going up and down.
They were talking about sailing to Iraq, wherever that is.
I asked politely if I could get off.
They said it was impossible.
(But there must be a way off this ship.)

Henry at war

Being a dedicated pacifist (that is someone who is opposed to war and will not fight other people) I found a way.
Little Henry Cannonball!

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Henry as cannon fodder

Little Henry in... Australia | America 1 | On to... America 2 | France | Italy | France 2 | England & Germany | Cambodia

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