Dharma Bear Initiative

New Jersey

Location:  New Jersey

Host: Slvrhalo/Donna

Dates: October 23-28 2009

George bear writes:  I arrived safely at Donna's house on Friday, Oct. 23

in Mt. Laurel New Jersey. When she got home from work, she introduced

me to her kitty, Marbles.   Saturday morning, I went to the barber with Donna

and her husband, Ken. I thought about going for the John Locke look, but

decided it wouldn't be a good look for a polar bear.

Being in NJ, we had to stop by the local Wawa, which is probably South Jersey's

most popular convenience store!  Then we went to the nearby Camden Waterfront

where I saw Campbell's Field where the Camden Riversharks play.

We saw the NJ Adventure Aquarium, the Battleship New Jersey, and the Ben Franklin
Bridge, which takes you right across the Delaware river into Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Sunday, we traveled East and went to "America's Playground" Atlantic City. 
It's on the Atlantic coast, hence the name, and sports a very popular place;
"The Boardwalk" district.  The Boardwalk is right along the coast line and
is home to many grand casinos and attractions. Among the casinos I spotted
were the Tropicana, Bally's, and Taj Mahal.  Seeing all these casinos reminded
me of my trip to Las Vegas.

We went to visit the "Boardwalk Cats".  For as long as anyone can remember,

the spaces underneath the boardwalk has become home to a whole population

of feral cats.  Local programs like the Humane Society and Allie Cat Allies

have worked with the community and the cats to keep them safe. 

The cats are friendly and we got to meet some of them. 

Next Donna and Ken took me to the Steel Pier amusement park literally
built on a Pier just off of the boardwalk.   A long time ago they used to
have a diving horse show!  In 1991 a great movie was made all about it
called "Wild hearts can't be broken". 

I got my picture taken in front of the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum,
and I spent some time at the beach.

Along a sidewalk somewhere we found Stevie Wonder's hand print in cement!

Finally we stopped at the Showboat casino.  The Showboat usually has a show

going on inspired by Mardi Gras, but unfortunately we didn't get to see it that day.

Monday, back in Mt. Laurel, I went to work with Donna. She works at a call center. 

I tried out her job but decided it wasn't for me. The head gear didn't quite fit right.

I met some of her friends and co-workers who were all very nice.

After work, I got to visit with family members like Grandmom Meta and mom-in-law

Barbara. We also paid a visit to Donnas friend Greg, he was in the hospital. I was more

than happy to give him a much needed HUG.  We drove around Pennsauken where

Donna grew up, and I had my picture taken with the sign for the street named after

Donna's Uncle Johnny. And of course I posed with Donna and Ken.

I helped Ken cheer the Phillies on to the World Series!

I also had some pics taken with just SOME of Donna's LOST collection and
met her own polar bear named Alex, that she received from her good
LOST friend, Jody (Hellolost)!

All in all, I had a great time visiting NJ with Donna, Ken & family

and would love to visit again someday!

Connecticut & Massachusetts

Location: Connecticut & Massachusetts

Hosts: Lostphilia/Donna & Sally

Dates: Oct. 30- Nov. 9 2009

George arrives in Windsor Connecticut the day before Halloween.

George is a guest of Donna.  She is part of a group known as Lostphilia.

They are a Google group of relatives, friends, and co-workers who

love Lost and discuss each episode by e-mail in excruciating detail.

The group is spread around the Northeast, living in Connecticut,

Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Since its Halloween,

it's only right for George

to dress up for the

festivities.  George is

tired of being so cuddly

all the time, he wants to

dress up as something

scary.  Really scary.

You know, like

Evil clown scary!

After all the Halloween

fun, it's time to start his

tour. All self-respecting

road trips in the Northeast

begin at Dunkin' Donuts,

where George had a

pumpkin muffin and

a cup of coffee.

The next stop was at Hamilton Sundstrand, where many of

the Lostphilia group work in the Energy, Space, and Defense

department. Hamilton is perhaps best known as the provider

of space suits for NASA. George had his picture taken with

couple of space suits. Here is George with

Caroline, Donna, and Lisa.

Donna took George to see Avery Point at Long Island Sound.
There George saw the ocean, a lighthouse, and some boats. 
Then to Stonington, where George saw the ocean again,
a beach, and the Lighthouse Museum.

All that sea air made

George hungry, so

Donna and George

stopped at another

Northeast institution,

Friendly's restaurant,

where George got a

Fribble milk shake.

Then George and Donna headed for Foxwoods, the largest resort

casino in the world. George had his picture taken in front of the

brand new MGM and in the casino in front of a waterfall and some

slot machines. Because George is too young, they weren't able to

go in and gamble, probably a good thing. Then George had his

picture taken in front of the huge statue of a Mashantucket Pequot

brave shooting an arrow into the sky.

It was starting to get late, so George and Donna headed back
north to Hartford, stopping at the Mark Twain House.
Mark Twain lived in Hartford between 1874 and 1891.

George spent some time with other Lostphilia members such as

Mark and Adam, but it was Sally who took George on the next

part of his tour.  George, Sally, and an extra friend started out

bright and early to play in the beautiful autumn leaves.  After

that they hit the road and headed for Boston Massachusetts.

The first stop in Boston was at the Old State House.

Next came the Granary Burial Ground where John Hancock,

Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere are buried.

George and Sally made a quick stop at the site of the Boston Massacre. 

It was a tragic day in March 1770, in which five people were gunned

down by British soldiers for protesting new British laws.  Ultimately

the massacre helped spark the Revolutionary War.

After that everyone was hungry [and thirsty] so they went to the famous

"Cheers" bar and restaurant where Norm called out "George!"  While

waiting for their lunch, George looked at a map and tried to decide what

he wanted to do next.  George and Sally had a Sam Adams

(Because, after all, they had just visited his grave).  And this being Boston,

George got some good old New England clam chowder

(pronounced chowdah in Boston).

George decided he wanted to see Fenway Park next, home of the Boston Red Sox. 

So the group agreed to do a Fenway Park tour. While waiting for the tour to start,

they made their way around the outside of the park, stopping to see the statue of

Ted Williams.  He was one of greatest baseball players who ever lived.  During the

tour George met the team mascot, Wally the Green Monster.  He  made friends

with another bear and got his own Red Sox cap.  George thoroughly enjoyed the

tour in and around the ball park.

Then George got a big surprise!   One of Sally's friends had gotten

them tickets to the Boston Celtics basket ball game against the

Arizona Phoenix Suns that night! At that stadium George met

another bear friend and kissed the Celtics logo. George felt he

needed "the luck of the Irish" to help him make it overseas to

his next stop in Ireland to visit with his next host Carl.

The game was exciting to watch.  The Suns won and George wondered
if he inadvertently was their good luck charm considering they sat two
rows behind the Suns team bench.  And George did after all begin his
journey in Arizona.   Hmmmm coincidence or fate?

Back in CT with Donna, George was able to see himself on TV because
Donna had recorded the game. George is in the upper left hand corner.
Donna wasn't too happy that her Celtics lost.

George had two more destinations in  Springfield, MA.

Before leaving on his big trip overseas.

The first stop was at the Basketball Hall of fame.

Next, George went

to the Dr Seuss Memorial. 

He had his picture taken

with statues of Horton. 

Dr Seuss plus the Cat in

the Hat, and the perfect book;

"Oh, the Places You'll Go".

Back in Windsor, George finished packing all of his treasures,

and he made sure he had his new passport, which Lostphilia

member Lauren made for him.  Now, George is off to Ireland.

We'll miss him, he was fun to have around.