Posted by: jinniver | January 15, 2009

The adventures of Traveling Teddies

Back in July, I outfitted Tex, the first of my traveling teddies, with his own backpack for a trip around the U.S. A month later, little sister bear Texie was prepared for her own circuit.  Each bear entered a different teddy bear round robin equipped with a backpack for collecting treasures and a “passport” for the hostess to add a page to the bears’ stories.  When I first started, my plan was to blog regularly about Tex’s and Texie’s travels, and to post stories of the bears visiting here.

Unfortunately, life intervened–both in the blog and the round robin.  The round robins haven’t gone as smoothly as the planners hoped, although they did as much as they could to keep things moving.  Sometimes it was a simple case of someone getting overwhelmed.  Then each round robin had an individual who simply disappeared–in one case, one person had almost all of the bears before we realized that none of them were moving.  Fortunately, that person eventually sent all the bears and most of their belongings on–a few items are still missing.  In the other, the person is continuing to ignore all attempts at contact, though she’s chatting with other friends (and she’s the person sending to me, so I’ve been putting a lot of effort into it.  We’ll see if the most recent attempt, a registered letter, makes a difference), and she’s holding three bears hostage.  That round robin has shrunk so much that between the missing bears and the drop outs, there aren’t many of us left.

I’m lucky–Tex’s journey is almost over and he’ll be home in a few weeks…and I’m pretty sure I know where Texie is.  At least, whomever said she had her last is still participating in the group!  But it is a bummer that something we entered with such enthusiasm has been damaged by the selfishness of a few.

And I didn’t want to leave it at that.  So I thought I’d do a review of the visits I’ve had, and remember why it’s been so much fun.

The reactions of other people might well top my list.  Mostly, I get covert double-takes.  Sometimes, they’re more overt.  And very rarely, someone will get up the nerve to approach the crazy lady and ask a question.  After watching me take a picture of a teddy bear outside the post office–there’s a large sign on the building that lists our town, and I take the bear’s pictures there before I mail them along–a lady had her husband stop the car so she could ask if I was visiting.  Another time, a family watched me on the deck of the USS LEXINGTON for a bit before the mom cautiously approached to ask if I wanted to be in the picture too.  I cheerfully declined the offer and explained…but I’m not sure they thought I was any less crazy for having a reason.

PBJ leaves 1
Saying goodbye to PBJ.

Pippin and Billy (10)
Pippin and Billy on the USS LEXINGTON.

Speaking of Lady Lex…we’ve lived here in south Texas since August 2005, and I hadn’t been onboard her before this. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to visit, but Jeffrey’s been too young for most of our stay here to really appreciate the visit, and I didn’t want to go by myself. This visit, though, I wasn’t alone!

The bears have also helped me appreciate places I have been already even more. I take most of the bears to the Texas State Aquarium. Usually it’s just Lexie and I when I take the bears, because it can be hard to wrangle a preschooler, a stroller, and a couple of bears. And that gives me the opportunity to move at my pace, not a three-year-old’s, and see the things I’m interested in (in other words, things other than just the sharks and the dolphins). Other times, I take Jeffrey, because he just adores going to the aquarium, and it’s so much fun to watch him.

Emmy TX State Aquarium (10)
Jeffrey helps Emmy get a good look at the otter.

TT trip to aquarium (25)
Edwin, Pumpkin, Francesca, and Lexie (in stroller) get up close and personal with a dolphin.

Pippin's visit (20)
Pippin loved the colorful fish best.

We even got to take one of the bears to another much loved family outing–a Corpus Christi Hooks baseball game. The games are always a blast, but Jeffrey and I had got a lot of giggles out of finding places to pose the bear for a picture. He and our visiting bear even got to meet one of the team’s mascots.

082408 010_edited
Billy T-Bear and Jeffrey meet Sammy Seagull.

One of the bears got to take a special trip with us. We were hosting Pippin when we traveled to Indiana for my niece’s first birthday, and while there we took a trip to Chicago. Pippin tagged along for the flight, the party, and the trip to the American Girl store for lunch.

Pippin's visit (6)
Pippin in Chicago.

The bears weren’t just fun when we were doing special things–they made the mundane more fun too. A bear escorted my son to his first day of preschool. Another one came to my daughter’s music class. They reminded us how pretty the Corpus Christi area is.

PBJ and Jeffrey on Jeffrey’s first day of school.

Emmy at music class
Lexie and Emmy at music class.

TT trip to aquarium (27)
Pumpkin enjoys a view of Corpus Christi.

Several of them have visited my husband’s ship, USS AVENGER, much to the bemusement of his Sailors. They’ve done everything from stand watch in engineering and on the bridge, to train for damage control, to work with the Executive Officer, to sit in the Captain’s chair, to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sean Thanksgiving dinner (3)
Sean makes sure all the engineering equipment is running smoothly.

TT ship visit Jan 14 017_edited
Edwin (right) takes the helm while Francesca (left) stands lee helm.

Grace on Avenger (3)
Grace learns all about fire fighting on a ship.

PBJ on Avenger (2)
PBJ helps the XO during a meeting.

TT ship visit Jan 14 016_edited
Pumpkin takes a call on the Captain’s phone.

Sean Thanksgiving dinner (2)
Sean enjoys a tasty Thanksgiving dinner in the mess.

Grace with Santa
Grace sits on Santa’s lap during the Naval base’s Ship Lighting Competition.

Of course, we can’t forget knitting. After all, I got into these round robins through knitting, so it’s no wonder the bears were partial to yarn and needles. Some of them had quite discriminating tastes, and some were rather talented. My Sit n’ Knit group always enjoyed a visit, and got a kick out of coming up with new bear poses at our LYS.

PBJ at KG (4)
PBJ was partial to the alpaca yarn.

Billy at KG (1)
Billy helped me with my Ravelympics knitting, which became my favorite hat.

It’s been harder than it should have been, or maybe we were a little too optimistic. I’m still hopeful it won’t end in total disappointment for a few people. But I have had a lot of fun doing this, and I’d like to thank the bears for being such great visitors and reintroducing me to my hometown.

And I’m looking forward to seeing Tex and Texie again soon!

Tex's Backpack (6) blogTexiebackpack (3)



  1. Aw, what a cute idea! I’m sorry it hasn’t worked out like planned. Unfortunately, it sometimes only takes one to mess it up for the group. No one can argue that you’ve done your share, though. Those pictures are adorable!

  2. aw! i’m in a teddy group that’s stalled too, but it’s not a round robin so at least i know my own teddies are safe at home. they want to come visit you though, since you’re such a good hostess!

  3. Thanks for the review. I’m really hoping that with the new year all the groups can be revived. You’ve inspired me to catch up on blogging about the teddies myself, so perhaps later…

  4. You’ve really gotten into the spirit of it! I enjoyed reading about all the teddies you’ve hosted. 🙂

  5. Three years from now, someone’s going to be at a wardroom party, starting a story with, “You think THAT’s weird? Let me tell you about this CO’s wife I knew back in 2008. She would show up at the ship with these bears..” 🙂

    I hope your bears make it home safe and sound!

  6. (snicker) Yeah, I knew going in that I might end up the stuff that good wardroom stories are made of. But the ship pictures are always the most popular!

  7. […] By kaet Inspired by one of Jinniver’s posts last week, recapping the various visits she’s had from Travelling Teddies, I thought I should catch you up on various photos, especially those of my visiting […]


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