iBat’s USA Road Trip


Travelling with a favorite toy and photographing it in front of various landmarks, began as a totally off the wall idea known as the travelling gnome. It originated in Australia in the 1980’s, and is now firmly entrenched in popular culture. I first came across it in the quirky little french film Amélie, and I’ve been dying to do it ever since. Adults may have come up with this idea, but it has plenty of kid appeal. All you need is a toy and a camera.

Since garden gnomes are a bit cumbersome to lug around, we invited our temperamental little friend, iBat, to join us on our USA road trip, where we travelled from Toronto to Florida and back in just under three weeks. We stayed in ten different cities, with plenty of pit stops along the way, and a nice lengthy stay near Hogwarts. iBat was thrilled to come along, but returned home sulking because I forgot to photograph him at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Philadelphia. He was right there, hanging off the back of my purse, but I just plain forgot about the little guy, and snapped a ton of shots – without him.

In no particular order, here’s a glimpse of what iBat was up to on his road trip:

P1170910The beautiful city of Charleston  was an immediate favorite, particularly when iBat caught a glimpse of this shop window, which appealed to his darker side.

P1170777Here’s iBat in Washington DC, admiring the back of the White House.


As we prepared to leave our hotel in Raleigh NC, iBat reminded me I had forgotten to photograph him in town the previous evening. Not wanting to face his wrath, we quickly pulled over, shot a photo of him in a tree, and watched his mood slowly improve over the next few hours.


The highlight of this trip for everyone was visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. They did a fabulous job at recreating the town of Hogsmeade, where iBat fit right in.


Here he is indulging in a little Butterbeer or three.


Here’s iBat’s last shot in front of the Hogwarts Express. Leaving was not easy for any of us, but iBat truly lost it, and sobbed all the way home.


Dinner at the legendary Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, was a fitting way to end iBat’s road trip, with yet another dinner of ribs, pulled pork, and fried green tomatoes. The little glutton moaned all the way to Buffalo.


Finally, this bust of Edgar Allen Poe from the Poe Museum in Philadelphia, was where iBat had hoped to be photographed. He’s still working on forgiving me.



Filed under travel

21 responses to “iBat’s USA Road Trip

  1. both the Harry Potter and the Edgar Allen Poe museum are 2 places id very much like to visit. I think your little bat friend should be happy he got to visit regardless of his photo being taken haha .

  2. omgosh I LOVE iBat and his moody commentary and the way he made all of your great photos look even better! You really had a productive visit, hitting a nice range of interesting places. Hope you’ll be back again. Don’t forget little Mister Personality!

    • Thank you Joyce! It really was a wonderful visit, and I have every intention of making it back to Hogwarts one day with my grandchildren. I may have many years to wait, but I’m patient 🙂

  3. Jeann in Australia

    Loved the iBat travelogue!

  4. Well that was just fun to see! I love this idea and if I can remember it, will do it with my grandson next year!

  5. Wow! How lucky is iBat to visit Hogsmeade! Love this post, so much fun (hope you got some family photos too!).

  6. teachingyoungchildren

    This is a cool idea! Your road trip looks like so much fun, and thanks for sharing it with Afterschool! When my husband or I travel on business we take a small stuffed bear with us, photograph it in different places, and then email “a letter from Bear” to our daughter.

  7. Great idea. We used to live in Syracuse and the Dinosaur BBQ was a favorite of many of my co-workers.

  8. Looks like a great look at the world of Hogwarts! #hobbies and handicrafts

  9. Susan

    Looks like iBat had a wonderful time on his travels. And what a wonderful and fun idea. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

  10. Cute little bat! Looks like he had some fun travels! Thanks for linking up at Submarine Sunday!!

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