Day 80 – Docked (still in covid jail) in Cape Town, South Africa – Find Insignia on CruiseMapper
Since covid has confined us to touring our stateroom, this is a good time to introduce you to two of the closest companions on our circumnavigation of the globe: Milou and Snowy.
Milou is a mix-breed pooch with mottled fur, a cocoa-brown nose and ears and white paws. Snowy is a silver unicorn with a shock of white mane, a white tail and a golden horn. Both come from the Douglas family of supremely soft stuffed animals and will eventually be rehomed with our grandchildren Adrien, 1, and Abby, 8.
Snowy and Milou joined us in San Diego after multiple shopping trips, considerable agonizing and protracted transatlantic negotiations with Abby, who lives in the Netherlands. Both were adopted from Geppetto’s Toys in the last days before we sailed from California.
Louis named Milou for the furry buddy of boy reporter Tintin, the star of Belgian author Hergé’s 23 Adventures of Tintin books and Louis’s lifelong model in journalism and travel. Abby plucked the name “Snowy” out of thin air, somehow choosing from all the words in the two languages she speaks fluently Hergé’s English translation for “Milou.”
Though divided by age and species, the two fuzzies have become fast friends, sleeping snuggled together on the back of our sofa. On shore, they both like to seek out other cartoon characters like Juan Pueblo, who they met in Ecuador.
Snowy and Milou Hide
Milou and especially Snowy are already well-known to scores of Insignia passengers and countless strangers on multiple continents because they accompany us on every shore excursion. When we board buses for outings, at least a couple passengers typically call out, “Where’s Snowy?”
That’s because Abby challenged us to photograph Snowy hiding somewhere in the world every day and then send her the photograph to find the unicorn. She probably didn’t expect to compete with her parents in the daily hunt, but that’s how it’s turned out. Hergé maintained his books were for children ages 7 to 77. So is finding Snowy.
Can you find Snowy hiding in this marche in Côte d’Ivoire? (Warning: Finding her doesn’t get any easier than this!)
Not wanting to be left behind, Milou began hiding in photographs destined to become a book for Adrien when he’s a bit older. He’s not quite as sneaky as Snowy because Adrien is so much younger than Abby, but he’s always up for the game. For this one, he braved the Antarctic cold. Can you find Milou looking for penguins?
Aside from challenging and amusing the children in our lives, hiding Snowy and Milou has produced some challenging and amusing situations around the world. Hiding Snowy among the troops waiting to parade for the state visit to Cabo Verde was irresistible, of course, but conveying to the armed soldiers who didn’t speak any of our languages what we were doing with a stuffed unicorn was another matter.
Can you find Snowy in the resulting photo?
Snowy and Milou Make Friends
Snowy and Milou are good at making friends and helping us make friends, too. Here’s Milou with new friends in Guatemala.
Here are both of the buddies schmoozing a waitress in San Salvador, Brazil.
And here’s Snowy winning the heart of one of Insignia’s receptionists.
We try to avoid hiding our companions when children are nearby who can never hope to have animals as adorable as Snowy and Milou. In West Africa, some parents literally begged us to gift them the toys. More often, local kids are just happy to meet and pose with the animals. Snowy and Milou are our ambassadors to the world.
Snowy and Milou’s Future
When finished cruising the world, Milou will relocate to St. Petersburg, Florida, to live with Adrien, who turned 1 year old while we were in Brazil.
Snowy will move to Grongingen, the Netherlands, to live with Abby.
The animals’ adventures will be recorded in a photo books for each child that we hope will outlast both the creatures and ourselves to become lasting reminders of the time Mimi and Papi sailed around the world and carried them in our hearts with us every single day.
Another Question Answered
Mimi and Papi ask Abby every day, “Where’s Snowy?”
Now you, too, can play! For the children in all of us, we will end each Partout for the rest of our RTW cruise with a “Where’s Snowy?” photograph. In the one below, Snowy is hiding in our messy quarantine quarters. Happy hunting!
6 thoughts on “Introducing Snowy & Milou”
We absolutely love your traveling ambassadors!
We are absolutely stealing that idea for our 16 grandkids when we go to Australia and New Zealand in December! So sweet!
Hugs, Candy and Dave
How much fun! The little girl in Guatemala wanted Milou!!!
Also love the pictures of you grands!!!
That’s Milou. Where’s Snowy???
Hi Doris, I hope you are just about done with Covid jail!!
What a very nice story and such a great idea.