Where do you think I went my second day in Utah? At the recommendation of many friends, I went with my Mama and our friends to Snowbird! Snowbird is a resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City. I was so, so excited to go because we got to ride the tram up the mountain! In this photo, you can see the resort behind me as we climbed higher and higher.
The tram operator let me climb up on the ledge to look down as we rode higher up the mountain. It was so cool! I could see the Alpine Slide and Alpine Rollercoaster as we soared up the mountain.
When we reached the top, we saw that there was a lot of construction happening! They are building a restaurant at the top of the tramway. I had some time to walk around before taking the tram back down to the resort. It was so beautiful! I love the beach back at home, but I think I'm a mountain girl at heart.
The mountains are so beautiful! I'm so glad I got the chance to come back to Utah. I have visited many times, but it had been a few years since I had the opportunity to visit. It was wonderful to be so high up!
Before long, it was time to go back down to the resort on the tram. We had a delicious Mexican meal at the resort. I had a quesadilla and root beer. Yum! I had a great day. I had been on a little funicular in Ukraine several years ago, but nothing like this awesome tram!
Have you ever ridden a tram? Was it fun? Or were you scared?
Hello my friends! Last week I had the opportunity to take a trip to sunny Utah with my Mama while my Mom was away at a work conference. I hadn't been to Utah in years, so I was looking forward to it. The plane ride to Salt Lake City was really nice; the plane had in-seat entertainment, so I watched Big Hero 6 and munched on some coconut cashews. Mama and I arrived in Utah late at night, so I went right to bed when I arrived where we were staying. The next morning though, it was time for some fun!
My first day's activity was hiking in Ferguson Canyon! It was pretty hot that day, but as we drove higher in elevation, it got cooler. I was so excited to do some hiking as I hadn't since my family's big Costa Rica trip in December. I wore my pink hiking boots and got ready to scramble up the trail. Hurrah!
The trail leads up from the trailhead parking lot past some water towers and then up, up, and up! I jumped from rock to rock. Luckily Mama carried my water bottle for me, so I was able to use my hands to help pull myself up the steep trail. I saw some rustling in the bushes; I think there might have been a lizard or a bunny!
We stopped for a rest at a little spring. I was so excited to see it that I splashed right in, boots and all! It was so cold! My feet were definitely shivering after that! It felt good though, since the air was so warm.
I kept asking Mama to stop and take pictures of me because I was so excited to be out in the wilderness! At the beginning of the trail I could look down into the neighborhood below, but as we walked farther, the sound of cars quieted and I only heard the breeze rustling through the leaves.
I was pretty tired from my travels the day before, so we didn't hike the whole trail. We stopped at some little cliffs for a string cheese and a granola bar. After I finished my snack, I played in the little clefts in the small cliffs. I thought it might be fun to be a prospector! What if I discovered a huge gold or copper nugget? Cool!
I loved playing in the sunshine! The rocks were so big and fun to climb. It felt great to be out of the heat of New York City and up in the mountains.
Before long, it was time to head out of the canyon and back to the car. Ferguson Canyon was so fun! It was a great way to start off my vacation.
Have you ever been on a hike? Where did you go? Did you see any wildlife?
In this post I'm wearing: shorts and boots by American Girl, tee by American Girl with a decal from the internet.
Hello my friends! Today I'm writing about a special celebration called Tsukimi, or Moon Viewing. It's a Japanese festival that is usually celebrated in the fall. However, because my Japanese friend Miko celebrates the holiday with her family in the fall, she decided to come over in the summer to teach me about it. I was really excited! It was the perfect chance to use my new telescope for the first time and to try some treats Miko's mom had made.
Besides being a wonderful dancer, Miko is also very interested in space! She helped me get my telescope ready to look at the moon.
Once Miko had the telescope ready, we looked at the moon just as it began to get dark. It was round and full- in fact, it was a blue moon! A blue moon is what happens when there are two full moons in a month. July 2015 was very special to have a blue moon. I was really happy Miko came to celebrate the blue moon with me! Of course neither one of us thought to take a photo of the moon! I had wanted to do that to show that the blue moon isn't actually the color blue. Oops!
Miko is part Japanese and along with her family's special treats, she brought over a Japanese flag! Isn't it pretty?
My Mama wanted us to come inside and have our moon viewing treats, but Miko and I decided (well, I decided and enlisted Miko) to drag a table out to the courtyard and have our treats there. I think it was a good idea, even though the table was pretty heavy.
I got out my special tea set that my friend Zoya Yumiko brought me from Japan. I was supposed to make green tea, but I didn't have any. I made cherry blossom black tea instead, which was still tasty. Yum! Isn't the tea set pretty? Miko loves Hello Kitty so she was really pleased to use my tea set.
And here are the tastiest, cutest treats ever! These are a Japanese treat called usagi manju, or bunny manju. Miko's mom is an excellent treat-maker and these manju were so delicious! They are round like the full moon! Did you know that Japanese traditionally do not see a "man in the moon," but rather bunnies pounding mochi? Cool!
The little bunnies and cherry blossom tea were so tasty. I'm really glad Miko came and taught me more about moon viewing. Doesn't the bunny manju look cute in Miko's hand?
Miko is a really sweet friend to celebrate with me. I was especially grateful as my Mom was away in Europe, so my Mama and I were at home all by ourselves! It was nice to have Miko come by and spend time with me. She is so nice!
Have you every celebrated a holiday or celebration from a culture other than your own? What did you celebrate? Let me know in the comments!
Hello my friends! One of the best things about living in New York is that the beach is only minutes away. My family likes to go to Jacob Riis Beach because there are lots of families there like ours. Today was a sunny day with just the right temperature, so we drove to the beach!
Of course, I had to bring a friend with me! Since most of my friends were busy at day camp or lessons, I brought my Shellington! Shellington is a scientist and an Octonaut. He explores, rescues, and protects the animals of the ocean in a series of really fun books. Anyway, I really like Shellington. He went to Costa Rica with me this past winter too!
Beaches are really fun and this time, I got to try something really cool- windsurfing! First I had to practice my stance on the beach with an instructor. I was pretty nervous, but still, I wanted to try something new. My moms were really encouraging me too!
Before long, it was time to actually windsurf! I had to stay close to shore since I'm a kid, but that was fine with me! There have been reports of sharks farther along Long Island, so I was fine with being near the lifeguards with my instructor nearby! Look at me! I was flying! It was really hard to hold the sail up; I'm glad my arms are strong!
It was so so cool! I was flying along the ocean like a flying fish! I felt like an Octonaut myself.
Before I knew it, the sun was starting to get lower and my lesson was over. I slid onto the beach happily. I'm really glad I tried windsurfing!
I think windsurfing is awesome! I love the beach! I'm so glad my moms brought me. Have you ever tried something new and exciting that made you a little nervous?
In this post I'm wearing: swimsuit and lifejacket by American Girl.
Today is hot, really really hot and muggy. Yuck! However, once I put on the air conditioner, it wasn't so bad at all. Recently I went to the American Museum of Natural History and saw their fossil collection. It inspired me to learn more about dinosaurs. (Okay, seeing Jurassic World helped too!) Since it's too hot to play outside today, I decided to build a dinosaur model!
I got this neat little dinosaur model as a gift from someone. I don't remember who it was, but thank you!! My parents often will tuck away my gifts in the storage under my bed so that I can save them for a rainy- or muggy- day. If you gave me this gift, please comment so I can send you a proper thank you note!
As always, the first step is opening the package, reading the instructions, and making sure all the parts are there. Good to go!
Whoever bought me this model knows me very well- parasaurolophus is my favorite dinosaur! I was so excited to build a cute dinosaur model to put on my desk!
Assembling "fossils" is fun! A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Petrified Forest National Park, where there are lots and lots of fossils. I know for sure that I want to be a park ranger; maybe I could be a paleontologist in Dinosaur National Monument! Cool! One of the cool things about the fossil-oriented parks is that you can earn a special Junior Ranger badge called "Junior Paleontologist." You'd better bet I earned that badge!
Here I am with my completed parasaurolophus! Isn't she cute? I'm really pleased with how she came out. She's just the right size to go on my desk.
I decided to set up my new dinosaur model next to my iPod charging dock. Hurrah! Mission accomplished!
Hello my friends! Today was an exciting Tuesday for me. As a reward for washing lots and lots of dishes, I went to the American Museum of Natural History. Based on this photo of a painting, what do you think I saw? That's right, fossils! This painting is on the wall at the entrance to the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. These dinos have a backward pointing pubis bone, which scientists believe was to support their very heavy bellies.
The first dinosaur fossils I saw were from Stegosaurus! Stegosaurus is one of the more famous dinos. There are lots of different theories about the plates on its back; why do you think they are there?
Behind me in this photo, you can see part of a small statue that shows how an artist thought Stegosaurus might have looked. I think the Stegosaurus looks very cute, don't you?!
Next up were a pair of Anatotitan dinosaurs. They were duck-billed dinosaurs! They lived in the Americas, Europe, and Asia and were probably pretty adorable.
The last dinosaur I saw in the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs was the Triceratops. Their horn was made from the same material as fingernails!
After the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs came the Hall of Primitive Mammals. This photo shows me with a Dimetrodon, one of the earliest relatives of today's mammals. It has a large "sail" on its back. Another awesome animal I saw in the Hall of Primitive Mammals was the Lestodon, or giant ground sloth. When I was in Costa Rica this past winter, I wanted to see a sloth quite badly. I'm glad I didn't run into a Lestodon though!
The last hall I visited at the AMNH was the Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals! I like this hall because the animals look familiar. There is a really cool fossil of a tiny deer with antlers that were pretty big compared to its body size. Still, my favorite thing in the hall is the mammoth! Do you like this photo of me with the mammoth skeleton? I like it because the perspective makes me look very tall.
This is me with two globes that illustrate the difference in the position of the continents 65 million years ago and today.
One of the cool things about the American Museum of Natural History is that it is so big that I can visit something different every time I go. I love the dinosaurs though! My other favorites are the Hall of Biodiversity and the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. Oddly, I am not afraid of dinosaurs (though the movie Jurassic Park scares me!), but ancient hominids frighten me. I like to visit the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins to learn, but also because I feel shivery from fear when I go!
Do you have a museum in your city? What have you learned from visiting it?
In this post I'm wearing: all clothing and shoes from American Girl.
Do you like the movie Now & Then? This photo reminds me of it! Yesterday, I met up with a bunch of my friends in Central Park for a meet-up for Asian American kids. There were kids with heritage from all over Asia! It was really fun. I met up with my friends Jess (on rollerblades), Yukari (riding the pink bike), and Chihiro (sitting on Yukari's bike basket) to go to the meet up. It was fun, but biking up hills is hard work!
When the hills got steep, Jess held onto the back of my bike so that I could help pull her up the slope. You may be wondering where our helmets are... I'm sorry to say we all forgot our helmets. Oops. If you are bike riding, don't EVER forget your helmet!
When the going really got tough, I rode by myself. Oof!
My friend Pearl was there too! Pearl is hapa- she's part Chinese American. We don't now each other very well, but she's very kind.
And finally, there was one more new girl there! Her name is Carey and she's from a gay family too! Carey has two dads. One of her dads is her biological dad; Carey was born with the help of a surrogate. I was especially excited to meet her, as I don't know very many other kids from LGBT families.
All in all, it was a great meet up! Have you ever been to a meet up? What was the theme?
Ready to meet another of my friends? This post is about my friend Jess. She's really cool and probably one of my friends who is most like me. We both love adventure! Jess and I met the year after she got back from living with her archaeologist parents in Belize. She is the one who turned me on to kayaking, something I enjoyed doing with my friend Raven in Sabino Canyon, Arizona. Of course, Raven and I didn't make any archaeological discoveries- but Jess did! In this photo we are getting ready to celebrate New Year. Jess knows how to make origami, so she taught me to fold paper cranes to put on my New Year's Tree!
Here's Jess practicing to perform the Lion Dance at a local celebration for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Jess is quick to tell you that she is Japanese, not Chinese, which is the culture the Lion Dance comes from. She is proud of her Japanese background, but equally proud of her Irish heritage! Both of us understand what it's like to have a multicultural family. She and her siblings have one Japanese American parent and one Irish American parent. As for me? My mom is European American and my mama is American Indian- but I was born in Siberia!
I wish I had more photos of Jess! I haven't seen much of her since I moved to a new neighborhood in 2010. In fact, all these photos were taken in my old room, before we moved to a different part of NYC! In this photo, she's wearing her soccer jersey. Jess loves soccer! I do too, but I'm terrible at it. Jess is quite good and plays for her school team and a local team.
This post has inspired me to ask Jess over to hang out soon. Do you have any friends you've known for a long time, but that you don't see very often? The nice thing about Jess is that even when we haven't seen each other in ages, we get right back into the swing of things. So that's Jess!