Thursday, November 2, 2017

Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

Hi everyone! It's me, Inky! I'm reporting from Los Alamos, New Mexico.  Los Alamos is the home of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park because it's the birthplace of the atomic bomb.   Atomic bombs are nuclear weapons, which get their power from nuclear reactions.

Nuclear weapons are terrible, terrible things.  The United States exploded two of these during World War II in Japan.  "Little Boy" was detonated over Hiroshima, while "Fat Man" was in Nagasaki. Many, many people died and suffered from serious injuries and illnesses as a result.  In fact, I want to be very clear that my trip to Manhattan Project NHP was not to celebrate nuclear weaponry, but to learn from it.

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

The Manhattan Project park is actually made of three different sites. The one I visited is in New Mexico, but there are two others- in Hanford, Washington and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The part of the park in Los Alamos is called Project Y.  I went with my Mama and my grandma, Chi'i.  I learned a lot about how the scientists and their support teams lived.   The lodge in this picture is Fuller Lodge, which was used as a community center during Project Y.

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

Near the lodge is an old cabin, the Romero Cabin, which represents the settlers in the area of European descent.  It's one of three homestead cabins still standing.  However, the first inhabitants of the Los Alamos area were the Ancestral Puebloan people.  Mama, Chi'i, and that side of my family are modern Pueblo people! If you want to learn more about the Ancestral Puebloans from the Los Alamos area, click on this link to read about my visit to nearby Bandelier National Monument. There are remains of an Ancestral Puebloan site right next to the Romero cabin, but I didn't pose next to it out of respect.

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

This is me in front of the Hans Bethe House. Hans Bethe and Edwin McMillan, who each won a Nobel Prize, lived in this house! It's going to be a museum soon. We didn't go in, but I posed in front of the flowers in the yard!

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

Here I am posing with statues of J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves.  Dr. Oppenheimer was in charge of the scientific part of the Manhattan Project, while General Groves was the commanding general.  Their work was very important scientifically, but again, we have to remember that tragedy that atomic weapons brought. 

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

Across the street from the statues, there is a little Visitor Center for the park. Whenever I visit a new park, I try to participate in the Junior Ranger Program.  I got straight to work on my booklet! It was really fun to learn about the Manhattan Project.

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

When I finished my booklet, Ranger Kirk and Volunteer Jackie posed with me for this photo and gave me a badge. They were interested in learning more about my family's Pueblo culture, so we were able to share knowledge between rangers and visitors! Cool! I recommended that they go down to Albuquerque and visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Meeting rangers and Parks volunteers is one of my favorite parts of visiting NPS sites!

Inky at Manhattan Project National Historical Site

Junior Rangers at Manhattan Project NHP have the choice of a badge or a patch. I chose a badge, but the patch is awesome too! It features an atom and the names of all three sites in the Manhattan Project.

Thanks for learning about the Manhattan Project with me! Remember- while atomic weapons are powerful, peace on Earth is the way to go!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Last Summer Day on the Beach

Robert Moses State Park: Fire Island

Hi everyone! Summer is coming to an end, but my family decided to go to the beach one last time.  We drove out to Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island.  To get there, you take a causeway, which is a series of bridges over the bay! It was really cool.

Robert Moses State Park: Fire Island

I have a really cute sand mold that makes sea turtles! I had so much fun visiting the sea turtles in Costa Rica in 2014, so I made a whole crew of them. You can see them very well in this photo, but you they are the little ball-shaped shapes in front of me.

Robert Moses State Park: Fire Island

As the sun got lower in the sky, I took off my sunglasses and took my bucket to collect shells. There are so many beautiful shells on the beach! I think the scallop shells have a pretty shape, but I love the purple color of clamshells.

Robert Moses State Park: Fire Island

Just before my family left to drive back to New York City, I made a sandcastle using my shell bucket. It's fun figuring out just the right mix of sand and water to make the perfect castle.

Robert Moses State Park: Fire Island

Before long, it was time to head back home.  I put on my sunglasses and looked around, memorizing how the beach looked.  Sometimes we go to a more local beach in the fall and winter to take walks, but this would be the last summery visit until next year.  Goodbye beach!

Do you have any activities that you only do in the summer?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bubbles in the Courtyard


During my friend Nora's visit, we had a lot of fun together.  One afternoon, we decided to blow bubbles in the courtyard!


The truth is that, at first, we tried blowing bubbles in the living room. The popped bubbles kept leaving sticky, soapy messes everywhere, so our parents made us take the bubbles outside. We didn't mind though, because it was a really nice day out! I loved seeing the bubbles float around on the breeze.


Nora and I had a lot of fun together on her visit. I'm so sad she had to go home!  I really enjoy having her around. Thanks Nora, for a great long weekend!

Have you ever had a friend come stay with you?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Central Park with Nora


One awesome thing about living in New York City is that lots of people come and visit because it is such a fun and exciting place.  At the end of August, my friend Nora came to visit me. She's from Canada and loves our city.  I had to go to a group meeting on her first day, but we decided to meet up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and walk through Central Park. The weather was perfect!


We walked through the park talking about all our favorite things. One thing Nora and I have in common is a shared love of the Swallows & Amazons series.  Of course, a must in the park for two girls obsessed with adventures on sailboats is Conservatory Water.  There, you can rent model sailboats to sail around the basin! So cool, right? Nora and I loved watching the boats.


After watching the boats and chatting, we stopped by the Loeb Boathouse to use their bathroom! I saw this beautiful flower and asked Nora to take a photo of me next to it. Isn't it pretty?


Once we were refreshed, we headed west toward Bethesda Fountain. Nora's family *loves* Bethesda Fountain, so I took a photo of her in front of it to give to her parents.  Of course, the Angel of the Waters on top of the fountain isn't in focus, but you get the idea.


We decided to rest again near the fountain. It's so fun to watch all the people go by! We saw a lesbian couple in their fancy outfits taking wedding photos! We wanted to run up to them to say we're both from two-mom families, but we were a little shy, so we just smiled at them instead.  We also helped a few different families by taking their photos in front of the fountain.


Nora loves adventures. I had to take her climbing on the rocks! They are probably Manhattan schist, a special kind of rock in Central Park. City kids love to climb on them - and so does Nora!


I was having so much fun with Nora! After we climbed on the rocks, we stopped by Strawberry Fields.  Strawberry Fields is a special memorial to John Lennon, the famous musician.  We didn't take any photos because so, so many other people were posing for their own photos!


Strawberry Fields is on the west edge of the park; we had officially made it all the way across Central Park! We celebrated with cold lemonade before going into the Eloise exhibit at the New York Historical Society. We didn't take photos there, but it was great! We learned so much about one of our favorite storybook characters.


Nora and I had a fantastic time together. By the time we were standing on the platform to take the train home, it was already getting dark.  Hurrah for friendship and hurrah for Central Park!

Have you ever shown your friends around your city before?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sunset on Jones Beach


Hi everyone! Summer is winding down.  My mom really loves the beach so we tend to go a lot each summer.  On my most recent visit to the beach, my parents took me and my new friend, Maia!  We drove out to Jones Beach on Long Island and enjoyed the sunset; it's our favorite time to go to the beach because of the magical light.

Maia on the Beach

Maia is so nice. Like my friend Coral, she's from New Zealand. She loves her traditional Māori culture. Maia's family is from Tauranga, a beautiful city on the seaside of New Zealand's North Island. I'm looking forward to getting to know her better! 

Maia on the Beach

I love going to the beach with my family and friends. It was really nice enjoying the setting sun!

Have you made any new friends this summer?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Aboard the Disney Dream Pt. 3


Hi everyone! It's me, Inky! I keep forgetting to finish my posts about my spring break trip with my friend Brooke and her family. On the last day of our cruise, Brooke was very, very excited for Officer Pin Trading night.  We each had a lanyard with pins on it to trade.  Brooke's had a big Elsa charm and mine had a big Moana one.  I had never been to a pin trading event before, but Brooke definitely made me feel included and excited too!

We had a long day at sea to enjoy first though! We played Jenga in our stateroom in front of our big porthole window.


Then we went and saw Beauty and the Beast in the theatre on board the ship. It was so cool! I had never been inside a movie theatre on a ship before.  Plus, Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales. I loved all the songs in the Disney version.  After the movie, we posed with a big statue of Mickey.


It was finally time for the pin trading event after dinner.  The officers wore their clean white uniforms.  They looked great! I had so much fun, even though I didn't know much about pins.  Brooke knows how to spot the counterfeit pins and she was showing me lots of little tricks and telling me facts about the pins.

After the busy event, it was time to head to bed. The next morning, we would arrive in Florida again.


I had a great time on my first Disney cruise! I didn't blog about it, but Brooke and I had fun playing at Castaway Cay and swimming with dolphins at Atlantis in the Bahamas. I'm so glad Brooke invited me to join her family! It was sad to roll our bags off the boat and into the big arrival building. After a bus ride, we were already back on the plane to New York. See you again soon, Disney Dream!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Celebrating Pride with Friends!


Celebrating Pride is so important! My friends and I decided that we should have a mini-celebration in the park.  I met up with Reine and Sol to cheer for people of all genders and sexualities.  It was a lot of fun - people came up and talked with us about their own families and stories.


Sol lives in Soho with her mom and dad, but she wants to support everyone even if she doesn't have a direct connection to the queer community.  She wore her Rainbow Dash shirt!


Reine is a new friend of mine. She plays ukulele really well and was entertaining everyone with her music. She wore rainbow tights to celebrate!


As for me - I have two moms! I have a Mom and a Mama. I was marching to show the diversity of families.  Families can come in any shape and size, but all of them are beautiful!


Before we left the park, we stopped for a snack. Reine had some melon slices and I had a can of green tea.


Sol brought dumplings!


Celebrating the diversity of families is a great way to celebrate in the month of June! What is your family like?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Camping on Fire Island!


Happy Summer! My family decided to kick off the summer season with a local Pride celebration and quickly followed that up with a trip to Fire Island! This year, I tried out a new tent.  There weren't many bugs on the beach (perhaps because it is early in the season), so i unzipped the door to my tent and snoozed until the sun was rising high in the sky.


I love Fire Island! It was very hot in New York City this weekend, so it was nice to drive out to the island and feel nice and cool in the ocean breeze.  Fire Island is a barrier island off the south shore of Long Island.  Cars are not allowed on most of the island, so we took a ferry there! It was so cool.  As soon as my family pitched our tents, I ran to the water!


Since Fire Island is a National Seashore, it is important not to take the shells you find on the beach off the island! I spent some time with my friend Simona painting shells and selling them to earn money for ice cream; I'll have to take photos of us doing it the next time we are on Fire Island though.  Fire Island is lots of fun because kids can run around more freely than in the city.  I love having more independence and it was great to see Simona's family's house!


I love collecting shells.  I did a lot of it because the waves were pretty high and the water is very cold.  Big clam shells are the best for painting, so I got a bunch of those.


Tossing a beach ball on the beach is also fun- but it's also pretty hard because the wind keeps blowing my throws off course! Oops!


I also built a sand... well, it wasn't a castle. It was more like a big termite mound! So yes, I built a sand termite mound! It was lots of fun. I love to squish the wet sand between my toes!


After two full days playing on the beach, selling shells, visiting the playground, and eating lots of yummy ice cream and pasta with artichoke pesto- it was time to head back to the city. I had a fantastic time! I have a few more photos that I will post later. They're of me with Simona!

Do you like to go camping? Where do you go?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

World Oceans Day 2017!

Happy World Oceans Day! Today I am celebrating the diversity of our Earth's oceans.  One of my favorite shows is called The Octonauts. It's about a group of intrepid explorers who aim to explore, rescue, and protect the world's ocean life.

Inky as Shellington Otter

Last year I dressed up as Shellington Otter, my favorite Octonaut, for Halloween. Shellington is a professor who studies the myriad differences and similarities between all the creatures of the ocean! He is basically a park ranger for the ocean!

Fun on the Beach

One special thing that my Mom does with me involves our toy Shellington Otter! Mom and I take turns taking our toy Shellington on trips and photographing him in different locations. Shellington Otter has been to several different countries- but he always loves the beach!

Junior Ranger Day on Fire Island

I love our oceans. I have been to the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Black Sea. Someday, I hope to visit all the oceans in the world! If you're interested in learning more about oceans, check out!

Have you ever seen an ocean? Which one?

Happy Exploring!

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