Hello hello! If my trip to Disney World with Brooke was fun, the next segment of our trip was amazing! After four days at Disney World, we set sail on the Disney Dream cruise ship. Brooke and I were both very excited, as neither of us had ever been on a cruise.
The first order of business was lining up on the deck for a lifeboat drill. We learned what to do in an emergency. It was a little scary, but luckily we never had an emergency after all. Phew! Still, I am glad the cast members on the cruise prepared us, just in case.
Once we got settled in, we went to the pool! It was very sunny and warm on the cruise. Brooke and I had so much fun splashing in the water and being silly together.
After we swam, we hung out on the deck watching the ocean. We hoped we'd see a dolphin swimming by, but we never did. That didn't stop us from looking though!
One thing I loved about sailing on the Dream was the AquaDuck! The AquaDuck is a water slide that goes around the pool deck. You have to climb up lots of steps to get to it, then you slide in a tube all the way back down. It was so fun! Brooke and I rode together and laughed and laughed.
After riding the AquaDuck and swimming, Brooke and I relaxed on the pool deck so that we could watch Inside Out on the big screen above the pool! Brooke and I actually saw the movie together at the movie theatre when it first came out, but we were excited to see it again!
Even though we had only been on the cruise for Day 1, Brooke and I were ready to declare our trip a success!
Hello everyone! I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting much lately. I recently had a really cool opportunity. My friend Brooke's family invited me to join them on their vacation! We started our trip at Disney World! We stayed in the Wilderness Lodge, which is decorated to look like a National Park lodge in the Pacific Northwest. There was a little and waterfall right in the lobby! It had a cute bridge going over it, which is what Brooke and I are standing on in this photo.
Once we were checked in at the Wilderness Lodge, we headed to Epcot! There are several different parks at Disney World, but I was looking forward to Epcot the most. Our first stop was the Canada pavilion, where we meet these animals inspired by traditional Northwest First Nations designs.
Here's Brooke with an owl! We had fun exploring the Canada pavilion; it was my very first experience with a Disney park.
In this picture, we'd climbed to the top of an eagle and were balancing carefully.
Brooke and I were lucky to be at Epcot for the International Flower & Garden Festival! There were adorable topiaries everywhere. Do you recognize who is behind me? That's Bambi!
Brooke's family members are big Disney fans, so she knows so much about the parks and the movies! Since my family doesn't watch a lot of Disney movies, she was helping me to figure out who all the different topiaries represented. That's Thumper, Bambi's rabbit friend, next to Brooke!
Here I am in part of the Canada pavilion with lots of cool rocks and waterfalls! It was so cool and weird to see little glimpses of several different countries in Florida.
The Canada pavilion has a trading post where you can buy things that you can usually only get in Canada. Each country's pavilion has themed shops and places to eat.
Here we are at the Morocco pavilion! I really liked tiles. One of my parents, Mom, loves tilework. Isn't the fountain huge compared to us? A lot of things about Disney World were larger than life.
My favorite pavilions were Canada (I liked the rocks), Japan (I liked the cool store with lots of Totoro stuff!), and Norway (I rode the Frozen Ever After ride twice!). It was really fun to meet Pikachu in Japan and ride through Arendelle with Elsa, Anna, and their friends.
Epcot was a great park to experience Disney for the first time! Have you ever been to a theme park? Where did you go?
Happy Easter to all my friends! This year is special because Orthodox and Western Easter both fall on the same day. I love Easter because coloring eggs and hunting for them is so fun. I started the day by putting on my new bunny apron and coloring eggs for an egg hunt.
Once the eggs were dry, my family met in the courtyard for an egg hunt! Mama and Mom gave me an Easter basket full of yummy candy.
I got really excited because I received a chocolate bunny! Next, I posed for some photos in front of a tree- and then it was time to find the eggs I had dyed!
I found the first egg in a little stump by the brick wall.
The next egg was on the fence above the walkway to the back door! It was such a pretty turquoise color.
I found the next egg, a blue one, in a bush!
There was a purple egg waiting for me at the base of one of the trees in the courtyard.
I ran all over the courtyard and filled my basket with Easter eggs. It was so fun!
I loved eating Easter candies, coloring eggs, and finding the eggs hidden throughout our courtyard! I hope that you also had a wonderful day, whether you celebrate Easter or not! Happy Happy Holiday!
Hi everyone! I'm sorry I haven't updated in months. I haven't really been busy, but I haven't been blogging. Since I don't have a lot of new photos to share, I thought I'd update with another post about my friends! This is Zoya Yumiko Yamamoto.
Zoya Yumiko has lived in NYC for her entire life, though she often spends summers in St. Petersburg, Russia, with her mother's family, or in Japan with her father's family. She is thrilled that a few months ago, her Japanese cousin, Hanabi, has moved to New York with her family. Zoya Yumiko attends a local public school in her neighborhood, which focuses on arts and culture.
I love being friends with Zoya Yumiko because we both have different cultures in our families. Even though we both have connections to Russia- Zoya's mom's family is European Russian and my biological family is from Khabarovsk; I am Asian Russian! Zoya knows a lot about Russian and Japanese culture because of her heritage. In this photo, we're celebrating Hina Matsuri, the Japanese holiday of Girls Day!
Zoya is a fantastic friend. We met because we live in the same apartment building. She goes to school down the street and I'm homeschooled. We still get to hang out together a lot since we live so close to each other. She goes to a special youth group for Slavic kids with me; usually we ride the train together!
Zoya has a really cute dog. I'll have to ask her if I can take a photo of them together to add to the post later on! He is small and brown and white.
Do you have any friends with whom you share your heritage?
It's October 31! That means it's Halloween! This year, I decided to do a group costume with my friend Brooke. We are Octonauts! The Octonauts is our favorite show and one of my favorite series of books. I am my favorite character, Shellington! Shellington is an otter professor. Brooke is Tweak, the bunny mechanic.
I wanted to paint my face to look more like an otter, but my moms said no! Still, I think I look pretty cute. I am wearing brown pants and a sweater, both by Dynamite Threads. My moms specially ordered my Shellington accessories and a friend lent me the magnifying glass. Cool!
Brooke also looks super cute as Tweak Bunny! She has a carrot and a hammer so she can eat a "buncha crunchy carrots" and still fix the Gups (the ships that the Octonauts use).
In my neighborhood, we have a Halloween parade for kids. Brooke and I are so excited to participate and also trick or treat for lots of candy!
Do you celebrate Halloween? Are you wearing a costume this year?
The same day that my family hiked the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail at Mount Rainier National Park, we camped at the Ohanapecosh Campground with my friend Brooke and her family! The Ohanapecosh River also runs through the campground, so Brooke and I decided to play on the rocky shores.
It was out first camping trip together! Brooke lives in New York City too, so we see each other fairly often. Still, it was really fun to see her in a new environment. We wore our matching Camelbak backpacks and carried binoculars so we could look for wildlife.
Brooke and I had a great time climbing around and exploring until our parents called us back to our campsite.
I was pretty excited to pitch our tent because it was a brand new tent! It was also Brooke's first time camping, so she was excited to learn how to put the tent together.
My family brought our camp stove and camp cookware! The speckled blue chocolate pot has been in my family for a long time. I loved helping to warm up the pot of cocoa from our campsite overlooking the river! Brooke seemed to be having fun too.
I was happy to bring Brooke a present to celebrate her first night sleeping in a tent - her own headlamp! It's the same one I have. I love mine and I hope Brooke loves hers too.
That night, we slept really well! We were tired out from climbing and playing outside. Brooke and I have a great time together when we hang out. It even turned out that we had identical pajamas! The next day we had more adventures, but that night, we dreamed good dreams.
Have you ever gone camping? Where did you stay? Did you sleep in a tent, an RV, or under the stars?
Hello my friends! Even though I have been home from my trip to the Pacific Northwest for a few weeks now, I love looking at the photos my family took. Today I am going to share some photos from a hike my moms and I took at Mount Rainier National Park. We hiked the Grove of the Patriarchs trail in the Ohanapecosh section of the park.
The Grove of the Patriarchs trail is special to my family; my Mama hiked this trail with her summer camp when she was only a little older than I am now! I have heard a lot of about this sacred place and I was very excited to hike there. The Grove of the Patriarchs is a grove of very, very old red cedar trees along the shore of the Ohanapecosh River. The trees are called patriarchs because they are elders. The area is sacred to the local Native people, so it is important to be respectful there and not make a lot of noise.
Summer is a beautiful time to visit Mount Rainier! The Ohanapecosh area is green and peaceful. One of my presents for the trip was a special backpack that holds water. I was able to sip the water through a tube as I hiked. So cool!
Part of the hike goes along the banks of the Ohanapecosh River! The river begins as runoff from the Ohanapecosh Glacier, so the water is very, very cold. My Mom stuck a toe in and warned me not to do the same, so I didn't! The river is very clear and blue and you can see the stones so clearly at the bottom. It's beautiful!
Along the rocky bank of the river, you can sometimes see cairns. Cairns are stacks of rocks that guide hikers' way. Aren't they beautiful? I made sure not to knock them over as that would be very disrespectful. One of the things a Junior Ranger always remembers is to "take only pictures and leave only footprints."
Our hike lasted about an hour. I'm glad I had some time to spend with my parents! After my hike, I met up with a friend to camp at Mount Rainier! That's a story for my next blog post.
Have you ever gone for a hike in a forest? What did you see?
Hello my friends! On my last day in Vancouver, I was able to visit the University of British Columbia! My parents and I took two buses to get there and then a shuttle bus to get to our destination - the Museum of Anthropology! It's a great museum on campus that has a wonderful collection of items from the Pacific Northwest (and other places too!)
The museum is bright and airy. I really enjoyed exploring it. One of my favorite pieces is this carved bear. I love its teeth!
This is a beautiful sculpture called "Raven and the First Men," which was created by the famous Haida sculptor, Bill Reid. Isn't it gorgeous? I stood and looked at it for a long time. The sculpture shows the Haida story of the first men. One day Raven saw a special clamshell with tiny humans emerging from it. Raven encouraged them to come out and those people became the first Haida people!
This is me with another bear sculpture. I think Northwest Native art is beautiful. I am so lucky that I go to visit the Museum of Anthropology! I have seen some Northwest Native art at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, but it is much nicer to see it in the place where it's from!
The last thing I looked at before leaving the museum was the Open Storage section. This part of the museum has lots of glass cases (vitrines) and glass-topped drawers so that you can see all the items that are not on exhibition. I was really enjoying looking at pottery from New Mexico with my Mama with my Mom called me over to see something special! It was a beautiful salmon skin robe from the Nanai people near Khabarovsk, Russia! I was very happy because I am Nanai! My parents adopted me in Khabarovsk when I was little.
For the rest of the day, I had a big smile on my face. I wonder if I am related to the person who made the robe so long ago? Wouldn't that be cool?
Have you ever been to a museum? What kinds of things did it have in it? Did you enjoy yourself?
On my second full day in British Columbia, my moms and I did something really special! We woke up very early to ride a train and then a bus to catch a ferry to Salt Spring Island! Salt Spring Island is the biggest of the southern Gulf Islands. I had been hearing some cool stuff about it, so I was very excited that my parents agreed to take me.
The ferry we rode went from Tsawwassen to Long Harbour. It was about a 3 hour ride with a few stops on the way. The ferry ride was so beautiful! My friend Léonie, who had to ride a ferry to get to Vancouver, told me she sometimes sees whales on her ride! I didn't see any whales, though I had wanted to see orcas, but it was still such a gorgeous trip.
Salt Spring Island is a really neat place. One of my all time favorite artists, the writer/illustrator Nick Bantock, lives there! We took a bus from Long Harbour to the little town of Ganges. Ganges is pretty cute! There is an adorable ice cream shop (yummy!) and Black Sheep Books. I bought some postcards at Black Sheep Books to send to my friends from the little post office.
After we did some shopping in Ganges, we went on a hike! It was a very hot day. It was so green and beautiful.
After our hike, we went to a restaurant by the water called Moby's. It was so delicious! Then, we walked back to the main part of Ganges. The boats were so festive looking. I felt like I was walking around in a postcard.
I really loved my time on Salt Spring Island. Before long, it was time to go back to Long Harbour to catch the ferry to Tsawwassen. The taxi driver let me know about a special little place I could go to explore, which is where this photo was taken. I was so sad that we only got one day on the island, but now I know for myself how beautiful it is in the Gulf Islands!
Before long, the ferry pulled up and it was time to board. We took a much smaller ferry back to Tsawwassen, but it was still lots of fun!
As the ferry moved away from Long Harbour, the sun was setting. There are houses all along the harbor and it was fun to wave to other kids from the deck of the ferry. Before long, Salt Spring Island was out of sight and a big full moon rose over the water. It was so beautiful! I took some photos but they did not look very good because the moon always looks much smaller in photos.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to visit Salt Spring Island on my trip to British Columbia! Have you ever visited an island? Where was it? Did you have fun?