My biggest NPS adventure on my New Mexico trip was a day at White Sands National Monument! White Sands is a beautiful place, a desert made of white gypsum sand near Alamogordo, New Mexico. My family had a great time staying at Inn of the Mountain Gods the night before, so we were well-rested before we set out into the desert.
The sand is pure white and so soft! I live near the Atlantic Ocean and our sand is much grittier. At White Sands, you can climb and play as long as you don't disturb the plants and animals. The sky was bright blue with a few clouds. My family packed lots of water because it can get very hot at White Sands.
One fun thing you can do at White Sands is sled down the dunes! At the gift shop, you can purchase a sled, but I decided to do what my mama did as a kid- slide on a big piece of cardboard. It was so fun! I wanted to roll down, but my parents said "NO WAY!" and told me I'd end up looking like a sand dune myself!
I love this photo because you can see the ripples the wind made in the dunes. Isn't it a beautiful sight? I'm so lucky that I got to visit! You can see mountains behind me. The sand is in the Tularosa basin which is surrounded by the San Andres and Sacramento Mountains. The mountains are partially made of gypsum, so when wind and water brought the gypsum down into the basin, it formed the beautiful white gypsum dunes over time. In fact, the whole area used to be a sea in ancient times!
My mama, mom, and grandma joined me in climbing way up into the dunes. Just to be safe, we stayed where we could see the car parked below. The dunes, if you get lost, can be very disorienting! I loved sitting on the top of a dune and filling out my Junior Ranger booklet.
On our way out of the park, we stopped to do a little hike on a raised walkway through a biological crust area. The biological crust is composed of sand and lots of bacteria that secrete goo that makes the sand bumpy on top. It sounds gross, but it's really awesome. I saw bunny tracks in the crust, but I didn't see any animals other than birds at White Sands. I really wanted to see a lizard!
Back at the ranger station/ visitor center, Ranger Eugene checked my Jr. Ranger booklet. I did a good job, so he awarded me an official badge! He was really nice. We talked a bit about how I am a junior ranger at many different parks across the country.
Would you want to visit White Sands? What would you do there?
Hi everyone! Thanks for celebrating 10 years of blogging with me. Now it's time to get back to my regular adventures! In April, I was able to travel to New Mexico with my mom and mama to visit my grandmother! We had a great time; I ate a lot of green chile stew, stuffed sopaipillas, and even green chile/garlic pistachios! Yum!
This picture is of me at Pecos National Historic Site- I went there in 2012 as well. You can read about it at this link. It's a really nice park- the site of an Indian Pueblo and a Spanish mission.
The last time I was at Pecos NHP, it was freezing cold and rainy! This time, it was warm and sunny which made it a lot more fun. I didn't take my photos because I was concentrating on spending time with my moms; my grandmother had to work.
The next day, after my grandma got off work, we went on an adventure! I put on my new shirt with this cool toucan on it. My grandma also gave me the beautiful necklace I'm wearing in the photo.
Anyway, our adventure was to Southern New Mexico! The photo of me in my toucan shirt is from Valley of Fires. Valley of Fires is a lava flow in the Tularosa basin. It's so cool! I wish my parents had taken more photos but we only stopped for a few minutes on our way to our destination.
In my next post, I'll talk about my main adventure in New Mexico!
Have you ever traveled to visit family? Where did you go?
Hi my friends! This is the last of my looking back posts. The next post will be about my latest adventure! Anyway, here come the memories! 2014 started off by the New Year tree as always. I think New Year may be my favorite holiday.
I was very lucky to receive a beautiful rainbow sweater to wear on chilly days. Isn't it cute? I love it so much.
My first big adventure of 2014 was a trip to the Four Corners region- the area of the country where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet. This is me way up in the mountains at Mesa Verde National Park! The ancient buildings behind me were built by my mama's ancestors, the Ancestral Puebloans.
Another park we visited on that trip was Hovenweep National Monument! Mama, Mom, and my grandma took me on a great hike through the park.
Back in New York City, I started my homeschooling year with a trip to the public library in my neighborhood! My favorite book is "Swallows and Amazons" by Arthur Ransome. What's yours?
In December I departed for one of my biggest adventures! I packed all kinds of stuff to keep me entertained on the flights.
Finally, after lots of flying and driving, we arrived in Costa Rica! It was so green and beautiful there.
One of the highlights of my Costa Rica trip was meeting the mama sea turtles as they laid their eggs on the sand! Wow!
Costa Rica was amazing! It was great to be there with my parents to celebrate the end of 2014.
In 2015, I celebrated Valentine's Day by making cards for my friends!
We had a big snowstorm and I played in the snow until my head got cold!
I love going to the Natural History Museum. Luckily, my family became members in 2015!
In June I celebrated Pride! I love being the daughter of two moms; I'm so lucky to live in a queer family!
One of my favorite summer hangouts is the beach! I took a sailboarding lesson and had a lot of fun.
In August I traveled to Utah to visit my best friend, Violet! This is me at the top of a mountain after riding the tram at Snowbird.
The water at the beaches in NY stays cold for a long time, but it really warms up in early September! I went to Jacob Riis Beach with my family to enjoy the last few days of summer.
In November, I celebrated my 11th birthday with an Octonauts-themed party! My friends Petra Gray, Brooke, and Coral came to celebrate with me.
That was 2014 and 2015! I hope you enjoyed these posts remembering my first ten years of blogging! Looking forward to more years to come!
Hi everyone! I just got back from a very exciting trip. However, before I share my photos of my adventures, I have more posts to share about my memories of the past ten years. In this photo, I'm enjoying New Year! My family celebrates with a "elka," or New Year's Tree.
This is me in my courtyard in my rainboots that my dear friend Alaina sent me from Germany. I'm also wearing a beautiful sweater made by Qute from etsy.
On Valentine's Day in 2012, my moms gave me a giant balloon bouquet with red heart balloons, pink balloons, and a special balloon that says "I love you" in Russian. I was adopted from Khabarovsk, Russia when I was little, and my family loves Russian culture.
In April of 2012, I took a trip to New Mexico with my moms to visit my family there. While I am Russian, my Mama is American Indian and her family lives in New Mexico. This photo is of me after my family climbed up above Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
That summer, I traveled to the southwest again! In this photo, I am visiting Petroglyph Forest National park.
My family loves going to the beach. Here I am wading in the Atlantic Ocean at Jacob Riis Beach at the Gateway National Recreation Area.
In addition to big trips, my family also takes shorter trips. This picture is outside the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
Another favorite family tradition is our annual trip to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. I normally don't like to wear dresses, but it's so fun to dress up when going to the theatre!
In 2013, my friends Zoya Yumiko and Violet celebrated the Japanese holiday of Hina Matsuri with me. We set up a set of Hello Kitty imperial dolls and Zoya gave me a special greeting card!
My family loves to celebrate Easter! Here I am wearing a dress (yuck!) and enjoying my Easter basket. Some years my family celebrates Orthodox Easter and some years we celebrate Catholic Easter, so I get to experience both!
I'd have to say that my favorite toys are Uglydolls! In the summer of 2013, there was a special Hello Kitty Icebat! See it in the back with the red bow?
Fête Paradiso was a really cool French-themed fair on Governor's Island. My parents took me to ride the rides and earn a Junior Ranger badge there. It was so cool to visit an island in New York harbor!
I also became a Junior Ranger at Hamilton Grange, the home of Alexander Hamilton. Little did I know how famous Alexander Hamilton was about to get!
In November 2013, I celebrated my birthday with a Totoro-themed birthday party! My friends Piper, Coral, and Violet were in attendance. Don't you love my Totoro hat?
I wore a beautiful gold dress to the Nutcracker that year.
My biggest trip of 2013 was to London in the United Kingdom! My Auntie Liz and Uncle Terry got married at the end of December and I was there to celebrate with my family. In this picture, I'm exploring the British Museum! It was amazing.
So those are the highlights of 2012 and 2013. Wow! When I look back at each year, I'm amazed at how privileged I am to explore our world. What were your favorite memories of those two years? See you next time as I remember 2014 and 2015!
Hello my friends near and far! I'm so sorry for not updating for over a month. Things have been really busy around here with lots of schoolwork. However, I have an adventure planned to share with you as soon as I finish these memory posts! This one is for 2010 and 2011, very exciting years!
Here I am in Spring 2010 playing on the stoop of my our old apartment building. We ended up moving in summer 2010 to the apartment where we currently live. I love our new place but sometimes I miss the stoop and park near our old apartment!
Spring 2010 had a lot of rain, but I didn't mind because I had a new raincoat!
For our last Easter in our old apartment, I made special Russian egg carriers! They were so cute. I also received an Easter basket and dressed up in a dress- bleh!
That Spring was so fun! During hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, my family had a picnic in the park and I climbed a cherry tree. That year, we also celebrated the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. You can see the mascots of the games on my tee in this picture.
2010 was a big year for sports! As my family was moving, the 2010 FIFA World Cup went on. My parents got me a Zakumi (he was the mascot of the event) tee and I pretended to be a champion soccer player. I was rooting for the Netherlands in the final and was pretty bummed when they lost to Spain!
My best friend, Violet, came to visit me that summer. We had a great time playing on Fire Island. We got my parents to let us stay until sunset and climbed up on a lifeguard chair to watch the sun go down.
Of course Violet and I had to celebrate International Red Panda Day! Red Pandas are my absolute, all-time favorite animal. We worked very hard to make a cool red panda mask.
Just before Violet left to home to Utah, our friend Sophie came to visit from France! We all worked together to make an awesome jack o'lantern for Halloween.
I celebrated my 11th birthday with an Uglydoll party. My mama made me an Ice Bat cake- wasn't it awesome?
2011 was a great year too. It started off with meeting a dear friend I know from the internet. Her name is Maiki and she lives in Hawaii! She was in town to do a hula demonstration. She's a great dancer! We really enjoyed meeting each other. One of my dreams is to visit her in Hawaii.
In the spring, I went to Utah to visit a dear friend of mine- Piper! We had so much fun together.
I went on a very, very special trip in the summer of 2011, to Ukraine! I visited my great-grandma in Sevastopol. This photo is of me playing on a beach on the Black Sea. It's so beautiful there. Sevastopol is on the Crimean peninsula. I'm very, very lucky to have gotten to go there!
This is me playing by the fountains in Shevchenko Gardens in Kharkov, Ukraine. Kharkov is my favorite, favorite city in the world! I had a great time spending a few weeks with my family there.
When we got back from Ukraine, my family took a trip to one of our favorite places in the United States- Cape Cod! I love playing on the beach! It was so different from the beach in Sevastopol. I don't know which I liked better!
Maiki came back to NYC over Labor Day weekend and we went hiking at Jamaica Bay. This was also a special hike because the very next year, Hurricane Sandy did a lot of damage to the pond there.
I traveled so much in 2011! In October, I got to go visit my grandma, Mama's mama, in New Mexico! We explored Chaco Canyon. Chaco Canyon is very special to my mama's family and her ancestors.
I celebrated my birthday in November with my friends! Here I am with Coral, Sonali, Nell, and Ksenia!
My family has lots of traditions. One of them is that I always wear a pretty dress in December and go with my moms to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Here I am in my silver dress in the promenade seeing the NYC Ballet!
And that was 2010 and 2011. Whoa! I did so much in only two years. I'll be back soon with a peek at 2012 and 2013.