Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Mexico!

Inky in the New Mexico sky

Hello from New Mexico! My grandma lives on a old vineyard near our family's reservation. It's so beautiful here. Can you see how blue the sky is? Wow!

Inky rides the rails

One of the best things about the vineyard is this old railcar. I don't know where it came from, but it's what my family uses for storage.  I love to climb on it and pretend I'm riding the rails!

Inky on the Grape Press

This big thing I'm sitting on is a thingy that the vintners used for stomping on grapes to make wine. Cool!

Inky with woven belt.

My family is from two of the Pueblo tribes in New Mexico. This belt is in a traditional design. Isn't it beautiful?

Riding the Buckboard

Outside the house, we have an old buckboard wagon! It is also really fun to play on.  I love to visit my grandma in New Mexico.  Do your grandparents live far away or nearby?

Saturday, December 9, 2006

En route to New Mexico!

Leaving Madison in the dark & early morning

Good morning! I am leaving Wisconsin very early today to travel to New Mexico to see my mama's family.  I have been on three plane trips this year- to Ukraine, to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle & Portland), and now to New Mexico.

Buckled in.

Always listen to the flight attendants and buckle up when flying! Flying makes me a little nervous. I know it's safer than driving, but it's still a little bit weird to be up so high in the air!

Inky in the Cockpit

If you are lucky, the pilot will let you visit the cockpit!

Attendant and Inky

Always befriend the flight attendants; they are very nice! Then they will give you extra juice when the drink service is over.

Inky enjoys a Reindeer Drink at the MSP Airport Caribou Coffee

My family had a layover in Minneapolis/St. Paul on the way to New Mexico. I stopped and had some hot cocoa at Caribou Coffee. Delicious! They even gave me this souvenir mug for being so cute. Whee!

I think this is my flight!

One of the fun things about traveling during the holidays is that the airlines play funny tricks.  Can you see where this flight is headed? Heehee!

Those are all the photos I have of my journey. See you in New Mexico in my next post!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

New Year season

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Happy almost-New Year! New Year is one of my favorite holidays.  In my family, we are secular humanists, so we celebrate New Year instead of Christmas. We put up a New Year tree and decorate it. This year, my friend Iris came over to sleepover and help me decorate the tree.  Do you celebrate New Year? What do you do to celebrate?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Exploring Portland

On the Willamette

Hello again from Portland! This time, I'm exploring the city! Portland has tons of bridges; they remind me of the Sleater-Kinney song called "Light Rail Coyote." As I saw different things from the song, I was reminded that we were there to say good-bye to Sleater-Kinney. :(

Inky and Stormtrooper

I don't really remember what everything was called, but there was a big convention center we passed as we walked around Portland. I think there was some sort of Star Wars conference because there lots of people in Star Wars costumes. Here I am with a storm trooper. My mom won't know what he is! She has never seen any of the Star Wars movies; isn't that silly? My mama, however, loves them. And so do I!

Watching the Light Rail Max with a seal

One of the cool things about Portland are these cool animal statues. Here I am with a sea lion watching the Light Rail go by!

At Portland's Pioneer Square

This picture of me with a beaver statue is the last photo from my trip. I hope you enjoyed seeing my pictures from my Sleater-Kinney goodbye trip! Ciao!

Portland's International Rose Test Garden

Inky overlooking PDX

Good morning from sunny Portland, Oregon! I'm here with my mama and my auntie to see Sleater-Kinney's farewell shows. We also did some exploring in Portland. Today we went to the International Rose Test Garden.

Inky with Roses

There were roses in many sizes, ranging from huge to tiny. What do you think of these pretty ones?

Inky at the International Rose Test Garden

How about these pale pink ones? Roses have a very pleasant smell, but I hate how rose-flavored things taste. Yuck!

Inky in the International Rose Test Garden

If you're ever in Portland, you definitely need to visit the International Rose Test Garden! I really loved it and I highly recommend it!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Visiting Oregon!

Inky on the Columbia River (bad hair day)

Not too long after I visited Naomi in Seattle, my mama and I drove down to Portland, Oregon! Here I am near the Columbia River. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the blue, blue water and the blue, blue sky.

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It was so warm and beautiful outside, but soon it would be time for a hike!

Inky at Bridal Veil Falls

Mama, my auntie, and I hiked to Bridal Veil Falls outside Portland! It was a great hike and the waterfall is so beautiful. Of course, it was hard work hiking back up to the parking lot after we went to the falls! If you ever go to Portland, I recommend going there!

Well, those are all the photos I have today! Bye!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Seattle's Space Needle

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One of the cooler places I've ever been is here: the Space Needle!  It is 605 feet tall. This photo is not that great, but you can see the city of Seattle below me.  It was a great way to spend the evening.

Visiting Seattle & Naomi

Too dark- but Inky on the Waterfront

Hello my friends! Can you tell where I am today? I'm in Seattle, Washington! I'm on the west coast to visit my friend Naomi and see the final concerts of my favorite band, Sleater-Kinney.  Today I'm visiting the Public Market in Seattle with Naomi.

Good friends on the Pier

Naomi is from a Seattle suburb, so she knows her way around very well. She's very nice and has very, very long hair!

Pirateering

Naomi and I went to pirate shop. We tried on these pirate hats; do we look menacing to you? I didn't think so!

Pirateering

How about now? Yikes! Look at all those skulls!

Yo Ho Ho and an armful of... dolls

This pirate was very obliging; he picked us up and showed us around the store. Heehee! Just kidding, he was a statue!

Inky and Naomi check out the pirate ships

Look at this amazing model boat! Can you imagine what it would be like to sail on a boat like this one, maybe even whaling? Yikes!

Booty!

At the pirate shop there was a big chest full of shiny, plastic pirate's booty! Naomi and I played in it for a long time, pretending we'd just found a trunk of buried treasure on a deserted island.  In the end, we didn't buy any, but it was fun while we were there!

Chillin' like a villain with Naomi

Well, those are all the pictures I have for today! I hope you enjoy this picture of me and Naomi playing on the statue's butt!

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Chicago with Maia

Maia and Inky: Best Friends!

I love to travel. One of the best parts about it is seeing friends! Today I'm in Chicago having lunch with my friend Maia.  We don't see each other very often, so having lunch with her is a real treat.

Do you have any friends who live far away?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Leaving Ukraine

By the Buses

When my family visits Kharkov, we take a bus there from the airport near Kiev. Of course, this means I have to travel back to Kiev by bus as well! Today is the day that I will have to leave Kharkov and travel back home to Wisconsin. It will take me over 24 hours! Here I am in the bus yard, waiting for the Avtolux coach to take me to Kiev. Ready to journey across eastern Ukraine?

Inky in Lublin, crossing the country by bus

Here is a tower in Lublin, one of the places where the bus stops. Isn't the sky blue? It's so refreshing to be under the blue sky after days of cloudy grey sky.

Picking out a drink at a kiosk

At the rest stop, you can buy some juice! Yum. Can you tell which flavors of juice are available at this shop, even if you can't read Russian?

When does our bus to Kiev leave?

Here is the sign that tells you what time the buses to Kiev leave! I think it looks vintage. :)

Bunny bread. The woman in the bunny bread kiosk loved Inky.

This is a bakery stall. Can you tell what shape the breads are in? They're bunnies! The lady who was selling them told me that I am very cute.

Off to Kiev!

Then it was time to go to our next stop. So long, Lublin!

Good bye Piryatin!

This stop is Piryatin. The red sign above the minibus says "Avtostantsiya," or "Bus Station." I didn't walk around much at this stop.

Riding on the bus. No seatbelts in Ukraine.

Finally, I got back on the bus. Once we got the airport, things were too busy to take more photos, so this is my last photo from my Ukraine trip this time. Goodbye Ukraine! I hope I see you again soon!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Exploring Kharkov

Inky at the Metro Station

Привет! That spells "privyet," which means "hello!" in Russian.  I'm here to show you around Kharkov, Ukraine. Kharkov is a city with about 1.5 million people.  It's in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border.  It's one of my favorite places in the whole world!

Inky on the Square

Here I am in front of the Kharkov Oblast administration building. Can you see the tiny Ukrainian flag on top? In real life, it's not so tiny, but it does look like it from down here!

Inky on Sumskaya

Behind me, in this photo, is Freedom Square.  It's one of the largest squares in Europe.  One of the special things about Freedom Square is the big Lenin statue. I forgot to take a photo of it- maybe next time!

Super Hot Dog, anyone?

Of course, after all that exploring, it was time for a snack! Can you tell what these signs say? They're in Russian! There is pizza, a "super" hot dog, a cheeseburger, and pirozhki. Pirozhki are little hand pies. I LOVE them. My favorite kind is potato.

Obmin Valyuti- the money changers.

After I enjoyed some little potato pirozhki, it was time to change some money. I know this is a pretty boring photo, but Mama insisted I take a photo to remember the exchange rate! The exchange rate tells you how much Ukrainian grivnas are worth. From this sign, you can tell that about 5 grivnas equal 1 dollar. That means 1 grivna is about 20 cents.  Mama told me that when she was young, 1 grivna was 50 cents. What do you think the rate will be in 10 years? I guess we will find out!

So that's my little tour of Kharkov! Thanks for visiting one of my favorite cities with me!

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Arriving in Kiev

Waiting for the Avtolux

Hello my friends! So begin my adventures. I'm Inky and I'm 11 years old.  One thing that is special about me is that I was born in Russia.  While my family hasn't traveled back to Russia since I was adopted, we do go to Ukraine! In this photo, taken this evening, I am arriving at Kiev's Boryspil Airport for a two week trip to Ukraine.

I'm so excited to be back where many people speak Russian.  I'm looking forward to eating comfort foods and exploring new places in the city where we'll be staying. Hurray! I hope you'll join me on my adventures.

Your friend,
Inky
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