Saturday, August 30, 2008

Castle Clinton

Castle Clinton

Violence and I got another Junior Ranger Badge! Hurrah! It's from Castle Clinton, an old old fort in Battery Park. It used to be way out in the harbor, but they made Manhattan bigger by dumping lots of stuff in the water.

The best part was learning about all the different things you can shoot out of a cannon- grape shot, bar shot, chain shot, and lots more!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bashing around NYC

Tibet House

Violence and I had so much fun yesterday. We visited the Tibet House. It's a museum and gallery with things from and about Tibet, a country under occupation by China. We saw so much coverage of protesters supporting Tibet during the Olympics that I decided we should learn more about the country. Violence agreed. That's one of the reasons she is my best friend; we always agree on what is important.

Tibet is a country high, high, high up in the Himalayas. One of the Olympic mascots (Violet's favorite) is YingYing, the Tibetan antelope. We learned about the different animals in Tibet. Did you know that pandas don't just live in China? They live in Tibet too!

Another awesome Tibetan animal is the yak! We each tried a sip of yak butter tea. I really liked it, but Violence says her favorite is violet tea from the Beehive Tea Room. I have decided that when I grow up, I am going to have lots of yaks.

We also learned that Tibet is one of the only cultures in the world where women can have more than one husband! That's called polyandry. It's not very common anymore, but we thought that was an interesting fact. I think my Tyotya Firinel is probably Tibetan, because she has two husbands too! I wonder if they are yak farmers?

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

The other place we visited yesterday was the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site. It needs a shorter name. Like Teddyville. Teddyville was okay. We learned that Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to bring up Universal Healthcare. Violence that that was pretty cool, but honestly? If he were really great, he would have been a communist. Duh!

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

Creepy Exploring

Last weekend, Violence and I had the chance to visit Philadelphia. We're both homeschooled and love to travel- so we read A LOT. We read on planes, on cars, on trains. Basically, the two of us are always reading. We love recommending books to each other. Earlier this year, we read some of the stories written by Edgar Allan Poe. When it turned out that his house is in Philadelphia, we asked if we could visit!

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

When you first get there, you have to knock on the door for a ranger to let you in. It's just a little house in a neighborhood. We knew which house it was right away, because there is a big statue of a raven in the yard!

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

We took a tour of the house. It was really creepy! This is us in the chimney from the story "The Black Cat." Spooky! Have you read that story? It rocks, but it made me and Violence feel all shivery!

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

That's our ranger guide. She was so good at telling Poe's stories in a scary voice. If you ever have the chance, you should definitely visit the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

United Nations Headquarters

Violence and I have been having so much fun! On Thursday, she and I went into Manhattan all by ourselves! We studied the subway and bus maps and figured out the best way to get to our destination. After riding the subway, bus, and taking a short walk, we arrived at... The United Nations Headquarters!

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We had to put our backpacks through a scanner and walk through one of those airport security things. Violence and I felt so important! We pretended we were representing our countries and going to solve problems of international import.

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This picture is really dark, but it shows what is just inside the visitors' entrance- Sputnik! I was thrilled that the first thing visitors see is the triumph of the Soviet Union. Hurrah! After that, we looked at exhibits of children's artwork. There was one about the Olympics, one about kids' views of the world, and one about the environment. One of the guides had a table where kids were coloring their own pictures, so we did that too.

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This is a picture of us with Kofi Annan. Isn't it annoying when you ask grown-ups to take photos? They obviously didn't ask us to look at the camera. There was a wall with portraits of all the Secretaries General of the UN. I'm pretty sure that in a few more decades, Violence is going to be up there too.

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Here we are in front of the UN flag! We had so much fun visiting the headquarters. If you ever visit New York, you should go! It's free, unless you want a guided tour.

Cape Cod Nat'l Seashore- the Sequel

I have been having so much fun since Violence came last week! Tyotya Jess and Dyadya Ethan are letting her stay for three whole weeks because they're very busy with some important project. I think they're probably opening a zoo. That would be pretty cool!

The day after Violence arrived, we went to Cape Cod, MA for five days. We had so much fun! Violence and I took lots of pictures. You can check out the album here. The first day, it rained so hard! Violence and I stayed in our tent and pretended we were stowaways in the hold of a ship. We also played Scrabble- one of our favorite games. We played so much that in the end, we were putting down all kinds of silly, imaginary words!

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On Saturday, the rain cleared up and we went to Corn Hill Beach in Truro. I had my kayaking lesson! I had so much fun. I've always wanted to learn to kayak, because my ancestors were some of the people who developed it. I practiced doing and Eskimo Roll and turning.

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Back on the beach, Violence had found a hermit crab. It was so little and cute! Violet let me hold it and it peeked out of its shell and waved at me.

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The next day, we visited Cape Cod Light, a lighthouse on a cliff. We had so much fun walking right up to the edge of the cliff and looking way, way down to the beach below. The same day, we also went to a beach on Atlantic Ocean and boogie boarded, built a sandcastle, and caught a crab in my lobster trap!

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Here's our sandfort! We stuck a Kazakh flag on top. I taught Violence a song. It goes "Kazakhstan greatest country in the world! All the other countries are run by little girls!"

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That's me with my lobster trap. This was my third trip to Cape Cod, but it was definitely my favorite. It's so much fun to explore and have adventures with your best friend. I'm so glad Violence came to visit!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Guest Arrives

1

I was having this awesome dream that I was competing at the Beijing Olympics. I was doing the backstroke. Everyone was cheering "Go Inky! Go Inky!"; It was the best ever!

Then it started storming. The whole Water Cube was filling up with water! Oh no! Stinkbugs!


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All of a sudden, I woke up- I guess I'm not an Olympian after all. Stinkbugs!

3

Holy hotdogs! There was a girl walking around IN MY ROOM!! While I was asleep! Yikes! I guess New York City isn't so safe after all.

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"Privyet Inky! Hi Inky!" I heard a voice say. It was Violence! Awesome!

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We gave each other a giant hug. We like to have contests to see who will let go first, but this time, we were so excited that we couldn't wait to start talking.

6

I showed Violence where she could put away her stuff. (By the way? Violence's stuff is ALWAYS purple. Isn't that weird?)

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Then I gave her some loot- a Junior Ranger shirt and a YingYing shirt. I love my HuanHuan shirt and I wanted her to have an Olympic mascot shirt too.

8

Finally, we got to hang out and eat cupcakes. We're going to stay up really late to watch gymnastics on TV! I told Violence that I bet I can eat way more cupcakes than she can. Go Inky! Gold in Cupcake Eating!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New York, New York

Inky @ the Statue of Liberty

I'm at the Statue of Liberty! My uncle, mom's little brother, came to visit New York City; he wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, so we went. On the way there, we rode a boat. It started to rain and lots of people ran off the deck into the boat. What stinkbugs! I thought it was awesome. I pretended that I was about to shipwreck.

Inky @ the Statue of Liberty

Once we were on the island, I signed up for the Junior Ranger program. I had to watch a video and take a walk around the island.

Inky @ the Statue of Liberty

Once I finished filling out my Junior Ranger handbook, I earned my badge. Here I am with the ranger who swore me in. After that, we were going to go to Ellis Island, but my uncle thought it would be boring, so we went home instead. Then the Olympics started! That's why I'm wearing my special HuanHuan shirt. He's one of the mascots of the game.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics!

Lion Dance!

Who else is going to watch the Opening Ceremonies? I've been practicing the lion dance all week long! I get to be... the Lion's Butt! Our lion is green, so that means she's a girl.

Lion Dancing at the Olympics!

And here's Jess, being the head! She's mad about it though- Marisol was supposed to do it, but she has her hair in teddy bear ear buns, so the head wouldn't fit on.

Lion Dance!

This is both of us. Whoo Hoo! Go Olympics! I told Jess that the Soviet Union was going to win more medals that any other country, but she says I'm in for a surprise. I wonder what she means?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Inky, Webranger

Webrangers!

Hey! There are only two more days until the Olympics- holy hotdogs!  I've been learning a lot about China in preparation.   Has anyone else seen the programs on National Geographic about the new Bird's Nest stadium and the Water Cube?  What about the China specials on Animal Planet?

I've been really busy this week, because I just finished all the activities on the National Parks Service's Webrangers site! If you don't get a lot of opportunities to go to National Parks and are a kid, you can earn a patch by doing all kinds of awesome stuff.   I really liked the train mystery!  Go sign up, it's so much fun! Even Ice Bat thinks it's awesome.

Only a little bit longer until the new episode of Mythbusters!  It's going to be about the moon landing! Space AND Mythbusters? What could be better?

P.S. Does anyone else have Dr. Mario on their Wii?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Cape Cod Weekend

Camping in Wellfleet


Sunday was our last day on Cape Cod. I was so tired from my busy Saturday that I slept in! I was frustrated that I missed out on another hour of Cape Cod fun. Stinkbugs! I told Ice Bat not to let me sleep late anymore, unless I'm at home and have to do chores.

Relaxing

We rode bikes to the beach again- and the weather was great! It was high tide, so I had to stay out of the water until the waves receded just a little bit. I didn't want to get sucked in the undertow.

Testing Pirate Myth

Instead of swimming, I decided to try testing out a myth from one of my favorite episodes of Mythbusters. In the myth, mean pirates bury you up to your neck in the sand and leave you to drown as the tide comes in! I got too scared to go above my knees; now I know why Adam and Jamie tell you not to try anything they do.

Boogie Boarding!

After that, I finally got to try out my boogie board! It was awesome! I felt like a dolphin riding on the waves. I pretended I was a shark chasing the other swimmers. Chomp!

Building a Fort

Then I decided to build a fort. I wanted to see if I could stop the tide from touching my stuff. It was a huge fort. It took me so long to build, because I didn't have any tools at all. That made me decide to play Cave Inky. I pretended I lived so long ago that humans didn't have any tools yet.

Making a Sand Castle

When I was done being Cave Inky, I built a sand tower. Then I smushed it! Awesome!

Coast Guard Beach- Sunny and Hot!

After that, it was time to go home. I really wanted to stay and live on the beach! We rode the bikes down the hill and went super fast! Then it was time for the long, long, long drive home to New York. There were so many cars who also wanted to go home!

And that was my weekend. It was awesome! I can't wait to take Violet!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cape Cod Weekend

Salt Ponds Visitor Center


Happy August! It's Monday and I just got back from another trip to Cape Cod. We went just for the weekend, so that I could figure out what kinds of things I want to do with Violence when she gets here next week. That's right! My best friend, Violence, is coming to visit! I'm so excited! I haven't seen her in a few months. Cape Cod was so much fun!

Mussel Shell

The last time I was on the Cape, in July, I got a Junior Ranger workbook. Violence and I became Junior Rangers at Canyonlands in Utah, and I really wanted to work on being a Jr. Ranger on Cape Cod as well. The Salt Pond Visitor Center had a bunch of cool exhibits just for kids- here I am holding a mussel! You could touch almost any kind of shell they have on the Cape.

Doing her Jr. Ranger booklet

On Saturday morning, I hung out on the terrace at Salt Pond to work on some activities, like learning about lighthouse signals and what the different types of buoys mean. I told the rangers that Violence is coming and they told me they are also excited to meet her! I decided it would be fun to go on a ranger hike that afternoon.

Exploring Nauset Marsh- Sea Pickle

I went on a hike with Ranger Ross at Nauset Marsh. He had never met a doll Junior Ranger before! We explored the marsh and I learned all about the animals that live in it. I even saw a River Otter run!

Eating a Sea Pickle

Here I am eating a sea pickle! It was like a salty piece of celery. Don't confuse sea pickles with sea cucumbers, which are animals.

A crab shell!

I also found a crab shell! It only had one leg left. Ranger Ross said that a seagull probably ate the rest of it.

Overlook

Our hike ended up on an overlook above Coast Guard Beach. Did you know that Salt Pond used to be a famous golf course before it was a National Seashore? It was!

Getting Jr. Ranger patch

When we got back to the Visitor Center, Ranger Ross told me I was ready to become a Junior Ranger! I was planning on waiting until Violence came, but Ranger Ross said that I could still help Violence earn her badge. He let me pick if I wanted a badge or a patch. I chose a patch. I wonder what Violence will choose?

Inky & Ranger Ross

Here's Ranger Ross!

Coast Guard Beach- Cold & Rainy!

After I got my badge,my moms and I rode our bikes along a trail to Coast Guard Beach. I was really excited, because I remembered my boogie board this time! When we got there, it started to thunder and lightning, so I didn't get to play in the ocean after all. Stinkbugs!

So that was my Cape Cod Saturday. I can't believe I'm officially a double Junior Ranger!
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