Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cape Cod National Seashore!

It seems like summer is ending all too quickly. Even though I'm homeschooled, I still think of summer ending because my parents go back to work. There was a lot of traveling in my family this summer (I went to Ukraine, Washington DC, and Ohio), but we still had time for a summer tradition- Cape Cod National Seashore!

Cape Cod 2011

We drove up to Cape Cod on a Thursday night. The car ride was great. We sang along to Decemberists songs all the way from New York City to Provincetown. "The Mariner's Revenge Song" always puts me in the mood for the cape. (Check out the link to see a cool music video of the song.)  We pitched our tent at my family's favorite campground- in fact, my great-grandpa camped at the same place when he was my age!

Cape Cod 2011

We spent our first day hanging out at Head of the Meadow Beach. Even though the water was really, really cold, I had a great time. I even saw seals swimming just off shore!

Cape Cod 2011

The next day we hiked out on the Provincetown breakwater. See the long line of rocks behind me? The breakwater extends for about a mile and a half. This year, I was determined to make it all the way to the other end- the very tip of Cape Cod! It took me about an hour, but I did it! The hardest part is jumping from rock to rock- it's not an even path.

Cape Cod 2011

Here I am at the tip! Can you see Cape Cod Bay and Provincetown behind me? My family celebrated our breakwater hike's success with artichoke pizza at Joe Dough's in Provincetown. I love visiting P-town because it's full of families like mine- with two moms or two dads. There were tons of other kids there too. It felt great knowing that I could walk up to any one of them and know they would understand what it's like to be in a two mom family.

Cape Cod 2011

We stayed on Cape Cod for four wonderful days. We even got to go to our favorite breakfast buffet at Laura &Tony's Kitchen! It was a short trip, but it's always nice to go to a favorite vacation spot.  A few years ago, my friend Violet came along to camp on the cape. She couldn't go this year, but my moms said I could bring a friend along next year! Does anyone feel like going to Cape Cod next summer?

Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Is there anywhere you like to go where you feel that you and your family totally fit in?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Visiting Katia in Ohio

I've had a pretty busy summer since I came home from Ukraine. Since we still had several weeks before the academic year starts, I did some traveling. In July, I flew to Ohio to meet a new friend.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Katia and I met through my blogging friend Keesha.  Katia is Keesha's new sister; she was adopted from Russia, just like me!  Katia's family doesn't speak Russian, so she was really excited to get to spend time with me.  The two of us went to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Of course, we had to stop to see the red pandas.  We got along really well- soon we were chattering away in Russian about our favorite things.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The zoo was beautiful. As it's also a botanical garden, there were lots of lovely fountains and beautiful trees and flowers. The red pandas were the best part, but I also really liked the monkey island. Can you see the monkey behind me in the picture?

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

There were fun statues all over the zoo as well, like this gorilla. However, it was over 100 degrees outside! We were so hot that Katia and I decided to leave the zoo to do something cooler.

Northland Ice Center

Katia is an amazing skater, so she took me to a local rink to show off her moves. I told her that I wasn't a great skater, but Katia insisted that it's in our blood as Russians. It was actually pretty fun! Katia showed me one of her competition programs. Both of us have experience performing, but I've never danced competitively, so I was really interested in Katia's life as a skater. I promised her that some day I'd come to see her compete; she promised to come see me dance in New York City some day.

Northland Ice Center

It was a great day and Katia was really fun to hang out with. It was so nice to talk about our favorite Russian candy and tv shows. I had brought a stuffed Cheburashka for her- and it turns out she loves Cheburashka too!

Do you have any friends with whom you have something special in common? I loved hanging out with Katia so much that my moms found a group for me here in New York. It's just for Russian-speaking kids. It meets in one of New York's Russian neighborhoods.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Goodbye Kharkov! Прощай Харьков!

Sooner, rather than later, it was time to leave Kharkov and go home to New York City.

Twenty-seven

I decided to go to the Taras Shevchenko Gardens for one last walk. The Shevchenko Gardens are a big park in the center of the city. (If you read my album from my last trip to Ukraine, you know that the Kharkov Zoo is inside the Shevchenko Gardens.) I stopped by the monument to Taras Shevchenko first; he was a famous poet who wrote about the Ukrainian experience. This photo is of me rubbing the Cossack's toe. Some people believe that if you rub the Cossack's toe, your wish will come true. I wished that someday soon, I would be back in Ukraine.

Twenty-eight

After my visit to the golden toe, I walked down the chestnut tree-lined path to the other side of the park. Ukraine is famous for its chestnut trees- they're called "kashtan." I love this path because there are little ice cream sellers all along it! I wanted to go to the Cascade Fountain.

Thirty five

The Cascade Fountain is like a giant staircase with water flowing down from the top. My family likes to come here for photos. I was a little sad that my Mom didn't get to come to Ukraine with me and Mama this time. I crossed my fingers and wished that next time, we would all be together in Kharkov.

Thirty four

Kharkov is a lot smaller that New York, and probably a lot less exciting. Even so, it's like home to me. I knew I'd really miss the city when I returned to NYC. It's true- now that I'm back home, I really wish I could go run around the Shevchenko Gardens or ride the funicular at Gorky Park.

Twenty-nine

Do you have a favorite city or place that makes you feel at home?
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