Saturday, September 29, 2012

AMNH with Summer

Summer @ AMNH The day that we went to the Met, we also had the chance to visit my favorite museum in New York- the American Museum of Natural History! I could spend hours in there, but Summer especially wanted to see the dinosaurs. Here she is with a big meat-eater!

Summer @ AMNH

Dinosaurs had extremely large feet- look at this cast of a dino footprint- whoa! It's almost as big as Summer herself!

Summer @ AMNH

Summer was really into the dino feet- here she is with another dinosaur foot model- it's giant, right? I'm glad there aren't any live dinos for us to run into now, but a few little veggie eaters would be cute. Have you heard of the movie Jurassic Park? I think it sounds like an awesome idea! If they could only have veggie eaters, I would definitely go. How cool would it be to see real dinosaurs in person?

Summer @ AMNH

I really love mammoths and mastodons, so I had to get a photo of Summer by this huge mammoth. She was teasing me because we learned that people in Russia used to make homes out of mammoth bones. Summer suggested that I steal the skeleton and build a play house! No way! Super creepy! Later on, in the gift shop, we saw a Playmobil set that is a mammoth bone house for the Playmobil cave people- awesome! Maybe it would be fun to live in a mammoth bone house for a night or two...

Summer @ AMNH

The last dinosaurs we visited were the ceratopsids. I think the one in this photo is a triceratops, but I am not entirely sure. Basically, it's Cera from the Land Before Time! Summer and I had a great time visiting the dinosaurs. We also went to the Hall of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians, but the lighting was really dark in there so we didn't get photos. Still, the art there was so beautiful.

I've really been enjoying my time with Summer, but she won't be here much longer. It's probably for the best because I had Nutcracker auditions today (I'll write about that in my next blog entry) and with Nutcracker season coming up, I won't have much time to hang out anymore. Ballet is getting to be more and more of a struggle for me. Since Summer's been here, it's been so hard for me to make myself get ready and go to the city for my lessons. It helps that Coral is there so I have a friend, but it doesn't help that Coral is one of the best dancers in the class. She makes everything look so easy! I am really thinking that after this Nutcracker, I may stop taking ballet lessons. Would you guys still be my friends even if I quit? Do you think I'd be a quitter? I'm really worried my friends would be mad at me.

In this entry Summer is wearing: shirt by Liberty Jane Clothing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Met- Again!

Inky & Summer at The Met

New York City is big- very big. I've lived here for five years and still haven't seen most of it. Still, there are some places I love to visit again and again. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is one of them. Even though I'd been there a few weeks ago with my friends Savannah and Hodel, I was thrilled when Summer asked to go there too! Summer wanted to see The Coe Collection of American Indian art. I had never visited that exhibit, so I happily agreed. Today was rainy and cool, the perfect weather for museum going, so off we went! We found the Coe Collection quite easily- it's right on the first floor.

Inky & Summer at The Met

I especially loved the Maya carvings. They were so cool! This stela had a beautiful carving of a jaguar. Someday I would love to visit Maya ruins. That would be an awesome trip! Have you ever read any of the books in the Royal Princess Diaries series? I loved the one about the Lady of Palenque. Royal life in the height of the Maya civilization sounded so exciting.

Inky & Summer at The Met

Summer liked this bag decorated with beautiful beadwork. She is very patient- I think she would be excellent if she learned to do beadwork herself. She quietly looked at all the items in the Coe Collection, while I ran ahead and explored Mesoamerica, South America, and the Pacific Islands!

Inky & Summer at The Met

This is a really cool mask from the Pacific Northwest. I love the art from that part of the world- it is so beautiful. I was very lucky to visit Washington state in 2006, but I would love to go back and I would especially love to visit British Columbia someday!

Inky & Summer at The Met

Even though we went to the Met to see the Coe Collection, I told Summer that we could not leave without visiting William the Hippo in the Egyptian wing. He's the mascot of the museum and he's super cute- and bright blue! Summer really liked him; I was glad I insisted we visit!

Inky & Summer at The Met

After we saw William, we decided to leave. Since the day was rainy, the museum was crowded with lots of people who, like us, decided the Met was the perfect place to spend a rainy day. Summer is from a smaller city, so she got a bit overwhelmed by the crowds. Luckily, we had another destination in mind- but I'll save that story for my next blog entry. Summer and I really enjoyed seeing the art from all over the world. Have you ever been to an art museum? What was your favorite thing about it?

In this entry I'm wearing: shirt from Dynamite Threads. Summer is wearing a button-up shirt from Liberty Jane. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

National Museum of the American Indian

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This weekend, Summer and I came down to Washington, DC with my Mama. We have plans for Sunday, but for today, we let Summer pick what she wanted to do- and she chose the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)! I was really excited because I hadn't been there in a few years. The museum is built like a giant spiral around a big rotunda- here's Summer with the spiral of the ceiling behind her. Isn't it pretty?

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The museum has a big, light-filled new exhibit called ImagiNations, where kids can learn about the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Here's Summer playing in a big sculpture of a basket.

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ImagiNations has lots of little mini exhibits to teach about different aspects of indigenous culture. The exhibit signs are all in both Spanish and English, which is really nice. Here's Summer with a little dish of beans- one of the "three sisters" crops (corn, beans, and squash).

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My favorite part of the ImagiNations exhibit was this big tipi and library! There is a giant bookshelf of books all about indigenous peoples and children. The tipi is full of cozy blankets and furs where kids can curl up and read the museum's book collection. It was so cool! I could have stayed for hours.

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Down on the first floor of the museum, we saw this cool outrigger canoe just as we were leaving. It reminded me of my friend Maiki, who is from Hawaii. Summer loved it too- she's from the desert and had never seen an outrigger canoe in person.

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Outside the museum, there is a beautiful sculpture garden filled with fountains. Of course, Summer and I had to take photos by the fountains! Doesn't Summer look pretty?

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Here we are together in front of the biggest fountain of all! The water was pounding against the rocks just like on the ocean shore. We both agreed it that it was awesome. (P.S. Do you like our matching outfits?)

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I'm so glad we got to take Summer to the NMAI! The ImagiNations exhibit was awesome; we both learned so much. I hope we get to go back and explore more of the museum next time I'm in DC. If you ever are in the city, you should definitely check it out! Have you ever been to a museum? Did you have a favorite exhibit?

In this entry I'm wearing: flutter-sleeve shirt from Royal Doll Boutique, jeans by American Girl, and Janes shoes. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer's Here!

Summer & Inky at Jacob Riis Beach

Summer's here! Well, Summer Ravenwood, my friend, is here! The season of summer is almost over. Even though I'd just been there a few days ago with Hodel, Summer and I begged my moms to go to the beach again so Summer could see it. Luckily, it was a warm day so we got to wear our swimmies! (In my family, we call swimsuits "swimmies." It's so weird!)

Summer & Inky at Jacob Riis Beach

Summer really wanted to go clamming, like they do in the Pacific Northwest. I'd done it before, so I taught her how I do it. You go a few feet into the water, then dig a little hole with your foot, feeling around for clams. When you feel something hard, reach down and dig it out with your hand. If you're lucky, it's a clam! If you're unlucky, it's a rock or something with pincers! Ow! Summer caught a whole little pile of clams. We took them home and steamed them later- yum!

Summer & Inky at Jacob Riis Beach

Can you believe Summer had never built a real beach sandcastle before? She was telling me about these awesome sandcastles she built in her sandbox as a kid, but I told her it doesn't count unless it's the beach! We built this little one, stuck a flag on top, and then played a game with our toys. I was Ice Bat and Summer was a bear. The bear was attacking the castle and Ice Bat had to defend it! We took turns winning, but in the end, Ice Bat and Bear fought so viciously that they tore the whole castle down!

Summer & Inky at Jacob Riis Beach

The water was so warm that I had to go for a swim. There were no lifeguards on duty, so my moms watched me very closely and only let me go a few feet in. It was kind of annoying, but my mom said she'd rather I have a boring time swimming than drown. She's right, but I still wish I could have shown Summer my super ocean swimming skills!

Summer & Inky at Jacob Riis Beach

Summer was so happy to be out in the open air. She took a super long train ride to get to NYC- all the way across the country from Arizona! She ran all over the beach with her arms out at her sides, smiling. I'm so glad we were able to come to the beach!

Summer & Inky at Jacob Riis Beach

I spent a lot of time looking out over the ocean. If I got a boat, I know I could sail all the way across the Atlantic, across the Mediterranean, through the Bosporus Straits, and up through the Black Sea to my grandma's house in Sevastopol, Ukraine. Wouldn't that be amazing? Instead, I'm just a regular girl living in the city. I made a wish on a wave that soon I'd be traveling again, but for now, it's wonderful just to have Summer here!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jacob Riis Park Beach

Riis Park Beach Hodel is going to be going home soon, so I made sure my moms agreed to take her to one last special place- Jacob Riis Park Beach on the Rockaways. For most of the summer, the water is very, very cold. In September, the water is quite warm and you can go wading or swimming without freezing your heinie off! The waves were huge as the day before, there was a big storm and a tornado only a few blocks from the beach. Luckily, the day we went, the sky was clear and blue with no sign of storms.

Riis Park Beach

Hodel is from Ohio, where they don't have big ocean beaches. I think she was very happy to come and dip her toes in the Atlantic Ocean. Jacob Riis Park Beach is on a barrier island- to get there, you have to cross two bridges and go through the little village of Broad Channel. It's a pretty drive; we went right past Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, another favorite outdoor place I like to take my friends.

Riis Park Beach

After Labor Day, the park service no longer posts lifeguards to the beach, so there were very few families there. Since we weren't planning to swim, we were safe and enjoyed the quiet environment. Hodel and I walked around looking for shells and skate cases.

Jacob Riis Beach

Hodel wore a white dress to the beach; she looked so summery and pretty! I felt sad that she'll be leaving so soon. It's always nice to spend time with dear friends. Hodel and I have know each other through the internet for a few years, but it was only this summer that we finally got to meet in person.

Jacob Riis Beach

Here's me on the beach! Ballet classes started up again last week. Coral and I are in Girls IV now, the green leotard level. Soon, we'll be starting to learn to dance en pointe and also going to audition for the Nutcracker. I love performing, but I'm starting to dread ballet class. It's a lot of work. I have a hard time staying quiet for the entire lesson and there are many girls there who are amazing dancers and want to dance for their jobs. I know now that I want to be a park ranger, so I feel a little left out.

Riis Park Beach

As Hodel and I looked out over the Atlantic, I was able to tell her my worries about ballet. She told me that it's okay to stop doing something if you aren't enjoying it any more. I think I might be happier without ballet in my life, but everyone thinks of it as being part of me and tells me to keep dancing. How do I know if stopping or staying is the right decision? What would you do?

In this entry I'm wearing: a tee from Dynamite Threads, shorts from Doll Closet, and shoes from American Girl

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

After we left Savannah at the Central Park Zoo, it was time to fulfill one of Hodel's New York wishes- visiting FAO Schwarz. FAO is a big, exciting toy store right on Fifth Avenue. The first thing we had to do was get a photo of Hodel with the guard in front of the store. Unlike the famous guards in London, the FAO guards are very friendly and love to take photos with FAO's guests.

FAO Schwarz

FAO has so many different toys- some of them are giant stuffed animals! We didn't get to see any zebras at the zoo, but luckily FAO had a surplus.

FAO Schwarz

One of the highlights of FAO is the giant piano. When you step on a key, it lights up and plays a tone. By running and dancing along the piano, you can play songs- just make a bunch of crazy sounds. Hodel was so happy that we arrived when the piano was free for her to play- she was actually really, really good at it! I was impressed and so were the attendants.

FAO Schwarz

We didn't get to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty during Hodel's visit, but luckily she got to to see her after all- in LEGO form! Hodel and I tried to count how many LEGOs it took to build the statue, but we lost count pretty early on. I think we can safely say- it look thousands!

FAO Schwarz

One of FAO's mascots is this cuddly bear. They have them in all sizes- even girl-size! I dared Hodel to borrow a bear jacket and pretend to be one of them. She actually did it! I was worried if she didn't take it off quickly, someone would try to take her home.

FAO Schwarz

Suddenly, Hodel grabbed my arm and pulled me onto the display! The idea of two girls being for sale as teddy bears was so funny that the two of us couldn't stop laughing. We laughed and laughed until my Mama made us climb out of the display. It was time for candy!

FAO Schwarz

The whole back of FAO's first floor is known as "FAO Schweets." :) There are huge buckets of candy where you can pick and choose from all your favorite kinds. Hodel chose these big atomic fireballs- spicy! I always come to the candy section before I go to Ukraine- my family there loves Jelly Belly beans! My favorite flavor is buttered popcorn- have you tried Jelly Bellies? Do you have a favorite flavor?

Rockefeller Center

Once we had eaten our fill of candy, we walked down Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center. You can't really tell from this photo, but the little cityscape behind Hodel is a LEGO display at the LEGO store! They recreated Rockefeller Center, complete with the famous statue, all in LEGO! It was pretty cool, I must say!

Rockefeller Center

We were getting pretty worn out at that point, but before we walked to the subway, I took one more photo of Hodel. This time, I made sure to have something very "New York" in the background! Can you tell what it is? It's the statue of the titan Prometheus bringing fire to mankind.

I think Hodel, Savannah, and I had an excellent day in Manhattan. We got to visit four places- the Met, the Central Park Zoo, FAO, and Rockefeller Center! Have you ever had a busy day exploring a city? Where did you go? 

In this entry I'm wearing:  a green tee from Royal Doll Boutique and denim shorts from American Girl.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Central Park Zoo with Hodel & Savannah

Central Park Zoo

After Savannah, Hodel, and I finished exploring the Egyptian Wing at The Met, we decided to walk down to the Central Park Zoo. Since Savannah had some time before she had to go, we thought it would be fun to show Hodel the red pandas. Of course, Hodel has seen them before- but never our red pandas, Biru and Amaya!

Central Park Zoo

After drinking some sodas in the Dancing Crane Café, we headed up the hill to see the red pandas, my favorite animal! We skipped the tropic zone because that exhibit is really warm and it was a hot day. The red pandas were outside playing- I was so happy! Biru, the male, came right up to us on his tree, so I snapped this picture. He may look gentle, but his teeth are sharp. Yikes!

Central Park Zoo

After visiting the red pandas, we climbed to the top of the hill to see the Snow Leopards. No one was in the first exhibit, but when we got to the second one, this beautiful cat was resting right by the window. Wow! We were so lucky to get to see a snow leopard that closely.

After the snow leopard, we passed the polar bear (who was not out) and sped through the penguin exhibit, which was very crowded.  After watching the sea lions for a little while, we said good-bye to Savannah and headed on to our next destination.  So far, a great a day! I'm so glad Savannah was able to join us at The Met and the zoo.  Have you ever gone on a special outing with a new friend?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

On New York's Upper East Side, on 5th Avenue, is one of my favorite places in New York- the Metropolitan Museum of Art!  Hodel had always wanted to visit it too, so we took an afternoon and met up with my friend Savannah.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The three of us met on 5th Avenue along the park. Hodel and I got there a little early and waited for Savannah, watching the cabs and buses go by. I love people watching in New York- there are always so many people to see.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Soon, Savannah arrived and we walked up 5th Avenue to the Met. We sat on this little fountain out front and talked about our plans. I had only met Savannah a few days before, at ballet orientation. She had just moved to the Lower East Side from Pennsylvania, where she was a ballet student at The Rock. Now she'd be in NYC and attending my ballet school with me! We befriended each other quickly and I'd invited her to come to the Met with me and Hodel.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The three of us decided to explore the Egyptian Wing of the Museum, but to get there, we had to walk through the Greek section. Here's Hodel with a big vase!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Ancient Egyptian section of the museum is really cool. There are tons of cool statues and artifacts to check out. Here's Hodel with a statue of a pharaoh.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here I am with a bust of the Goddess Hathor. Hathor is depicted as a cow with the sun disk in her horns. She was the personification of the feminine, including ladylike joy and motherhood. I think she was really pretty, even if she did sometimes have a cow's head.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here's Hodel with a statue. The nose had been broken off, which made the statue's face look pretty scary, I thought. Apparently it is really common for noses to be broken off of ancient statues.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

None of us are in this picture, but I thought this head was beautiful. Doesn't the pharaoh in this picture look serene and stately? Plus, their eye makeup was really neat!This is the Pharaoh Amenmesse, who only ruled Egypt for three or four years.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here's Hodel with a big black sarcophagus. It looks a little scary, doesn't it? A sarcophagus is a stone coffin, many of which are beautifully carved. This one was a dark color, which was a bit scary. Many of the things in the Egyptian exhibit are from tombs, which was a little scary to me and my friends.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here's Savannah with a statue of Sekhmet, the lioness-headed goddess. She was the warrior goddess of healing. I think she must have been beautiful; I love lions. Do you see the green pin with the M on it? At the Met, all visitors wear these pins to show that they have paid. It is a different color depending on the day of the week. Admission for children is free, but you still need to wear a pin.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

We had wanted to see the big Temple of Dendur, where I took Sophie, but it was closed for repairs. Instead, we decided to leave and come back another day. The Met is so big that it would take you many, many days to see everything. I think it's nice to pick one area to focus and concentrate on that one thing on a visit. I think our trip to the Egyptian Wing was very nice, don't you?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Outside the museum, we took a few pictures of each other and each got a hot pretzel from a street vendor. We had some extra time since the Temple of Dendur was closed, so we decided to visit the Central Park Zoo- but that is a post for another day. Thanks for visiting the Egyptian Wing with me, Hodel, and Savannah!
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