Hello! One morning in Costa Rica, I had one of the most awe-inspiring experiences in my whole life; I got to see the mama sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach!
My moms woke me up very early, before the sunrise, to drive to Playa Ostional. Playa Ostional, or Ostional Beach in English, is a volcanic black sand beach on the Pacific Ocean. To get there, we had to drive through two rivers in our SUV in the dark!
We met with the guides before walking to the beach. They are very knowledgeable about the turtles and taught me and my moms so much! The turtles are Olive Ridley sea turtles and they are so beautiful! They come onto the black sand by the hundreds to lay their eggs in the sand. See those birds behind the turtle in this photo? They are vultures! The vultures love to eat sea turtle eggs, so they wait for the mamas to lay the eggs and then they try to snatch them away!
In the background of this picture, you can see a vulture eating a turtle egg. It made me so sad, but that's the way of nature. About a month and a half after the mamas lay the eggs, the baby sea turtles hatch. Then, the babies have to make their way to the sea. The vultures wait for the babies too.
Doesn't the black sand look cool? When I packed my shorts, tees, and Keen sandals back in chilly New York, it didn't seem real that I would actually be somewhere warm. Still, there I was with a sea turtle on the warm black sand of Playa Ostional. Wow! Everywhere I looked, there were mama sea turtles. It was so, so cool.
I was wearing my special Costa Rica tee that my mom bought me. It has a little sloth on it! While we were still in New York, I made a wish that I would see lots of wildlife. I never imagined I would be on a beach with hundreds of nesting sea turtles!
The sea turtles on Playa Ostional were amazing. All too soon, the sun was high in the sky and the sea turtles were heading back to the ocean. I waved goodbye and headed back to Nosara with my parents. I'll always remember that morning.
Have you ever had an outdoor experience you'll never forget?
Today is Christmas Day! My family celebrates New Year instead, so it can be hard to be patient while so many people post pictures of their holiday gifts for Hanukkah and Christmas. However, the trip to Costa Rica was an amazing family present, so when I am feeling impatient, I remembers days like the one in the photo above. Since our little hotel was so close to Playa Pelada, we could walk down to the beach and watch the sunset every night!
It seems so strange that last week, I was in sunny, warm Costa Rica- and now I'm in the chilly north! I'm looking forward to celebrating New Year with my family. Does your family celebrate a winter holiday? Did you you receive gifts? What did you receive?
Hello my friends! Well, after two flights and a long drive, I arrived in Nosara, Costa Rica! I was so tired that I fell right asleep, but when I woke up, I had this sight to greet me. We were in the green, green forest! Costa Rica is only one time zone behind New York City, so I didn't have any jet lag (whoo hoo!). I woke up early because the howler monkeys were making noise in the trees! After a breakfast of fruit, toast, and a smoothie, I was ready to explore. I hiked down this little path to the beach.
After only a few minutes, I was on Playa Pelada! (Pelada Beach) Isn't it gorgeous? I hadn't worn my swimsuit, but I wished I had! I was ready to explore. Lately I've been really into the show Octonauts- so I was ready to take their motto to heart. Explore! Rescue! Protect!
Playa Pelada has a lot of rocks in the water, so you need to be careful while swimming or exploring. I'm glad I brought my Keens so that I could get a good grip as I climbed around!
It was so cool to explore on the rocks! It was fun to jump from rock to rock, trying not to fall in the water.
Look at all these barnacles on the rocks! Awesome, right? I love the ocean and I don't have the opportunity to visit the Pacific very often. The water was so warm!
I am home from vacation! Here I am not too long ago, posing for a photo by my New Year tree before we took a cab to the airport. My family has a tradition, from our time in Slavic countries, of sitting on our suitcases before we take a trip. It brings us good luck for our travels.
Do you and your family have any traditions for traveling? What are they?
I will update soon with more pictures of my vacation! Happy Holidays!
Hello my friends! I'm so sorry I haven't written on my blog in a long time. My life has been pretty busy and there are exciting adventures ahead! However, I wanted to share my birthday party photos with you. I turned 11 on November 23rd and celebrated with a fox-themed party! It felt like I had waited forever and ever for my birthday this year. I was so excited when party day finally arrived! As you can see in the picture above, I had an assortment of treats for my guests to try out.
I was really lucky to have lots of delicious treats straight from Pippaloo! Here you can see rock candy and lollis in my party colors. Yum! Doesn't rock candy look like it would hurt to eat? It is so delicious though!
I also had these tasty popsicles, which were also in my party colors. They were very tasty. I requested these because I have had Pippaloo's watermelon pops (which are the same shape) before and loved them! The folks at Pippaloo were so sweet to make these delicious popsicles just for me and my friends. Thank you!
My final special treat from Pippaloo was this mug full of fox cookies on sticks! They were so cute and so tasty too! My guests and I really loved them.
I had three guests come to my party. I like to have smaller parties. I just think they're more fun. Sinéad, on the left in the dress and vest, came all the way from another borough! Coral, who is my best friend in NYC, also came. And last but not least, my new friend Tenzin, who moved into my apartment building a few months ago, also came to my party. We started things off with the cake! I made a wish and blew out my candles. I'll tell you my wish! I had decided to do a No Presents Party, since I already have so many toys. Instead, I vowed to donate all my birthday money to the Red Panda Network! I wished that they would raise a lot of money on Giving Tuesday to help save red pandas! Don't you think it was a little silly to raise money for red pandas at a fox party? It probably was, but since I had a red panda party a few years ago, I didn't want to repeat the theme.
Here's my cake before my mama put the candles on it. Isn't it cute? It was chocolate with yummy fox decorations! It was specially ordered from Faux Real Food just for me.
Here's Coral enjoying some of the yummy chocolate cake! Looks like she got an ear!
And here I am with Tenzin! The cake was really delicious.
What would birthday cake be without ice cream? My mom came out with the ice cream pops so my guests and I could enjoy them right away. Yum!
Here are Coral and Sinéad enjoying their popsicles!
Next it was time for a game of Pin the Tail on the Fox! Tenzin went first. We tied one of my hiking bandanas around her eyes.
Then Sinéad spun her around and around!
And off Tenzin went to stick her tail on the wall, hopefully near the fox!
Close! Tenzin put the tail by the fox's ear!
Tenzin was pretty surprised that she got the tail as close as she did!
After Tenzin went, I spun Sinéad around! Can you see that she peeked? That was sneaky, Sinéad!
Of course Sinéad got the tail right on the spot! The rest of us didn't know she had peeked though, so we cheered and cheered.
I went next and last! Coral doesn't like to be blindfolded, so she didn't take a turn. Coral and Tenzin spun me around!
I stuck the tail pretty close to the right spot! Yay! That's when Sinéad admitted that she had cheated. I was upset at first, but then Sinéad said she did it because she didn't know Coral and Tenzin before today and didn't want them to think she was bad at games! The rest of us forgave her after that.
Normally, I would open presents next, but instead my friends put cards on table for me to open later.
I had a great party this year! The cake and treats were delicious and my friends and I had fun playing together, even if Sinéad peeked. I'm so happy to be 11!
Do you celebrate your birthday with a party? Have you ever done a party with a theme? What was it?
I'm sorry I didn't write for so long! I'll be starting my series on my friends soon, so please look out for that! Happy December!
One of the best things in life is friendship! This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with an old friend, Sophie. She came to visit me in NYC and we had a wonderful time together. In this photo, we are playing on the grass in front of the New York Public Library. Sophie and I have known each other for years now and we relished the chance to stay up late talking about our lives and dreams for the future.
I am thinking of doing a series on my blog where I introduce all my friends. Would anyone be interested in learning more about the other girls in my life?
Autumn has come to New York City! It's still pretty warm, but it definitely feels like fall. So fall, in fact, that my parents and I have gotten a new year of homeschooling underway. There are a lot of things I need to homeschool the way my family does it, but there is one thing that is more valuable than anything else. What is it you might ask?
It's my library card! I am lucky to live in a city with lots and lots of libraries. My local library has many, many branches. The closest one is just down the street. I read a lot, so sometimes I get library fines for returning my books late. Oops! Luckily, the library has a program where kids can go to the library and "read down" their fees. For every certain period of time you read, some of your fees disappear! Awesome, right? I am also lucky to own many of my very own books as well.
Here's how Mama found me this afternoon! Both of my parents loved The Giver. They gave me my very own copy recently and I read all of it as soon as I could! It is also a movie. My parents have a policy that if a book has a movie, I have to read the book first. I am excited to go see the movie, but I am worried that it will be too different from the book. Has that ever happened to you?
Now that I've finished The Giver, I'm also reading one of Mama's childhood favorites- Swallows and Amazons! My Dedushka (grandfather) read this book as a boy too. He gave a copy to Mama when she was my age. Mama and I chose my copy at Waterstones when we visited London at New Year for my aunt's wedding. I'm the third generation in my family to read this series! It's so, so good. I'm really excited because my friend Nora has also read Swallows and Amazons; we are going to Skype to discuss it the next time our parents let us have a Skype session.
So that is what I've been up to lately! Reading and enjoying the beginning of the new season. Have you read any good books lately? What were they? What is your favorite book?
Olé! Olé! Do you know which international sporting event is taking place this summer? It's the men's World Cup in Brazil! I prefer the women's World Cup, but this is awesome too! Do you play soccer/football? Like many kids watching the World Cup, I am thinking of learning to play. Of course, I had the same idea during the 2010 World Cup, so who knows if I'll actually do it!
The World Cup is a very, very big deal in my neighborhood. Since I live in New York City, there are families from all over the world. Everyone cheers for a particular country and all the kids trade stickers in their World Cup Panani sticker books! I was initially cheering for Russia, since I was born there. I am also cheering for the United States and France. Go USA! Allez les Bleus!
Did you notice my special tee? It features Fuleco, the armadillo mascot of the World Cup. You know what's also funny? The ball he is holding in the image on my tee looks really similar to my own soccer ball! I went down to our courtyard and practiced dribbling my ball until the super came out and told me to get off the grass!
Hurray for the World Cup! What do you think of Fuleco? Is he a cute mascot? Are you cheering on your home country? If not, who are you cheering for?
In this entry I'm wearing: white tee with Fuleco decal, American Girl 2006 soccer outfit.
Here in NYC, it's almost the summer solstice! It's been hot lately- over 90F! As a result, I've been staying inside and getting out some of my toys that I haven't played with before.
This set is from the Lego Friends line; it's a little penguin on a little iceberg! I'm excited to build it, especially because thinking about the freezing Antarctic sounds very appealing right now.
The first thing I did was dump out all the pieces on my table. I know some people like to put the pieces in little dishes, but since this set is so small, I didn't think it was necessary.
As I carefully assembled the little iceberg home from the penguin, I thought about what it would be like to be a scientist studying polar animals. That would be so cool!
Legos are so fun! The worst thing about Legos is when you leave one on the floor and step on it in the middle of the night when you're going to the bathroom. Ouch! Has that ever happened to you?
Soon I had almost completely assembled the iceberg house for my penguin! Hoorah! The house even has a little slide- have you ever seen videos of penguins sliding around? I think my toy penguin will also be a fan of sliding on her belly down her little blue slide.
I attached the slide to the iceberg house, put my penguin's fish in its little dish, and put a silly bow on the penguin's head. It looks adorable, don't you think?
Have you ever built a project with Legos? Also, what do you think I should name my little penguin?
In this entry I'm wearing:Journey's Girls London tee. (P.S. Can you tell I left a little plastic thingeroo sticking out of my tee? Yikes!)