Hello Hello! Early this week, New York City prepared for a blizzard. I was thrilled- even though I am homeschooled, my parents let me have a day off whenever NYC schools are called off. The subways were shut down and the roads were closed to traffic. But then? The snowstorm didn't deliver! We got a lot of snow, but not even a third as much as we were expecting.
Still, I had a lot of fun playing in the white stuff! Our building doesn't let us play on the grass in the courtyard, but there is an exception for snow, it seems. Lots of kids (and adults!) from our building were playing in the snow.
Did you have a snowstorm this week? How about this winter? Do you live somewhere that experiences snow?
Happy 2015 everyone! In my family, we do not celebrate Christmas. Instead, we celebrate New Year! We put up a New Year tree, watch The Twilight Zone and a Russian movie called the Irony of Fate. Then, at the stroke of midnight, I open my gifts! Are you ready to see what I received this year? Hurrah!
My first gift came wrapped in this little package with a gnome on the front. What could it be? I squeezed it and it was hard, but a little pliable. Hmmm!
A Rhodia notebook! These notebooks are classic and are excellent quality. I wonder how I will use this one. There is something so exciting about all the clean, new pages in a new notebook.
After the Rhodia notebook, I found a package with penguin and owl gift wrap.
Inside this package I found two Smithsonian books about a walrus and a beluga! I love both animals, though walruses are much less cute in person in my experience.
Yay! My next present was two square, blank canvases for me to paint. Just as I love a new notebook, new canvases are also exciting! I wonder what kind of art I will create.
I had two packages left- a small box and a big box. The little box said "Open Me Last," so I reached for the big box excitedly.
Inside the box was the Sylvanian Families Bouquet skunk family! I was thrilled to get this special present from England. When I was in London last year, I could only afford to buy so much at the Sylvanian Families store; I wasn't able to purchase the skunk family. I did, however, buy the skunk baby girl! So now Baby Girl Skunk can be reunited with her family at long last.
Finally I reached for the last package. What could be inside? It was really, really heavy!
Huh? It was a u-lock for bicycles! But... I don't have a bicycle. I thought it was some kind of mean joke gift! "Inky!" said my mom, "turn around!"
Wow!!! I couldn't believe my eyes as my parents wheeled in a brand new bike, just for me! I'm so excited! The bike even had panniers for me to store my things, such as my new u-lock. It was a great New Year. I was so excited I could barely get to sleep. I hope 2015 will be a wonderful year for me- and for you!
Does your family celebrate any winter holidays? Do you receive gifts?
Hello my friends! Sadly, this is the last of my posts about my December trip to Costa Rica. :( Still, this series of photos should be pretty cool! I went hiking with my parents at Parque Nacional Volcán Rincón de la Vieja, or the Old Lady's Corner Volcano National Park. Some people call it the "witch's hideout." It's an amazing park because of all the geothermal features. The hike we went on took about two hours and it was really cool!
These big, beautiful trees were everywhere. The hike was not a simple paved path- it was in the jungle, where hikers have to scramble over the different roots and rocks. The trees were so huge that they dwarfed 11-year-old me!
There were lots of small rivers and streams running through the park. This one is the Rio Colorado, though it is not the same Colorado River that we have in the United States! It was too strong to cross on foot, so we used a (pretty scary) rope bridge!
Here I am, excited to have crossed the river! The park was full of wonderful tropical animals. I saw lizards, butterflies, and even a coatimundi! Do you know what a coatimundi is? It's pretty awesome! Unfortunately I don't have a good photo of the coatimundi because it was so speedy!
The highlight of the hike was this gorgeous waterfall. We stopped and rested there for about 15 minutes. It was pretty embarrassing, but I had a meltdown there. Not a bad one, but still, I was embarrassed! I was getting sick and I didn't think I could keep hiking. I begged my parents to stop and go back to our car, but they said they had confidence that I could finish the hike. After I drank some water and ate a Kind bar, I gathered my strength and moved on in the hike. Go me!
See the waterfall behind me? It was so beautiful. I look happy in the photo, but I was so tired and headachey! Bah!
Much of the rest of the trail was very rocky. It could be hard to find where the trail actually led! There were not many other kids at the park, but I did see some. They had big sticks to help them navigate the rocks. I didn't have one, because I liked to pretend that I was a mountain goat, leaping from rock to rock!
Among the coolest features of the park were the thermal vents. See the steam behind me? The park is a volcano so there are steamy vents all over the place. The steam really, really stunk. It was the sulfurous smell of rotten eggs! Eww! It was pretty stinky, but after a while, I got used to it, The funniest part was that when I got back to NYC a few days later, my red shirt still smelled like rotten eggs!
So that was my hike on my last full day in Costa Rica! I was pretty disappointed that I never saw a wild monkey (though I heard them nearly every morning) or sloth (they are very shy!). The Spanish word for sloth is oso perezoso. I made up a little song in my terrible Spanish about sloths and I still get it in my head a lot!
Costa Rica is a gorgeous country and I can't wait to go back. I can't believe I got to see the nesting sea turtles and the speedy coatimundi! I'm so happy that my aunt and new uncle got married in Costa Rica so that I could visit too! Thanks, Auntie Em!
Have you ever taken an international trip? Where did you go?
While I was in Costa Rica, every day was an adventure. The day that started with the turtles, however, was a particularly spectacular day. When we drove back to our hotel after visiting Playa Ostional, I took a much-needed nap and then had a breakfast of toast and fruit. Then, it was time to go on a hike to a secret waterfall!
To get to the waterfall, we went on a little hike through the forest. It was so beautiful! Did you know the movie Jurassic Park takes place on an island off the coast of Costa Rica? On the hike, I felt like a velociraptor could jump out at me at any minute! Yikes!
The waterfall was so pretty. There were actually two waterfalls that fed into a deep pool where you could swim. I was afraid of snakes, so I didn't swim. Still, it was a really cool hike!
After our hike, my family went to the post office to mail post cards. Then, we went to the beautiful Playa Guiones to watch the sunset. Can you see how magical the light was? It felt like I was in a fairy tale.
Playa Guiones is a gorgeous white sand beach. There are lots of surfers there; in fact, my mom even took a surfing lesson! I was really impressed, but not enough to try it myself!
Looking at these photos from wintry New York City makes me really miss Costa Rica! I'm so glad my parents took me on the trip there. Does your family go on vacation? What was your favorite one?
In this entry I'm wearing: shoes and shorts from American Girl and a plain white tee from American Girl Place with a sloth decal designed by Kuso Design.