Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hiking on Mount Rainier!

Inky at Mount Rainier National Park

Hello my friends! Even though I have been home from my trip to the Pacific Northwest for a few weeks now, I love looking at the photos my family took. Today I am going to share some photos from a hike my moms and I took at Mount Rainier National Park. We hiked the Grove of the Patriarchs trail in the Ohanapecosh section of the park.

Inky at Mount Rainier National Park

The Grove of the Patriarchs trail is special to my family; my Mama hiked this trail with her summer camp when she was only a little older than I am now! I have heard a lot of about this sacred place and I was very excited to hike there. The Grove of the Patriarchs is a grove of very, very old red cedar trees along the shore of the Ohanapecosh River. The trees are called patriarchs because they are elders. The area is sacred to the local Native people, so it is important to be respectful there and not make a lot of noise.

Inky at Mount Rainier National Park

Summer is a beautiful time to visit Mount Rainier! The Ohanapecosh area is green and peaceful.  One of my presents for the trip was a special backpack that holds water.  I was able to sip the water through a tube as I hiked. So cool!

Inky at Mount Rainier National Park

Part of the hike goes along the banks of the Ohanapecosh River! The river begins as runoff from the Ohanapecosh Glacier, so the water is very, very cold. My Mom stuck a toe in and warned me not to do the same, so I didn't! The river is very clear and blue and you can see the stones so clearly at the bottom. It's beautiful!

Inky at Mount Rainier National Park

Along the rocky bank of the river, you can sometimes see cairns. Cairns are stacks of rocks that guide hikers' way.  Aren't they beautiful? I made sure not to knock them over as that would be very disrespectful. One of the things a Junior Ranger always remembers is to "take only pictures and leave only footprints."

Our hike lasted about an hour.  I'm glad I had some time to spend with my parents! After my hike, I met up with a friend to camp at Mount Rainier! That's a story for my next blog post.

Have you ever gone for a hike in a forest? What did you see?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

UBC's Museum of Anthropology

Inky at the UBC Museum of Anthropology

Hello my friends! On my last day in Vancouver, I was able to visit the University of British Columbia!  My parents and I took two buses to get there and then a shuttle bus to get to our destination - the Museum of Anthropology!  It's a great museum on campus that has a wonderful collection of items from the Pacific Northwest (and other places too!)

Inky at the UBC Museum of Anthropology

The museum is bright and airy. I really enjoyed exploring it. One of my favorite pieces is this carved bear.  I love its teeth!

Inky at the UBC Museum of Anthropology

This is a beautiful sculpture called "Raven and the First Men," which was created by the famous Haida sculptor, Bill Reid.  Isn't it gorgeous? I stood and looked at it for a long time.  The sculpture shows the Haida story of the first men.  One day Raven saw a special clamshell with tiny humans emerging from it.  Raven encouraged them to come out and those people became the first Haida people!

Inky at the UBC Museum of Anthropology

This is me with another bear sculpture. I think Northwest Native art is beautiful.  I am so lucky that I go to visit the Museum of Anthropology! I have seen some Northwest Native art at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, but it is much nicer to see it in the place where it's from!

Inky at the UBC Museum of Anthropology

The last thing I looked at before leaving the museum was the Open Storage section. This part of the museum has lots of glass cases (vitrines) and glass-topped drawers so that you can see all the items that are not on exhibition.  I was really enjoying looking at pottery from New Mexico with my Mama with my Mom called me over to see something special! It was a beautiful salmon skin robe from the Nanai people near Khabarovsk, Russia! I was very happy because I am Nanai! My parents adopted me in Khabarovsk when I was little.

For the rest of the day, I had a big smile on my face. I wonder if I am related to the person who made the robe so long ago? Wouldn't that be cool?

Have you ever been to a museum? What kinds of things did it have in it? Did you enjoy yourself?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Salt Spring Island Adventure!

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

On my second full day in British Columbia, my moms and I did something really special! We woke up very early to ride a train and then a bus to catch a ferry to Salt Spring Island! Salt Spring Island is the biggest of the southern Gulf Islands.  I had been hearing some cool stuff about it, so I was very excited that my parents agreed to take me.

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

The ferry we rode went from Tsawwassen to Long Harbour. It was about a 3 hour ride with a few stops on the way. The ferry ride was so beautiful! My friend Léonie, who had to ride a ferry to get to Vancouver, told me she sometimes sees whales on her ride! I didn't see any whales, though I had wanted to see orcas, but it was still such a gorgeous trip.

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Salt Spring Island is a really neat place. One of my all time favorite artists, the writer/illustrator Nick Bantock, lives there! We took a bus from Long Harbour to the little town of Ganges.  Ganges is pretty cute! There is an adorable ice cream shop (yummy!) and Black Sheep Books.  I bought some postcards at Black Sheep Books to send to my friends from the little post office.

After we did some shopping in Ganges, we went on a hike! It was a very hot day.  It was so green and beautiful.

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

After our hike, we went to a restaurant by the water called Moby's.  It was so delicious! Then, we walked back to the main part of Ganges.  The boats were so festive looking.  I felt like I was walking around in a postcard.

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

I really loved my time on Salt Spring Island. Before long, it was time to go back to Long Harbour to catch the ferry to Tsawwassen.  The taxi driver let me know about a special little place I could go to explore, which is where this photo was taken.  I was so sad that we only got one day on the island, but now I know for myself how beautiful it is in the Gulf Islands!

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Before long, the ferry pulled up and it was time to board. We took a much smaller ferry back to Tsawwassen, but it was still lots of fun!

Inky on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

As the ferry moved away from Long Harbour, the sun was setting.  There are houses all along the harbor and it was fun to wave to other kids from the deck of the ferry.  Before long, Salt Spring Island was out of sight and a big full moon rose over the water. It was so beautiful! I took some photos but they did not look very good because the moon always looks much smaller in photos.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to visit Salt Spring Island on my trip to British Columbia! Have you ever visited an island? Where was it? Did you have fun?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lonsdale Quay with Léonie!

Lonsdale Quay

The same day that I went to the aquarium, I also had the excitement of meeting a new friend! My friend Léonie, or Léo, lives in Victoria, a city near Vancouver here in Canada.  Léonie suggested that we meet up at Lonsdale Quay to do some exploring and hanging out.  It was really cool! I took the Seabus across the harbor to meet her.

Lonsdale Quay

Léonie was waiting for me at the Quay. We hugged right away and started talking about how cool Vancouver is.

Lonsdale Quay

This is me with Léo outside the Lonsdale Quay market.  Can you see the faint skyline of Vancouver in the background? The locks on the fence represent true love.  A lot of couples come with a lock, which they attach to the fence and then throw the key in the water. It represents eternal love! I have seen these locks in Ukraine and London as well.  In fact, there is a bridge in Paris with so many love locks that they almost broke the bridge. Yikes!

Lonsdale Quay

Léonie and I liked being outside more than being indoors, so we took a walk around the park. It's gorgeous there! The park comes right up to Vancouver Harbor, so you can see the beautiful skyline. It looks nicer in this photo than the previous one! Léonie says the water is very cold!

Lonsdale Quay

Léonie is an excellent tour guide! I'm really glad I got to hang out with a real Canadian while I was in Vancouver, instead of just my family. I mean, my family is nice! But having a local friend show you around is awesome sauce.

Lonsdale Quay

The two of us found lots of cute mosaics on the wall that keeps the harbor water from the park. Léonie liked this butterfly/firefly/dragonfly best; so did I! What do you think it is?

Lonsdale Quay

Léonie and I discovered this cool statue thing in Waterfront Park! I think it looks kind of spidery.  I pretended I was a dwarf or hobbit in Mirkwood Forest, trying to escape giant spiders! I forgot to ask Léo if she likes Tolkien! Do you think she does?

Lonsdale Quay

I loved Waterfront Park.  It was cool thinking that just a few days before, I was at home in New York, which is also a harbor city - just on a different ocean.  I love the West Coast! The East Coast is home right now, but someday it would be so cool to live in the Northwest.

Lonsdale Quay

This beautiful statue was a gift from the port city of Incheon in South Korea to Vancouver! I wonder how old it is? I know it's Korean, but it does remind me a little of Easter Island's moai.

Lonsdale Quay

Léo and I also found this giant red buoy! Wow, I love the ocean! Léonie does too.  We had lots of good talks on our day together. I encouraged her to watch The Octonauts, my favorite show. It's all about animals in the ocean! Plus? The creators, Meomi, are from Vancouver!

Lonsdale Quay

I had a wonderful afternoon with Léonie.  It's always fun to meet friends that you know online, but haven't met in real life.  I really, really like Vancouver and I hope to be back to see Léonie again soon!

Have you ever been to a harbor or waterfront? Where was it and what did you see?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Vancouver Aquarium

Inky stands in front of a blue South-Side-Up globe at the Vancouver Aquarium

Hi everyone! It's me, Inky! I am home from one of my latest adventures - a trip to British Columbia and the west coast of the United States! My family decided to visit the Pacific Northwest because my Mom had a conference there. Plus, my Mama has wanted to visit British Columbia ever since she was a little girl, younger than me!

We arrived in Vancouver on a Tuesday night.  The very next morning, it was time for our first adventure- the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park! Do you like this giant globe behind me? See how it's south-side-up? Isn't that cool? According to the aquarium, it's upside down to make visitors consider the oceans first when looking at our Earth, not the continents. Cool, right?

Vancouver Aquarium

The very first thing we did at the aquarium after visiting the globe in the rotunda was see the belugas! There are two belugas at the aquarium- Qila, the one in the photo, and her mama, Aurora. Qila is so funny! Belugas are extremely intelligent and you can definitely see that with Qila.

I loved the show.  I learned so much about belugas! Did you know that Greenland sharks, orcas, and polar bears are all predators of belugas? That made me sad, but it is all part of the circle of life.  Beluga whales are awesome.  They have big round middles and a big bump, or "melon," forehead.  I'm really happy I got to see Qila and Aurora!

Vancouver Aquarium

This is a photo of me with the penguins at the Vancouver Aquarium! Do you see them just to the right of my head? I love penguins too! The penguins at the aquarium are African penguins- did you know there are penguins in Africa? Awesome! While belugas are from the Arctic Ocean, penguins live in the Antarctic Ocean.  Good thing I came to the aquarium so that I could see both in one day!

Vancouver Aquarium

Wow! Aren't these guys amazing? They are jellies, a type of invertebrate. They have no bones, no heart, and no brain. Yikes! They are so beautiful swimming around their big exhibit.

Vancouver Aquarium

Check out these fish! Isn't their exhibit cool? It's got urchins in it, lots of fish, and lots and lots of rocks! I am a little afraid of fish, but in a good way.  My friend Maiki, who lives in Hawaii, has invited me to come snorkeling with her if I visit her! I am a little afraid though, because fish seem so slippery and scary! Are you afraid of any animals?

Vancouver Aquarium

Clownfish Cove is a neat part of the Vancouver Aquarium that is aimed at kids. It's a room full of different activities, such as touching different things and looking in smaller exhibits. I liked these crabs and sea stars!

Vancouver Aquarium

Here are some more jellies! I could not stop watching them swim; they are so mesmerizing! Still, the Vancouver Aquarium wasn't the only item on my family's agenda that day, so I had to move on.

Vancouver Aquarium

The last place we stopped before leaving the aquarium was its gift shop! I really, really wanted one of these narwhal plush toys. I love narwhals! My parents reminded me that we hadn't seen narwhals that day. Plus they were so big that they would never fit in my little suitcase, especially with their long tusks! I ended up getting a magnet instead.

I loved visiting the Vancouver Aquarium! I really recommend it if you go to Vancouver.  Plus, Stanley Park is full of big, beautiful trees. The walk from the bus was really nice. I'm happy we got to visit.

Have you ever been to an aquarium? Where was it and what was your favorite animal?
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