Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A cool day at the beach...

Nothing is better in the summer than feeling a cool sea breeze...listening to waves crashing onto the shore...smelling saltwater...watching beautiful sailboats moving across the ocean...stepping on soft sand and dipping into the soothing seawater. We went to Coney Island Beach + boardwalk...on a cloudy weekday when it would be relatively clean and not so crowded or loud at the free beach.

We spotted another mom+daughter duo enjoying the cooler summer day together.

YES, all fingers up = hand gesture to indicate *this* summer you are 10 years old.

Drying off a bit...

After 1 hour in the water (blowing bubbles, trying to float with my help, splashing, jumping up to catch waves, going for a ride on my back)...Lina loved watching the silly antics of seagull friends on the shore...she is good at spotting birds everywhere!

Then, we walked on the prettified boardwalk...

Whenever we saw a line with a ton of day campers waiting, we avoided that line...so it wasn't a soul-crushing experience as it often can be going out and about in overcrowded New York City. We went on amusement park rides together (we especially liked a new mild thrill ride that was a combination of video game + ride), played at the arcade...ate sicilian pizza, Nutella & Oreo gelato & Churros. A simple, beautiful summer day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Ocean Wonders: Sharks!

The New York Aquarium's newest exhibit Ocean Wonders: Sharks! just opened on June 30 and it was worth the wait (been looking forward to this exhibit for a few years).

Our favorite moment was at the rooftop Touch Pool...we enjoyed touching a live shark for the first time (a bamboo shark) and feeling the shark skin, which is made up of dermal denticles (more like tiny teeth than fish scales).

Lina was delighted with this immersive exhibit...tunnels, sea creatures above and below us, making it feel like we were actually underwater.

The New York Aquarium will continue construction and they expect to have three new exhibit areas (Playquarium, Spineless and SeaChange) completed by 2020.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our farewell to spring

It's the last week of spring...and we are enjoying every windy 70 degree day outdoors...before being enveloped in the extreme heat+humidity of summer. Lina & I rode a sweet camel (at the Bronx Zoo)...

The Tree Conqueror climbed a tree & relaxed on the sturdy branch in Prospect Park...

Wearing her cool new shades...

Reminds me of when she sat on a tree branch back during our favorite season...fall:

We are already looking forward to the cool winds of fabulous fall...since sweaty summer is our least favorite season. As you may have noticed...Lina decided to have a fresh start to this spring...9 inches of hair chopped off. 

She made this decision two weeks into spring, to speed up her hair washing for warm weather days. Definitely will make it easier for her to wash her hair in under 10 minutes when we return (wiped out) from beach or pool trips this summer.

We do miss the long, lovely locks...

BUT...short hair is super cute & easy to maintain for the tween, so she doesn't regret it.

Spring gave Lina the opportunity to watch her favorite bird, Benedict, bathing in rainwater puddles on a roof. 

(Lina's favorite exhibit at the Bronx Zoo recently was the World of Birds.)

With the end of 4th grade fast approaching...we bid farewell to Lina's wonderful piano lessons at the conservatory for this school year...as we prepare for our summer break. She wanted to wear a kawaii hair accessory and golden unicorn shirt.

The pianist's well-trained fingers will retain muscle memory over the summer, as she practices at home...since she is now at an intermediate level and doesn't want to forget all that she has learned (music means so much to Lina).

In the school's garden...mama+Lina enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of spring.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Spring 2018 Recital

Lina was beaming with joy at the spring recital. She received the compliment that she stole the show :-) She performed two solo classical music piano pieces: "Musette" in D Major (by Bach) and "Allegro" in B-flat Major (by Mozart). She had a blast.

This was the final live performance of the academic year at the conservatory of music. Since it was in the evening, I needed a hot cup of chai latte from a bakery for the necessary boost of energy. We celebrated after the recital by eating a delicious dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant. Lina ate tortilla chips with homemade salsa dip, 3 soft tacos she created (filled with steak, chicken, beans, cheese, guacamole) & a yummy flan dessert.

We both adore Lina's perfect piano teacher and this is the 3rd semester with her. Lina is 10 years old now and this will be 4 semesters total of musical instrument lessons. We can't believe 4th grade will be over in less than 6 weeks. I am happily checking off all our to-dos before summer break. She had all her medical appointments. Lina had zero cavities at the pediatric dentist. She was given a clean bill of health by the pediatrician at the annual wellness physical exam (including 20/20 vision for both eyes, perfect hearing test, she is totally fit etc.) As an aside, it has now been 1 COMPLETE YEAR that Lina & I have NOT gotten sick (we did not catch a cold for a whole year, nor the flu for a whole decade) which is NOT easy in NYC! (8 million people here and we ride the subways & buses a few times every week). We did not even experience spring allergies this year, so we really lucked out. In addition to writing end-of-year academic reports, I will be focusing on finishing the curriculum with Lina (for math, we covered multiplication and division algorithms for decimals recently & she LOVED it!) and I will research places for us to have fun & stay cool since the dreaded summer heat & humidity is upon us soon.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Japanese cherry blossom festival

We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's annual Sakura Matsuri event (traditional Japanese cherry blossom festival) for the 1st time. Lina is a huge fan of Japanese culture (the language, food, customs, shows & movies, video games, manga graphic novels, fashions etc.) so she had a blast. She enjoyed wearing her kimono (and Tsukihoshi sneakers), seeing anime cosplay costumes worn by teens & adults, attending a Sohenryu tea ceremony for families and looking at the beautiful cherry blossom trees.


Lina also enjoyed shopping at a Japanese market with saved allowance money...loved handmade kawaii (cute) hair accessories, lovely wooden doll (big discount due to tiny chip on top; we don't care about imperfections :-), met female manga comic book artist and purchased self-published comics and bought volume 1 of two series of wonderful manga graphic novels Yotsuba&! and The Girl from the Other Side. She bought a gift for me too...a nod to my love of tea...fashion ring with a detailed tea cup on it.