Monday, April 27, 2015

Boston

Although nothing major happened over April vacation, I did go to Boston for a couple days with my mom. Here are some pics and highlights.
The Freedom Trail seal
The first day we walked the Freedom Trail, this trail that winds all around the city and stops by tons of historic landmarks. Boston is chock full of history--the revolutionary war practically started there!

A vendor selling jewelry. There were lots of these kinds of carts around the city.
The Statehouse--one of the Freedom Trail stops.
A famous-ish graveyard where Ben Franklin's parents are buried, along with other notable people.

Quincy Market. Inside, it's full of food stands and little restaurants. Like a giant, delicious food court.
The warf. It was a slightly windy day, but not too cold.
Legal Sea Food, where we had lunch the first day.
My delicious lunch: a lobster roll with seaweed salad and onion strings!
An archway with vines wrapped around it.
Mike's Pastry--a really delicious pastry place. It was chock full--the place was packed with people!
Cannoli's from Mike's Pastry--delicious!
Park, fountain, and accordion player.
A historic printing press. A very painstaking process.
The Bunker Hill Monument.
The U.S.S. Constitution. We got to go aboard and below decks. Pretty cool.
We traveled into the city via the T (subway).
The Haymarket.
The last day, we went to the New England Aquarium. I haven't been to an aquarium since I was six, so I was pretty excited. It did not disappoint.

A very happy seal!
A cool tank where you could touch manta rays! They actually liked a little backscratch--they're like dogs!
Cool jellyfish.
One of the four species of penguins at the aquarium.
Clownfish hiding in anemones.
Another cool fishtank.
A very shy sea turtle.
Happy little seals.
Starfish, starfish.
Cranky turtle.
Well, that was my trip! Have you had your vacation yet (if you have one)? What's been going on?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Summer Happenings


Summer is almost here. Well, really it's two months away. But the moment April rolls around, I start eagerly anticipating the end of the school year. April break just began, and according to all my teachers, the moment we get back school kicks into full throttle. The end of the year is a blur of projects, finals, and all-around hecktickness. My teachers seem to have just realized they have five more units to cram in, and I've been assigned a ton of projects all due in the next month and a half.

Anyway, summer couldn't get here faster. Usually I build up the greatness of summer in my head, filling it with a whirlwind of fun activities and bonding with my friends, but it turns out to be boring and lonely. This year, I really want to work to change that.

First of all, I got accepted into an intensive two-week overnight camp for the arts! Since I'm only a freshman, and they give priority to older kids, I wasn't sure I would get in. But I guess my application was good enough to get me a slot. And, as it so happens, my best friend got accepted as well! We are both really lucky we made it in, and I'm super excited. I've actually never been to an overnight camp before. I think this will be really fun; I'll be participating in all kinds of art programs, and hopefully bonding with other campers and learning new skills.

I am also hoping to volunteer for the summer reading program at my local library, where little kids log the hours they read and then come in and enter a raffle to win a bike and other prizes. Basically, as a volunteer I would just sit and wait for kids to come in and turn in their hour logs, but I need community service hours to graduate high school, and this seems like a good opportunity. 

I'm also hoping to volunteer at a music camp, which I've been attending since I was eight. Last year they didn't have it, but they're starting up again this year and I feel like I'm a little too old to be a camper, so volunteering is the next best thing. And like I said, gotta get those community service hours!

My neighborhood has a small farmer's market once a week, where vendors sell local produce and food. My band mate and I occasionally place music there, and I'm hoping to make it every week this summer (and maybe earn a little money busking for tips).

The real place where street musicians roll in the dough is downtown. My city is lucky enough to have four whole blocks devoted to a downtown area, where cars aren't allowed to drive, and street musicians can busk for money there. During the summer business is good, because there are plenty of people milling about and shopping. Hopefully my band mate and I will make it down there at least a couple times.

My debatably favorite part of the summer is my street's block party in June. It's more like a crazy fiesta. Every year there's a theme, and all the odd characters on my street come out and run booths and set up lounges and dance, and tons of people come or pass by to see the action. It's a ton of fun, but I also like to capitalize on it. I set up a booth and sell my jewelry and crafts and make a tidy little sum. This year, I've actually been learning jewelery making, so hopefully my jewelry will bring in the big bucks. I'm also hoping to play some music with my band mate while I'm at it.


The only other summer camp I'm signed up for thus far is a bookmaking camp with my friend. We have a kind of tradition of doing a craft camp together at one of the art studios in town, and this year we're signed up to learn how to bind books and do block printing. It should be fun.

Then, of course, the end of the summer goes out with a bang when I have my birthday party. I always have a slumber party. I don't really know what we're going to do this year, but I have plenty of time to figure it out.

Well, that's my summer in a (very long) nutshell! I'll keep you updated through the summer; summertime is when I actually have interesting things to write about here.

What are your summer plans?


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter and Passover to You

It's Easter/Passover weekend! Last night I went to a seder at my parents' friend's house. There were a ton of people there, and we all ate and laughed and talked together, and it was quite fun. My favorite Passover food is charoses (ha-row-sit) on matzoh. Charoses is basically chopped up nuts and apples sprinkled with cinnamon and mixed with a tiny bit of wine, and matzoh is kind of like a very large cracker (it's actually supposed to be unleavened bread, but that's basically just a cracker, right?). Anyway, it's delicious. We also had matzoh ball soup, and for the main meal there was a bunch of greens and vegetables and chicken.

Then today, of course, is Easter! I came downstairs to find some lovely little Easter gifts on the table. Chocolate eggs and bunnies, jellybeans, two new little plants, and to satisfy my new jewelry making hobby, a gift card to the craft store Michaels and a book on jewelry making! Then it was out to the backyard to collect the dyed eggs, as is customary, and back inside to feast on bacon and muffins.

All in all, it was a good Easter morning.









Ps. I made an Easter stop-motion-animation ^^