Sunday, June 1, 2014

Saturday Vacation

Jamaica Bay trail.Yesterday we met up with Maruk and the family and spent the whole day together with them. Somehow by not really driving anywhere the day felt like we were on vacation.

Real nature right inside of NYC.We started it off with a nice walk along the trail at Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge in a nearby Queens. They day was warm, yet not humid and it was quite pleasant. Emma and Arosha seem to enjoy playing with each other even though they do have their share of disagreements.

Anюta getting a ride.Afterwards we took a short ride across the bridge to the Rockaways for a lunch in a nice place right on the water. The place was called Bungalow Bar and Restaurant. To our surprise the main dining room was totally full, so they ended up putting us into an outside tent. That arrangement was even better as our kids proceeded to chase after each other at great speeds.

Lunch at Bungalow Bar and Restaurant.And to complete the day we drove down to Fort Tilden. There was a big green field in the middle of it where we tried to get a kite going. Kids kept arguing whose turn it was to fly no matter the fact that the kite just would not fly for the lack of any wind. At one point I proposed to tie it to Maruk’s brand new Jeep and drive around, but somewhy my idea was turned down.

Conversation.Then Arosha discovered a soccer net and climbed onto it. He ended up looking like a spider. Emma wanted to try too, but Arosha was unnerving her by his complete inability to stay still and thus causing the net to wobble all over the place. After we talked him into letting her try to climb it without him sitting in the net she was able to get to the top as well which made everyone happy.

Trying to get the kite to fly.Although for some reason right after that Emma has declared that she no longer will play with Arosha which totally distressed Arosha for a short while. Of course within 30 seconds they both forgot about it and were happily climbing into and sitting in the cargo are of our car. All in all, contrary to how it might sounds, I think they did like playing with each other.

Cooperation. Trying it.And us adults — we had a really nice day too. And all this — only one exit away from our home.

Spidering.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pocono Getaway

Mountain Springs Lake.Yesterday we came back from our third trip to Mountain Springs Lake Resort. It’s a beautiful place in Pocono Mountains that offers very cozy cabins, located on the lake and surround by forest, for rent. It’s not cheap, but is well worth it.

Our cabin #41.The cabin (#41) itself ended up costing us a little under $900 for 3 nights. There was a total of 6 of us — Alёna, Arosha, Maruk, Alina, Emma and I. We split all the costs in half which made it much more affordable. The overall total expense for each family came out to $594.

Best tasting beer in existence.I like this place so much because it is such a non-worry vacation where one can really relax. There is not much planning involved beside making a reservation for the cabin and getting there — and it’s only 100 miles away. This seems to be the only type of vacation where I don’t end up driving myself crazy by becoming a nervous wreck a day before.

On the lake.We drove out at 12pm for 4pm check-in — even though we got there quite a bit earlier, they had no problem giving us the keys to our cabin. We picked this time specifically for it to coincide with Arosha’s day-time nap. And luckily for us Arosha did fall asleep soon after and slept for hour and half — pretty much all of our drive there.

Maruk, Emma and Alina.We did all the shopping with Maruk on the first “morning” right after we got there. There is a number of huge supermarkets around it, Giant being the closest — a much more pleasant shopping experience than that of a shopping at any of the Brooklyn places.

Maruks marinated the shish-kebabs a day before using their own recipe for marinade.We filled our shopping cart with all kinds of organic things to be grilled. We ended up with $225 worth of food and proceeded to eat pretty much all of it during our stay there.

One of the salads.Our daily dining regiment consisted of early light breakfast (yogurt and tea), hamburger brunch, shish-kebab lunch and skirt steak dinner. Ever meal included a number of side dishes such as salads, fried pineapples, grilled onions, seared collard greens, squash and pumpkins. One day we grilled salmon steaks and shrimp.

Salmon steaks and shrimp.Everything was super-delicious and we are very grateful to Maruk for doing most of the grilling.

Emma and Arosha cooking a soup.The lake itself was no more than 20 meters away from us. Kids enjoyed playing in the sand and the playground.

Arosha getting ready to slide down.Arosha found one of his favorite objects on the playground — a юль (руль — steering wheel) and a slide which would propel him at freakishly high speed down — it was made of some very “slidy” plastic.

Mountain Springs Lake.I slept rather well during the nights — we brought our own blanket and didn’t have to deal with typical hotel type multilayered deal that I always hate. Arosha slept in his portable bed which he likes quite a lot, but he kept waking up several times a night. Sadly he did the same thing at home this night, but hopefully it will pass soon.

Grilled pineapples.In the evening after the kids would go to sleep we would sit around a fire and drink tea, hot-chocolate and eat some fire-toasted marshmallows. I myself stuck to tea, but Maruks loved their marshmallows big time.

Sitting by the fireplace in the evening.It was a great getaway spent in a small circle of family and close friends. I enjoyed it a lot.

Shish-kebab with a salad.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Aroshka’s First Birthday Parties

All our guests of day one.We wanted to post a bunch of Aroshka’s birthday party pictures for a while, but things like spending the night in emergency room kept getting in the way. I have to say — if I could switch places with Aroshka and be the one with the laceration on my eyebrow, I would do so in a heartbeat.

Our little family unit. Shublik didn't participate.But anyhow, we celebrated his First Birthday recently, and here are some pictures to remember the event by.

The musical trio.This year Aroshka lucked out — he had two Birthday Parties!

Arosha and Alisa.We wanted to invite over 20 people, but it turns out our apartment is not made out of rubber after all, so we either had to go to some kind of restaurant (which I always though is not what we’ll do for his first birthday), or to invite people in two batches.

Arosha and AudreySo for party number 1 we invited our friends and their kids to our place, and for party number two our family gathered at Danya’s parents’ apartment.

Aunt Lilya, Arsen, Lena and Vitalik.Both events went great. Aroshka’s grandma cooked meat pie, funchoza and some other things, and we ordered shish-kebab from a local Uzbek place. We also got a fruit sponge cake from a Chinese bakery. The food was plentiful and delicious!

Zhanna and Marat.Aroshka got some cool toys and money as gifts. I think our whole apartment is slowly turning into one big toys storage place, so I often wish we had a basement or something like that to store all the stuff that we don’t currently use. One day…

Lina and Lenny.Aroshka is very social, so he liked interacting with children and adults alike. I am really happy that Alisa and Audrey were able to come — I think they had fun too!

Grandparents with their grandson.We sang a “Happy Birthday” song to Aroshka, and I blew out the candle for him. I tried to teach him the fine art of blowing candles out beforehand, but he did not master it just yet. Maybe next year it will be a different story.

Birthday cake. The excitement. Blowing out the candles.Since Arosha’s birthday happens to be in the middle of the summer, maybe we’ll be able to celebrate his future birthdays in a park somewhere, as a BBQ event.

Birthday cake.All in all, we had fun and I am very grateful to everyone who came to wish our little man a Happy First Birthday!

Arosha and uncle Lenny.
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hempstead Picnic With Maruks

Skirt steak getting grilled.For today Maruk and his family has planned an outing and a cookout in Hempstead Lake State Park. They were kind enough to invite our family to join them and as a result we had a great day.

Arosha exploring the park by crawling.The park was beautiful — full of green trees that create shade all over the place, it had very few people, was clean and had nice benches and tables for us to use.

The cook. The host. Maruk.The company was great as well — Maruk and Alina really are great friends. They also do have a good family and even though we don’t see them too often it’s always nice to get together with them when it does happen. Maruk was a great cook and did all the work to keep everyone well feed and thus happy.

Emma and Arosha "reading" a book.Arosha got to explore a new place and play with Emma. Even though he still is too little to really socialize I think it’s nice for kids to be near other kids. I was always friends with kids of my parents’ friends. Arosha and Emma will probably and hopefully end up being good friends when they get older as well.
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Cat in a bag. Always a mystery.Сегодня последний день первого месяца лета. Как уже писал Даня, июнь в этом году выдался на диво дождливым, и сегодня не было исключением. Как-то незаметно пролетели дни — я до сих пор не успела осознать, что весна закончилась.

Shublik. Ball. Very sad.На прошлой неделе кастрировали Шублика. Стоило это “удовольствие” $261 (включая прививку от бешенства, анализы и таблетки). Данька очень переживал за кошака – думаю, больше чем я (тот факт, что Шубля относится к сильному полу на это мог повлиять). Жалко, конечно, было лишать животное яиц, но и оставлять его “целым” было нереально — страдал бы в результате и он, и мы. Пока что никаких изменений в характере не наблюдается — он такой же игривый и ласковый живчик, как и раньше.

Shublya vs. New York Times.По совету ветеринара мы временно заменили песок в его горшке на рваные газеты. Бубля теперь самый продвинутый котёнок в округе, ибо писает он не на что-либо, а на Wall Street Journal и New York Times (которые мне любезно подарил владелец маленького магазинчика волзе метро, когда я обьяснила зачем мне нужны “the cheapest newspapers you’ve got”). )

В субботу я снова покрасила волосы. Так как блондинкой быть мне что-то поднадоело, New hair color. Again...я выбрала светло-каштановый цвет. К сожалению, из-за того что мои волосы были выбелены-перевыбелены, краска с них смывается очень быстро. Парикмахер сказала, что для того чтобы цвет стал более менее постоянным, надо будет 3-4 раза их покрасить. Ну ничего — будем над этим работать! ) По-моему, новый цвет мне идёт.

В середине июня у Маруков родилась доченька, которую они назвали Эмануэль или просто Эмма. Два дня назад мы заходили к ним в гости посмотреть на это крохотное чудо. ) От всей души желаю ей рaсти здоровой, счаствливой и любимой!

Недавно дочитала на своём iPhone книгу “Little Women” написанную во второй половине 19 века американской писательницей Louisa May Alcott. Alёna & Shublya.Когда-то я смотрела одноименный фильм, поставленный по роману, и впечатления у меня остались хорошими. Это и послужило основной причиной выбора данной книги для убиения времени в метро из бесплатного, но к сожалению очень ограниченного виртуального каталога.

Признаться честно, сперва книга совсем не пошла — казалась слишком наивной и нравоучительной. Но я быстренько втянулась в историю жизней четырёх сестер March, и получила удовольствие и от сюжета, и от языка.

Сегодня начала читать “Jane Eyre” (написанную конечно же Charlotte Brontë). Роман этот я неоднократно читала в более нежном возрасте, но, естественно, в переводе на русский язык. Чтение оригинала мне пока нравится — книга, конечно, идёт медленее, но и воспринимается как-то немного по-другому.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Maruk’s Birthday

Maruk and Alina at Red Bowl.Yesterday we went out to celebrate Maruk’s birthday. Maruk picked Red Bowl — Williamsburg Chinese Restaurant, owned by a long time friend of Maruk — David. David’s wife had a birthday as well, so they spent the whole evening at our table. We had a good time.
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