Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Arosha’s 7th Birthday

Arosha. August 30th, 2017.Earlier this month Arosha has turned 7! Happy Birthday, our son! Be healthy, happy, lucky, kind.

Multitude of helium balloons in the living room are a tradition by now, so on the morning of his birthday that was exactly what he expected and what he saw. As last year, we blew them at home using a disposable helium tank and hi-float solution. The balloons held for over a week by the way.

Baloon tradition.We got Arosha an early birthday present about 10 days before his actual birthday. He asked for a skateboard, and we were actually very happy that he had chosen something fun. It is not easy to get something for a child who pretty much has anything that he wants to as far as toys and things are concerned. We got it at a small skateboarding store in Park Slope, and along with the board we payed for a one hour lesson to learn the basics, since none of us really had any experience skateboarding. So far Arosha likes his new transport, and he even rode it to Manhattan Beach and back one day, but as far as skill goes, he is still a novice.

Poolside piñata.On the day of his birthday we celebrated it with his friends at the pool. He invited Alex, Simon and Vladik with their younger siblings. I was a little worried in the morning since the day was cloudy and on the cool side, but decided to proceed as planned anyway. It turned out to be Ok. The boys didn’t spend too much time in the water, but still had fun. We also bought a piñata this year and stuffed it with little things from 99 cent store. It was a hit as expected.

I did not cook anything for the party this year. We just ordered pizzas and had some fresh fruits, berries and vegetables as well. I think that for a pool party this made more sense than putting all that effort in cooking meat pies and salads which kids did not really touch last year.

Baloons. Evening before the birthday.After spending a few hours by the pool, we went up to the apartment to have tea and cake. Arosha picked an ice-cream cake as always — Danya and him bought it a few days prior at a Carvel store.

After the cake everyone went to the playground where the children played for another hour. The birthday was fun, I hope Arosha enjoyed it.

Birthday cake.And on the weekend we continued to celebrate with Danya’s parents and sister. Arosha picked a Korean restaurant, and we had a very nice family lunch at Kim-Chi in Bay Ridge.

As far as other gifts go, Arosha also got books, money for additional skateboarding lessons, clothes, board games and art supplies, which he kindly lends to his little sister.

Our not-so-little-anymore units.I hope Arosha will have a healthy and joyful year.

Oh, and by the way, when we went to the annual doctor’s visit, Arosha’s measurements for height and weight were 54 inches and 63 pounds.
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Memorial Day in Cape Cod

Nauset Light.We wanted to go to Cape Cod for years it seems. The place is relatively close, but somehow we never went, in part because it gets pricey in season. It was not cheap this Memorial weekend as well — a little over $250 for a room per night, but definitely more affordable.

Salt Pond Bay.We booked Hampton Inn hotel by Hilton in Hyannis. The location is not ideal since it’s still a 40+ miles ride from Provincetown, but we wanted to book something with a big chain rather than a small business in case we will have to cancel the trip on the account of children getting sick.

Nauset Beach.The original plan was to leave at 15-16 o’clock, but after some consideration we’ve decided to go as early as possible in hopes to beat some of the traffic, which in our case was right after picking Arosha up from school at 14:20. I prepared chicken sandwiches and tea so that Arosha could eat in the car and save us some time.

Down to Nauset Beach.Well, what can I say? Getting out of a megalopolis on the verge of the long weekend is not pretty. It took us 4 hours to drive the first 90 miles. We did stop at some point to get a quick dinner at a Turkish restaurant, which kids really liked, but pretty much all we did for the rest of the day was driving and standing in traffic. We got to the hotel at 22:30 and went to bed after 23:00.

Eroding Cape Cod.On Saturday the plan was to drive to Provincetown and make a few stops on the way in order to see different lighthouses and maybe take a hike or two.

Balancing at Nauset Beach.Approximately midway we stopped at the visitor center, where Danya and the kids got their passports stamped, and then proceeded to Nauset Lighthouse and Three Sisters Lighthouses. We went down to the beach, but did not spend too much time there since we had a lot of other plans.

Streets of Provincetown.The children started climbing sand dunes on the beach, which apparently is not a good idea because it can facilitate coastal erosion. We did not realize it at first, but within a few minutes someone pointed that out to us, so we explained it to Arosha and Anюta. I think if they were allowed to proceed, they could have enjoyed this activity for a very long time.

Streets of Provincetown.We then went and looked at the Nauset Lighthouse and took a few pictures of it. There were no tours to the top available. We did not take a hike to the Three Sisters, but drove by them — the remnants of the replacement wooden lighthouses (the original brick ones fell into the ocean over a century ago) are not on the shore and only one of them looks like a lighthouse.

Streets of Provincetown.We then proceeded to Provincetown. The roads were quite busy, but no major traffics. In the city though it was tough to find parking. Luckily, we stumbled upon a big public parking lot (it was relatively inexpensive) and on the farthest parking field there were still some spots left.

Cape Cod Bay. View from Provincetown.What can I say? Provincetown seemed too busy for my taste. I guess, if we did not have children, it would have felt nicer, but it was a little unnerving for me to keep track of them in the crowds of people, especially considering the fact that Anюta stopped in front of every single dog and tried to communicate with it, and there were a lot of dogs in Provincetown that day.

Breakwater walk to Wood End Lighthouse.We picked one of the less popular places for lunch — it still had relatively decent rating on TripAdvisor — and got some beer, burgers, chowders and a lobster roll to share. The seafood in Cape Cod is fresh and tasty, and even though I am still not a huge fan of lobsters, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Breakwater walk to Wood End Lighthouse.We walked around the town for a little longer after lunch, and then drove to the Wood End Lighthouse. People at the visitor center warned us that we won’t be able to take a hike to it with little children in tow since the path to it is made out of huge rocks going through the water. We decided to see what exactly that looks like, but could not find any parking. Luckily, there was an inn with a big parking lot right next to the path, and the management let us park there free of charge for an hour.

National Seashore headquarters.The children were very excited with the rocky path — they were jumping from one rock to the next with the speed of a fit adult, but I was worried that one of them would slip and get into the cracks in between the rocks and break something. So we walked towards the lighthouse for about 15 minutes and then headed back to the children’s great disappointment.

Marconi Wireless Station Site.Originally, we planned to see one more lighthouse located in the area that day, and also to get another stamp at the farthest visitor center. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the center was already closed. Everyone was tired, so we decided to postpone the lighthouse visit until tomorrow, if we would feel like driving so far from our hotel again.

Authentic Cape Cod lunch at Moby Dick's.When we got to the hotel, the children went to the pool, which was also super crowded. Danya and I also changed into our bathing suits, but to be honest, neither pool, nor jacuzzi looked appealing enough to get in, although I did put my legs into the hot tub — I guess, Costa Rica spoiled us in this regard.

Lunch at Moby Dick's.We spent about an hour in the pool, and after a quick shower went to get dinner at local Peruvian restaurant. Danya and the children got fajitas and I got some Peruvian seafood dish that our waitress recommended. It turned out to be really good even though I oftentimes don’t like stuff like that. I think that the quality of the local seafood really makes all the difference.

Cape Code Lighthouse or Highland Lighthouse as it is known now.The next day we have decided to drive to the top of the Cape Cod again to see the Cape Cod Lighthouse. We stopped at some ranger station first in hopes to get an extra stamp, but it was closed. We did make it to Marconi Wireless Station Site though. We had lunch at Moby Dick’s restaurant. It was a nice experience — you order your food at the counter and take any table that you like and they bring the food to you, and the food was good too.

View from the top of Highland Lighthouse.After getting the passports stamped, we went to see the Cape Cod Lighthouse. Danya and Arosha took a tour to the top, but Anюta is not tall enough to be allowed in, so both of us waited for the boys outside. Daniel liked the tour and one of the interesting things that the guide told them is that the lighthouse was moved 3 times already due to coastal erosion.

Light lens itself up top of Highland Lighthouse.We wanted to see another lighthouse and maybe take a hike on the beach to it, but were not sure where to go exactly. A park ranger at the entrance to one of the $20 per car beaches (which we skipped) explained to us that there is a small hidden parking lot from which we can take a mile long hike to the lighthouse, and we even managed to find it, but it had no empty spaces. Oh well.

Highland Lighthouse.We ended up parking at Herring Cove Beach, which was free by the way, and taking an hour walk in the direction of the lighthouse on that beach. We could have walked longer, but it was just so windy and chilly that we could not take it any longer.

Herring Cove Beach.After this we went back to the hotel and the children enjoyed the pool once more. For dinner we went to Brazilian Grill, and it was a real treat. I think kids each ate about as much meat as I did, as they tend to do in this type of restaurants.

Hike at Herring Cove Beach. Windy.Our last full day at Cape Cod happened to be rainy. We didn’t do much. First the children went to the pool and spent 2 hours there. Then we drove to one of the restaurant streets in Hyannis, and had lunch at The British Beer Company and some deserts at the local cupcake store. We also checked out a few souvenir shops and got a cool looking magnifying glass for Arosha and small pink plush seal for Anюta — they christened it tюlenьka.

Herring Cove Beach.We then went back to the hotel and kids hit the pool and a hot tub again. This time around they spent 3 hours enjoying the water activities.

Collection of shells.Danya and I used the fitness center to get a workout on an elliptical trainer. I enjoyed it, but I still like our Peloton much more.

Seashell castle.Then at the evening I felt a massive migraine building up, so by the time we went to the restaurant and ordered dinner, I could barely sit straight. We took the food to go, and Daniel with the children ate their meals in the dining area of our hotel. I did not touch my meal, which was for the better, since I ended up throwing up a few times, which I suspected would happen.

Race Point Lighthouse from afar.Long story short, I was able to sleep most of the night and felt better the next day, although I still had a slight headache and queasy stomach.

Rhode Island Capitol.After breakfast on Tuesday we headed home. We stopped at Providence, the capital of Rhode Island. We visited the state capitol there — looked around, took some pictures, got special stamps.

Inside the capitol at Providence.We ate lunch later on at McDonald’s to save time and arrived home at 7 p.m. The total millage for the trip was 763 miles, which is a lot considering that it was just an extended long weekend getaway.

Arosha with Liberty Bell.I had fun overall, but at the moment have no desire to revisit Cape Cod. I understand that the timing was not ideal since a lot of people travel during this particular weekend, but it just felt so overcrowded. Our average speed for the trip was 30 miles per hour, which means that we spent 20 hours in the car altogether, and this was definitely tiring for everyone, especially Daniel.

Rhode Island Capitol in Providence.But then again, this was a quality time spent with my family and I am grateful that we were able to get away from our everyday routines and just explore new places together.

Providence.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Cape Cod Weekend Getaway

Cape Cod map.During our last weekend’s trip to Fire Island I again started reminiscing about us visiting so many places and yet still not being able to make it to Cape Cod. Well, we decided to take an upcoming long Memorial Day weekend and remedy the situation.

One of the issues before was that we have tried to look into visiting the cape during the peak summer time and the prices are just way out there. We decided to go there ahead of the season — there are still supposedly plenty of things we can spend our time on without having to actually swim in the ocean.

Another decision that we made was to stay at the very start of the Cape Cod peninsula. Most of the land along the National Seashore is covered by little motels and lodges and they have less than stellar cancellation policy. Having two little kids who can decide to develop a fever on whim’s notice we prefer bigger chains.

We booked our stay at Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Cod1 in Yarmouth-Hyannis area. There was another Hilton property in close proximity, but we settled for this one because it had a hot tub in addition to an indoor pool that both properties featured. Provincetown itself is 45 miles or 1 hour away, so we’ll be able to visit it on one of the days while we are there. Continue Reading

  1. Hampton Inn & Suites Cape Cod — 4 nights, total of $1,115 with taxes included. []

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Costa Rica Vacation RIU

Riu pools.It was a truly nice, relaxing and pleasant vacation! Except for our trip to volcano and Daniel’s mom sickness, but I will not write in detail about those.

Pacific.What I liked the most was the water, both the ocean and the pools. It was just so warm! I remember that when we were in Costa Rica four years ago, the ocean was much colder and I swam in it briefly just a few times. This vacation was so different. We spent hours in the water.

Kids by Arenal Volcano.Of course, the ocean was wavy, and it was not easy to watch both kids at the same time by myself, but luckily Daniel and his dad were both helping me out most of the time. Also Daniel’s mom was watching the children in the pools sometimes, which was nice especially when Danя, his dad and I were doing water aerobics.

Pools. By Boris R.I also really liked the fact that the resort did not feel crowded. You could get a nice spot on the beach at any time of the day. Anюta and Arosha liked playing in the sand in the shade of the trees and they were pretty much the only children doing this. The pools were not crowded either, and we could almost always get a ball to play water sports with.

Dad. Anna in the background.There was a program for the children in the evening — they would get on stage and dance and have a little competition afterwards. Arosha was shy the first few days, but then he got a taste of it and was really excited to participate. Anюta was joining him too, but she still felt a little shy throughout.

The beach at sunset. By Boris R.The food was OK. Not bad, but kind of very similar in all the restaurants. As it always happens on such kind of resorts, I’ve came home a few pounds lighter, and so did everyone else. I liked fresh fruit the most, especially pineapples. You simply can’t find pineapples this tasty in Brooklyn. Anюta insists that eating watermelon was one of her favorite vacation parts.

Anna with coconut. By Boris R.I also got a chance to wear my pretty summer dresses! And so did Anюta. One day we were wearing a matching nesting doll dresses, and people kept commenting how adorable we look.

Anna with grandma.Talking about clothes, I got Daniel a long sleeved rash guard. He never used one before, and I think it really changed his beach behavior for the better. He used to avoid being in the sun or getting in the water in the first half of the day unless there was shade. Like most of us, Daniel really hates putting on sunblock, and this took care of it for the most part. I also think that having apple watch gave us extra incentive to be more active, hence we participated in water aerobics classes for the first time ever.

One of many monkeys in the trees. By Boris R.One of the highlights of the trip for me was going down the beach and seeing semi-wild monkeys in the patch of the adjacent forest. Daniel’s dad, the explorer he is, brought me and the children there after discovering them on his own. We saw two different kinds of monkeys up close.
Arosha on a trail.
They were not afraid of people at all — in fact, they were used to people feeding them and taking pictures of them. One of the monkeys was eating a hard boiled egg, and children found it to be pretty amusing. Unfortunately for Danя, when we made another trip to watch the monkeys in his company, there were none to be seen.

Giant leaf Arosha found in Arenal National Park.We also encountered different kinds of lizards and iguanas both on the beach and on the resort’s grounds.

On a trail at Arenal National Park.It was sad to leave this wonderful country and splendid resort. The children are begging to go there again in the future. I hope we’ll be able to.

Riu pools from the top floor.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Costa Rica 2017

Riu Palace Costa Rica.We are back from our trip to Costa Rica and I’m happy to report that it went well. Actually it was pretty great with a couple of small exceptions. It was a nice change of pace from our usual very active trips and it was quite refreshing not to rush anywhere and just relax.

Breakfast at the buffet.And if after our usual exploration vacations we’re pretty tired and are happy to get home, the downside of this one is that I could easily do another week of doing nothing. It was a little too short.

Breakfast juices.The exceptions came in the form of my mom getting what seemed to be a food poisoning which made her stay in bed for a day and our excursion. More about that later.

Now a little bit about everything.

Resort


Pools.Last time we stayed in Hilton all-inclusive. It was somewhat mediocre. One of those rare cases when Hilton really disappoints. This time we decided to stay in place that is famous for doing all-inclusive correctly — Riu. And Riu Palace at that. I checked up on Hilton and the property was actually sold to some other chain. Riu Palace was also in Guanacaste Province as was Hilton, but a little bit to the south of our previous stay.

Our room.When we were assigned our rooms we had to make quite a walk to the far end of the hotel from the front desk. My mom was actually upset that it was so far. However as it turned out it was the best location possible for several reasons. It was the place from where the walk to the pools and the beach was the shortest.

Riu Palace.All the eateries were also easily accessible. It was on a ground floor — no stairs to climb. Rooms faced the back gardens away from the pools and the theater which made them very quite — very good for kids who need to take naps and go to sleep relatively early.

Omelet cook.As far as food goes there were breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, 4 thematic restaurants and a mid-day pool BBQ, all of which we have visited. And as usual there was a countless number of bars serving all kinds of drinks one could desire day and night. There were a couple of things that I enjoyed from the restaurants, but mostly the food wasn’t very memorable.

Ocean beach.The temperature of the pools was amazing. We actually sampled one on our very first night in and it was the warmest pool I have been in. You just walk in and enjoy — no need to use any power of will to actually submerge. There were at least 5 pools and there were always empty chairs and beds available. The beach was the same in many respects. There was always space available in the shade of the trees and the water was also very warm — same deal — just walk in and enjoy.

Our water gymnasts. By Boris R.The ocean was often quite wavy though. Kids enjoyed playing in the sand, but we had to hold them very close to us when in the water. On the very first day Alёna got knocked over by a wave and lost her $500 prescription sun glasses. My dad lost his hat towards the end of the trip. There were several cases when breaking waves were several feet over my head. So we would usually relocate to the pools as the day progressed.

Lina.Our Anna is a very proficient swimmer in her floating pads and she would torpedo all over the pool for hours. Arosha refuses to use any flotation devices for years now, so all the practice made him a decent swimmer as well — self thought. We probably should sign him up for some swimming lessons so they would teach him some correct techniques.

Riu Palace.All in all Riu Palace Costa Rica was a great resort to stay at. We can highly recommend it.

Fitness


Us.A day before the trip Alёna and I exchanged watches. She didn’t want to take her Apple Watch with her, much preferring our indestructible Casio Pathfinder for this kind of vacation. Yet hers was the waterproof Series 2 watch, while mine was Series 0. I’m glad we did that. I spent hours upon hours with my Apple Watch in the water.

Matching dresses.Originally I thought I would have to visit the gym daily to keep up my exercise and calorie burn streak going, but it worked out even better. Every day at 11:30am there was a water aerobics class in the pool that lasted for about 30 minutes. It provided enough exercise minutes and even though the calorie burn was moderate the rest of the day easily put me over my goal of 400 active calories per day. It was a nice change of pace.

Kids.I also attempted to do a swimming workout on my first day there only to realize that doing a swim for 15 minutes is a LOT harder than doing an hour on our spin bike. I did manage to eek out my 15 minutes, but that was my one and only attempt.

Excursions


Our van. Hyundai H1.This part was a very expensive and very epic fail of our vacation. During our last trip to Costa Rica we enjoyed our visits to local national parks. This time things didn’t go as smoothly. First of all we needed a big car — there were 7 of us. Chevy Suburban just doesn’t exist in Costa Rican rental places. I also wanted to get the car with full insurance considering that my regular insurance doesn’t cover anything overseas and realizing that stuff like bison vs Suburban can happen.

Lago Arenal.After finding what seemed a decent option for a car that was supposed to fit 7 people and 4 suitcases we realized that the 3rd row of seats was more of a gimmick than an actual set of seats that even kids wouldn’t fit into comfortably and there was no space left for our bags. So we had to get one rental place to shuttle us to another one. At that other one we ended up with a cross between a full-sized van and a minivan — Hyundai H1.

On a trail.This van had no proper seat belts nor did it have any latch anchors for kid car seats. It did have a lot of space and a lot of size which made it’s puny engine very noticeable. The damn thing could barely climb any kind of incline. All that came out to $856 for 8 days — crazy expensive. But that was the least of our problems.

Lava fields by Arenal Volcano.On our second full day we decided to revisit Arenal since we didn’t get to actually see the volcano because of all the fog last time. The trip was extremely long end tedious. The roads were bad and umarked. At one point we had to drive down a dirt hill where they suddenly forgot to put any asphalt down. We met zero animals of any kind which was a sharp contrast to our previous trip.

Arenal Volcano.When we got to the park we were charged $85 to enter — they charge per person not per car. In United States I can get a pass to ALL of national parks for $80 for all of us.

Lava field.Arenal National Park had two short trails. We took the one up to the lava field which was a mile each way. Lava field turned out to be a collection of large black boulders — much less impressive compared to what we saw in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. And the view of the volcano itself was better from the road to the park, not inside. Anyhow.

River.We also stopped by the river that was mighty impressive on our last trip. This time it was your usual mountain river — quite bland and empty. On our way back we wanted to get some late lunch at the same German place that we ate at the last time, but by the time we got there the kitchen was already closed. It wasn’t even 4:30pm yet. So we ate at a nearby Italian place.

On a trail.And then the scary part. It was already quite dark outside when we got back to that dirt-road patch that I mentioned earlier. And when we attempted to drive up that road our car started sliding down. Every attempt seemed to make things worse. At one point it actually got caught by the underside on some dirt pile and just would not move in either direction. Everyone had to get out. The car just wouldn’t go up and the width of this road was about the length of our car with cliffs raising (luckily) on both sides. Everyone got really scared and stressed out. Getting completely stuck in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with little kids.

Giant tree.I managed to pull off a U-turn without any regard for the bumpers at this point. We had to take a long detour back to our hotel. This day completely took the wind out of our further excursion plans and we had no desire whatsoever to go anywhere else. We just hoped that this car would be able to take us back to the airport when the time came without any additional stress. Which it did.

Lago Arenal dam.So there you have it — $856 for the car, $85 for the park, $60 for the gas plus credit card currency conversion fees and you have a very expensive epic fail. Not doing that again in the future.

Our Day


Riu Palace.Our days were great. We would wake up at somewhere from 7 to 8am and go eat breakfast at the buffet. Then we would go to the beach and play with the ocean. By around 11:15am we would move to the pools and do our water aerobics until 12pm. Then we would get some lunch and go back to our room for a couple of hours of nap. After nap we would again return to the pool and stay there until 6:30pm after which we would go get some dinner. And then back to bed for a good night of sleep. Rinse and repeat.

On a trail.Towards the end we started going to the theater where kids would participate in a kid show and games on the stage at 8pm. And then there was a show done by the hotel crew at 9pm. It’s no Cirque du Soleil, but some of these shows were quite fun to watch.

Swimming in the ocean.That was a very nice routine. I could easily do another week of this. I am already feeling some nostalgia for our Costa Rican stay.
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Helena — The Capital of Montana

Montana State capitol.When we put together our road trips we try to include state capitals even when those require a bit of a detour. Especially for those capitals that we haven’t been to previously. But Helena, the capital of Montana, turned out to be directly in our way and not only that, but very much in the middle of our drive from East Glacier Park Village to West Yellowstone — our next destination.

Helena. Montana State capitol.However instead of going through Helena and just stopping there for a short while we decided to break our long drive apart and spend a day in Helena itself to make things easier on our kids. It was 187 miles away from Glacier National Park and 176 miles to Yellowstone. We spent one night in Helena and we stayed in the only Hilton owned property of our whole trip — Hampton Inn Helena.

Capitol from the front.The drive to Helena itself was mostly uneventful except for a bit of anxiety we experienced on the part of us running out of gas and a complete lack of settlements of any kind on our way. So we were quite relieved to reach a town of Choteau with a population of around 1,500. We decided to grab a quick lunch at the gas stations where we filled up our car. We ate some typical gas station food, but Alёna and my dad ordered some soup to-go at a small sandwich place across the street.

Inside capitol. Anюta being Anюta.Hampton Inn turned out be very pleasant. Probably the cleanest and nicest place we stayed at on this trip. The only exception is a place at Jackson where we actually had a huge two bedroom, two story suite to ourselves — the only place where we actually finally got a joint room — our last day. Anyhow, we deiced not to procrastinate and get right back into our car right after check-in.

Looking up into the dome.The only thing that we wanted to see in Helena was its capitol complex, which was only 10 or so minutes away from the hotel. Since the day was Sunday the capitol building ended up being closed, just as we expected. We walked around it, looked at various monuments and simply spent some time laying on the green grass surrounding the capitol while kids ran around and played.

Walking up.As far as the pictures go, the sun was shining from the wrong direction, but the biggest issues that prevented me from taking decent photographs was my continuing lack of a shift lens. Thus without having one on hand all my pictures in their original form have a serious case of converging vertical lines — buildings appearing to be falling down behind themselves. Thank you, Photoshop.

Hibachi dinner.While kids were running around Alёna and I were going through restaurant listings on TripAdvisor. We wanted something different from the usually available American cuisine and ended up settling on a Japanese hibachi place called Nagoya Steakhouse which was in 18th out of 115 places — decent enough. The food turned out to be very good. Kids enjoyed the show and all of us enjoyed the food. Even my dad, who is not easily impressed by restaurant food, commented on the fact of it being delicious.

Senate chambers.And to finish our day all of us went out to hotel pools which also had a hot tub. Here I was pleasantly surprised by the progress that my kids had made with swimming. If back in April during our Canadian trip Arosha used to swim like a kind of a mix of amoeba and a zombie, he was actually swimming like a typical human would. And Anna who would refuse to go into a pool alone before was swimming all around it with a help of inflatable arm bands. All those trips that Alёna makes to our building pool with them really pay off.

Senators.One the morning of the next day — Monday, before leaving Helena we drove over to the capitol complex again. The building was open to visitors, we got our official capital stamps in our passports and were able to explore all over the capitol itself. It had a lot of paintings depicting Native Americans inside. We also were able to check out house and senate halls. It looks good inside, but to tell you the truth all the capitols are started to blur together in my head by now.

Inside the capitol.And that was our stay in Helena. The next stop was Yellowstone National Park itself — the longest single portion of our whole trip — five nights in one place.

Some of my stamps along with the one we got at Montana capitol building in Helena.
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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday!

6th birthday.Our darling boy turned 6 this week! Arosha, we love you so very much! You are our ray of sunshine, our smart and sly and kindhearted son! We wish you the very best. Be good, be happy, be healthy, be aware of the world around you.

We really wanted to make the day special for him, since he was waiting for it with the mix of excitement and impatience for many months already. I spent a lot of time thinking of what kind of party would be best, and we ended up throwing a pool party for him. I talked to the lifeguards of our building’s pool in advance (because the maximum number of guests they allow per apartment is 4, and only 2 of those are free), and was given a permission so to speak.

Our birthday balloon tradition.We ordered a folding picnic table before going on vacation, and as for chairs, the pool guard said that she’ll lend us some. In terms of food, we decided to order pizzas, because that usually does not fail with kids, and I also cooked a meat pie (two of them just in case) and a few salads for adults. We also bought an ice-cream cake per Arosha’s request. It was very sweet of him to ask for a cake with both vanilla and chocolate layers (although he does not like chocolate and usually wants chocolate-free cake) on the account of his friend Mehdi preferring chocolate to vanilla. Arosha really wanted all of his guests to be happy!

Part one -- by the pool.Ever since his 3rd birthday, when we bought him balloons as a surprise, he expects to see balloons at his birthday. It was kind of funny when he was asking for them. I told him, that it’s supposed to be a surprise, and if it’s not a surprise then there is no point to them. And Arosha told me that he promises me to forget all about balloons by his birthday, and that it will definitely be a surprise for him.

Foosball.This year, we decided to try a new approach to this balloon business. Instead of ordering them in advance from Party City as we did in the past, we bought a disposable helium tank, an Ultra Hi Float solution and two packs of balloons. The night before his birthday, Danya and I inflated about 25 of them. I am proud to say, that not only they survived until morning, but kept floating for over 4 days.

I also borrowed an idea from one of the children’s books and cooked a special birthday breakfast for him — his favorite buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup.

Cake.The party started at 3:30. The guests were arriving in batches since not everyone could come at that time. We invited Alex with sister and mom, Mehdi with mom, Simon with sister and mom, Vlad with brother and mom, and Susanna, whose mom had to work, so she was just checking on her from time to time. Grandpa also came to help, but he left in about an hour since we were doing fine. Danya was coming and going — he was working from home that day.

Six candles.I have to admit, that I was worried about how the party will go in terms of other people in the pool. But everyone was just super-nice. Keisha, the main lifeguard, helped us to get enough chairs, and asked some of the regulars to put some of the guests on their names (and they gladly agreed). She also gave him $20 as a present and refused to take any tips from me, which I did not expect. One of the young guys lent us his folding table when the pizzas came and we had no room for them. A lot of people wished him Happy Birthday and nobody complained about the noise, which could not be avoided with 10 little ones playing by the pool.

Arosha's guests.The water in the pool was not extremely warm, but it was still good enough for swimming. All of the children, with the exception of Mehdi, played in the water at one point of another. We spent almost 3 hours by the pool and then went home for some tea and cake.

Trouble is my business and business is good.Arosha’s got a big toy soccer table (foosball) earlier in the day as a gift from Zhanna. It was a big hit with the whole crew! There was so much laughing and screaming and cheering when they were playing! Grandma also stopped by after work to wish him Happy Birthday in person.

Eating cake.After the cake, Susanna and Mehdi left, and the rest of us went across the street to the school yard, so that they could run around some more. We returned home at 20:30, which means that he was celebrating for 5 hours straight!

I think Arosha really enjoyed his birthday. I hope that his guests liked the party too.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arosha — 11 Months

Arosha trying to walk.Our little bolt of energy has turned 11 months old this Friday! It’s been a fun month for all of us and I enjoy his company so much every day!

Going to the pool. Riding the elevator.Aroshka went overseas for the first time in his life. As I previously wrote, I was anxious about our Bermuda cruise, but it went very very well. Aroshka is pretty social at this stage, and being around so many new people, seeing and experiencing new things was definitely exciting for him. This was a relatively busy month for us overall — we went to barbeques a lot, and yes — it is more tiring for me than just staying home and doing our regular routine, but much more stimulating too.

Walking while holding hands.Arosha is learning how to walk for the last few days. I think in another month or so, he’ll be doing it with some confidence. He looks so funny and cute on his wobbly feet — like a little sailor, and a drunk one at that. He learned how to climb on to the sofa in the living room using the coffee table or a small plastic box for support, but luckily he does not do it often yet. Another thing he can climb on is a futon in the office room, and we have to really watch him when he is there, since he did not figure out how to get off it safely just yet.

Arosha with his grandma during Maruk's picnic.Arosha loves to be near me — if I am in the kitchen, so is he, if I am in the bathroom, so is he, if I am in the living room, so is he. He does not mind spending time in the office when Danya works from home, and sometimes he can spend a few minutes alone playing with his books and toys in the bedroom, but other than that — he wants to be near adults (preferably mommy). I guess it makes perfect sense — for thousand of years little humans depended on adult supervision to survive, so this is a natural, instinctive urge for him.

Arosha found some hilarious in one of his books.Aroshka loves playing with his books. Sometimes I just read to him while he plays with his toys or stares at the pictures, sometimes I come up with my own text (mostly describing what’s on the pictures), and sometimes he plays all by himself. Among his favorites are the books that make animal sounds, the book about 5 colorful butterflies, Teremok (especially when I read it in different voices) and Koshkin Dom. We go the the library every few weeks — it’s a fun experience in itself, plus we usually get a few board books and some children’s book in Russian. I finished reading fairy tales by Brothers Grimm to him the other day and started Charles Perrault’s book (both are in Russian).

Trying headphones on.Aroshka definitely recognizes more and more words. He knows some of his toys by name (the plastic alligator and a top), some books (sheep and butterfly book for sure), some household objects (clock, lights), animals (duck, cow) and people (mama, papa, Shublik). I am sure he understands more than we realize! I try to talk as much as I can — hopefully, it will help his language development.

Climbing the stairs.He learned how to say 3 new words – “oooo” (his version of “mooo” — the sound which the cow makes), “booy” (his version of “booh” – the sound we make when he is close to the edge and can fall down) and “ba” (which stands for “na” — the word which we say in Russian when we give something to others). He applies “booy” to a spectrum of activities — when he looks down from the edge, when he drops things, and when he falls down himself. It’s so cute! And when it comes to “ba”, he does not always want to release the thing which he is offering, but he likes the whole process of trying to give something to us (and his favorite person, or rather cat, to give things to is Shublik).

Arosha with his mama.He also learned how to wave — he does not do it consistently yet, but he does it more often than not. I think he almost learned how to clap too!

"Ba!" — giving a pebble to his papa.When it comes to food and sleep, nothing much have changed. He still prefers breast milk to any other sources of nutrition, but I try to give him solids at least twice a day (plus he often does not mind trying a bit of table foods). Aroshka loves hummus! He still wakes up multiple times during the night, but normally he just nurses for 5-8 minutes and goes back to sleep (sometimes it takes a little bit more effort to put him back to sleep in the early morning). His day time naps has become more consistent — he normally naps 1-2 hours twice a day (3 hours of nap time per day on average).

Arosha enjoying the swing.Arosha socializes with other kids a bit on a daily basis — we go to the playground across the street every morning, and there are a few babies his age who we meet there almost every time. They don’t communicate with each other too much yet, but I think Aroshka likes being around other babies even when he is absorbed in his own activities. I did not meet a mom-friend for myself yet, because mostly babies are there with their baby-sitters and grandparents. I’ve chatted with some interesting moms on a few rare occasions, but all of them work full time. Oh well, Aroshka is getting more and more interesting, plus talking to baby-sitters and grandparents is not that bad either. I am just grateful that I have an opportunity to stay home and to spend so much time with our sweet boy.

Arosha in the pool with his mama.Another thing that we try to do on a daily basis is to go to the pool. Our building has one, and it is open during summer season only. Aroshka likes going there, but since it’s not heated, the most we were able to stay in the water was 10 minutes (we started with 4 minutes at a time, and has gradually increased the timing). We usually take a nice long 15-20 minutes bath right after, so it’s about half an hour of water activities altogether.

In a park on Long Island.I can’t believe that in less than a month Arosha will be one year old! I remember how hazy and crazy the first weeks (even months) were and how it seemed that one year birthday was SO FAR away. Well, what do you know? It is almost here, and we are absolutely in love with our little ray of sunshine.
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bermuda Cruise Vacation

Warwick Long Bay beach with pink sand.Ну вот мы и вернулись из нашего первого путешествия на круизном корабле. Было хорошо, но как всегда отпуск закончился едва успев начаться.

Конечно, пустешествовать с маленьким ребёнком сложнее, чем без него. Не могу сказать, что у меня было много времени расслабиться (мы даже ни разу не искупались в бассейне и не посидели в джакузи), но всё равно было очень хорошо. Я волновалась о том как Арошка отреагирует на перемену обстановки и на большое количество незнакомых людей (когда мы ездили в Атлантик-сити в феврале, незнакомцы его частенько напрягали), будет ли он хорошо спать в чужой кроватке и сможем ли мы сами хоть немного отдохнуть. Всё оказалось совсем не так страшно — Арошке очень понравилась смена обстановки, незнакомцы и новые развлечения! Без сомнения, то что с нами были Данины родители в положительную сторону повлияло на наш с Даней уровень комфорта.

Leaving NYC.Доехали до порта в Манхэттене мы без особых приключений — Даню, меня и Арошу отвёз на нашей машине Миша, а Даниных родителей Лёня. Арошка проспал почти всю дорогу, что было весьма кстати. Выгрузившись, мы сдали багаж и отстояв больше часа в длинной очереди погрузились на корабль. “Norwegian Gem” отплывал в 16:00, а на борт мы поднялись где-то в пол второго.

Каюты наши были уже готовы, так что покормив в спокойствии Арошку мы отправились подкрепляться в буфет.

Norwegian Gem at Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda.Хочется сказать пару слов о каютах. Всвязи с тем, что Арошка спит 2 раза в день и в целом укладывается на ночь довольно рано, мы знали что относительно много времени мы проведём в наших номерах. Каюты без окон отпали сразу, но мы решили потратиться немного больше и взяли апартаменты не только с окнами, но и балконами, с которых открывались виды то на пристань, то на безбрежный океан. Большим плюсом было еще и то, что между нашей и родительской каютами были двери, которые мы днём держали открытыми. Это было не просто удобно, а очень удобоно — мы затемняли нашу комнату на время дневного сна Арошки и закрывали одну из двух смежных дверей. Если бы номера были полностью отдельными, кому-то пришлось бы всё время сидеть со спящим ребёнком в тихой и полутёмной комнате. Каюты были небольшого размера, но нам вполне хватило. Кровать была немного коротковатой для нас с Даней, но зато одеяло было очень уютным. Арошкина детская кроватка тоже оказалась удобной.

Beach at dockyard.Буфет, работающий по принципу шведского стола, был очень неплохим, хотя и немного хуже чем в Мексиканском резорте, где мы отдыхали пару лет назад. Несмотря на то, что цена круиза якобы включает в себя все расходы, за напитки (за исключением воды, чая, кофе и молока) надо было платить отдельно. Меня, как человека пьющего практически исключительно воду и чай с молоком, это не напрягало, но в тоже время от свежевыжатого сока, например, я бы не отказалась! Так же в первоначальную цену ны были включены чаевые ($12 в день с человека), и за большинство ресторанов надо было платить так называемый “cover charge” варьирующийся от $10 до $25 на человека (бесплатно поесть можно было в буфете и 2-х ресторанах).

Bermuda Coast Guard.За время путешествия мы успели охватить почти все едальни корабля: бесплатные буфет, главную столовую (Main Dining Room) и пурпурную столовую (Magenta Dining Room); а так же платные мексиканский, французский, азиатский и американский стейк-хаус рестораны. Меньше всего мне понравился самый дорогой стейк-хаус (нам, похоже, не повезло с официантом), а остальные места были вполне на уровне. В Мексикансий мы с Даней попали два раза — в первый вечер всей компанией, и в последний вдвоём. В ресторанах Арошка вёл себя по-разному. В первый день ему нравилась новизна и он отлично отсидел и обед, и ужин в специальном детском стульчике. На следующий день новизна, к сожалению, пропала и то мне, то Даниной маме приходилось отходить с Арошкой на выгул (какое-то время его можно было развлечь книжками, игрушками, хлебом и ложками, но на все протяжение трапезы этого не хватало).

Tour around Bermuda on taxi.Из еды я получила большое удовольствие от мороженого — сорта менялись каждый день, и я обычно комбинировала два сразу. Арошка тоже попробовал мороженое, и, что совсем не удивительно, ему очень понравилось. Еще из нового он попробовал индюшку и эдамаме, ну а из опробованного он подркеплялся хлебом и зелёной стручковой фасолью.

Arosha found a stick.А в целом если говорить об общем удовольствии полученном от ужина, то больше всего мне понравились первый и последний. На первый помимо отличного поведения Арошки повлияло то счастливое предвкушение отпуска, когда волнительная часть добирания до корабля уже позади, а всё интересное еще впереди. Ну а последний, наедине с Даней (идея его мамы, между прочим), был несколько ностальгическим — и по почти законченному отпуску, и в целом по всем хорошим временам, как в прошлом, так и в будущем.

Arosha and ocean for the first time ever.Следующие два дня мы провели на корабле. Морская болезнь меня, кстати, не мучила. Может, и было пару моментов когда я чусвтсвовала себя немного странно, но ничего такого что могло бы испортить отпуск.

Near Horseshoe Bay.Организаторы круиза постарались сделать так, чтобы гостям не было скучно на корабле — в театре ежедневно проходили 2 разных представления и иногда игры (Deal or No Deal); в баре на 7-м этаже играли и джаз, что-то приятное на рояле, и еще что-то не менее приятное на гитаре; в другом зале проводились различные конкурсы для гостей (такие как Newlywed or Not so Newlywed, Dancing with Norwegian Gem Stars, Karaoke); на палубе возле бассейнов и джакузи тоже иногда играл карибскую музыку небольшой ансамбль, а так же проводились дискотеки.

Our staterooms.Еще можно было поиграть в баскетбол на специальном корте или позаниматься в спортивном зале. Лично мы с Даней посмотрели одно представление целиком (там пели и плясали), одно частично (там мужчина “гипнотизировал” зрителей на сцене), посмотрели одну игру (нескольким женатым парам задавали смешные вопросы об их половинке в то время как эта самая половинка находилась в другой комнате), поучаствовали в Deal or No Deal (купив за $20 билет можно было выиграть приз, но мы ничего не выиграли), Даня с мамой сыграли партию в боулинг, а еще я спела в караоке.

Arosha at kids pool on the ship.Вообще с караоке получилось интерсно — я просто хотела спеть, а вместо этого поучаствовала в конкурсе. Дело в том, что когда мы пришли петь, начинался конкурс — причём соревновались между собой любители и так называемые профессионалы. Даня положил бумажку с моей кандидатурой в список любителей, и я пела самой первой! Песню я выбрала “Let It Be” — это единственная песня из моего чрезвычайно ограниченного английского репертуара, которуюф я нашла в списке. Было немного волнительно — больше даже не от того, что надо было петь перед кучей народа (такой опыт у меня уже есть), а потому, что певцы-любители по условиям конкурса должны были соревноваться не голосами, а способностью развлечь толпу. Я знала, что с попаданием в песню у меня проблем не будет, а вот с развлекательной частью я могла и не справиться. Вобщем, спела я очень неплохо — Дане и д. Боре понравилось. Конкурс я, однако, не выиграла (хоть и спела лучше двух других участниц) ввиду вышесказанного. Даня волновался больше меня! Хотя, признаться честно, после того как я села на место, меня немного подтрясывало — частично от холода, а частично от нервов.

Jet ski riders doing circles.Арошке тоже не было времени скучать — во-первых, ему очень интересно было наблюдать за людьми и общаться с ними. К моему удивлению, он очень много улыбался незнакомцам которые с ним разговаривали. Вообще было очень приятно, что люди относились к нему весьма доброжелательно, а обслуживающий персонал буфета его очень хорошо запомнил (два раза когда я показывалась в буфете без Арошки меня о нём спрашивали). Во-вторых, на корабле была игровая комната для детей до 2-х лет, оборудованная парой-тройкой игрушек. Мы наведывались туда каждый день, и иногда даже заставали там других малышей. В-третьих, рядом с игровой комнатой находился детский бассейн. Арошке там очень понравилось плескаться, так что водные процедуры мы устраивали тоже каждый день.

Arosha with grandpa after his first swim in the ocean.Ранним утром в среду мы приплыли на Бермуды. К сожалению, к тому моменту как мы позавтракали и собрали вещи пошёл дождь. Мы даже решились выйти на улицу, но увидев что промокнуть до нитки при таком дожде дело нескольких минут, мы вернулись обратно на корабль. К счастью, к обеду распогодилось и у нас появилась-таки возможность хоть немного осмотреть остров. Корабль был пришвартован в хвосте острова, так что для осмотра достопримечательностей надо было уезжать от дока. На 5-ти часовую автобусную эксурсию мы не решились (и правильно сделали), и услугами общественного транспорта тоже решили воспользоваться в другой день (от дока отходили 2 парома — в Гамильтон и Сэнт-Джордж, а так же несколько автобусов). Вместо этого, мы взяли экскурсию на такси (плата — $10 в час с взрослого, ну и Арошка бесплатно), которая заняла у нас 2.5 часа. Таксист по имени Дэл провёз нас по некоторым известныем местам острова, включая Гамильтон — столицу Бермуд, известный Horseshoe Bay пляж, Warwick Long Bay пляж с розоватым песком, и еще пару мест названия которых я не помню. Арошка извертелся у нас на руках, и я была даже немного рада, когда экскурсия подошла к концу. На розовом пляже, кстати, он впервые познакомился с песком. Не могу сказать, что он ему очень понравился — скорее, вызвал чувство недоумения. Там же он первый раз помочил ножки в океане. Ему было интересно — он пытался ногой шлёпнуть по приливающей волне.

Warwick Long Bay.В четверг мы решили сходить на пляж, расположенный примерно в 10-15 минутах пешим ходом от места швартовки корабля. Пляж этот платный ($5 с человека), но в любом случае даже до бесплатного пляжа надо добираться на автобусе, который стоит $4 в каждую сторону. Мне бы, конечно, больше хотелось еще раз наведаться на розовый пляж, но мы решили, что с Арошкой это организовать слишком сложно. Наше решение оказалось верным — Арошка выдержал на пляже минут 40, а потом начал капризничать. Не знаю раздражало ли его солнышко (хотя мы старались быть с ним в тени) или он просто устал, но у меня времени хватило только на быстрое ополаскивание в океане, а Даня не залез в него вообще.

Glass-bottom boat tour of coral reefs.После обеда мы планировали взять паром и поехать на другой конец острова в Сэнт-Джордж, но оказалось, что утренний паром мы пропустили, а следующий отходил только в 5:30 вечера, что было для нас уже поздновато. Альтернативно мы могли бы взять автобус до Гамильтона, а там пересесть на другой до Сэнт-Джорджа, но в данном случае поездка в одну сторону заняла бы около 2-х часов, что нас тоже не прельстило. В результате мы остались в районе дока — Даня пошёл в крепость в надежде сделать из неё пару фотографий корабля, мы с его мамой и Арошкой посидели на травке в тени деревьев (Арошка, кстати, впервые в жизни увидел петуха), а Данин папа побыв немного с нами тоже отправился изучать окрестности.

Leaving Bermuda.Пятница была последним днём на островах — корабль отплывал в 17:00, a в 16:30 все туристы должны были быть на борту. Мы решили, что снова тащить Арошку на пляж слишком хлопотно (учитывая сборы, нанесение солнцезащитного крема на отбивающееся дитя и ходьбу с хныкающим ребёнком по солнцепёку). Вместо этого мы с т. Оксаной пошли в его любимый детский бассейн, а Даня с д. Борей поехали на розовый пляж (главным образом для того, чтобы сделать фотографии). В 13:30 у нас была запланирована экскурсия к коралловым рифам на лодке со стеклянным дном. Когда в 13:10 д. Боря и Даня так и не появлись, мы втроём отправились на док к месту начала экскурсии. Я очень переживала, что они могут не успеть — на рифы посмотреть хотелось, и это был наш последний шанс. К счастью, за 5 минут до начала экскурсии они приехали на пристань на автобусе. Даня разглядел мою высокую зелёно-оранжевую фигуру в толпе, и всё закончилось нашим счастливым семейным бегом на ожидающий нас кораблик. Как выяснилось, автобус с пляжа не пришёл по расписанию, и им пришлось 45 минут ждать следующего.

Sitting on our balcony.Экскурсия к рифам мне очень понравилась. Кораллы было довольно хорошо видно через застеклённые куски дна. Так же мы видели много рыб — и не только через дно кораблика, но и просто выглянув за борт. А еще нам выпала возможность покормить этих рыб хлебом, заготовленным организаторами экскурсии. Я получила от этого процесса большое удовольствие — рыбы стайками набрасывались на куски хлеба, который исчезал в их голодных желудках за считанные мгновения. А еще мы видели затонувший корабль (очень живописное зрелище), и заплыли в зону бермудского треугольника. Экскурсовод немного рассказывал об окружающем нас водном мире, и запомнилась одна деталь — оказывается, если человк дотронется обнажённой ладонью до так называемого мозгового коралла (по бороздкам и форме он и правда напоминает мозг), то буквально через 5-6 недель коралл погибнет. Я знаю, что люди существа в целом довольно ядовитые для планеты земля, но тут это, пожалуй, выраженно особенно ярко.

On the way to Warwick Long Bay from Horseshoe Bay.Всю субботу мы плыли обратно. С утра корабль немного подкачивало, но к обеду стало получше. Мы последний раз получали удовольствие от всех развлечений на борту, а так же купили себе парочку украшений — я стала счастливой владелицей кулона на цепочке от Swarovski, а так же еще одного недорогого, но очень сипмпатичного кулона. Кстати, на корабле проводился аукцион по продаже картин, на котором помимо прочего для всех пришедших разыгрывались 3 литографии. Д. Боря и Даня пошли посмотреть что же это такое — и оба! выиграли по картине. Очень неожиданно и приятно! Картины мы пошли выбирать вместе (выбор был из 5 различных литографий), и мне больше всего приглянулся летящий мальчик, играющий на трубе. На нём мы и остановились. Картины нам сразу не отдали, а вышлют их почтой в течение ближайших 10 недель.

Arosha in his stroller.В воскресенье рано утром мы приплыли в Нью-Йоркскую гавань. Было грустно, что отпуск закончился — я бы еще с удовольствием пару дней пожила в нашей плавучей гостинице. До дома мы добирались на такси — Арошка снова всю дорогу проспал, что снова было очень кстати. Я очень рада, что Даня сделал так много чудесных фотографий — и для нас отличная память, и Арошка как подрастёт увидит своими глазами то, как в 10 месяцев он совершил своё первое путешествие за границы родной страны.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Hawaii — Pools and Luau

Sunday was a day when we did some relaxing. We had luau1 reservation so we didn’t want to drive anywhere. In the morning we went on a beach near Marriott hotel. The beach itself was so-so, but while we were there a giant sea turtle crawled out onto the beach from under the water. That was pretty cool.

Then we went to Hilton pools. We discovered an awesome water slide. I haven’t been on one in a long long time and Alena probably hasn’t tried on before at all. We spent a lot of time in the jacuzzis, pools, water falls and water slides.

And in the evening we went to luau. We really wanted to do it because we regretted not going to one on our previous trip. But I guess our expectations were a bit high. Not that the food was bad, but Alena can cook better pulled pork. And the show itself was rather primitive. Maybe 5 minutes of it was somewhat exciting — the belly-dancing and the fire throwing, but most of it was very repetitive and boring.

We got somewhat unlucky with the company at our table. We got seated across from a pair of kids so we had no-one to talked to. And on the next table from us there was a Japanese couple seated across from a pair of kids as well. But there is nothing we could do.

Monday… Well, I wrote about Monday in the previous post. It was really something. )

  1. Traditional Hawaiian dinner — pulled pork and a show. []
In: Food & Dining, Travel   Tags: , , , , ,
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