Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden is located in San Francisco in the Golden Gate State Park.   We went and it was packed. It had a lot of people.  There was a charge for the garden. It was $8 for adults. My son was free so I don’t know how much it was for children.

The Japanese Tea Garden was a small garden with a lot of flowers and Japanese designs.  I wish there was a map because we just walked around.  I felt lost and noticed that we kept walking around in a circle.  Overall, I really enjoyed the Japanese Tea Garden.  It was peaceful.   Below is a poem I wrote about the garden.

Garden 

Simple

Peaceful

Simple rivers.

Simple flowers.

Simple bushes.

Pier 39

Pier 39 is the place to be when in San Francisco.  Pier 39 has many stores  and restaurants.  Some stores are: souvenir, Pandora, Hard Rock Cafe store and so many others.  Some restaurants are: Bubba Gump, Hard Rock Cafe, Wipe out and many others.   You can also just pick up dessert.  They have a place where you can get a small bucket of mini donuts.  They are made fresh and delicious.   They also have a place where you can get crepes: sweet and savory crepes.  There is also a carousel for the children to ride.  The carousel is also a double carousel.  It was very cool to see.

Another place at Pier 39 is the Aquarium at the Bay.  They have many ocean animals to view. There were sharks, jellyfish, otters, different kinds of fish and many other ocean animals. It is a nice place to visit with children.  We went to the Aquarium and we used a city pass which included the aquarium.

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Another popular place is at Pier 39 is to see the sea lions.  There are lots of sea lions that come and visit the pier. They lay, play and talk to one another.  Many people come  to Pier 39 just to see the sea lions.  My son was very excited to see them and we went a few times to visit them.  At times, we saw them swimming in the bay.

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At Pier 39, you can catch a cruise around the bay.  We took the Blue and Gold Cruise.  It was an hour long cruise. We learned a lot about San Francisco from the cruise.  We went all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.  We sailed under it and of course took a lot of photos.   We also went around to Alcatraz Island.  We were able to see both sides of the island.  It was a nice and wonderful cruise.

When visiting San Francisco make sure to wear  layers because it does get cold when there.  We went in April and it was cold.  We were wearing long sleeve and hoodies.

Holiday Train Show

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We took our son to the Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens.  We had a great time.  My husband and I went to the Holiday Train show 5 years before. We really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to take our son.  Last year, I wanted to take him but he was only a month old and he would not really pay attention to it.  This year was better.

The Holiday Train Show at the Botanical Gardens in New York City is very popular.  Many people make it a tradition to take their children to see it.  There are many trains that run through many tracks.  It’s amazing to see all the buildings that are build using natural things like bark, pinecones and so many other things found in nature.  When we got to the Botanical Gardens, the lot was full, so I was afraid that it was going to be very busy.  It was busy but we were able to walk through and see everything.  The train show is located at the Conservatory at the Botanical Gardens. There are timed tickets but that makes it easier to view it.

The change between the past 5 years was that there is a short video about the person who created the train show as well as how they put the whole thing together.   It’s amazing how many people it takes, how many trains there are, how many tracks there are and how they come up with the whole idea.

The buildings that are designed are all Manhattan buildings.  You have Rockfeller Center, Yankees Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and so many others.  It’s amazing just taking your time to view these buildings created.  I could not stop taking photographs of everything.  I really recommend everyone to visit the train show at least once in their life. I am lucky that I live in New York and I am able to visit it every year.  I can not wait to make it a family tradition and visit the Train show every year with our son.

One World Observatory

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It’s finally finished and we finally found time to go and visit one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.  One World Observatory is an amazing place to visit.  The view from the top is just breathe taking.

One World Observatory was built to symbolize our freedom in New York City after tragedy struck on 9/11.  Growing up in Queens and taking the 7 train to get to high school, I remember seeing the World Trade towers.   On that tradgeic day,  it hit me how important it is to love your loved ones and just live in the moment.

My husband, son and best friend went to One World Observatory on a Saturday afternoon.  It was a bucket list for us to visit this amazing building.  We ordered tickets before we got there and we didn’t have to wait to long on line.  You do go through metal detectors like at the airport. I did not have a problem with that because I knew that it was for my safety.  Once we finished with the metal detectors we continued on our way to a room to get the elevators.

Once in the elevators,  the workers tell you to face the panels.  I was now interested.  As the elevator goes up, on the panels you see the history of the city and what it looked like.  It was amazing and I have never seen something like that.  Once we got to the 102nd floor,  we exited the elevators and continued to another room.  In this room, there were panels and there was a short video.  Once the video stops the panels rise and you get the first view of the Manhattan skyline from the 102nd floor.  We exited the room to now go to the I observation deck.

As we entered the observation deck, your breathe is taken away. The view is breathe taking and you don’t know where you want to look.  We walked around and saw the whole city plus New Jersey.  Even my son said some ohs and ahhs.

Once we finished at One World Observatory, we went and saw the water pools. My husband and I have seen them after the tradegic event and even today it still brings chills to me.  I stood in a moment of silence while there and traced my hand over the names on the panels.  I may have never known these innocent people that lost their lives but I felt their families pain.  I look forward to going back and visiting when my son is older and understands becaus I will tell him the history of that tradegic day and what One World Observatory means to me as well as my husband.

 

World Map

My husband and I love to travel.  I love to make scrapbooks of everything and I love to save things from trips.  I love to collect magnets from all the places that I have been.  I also love to decorate.  Over the summer, I was looking through Pinterest to find some ideas.  I couldn’t find anything that I liked.

I continued my search and found maps on Amazon and groupon. I wanted to pick up a map with pins in order to pin all the places that’s we have been.  I searched and finally found a world map on Groupon.  I picked up 3 different colored pins: blue, orange and red.   Once my world map came that’s when I started pinning all the places we have been.  My husband and j decided which colored pins we wanted.  I picked red for all the places that I have been. He picked blue. The orange pins are for all the places that we went together.

The next problem was all the magnets. Our son is in his walking and touching everything.  He started taking my magnets off my fridge. I knew now that it was time to figure out and move them.  I could not find any ideas.  Then when I went to my mothers house. I found my idea.  My mother just like me loves to collect magnets.  She has more than I do.  What she did with her magnets was hang them up. The way which she did it was with a magnet strip and just placed all the magnets there.  My husband and I went to Lowes and picked two magnet strips.  We decided to hang our magnets by: one row of magnets with places from the US and Canada and the other magnet strip with places likes Europe, Caribbean and Asia.

We have our magnet strips above our world map of pins.  Every day that I look at the world map, I keep thinking of all the places that I still need to experience and travel to.  I hope this inspires you to make your own world map of pins!! Travel the world!

Virgin Gorda

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Virgin Gorda is the second largest British Virgin Island.  It is a beautiful island.  This island has a national park called The Baths.  The national park has three parts to it: the Baths, Cave and Devils Bay’s.  In order to get to The Baths you have to go through about a ten minute walk. This walk is not easy.  You walk on dirt as well as rocks and some tree stumps. Make sure that you wear water shoes when you go to this National Park.  Also make sure to have water with you because it is a Caribbean island so it will be hot and you will need to drink your water.  Make sure to also take your time going through this path and just enjoy the scenery.  The first stop is the Baths but we did not go to The Baths.  It is a beach with huge boulders.  These boulders are believed to be volcanic rocks.  They are huge but an amazing view.  We went to the caves.  The caves you are not allowed to enter after 4:30 p.m.  I do not really know why, we did this part of the tour on our own.  The first part of the caves you need to get through 2 boulders very close to one another. My husband who is 6 feet tall had to crawl in order to get through.  It is a tough part of the National Park.  It is important that you are in good health to do the caves part of this National Park.  Once you get past these two boulders, you walk into the caves which are amazing.  When you look up, there are boulders everywhere. They are placed on top of one another. It is amazing how nature has places this boulders together to create these caves.

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As you continue walking through the caves, make sure that you are wearing your water shoes because you have to climb boulders which are slippery and thin stairs.  Once again make sure that you are in good health condition.  It will be a challenge if you are not.  Once you leave the caves, you walk through boulders which are under a foot to 3 feet of water.  Make sure you are careful because these boulders are slippery.  Also if you are short like I am, make sure that anything that can not get wet should not.  I was in waist high water.  Once you get through the caves and climbing over boulders you get to Devil’s Bay.

 

Devil’s Bay is a beautiful beach.  You are in a small beach covered with boulders everywhere you look. It is the most amazing tour which I did.  The beauty of this National Park is beyond words as well as photographs.  The water is crystal clear.

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Once you are ready to leave this beauty, you have to walk back to the start.  This walk is about 15 minutes.  Make sure that you are cooled off from Devil’s Bay and make sure you have more water. This walk back was very tiring and hard to do in the heat.  We stopped a few times in order to rest because it was hot and with the sun shining on you it does not help your walk.  There are many cacti a.  Once we got back to the start, there was water and rum punch waiting for us.

Tips

  1. Water shoes or climbing shoes
  2. water camera
  3. Backpack- if you want to carry anything valuable, I would recommend a backpack. It is easier to walk around with.
  4. water

Magen’s Bay Beach

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St. Thomas has a wonderful beach called Magen’s Bay Beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has clear a beach and it is very peaceful.   There are bathrooms on site.   You can take a safari bus which is open bus so hold on.  The driver will take you on top to view Magen’s Bay from the top down.  It is the most amazing view that I have seen.  Here is a photograph of this view.

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When you get down to Magen’s Bay Beach, the white sand is beautiful.   The clear water is warm.  The view at the beach is amazing and breathe taking.  While we visited the beach, I couldn’t get enough of it.  Here are some photographs to show you how beautiful the beach is.  These pictures do not do justice for the real beauty of the beach.

 

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Magen’s Bay Beach 

White beach

Clear water

warm

peaceful

rocks