Do you know what my favorite part about blogging is?  Besides the enjoyment of expressing the mumble jumble that goes on in my head and sharing the joys of everything around me with you, it’s knowing there are readers who love to join my craziness! This has been the longest stretch of me not posting anything, but thank you so much for always checking in – you’re the best!!!  It has been a heck of a week finding out it wasn’t food poisoning that I had, each day almost feeling worse than before, but I’m much better and I’m ready to post!

Check back in on a few days – guess what I did with 2 pounds of ginger that I randomly bought for $1 (a whopping $1) in Chinatown one day? 🙂

 

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Change.

Change is never an easy thing. When I first moved to the city (coming from a more suburban background), it was hard. The noise didn’t bother me, but the crowds and the small apartment sizes did. I had a huge house and a backyard – plus I didn’t have to walk everywhere! But slowly I began to appreciate the convenience, the incredible amount of diversity, the bright lights, the subway, and the fact that I live in the center where it’s easy for everyone to meet up.

When it came to work, change was still not easy. Five years ago, I was asked to move from first grade to second grade. It didn’t scare me too much as I knew second graders were still a great fun age, but still – learning how to teach again. Then, it turned out what shocked me was how my students surprised me with techniques that I never thought I would be able to teach 7 year olds.  I never expected them to be able to look closely at details, pay attention to the way they hold their pencils/markers/pens, or set themselves with a high expectation that they can draw or write like high school students. It turned out this change was good. After 5 years of second grade and teaching them about New York City birds as part of our social studies curriculum, I’ve grown a love for this age and their love for school and growing abilities.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the beautiful mothers and soon-to-be mothers, this day is for you!  Although in my opinion, mother’s day is everyday, this special Hallmark day does allow us to spoil our moms just a little bit more and get together in any way possible. I’ve found that the older I get, the harder it is to express how much I really love my mom. Now, being married, I am grateful for my mother-in-law as well.  I hope that one day, when I become a mom myself, I would be just as patient, caring, detail-oriented, and loving as they are. Moms are the biggest superheroes out there!

So a huge cheers to you moms because you have the most wonderful, yet hardest job in the world. This one’s for you! xoxo

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Paradise Island

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When I decided to book a trip to the highly anticipated Atlantis in the Bahamas, I didn’t know it was on an actual island called Paradise Island.  All I knew was that we wanted SOME beach time but also marine life and exploration. When you wake up in your hotel and look outside your window, you don’t have to wonder how this place got its name. It really feels like Paradise, except unlike other tropical places, almost the whole place is quite man-made. 

This isn’t a travel blog, but it’s always fun making lists for people to read because we’re a list-reading generation nowadays. “Must Visit Places In Your 20s,” “Top Ten Apps to Use” or “Eight Ways to Lose Your Belly Fat.”  WHAT!  So silly, yet so true. So here is my version: a list of the top 5 things we enjoyed on Paradise Island. Perhaps it’ll persuade you to visit, and if you do, please email me so I can tell you a cool way that you can save tons of money!

#1. Marine Life – Some of my friends look at me funny when we say how excited we are to see the marine life (or any nature for that matter). My husband and I can stare at an animal for hours… and we always win that staring contest. haha!  There’s just something beautiful about marine life, and in particular, dolphins and turtles always capture my heart. Unfortunately I didn’t take great photos of the dolphin but the hawksbill turtle was quite adorable.  The Atlantis aquariums have an incredible amount of marine life – they’re actually the first ones in the world to successfully breed saw sharks.  So if you want to nerd out like we did, go for it. I promise you’ll enjoy the waves.

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#2. Atlantis Aquaventure – If you’ve bought a day pass into Atlantis, it includes admission into the waterpark called Aquaventure. It includes over 8 slides, one ending in a tunnel in the middle of a shark tank. It’s quite a lot of fun and not a lot of wait time when you’re coming from New York, where a wait for a water ride at Splish Splash can be up to an hour! 

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#3. Lots to explore. Okay, so there aren’t crazy amounts of sculptures or architecture to look at, but inside Atlantis you can take great pictures, and outside of Atlantis, you find this hidden gem called the Cloisters. It’s a nice little area, giving you a feel of Europe while making you panic for a few seconds as there are several signs that says “Private Property: Do not trespass.”  But who listens to that anyway?  : )  If reviewers on TripAdvisor say it’s okay, then it’s okay!  Just do it! ::insert Nike check logo::

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#4. The Beach! How can you not get into the famous clear blue waters of the Caribbean? Granted, I don’t quite remember the water being so blue half an hour away in Miami, but I guess this is part of the Caribbean for a good reason! While you’re on the beach tanning or swimming, get a nice coconut drink filled with pina colada from the locals. I got nervous at first but whew, it was tasty.

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#5. Bahamian Food.  If you’re inside Atlantis, you’ll hear tons of complaints about how expensive it is (because if I were paying $96 for a breakfast buffet for two, I’d be crying too). When you step outside, you have all the options of local food that gives you a great taste of the island. I didn’t take too many photos but here were a few of my favorites: 

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Fried Conch Fritters from Bihini Road. Not too much conch inside but just enough, and it was quite filling – extra tasty with lemon and spicy mayo.

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Lobster roll from Lukka Kairi, downtown Nassau. I found this really unique because of the pickled goat peppers, the island’s most spiciest peppers. There were also crispy shallots on top of the chilled lobster salad. 

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Also from Lukka Kairi is the tropical conch salad.  It’s like a ceviche – a bowl filled with tropical fruits, conch, citrus, and crispy plantains. It was extremely refreshing, and that chewiness from the conch – ahhh! 

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I saw this Bahamian chicken souse in a magazine and wanted to try it at a local spot – Viola’s Bar and Grill. It’s basically a chicken broth soup with potatoes and chicken, but the interesting taste comes from those black things called spice balls.  Not many places offered this though.

And so, we conclude our trip to the Bahamas.  Did I miss something that I should return to? Besides the Pig Island and Exuma itself, because I will be back for those islands!  For now, thanks for reading! The stingray and I say “See yuh later, mon!”

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