Tag Archives: travel

5 Things to Do in Michigan

michigan I visited Michigan recently and thought I would write a post about fun things to do in the state.





1. Eat!CT  CTFL 080911-TRAVEL sc-trav-0808-food-mackinac-fudge MJW
If you go at the right time of year (summer), there are fresh cherries and blueberries (a specialty), available at the many fruit stands and farmers markets around the state. Also, Macinac Island is home to amazing fudge. In fact, the island itself is pretty amazing.


beach_water_quality_web2. Swimming!
Michigan has so many beautiful beaches and lakes to swim in, including the Great Lakes. It’s a great way to escape the heat, and it’s good exercise too!



3. Outdoor Music!
A great way to relax is by listening to music, and you can do it enjoying the fresh air too. You can listen to something different (without auto-tune) and support small bands.

4. Scenery!
Get outside, get exercise, and see the beautiful scenery. There are so many lakes, forests, and beaches to see, and you’ll want to see them all.

5. Wildlife!
Living in the city, we don’t really see much wildlife, besides the occasional squirrel or raccoon, but Michigan has more to offer in that department. You can spot deer pretty easily (if you’re paying attention), and many other animals you wouldn’t find at home. Just be careful, you wouldn’t want to run into a bear out in the woods.

I’ve listed some of the things to do in Michigan, but obviously not all of them. You can check out some of these travel guides at the library to help find amazing sites and things to do while you’re there:

-Corinna, Greenwood, Teen Blogger


Bombay Blues – Dimple travels to Bombay, experiences life

Bombay BluesTitle:  Bombay Blues

Author: Tanuja Desai Hidier

Six Word Review: Dimple travels to Bombay, experiences life.

Summary: Dimple Lala is a college student and avid photographer living in New York City, with her boyfriend Karsh.  She travels to Bombay with Karsh to celebrate her cousin’s wedding.  Together they also plan to explore their homeland, each in search of questions about their heritage and themselves.  Dimple encounters many things during her summer in Bombay—most of which she was not expecting.  Karsh distances himself and her family is topsy-turvy with the wedding plans.  Dimple realizes she must explore Bombay on her own and she finds out more than she ever imagined about her culture, her family and love.

I started reading because: The cover looked really interesting (admit it, you judge books by their covers, too) and the first few pages were engaging.

I kept reading because: I hate to leave books unfinished.

I would give this book 5/10 stars, because the poetic, stream-of-consciousness writing style got monotonous halfway through, the plot didn’t seem to be going anywhere, and the dreamy quality of the storyline made it hard to follow.  However, I liked Dimple’s charming, determined and inquisitive personality.

I loved the detailed descriptions of Dimple’s family and life in colorful, exciting Bombay.

I hated the descriptions of everything when they became excessive and the stream-of-consciousness style.  The poetic style seemed more suited to a shorter story.

If the lead character Dimple were stuck on a deserted island, she would take pictures of everything because she sees the world through the eyes of her precious film camera.

Anything else we should know? This book is loooooooooong. It’s 550 pages of poetic rambling, which didn’t really work for me, but maybe it’s your thing.  If it is, you will really enjoy this book!  Also, dialogue is denoted by dashes, instead of the usual quotation marks, which can be confusing at first, but I got used to it.

–Gabriella, Ballard, Teen Blogger


Indie films: Wes Anderson

Wes AndersonYou may have heard of Wes Anderson, the funky director whose most recent film is The Grand Budapest Hotel.  All of his movies are unique, yet they can be drawn back to a few characteristics that make them a pure Anderson film.  You know that you are watching a Wes Anderson movie if there is a distinct color palette.  Anderson is also a fan of symmetry, family, nostalgia, Billy Murray and Owen Wilson. Anderson has a knack for finding wonderful composers.

Check out the newly released book The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz for a wonderful inside look into Wes Anderson’s mind.


Here I will introduce my 5 favorite Wes Anderson films. Enjoy!

Moonrise KingdomMoonrise Kingdom

Two 12 year olds fall in love and flee together on an adventure, causing a scare in their small town. Bookworm Suzy Bishop and Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky are both headstrong young people who feel a strong connection to one another.

Period setting: 1965

Quote: “We’re in love. We just want to be together.  What’s wrong with that?” (Suzy)

Color palette:MK colors

Best song: Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra, Op. 34: Themes A-FBernstein & The NY Philharmonic

Darjeeling LimitedThe Darjeeling Limited

Three brothers travel across India in an attempt to reconnect and bond with one another.

Period setting: 21st century

Quote: “I wonder if the three of us would’ve been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people.” (Jack)

Color palette:DL color

Best song: This Time TomorrowThe Kinks

Continue reading

5 Teen Movies Reviewed – Speed Round!

Robot & FrankRobot & Frank

Six Words:  Ex-burglar old man befriends interesting robot.
Mood(s):  Witty. Thrilling. Fascinating.
“The human brain, a lovely piece of hardware.”
Bonuses:  Beautifully filmed. Realistic depiction of the future.
Additional:  Seems outlandish and ridiculous at first, but you’ll be hooked once you start. Profanity. 13+

They Call It MyanmarThey Call It Myanmar

Six Words:  Documentary about Burma; expands your worldview.
Mood(s):  Impassioned. Revealing. Informative.
“I think politicians who think they’ve gone beyond being politicians are very dangerous.”
Bonuses:  It’s like traveling to Burma without leaving your couch. Very honest documentary.
Additional:  NR

Drinking BuddiesDrinking Buddies

Six Words:  Two friends try more; twist ending.
Mood(s):  Charming. Exploratory. Witty.
“That’s the problem with heartbreak, to you it’s like an atomic bomb and to the world it’s just really cliché, because in the end we all have the same experience.”
Bonuses: Finally a romantic movie that ends differently than you expect. Very funny.
Additional: Profanity. Momentary nudity. R

Like Crazy 3Like Crazy

Six Words:  College girl and guy go out.
Mood(s):  Teenage. Modern. Heart-wrenching.
“Because it’s the halves that halve you in half.”
Bonuses:  Gorgeously shot scenes. Jennifer Lawrence makes an appearance.The ending.
Additional:  If you have a tumblr, you’ll know where all those gifs are from after watching it. 13+

Hotel RwandaHotel Rwanda

Six Words:  Rwandan genocide’s impact; hotel manager saves.
Mood(s):  Gripping. Emotional. Heavy. Violent.
“There’s always room.”
Bonuses:  You learn something new about the Rwandan genocide.
Additional:  Depicts the division between the Tutsis and Hutus accurately. 13+


–Regina, 17, West Seattle



The World is my Classroom


The Great Wall of China

For as long as I can remember, my mom’s job has called her to conferences all around the world, and most of the time, my dad and I come too.  I’ve seen the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and scores of ancient castles.  When I was really young these trips meant little more to me than seeing some cool places and buying souvenirs.  But now, I realize that the whole time I have been experiencing different history and cultures first hand.  Most of what I’ve learned from the places I go could also be learned from a book, but there is no substitute for physically experiencing these places and witnessing history with my own eyes; beholding unaltered, the raw truth. 

Crematorium at Auschwitz

Crematorium at Auschwitz

In eighth grade, there was a unit on The Holocaust.  We learned about it through films, songs, and poetry.  It had a big impact on me, but I still couldn’t fully grasp what had happened.  That summer, my family and I went to PolandI went on many tours, but the places that really stuck with me were Birkenau and Auschwitz.  Because of what I had learned in eighth grade, I was able to prepare myself for what these places might look like.  However, when I stood in front of the crematorium smokestack and saw it looming above me like a menacing giant, I was caught off guard by the feeling of hopelessness and anguish that surrounded it.  As I walked the gravel streets of Auschwitz, and stood at the spot where the arriving prisoners would have awaited the decision that would send them either to a labor camp or a crematorium, I felt closer to the people who had suffered there than I ever had before. 

The following year, at school, there was another unit about The Holocaust.  That time we read a book written by a Holocaust victim.  My experiences at Auschwitz and Birkenau allowed me to put myself into their shoes; to more accurately imagine what they might have seen, and feel what they might have felt. 


Aughnanure Castle

Aughnanure Castle

Earlier that year, my family and I went to Ireland.  One of the places we visited was Aughnanure Castle, which was previously owned by some of my ancestors, the O’Flahertys.  I had heard that they had tried to defend their territory from the Norman invaders.  Apparently they were rather good at it because the Normans, feeling threatened, built a wall around their city and upon it, posted this prayer: “From the Ferocious O Flaherty’s O Lord deliver us.”  It wasn’t until I was actually there that I found out about the brilliant defense system around Aughnanure castle, and I understood why the Normans were frightened.

I believe that traveling is the best way to learn, especially about history and culture, because when you experience a place for yourself you don’t have to look through someone else’s eyes, or rely on the words they have chosen to describe an indescribable feeling.  I realize now, that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then actually being there is nothing less than priceless.

–Christina, Northeast Teen Adviser


Manga Review: Fairy Tail

Title: Fairy Tail

Author:  Hiro MashimaFairy Tail

Summary:  Cute girl wizard Lucy wants to join the Fairy Tail, a club for the most powerful wizards. But instead, her ambitions land her in the clutches of a gang of unsavory pirates led by a devious magician. Her only hope is Natsu, a strange boy she happens to meet on her travels.

In a yearbook, Natsu would be voted Most Likely To: Become a Serial Arsonist.​

This book reminded me of One Piece because they’re very similar in how the plots work and the characters act. Fairy Tail is famous for being a One Piece rip-off, although I think that it’s pretty different when you get to the core of it. They have the same camaraderie theme, but Fairy Tail then focuses mainly on that while One Piece branches off in all sorts of directions.

Review:  Fairy Tail, a typical action shonen manga, follows a girl who wants to become a strong wizard and a strong wizard boy who wants to find his missing dragon dad. They’re both part of a famously destructive, chaotic, and kind-hearted wizarding guild and they make friends and defeat evil wizards bent on world domination and the like. It’s better than it sounds.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle Blogger