Sunday, March 27, 2011

Snorkling in Kahalu'u Bay

My family and I went snorkeling in Kahalu'u Bay.  Kahalu'u Bay is one of the best places on the entire island to go snorkeling.  I went snorkeling with my mom, dad, brother and sisters, and we saw many different types of fish, sea turtles and coral. 

While snorkeling we saw many beautiful fish.  Fish are cold blooded animals.   Fish also have gills to breath underwater instead of lungs.  They have four pairs of gills!  A lot of the fish like to swim where there are rocks and coral.  The photo below shows the most common fish on the bay.  My favorite fish are the colorful yellow fish because yellow is my favorite color.

We also saw big Green Sea Turtles that floated right next to our feet.  Green Sea Turtles are cold blooded (get their body heat from the environment) reptiles.  Green sea turtles like to lie in the sun and you can see them on the shore.  Sea turtles protect themselves from predators with their bony shell.   Turtles are very heavy and can weigh up to 500 pounds!  At first I was scared that the turtles were going to bite me, but then I realized that they don't bite, and I took the photos standing right next to them.  Sometimes I think that the people with the black swimsuits look like turtles! 

When snorkling, we also saw a lot of pretty coral.  Coral reef is a type of underwater city shaped by limestone. Reef limestone has large framework of skeletons from animals called corals.  Coral is very important to the underwater animals because they hide behind it and eat food from it.  It could take a year for coral to grow less then five inches per year, so don't step on it. In conclusion, snorkeling is a great way to explore

Green sea turtle taking a breath

Green Sea Turtle


Have you ever gone snorkeling?

Did you see fish, turtles, and coral?

Have you ever done a step up to writing post?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Aloha From Hawaii

My family and I are on vacation in Hawaii.  Hawaii is an island (land that is surrounded by water) in the Pacific Ocean.  In Hawaii there are many different islands.  The island we are staying at is called The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island.  We are on the Kona coast near Kalua Bay.

Taken from

White Sands Beach

The climate of Hawaii is very warm all year long because it is near the equator. We are staying in a condo located right across from the beach. Today we woke up at 6:00 in the morning to go to the beach and the water was very warm as well.  In Hawaii there is a 3 hour time zone difference, so when it is 6:00 am here, it is 9:00 am in Los Angeles.  I am still not used to the time zone difference.

Hawaii has beautiful sunsets.  One photo I took of the sunset reminded me of a Magic Tree House Book cover called Dolphins at Day Break.  I really liked how the sun reflected on the water. 

We stayed at the beach until the sunset.  The sky was a pretty orange and yellow color as the sun hid behind the clouds.

I took this photo from our balcony

Aloha (Hello and Good Bye)

Have you ever been to Hawaii?

Where in Hawaii have you been?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra

On a Saturday evening, I went to see The Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra play music.  In an orchestra there are many different instruments, and a conductor.  Here are some of the instruments that I saw:
  • violins
    Double bass- He also was kind enough to take
    photos of the woodwinds and brass horns.
  • cellos
  • double bass also called contra bass. This is the largest and lowest pitched stringed instrument. 
  • woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, oboes)
  • trumpets
  • trombones
  • percussion
  • grand piano
  • harp


Brass Horns




Every person in the orchestra has a seating spot.  The orchestra has 3 sections, the front, middle, and rear.  The strings and harp are in front, the woodwinds  go in the middle rows and the brass horns and percussion are in the rear which is also the highest level of the stage.  

Maestro Gross
A conductor is a person who leads the orchestra.  Another name for a conductor is Maestro, which means master or teacher in Italian.  The conductor who led the orchestra was named Maestro Gross.  Maestro Gross always explains about the pieces the orchestra will play.  During intermission he comes out and meets with the audience, and I got to meet him too.

At the concert, they played 3 pieces,  Overture To The Italian Girl In Algiers by Rossini, Piano Concerto No.1 by Liszt and Symphony No. 6 by Shostakovich.   My favorite part of the concert was the fourth movement of Symphony No. 6. At the end of the piece, all the instruments in the orchestra played together and made beautiful music.

The Piano Concerto featured a pianist Petor Toth.  He is a Hungarian pianist and a winner of numerous international piano competitions, including the Franz Liszt piano competition.   When Mr. Toth played, his hands moved so fast that they looked blurry!

Mrs. Yollis found an interactive orchestra site where you can learn and listen to instruments! Here is a link!

Have you ever been to a  live concert? 
Did you enjoy it? 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Baking Banana Bread

We had so much fun baking chocolate cookies that we decided to bake banana bread too.  We happened to have a couple of over ripe bananas so instead of throwing the bananas away we baked banana bread.   The recipe called for the following ingredients:

Chef Miriam

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups of mashed overripe bananas

To make the bread we first mixed all the dry ingredients and all the wet ingredients intp 2 separate bowls.  Then, we combined everything together and baked at 350 degrees.

Adding cake batter into a greased pan

We made some modifications to the original recipe:
Look at all those chocolate chips!

We added 1 cup of chocolate chips at the very end. Because we put chocolate chips and they are very sweet, we only put 1/2 a cup of sugar instead of 3/4.  We also added a couple of extra spices.  We added a teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

Our favorite part of baking banana bread was mashing the overripe bananas.  The bread tasted more like cake instead of bread.  It was delicious!

Sarah mashing bananas

Banana bread

What do you think of the recipe?