Things to do in the Big Apple

Are you traveling to New York anytime soon and don’t know what to do there? Here are some ideas of things to do around the city of New York to make your trip the best!

Tour Bus

Taking the Times Square double decker tour bus is so cool because you get to sit in the top of this high bus and see the city from a cool view, while learning about what’s around you. I recommended the company Top View for the tour bus.

Shop in Times Square

If there’s a rainy, or bad weather, day when you are on your trip I suggest going shopping in Time Square. They have the best stores and so many you can find anything and everything. Also, it’s fun to explore the different stores they have there.

Visit Chinatown

It’s fun to explore different cultures, so why not visit Chinatown. They have really cool shops to explore and good authentic Chinese food. If you’re looking for a good gift shop, I suggest going to Chinatown where they have really cute stuff there and for not too much. In the stores around the area, things will either be super expensive or super cheap, so it fits what you want to get.

Here’s a tip: look out for scams in Chinatown. So many people will try to scam you on the street for your money. If someone on the street offers you something for a really high price, offer them a lower number and if they say no, start to walk away, and most the time they will give in.

Go out to Eat

Don’t stay in your hotel’s restaurant, go travel around the area for some good places to eat. Time Square has some of the world’s best bakeries. Also, walking around helps you see the city and explore.

See a Broadway Show

The one and only Broadway is located in New York. Go out one night and see a Broadway show. They are truly amazing. I recommend my favorite show The Phantom of the Opera.

The Met

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is so pretty. I would highly recommend going to this museum to see so much history from the world. It also gives you access to the roof, where some art is, and it’s the prettiest view of the Upper East Side.

Central Park

Central Park is gorgeous. If you’ve been in the city your whole trip, I recommend going for a nice walk in the park. You can do a lot in the park. You can go on a rowboat in a small lake, or even go on a horse carriage ride. Also, if your looking for somewhere pretty to take pictures this is the place.

Statue of Liberty

While you’re in New York, why not visit and see the thing that makes it so special up close? Going on a ferry ride on the Hudson River to get to the Statue is a really cool experience. The ferry tour is very cool, but super windy if you go on the front deck, so I’d be careful of things flying away. The tour guides explain so much about New York, and actually explain other good places to visit and good places to eat.

Travel tips!

10 Helpful Travel Tips

Have you ever left something really important at home while leaving for vacation, or not have enough room in your suitcase for clothes? Here are some useful travel tips to help you out.

1. Pack Light

Take half the clothes you think you will need…you won’t need as much as you think. Write down a list of essentials, cut it in half, and then only pack that!

2. Don’t fold your clothes flat, roll them in your suitcase

Do you ever run out of space while packing clothes? Instead of folding your clothes so they are flat, roll them, and you will see this method gives you so much more space.

3. Always have a backup plan.

It’s important to have a backup plan as we all tend to mess up sometimes. You could forget renting a rental car, but you thought you did. You could get lost while exploring, or not have any WiFi to call anyone. Traveling is a lot of work, don’t think to yourself that nothing will go wrong, because that’s just not true.

4. Plan ahead

Book flights and hotels 2-3 months in advance in case they end up getting booked. Also, it’s a lot cheaper if you don’t wait until the last minute.

5. Be prepared for the worst

Like I said, you never know what’s going to happen. Pack a flashlight and a basic first aid kit just in case. You or someone else could get hurt or the power could go out.

6. Be patient

Traveling takes a lot of time, especially in the airport. Those security lines are the longest, but just stay cool you’ll get there. There’s no need to rush, it won’t make you go any faster.

7. On travel days get everywhere early

As I said, the airport security lines are so long so you’ll need to plan out how long you think it will take to get through them, and when your flight is. It’s better to be there a little early and sit, then miss your flight because of a long line.

8. Don’t fall for the scam!!

Travel scams are very common in famous places, that’s how some people get their money. Be cautious of people coming up to you and offering you something for money. Since you’re not familiar to the area you could think it’s not a scam and makes sense, but don’t fall for it because it most likely is!

9. Check the weather ahead

Wherever you are going it’s most likely the weather is different, so check the weather ahead of time. This will help you to know what clothes you’ll need, like if you need a jacket and boots or tank top and shorts. Then you won’t freeze or be to hot.

10. Finally, wear sunscreen

This only applies to those traveling in the tropic areas and places where the sun can hurt you. It’s so important to wear sunscreen, most of us think it’s no big deal. The sun does so much damage to your skin if not protected from it, so do your skin a favor and wear sunscreen you don’t want melanoma.

Tokyo Sushi

Tokyo Sushi is an all you can eat restaurant that won’t break your bank. This sushi place has been talked about amongst many of our friends so we wanted to see if it was really worth it.

Tokyo Sushi hasn’t been around for very long, but they’ve already made such good business with their fair price, and good quality food. The restaurant itself is very dim lighted, almost calming and intimate. The interior design is far from traditional; it has a very modern, sleek look to it, having a very dark color scheme including: black, grey, and brown. The place is very spacious, I would say, with a majority of the seats being booths. It’s the perfect place for a date night with your significant other, or even a night out with your friends.

Now, since this is an all you can eat place, you can always order as much as you want, making sure to eat your money’s worth. They have many choices including, nigiri, sashimi, rice bowls, tempura, and much, much more.

Tokyo Sushi is a great place for people who have not tried sushi and want to try it. The restaurant has so many choices that are appealing to first timers, such as the spicy salmon hand roll, which is almost like a taco and very savory.

It’s best to have a side dish such as a rice bowl as well, so you can have something to eat on the side that is not raw or fishy, in case you don’t like the sushi you have previously eaten.

Eating sushi at first is a little surprising and intimidating if you aren’t used to the flavors, and especially if you haven’t had raw fish before. Because of this, it is best to stick to the simple rolls. The recommended sushi to try depends on if you have had fish before, and if you like it. If you have had fish before, then trying some salmon, or another fish that isn’t too extreme with taste, will help you adjust. Who knows, you may end up liking sushi.

If you haven’t had fish or don’t really like it, then it’s recommended that you try something very simple such as shrimp, or try the handrolls since the handrolls don’t just come with raw fish, but have many other foods in them as well. But, when you go to try new sushi, or to try it for the first time, it’s best to go with people who know about sushi, or just be a daredevil and do it with people who haven’t, and see how it goes.

Some of the things we ordered were eel fried rice, seafood udon, beef don, squid teriyaki, and eel nigiri. I have eaten sushi before and it is one of my favorite foods, so I already knew what to order. Our friend who tried it out for the first time had a few difficulties, like figuring out what to order and asking what certain foods were. When our food came, she was afraid to try them out.

I think first timers should try out small pieces first and go on from there. As someone who loves seafood, I can eat just about anything with fish, but those who aren’t used to the taste of fish should try out easy and non exotic food first. It was fun seeing my friend’s reactions to the food, and hearing her thoughts on how they tasted. If you haven’t tried sushi before, you should totally give it a try.

Saji-Ya restaurant review

By, Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

image taken from:

Japanese restaurant Saji-Ya was quite the experience. The traditional Japanese food was amazing. We were able to get the full experience by sitting at a table with the teppanyaki. Teppanyaki-style cooking requires a chef that is both a great cook and a performer. It is a steel grill that cooks the food right in front of you, our chef was extremely entertaining. He performed many tricks and told many jokes as he was making our food. His performance definitely made our time at Saji-Ya great. Our favorite part of his cooking was watching the onion volcano. Our chef made a volcano from onions, he poured oil into it then lit it on fire. This created the volcano.

Our food was amazing. The meal started off with a cup of white rice, chicken liver, miso soup, and a salad. This was our appetizer, I (Riley) was a little hesitant about trying the chicken liver, although I’m glad I tried it because it was very good. The miso soup and salad were also very good. For our entree, we both ordered the salmon and steak combination. We both like our steak medium rare, which is what we ordered.

The overall flavor of the steak was great, the seasonings he used worked well together; although our steak was cooked a little more than we would’ve liked it to be. The salmon was also very good, with seasoning similar to the steak. It was cooked perfectly and almost melted in our mouths.

As a side to the meat, we were served a side of vegetables. They were cooked with the onion volcano. Overall, there was a nice mixture, it included: squash, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli. The flavor was nice because the taste of the vegetables was not lost in all the seasoning.

Overall, our experience was very nice and special for prom. It was not expensive, and there were options for vegetarians. We recommend sitting by the grill and going with a group of friends.


Our spring break

By: Sagal, Anisa, Mariam, and Ilham

Spring break is the time of year everyone looks forward to because it’s that time of year where you can travel. Go see new places possibly meet new people. There are a lot of places to travel, like Wisconsin, California, even outside of the country. I (Ilham) traveled inside the state to Eden Prairie where I helped my cousin clean her house. I also traveled to Minneapolis to eat at a really fancy Somali restaurant; the restaurant was called Hamdi. I had the rice and chicken, and man when I tell you the food was really good, it was really good.

image taken from:

During spring break I (Anisa) just stayed home and caught up on my shows that I missed. Watching shows during spring break makes me feel relaxed because I don’t have to worry about anything like school work and other stressful things. Netflix, Hulu and Xfinity Stream comes in handy during spring break because you can easily binge watch all shows. I also watched hilarious YouTube videos. The pranks that they do is so hilarious. Basically, I found out you don’t have to travel to enjoy spring break.

I (Mariam) didn’t travel far during spring, the only different city I went to was Minneapolis. I went to this famous Somali restaurant in Lake Street called Qurxloy; the food there is amazing. Most of my spring break I spent at my grandmother’s house, because it’s so quiet in there and I intended to be in relax mode all spring break long. Obviously, I started watching a new show during spring break. I started watching a show called This is Us, I strongly recommend people to watch that show, because it’s filled with family drama, and healing. I also spent some time with my younger brother because we don’t really hangout a lot, except for the weekends, so it was great to spend some time with them.

During my spring break I (Sagal) traveled to Dallas, Texas. I went to visit family. It was really fun. The weather over there was really hot, and humid. It also rained a little while I was there. But overall, my trip was great. I did a lot of fun activities with my cousins, like go-karting, bowling, golfing, and a lot more. I will totally be going back next spring break.

Places to travel in the summer

According to the U.S News Travel, these 10 top attractions are right for you and your family, and they include many fun activities and entertainment.

New York City, US
New York City is a popular place to go to because it includes arts, food, and fashion. Broadway is a popular place in New York, especially the shows and performances. NYCs main attractions are the Statue of Liberty and the museum about 9/11.

Paris, France
For first time visitors, the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum are great places to go to when going to France. Also, they have nice malls and restaurants like Forum des Halles and Carrousel du Louvre, and restaurants like Pierre Gagnaire and Ze Kitchen Galerie.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam has famous museums like the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum. They have places for families like Vondelpark and NEMO science museum. Leidseplein has night clubs, movie theaters, and concerts.

Florence, Italy
Florence’s attractions include art like visual art and architect. There are works hung in the Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia, and also Duomo and the Palazzo Pitti. Also, they have Boboli Gardens which is a big attraction that includes arts and a huge garden.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has many unique art and architecture and has museums, churches, and parks. Some include: Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia, and Parc Güell. The main attraction is La Barceloneta beach and the FC Barcelona’s headquarters.

Singapore, Malaysia
In Singapore, they have both urban and natural attractions which include Orchard Road and Little India showcase. They also have Gardens by the Bay,  and the Singapore Botanic Gardens that provide fresh air. They have a huge playground for adults and children including Sentosa and Merlion Park.

Kauai, Hawaii
This island has so many outdoor activities including: hiking, kayaking, swimming, or just relaxing at the beach. The most popular attraction is Napali Coast which includes hiking and adventure. It is known as number 2, in the Best Romantic Getaways in the U.S. Also, Tunnels Beach is considered as one of the best places to go snorkeling.

Sicily, Italy
Sicily has so many attractions and adventures which include the Valley of the Temples, and the Segesta Temple. It has a Volcano, called Mount Etna, which has top activities such as hiking and a tour around the mountain. They also have the Valley of the Temples which includes Ancient Roman temples.

Savannah, Georgia
Savannah has historic areas which include Mercer Williams House, and the home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scout Cookies. They have Bonaventure Cemetery and the City Market. They also have Tybee Island which includes a huge Light station, and a Marine Science Center.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is known for their museums and castles. Some include: the Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, the Museum of Scotland, and more. If you visit Holyroodhouse Palace then you’ll see Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill. They have annual festivals like Military Tatto, the Fringe festival, and the Edinburgh festival.

Best spring break experiences

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

Spring break this year was great; we both had amazing experiences on our vacations. Gabe went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and I went to the Big Island, Hawaii. These are our best experiences.

In Mexico I had a great time, I traveled with my family and we did lots of fun activities. My top two favorite things from spring break were the food and swimming in the ocean. The whole trip, I never had a bad meal, I also ordered something different every time we went out. One of my favorite meals was at Joe Jacks in Old Town, I had fish on top of rice and beans.


My second favorite meal was at a fancier restaurant. I had sea bass on top of rice with shrimp, mussels, and calamari. This was on Easter, so the restaurant was packed with tourists.

My second favorite experience was swimming in the ocean. It was great because we could go whenever we wanted. Every day we were there, it was warm and sunny; perfect for swimming. We found a beach with waves that were great for boogie boarding. Other than swimming, we woke up to beautiful sunrises and dolphins in the morning, and sunsets at night. 


My spring break vacation, to Hawaii, was my favorite trip I’ve been on. I have never been to a more beautiful state. My two favorite experiences were going on a helicopter tour and going to a luau.

The helicopter tour was my favorite for many reasons. First, because I have never been on one before and it is fun to try new things. Secondly, because we were able to see parts of the Island you can’t see by foot. From the helicopter we saw many waterfalls; my whole family lost count. We also saw the jungle where the wild pigs live. On the North West side, there was a sharp drop, that was from land that fell off the island because of an earthquake. The pilot was also very nice; he was a former pilot for the Airforce. Although I did many fun things, the helicopter tour was definitely the best.


My second favorite experience was the luau. Luau translates to “feast.” In the Hawaiian culture, families put on luaus to acknowledge and celebrate their past. There was hula dancing, which was very entertaining, and really good food. We went to a luau at the Fairmont Orchid, apparently, this was the best luau in the area. My favorite part about it was watching the dancers. They tell a story from their past through dancing; it is very clear what the message and story are even though they weren’t talking. Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures of the dancers. I did take a picture of a little message written out in dry coral on top of lava rock.  

Chinese culture

China is a country in Asia that has existed for more than 5,000 years. There are many religious beliefs in China like: Confucianism, Buddhism, etc. Pandas are a very important animal in China, they are one of the things that they are most known for. They are most known for their Great Wall, which is more than 13,000 miles long.

In China, there was a very bad time period, with a lot of suffering: the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Many people were hungry and didn’t have a lot of money, and there were many fights that led to deaths. The Revolution occurred in 1966 until 1976 when the leader of it passed away. It happened because the communist leader, Mao Zedong, believed that China’s government was being led in the wrong direction. Mao Zedong said that he believed that the government was becoming more secretive, but his real reason for taking control was that he wanted more power in the government.

The main people involved in the Chinese Cultural Revolution was the leader Mao Zedong, the government, and The Red Guards, which were the people who worked supporting Mao Zedong. If the main reason for the Chinese Cultural Revolution wasn’t for them to make China and its government better, it would be because Mao Zedong wanted more power for himself. The Chinese Cultural Revolution finally ended in 1976 because Mao, the leader passed away.

There were many outcomes because of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, including that it impacted childrens’ education because The Red Guards were attacking teachers. The factories were affected because there was a short supply of resources, and there were many deaths.

A short term effect of the Cultural Revolution were the deaths, and the lack of education and resources. It is significant today because it changed most of China’s old customs, habits, culture, and the people’s ways of life. There were no revolutions after the Chinese Cultural Revolution.





Spring break destinations

By: Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick

Spring break is a very popular travel time for many Americans. Especially, students and families. Many families choose to go to resorts, mainly because of how convenient everything is. Midwesterners like to travel to warm destinations because of the cold, harsh winter, but many people travel to cold climates over their spring break.

Here are a few warm locations that are popular destinations for midwesterners. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and  Orlando, Florida according to TripAdvisor.

Texas is a popular destination as well, with Houston, which has beaches, and Austin, to explore the city.

Hawaii is another popular destination for spring breakers, as families with older children like to explore the tropical islands.

San Francisco and Los Angeles are popular destinations in California for families as well.

Outside of the country, Central America and the Caribbean are popular destinations, with all-inclusive resorts that are perfect for families. They offer many things for everyone to do, like guided tours such as: hikes, bike tours, and snorkeling. The all-inclusive resorts also offer an abundance of food and services.

Mexico is the most popular spring break destination that is out of the country. Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel are the most popular cities in Mexico for spring breakers.

Not all people choose to go on tropical, warm vacations over spring break. Many people, and families, choose to go to cold climates. Skiing and snowboarding are very popular sports that many families participate in. In the western part of the United States; Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California have ski resorts perfect for all levels of skiers. Skiing is also popular in the east as well; Vermont and Maine offer many ski resorts that are popular spring break destinations.

Northern Minnesota is the perfect place to hike the frozen waterfalls, ice fish, and snowshoe.

In Montana, there is the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, which is a popular location for many families.

Spring break is overall, a great time to get out and explore. Families and students take advantage of this time to relax and enjoy both cold and warm weather.

For more information, please visit:

Ethiopian wildlife

Types of animals:

The Ethiopian wolf, Walia ibex, the mountain nyala, Somali wild donkey, black lion, Swayne’s hartebeest, Menelik bushbucks, the bale mountain vervet and gelada baboons, are animals that can only be found in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian wolf is one of Earth’s rarest canid species, and Africa’s most endangered carnivore. Other canid predators have large and varied diets, but the Ethiopian Wolf hunts small rodents in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia.

Only 500 Walia Ibex still exist in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia because of poaching and habitat loss.

The Mountain Nyala is on Ethiopia’s ten cent coin, marking its importance in Ethiopian culture. They live in Ethiopia’s Bale mountain park, with most of them living within 200 square kilometers. Despite once living in Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, the Somali Wild Donkey is believed to only live in Ethiopia now, mostly in the Afar plains. Although their numbers are small in the wild, there are a lot of  captive populations around the world to make sure they can someday regain their previous numbers.

The Bale Mountain Vervet is one of Africa’s least studied primates. They make their homes in the thick bamboo forests of the park.

Menilik bushbucks are part of a sub-species found only in the Ethiopian highlands, and they are very shy around humans. They are similar to the Mountain Nyala, except they are much smaller.

Gelada baboons can be found in huge numbers throughout the Simien Mountains. They are also called the “Bleeding Heart Monkey” because of the unique red skin patch each baboon has on their chests. They are very social animals, and will typically be spotted in huge family groups.

Swayne’s hartebeest is a large Antelope and are native to Ethiopia. They have been the target of large sanctuary projects to help save them from their current extinction danger.

The Ethiopian black lion is genetically distinct from all other lions in Africa. They are typically found in the Bale mountain park and have a distinctive black mane which they are named after.

Preservation and foundation: 

Ethiopia started preserving wildlife in the 1960s. The wildlife and forest areas of Ethiopia are very important to the people.

85% of Ethiopia’s population is dependant on the natural resources. The growing population is wearing down the environment, illegal animal trade, poaching, and wildlife are dwindling resources, so it puts more pressure on the government to prevent further damage.

Then came the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority or the EWCA. They started using tourism as a way to earn more money for the EWCA, and for farmers, so they could make money on their land over and over again.

Then came another organization 2 decades later, called Born Free. They rescue, rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild.

For more information, please visit: