Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Family Adventures

It has been a good year for exploration.

In the extreme cold at the beginning of the year, we wandered around the neighborhood to enjoy the rare occasion of winter wonderland at North Texas. At the height of the hottest summer on record, we discovered Oak Point Park and Nature Reserve for a comfortable bike ride and a  wonderful picnic. We also discovered Hagerman Wildlife Refuge for birding and hiking. We had many fun time with friends - Spring Break at Lake Ouachita, Arkansas for four days with a friend's family: hiking in the woods, paddling in the lake, strolling on the beach, and skipping stones along the shoreline. Even cooking and eating was fun during those days!! It was a blast for all. We went to Berry Picking with five other families. We also went to Lake Ray Roberts (for the nth time!) with many families of Nick’s soccer teammates for an Easter outing, and stayed there for a one night camping.

The 8 day trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks of Canada was the highlight of the year. In Banff and Jasper, everything is close to each other - glaciers, waterfalls, canyons, mountain peaks, glacier lakes, all packed along trans Canada highway 1 and highway 93. We felt we were immersed in the beautiful and elegant environment full of wild life. It was so easy to access trails to mountain peaks, we hiked more than 55 km in the mountains, and gained 2500m in elevation.

2011 has also been a year of exploration in literary and intellectual world.

From how seedless watermelon is grown to how to draw a circle; Form golden snub nosed monkey in China, to the world of butterfly, Nick also explored nature through reading.

From Feynman to UARS and Nutrinos, From Asher Lev to Tiger Mother, we learned modern physics a bit more, we expanded our social perspectives via other culture, other people's experience.

From Triangles to Circles, Nick learned some geometry; From Triangles to Infinite number series, I dug into elementary math along the way. From gravitation in a toy to impact dynamics in washing machine, I utilized my professional expertise to understand the mechanics of objects we use daily.

Be healthy, enjoy nature physically and literarily - that summarizes our 2011 family adventures.

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