Ivo's Blog

"It's not the time to look for excuses." – Rafael Nadal

Where I Live

March5

So we meet again, earthlings! 

I wouldn’t close this tab if I were you because the Comox Valley is truly beautiful.  Today I am going to be writing about the best destinations of the Comox Valley.  Some of them are spontaneous, and some are just very calm and peaceful.  I hope that this post inspires some international visitors.  If you have any feedback, be sure to leave a comment. 

Now, as we all know, nearly every town has a very nice café or restaurant, and the Comox Valley has quite a few.  Whether there is chocolate, ice cream, or tasty dishes, standing beside them will have you drooling like my Labrador Retriever.  Here are a few examples:

  • Locals – This restaurant is quite pricey but is a perfect place to enjoy yourself.  If you are a seafood lover, try the West Coast seafood trio, which will fill up your tummy at the price of thirty-two or thirty-five dollars.  Vegetarian?  No problem, if you like baked portabella mushrooms.  This restaurant offers very perfected dishes. 
  • Benino Gelato – This café, located near the Comox town park, offers delicious ice cream, yummy paninis, and coffee.  They have a huge variety of ice cream flavours, including pear, apple pie, and tiramisu.  If you are looking for an Italian dinner…
  • Martine’s Bistro – …Italian food lovers, step right up!  You will love your meal, whatever you order.  The seafood linguine is extraordinary, with prawns, clams, smoked salmon, and more.  The pan-seared red snapper is also great, offering a side of creamy risotto. 

Well, you won’t be staying in Comox just to eat (hopefully), so look around, enjoy the scenery, and pick up a map!  Here are some beautiful destinations in the Comox Valley: 

  • Goose Spit Park – Here’s a chance to use your track pants, and get a workout!  This brilliant beach is accompanied by 168 stairs, which are known by locals as the “Comox Grind”, after Grouse Grind in Vancouver.  At the very top of these stairs, cameras will definitely be snapping beside you.  The view is even nicer on clear days, when the sunlight bounces off of the waves.  If you want a more quiet scenario… there is a beach beside Goose Spit, with an apple tree and an interesting bench.  If you bring a book and a coat, you can stay there all day.  It may be the most peaceful spot in the Comox Valley. 
  • Nymph Falls – There is a short walk to the waterfalls, and if you stay in the summer, you can cool down in the tiny pools surrounded by rock.  Nature must know humans’ interests very well because there is a natural waterslide, probably created over many years of erosion.  Staying at Nymph Falls is a lovely way to spend the entire day! 
  • Paradise MeadowsThis trail in Strathcona Provincial Park is remarkable, and you will feel that you could wander forever.  Paradise Meadows does live up to its name, summer and winter.  A combination of boardwalk and forest trail, it’s very relaxing and peaceful. 

There are also two other rather obvious things in the Valley; you’ll see them as soon as you get here.  They are the Comox Glacier, and… deer.  Yes, our town is filled with hundreds of deer.  Slow down, and don’t let them get caught in the headlights (ha ha!).  Though they can be a bit slow at times, their adorableness will pardon them, and… it will be a nice test of your patience. 

Unfortunately, some days in Comox will be rainy and gloomy, but there are always ways to entertain yourself and others indoors.  Don’t just stay in and watch television.  Come on in to… 

  • Comox Recreational Centre – Do you like sports?  When the weather does not look too good, stop by the rec centre to play sports in a gym, whack some table tennis (for free!), or to spend some time in the fitness gym.   
  • Courtenay Museum – Interested in history and paleontology?  If you are, come to this museum, where actual dinosaur bones are on display.  Also, if you would like to know more about the city of Courtenay, that is mainly what the museum offers.  Lastly, for some reason, I liked looking at the old packages of food, from the early twentieth century. 
  • Comox Valley Aquatic Centre – Our pool has a wave pool, lanes, a steam room, hot tub, and more!  Personally, my favourite things to do are ride the waterslides, play catch in the wave pool, and relax in the steam room.  Even though my fingers will get very shrivelled, I could stay all day. 

Well, that is the Comox Valley, a wonderful place to live.  If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment, and I will be sure to answer it as soon as possible. 

Thanks, and have a math-crammed day. 

Sincerely,
Ivo N. 

(Photo Credit for Peninsula: Guinness323, Wikipedia)
(Photo Credit for Local’s: Local’s)
(Photo Credit for Goose Spit: Comox Valley Regional District)
(Photo Credit for Rec Centre: Town of Comox)

My Winter Break

February27

Hello again, fellow earthlings! 

Nearly every child in school was jumping up and down on December 22nd, for the winter break was just around the corner.  Christmas, travelling, birthdays, guests – there is so much to get excited about!  Everyone has something different that they are looking forward to, but today I would like to tell you about my days of fun!  I hope you like it; speak up in the comment section if you have any feedback or… well, comments. 

For the last week of school, I was ill, and missed school for two days.  That was a shame – I would have loved to be there.  I will not dwell on that fact; let’s skip ahead to… 2:30 P.M., on December 22nd.  Children from the age of five to twelve were rushing out of the doors.  Once I had gotten on my bicycle, most kids had left, since I usually leave the property a bit later than some.  I pedalled home, and my father told me that my tennis coach was waiting for us, expecting us by 3:00.  When I got there, we played until sundown, which was at around 4:30.  The winter solstice had been on the day before, so the day was increasing in length. 

On the 23rd, we stayed home, and I worked on a music project that our music teacher assigned us.  We had to choose a musical artist or band (in my case, Jimi Hendrix), and present it in the form of a poster or digital presentation (like PowerPoint, Office Sway, or Google Slides).  I chose to type it up on a poster board, and I worked a lot for three or four days, so I would not spend every day staring at the computer screen.   

Christmas Eve followed, and we stayed home again, but we had a lovely vegetarian dinner, with zucchini patties, rice and barley, carrot and coconut salad, roasted cauliflower, and more!  After supper, we played a game of “Yahtzee”, and I played terrible (bad luck rained down on me relentlessly), but it was still quite enjoyable. 

Strangely, I found it easy to sleep; I must have been very pooped.  The next morning, I was the third to wake up; my mother was still sleeping.  When she awoke, we had breakfast, and then opened our presents.  I got a set of two pencil cases, a new tea thermos, a long-sleeved sport shirt, and (from my grandmother)… long bamboo socks.  In fact, everyone in the family got a few new pairs, and while it may seem strange, my family says that they are very comfortable and thin, suitable for the summer.  I enjoyed opening my gifts, because I love pencil cases, I drink lots of tea, I don’t really like very short socks, I play tennis nearly every day, and it gets cold in the winter! 

Two days later, my mom, my brother, his friend, and I all went to the recreation centre.  We went to the gym, where others were playing basketball.  Everyone but me was playing basketball; I was volleying a tennis ball on the wall with my racket, until the other group of people left.  When they left, I started hitting groundstrokes – forehands and backhands.  I would say we played for about two hours, and even though I was tired by the end, I could have chased the ball some more. 

By the 29th, all of my text boxes for my project on Jimi Hendrix were cut out, and were waiting to be glued.  That day, at 3:30 P.M., was when our guests, the Schlegels, came.  We played Super Smash Brothers with them for a little while, followed by a game of “Apples to Apples”.   

The 31st was… interesting.  My father was going to run roadside of the highway leading up to our local ski resort, Mount Washington, while everyone else, including myself, took a walk on a little trail.  One quarter of your steps sunk your legs knee-deep in snow.  We were hoping to find a hill for sledding, but that was unsuccessful, so we tried to make one ourselves.  You have to sled down on a downhill path repeatedly.  Sounds easy, right?  Think again; some of the snow was pretty sticky, so my sled flipped over, and I turned into a ghost – my face was (no pun intended) snow white.  As you can imagine, it was very difficult, so my mother asked a family where a decent sledding destination was located.  They told her to head to Forbidden Plateau for a nice sledding experience, which we did.  We turned around, to go back to the car, but my foot got stuck in a huge hole.  It was knee-deep, but I saw the end, and decided to put both of my feet in the space, out of curiosity.  I squirmed in, until I was waist-deep, and I can honestly say that it was comfortable, except for a branch poking me.   

It was surprisingly easy to get out of, and I raced back to the car, falling deep into the snow more frequently, since you come down a bit harder when you are running.  When we made it to the car, we started driving to Forbidden Plateau, but not before discovering that we were stuck.  Everyone, except for my mother, had to push the SUV from behind, and we made it!  We picked up my father, and started driving normally to Forbidden Plateau.   

Once we got there, there was a small hill right in front of us, so I said, “Come on!”, as I climbed it.  When I reached the top, I saw a trail leading upwards, so I walked up for a while until I saw what I thought was the end.  It was flat at the top, but then I realized… that wasn’t the peak.  Another slope was ahead, and when we climbed that one, there was no more.  I sledded down that hill twice, but your sled stops before the end of the trail; you probably only get about 1/3 of the way. 

On the third time I was coming down, someone’s legs were sticking out onto the trail, and since I had almost no time to move away, I yelled “Incoming!”, but it was too late.  My head bashed into his knee, and I can say that it is not a very nice feeling.  I think that you should not go up there if you have not gone sledding in a while, or if your sled is too short.   

After that incident, we sledded further down, where the trail is wider.  There was a small fire, and I was freezing.  You do the math; Cold Ivo + Warm Fire = Happy Ivo.  The flames were barely alive, but luckily, the person who lit it had left some spare firewood, and a stick, able to move fire-smothering charcoal out of the way.  It took about five minutes to make it rise, and it warmed me up grandly, except for my feet,    

By the end, while everyone else was sledding, I was huddled by the fire (nearly) contently.  The only downside was that the smoke was in my face (*cough, sputter*), even though my back was turned to the wind.  I am very sensitive to smoke, and that ultimately drove me down the hill.  I froze like one of those head massagers; the ones with the handle and vibration. 

I was so happy when we came home; I could not thaw outside 😜!  Everyone else, who are definitely as wintry as Niflheim jotun, seemed to be okay with staying outside for longer, but snow was buried in the bottom of my shoe, making my feet miserable.  

For supper, we had warm pizza, and cool Russian salad – potatoes, pickles, carrots, and peas, with mayonnaise dressing.  I even had a Virgin Caesar, which consists of Clamato juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime, and rimmer (spices on the rim of the glass).  It was a non-alcoholic version of the Caesar (hence the “virgin”), in which vodka is added. 

As 2018 crawled up with ten minutes left, everybody gathered in the living room, where I discovered those little plastic kazoos.  Once our eight year old guest saw them, hell rained down on everyone’s eardrums.  We circled our couch, tweeting a twenty-minute song.  Sorry, neighbours! 

We stayed up only until 3:45 A.M., because we were going to go… 

… TUBING the next day (or later that day).  We all woke up at around 11:00 A.M., except for two guests, who slept until 12:00 P.M.  We had a very nice breakfast.  In Bulgaria, there is a tradition of eating banitsa – phyllo pastry with egg and feta cheese – with little fortunes inside, on New Year’s Eve.  We forgot, so we had it the next day. 

By the way, my fortunes predicted that I should get my vaccinations… because I was going to travel this year!  Also, my parents have to buy me at least two hats, on account of my other fortune.  Three cheers to fashion!  (Just kidding). 

We left for Mt. Washington at around 1:00 P.M., and once we got there, I saw a pleasant surprise: at the bottom of the hills, there was hay!  Once the slope evened out to flat ground, we were sliding on hay, and the fresh scent climbed into my nose. 

We were tubing from 2:00 to 4:00, and I tried going by myself, with a partner, with two, and in a large group of four.  It had been my first time tubing at Mount Washington, and we used to lug it up the hill, but there is a luxurious two-minute escalator ride here. 

When we got home, we had a nice supper, after which we had a huge game of “Apples to Apples”, in which eight people participated.  I did not win a player’s opinion until around the 35th turn, but at the end, I had four cards under my belt. 

We went to bed at around 1:00 A.M., which was unfortunate for our guests, because they had to leave at around 8:00 in the morning.  Somehow, they managed to, but not before a very fatty and caloric breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon.   

Once we said our goodbyes, I went up to my room to “get some shuteye”, and I woke up at 1:30, thinking of the next day… in which my friends came over with their golden retriever and French bulldog puppy, both of whom are extremely adorable.  As for our friends, we played a bit of table tennis, and some Nintendo Land, for the Wii U.   

When they left, I went to sleep, but nothing special awaited us the next day, so we stayed home until January the 8th, when SCHOOL STARTED! 

Well, that was my winter break.  If you have any feedback, be sure to leave a comment.
Thank you for reading. 

Sincerely,
Ivo N. 

Christmas – from A to Z

December18

Merry Christmas 2016Creative Commons License

Hello, bloggers! 

Yes, it is that time of the year again.  You can nearly never sleep on Christmas Eve, so if you get out of bed to have a snack, take out your laptop and visit my blog, which will let you know what Christmas is all about.  To make this post more enjoyable, you could make yourself a mug of hot cocoa to sip while reading. 

Here is a list from A-Z about this lovely holiday.  If you have found some more interesting Christmas words, feel free to tell me about them in the comment section below.  Thanks, and happy reading!   


A: A is for snow angels, which a younger sibling might be making. 

B: B is for the board games that you might play with your family and friends. 

C: C is for your special Christmas cookies, which make your mouth water instantly, your taste buds getting very curious about the party in your nose. 

D: D is for December, the month of Christmas Day. 

E:  E is for some delicious egg nog, a frothy and yummy seasonal drink. 

F: F is for family and friends who you can spend your Christmas with. 

G: G is for the gifts that you will receive in the morning, after barely sleeping. 

H: H is for hot chocolate, which you might be sipping at the moment. 

I: I is for the icicles that form on your snowman’s carrot nose. 

J: J is for the joy that flows within you whenever Christmas is near. 

K: K is for Krampus, who haunts our Christmas Eve dreams. 

L: L is for Christmas lights, one of the biggest hassles of the holiday. 

M: It is always embarrassing to be a child and be below mistletoe, so beware 😜! 

N: N is for the New Year that always follows Christmas, every year. 

O: O is for the Christmas ornaments which you might be hanging on the tree very, very shortly.  Do you have any homemade decorations?   

P: P is for a friend’s Christmas party that you might attend this year. 

Q: Q is for the quiet time spent with your family.  Whether it’s playing a card game or watching a movie, you are surely not always talking! 

R: R is for relatives that might be willing to bake their own special recipe! 

S: S is for snow, which could be falling right… now.  Take a glance, and let me know: what      kind of weather do you have?  (I would want to have snow!) 

T: T is for the tea that you could be sipping in the car while travelling. 

U: U is for an ugly Christmas sweater; your eye will probably follow everybody else’s – they’ll be glaring at the strange sight.  

V: V is for the visits that neighbours, friends, or family may pay – hopefully they are carrying a batch of freshly baked cookies or other baked goods!    

W: W is for a wreath that you could hang on your door.  Look closely; what leaves does it use?  Does it have a ribbon?  If so, what colour is it? 

X: X is for a xylophone; I used to want one for X-Mas. 

Y: Y is for Yule, which is coming up very soon. 

Z: There is always a great amount of zeal on Christmas Day. 


Well, that is all twenty-six of them.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you want to keep on reading after this post.  Now, for the final song: (clearing throat) I wish you a merry Christmas, I wish you a merry Christmas, I WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS… and a math-crammed New Year!! 

Thanks again for reading. 

Sincerely, 

Ivo N. 

(Photo credit: Koshy Koshy via Compfight)

 

Rafael Nadal: A Very Hardworking Man

November26

IMG_6471

“Nadal won 6-3 6-3 6-4 against Anderson,” was a major rumor in New York around Sept. 10th, 2017.  It was true.  Rafael Nadala Spanish tennis player, born June 3rd 1986, had won his sixteenth grand slam title — that was amazing.  I have not watched one of his matches live, though I would love to do it one day!

The friendship between Roger Federer, arguably the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), and Nadal is one of the strongest in sports history.  My personal opinion is that Federer  is more talented, but Rafa has trained and worked harder to get where he is now, so that is why this post is about him.  Here are three successful learner traits:  industrious, compassionate, and collaborative, that he has demonstrated in his lifetime:

1.) Industrious

Rafael Nadal is definitely very industrious.  As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I think Nadal has worked very hard to get where he is.

Rafael plays tennis left-handed, but he is a right-handed person, though being ambidextrous obviously helps.  Introduced to tennis at the age of three, Nadal was trained by his uncle, Toni Nadal.  Toni trained Rafael for 27 years, until Carlos Moya took over in January 2017.  Moya has not changed the fact that Nadal is always very focused, even when he is practicing.  Some players don’t practice like they are playing in a professional tennis match.  No one plays as if your opponent has a championship point in a grand slam tournament, when you are training, but Nadal takes his practice more seriously than any other ATP player. So beware if you’re training with him 😉 .  Though Rafael is very good, and can beat anyone in the world, I think that there are many players that are more talented than Nadal, but Rafa is one of the most inspiring players, and he is the person many people would like to hear talk, because he can positively affect you to get up off your couch and do something – to be productive.

2.) Compassionate

Rafael Nadal is very competitive, but he always demonstrates great sportsmanship and he is never a sore winner or loser. Even after the toughest loss, he would find the best words to congratulate his opponent.  In 2012, Lukáš Rosol defeated Nadal in a pretty long match, and even after annoying him, Nadal kept himself together, knowing that lashing out will not result in anything good.

After opening his own tennis academy, he didn’t mind sharing his experience even with his rivals. He would invite them for a week or two to hit some balls to improve each other’s game. Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov are the latest examples as they also finish right behind him in the rankings, respectfully as number 2 and 3 in the world.

3.) Collaborative

Nadal had collaborated with Marc Lopez to win gold for his country in Men’s Tennis Doubles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.  The King of Clay also collaborated with Roger Federer to win the first Laver Cup in Prague, Czech Republic, representing Europe against the world.  Once, Roger and Rafa were close to colliding with each other, but they collaborated in that very short amount of time, to figure out who would hit the ball.  In the end, Federer stepped away.

“THE VERDICT”

We can easily conclude that Rafael Nadal can inspire nearly anyone, even the very lazy people, to get outside and be active.  He is very hardworking, compassionate, and cooperative, and watching him play makes me want to go outside and hit some balls.

Here is a video of his best points.

Who inspires you?  An athlete?  A book character?  Someone else?  Let me know in the comment section.  Thanks, and I hope you liked this post.

Have a math-crammed day.

Sincerely,

– Ivo N.

Creative Commons LicenseMarianne Bevis via Compfight

posted under My Life, Tennis | 2 Comments »

The Moon

November6


Moon Unit

Creative Commons License
WVTROUT via Compfight

The Moon

Shines in the sky,

reflections from the sun glistening.

The only light in the night,

it gleams with all its might.

Just glaring at it,

you feel mystery piling into your mind.

(Thank you, and I wish you a math-crammed tomorrow.)

Sincerely,

Ivo N.

All About Ivo

October26

Greetings, earthlings!

My name is Ivo, and I live in the Comox Valley of British Columbia, a province in Canada. Here is some information on five of my favourite things to do in my spare time:

1.) Tennis. I play tennis mostly with my Chilean coach, Julio, his pupil, Shervin, and another trainee, Luke. I am currently working on making my serve more consistent (which means that I am trying to get the ball in), and adding more topspin to trouble my opponent. When I play with my father, I play with a flatter shot, and I take more risks in the game.

2.) Travelling. I don’t trot around the globe when I am bored (as you can imagine), but I do love to travel. In June 2008, I came to Canada at the age of one (and ten months), from Bulgaria, a country in eastern Europe. (Как си? Добре?) I just asked you, “How are you? Good?”, in Bulgarian. I spoke my language the most in 2013, when I left with my mother and brother to Bulgaria on April 23rd. We passed through London, and got to Bulgaria on the 25th. I will spare the details until later, but I want you to know that I really, really enjoy travelling.

3.) Hanging out with friends. Sometimes, my friends, Tyler, Justin, Quinn, and I would meet at our school, then ride our bikes down to downtown Comox, where we would occasionally get an ice cream cone (instead, I get a bun from the supermarket). We would just talk at the park, then every so often go to someone’s house (out of us four, mind you) and play some video games, jump on Tyler’s trampoline, and hop into the pool during a storm (we did that once). There are surely more things that we have done when we got together.

4.) Reading.  I am currently reading “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief”, by Rick Riordan.  If you are thinking of spoiling the book for me, please clear those wicked thoughts out of your head.  Books that I have read previously of “The Lightning Thief” are… Matilda (by Roald Dahl), The Journey Back (by Priscilla Cummings), and Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (by John Grisham). Don’t worry, I have read other books.  These books are from October 2017.

5.)  Crafts.  I am very fond of making many arts and crafts.  Last year (2016), we learned how to make a box (preferably with card).  I made a lot of them, in many different sizes.  In grade one, I learned how to make a snowflake out of paper (but coffee filters are much thinner and more convenient).  I decorated my whole room with the snowflakes.  Also, I really like collecting containers (for example, Tic Tac’s boxes can make a nice puppet, or… aluminum coffee cans can be decorated to be wastebaskets).  There are many crafts to make on a website called, http://krokotak.com/.  Printable crafts and step-by-step instructions can be found using this simple kids website (crafts that you have searched up now will probably not be on Krokotak a couple of months later).

That is all for today; I hope you liked this post, and I will write more in the near future.

I wish you a lovely day, I wish you a lovely day, I WISH YOU A LOVELY DAY… and a math-crammed tomorrow.

Sincerely,
Ivo N.

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