Wednesday, July 21, 2010

365 - not for me...

Some things you try and you like, some things you try and you don't like. I was hesitant about starting a photo-a-day project, but thought "what the heck". I have a new camera that I want to use more, I need to spice up the blog a little, so why not? Well, I'll tell you why not. The thing that is holding me back the most is that I don't have reliable internet access at home. I'm not whining about this, I'm just stating it as a fact. Continuing with this project would either require me to get the internet at home, get to the public library with my laptop and camera card or show up to work 1/2 an hour early every day. The logistics are against me here.

I also realized that I don't just want to make photos for the sake of making photos. And when I got out of bed at 11:30 one night realizing that I hadn't taken a photo that day, scrounging for something interesting and working with nothing but crappy light, I realized that this is not what I was going for. I commend all of you who are currently working on, or who have completed a photo a day project. I will continue to admire your dedication, knowing that I've tried it and it's not for me.

And now back to the intermittent, yet thoughtful, blogging that you're used to.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two Postcards!

Project 365: Day 27

I love getting mail, and I especially love getting fun postcards from traveling friends. Yesterday I was lucky enough to come home to find 2 such postcards in my mailbox! One was from Ann and Lee who vacationed this year in the Shenandoah Valley, hiking the Appalachian Trail. The other one was from my dear friend Brian who is traveling the globe this year. He sent birthday wishes all the way from Argentina!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good Morning in the Garden

Project 365: Day 26

Yesterday morning I stopped into my garden before work for the first time after being away for 4 days. I asked a fellow gardener to water it while I was gone and she must have done a great job, since we're experiencing drought conditions right now. I had a bunch of Sungold tomatoes (above), 3 sandwich bags full of green beans and 3 huge cucumbers.

Bonus photo of some green beans:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tour of New England

Mac and I enjoyed an extended 4th of July weekend with a 4 day roadtrip through New England. We started out with a bang and drove straight from Princeton to York, ME with a lunch stop in Worcester, MA where we ate wonderful Armenian food and stopped at a farmer's market and got a huge and delicious dill pickle as a treat. We arrived in York around 3:30pm and were warmly greeted by Sylvie and Miriam and their families. We stayed in Miriam's parents' beautiful victorian house near the beach with a huge wrap-around porch that offered plenty of opportunities for relaxing and chatting.

After doing some dinner prep a bunch of us took a nice walk down to the beach. The water was freezing! I couldn't even put my toes in. But it was still lovely to be near the water and hear the surf.

After coming back from the beach we started getting dinner ready. They had 15 people over for dinner. It was an amazing spread of grilled goodies (including the veggies in the photo below), wonderful salads, expertly made gin and tonics, and eventually amazing cakes and pies for dessert.

After dinner we headed over to the beach again to enjoy the fireworks (See the 365 photo of the York Fireworks). It was a great show and we sat on the rocks overlooking the beach, which was a perfect vantage point. Once we got back to the house we lit some sparklers and took tons of fun long-exposure photos with my new camera. Here are just a few choice shots:

Beth and Mac:

Sylvie and Miriam:

After playing with the sparklers we headed into the house and played a few rounds of Scattergories before calling it a night. It was such a full, fun and yet relaxing day. Truly a perfect way to start out the long weekend.

Apparently the games never stop when you're on vacation in York. Sunday morning all the "kids" woke up fairly early and headed to get some bagels and play Skee Ball before Mac and I had to leave for the wedding. After fighting the beach traffic, we finally made it to Fun-o-Rama for a few rounds of Skee-Ball. I've played here before and it doesn't disappoint!

This whole trip came about because Mac's friends Nick and Becca got married on Sunday (July 4th!) in Essex, MA. After getting back from Skee-Ball, Mac and I packed up and drove to the wedding "hotel" to get ready for the 3:15pm ceremony. It was a beautiful day, a little toasty, but overall a really lovely day. Here is the happy couple:

And the wonderful vegetarian food! I had to take a photo because it wasn't standard pasta primavera. Roasted asparagus! Rice Pilaf! And a black bean and veggie filled puff pastry! Yum!

And yes, there was plenty of dancing! Here are the Hibben 1Q boys, Mike, Eric and Mac cutting a rug:

On Monday morning Mac and I left the wedding venue around 8am and dropped off Mike at a train station to get back to Boston and then headed to Concord, MA and Walden Pond. It was a really hot day and by the time we got to Walden Pond at 9:15am, the lot was already full and we had to try and come back at noon. We decided to go over to Decordova during that time. The Sculpture park was open (and free!), but the Museum is closed on Mondays, so we couldn't get in, but Mac did a great job of posing with the sculpture:

We finally did make it to Walden Pond, but we avoided the traffic jam that was the official parking lot and parked a little further away and walked in. It was the perfect thing to make a dip in the lake feel wonderful! We spent about 2 hours in and out of the water and then walking up to the much more crowded official swimming area and across the street to see the replica of Thoreau's house and then back to the car.

By the time we got back to the car and stopped at the gift shop to pick up an annotated copy of Walden we decided that we should just head to our B&B, The Sleighmaker Inn in Westborough, MA. We took the scenic route through some small towns and past a bunch of boarding schools and finally got to The Sleighmaker around 4pm. We had thought about maybe heading into Cambridge, or driving down to Providence, but instead decided to take a nap. It was perfect. Nothing says vacation like taking an afternoon nap!

Once we woke up we drove around looking for dinner and actually ended up at a delightful place in Wellesley where we got flaming saganaki and I got a delicious risotto. Then we headed back to the B&B and I took a bath (which is such a treat because I only have a stand-up shower in my apartment) and then we called it a night. The next morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast of yogurt, fruit, waffles with pecans and cinnamon sugar, and baked pears with cottage cheese. It was truly wonderful, and such a great way to start the day!

From Westborough we headed to Storrs, CT to meet up with Mac's former advisor from Drexel and he took us out to lunch in Storrs. It was good conversation, good food and a nice break in the drive home. We also stopped in to see one of the engineering labs and there was lots of technical speak that sorta went over my head, but it was good for Mac to see what they were working on.

After Storrs our next stop was a gallery in Norwalk, CT. Interstate 91 was closed after Exit 17, so we had to take a detour. We stopped for a snack and restroom break at a Dunkin' Donuts and got one Beachball Munchkin! We couldn't believe the neon colors on these sprinkles, and it was actually pretty good. I probably couldn't eat more than one at a time, but it was fun to try. It made for something to laugh about after a slightly frustrating stretch of driving.

We stopped at the Artist's Market in Norwalk, CT and had a great time just looking at all of the wonderful old maps, MC Escher prints and vintage posters along with lots of handmade artisan things. Here is another photo from the gazing ball in the Escher room.

Sadly, after Norwalk, our next stop was Princeton. We got almost all the way home and decided to extend our vacation for just another hour by stopping at Tre Bar in Forrestal Village for dinner and a drink. It was the perfect way to talk about everything we did and unwind after a hectic drive. After that it was time to go home, unload the car and return to normalcy.

Overall it was a packed trip, but somehow it was still relaxing.

Escher Ball

Project 365: Day 25

On Tuesday, Mac and I stopped at a gallery in CT to see some MC Esher prints and in the room with most of the prints there is this gazing ball, which is a reference to his famous self portrait. Mac and I had fun taking photos in it. Here you can see most of the room and Mac reflected in the ball on the left side.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beautiful Walden Pond

Project 365: Day 24

On Monday, Mac and I headed from the wedding hotel to Walden Pond. It was a bit of an adventure getting parking and getting into the park on a hot summer day, but we finally did and it was so worth it. This is a photo of the little nook we used to get into an out of the lake. We spread out a towel and enjoyed the coolness of the water on this perfect day for a swim.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Skee Ball at Fun-o-Rama

Project 365: Day 23

If their is one thing I like to do when I'm in a beach town, it's play Skee Ball. All of the "kids" woke up early so that we could get in some rounds before Mac and I had to leave for his friend's wedding that afternoon. We went to Fun-o-Rama in York, ME had a great time. See more photos in the blog post about the weekend!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fireworks in York, ME

Project 365: Day 22

I was lucky enough to get to see two sets of fireworks this year. Mac and I drove from Princeton to Maine on Saturday and enjoyed the evening with Sylvie and Miriam and their families, including seeing the fireworks shot off from the beach near their house. We had a great vantage point and it was a good show. This is a 15 second exposure, looking out over the water.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grammy Gramps Camp

Project 365: Day 21

Friday I had the pleasure of taking the afternoon off, doing a little outlet shopping before my trip this weekend and then heading down to South Jersey to enjoy some time at my parent's at the tail end of Grammy Gramps Camp. My parents, Grammy, John, Nathaniel and I all headed out for Chinese food and had a lovely dinner. John even tried tofu and deemed it "nasty", but I'm glad he at least tried it. This is a photo of them being silly outside the restaurant.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Early Fireworks

Project 365: Day 20

Princeton held its town fireworks on July 1st this year, which works out well since I'll be out of town for the 4th. It was nothing compared to the Reunions fireworks show, but it was still fun. I got there early and spread out a blanket and made some phone calls and read the New Yorker. It was a beautiful evening to just be outside, and the people watching was great. Mac arrived just in time for the show. They did just one, two or three fireworks at a time, until the finale when they just set off tons. I liked the simplicity of this single shot vs. the chaos of the finale.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Purple Toes

Project 365: Day 19

I got a pedicure a couple days ago. The color is a little darker than I thought it would be, but it's still nice. I'm already looking forward to picking out a new fun color for a pedicure in Cape May!