Archive for July, 2011

House Project: Crown Molding

Posted: July 27, 2011 in House

I’ve lost track of how long we have been working on our house at this point…. but, Richard was hard at work last week putting crown molding up!  He conquered the bedroom, finished the living room and dining area, and we are in need of volunteers to paint more crown for the kitchen and to finish up the back room.

Overall, I am thrilled!  It looks amazing and really finishes the wall off.  It is still in need of some caulking and touch up on the paint, kudos to my hubby!

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8, 6, 4, 3, 294!

Posted: July 23, 2011 in Bar Harbor, Boston, Vacation

8 days, 6 flights, 4 states, 3 ship days, 294 steps (up, then 294 down!)  As I sit here, enjoying my glass of wine…. I share…

These last 8 days have seen many numbers.. I can’t believe I have successfully made all 6 flights, been in 4 different states, had 3 somewhat hectic ship days, and climbed 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument!

Weekend started early with a flight on Friday (July15) to Bar Harbor.. the ship, Enchantment, was actually Sunday.. so I ended up with an extra day to putter around town.  I headed over to a colleagues home, in Southwest Harbor, and really enjoyed myself!  You should see the view from the deck, it’s amazing.  Overlooks Somes Sound and Northeast Harbor, I don’t think it gets any better.

Saturday (July 16) was spent in Downtown Southwest Harbor, for the annual Flamingo Festival, http://bangordailynews.com/2010/06/29/news/flamingo-fest-to-make-mdi-pretty-in-pink, with a sighting of the creator of the plastic pink flamingo, Don Featherstone!  It was great.  I love seeing all these little towns come together to celebrate and really enjoying how everyone knows everyone else.  We went for lunch at the Claremont Inn, in the Boathouse Restaurant, http://www.theclaremonthotel.com, which overlooked Somes Sound and we happened to catch the beginning of the Friendship sloop races, http://www.downeastfriendshipsloop.com/.  These boats were the original lobstering boats and it was just amazing to see white sails and different colored hulls running around the harbor.  We then headed out to “camp,” which is a beautiful cabin on the lake and spent some time enjoying the water, and headed back into Ellsworth for dinner at a new Asian restaurant, Shinbashi, delicious!

Sunday (July 17) was a work day… the Enchantment of the Seas, easy day, nothing to exciting..

Monday – Thursday (July 18-21) was a flight to Boston, walking the last third of the Freedom Trail, climbing the Bunker Hill Monument, http://www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail/bunkerhill.asp, and meeting up with a colleague from Miami, Joanne, for the Enchantment in Boston!  Very busy!

My wonderful uncle and godfather, Billy, picked me up in Boston on Tuesday night and brought me back to Dover, NH, to spend the day with his family.  We headed out to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and it was beautiful.  We spent hours… and saw skunk, bobcat, mountain lion, white tail deer, otter, and wandered along the Ecotone Trail.  It was neat to see these animals up close and find that most of the these animals are at the Nature Center due to the carelessness of humans.

Friday was the wonderful Maasdam in Bar Harbor, although a very busy day for me.  The vessel is headed out on a 35 day cruise nicknamed the “Viking Cruise,” because it is along the lines of the original trail the Vikings took.  I didn’t stop running all day, and slept very well on Friday night.  Came home to Plant City today… so happy to be climbing into my own bed tonight!

Excited about the next flight on the calendar… headed to ALASKA!!  Cruising on the Radiance of the Seas, courtesy of the Staff Captain.  Richard and I are headed out on Thursday, July 28 for a one week cruise from Seward to Vancouver, Mom will meet us in Vancouver to switch places with Richard and we will head back up to Seward.  Really looking forward to a great time, and crossing #22 off my bucket list!

I’m proud to be an American…

Posted: July 11, 2011 in Holiday

…where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Happy 4th!

Richard and I spent the day with Reid and Wendy… and had a great time!  Lunch was Green Iguana and we headed out to the St. Pete / Clearwater area, and down to the beach we were married on!  This time, the beach was covered with cars, and vendors were all over the place selling foods and goods.  Dinner was at Sloppy Joes, http://www.sloppyjoesonthebeach.com, and it was GOOD food, as usual.  We headed down to the beach, the boys played frisbee and Wendy and I FINALLY got to catch up.  Fireworks started late, and went on for about an hour or so… we had a great time, and started planning for next years celebration… in the North Carolina mountains!  Here’s hoping it all works out!

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18 – 21 June:  Although a work sanctioned trip, Heather and I had a blast!

Although a very quick trip to Boston, we squeezed so much into the 2.5 days we had.  By the time we finally arrived and got settled into the hotel, and catnapped, we finally headed out to the area around Boston University.  We picked up tickets to see “Marina and the Diamonds,” http://www.marinaandthediamonds.com at the Paradise Rock Club, which turned out to be a cool little venue!    We headed across the street after the show for a bite to eat, and found Sunset Cantina, which had some awesome sangria.  The best part about Boston has to be the availability of public transportation.  I could not believe the ease of getting around town!!

Tuesday was the start of our touristy experience!  We headed into the area of Boston Common, and started out with the Massachusetts State House and the Freedom Trail.  The architecture that is found in Boston is unbelievable.  I was amazed at the time and energy and history that is in the buildings around the city.  Over several hours, we made our way through the first eleven sites of the Trail, from the Commons to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.  We found some pretty amazing old churches, that stood as pillars in the community for many years, and were the sites of many firsts, http://www.parkstreet.org/history.  Really neat to be standing where history stood!

From that area, we walked to Long Wharf, Harbor Walk and the North End.  The Long Wharf area has an amazing view of the harbor, and we found a great restaurant, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, where adult beverages were consumed and people watching commenced.   Dinner was at an amazing little Italian restaurant, that I can’t recall the name of, and of course, we hit up Mike’s Pastry, http://www.mikespastry.com.  AH-MA-ZING!

Wednesday was rainy, but still fun.  First on the itinerary was Boston Public Library, http://www.bpl.org/central/walkmckim.htm.  It was so unlike what I expected for a library… I probably would have spent more time at USFs’ library, if it loked like this one did!  The stained glass, murals, and the architecture was really unusual with lots of history, and then walk out onto the Courtyard.  I could study there forever.   After the library, we hopped on the Upper Deck Trolley Tours bus, which was a narrated tour of the city..  it was much easier to get around than by foot, especially with the weather being unpredictable.  We finished the day at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, http://www.jfklibrary.org, which was a lot larger and full of more information than I expected.  It was neat to follow his path from being a teenager through his death and to learn how much he was involved in and created or supported the startup of.  For example, the first man went to the moon while he was in office, mental retardation was looked at with more sympathy and research began, rather than just putting those who were sick in homes or hospitals, the Berlin Wall came down, and the Peace Corps was put into play.

Below is a short slideshow of the trip!

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NOLA!!

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Travel, Vacation
Tags: , ,

15 – 17 June:  My first trip to New Orleans, LA.  It was great!

Mom and I went…. courtesy of some comp tickets I “earned” last year while involuntarily giving up my seat to get to Bar Harbor.  Not that I am complaining, it was an awesome trip, made better by free airline tickets and super cheap hotel rooms (courtesy of mom’s job.)  Gotta love good deals!!

We arrived late Wednesday night, and after finally getting settled in a room, headed out to Mulates, http://www.mulates.com, for dinner.  Food was good… but I think the highlight was the entertainment and seeing everyone dancing in the middle of the restaurant!  We walked along the Mississippi River, the Riverwalk was its official name, and it was really neat to see some of the old steamships that used to be in service only to bring supplies up the river.  Now, they are used for rentals, dances, dinners, etc.  And they certainly take Mardi Gras seriously!  These statues were all over the city!  We also wondered up to Bourbon St.  Now, I know this is a highly talked about location, especially for Mardi Gras… and maybe I am a bit naive… but, I had no idea this was the red light district!  Holey moley.  Did that ever open my eyes.

We spent Day 2, Thursday, acting like real tourists.  We walked around the vicinity of the hotel in the morning, and found Lafayette Square, which was founded in the 1700’s as a public meeting place.  We also found this amazing fountain, Piazza D’Italia… which I have since learned is a dedication from the Italians.  And the inscription means something to the effect of:  St Joseph’s Fountain, Given to the citizens of New Orleans as a gift to all the people, and you can read more here:  http://www.idehist.uu.se/distans/ilmh/pm/moore-piazzaditalia.htm

After a little bit of walking/exploring, we headed out on a bus tour of the city.  This actually turned out to be really fun, and we learned a LOT.  Definitely more than walking around on our own…  we went on a bus/trolley tour of the city, and through a portion of the Ninth Ward, if you remember, this was the site that was utter chaos after Katrina and the levies flooded.  It was really sad to seem some homes that have been left in a state of disrepair, and how others in the neighborhood have been able to regroup and clean up.  I just can’t imagine what those people went through.

We saw some highlights, Jackson Square, the Old US Mint, St Louis Cathedral, St Louis Cemetery, City Park, and the Garden District.  I think the highlight of the mini-vacation was probably the food!  We ate at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, and twice at Cafe du Monde.  The beignets were amazing.  So amazing, in fact, that we walked back to the Cafe the morning we left just for a treat!

Below is a slide show of some of the pictures from our short, two day trip.

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