I went to visit my great aunt and uncle in Bethel, Maine a few weeks ago. It’s always a pleasure to visit them, mostly because they take pleasure in having guests. Aunt Chris is a really good cook, so there’s always something yummy for dinner. The area around the house is beautiful. They live near the Sunday River ski area, so it’s not too far from some semblence of civilization. The only problem with the week was that it rained almost the entire time. However, that couldn’t keep my family down.

We took one of my father’s Peugeots up Mount Washington. It survived the trip very well. The mountain was mostly surrounded by fog for the drive, but every now and then the clouds parted and gave us a view of part of the sunlit valley. The top was completely fogged in, but I got to see the Cog Railway, and I can now say that I’ve been to the top of the mountain.

My father and I also took a trip to Bar Harbor. Neither of us had been there before, and even though it’s about four hours away from my aunt’s house, we wanted to take a trip together and have a look around. We wandered around town, looking at the various shops. There was a cool little musical instrument shop near the water. When we checked in with the office for our schooner cruise, we found out that the four o’clock trip was cancelled due to insufficient passengers. We moved our reservations to the six thirty “sunset cruise” and hoped for the best. We decided to do dinner at one of the many restaurants serving lobster. Mmm, lobster. Then we went to the pier to meet the boat.

The Rachel B. Jackson rose from the water in pristine beauty. She’s a replica of a 19th century schooner built in Maine. The crew was very nice and allowed the guests to explore the ship at their own pace. They offered us coffee from the galley as we looked around. It was very cosy below, with a four-bunk room at the rear and a smaller room in the front that had a cool polished wooden desk holding the radar gear. It was very interesting to see the fine craftsmanship that went into the ship. There were real prisms in the deck that reflected a surprising amount of light into the living quarters below. The crewman we spoke to said they were salvaged from a wreck.

The crew consisted of two captains, a father and son, and two other crewmen who were volunteering on the ship for the summer to learn for their captain’s licenses. They were all pleasant and interesting guys to talk to on our journey.

As the time for departure drew nearer, the fog rolled in closer. The dock for the The Cat, a car ferry to Nova Scotia, was next to ours, and we could see the huge pontoon ferry looming out of the water. One of the crew joked that they didn’t worry about the fog until they couldn’t see the Cat anymore. The words proved almost prophetic, as the Cat was beginning to be shrouded in haze by the time we left. We didn’t see much due to the fog, but it was an enjoyable trip nonetheless. The crew and passengers wer friendly and talkative, as well as humorous, so the time passed quickly. Islands were dark shapes that grew in the mist as we passed. Thank goodness for radar. (My father even had his GPS.) Although it blocked the view, the fog leant an ethereal quality to the trip. I’d definitely like to try it again in better weather, even so.

The rest of the week was spent enjoying the scenery near my aunt’s house, swimming during the few times the rain stopped, filling up on delicious food, and reading some good books.

It rained about four inches during the time I was there, according to Aunt Chris’s meter.

Ed and I went to New York City for the weekend recently to visit our friends Jon and Sam. Although it was a little shorter than we had planned, it was a pleasant weekend. We got there Saturday evening, went out for sushi, stopped at St. Mark’s Bookshop, and finished at Saint’s Alp Teahouse for some weird tea concoctions.

Back at Jon’s place, we introduced him to Settlers of Catan, a board game in which you use trade to build settlements and cities. I think he’s a convert now, mwahaha.

Sunday we had brunch/lunch at a nice little place down the street from Jon’s. I had yummy bagel and lox with cream cheese. We strolled around Soho for a bit in the afternoon. We stopped at this cool store called Evolution, which has a bizarre collection of natural history items. We also visited Dean & Deluca a gourmet grocery/food/kitchenware shop and the Apple store to cool off from the suffocating heat.

I had a good time, and it was nice to see Jon and Sam again. I’d like to visit them some time when it’s not so freaking hot.

I’d also wanted to visit The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, but that will have to wait until next time. Madeleine L’Engle wrote a book that was set there, A Severed Wasp, and she’s also the head librarian at the Cathedral, although I don’t think she spends much time there now, since her health is not as good. I found a couple of interesting interviews with her while I was looking for information. Jon also suggested visiting the Cloisters at the same time, so we have plenty of things to do next time we visit.

New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain collapsed some time at the end of last week. I never actually got to see it in person, but the state route signs in NH feature a profile of him, so his existence was hard to miss if you pass through the state at all. It’s sad to see an icon of a state fall, but nature is inexorable.

There is talk of rebuilding it. A tasteful token of rememberence is one thing, but I hope they don’t try to resurrect a natural phenomenon.

While registering at Blog Shares I noticed that it only showed one incoming link to me. I checked this link, and found that it wasn’t anyone I knew. I think this is because I have changed the path I use with Blosxom. Either that, or no one who links to me has been indexed by Blog Shares. I know I’m not popular, but hey, there are a couple people out there who like me!

Anyway, I checked out this link to MyDimension and it turned out it was somebody who linked to me in one of his entries about finding people near him in GeoURL. He lives five miles from me. Small world.

This past weekend, Boston’s “Big Dig” passed a major milestone. The tunnel for northbound route 93 was opened, as well as the new Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge. I’ve been admiring this bridge since I moved here. It is gorgeous and unlike any other bridge that I have seen. Especially at night, when it is gleaming and lit with colored lights. Hopefully, Ed and I will get to ride on it this week.

Ed (my sweetie) and I went to visit a friend in NYC two weekends ago. Jon, aka jamah, was nice enough to let us crash at his place in Brooklyn, so I got my first chance to see that part of NYC. I had a blast!

Friday night, we went to see a friend of mine, Tor, play Don Jon in Much Ado About Nothing. He was suitably dark and evil. I was scared, and I know him. This was also my first time ever on Staten Island. After the play, Tor, Lynn (his girlfriend), Ed, Jon, Sam (Jon’s girlfriend), and I went out to eat. We had a nice time chatting and then headed back across the bridge to Jon’s studio. Lazying and Lilying ensued for the remainder of the night.

Saturday, Jon and Sam left early to go outlet shopping, so Ed and I went to explore on our own. We managed to navigate the subway system without going the wrong way, with the help of the Not For Tourists Guide to Manhattan, and ended up at the Guggenheim. Modern art can be hard to grok, but it is very fascinating. However, my main attraction to the Guggenheim is the building itself. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, someone I’ve always had an interest in, it’s an intriguing and different concept for art display. I found the building almost more interesting than the art.

Dinner was a nice little sushi place near Union Square. It had an all-you-can-eat deal which was cool because I got to try things I never would ordinarily, like salmon roe roll. Yummy! We had been searching for a place that Jon recommended but didn’t give adequate directions for. I forgive him, though, and he says he’ll take us there next time we visit. After that, we were both tired and Ed’s feet got blistered 🙁 so we headed back to Jon’s place. We managed to arrive at the same time he did and proceeded to hang out and watch movies and such for the rest of the night. Jon spent several hours trying to start a Starcraft game with some other friends, but it was doomed. When the finally got the game going, his computer crashed shortly into playing.

Sunday started early. (Well, 10, but those boys didn’t go to bed until 5am!) We got ready and headed to Brooklyn Chinatown for dim sum with Sam, Cynthia (Sam’s sister), and Bernie (Jon’s friend and now Cynthia’s boyfriend). It was very good, and I had a lot of fun. It was odd being the only white person at the table, since the rest of the group was chinese or a mix thereof, but I made the best of it while attempting to use chopsticks. I suppose I’m not horrible with them, but it will take me a while to master.

After dim sum, we stopped at the tea house and I got to try bubble tea, a cold milk tea with tapioca pearls at the bottom. It was good, if a bit odd. It’s been all over the place recently, so it was neat to get a chance to try it. Then we headed over the BMW dealer so Jon could look at cars.

Having ogled the beamers, Ed and I decided it was time to head home. I got the privilege of driving because Ed’s feet were causing him too much pain. There was much traffic getting out of NYC. Finally, we broke free, only to be engulfed in torrential rain throughout Connecticut and Massachussetts. C’est la vie, I still had a great weekend! I hope we get the chance to visit again.

  1. Massachusetts drivers are not as bad as people say.
  2. NYC drivers are every bit as awful as the stories.
  3. NYC is just as confusing as I thought it would be to drive in.
  4. Likewise for Massachusetts.
  5. Driving through NYC at 1 a.m. is great… if you don’t have anywhere to be the next day.

Of course, I still had fun. Too bad the rest of the week sucked.