Saturday, September 29, 2012

Falling into Autumn

I freaking love fall. I always have. It's the season J and I met. It's the season in which J and I got married (6 years later). It's oranges and reds. Cooler weather. Apples. Pumpkins. Hot chocolate. Comfy sweaters. Coffee and a good book. Hiking. Changing colors. When I was a kid, I loved fall because it was the beginning of a new year (school year). Everything was fresh and the world was bright with possibilities. It was also Nutcracker season (I danced. A lot.), which was always a lot of fun. This week, it finally started feeling a little cooler and more like fall. I could start wearing some of my fall clothes (btw - I am loving the colors in stores this season). And so, I started decorating our house a little bit more for autumn.

I actually started last Sunday. Our front yard was looking a little shabby. The summer had been quite dry and the impatiens and lilies were dried out and wilted.


Step 1: clear out the old stuff.

Step 2: Plant the mums.

Step 3: Make a wreath. This was the one I hastily put together last Thanksgiving. I decided to update it a little.

I basically cut and glued various fall decorations I had around the house.

And voila!

Step 4: Put it all together.

By this point, the mums were blooming!

Step 6: Add fall decor to the dining room.

I'll be adding gourds and pumpkins as the season progresses. Happy fall! 

And now, a random story if you are still reading. So, this morning, J had decided to go on a run, and I was doing errands, cleaning, etc. I heard a knock on the door and went downstairs. Another republican asking if I will take a survey. We have already encountered 2 guys before. Normally, I say no. I am not really a fan of door to door anything. Except girl scout cookies (although I'm not sure girl scouts do that anymore). However, this woman said she also lived in the neighborhood, and I really try to be nice to my neighbors. Let me set the scene a bit better. It was probably around noon (maybe a little after). I was still in my PJs, glasses, and hadn't brushed my hair. So, I was making a great impression to begin with. Here's how it went down (my thoughts in parentheses): 

Woman: Hi! I'm from the neighborhood and am with the republican something or other. Would you mind taking a quick survey? 
Me: Ummm... (not really) I guess that would be okay. 
Woman: If the election were held today, would you vote for Obama or Romney?
Me: Umm... I'm not really sure. 
Woman: Okay, if the election were held today would you vote for democrat senate person or republican senate person? 
Me: I haven't really decided. 
Woman: Same for house race? 
Me: Yup. 
Woman: So, would you want to put a Romney political sign up in your front yard? 
Me: (What?!? Seriously? I just told you I'm an undecided voter! Oh but, yes, I definitely would like to advertise for a political candidate! Can I have an Obama one too?! And a blank one so I can just write a random name on it?) Looking aghast and shaking head... No, no, definitely not. 
Woman: Do you need information about absentee voting? 
Me: (Oh no. She thinks I'm in college. Respectable adults don't look like this at noon on Saturdays. I've really made a great first impression on this neighbor). No, I'm registered to vote here. 

If they come again, I shall start coming up with wittier answers. *Sigh*... Only one more month of this political bombardment. (For the record, I don't like voicing my political opinions. It doesn't mean I don't have them. I vote and research my vote. And then I don't really discuss it, especially with strangers).  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Boston Part 2 and Some Nearby Hiking

Hi again! I am back from Massachusetts (The spirit of Massachusetts is the spirit of America, the spirit of what's old and what's new... If you happen to get that reference - rest assured - I don't actually like that show. I just get the song stuck in my head whenever I think of Mass). Anyway, I had a really great trip, but it is sooo nice to be home. This trip was actually the longest J and I have been apart since I was in grad school. So, here are a few of my remaining Boston photos.

We grabbed lunch at Max Brenner one day. The hot chocolate was amazing!

Here are some photos from the Boston library. It is absolutely beautiful.

Intricate ceiling work.

Turtle lamp.

Isn't this gorgeous? Looks like it could be in a movie.

Pictures from Little Italy. This is Mike's Pastry - famous for its cannolis. However, I personally loved the Italian macroons they had. Yum!

Inside Mike's.

On the last day, we went over to MIT's campus. I had never seen it, so I wanted to check it out (and buy a t-shirt or two). We then walked back over the bridge to Boston. The bridge offered some awesome views of the city.

And also was neat because distance markers were in Smoots. The explanation of a Smoot can be found here. I also liked this little gem painted on the bridge. I felt that way about grad school too... haha.

I took this as we were flying over Boston. Isn't it pretty? I also think I happened to go at the exact right time. The weather was impeccable the whole time.

I spent most of yesterday getting my stuff back in order and doing some work (that that you needed to know all that). Today, J and I decided to go on a local hike. We went to Manasses Battlefield Park and did a 5.3 mile loop. To be honest, I'm pretty tired at the moment. But it was a good hike. It was perhaps a little warm, but still good times. The trail was full of great views of civi war history. And beautiful fields.

We loved how these fields looked almost purple.

The hike was great but somewhat killed my productivity this afternoon. We have been pretty wiped out since. I did manage to actually cook this weekend (which seems to never happen), so that was good. I'll have more house related stuff for you all soon as I get back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I think I'll go to Boston...

Greetings! I know it's been a while, but I have been traveling ... to Boston! I have been having an absolutely wonderful time! This past weekend, I flew in on Friday and spent the weekend with some close friends. I'm still in town for some other things, but I thought it would be fun to spend a few extra days since I have never been! So, here's what's been going on so far.

Mel and I went in to Boston Saturday morning. We spent the morning getting mani/pedis and walking down Charles Street to the Boston Public Garden. They have this adorable Swan Pond going on. And I managed to capture this awesome rainbow photo. Guess that guy was a leprechaun in disguise.

They had some cool monuments to historic figures throughout. I liked this one of Washington.

The flowers were enormous! Talk about a good time to visit.

Jon joined us for lunch. I had an amazing lobster roll. Oh. my. goodness. The lobster here is ridiculous. We then walked down through Quincy Market, which had this Irish street performance going on.

This was down closer to the water by the aquarium.

We saw the Red Sox owner's yacht, which was huge!

We finished off the afternoon by heading down to another harbor area and watched the views at this rooftop bar/restaurant. They had these awesome fall hurricanes. Umm.. I may try to do this in a smaller form somewhere. :)

Aren't they awesome? So cute!

We met up with one of their friends for dinner in Little Italy. I don't have any pictures, but Little Italy consists of tons of these small Italian places, all of which look and smell amazing. There are also lots of cookie and cannoli shops throughout. I have been very well-fed while here.

On Sunday, we decided to head to Revere beach for a little walking. And saw the ships come sailing in (on Christmas day in the morning... no, not really. obvi).

We took a stroll on Newbury Street downtown. Newbury is this great shopping district.

I love this picture of the old brick houses. Just so pretty. We ended up running into 2 of the girls I danced with in school. It was so random and unexpected. And awesome. :)

I believe this is the Old South Church (as opposed to the Old North Church). There are old historic churches throughout the area.

I also loved how this picture of the Prudential tower turned out.

The public library.

Fancy-pants hotel (not where I am staying).

And look what we found?! Even though we have these back home, we decided to stop in.

The T is Boston's transportation system. We used this quite effectively over the weekend.

And onto the historic sites. This is where some famous, historic people are buried.

Like Samuel Adams.

And I did get a chance to see the Old North Church (aka - one if by land, 2 if by sea).

So, that has been what's going on with me. If I get a chance to take more interesting pics, I'll make sure to post those later. I hope all of my lovely readers have been doing well. Explore any fun and interesting cities lately?