Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weekend Getaway

Last weekend we took a little trip to visit John's aunt, uncle, and cousins in New Hampshire. We had a wonderful time of rest, fellowship, and fun.

Our journey began early Friday morning with a four hour bus ride to Boston. The bus was fantastic! It had power outlets and free wi-fi! I watched the scenery and John watched the stock market on his laptop. The best part about it all was that the bus ride only cost $15!

Once we arrived in Boston, we hopped on a second bus to Dover, New Hampshire. Again, we had free wi-fi and power outlets for just $15! John's uncle picked us up in Dover and drove us to Wolfeboro, near Lake Winnepesaukee, the same lake featured in the film What About Bob.

After arriving at John's uncle's house. We did a little sailing.

Just kidding. That's what Bob did. We didn't sail, but we did go for a boat ride.

It was a beautiful afternoon. The water was like glass.

This is Mitt Romney's summer home. He was having a party of some sort.
As we ventured farther out on the lake, the water got very choppy.
As the boat bobbed in the waves, we got soaked!
I took refuge under a towel.

The water level is unusually high right now. In order to get back to the boat slip, we had to go under this bridge.
We all had to duck, because there wasn't very much clearance.
We arrived back safe and sound, but thoroughly wet. We spent the rest of the evening eating dinner and playing card games with John's aunt, uncle, and cousins.

The next morning, we took a hike after breakfast. This is John and one of his cousins.

We hiked to the edge of this cliff! It was a little scary, but the view was incredible.
This just takes my breath away. Living in New York, I don't get to see sights like this very often!
John found a hiking stick...which doubles as a weapon. It's rumored that bobcats roam the area.
John kept me safe from the bobcats.
On our way back down, John's cousins and I stopped to pick blueberries.
The blueberries were quite small and very sweet. Delicious!
Later that afternoon, we stopped by the town Hospital Fair. It was kind of like a flea market. Proceeds benefit the renovation of the town hospital.
We took another boat ride before dinner.
Afterwards, we walked through town.

On Saturday evening, we celebrated the birthday of John's cousin, Linda. We had a barbecue and ate blueberry cobbler.

Sunday morning, we attended the chapel service of a nearby Christian camp. Then, John's uncle drove us back to New York. It was a quick, but lovely trip. We were so blessed by the very generous hospitality of John's relatives.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Domestic Additions

On Wednesday night John and I arrived back at his apartment and discovered a massive package in the middle of his living room. We were surprised and confused as we hadn't ordered anything. The giant package contained our first wedding gifts, courtesy of John's aunt and uncle!

We received a Kitchen aid blender and a Cuisinart toaster. It felt wrong to unwrap our gifts before the wedding, but we couldn't resist. It was kind of like Christmas.

Isn't the blender pretty?

It's from the Martha Stewart Collection. When John opened up the box, he said, "Hey, does it come with an insider trading manual?"

Our Cuisinart toaster is very sleek and modern.
It's definitely a step up from my old toaster, shown below.

Sadly, I had to leave Hello Kitty behind on the west coast. I will miss my kitty-faced toast, though.

Last night we gave our blender a try. I put in some strawberries, a banana, some ice, milk, orange juice, and a little vanilla...

Boy, does this blender have power! It completely crushed ice in a matter of seconds. It was amazing!

These are our delicious smoothies.

The face of a satisfied man.


Thanks Aunt Carol and Uncle Steve for the blender and toaster!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Babylonian Exile

I just realized that it's Wednesday already, and I have yet to tell you about last weekend's grand adventure, which we now refer to as the "Babylonian Exile."

On Saturday, we decided to spend the day relaxing at the beach. Given that we haven't been out of the city much this summer, I was very excited by the prospect of spending the day hanging out on a Long Island beach. I conducted thorough internet research to select the beach that was least likely to be crowded and most likely to be clean and pleasant. After polling a few of our friends from church, we settled on Robert Moses State Park, located just outside of Babylon, New York. The journey sounded simple enough: a 1.5 hour train ride from Penn Station and then a 15 minute bus ride from Babylon station.

We left Penn Station at about 11 am. We had no idea what was in store for us... After arriving in Babylon, we discovered that the prior bus to the beach had not showed up. Hordes of people were waiting in line. We ended up waiting an hour before the bus finally showed up. When the bus arrived, everyone rushed forward, trying to squeeze on the bus. John almost didn't make it, but then I told the bus driver that he was my fiance. I tell you, the "F" word ("fiance") works like magic! There we were, squeezed shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers... As we pulled out of the parking lot, the bus driver announced that it would take us about an hour to make it to the beach.

We were dumbfounded... How could it take one hour to travel six miles? As we got on the freeway, it quickly became clear that it would be faster to crawl to the beach! I tried to block out the very hairy armpit that kept bumping into my face. (Gross!) Sure enough, the roads were completely congested with beach-goers. After an hour of crawling in traffic, we finally arrived at the beach at 2:30pm.

The beach was just lovely! We rented an umbrella and found a very quiet spot on the beach. We read and watched the waves crashing onto the shore. It was a pleasant afternoon.

After about two hours, we decided to catch the bus back... that's when the real trouble started...

Traffic was entirely backed up and we noticed that the police had closed the bridge and were only letting traffic go off the island. The bus couldn't even make it over.

While we waited, we were enormously entertained by the rantings and ravings of the cars shown in the picture above. The police even showed up at one point to try to calm down some very exuberant teenagers. After waiting another two hours, the police finally opened the bridge up to traffic. We made it on the bus and caught the next train back to the city.

All in all, we spent eight hours traveling to enjoy two hours at the beach. Was it worth it? Yes. Will we ever go to the beach in August on a Saturday? NEVER!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dinner in Brooklyn

Last night we met one of John's friends for dinner in a very trendy Brooklyn neighborhood. We went to a lovely little Italian restaurant, which had an outdoor dining room covered by real grape vines! This is the ceiling of the restaurant.
I actually got this picture from the internet. The grapes weren't growing when we were there, but I hope we can come back to eat grapes off of the ceiling.

I took these pictures with my cell phone, so they're kind of blurry.

After the sun set, they put out little lanterns and lights. It was just a beautiful setting!