Monday, April 28, 2008

where the sidewalk ends

One thing about being home in West Virginia is that there is always some random project going on or something to keep Dad busy in the garage, yard, etc. My dad is one of those handymen who can do what seems like anything. For example, once our waterline busted and I came home to find Dad headfirst in a hole he had dug in the mud while coming up with some kind of thing to fix the leak.

This time I came home to the sidewalk in front of the house being destroyed. I guess some kind of thing needs to go in front of the house so it doesn't collect water every time it rains. When they tried to pull out the sidewalk, they found out it was much thicker than a sidewalk really needs to be. For a few days they tried different methods of tearing out the sidewalk. Jared even got into the action. It seemed like the most effective, but very tedious, way was hitting it with a sledgehammer a million times until a chunk fell off. Good exercise, but come on....

Then Dad got the idea to just pull the whole thing up with his vehicle. This not only provided a quick result for the sidewalk dilemma, but entertainment for the whole family!
How thrilling to look out the garage and watch the sidewalk get pulled into the air! And oh, the suspense - wondering if the concrete slab would go flying backwards, through the front door and into the house! Or possibly the metal pole would shoot out and break a window. The possibilities were endless.
The new, experimental sidewalk removal method was successful. Now that it is broken off, does anyone want to come lift the hunk and move it out of the way? Will be a great way to build muscles!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I've been everywhere, man.

I love to travel. I love to see new places and how people in those places live. I like to try the local food. I like to take in the landscapes. I haven't been very far out of the country, but I have done a lot of traveling within the country. Going to Alaska (which I did twice) is as far as going out of the country, so that should count for something, right? This country is so amazing because it is humongous and has such a wide variety of things to see. From the Florida Keys to the Alaska Mountains - there is so much to see!
Anyway, I decided to look on a map at how many states I have been to.

create your own visited states map

There are definitely more states that I have been to than haven't. 36 out of 50, 70% is not bad! I did not include states that I have only used for their airports, because that doesn't count! If I did, I could have included Washington and Colorado.
I can't remember for sure if I have been to Kansas or Wisconsin. I guess I need to go back if I can't remember. It really seems like I have been to Wisconsin, but I can't think of when it would have been and surely I would have had some memorable cheese there, so I guess it never happened. I really need to hit up New Hampshire and Maine. That would finish off the Eastern U.S. and that would be pretty cool. Of course, having an entirely colored map would be nice too. Maybe I'll put that on my bucket list.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

spring forward

This past winter was the longest winter that I have had in years. After being in school in Indiana, where I "enjoyed" the longest winters of my LIFE, I headed south to sunny Florida. After leaving Florida, I spent half of a winter in the north, then went back south for the next winter in Georgia. This year I got the full thing. I loved the fall and some winter was nice, but around February I was ready for things to warm up already! Well, I had another thing coming, because I went to New York, which takes longer to heat up than West Virginia. I was wearing my winter coat and scarf much longer than I had hoped. Just when hints of heat hit the city, I went even more north to Vermont! I guess I wanted to make up for those years in the south! Luckily, we had several beautiful days in Vermont and when I headed south I saw spring quickly come in to bloom. New York had exploded into color in the one week I had been gone.

As I drove south to West Virginia, the scenery got greener and greener. I rolled down the windows and let the warmth come in. At times I could even smell the trees blooming by the interstate - so refreshing. Luckily for me, I can enjoy those smells and not be tormented by allergies like a lot of people have.

Today I got sip a cup of coffee out in the sun with the green trees all around. I am glad to welcome spring and I have to say "it's about time". Maybe I will enjoy it even more since I had to wait so long! I think early spring is especially nice because of the flowering trees. In New York I was able to see the cherry trees and today I saw Dogwood and Lilac. As I was taking in the Lilac in our yard, a couple of butterflies came by to get some dinner. Luckily they didn't mind me taking a few pictures of them.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Since my computer wasn't working when I went to the Botanic Garden, I will now post a picture from my visit. Most of the garden was not in bloom, but the Japanese Garden and Lake were very beautiful. Here is a picture of some turtles getting a little sun and enjoying the scenery.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Tasty Day: Taking back Monday in Vermont

I have really been enjoying my stay here in Vermont. I have been able to relax and enjoy a more laid back atmosphere - quite a contrast to the hustle and bustle of New York. I wish I could be on vacation forever, but I guess I need to get back to work and such at some point.

Today I went to a couple of places that are "Vermont" - starting with the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory! I took a factory tour and learned all about the delicious ice cream and saw how it is made. I even had a little taste for myself. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to use my camera inside the tour. I guess they didn't want me giving away all of their secrets on my blog. Oh well. I have to settle with pictures of the wall of "Euphoric Flavors". Yummmm..... Takes me back to my freshman year of college and pints of cookie dough ice cream.

Following the tour and tasting, we drove up the mountain to take a look at the Trapp Family Lodge, founded by the von Trapp family of the Sound of Music. Unfortunately, I am here a little early in the season and the trees are not typical of the "Green Mountain State", but the views were beautiful, none the less.

Speaking of "Green Mountain".... my favorite thing produced in this state has to be Green Mountain Coffee!!!! Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a big thing here in Vermont and you can get this tasty brew wherever you go! A quick stop at a gas station produces a high quality cup, unlike many other gas stations around the nation whose coffee leaves much to be desired. Jason and I went by the Green Mountain Coffee headquarters in the cute little village of Waterbury. We were able to go in their visitors center, where we learned about both coffee production and about the company. Of course we had to get a cup at the cafe and sit outside and enjoy the warm spring day. And who can leave such a place without buying a bag of beans to enjoy at home? Not I.

I will wrap up this blog with a quote that was on the wall in the visitor's center:

I think this means I will have a very peaceful and prosperous life. I can live with that....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008


YAY! I think I am back in blogging action! Jared's computer 'took one for the team' and came to my rescue. Turns out, the problem with my computer was, in fact, the power cord. Since Jared and I had the exact same computers and his computer died about a week before my power supply went out, he mailed his cord to me. I was so nervous as I plugged it in, but sure enough, it worked! I now have power to the box and I am connected once again!

Currently, I am visiting Vermont - one of the states I have not been to before. After a failed Coast Guard audition, I drove north to an even colder place than I was already in! I am really getting the most out of winter this year....
Actually, the past two days have been quite nice - even in this northern extreme. I am in Burlington, which is right on the beautiful Lake Champlain. I was lucky enough to go down to the waterfront this evening and catch the sunset with my camera. I have so many breathtaking photos that I can hardly choose which to post.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It gets even better...

Oh blogworld - I am having so much trouble getting to you! At first I lost internet. That was okay because I could take my computer to the coffee shop and use the wireless internet. But that wasn't the end. The next day my computer died, so that option flew out the window! I think it is just the power cord, and not the computer (hoping), so I should be back in business as soon as I get a new cord. I have many things I want to blog about, including a trip to the Botanical Garden! I thought I could use Ronen's computer to blog, which I am, but it won't recognize my camera, so I can't have the whole experience with pictures. Ah, what a life. I guess a true nomad should be prepared for anything - including loss of communication. Well, I am still out here and hope to be back in action before too long.

Monday, April 7, 2008


It has been a sad few days in the life of my blog. I was having a hard enough time keeping up because I was having too much fun! But now the internet in the apartment has gone out. So sad. Luckily there is a coffee shop across the street where I can come and check my email and have a nice cup o' joe. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise, because I do spend way too much time checking my email and blogs and such. Now I will be forced to practice - that is, if I can make myself stay home. Hopefully I will be back in action soon - until then....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Aussie Pies

I've been keeping very busy. Don't worry, death by chocolate didn't really happen. I am alive and doing well. Jason is visiting now and we are enjoying the city. For the first time, I am the one who knows the city and I am showing him around. We are alike in the fact that we are both up for anything in the food department. We have had a nice time the past few days exploring the city through our stomachs. We had Thai food down the street from my apartment.
Last night we went into the village where we intended to visit a Tibetan restaurant that my book recommended. When we got to the address the place was not there. That's the thing about New York - places are always coming and going so it is hard to stay current. Instead we walked around and found this interesting little Australian place called Tuck Shop, The Great Aussie Bite. The amazing smell wafting out onto the street brought us into the place, to find a cute menu of affordable pies and rolls. I settled on the Lamb and Veg pie, while Jason chose the B.B.Q. Pork w/slaw pie. We were so excited to find this unique little restaurant. The pies were very good and the staff was really nice. I liked the fact that I could see them making the pies in the back so I knew how fresh they were. An interesting thing about all this food in New York is that it really makes me want to cook more. I want to try to recreate these concoctions in my own kitchen. Here is a picture of me with my pie. It was really good and if you are hungry on 1st Ave and 1st Street, you should go there.