Archive | July, 2011

Let’s ignore the fact that July is almost over, shall we? Or that earlier today I accidentally put down 2008 as the current year. Time is passing, and my brain clearly has no desire to keep up. Rather than preoccupy myself with the minutes that keep flying by, I chose to squander my precious time on the internet.

Here’s what I found interesting this week.

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It’s a truly strange and wonderful thing to find that occasionally people care what I have to say. I was honored to be interviewed for not one, but two blogs this week. The first was courtesy of my friend Jessica, who featured me on her blog The Present Perfect (if you are looking for gift ideas, really of any kind, check out her site). And the second was courtesy of the lovely Andrea of I’m Way Too Busy (a domain name that might as well my mantra). On her blog, she documents things that fascinate and inspire her (don’t ask me how I made the cut, but thank you, Andrea!).

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Indeed, the years have been kind. And there can be only one (or was that some other guy?) Check out Keanu Reeves is Immortal.

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As a lover of bargains, history, and little old men in uniforms, I can safely say that one of my favorite things about travel is partaking in the many free national park tours our country has to offer. America’s National Park Service seems to exclusively hire flirty male septuagenarians as guides, and I am completely okay with that. (Interestingly, docents at museums in the U.S. are almost exclusively spunky single women in their golden years. I smell the makings of a senior citizen rom-com staring Susan Sarandon and Ed Asner. YOU’RE WELCOME, HOLLYWOOD.)

My love for gray-haired men in uniform is so strong that it sincerely saddens me to tell you that the NPS guided tour of Freedom Trail in Boston is not really worth the time. At least, not from a historical perspective. It was educational and informative, though, when it came to pastries.

And while I am sure you’d rather I discuss baked goods first, you will have to wait, as I did, and suffer through all the boring stuff. I know. Life is difficult.

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 (Note: Some of the events in this post have been dramatized slightly in order to highlight how little I know of Boston, and to further ridicule Rob. Enjoy.)

There is a time in every travel blogger’s life when she is tested. She will find herself with a group of friends in a town that is not her own, and someone will turn to her and say, “You know this city, right? So, what’s there to do around here?”

From that point, she has several options.

  1. Crying.
  2. Pointing across the street confidently while saying, “I would definitely go there!” When everyone turns to look, she runs frantically away, screaming, “SUCKERS!”
  3. Genuinely wracking her brain for every single place that would be remotely interesting, and hastily regurgitating whatever she can remember from the bastion of “that sounds mostly right” that is Wikipedia.
  4. Start making shit up.

Ever the multi-tasker, I went with a combination of options 3 and 4.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Rand, walking down the street of the town in which he was born.

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I married a boy from New Jersey.

There is no state more unfairly maligned. Tell folks you are from anywhere else, no matter how abused and run-down, and the response will be better than if you say you are from Jersey. Detroit will get you sympathetic comments about the state of America’s heartland, and praises of Motown. Salt Lake City yields images of brick-red canyons and cloudless skies. Even Tacoma, Seattle’s much ridiculed neighbor to the south, has a song written for it (it’s soulful and lovely and I’ve never been able to look at that dusty old jewel in the south Puget Sound the same way).

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I was looking through my photos of Rome from my trip last spring, and I realized something: it is impossible to look cool while tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain. Behold:

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It’s official: I’ve had it with Seattle, at least for the next few days (I need more than 78 minutes of summer). I’m off to Wichita (yes, Wichita) to see an old friend (and a new one). Rand predicts that it will be one of the most foreign experiences of my life. But really, how foreign can it be if I’m spending the weekend with Star Wars fanatics? So while I enjoy some overdue sunshine (in vast amounts), please enjoy these links.

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It is entirely likely that most of the submission on Damn You, Auto Correct are fabricated. Whether that’s true or not, they’re still really, really funny. Check out the 15 most popular submissions from the last year. If you’re like me, you’ll be thankful your mother doesn’t know how to text.

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I shouldn’t laugh about this. Speeding is dangerous, after all. But I’m sure the doctor had a good reason for going 88 miles per hour.

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Little known fact about me: in addition to my crippling love of cupcakes and comfortable shoes, I have a soft spot for James Dean. In high school, my room was blanketed with photos of the ill-fated star. I owned his every movie (even Giant, which is AWFUL), read his biography repeatedly, and slept in a James Dean t-shirt at night.

“He’s going to haunt you,” my mother would tease.

“I damn well hope so,” I replied. Otherwise I’d totally wasted a Christmas present asking for a ouija board.

It carried on into college, when I found myself dating moody boys who would pout outside my dorm while smoking cigarettes. After getting my heart broken (eh, not even. Slightly bruised.) by one-too-many asthmatics, my fascination with an actor who had died twenty-five years before I was even born begun to fade. By the time I met Rand, the only thing that remained of my teenage fandom was an affinity for men who had sideburns and popped the collars of their coats in the cold.

Fortunately, even in the early days of our relationship, Rand pretty much nailed both of those criteria:

I was sure we'd always be in love and we'd never grow old. I was half right.

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Years passed, and I assumed my fascination with James Dean was long over. But even now, there are times – often when we’re walking through a grey and foggy city and his collar is turned up against the wind – that I’ll swear my husband looks like James Dean. And it positively slays me.

James Dean smoked cigarettes. Rand chews on pencaps (which is healthier and cheaper, but ruins more pens).

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At the risk of sounding truly lame and wishy-washy, I will say this: I love Boston and New York equally.

I know, I know, given the long-standing rivalry between these towns (one whose origins escape me – did it really start with baseball? I mean, really? Edit: Apparently no, it didn’t) what I’ve just said amounts to sacrilege. I might as well scream that Coca-Cola Classic and New Coke are equally delicious! That all iterations of the Doctor have their merits! (Yes, even that creepy little blonde dude who looked like Art Garfunkel.) That the new trilogy of Star Wars movies aren’t an insult to the entire Sci-Fi genre! AND THAT THE WORLD NEEDS MORE OF JAR-JAR BINKS!

Ahem. Sorry. I went mad for a moment. I’m back now. The point that I was trying to make, if indeed I was trying to make one, is that, long-standing rivalries aside, Boston is perhaps the one city that’s as near to my heart as NYC.

When Rand and I concluded our trip to New York, I was not sad, as I usually am when departing from Manhattan, because we were headed to Boston next. And after three short hours on a train (yes, a train. How retro is that? Next we’ll be taking zeppelins. Note to self: buy Rand a monocle, top hat.) we arrived. Here are 10 photos from our trip, which hopefully will help you understand why I love it so dearly.

  1. Seinfeld poster, Back Bay train station.
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    This was the first thing we saw when we stepped off the train from New York. Pretty sure it wasn't a coincidence.

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  2. Foggy smokestacks, near M.I.T.
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    Saw these on a painfully long walk from Cambridge to Boston, in search of cupcakes.

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