Friday, October 26, 2007

Oh Canada, eh?

So back to the trip *this would be "installation 2" if you're counting... Looking at these photos is bringing on a bit of gloom... oh, why can't i be on permanent vacation? being back in roma, lovely though it is, with winter coming on strong (i can't believe my mom went to the beach the other day!), and all the friends leaving and making plans to leave... well it's a bit gloomy, let say. a lil' bit dark and friend's leaving just stinks... well, so on that note, oh what i wouldn't do to be back in bean town right now!? i can just IMAGINE the ridiculous displays of team spirit that must be taking over the city in some kind profane, almost euphoric way... i will say no more than "go sox!" and then just get the heck on with it.

so waking up from the wedding was the least fun part of that sunday (thanks alex and paul!!) ... cause arriving in vancouver was a treat! the airport provided us with all kinds of... native specimens? shall i say? there were birds, boats, and a big First Nation eagle - all displayed in a Welcome to Vancouver Passageway (i.e. "customs this way...") COMPLETE with a recording of birds chirping and waves softly lapping. oh, we were in Vancouver... welcome to Canada, eh? it was like being at a natural history museum... and oh, in case you were wondering, FREE! totally free.

so Vancouver was amazing. we had the absolute best hosts (obviously), but to emphasize even more the most repeated phrase of the whole trip - we didn't have enough time :-( we were there for two nights and two days. we saw tara's campus. we met the stars of jay's film. we watched her belly. we hung around town. we ate noodles. on the second day we cruised around vancouver and checked out vintage shops in gastown. it is such a great city. amazing vibe. beautiful beaches. and just clean, clear and lovely. oh and The Adorables are really cute there too....

this photo peppe took with his new holy-sh*t-what-a-nice-camera camera in one of the great community vegetable gardens that dot the city. we found it over by the Granville Island Market, where we had also seen loads of lovely looking foods and beautifully carved and spun objects. so vancouver seriously impressed us --- a few more days would have been totally welcomed, but instead we filled up some coke cups with beer and hit the busride/ferry to victoria. what a gorgeous ferry ride! oh yeah, we saw orcas on the way... right... (obviously?!?!) and just the most impressive wide open skies and fjord-like land masses plopped into the frigid looking waters. oh and the trees! green and blue and blue and green.

Victoria was also really lovely. it had this very charming thing going on. we had a real nice couple of nights with T&J... here's some shots of us messing about in the park.dinner at the diner...we headed over to the Fisherman's Wharf on T & J's last day with us in Victoria for some fish and chips at "BARB's". I had gotten myself kind of obsessed with Barb's since the first day. seriously, it's in your best interest not to give me the guidebook... i tend to take the task rather seriously. so we were told (i mean, the guidebooks says...) the ABSOLUTE best fish n' chips was at Barb's place. therefore, i was on a real mission to get us to the best fish n' chips (bestness of it confirmed by random taxi driver and other "respectable" looking locals, namely a rather sad looking dude watering the flowers at a big hotel). So anyway, the guidebook said it was a must do and i was a believer. amen. Luckily, the company either a) agreed with me or b) thought it wasn't worth a fight. so we headed over to Barb's right before they left.

It was nice really cute along the floating wharf where Barb's was. barb's barb's barb's. la la la la la. and there were harbor seals right there (i think they were begging for little nibbles of fried cod)! Oh and yes, the fish n' chips were quite delicious. free refills on fountain soda too. god i love that so much.
the best part of it was that being over there we met Captain Ron of Sea King Adventures, Inc. We had considered taking one of the bigger whale watching tours from the inner harbor, but when we saw Captain Ron's set up in Fisherman's Wharf, we knew it was all coming together. 40 people crammed onto a huge zodiac, all strapped in OR just P & I on a small 10-seater with the only owner-operated tour in Victoria.... Easy choice! We were so lucky that Captain Ron decided to take us out, even though it was just the two of us... well Bro, the dog (who made awesome company), had to come too... (ya can't leave the dog locked in the shop, people.) It really made it an unforgettable experience. With Ron's knowledge of the sea and our ability to just ask him questions and make him stop for photo taking... it was just awesome. oh. and i mean... we saw freaking killer whales, my friends!!!!
here's a tidbit about Sea King Adventures. If you are ever in Victoria, i not only recommend going out with Captian Ron, but I also would go so far as to try to dissuade you from going on one of the more commercially available tours... it's just that much better. Plus you get to leave from fisherman's wharf and you can probably squeeze in a fish n' chips before you leave... i hear Barb makes a decent plate...

The Legendary Captain" Ron King, Owner Operator of Sea King Adventures, has over 35 years of experience in the beautiful waters around Victoria and Vancouver Island. He is a certified Master Skipper with naturalist and conservation education.

Because SeaKing Adventures is Victoria’s only 100% family owned and operated marine tour company, Ron’s commitment to quality, safety and satisfaction is guaranteed! His central location on board the vessel allows him to provide Victoria’s most comprehensive fully narrated, totally interactive and personalized tours. Boasting a spotless safety record and sightings guarantee, Ron’s qualifications and experience combine to make him the city’s premier guide. (www.seaking.ca)

Me and bro.Crazy Bull Kelp, of which you can find more info here. This impressive stuff is everywhere and supposedly has all kinds of uses that it's not being used enough for.So one of the highlights of the ride was when we pulled up alongside of this other boat which had three Dall's Porpoises bow riding.







here's a shot of Captain Ron and Bro.Finally we get to the spot.... ORCA WHALES!!!! oh god, it was just so amazing. it's really hard to put into words how, literally, awesome, it is to see these big creatures in their habitat. It's amazing. We headed out of victoria on one of these guys.....

Six passengers and one tiny, ity, bitty, little seaplane. P was stoked with the Pilot looked at him and said "Ok, you're my copilot... you're up front with me." i swear i saw him do a YES! outloud. either way... kid looked pretty happy. i, on the other hand, was squished up against a door that i didn't quite trust not to open while flying thousands (?) of feet above a fridig water full of killer whales. but i'm not complaining. there were some rather spectacular views from up there and it was really cool. honestly, the commercial flights were more expensive and didn't leave or drop you off anywhere convienent. So we took Kenmore Air - the seaplane airline and would never regret it. they drop you off right downtown in seattle (the pilot even radioed ahead for a taxi. i sh*t you not.)... i mean talk about convienent ;-)

P the world renowed co-pilot:
Flying into Seattle was great... such an awesome view. one i'm sure many seattlites would be very jealous of. i think i'll have to leave with this view... seattle, olympic national park, humboldt, san francisco and santa barbara to come....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dear Jon...

I really do refrain from talking about the Daily Show and posting about the Daily Show. At a point in my life (and my discussions with others), I realized that my obsessions did not have to be other's obsessions. I think it was the eyes rolling in tinto the backs of heads. Anyway, I'm o.k. with that. So Jon became a bit of a secret obsession. Some have Second Life. I have Jon. And Samantha Bee. I love her. Today is a special occassion. I really just had to share this clip with you. It's not only brilliant, but really funny... hehehehe. the Meta-president.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Week 1 and 2 USA tour

in a way, i've been just kind of dreading this.... not that i don't want to share all of the wonderful things that we did and amazing places we went and great friends that we saw... it's just that there is so very much to say. i'm not sure i can do it all justice. i guess since you've all been BEGGING ME (yes, i am aware that i said begging) i'm just going to try to show some photos and go over what we did... on the USA tour 2007.

let me first say that it was so amazing to see all the friends and family that i DO NOT see nearly enough of. let me also say that one of the best surprises was that caitlin decided not to go back to africa when she was supposed to and she stuck around to hang out in duxbury. christian and alana came down from new york and we just chilled.... and chilled. and drank lots of wine and soaked till we were raisins in the hot tub. it was ... magical.

after their visit we went down to new york and crashed with p's big brother. this is the view from his place. as you can see, it's a pretty average view ;-)

Since my sister, erin, lives ON a cranberry bog (notice i didn't say "NEAR"), she had organized a "Harvest Party" for the weekend after we got back from new york city. her house is awesome. the dogs are superfun and it's just really nice and very new englandy to be there.

The intention was to eat and be merry and watch all the cranberries being harvested and such. Unfortunately due to the dry season, the harvest was not ready to start on cue, but whatever, that didn't matter - we still had an awesome time. The icing on the cake - it turned out to be a little bit of a birthday party for p and i... something i really didn't expect at all!

auggie:Later on that week we went to Maeve's soccer practice - ted coaches the team. Dillon was cool enough to come along and keep p and i company. i know everyone says to younger people (yeah, i called them younger people) 'oh my goodness - you've gotten so much bigger since i saw you last!', but when i say it i really mean it. i mean, not that they don't, but i feel like i mean it more. anyways, i mean... it's not really fair... all this growing up behind my back.

they are awesome, anyways. the best. just the best.

Somehow, and i really have no idea how, seriously, i have NO good photos of alex's wedding. i robbed a few from katie and i'm hoping hags is gonna pull through with some amazing ones. it was just such an AWESOME night. she looked amazing. her dad made me cry. and then made me cry again when i told him how much he had made me cry. gail cracked me up. josie raised the bar and the roof with her speech. dad danced with me. grace danced the whole night. actually everyone danced the whole night. the dancing was amazing. a set list that was OUT of this world. the grand finale being, of course, stairway to heaven - just as alex wanted... straight out of a middle school dance. 'cept a lot prettier. we got to meet loads of people. we got to see mr. hagerty seriously get down. we got to see alex tuck her wedding dress into her underwear and get down. we got to see a kid fall and take out a table. the night was this and oh so much more... most importantly it was my dear, dear friend alex getting married. and then we walked home, in a desperate attempt to let it all sink in, oh and sober up... so that's all for now.... stay tuned for the second installment... vancouver, victoria, seattle, olympic national park, portland, redwood park, humboldt state forest, san francisco, monteray bay, santa barbara and duxbury... wow.