Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More pictures

Now that I realize the pictures post in reverse order, I might actually finish this little album.
Two chefs, cooking up a storm! Thai, Italian, vegetarian, and plenty of desserts!

Rochester Falls

Lake Ontario

Touring the George Eastman house in Rochester, NY. The gardens were gorgeous.

Another beautiful view of the gardens

Capturing raindrops

Celebrating Christina's birthday!!

Taking off from JFK (finally!) and the thrill of seeing Manhattan from the air.

Photo's from Rochester

This was taken after my first Rochester thunderstorm.

The amazing 12 corners!

Driving tour of Rochester. I loved this house! (yes, it is a single family residence)

There were lots of streets named after universities!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Yes, I am writing about a movie. Admittedly, I do love film, but I haven't made a habit of blogging about them. However, I decided this warranted a post. (Don't worry, I won't be typing a detailed review) While most people have been eagerly anticipating The Dark Knight, my summer fare is Mamma Mia. It was a fun movie, whimsacle, had fabulous music, starred my favorite actress, and was a pleasant way to cheer my mood after leaving Rochester. It was also the first movie I've seen guilt free since I started graduate school. Imagine that! Since Saturday, I've also been happily singing Abba tunes...Super Trooper, lights are going to blind me, but I won't be blue...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lest I Forget

I don't have access to the pictures I've taken of my trip, but I'll be sure to post upon my return. In the meantime, here's a sampling of some fun things we've done in Rochester:

* Visit Lake Ontario. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can say I touched the lake and surprisingly, the water was warmer than expected.

* Saw the University of Rochester, Eastman (the best part was seeing Christina's studio and classrooms!), the gorgeous Rochester falls times two, and had a fun tour of the city in the rain.

* Went to the grocery store! This may not be the first thing one normally does on a vacation, but we did have to buy groceries for our forthcoming meals. Plus I got to see where Christina shops, and I found extra sharp cracker barrel cheese. Yum!

* Worked out at the University of Rochester. Again, not your typical vacation fare...

* Witnessed a Rochester thunderstorm.

* Took a drive down Park Avenue, enjoyed a massage with Christina, read in the spa's library, learned how to play Dutch Blitz, saw gorgeous local mansions, enjoyed the East Coast architecture, and much, more more.

Le Tablier Rose

One of the things on our list of things to do in Rochester was find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. Well, not only did we test the first two recipes, but Christina had the brilliant idea of starting a blog, Le Tablier Rose, to document our cooking adventures. For those of you who know me well, you may laugh since you know how "often" I actually cook! (However, in my defense, Christina and I started cooking together several summers ago and have tried a wide variety of recipes.) We will post our cookie findings, recommend the best recipe, and provide any number of random bits of cooking advice, experiences in the kitchen, and suggestions for recipe alterations. We'd love to have you visit our virtual kitchen...and who knows, we may even turn into the next Martha Stewart...or not!

Tales of a Cross-Country Traveler

Greetings from Rochester, New York. This now day five of my trip to visit Christina and Peter, and I'm having a marvelous time.

My flights began as less than eventful, but instead of flying into Rochester at 10:30, I didn't arrive until 1:30 local time. The reason for this was a MAJOR backlog at JFK thanks in part to a storm system in the midwest. About an hour outside of New York City we were informed of a previosu course correction and had to circle Atlantic City for thirty minutes before proceeding to JFK, where we circled for another thirty minutes. At this point I was getting a little concerned because I wanted to make my connecting flight. Little did I know it had been delayed two hours! By the time all was said and done, the flight left three and a half hours after the original departure time. Joy. The Jet Blue terminal was less than impressive so I can't even say I enjoyed being part of the airport hussle and bussle. Fortunately, I met up with another lone female traveler also waiting for her flight, so we hung out until we had to report to our respective gates. Yeah for people to talk with! Christina and Peter very graciously picked me up around 1:30 and began the nighttime version of the local tour. :) I haven't done too bad with the time change, although getting to bed around 2:30 and sleeping in might have something to do with that. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Start Spreading the News...

I'm leaving today. I want to be a part of it, Rochester, New York!

Okay, I may have changed the words. And I'm actually leaving tomorrow instead of today, but you get the point. Tomorrow officially marks the first day of my New York trip. Packing is done, except for last minute items, carry-on is currently in a state of flux because I can't decide what books to bring (the bio on Elizabeth I looks really good right now...), and I bought the Sees Candy. All that's left is to straighten my room so I don't return to a disaster and make sure I sleep tonight. :)

My dream of post-graduation travel begins tomorrow!

Oh, in case any of you were wondering, I officially passed my thesis defense last week (July 7), was consumed by last minute revisions until last night, and turned in the 132 page document this morning. I will most likely have some formatting issues to work with, but the content is FINISHED!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hurrah for fireworks!

Since I missed the fourth of July firework extravaganza, our family headed to Downtown Disney last Friday to watch Disneyland's famed firework display. I'm happy to report they did not disappoint and actually had some new ones I hadn't before. I also took the opportunity to try out my brand new Panasonic Lumix camera. What a perfect way to try out the firework setting...granted I still need practice, but I think they turned out well for a first-timer!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!!!

How many of us have actually read all of the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner? We may sing the first verse, but there are three more we rarely hear. Today, I aim to rectify this situation! It is a beautiful document and testimony to our countries heritage. Today, I honor my country and am proud to be a citizen of the best country on earth!

Star Spangled Banner.
Frances Scott Key, 1814.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

One Night Left!

Yeah! I've almost made it! In reflecting back on the past 12 days I have definitely confirmed / re-confirmed some very important things about myself:

1.) I do not want to live by myself. I value human companionship too much.

2.) I prefer outdoor animals. I may not be the biggest animal person (orca whales are another story!), but outdoor is preferable.

3.) I value my family very much and have missed not spending time with them.

4.) I am a bigger fan of 4th of July fireworks than I thought; especially when I can't see them.

But, hey, it was an experience. Thanks for taking the journey with me. It's been fun having you along. :) Tomorrow night I sleep in MY OWN BED!!!!


Yup, it sure is! One night left, and I've started doing laundry. Who would have thought I would actually enjoy this little, domestic task!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Random (Countdown: Two Nights)

I am disappointed this evening. I intended to see the local firework display and mis-ordered my day so that I completely missed them. :( What is July 4th without fireworks? It's been a family tradition for years to walk down the street and see them, officially beginning the July holiday. Instead of watching with my parents, I was driving back to Ontario. I did glimpse one measly firework in the distance, but it's rather difficult to watch while I'm supposed to be driving. I think a trip to Downtown Disney (to see the Disneyland fireworks) is definitely in order.

Okay, I've vented! Let's see, other random happenings of today.

  • I realized I have given the pets nicknames. Why on earth did I do that?! Simon (cat) is Sy, Hershey (cat) is Hersh, Scruffy (dog) is Scruffs, and Snickers (dog) is the only one who retained his name. I'm not sure how that could be shortened...this thought led me to mulling over the origin of nicknames and why we humans feel the need to shorten names in the first place. But, that is a conversation for another time.
  • A fellow grad student whom I have known for 2 years stopped by work and mentioned he officially leaves for Atlanta next week. I'm happy for he and his wife but discovered that my tenure as a student is truly coming to an end. People I have voyaged with along this unknown road of graduate school are graduating and moving on with their lives. It was expected but feels strange knowing that part of my life is almost over.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In the Garden (Countdown: Three Nights!!)

During my numerous drives over the past 8 days, I actually haven't listened to much music. However, two days ago I started listening to a county/bluegrass style gospel album. This is not my preferred genre of music, but I've been enjoying it. In particular the hymn In the Garden has been especially beautiful. I've been looking for a decent version of this song for sometime and am excited to revel in my new find. I have posted the lyrics below so you too may enjoy them.

Today was my second day of working as a student assistant again. My grad assistantship ended on Monday, and I'm so happy to still work at COPH. It's been a little odd knowing I'm no longer the GA, but I'm excited to be moving forward in my life.

Only 3 more nights!!!!!!

I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing

And the melody that He gave to me

Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known

I'd stay in the garden with Him

'Tho the night around me be falling

But He bids me go; through the voice of woe

His voice to me is calling

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Skyline (Countdown: Four Nights)

Only four more nights! I can't wait . . . onto other topics.

The other night I was driving back to my house-sitting job and feeling a little down. As I reached the crest of the 57 freeway I was cheered by a surprise. One of my favorite sites awaited me: a city skyline at night. It reminded me of the drive home from visiting our cousins in Palm Springs. Although I always hated to leave, my favorite part of the drive home was seeing the city lights of Riverside from Moreno Valley. They were beautiful twinkling beacons guiding our way home. Silly, but it was fun reliving a time from my past and brightened my evening.