Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Little Fall of Rain

There is nothing like the smell of a warm summer rain in the evening. It makes me think of childhood and imagine a world of endless possibilities.

Although it isn't quite London rain ("nothing heals me like you do").

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ocean City, You're So Pretty

When I was a kid, my family would go on vacation at the end of June/beginning of July to Ocean City, Maryland. It was a tradition that all of us kids looked forward to. Early on the morning that we'd leave, we'd all pile into the station wagon, and Dad would drive down through Connecticut to New York and then on to the Garden State Parkway, where we'd stop at a rest stop to grab breakfast. (Usually a Roy Rogers, remember those?) Then we would rushrushrush (ie. speed and hope for no traffic) to make it on time to get on the one o'clock Cape May,NJ/Lewes,DE ferry, which was a great opportunity for all of us to stretch our legs after a long morning in the car. Once we disembarked in Delaware, the anticipation would really kick in, and we'd watch the rural countryside for landmarks to indicate that we were getting closer to the city.

Once we were finally in Ocean City and checked into the place where we stayed year after year, it was a week of fun in the sun. Many of the years, the Aunties would come down in their own car and join us, teaching us to dig for sand crabs by day and babysitting us at night when our parents would go out to dinner. There was so much to do: building sandcastles, swimming in the pool, jumping the waves in the ocean, and flying kites. But one of the most fun things to do in Ocean City was a visit to the Candy Kitchen.

Candy Kitchen, for those of you who have not vacationed at the Delaware or Maryland shore, is regional a chain of candy shoppes that sells homemade fudge, saltwater taffy, ice cream, and other assorted sugary goodness. To us, it was HEAVEN. We would leave there with pounds and pounds of Swedish fish and the store's special fudge. Even now, the names cause me to salivate. Those of us "in the know" recognized that King Tut, Heavenly Hash, and Delmonico were code words for the best chocolate EVER. Try as we would, I don't think that any of this candy ever made it back across the Delaware border, despite our mother's best efforts.

This past week, the Aunties went on vacation to Rehoboth Beach, DE, which isn't too far from Ocean City. I called Aunt E up the night before they were leaving and asked her if she wouldn't mind picking me up some King Tut. (Actually, I gave her a list. Apparently so did my mom and Sister K.) She said she'd try, but she couldn't guarantee that it would survive the car trip. When I was down in CT this weekend for Father's Day, I got my Candy Kitchen. And it was delicious. I tried to make it last from Connecticut into Massachusetts, and it actually survived the trip!! (Although since it arrived here, the quantity has been vastly depleted! That's the now "Hellacious" Hash in the photo.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In the Good Old Summertime

This past weekend, I went down to CT to celebrate Father's Day with my family. Just before lunch, Sister K and I headed into Hartford to check out the Elizabeth Park rose garden, which was hosting its big rose festival. If you are in the Hartford area at the beginning of the summer and have never been to the Elizabeth Park rose garden, you are missing out on a real delight. The two and a half acre garden is the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country and has wonderful sights, smells, and sounds to delight its visitors.

The fragrant blossoms permeated the fog in my head brought on by a summer cold, and we had a delightful time. Naturally, I brought my camera with me. While I got off a good number of shots, it was such a sunny day that I feel many of my shots didn't do the garden justice. You need to get out there and experience it for yourself.

Elizabeth Park Rose Garden IMG_3656
Love and Peace IMG_3638

Monday, June 21, 2010

"A Cup of Tea, a Cookie, and Yoo-hoo"*

Things have been busy, and I haven't had a lot of time for blogging so I am trying to play "catch up" now. About a month ago, I received an unexpected parcel at work. (I usually have my online purchases sent to the office, but this is one I didn't buy for myself.)

There was no indication on the outside of the package where it had come from or who had sent it. I couldn't contain my curiosity until I got home so I opened the box where I found a belated Easter gift from my parents: Royal Albert tea cups!! They were part of a commemorative collection celebrating 100 years of Royal Albert. I got the collection from the 1900s-1950s, and they are positively beautiful.

They came specially packaged in a gift hat box.

I particularly like that they have a pattern on the inside of the cup, and the saucers are beautiful too.

For now, I have put them in my china cupboard, but I am looking forward to using them for company. Hopefully some time soon with scones and cucumber sandwiches!!
*Witch Hazel, Looney Toons

Kickin' Up the Color

This post should give you a better idea of the colors of the new Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden. The theme of the garden is "New Britain Comes Together", and seventy-five different varieties of roses were selected to represent the diversity of the community.

Easy Does It IMG_3692
Mr Lincoln IMG_3693
IMG_3743 Double Delight

And they smell pretty great too!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Everything's Comin' Up Roses"

Remember how back in April, I went back home to help with the planting of the rose garden at Walnut Hill Park?

Well, the roses are finally in bloom, and the city celebrated the formal dedication of the garden earlier this week. It is kind of crazy to see how much has happened in just two months to turn the garden from this:
Walnut Hill Park, New Britain, CT

into this:
IMG_3325 edited

And it's only going to get better!

Friday, June 11, 2010

"You"ll Dance to Anything"*

Tomorrow night, JR, Stacie D, and I are heading out to see the Dead Milkmen at a sold out show at the Middle East. I have been super excited about this show since I first heard about it, although I will admit to a wee bit of apprehension about it too (the way one does with reunion tours.)

I was introduced to the band back in high school by one of the boys on the yearbook staff, and I loved them. They had a great punk sound, and their lyrics were so clever and sarcastic. My favorite songs were "Stuart" ("you're not like the other people here in the trailer park"), "Instant Club Hit" ("You'll dance to anything by De-pesh-cah Mode"), and "Beach Party Vietnam" ("Surfing with the Viet Cong, Cookin' hot dogs with napalm"). I didn't know too many people who were really into them when I was in high school, but I certainly met a few more once I moved to Boston. In fact, PunkRockMom got her nickname in part because the Milkmen's most popular song was "Punk Rock Girl". (She and I sang "Bitchin' Camaro" at work on a number of occasions.)

JR and I were discussing what we were going to wear to the show and what we thought the crowd was going to be like. It was decided that jeans, tees, and Chucks would be okay. Nothing fancier than that needed for what we suspect/hope will be a crowd made up of aging alt rockers and hipsters. The nice thing about being at the younger end of Generation X is that we won't be the oldest people at that show; I wonder how young the youngest people will be.

* lyrics from "Instant Club Hit" by The Dead Milkmen

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..."

When I was visiting my family for Mother's Day, I took a bunch of photos of the garden following a rain shower. I had completely forgotten about the photos and discovered them when I was taking snaps up in Maine. I posted them to my Flickr page; here are my favorites.

Poppies Forget Me Not
Lilacs Pansies

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

LOST finale: my thoughts (spoilers)

WARNING: SPOILERS, BIG TIME!!! You have been warned. Stop reading here if you don't want to know.
Not kidding.
Seriously, not kidding.
Okay, you must really want to know. :-)

Well, I laughed, I cried, and, ultimately, I am glad I watched LOST, despite breaking up with it twice in the course of its run out of sheer frustration. I watched the finale when it initially aired, but felt it needed a second viewing before I could comment on it. When I first watched the episode, I was disappointed that more of the big questions of the Island were not answered. Upon a second viewing, however, I feel that it was okay that they didn't do that. I would have liked to have known what the Island really was and how all the mythical stuff tied together, but I understand that was not the point. What was important was the personal journey that each one of those characters undertook following their arrival on the Island. Clearly that was the case because these people became SO connected that they came together in the afterlife, or at least in a world between life and moving on (which is what I understood the Sideways world to be. What happened on the Island really happened, and after each of the individuals died, whenever that may have been, they came to the Sideways world. I interpreted that to mean that Desmond was having near death experiences when Widmore and Co. did that magnetic test on him.)

I couldn't believe that in the end, I was loving Jack... and Kate... although the second time through I found her kind of annoying again. Jack being Jack had to wait until the very last minute to figure stuff out and accept it, but when he did, he was able to let go, both on the Island and in the Sideways world. Ultimately, the show is Jack's story, and I was glad that in the end I was cheering for him.

My absolute favorite character on LOST is Hurley. I just love that he cares about people and is kind. That being said, my favorite part of the whole finale was when Ben told Hurley that he should "do what (he) did best, help people." (And then the look on Ben's face when Hurley came out of the church to see what was delaying him: "Hello, Hugo.") This favorite moment was followed closely by the reunion of Sawyer and Juliet (take that, Juliet haters!) and by Sun and Jin remembering their past.

Only one thing I didn't love: Shannon and Sayid felt forced to me, but I ultimately liked it because it brought Shannon and Boone back. The look on Hurley's face when he first saw Charlie just stopped my heart, and I loved it when Charlie finally realized who Claire was.

Was anyone else excited to see Bernard and Rose again? I was so glad that they were okay. They really had their priorities straight, and I always liked that a lot about them. We didn't see them after the attack of the Latin speakers, and I was hoping that they had gotten away.

In as much as the show was about Jack, it also was very much about Ben. Ben's redemption at the end was so amazing to me. Michael Emerson should be on EVERY channel; he is such a talented actor. I particularly liked that Ben wasn't ready to move on with the rest of the group. Even though he had come to terms with what he did to Locke, he still needed to make amends to Alex and Danielle. He was clearly making progress with that, but still needed more time. I bet his time with Hugo on the Island helped him become a better person. The potential was there: he just needed to feel good about himself, and Hurley definitely made people feel good about themselves.

I bet the story of Hurley and Ben running the Island would be an excellent spin off series; somehow, I don't see it happening, which is too bad. It would have been awesome, dude.

Reunion Holiday Weekend

My suitemates from college and I try to have an annual college reunion weekend. We all stay pretty well connected, thanks to the internet, but we don't often all get to be in the same place at the same time so this time spent together is important. Usually, we go away to some New England locale and see the sights, eat a vast quantity of peanut butter M&Ms, shop, and laugh a lot. The past two years I missed the trip, last year for JR's wedding and the year prior because I had a wicked stomach bug (which may or may not have been stress induced), so I was excited to catch up with everyone. The nice thing about our group is that we never seem to run out of things to talk about, but at the same time, we can also be comfortably quiet together.

Fudge, York Beach York Beach
York Beach York Beach

This year's trip took us to York Beach, Maine. Even though I grew up in New England and am still located here, I have only been to Maine a handful of times, and this was my first visit to York. It is a real beach community and in some ways reminds me of Ocean City, MD, where my family used to spend our summer vacations when I was a child. We walked into town from the house we rented, ate ice creamlunch at the famous Goldenrod Kisses, clambered out on the rocks at Nubble Lighthouse on Cape Neddick, made a puzzle, combed the beach for seaglass and shells, ate too much, slept too little, and had a generally grand old time.

We have already started to think about next year's trip, possibly in Vermont. I can't wait!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...