Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy approaches the Northeastern United States we are bracing in anticipation. Boston schools have already announced closures, New York City has shut down their subway system, and most importantly I don’t have to go into work tomorrow. The grocery store in my neighborhood was quickly selling their inventory of bottled water and traffic in town was backed up as people made their final moves before the storm hits. I too joined in on the madness by buying some groceries and making sure to get a bit of water in case we really are without power/water for a bit. I’m hoping the storm is enough to keep me at home, but will still allow for me to use my electronics.

This is the first time I’ve been a part of something like this, and the city’s reaction has been interesting to watch. I’ve seen similar situations arise as a result of impending blizzards while living in Minnesota, but nothing quite like this. This storm effects the entire East Coast of the country. Every city and state on the coast is preparing for the storm to hit in their own way. I can only hope that the state of Massachusetts has a good plan in place.

I will try to get some photos and keep up to date if possible. If I’m without power I’ll be back to summarize once the storm has lifted.

Know Your City

I’ve been living in the Boston area for almost 6 months now, and have started to really develop a sense of the city, its neighborhoods and the surrounding towns.  Each bit has a different feeling. Each section has its own personality.

North End: Little Italy

Beacon Hill: Historic

Back Bay: High end

Southie: Townies

Cambridge: Hipster’s paradise

Just to name a few. By spending some time walking through the city I have begun to develop a better sense of these things. Each is wonderful in its own way, and each contributes to making Boston such a complex and fascinating place to call home. When I first landed I wasn’t sure what I would make this place; now it’s become a true home to me.  Sure there are things I don’t like about it. The city and state are so much different than the area from which I last lived, but I believe that has made this transition that much more fun.

This will remain a very short post, but I will use it as a way to encourage everyone to get to know their city. Explore a little. Take your time and notice the things that make a place truly special.

Traffic….in the woods?

So, I spent the weekend in New Hampshire, but not exactly as I had planned. I left work and took a train out of Boston to arrive in NH by about 7 PM knowing that I had an early morning ahead. My brother and sister-in-law picked me up from the train station and we made our way to their apartment. We then proceeded to pack up for our adventures in the wilderness. We had a nice dinner and got to bed fairly early.

The morning came and we jumped into the car for the quick jaunt north to the mountainous region of the state. We stopped at a relatively popular tourist destination, but were surprised to see that few people were around – good sign. We went for a hike up a small mountain nearby to take in some morning vistas. The hike was great; we got a bit wet be enjoyed it immensely. Here are a couple of pictures from the summit:

Panoramic

The brief hike was the best 2 hours of the trip. As soon as we started back down we noticed a slight increase in foot traffic. As we approached the parking lot where we began our hike we immediately saw a dramatic increase in population – the lot was entirely full. Luckily we were heading a bit further north to find a different parking spot and begin our backpacking trip in to find a good campsite off the beaten path in the woods.

After we had a quick snack, we exited the parking lot only to find a string of traffic stretching as far as the eye could see in each direction. Disappointing. We decided to try to find a slightly less popular area to no avail. We were trapped in a seemingly endless amount of tourists out to enjoy the magnificent fall colors. We made the decision to then try a different route and began driving East. As we neared our exit we could see the off ramp was a bit backed up, but proceeded. At the bottom of the ramp was another never ending trail of cars. We pulled a quick u-turn and made our way South.

At the end of the day we ended up back where we started, but we made the most of it. We ate dinner, had a few drinks and enjoyed each others company. The next morning we set off for the woods again, this time for another quick hike. We found an out of the way location and had the trail and woods to ourselves. Mental note: camp here next time.

 

 

Camp

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while now. My brother, sister-in-law and I are going camping together in the mountains North of here. It has been over a year since I last went camping and I look forward to spending a weekend outdoors. We plan to start early on Saturday and spend most of the day hiking. Hopefully the leaves are still hanging on o the trees so I can snap some pictures of the fall colors to share. I’ll end this abbreviated post on that note and resume my blogging after the weekend with pictures.

Drizzle

This is the day I’ve been waiting for…sort of. I’ve been hoping for a rainy fall day, hoping for a bit of a chill in the air. One of those days you’d spend with a pot of chili on the stove and a mug of hot cider. We achieved half of that with a drizzly day today, but the temperatures are still hanging on to the 60s. That being said, the mist and fog that came along with today’s light rain made it much easier to head in to work this morning. A bit of fog makes looking out the 3rd story window onto the vehicles passing below a touch more enjoyable. There is some mysterious about fog which I tend to think brings a bit of excitement to everything you see and do.

It was such a pleasant evening that I even deviated from my usual path home while biking from home just to spend a little more time in the waning sunlight. Luckily for me the fog never completely lifted and I was able to ride home bathed in a combination of headlights and fog lights from the cars passing by.

In fact, now as I’m typing I’m realizing how much I enjoyed today’s weather. I may take advantage of this beautiful night as well by going for a walk and stopping for a quick splash of coffee at the coffeehouse up the street.

I’m told that New England experiences quite a bit of this weather and I am looking forward to more of these days. You may think I’m a bit crazy for enjoying such depressing weather, but I have so many fond memories from days like this. Years of cross county ski practices with my best friends, days spent in the fields and forests at my grandfather’s farm, biking through the lakeside neighborhoods in my hometown, and walking by rushing rapids on my way to class during my college years.

I guess this entire post is dedicated to this wonderful weather we experience in Boston today. Can’t wait for another of these days.

…It Happened Again

I let it happen again, I’ve gone waaay too long between posts. I don’t know why I allow this to continue to plague this blog, but my best excuse would be my reluctance use my computer while at home. I spend so much time typing and reading emails at work that I try my best to avoid those things in the evenings.

Anyway, I have been very busy lately – work and travel have taken up my time. During the weeks I spend about 50-60 of my hours at work, and the rest of my time sleeping and eating. I have traveled a bit as well. I took a trip back to Minnesota to visit family and friends whom I’ve missed in my first 4 1/2 months away. My visit was brief, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am blessed with wonderful friends and an incredible family.

Speaking of family, my older brother has recently moved out East to join me in New England. He lives only about a 45 minutes drive from here which is very convenient when I need a weekend out of the city. I’ll be going on a camping trip with my brother and sister-in-law soon; I am very much looking forward to that.

In my spare time I have also taken up a passion of mine again: reading. I have recently reread a classic which I only skimmed in high school English class, “The Great Gatsby.” Such a great read with it’s strong characters and engaging plot. It has inspired me to pick up a book more often.

This post is quite a series of random thoughts strung loosely together, but I am trying to keep my update rather brief. I’ll leave it at that, but plan to keep my posts much more regular. I do intend to upload a few photos to accompany my posts as well.