At school we the tradition of dressing up for Halloween has continued. Thanks to one Math teacher, there is now a competition between departments. This year our department was a biker gang. I was very impressed how it all came together. (I am on the far left).
Todd also carved a pumpkin this year. Pretty impressive.
In October we went to NYC for a 24 hour trip with a group of our friends from Boston. We got $1 bus tickets from Megabus. The bus left Boston Friday night at 11:00 pm. We got into NYC at 3:30am and went to a 24hour diner for our first breakfast. Then we went to enjoy Times Square. You would think the picture above is taken at night, but it is actually about 6:00am!
Then we went to Battery Park to enjoy the sunrise, it was beautiful reflecting off the buildings downtown. We walked around for awhile, sat on the bull, had a second breakfast and then went back to Times Square and Central Park. We saw the Fantastiks in the afternoon and left on a bus back to Boston at 11:00pm. It was a great weekend, but very tiring!
Back in September we went to Washington DC with Mitch and Bekah. The only reason we went is because Todd found us a good deal! $73 dollars per person including airfare and a hotel room for three nights. With the deal we each got our own room, so one room became the "hang-out" room and one room was never even touched. We had fun going to the historical sites, finding more deals and enjoying the wonderful weather. Way to go Todd!
A few weekends ago, Todd and I finished a 1/2 marathon with two of our friends Bekah and Laura. We had been training for months and it feels so great to have accomplished this success. The day was perfect for running, sunny and high 60s along a beautiful course on the coast in Portsmouth, NH. I hope to keep up the training and do another 1/2 marathon soon, Todd is transitioning to biking with his new road bike.
On the last weekend of Summer we camped on a Boston Harbor Island, Grape Island with some friends. It was a great time. We made a big fire on the shore with downtown Boston in the background (you can see it very small in the picture above).
We recently went to Maine for a weekend with 4 other couples. The cottage (or camp as they call it) was on a beautiful lake in central Maine. We did not have the best weather on Saturday - rain all day - but it was a beautiful day on Sunday. We had a great time jumping off the dock, playing spoons and other fun games until 2 am, kayaking and RELAXING. It was a great time - I can't wait to do it again next year!
I have been cooking a lot more lately with my open summer days. Here is one I made tonight that is one of our favorites and very easy! It is adapted from a recipe on allrecipes.com
2-3 nectarines, pitted and diced
1 ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
optional - 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4(4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil grate.
To make the salsa, place the nectarines, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and red pepper flakes in a bowl; toss to blend. Season to taste with salt. Cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.
Stir the cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Place the olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the pork chops with oil, and season both sides evenly with the cumin mixture.
Place pork loin chops on the preheated grill. Cook until lightly browned and juices run clear, about 4 minutes on each side - DO NOT overcook!
Place pork chops on serving plates, and top with a generous spoonful of salsa.
Today was the photo shoot for Zipcars. It was supposed to take place from 12-2pm. I reserved my Zipcar unitl 4pm just in case it was running late, traffic or if I had time to do some errands. However, I did not end up getting home until 8pm (after getting groceries). This is what happened:
Show up and wait for about an hour and a half to get hair and make-up done.
Wait another hour and a half for my first shot to begin.
Spend 1 hour in a shot with the CEO of Zipcars and other Zipcar members.
Wait another hour to set up the next shot.
Spend 1 hour in a shot that I don't really understand, but may end up being really cool with editing.
Overall, it was a frustrating first half of the day and a pretty fun second half. The photo shoots were fun to be in. Hey, maybe I will even make it in the magazine. I have no idea when the magazine is coming out, but look for a cover story on zipcars in Fortune magazine. I will keep you updated.
The Zipcar saga continues. I am now part of a photo shoot for Fortune Magazine with Zipcar on Monday. They say the photo shoot could last 2 or more hours - good thing I am not working now. I get more free credit for Zipcar, another free t-shirt and of course, my picture in Fortune. Who would have thought? I will keep up posted on how it goes.
Tim - not quite my own news story on CNN.com, but Fortune Magaizine is one of the contributors to money.CNN.com - I am getting close ; )
This past weekend was full of great times with friends in Boston. Friday night was our first Red Sox game at Fenway with our friends Bekah, Mitch, Katelyn and Adam! They played the Oriels and won 3-1. We had standing room only tickets. I thought this would be lots of people and we would not be able to see or move. However, we had plently of room with two high top tables to lean against and a good view from the Third base. Although my feet did get quite sore, it was a much more social event. Our next game is standing room on the Green Monster! This is to fulfill one of my brother-in-laws dreams, hopefully it will live up to the hype.
The next night was the Beach Boys concert on the Charles River at the hatch. The oldies station puts on a few free concerts throughout the Summer. This one was full of good music, including John Stamos (aka Uncle Jessie from Full House) as the drummer. We had a great picnic before the music started with homemade pulled pork and key lime pie (thanks Mitch and Bekah), homemade coleslaw (thanks Dan and Laura) and tons of other great food. Then we danced the night away for almost 2 hours.
I won!!! I can't remember another time that I won something by just entering. I applied to be a part of the zipcar low car diet and I am one of 30 people who they chose. This means I am supposed to give up my car (which I don't even have) for a month and go car free. I said - no problem, I don't even have a car! So, I just get the benefits. Among other things: 1 year free membership for zipcar, $250 of credit to zipcar, $50 for the T (the subway in Boston for those who don't know), $25 to Whole Foods, 1 ticket to New England Revolution (professional soccer in Boston), case of Vitamin Water, t-shirt, water bottles, and more. Today there was a press conference for the start of the 30 days. The Mayor was there : ) Click here for a video from the news.
We went whale watching today with some friends up North in Gloucester, MA (pronounced GLAH-stur). I honestly was not expecting to see anything, and at the very most to see a spurt of water from their air hole. However, we came upon a group of 4 humpback whales that were breaching (jumping in the air) and slapping their fins on the water. As we got closer they stopped doing this, but we were able to watch them swim and fluke their tails for about 45 minutes. It was amazing! I highly recommend going whale watching (however we did get it for half price, so it was even more worth it).
We were at a party for one of our friends in Boston last night, and it dawned on me how I am surrounded by incredibly intelligent and inspiring friends (including my amazing husband) who are doing great things. Here is a small sampling of what they do (which I will no doubt be simplifying):
Genetic research on Cancer
DNA research (very specific and groundbreaking, but honestly I didn't understand much of what he was saying)
Clean Coal Energy - creates energy from coal with NO pollution and does not use water
Many important public health issues - including sexually trafficking of women, where she is traveling to Nicaragua and Costa Rica for 4 weeks to research this topic
We went on a bike ride today with some friends to the Bunker Hill monument in Chalestown (just north of the city across the Charles River). Todd and I have not explored this area of town but now that we have more time on our hands, so it was fun to ride along the Charles River, see the beautiful skyline of Boston and enjoy the amazing weather! When we got to the monument we climbed the 249 twisty stairs to the top to see a great view of Boston. Then we finished the afternoon off by sharing a smoothie - yum!
Below is a quick slide show with pictures of our trip to San Francisco. The weather was great after anticipating rain at first, and we appreciate Amit's hospitality.
Wednesday - Alcatraz, time in the city Thursday - Napa Friday - Biking to Sausalito from downtown via the Golden Gate Bridge! Also dinner at Kasa Indian Eatery (Mmmmmm! 5 stars!) Saturday - Breakfast at Hobees and off to Santa Cruz! (Randomly running into Chris & Abby who we knew from Calvary Memorial in Oak Park, IL) Sunday - diet coke and mentos??? ;-)
Last night we went to a Gala celebrating our church's 200th anniversary. It was a great night learning about the history of the church and spending time with friends. Just imagine 120 tables of 8-10 people singing the Doxology a capella - it was a great end to the night. God has truly blessed this church for 200 years and we pray He will continue to do so for another 200 years.
Todd found a great deal on raisins, so of course we bought them. After Todd's $10 free gift certificate 72 packages of Disney High School Musical raisins cost $1.08 (including shipping). Todd would also like to point out that the $10 has an opportunity cost, so it really cost $11.08 :-)