Achievement of the day

I have made the first of two glorious banners to welcome my guests to Boston. Which is very exciting. Although I now remember why I didn’t persue art to GCSE level…

I’m writing this from the kitchen as I wait for my dinner to cook. The cat is prowling about, and we have come to an understanding where we both feel that we are in charge. I’m honestly not sure which of us has it right…

The countdown to the weekend continues.

Sleep

… is much needed tonight. After the late one last night I was able to leave work at a reasonable time, cook dinner at home… And spend about an hour and a half letting the cat in and out of the house. The joy of temporary pet related responsibility…

Off to bed I go.

Paul Weller

… Is a pretty cool dude.

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(Shamelessly stolen from Eleanor’s Facebook page – she is taller ergo her photo was better).

That is all.

Other than the following, which made me laugh out loud the other day (it’s from Facebook, I was at work, don’t judge me):

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Sunday

Finally made it to Sunday… It’s been a long week, involving working yesterday, but at last it’s my day off and I can get on with tidying and relaxing for a while! I’m going to see Paul Weller tonight in the South End too, so hoping that will be good.

Boot camp yesterday was good, and I can even still move (considering there were drinks on Friday night, this is impressive) and I got MVP (most valuable person) for the week. I think it might have been part pity, as I looked so broken afterwards, but it was a really good feeling.

Anyhow, I should probably get up… It’s under a month until I’m out of my 20s now, which is taking a bit of getting used to, but it doesn’t feel like nearly as big a deal as I thought it might originally. I’m living in the US with an awesome job, with lots of fantastic visitors to look forward to. Life is good! Now if only I could get a day off…

Urgh

This week is insane. A ‘typical’ Burlington week.

However, it is only two weeks until Amanda comes to visit, which is amazing! And under a month until I am in the UK for a visit. And 5 weeks on Saturday until I have more family visitors! So much to look forward to!

All I’ve got to do is get through this quarter review first…

Independence Day (belated) update

So, Independence Day involved two roof deck parties, one in the South End, and the second in Beacon Hill with a view down to the Charles River and the fireworks.  It was great fun, and very impressive from a location and firework perspective.  Not bad!

 

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West Coast Adventures (part 2)

This one has been a long time coming, and I apologise… so without further ado, here is the second blog post regarding my rather epic trip to the West Coast…

 

So where was I?  Ah yes… The next morning we packed up camp and headed South.  This meant packing up my tent, of which I was especially proud, ergo herewith find attached a photo:

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Since we didn’t run into any bears in the night, the whole group managed to make it to the minibus to carry on driving.  Which was an achievement.  The road was a touch… interesting.  Let’s say that I know for a fact that my Father would not have enjoyed various parts of the journey, including the following, a road with a sheer drop on each side (the photo is taken at a point which was not the steepest… and just past the end of the road you can see, the trees also thinned out…):

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On the way to the National Park, we stopped off at a Walmart for supplies (including Smores ingredients for that evening’s campfire) – there I found a prime example of an ‘only in America’ purchase.  Look at the price tag…

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Yes, folks, that’s $6.98 for a bargain machete…  Hmmm…

 

From there, we headed South through some very flat plains, before we started climbing again.  The next stop on the journey was Mono Lake – it’s a salt lake which has some amazing formations coming up out of the water.  They were mineral deposits left from when water rich in those minerals seeped in from below the lake, but the government has been lowering level of the lake to use the water so now they are above the waterline.  It was pretty impressive:

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And then there was Yosemite…  Well, this was, frankly, beyond just about anything I’ve ever seen. We drove in from the East entrance, passing several lakes (more paddling in very cold water), before heading straight through along the Tioga Road.  We caught our first glimpses of the Half Dome, and the Yosemite Valley, and, as you can see below, it was pretty darn impressive:

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Amazing.

 

From there it was on to set up camp for the night – I won’t include a picture of my tent this time, but it was another night under canvas, although rather less comfortable than the night before – at 2am it was 82 degrees in my tent… some people cracked and slept outside.  Those people were kept awake by racoons showing up and ransacking our bins at 4am…

 

After a not-particularly-great night of sleep, it was time to head back into Yosemite for some hiking, up to the Vernal Falls (a 3.6 mile hike which was literally ALL uphill, but totally worth it) and down to the Sequoia Grove.  Photos attached in the gallery below:

 

After Yosemite it was the drive back to San Francisco – it took us about 5 hours to make it back, and between me falling asleep shortly after leaving the park and waking up about an hour later, all the mountains had disappeared and we had entered desert terratory.  The bus dropped us back at the hostel, but a group of us were staying elsewhere so we walked as far as possible before splitting up to go to our own hotels.  I have never been so happy to arrive in a Marriott…  Although they didn’t exactly look happy to see me, with my giant rucksack, sleeping bag and covered in dust from the hikes.  But luckily they let me in, and then it was up to my king bed and some room service (having ordered pizza and some ice cream, I received a giant pizza and a whole pint of posh ice cream – it was rather amazing after the camping!).

 

So the next morning it was a (relatively) early start to explore San Francisco… actually, who am I kidding – I had a bit of a lie in.  It was pretty epic, I must admit.  I had intended to get the cable car over to where I had booked to rent a bike (a company called ‘Blazing Saddles’, if you can avoid giggling too much…  they were a great company – I would 100% recommend them to anyone looking to ‘Bike the Bridge’ like I did).  I then saw the queue for the cable car, and decided in my infinite wisdom that walking would be fine, and the famous hills couldn’t possibly be that bad…  Shows what I know:

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Safe to say it is very steep!  And by the time I actually got to pick up my bike, my legs were aching not only from the hiking the day before, but from the crazy CRAZY hills.  However, the plan to Bike the Bridge went right ahead – the company I rented from provided a map and a ticket for whichever boat I wanted to take home, assuring me that any hills on the route would be very minor (a lie, but I suppose everything is relative) and that it should take up to 2 hours.  Apparently they didn’t bank on my level of fitness and muscle aches, because it took me about 3 hours.  I was, however, taking a lot of stops and photos, evidence of which I have attached below:

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I took the boat back to San Francisco from a lovely town called Sausolito – I’d have loved to spend a little bit more time there, as it’s a very pretty seaside town, but I had dinner plans to meet a manager from my company who used to work in Boston but moved to SF to live with her fiance.  After dropping the bike back, I got an obscenely large burger from the ‘In ‘n Out’ burger chain (amazing) and then, having learnt my lesson in the morning, joined the queue to get a cable car back.  I waited for an hour and a half, but eventually got to go on one of the classic cable cars of San Francisco – they are great fun!

 

After a lovely dinner by the waterfront with a LOT of wine (followed by a trip to the suburbs to see their place, and then a ride in a LINCOLN back to my hotel – big grin) it was another late morning.  I’d arranged to meet Jen (the manager) for lunch at the Ferry Building on the Embarcardo, which was really nice.  It was a gorgeous day, but I just wandered about, really – I got to Pier 39 (sadly there were no sea lions as they were all off for the mating season) and then got the cable car back to the hotel in time to pick up my stuff and head for the airport for my late flight out of Oakland.   The cable car was great fun, though…

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And once I was back in Boston, it was off to some 4th July celebrations… but I’ll pop another post together on those!

 

Bon Jovi

Tonight was the night of the Bon Jovi concert at Gillette Stadium. It was AMAZING!! The set was fantastic, the songs were brilliant, and the band all seem to have pictures in their attics (Dorian Grey reference to anyone who didn’t grow up in my house) because Jon Bon Jovi is still totally gorgeous and they all had way more energy than me and Eleanor have had all day…!

Considering it was in the high 80s temperature wise, and very humid, it was a sweaty experience all around – this seemed to be a good thing, tough, as an approaching storm system actually seemed to bounce away from the heat generated by the massive crowd, meaning we had some great impromptu electrical pyrotechnics going on in the sky behind the band, who seemed a touch confused as to why we were all screeching at random intervals…

Besides the amazing concert (only non-amazingness being the woman in front of us deciding to smoke despite it being illegal in the venue, and the hour it took to get out of the car park…) today had a BRUTAL boot camp (I went even though A didn’t, and even though it was already 80 at 7am… Kudos to me!!), a particularly successful stop and shop trip and introducing another person to JP Licks.

And now, as it is 2am and I have only just got in, I am off to bed… Still humming “Living On A Prayer”…

 

UPDATE – Please see below for a photo of the stadium (taken from Emergency Production LLC – full credit where it’s due and it’s a great photo!) – shows the number of people attending.

 

And see the following for a photo of the set (also taken from the internet – a friendly Facebook user):

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I really need to remember to take my camera to these things in future…

Good news…

… It is almost the weekend. Which means it’s very nearly time for me to finally put up some more photos from the big trip… Honest!

Anyway, in other news, work is mad again, it is going to be about 105 degrees tomorrow ( work have given us permission to wear shorts and flip flops if we are office based. Sadly I am not…) and Despicable Me 2 is one of the best films I have seen this year.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Culture

It is after midnight on a Monday (well, technically it’s a Tuesday, but hey ho) and I have just got in. Not, as may once have been the case, from a night of drinking, but from going to see “Two Gentlemen of Verona” on the Boston Common, as part of their free Shakespeare summer season.

And very good it was too.