Friday, November 18, 2011

Bolton Notch "Flag Rock" Hike

Around where I live there is a highway. And over, off to the side of that highway is a park/hiking area. A large rock formation there is kind of a local symbol. Shortly after 9/11 someone went up there, to the well grafittied cliff area, and spray painted a massive American flag where it can clearly be seen from the highway route. It's pretty cool.

When JoJo was home, he and I hiked up there (with the intention of adding to the graffiti, but the local hardware store was closed). Normally it is a quick, easy, like 15 minute hike up the trail that leads to the rocks, but due to the snow storm and a lot of downed trees it became more of a wild, slippery, bush wacking type hike. Interesting indeed.

I hauled my camera, remote, and tripod up through the snow so we could take some pictures amongst the rocks, foliage, and graffiti. That too turned into an interesting experience, but I did get a couple of good shots. Playing photographer and photo subject on rocky terrain isn't as easy as it sounds, folks.
*JoJo gets photo credit here, as I was still setting up.

JoJo makes a lot of fantastic faces (as do I, as you may know).
I term this one the "I'm Horribly Polish and Sarcastic but still Awfully Cute" face. Facial expressions such as these run in his Polish family.

Apparently we can't look at each other and be serious...which isn't really a problem, as we like laughing.
Besides being cute, I really enjoy these pictures. I was going to edit out the black graffitti behind our legs (just distracting, not bad), but as I was looking at it closer I realized it says "Adrean- San Antonio, TX". Now I don't know any Andreans, but I know I sure addressed a lot letters headed to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX during JoJo's months of BMT ("boot camp"). That strange coincidence made me smile, so I left the graffiti there.
View of the highway, lake and trees below.

Since we wound up lacking in spray paint (and by the way, were this a building or location of grand importance, I would NEVER spray paint it. But this rock's main purpose is to be graffited. And its only a rock. I don't think its really vandalism in this case...) we improvised. 

Obviously, the next best thing to spray painting your names some place is doing it old school and carving them somewhere. And seeing as this was a life long dream of mine, I wouldn't allow us to miss his opportunity.
At times like these, I am very glad he always has a knife in his pocket.
Names carved in a tree.
(another check on my "things to do before the end of forever" list. and yes, I do have one written out. And yes, it is called that.)

We would have hiked around more, but the fallen snow and trees made it a little bit treaturous. But I am glad we got to at least do a little bit of woodland exploration. I cannot wait to get out to Tacoma to see him and get some REAL hiking and outdoorsy stuff done there!

STILL more pictures of my time with JoJo to come! Hopefully you all aren't sick of us yet! If somehow you are, just humor me, its a once every few months experience and I cherish the time I get to spend with him.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boston is...for lovers?

Finally, now that school has calmed down just a little (the huge week and a half power outage we had over here in New England left on really behind), I would like to post more about JoJo and I and our adventures for the 10 days he was home.

One of the things we were able to do (the day before Albert the Freak Nor'easter) was take a day trip up to Boston. Boston is one of my favorite cities, mostly for the history and the beautiful building (and the Italian North End) and he had never been outside of Fenway, so a trip was certainly necessary.

We mostly just wandered around, taking pictures and enjoying each other's company. It was a bit of a chilly day, but overall we really enjoyed it and had a lovely time. The worst part ended up being the 3+ hour trip home in severe traffic (it would have normally taken us just over an hour and a half).

Anyway, Here are some pictures:

We ate lunch in the Boston Common's Public Garden.
(he is sort of mid talking/chewing in this photo, but I think he is still cute. And so is his hat, which I clearly made)

Then we pretended we were innocent tourist who didn't know about the DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS AND BIRDS RULE. 
Rules are overrated anyway...
Come haven't lived until you've fed some critters from your hand.

 We encountered the park's fattest squirrel and he and JoJo became fast friends.
After the squirrels we moved onto winged things...
Once we had gathered a crowd of about 50 ducks, pigeons, swans and otherwise we quickly remembered the rules and then walked away before we were seen as the guilty bird gatherers.

Then, leaving the Commons, some Asian tourists though we were so cute they offered to take our picture!

Then we wandered around the Quincy Market area and I kept taking angled photos of buildings 
JoJo was very supportive of my architectural photography interests and would say "You CAN stop walking to take a picture, you know. I'll stop!"
The middle photo was actually a building he noticed and he didn't find it at all odd when I got down on my knees to take the picture. He is so great.

We walked along/sat down at the harbor for quite a while and watched this huge boat appear.

Then I took him into the North End- "Little Italy."
He got a real kick out of seeing "Real, live Italians." I got a kick out of his realization of just how true some stereotypes can be. The two of us have a very odd (and freakishly similar) sense of humor. Do not be concerned.

Before leaving, I made sure to take him to my favorite spot- aka Cannoli HEAVEN- Mike's Pastry, on Hanover Street.

 We came out of there with 3 cannolis- one for each of us, and one to share later. (Peanut Butter, Espresso and Strawberry.) So. Good.

After a fair amount of wandering and assessing almost every restaurant in Downtown Boston, we settled on eating dinner at Max&Dylan's, in the theater district.
Customary "I'm looking at the camera and this is my excited face" look. 
He is such a goof. A goof who makes me very happy.

After all this we drove home in the aforementioned traffic and went to a bonfire at a friends house. Very nice day. Boston is such a great, clean, beautiful city and I love the mix of the old and the new. 

I highly recommend it for day trips (much more so than New York City. I think people like one or the other, and we are Boston people over here). Any recommendations from you guys of fun stuff to do in the Boston, or even in the Mass, CT, New England ish area? I would love to hear suggestions! JoJo and I are always looking to cram in as much fun stuff as possible whenever he is home on leave. 

More pictures of our adventures to come!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's day.

 Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

At this point in my life, I appreciate you and what you are doing or have done now more than ever.

I know the military and those who have served don't always get the credit or the treatment they deserve, and people's blog posts, facebook statuses, or free lunch at a local restaurant do not in anyway make up for that, but please know you ARE appreciated. Whether Veteran or Active Duty or anywhere in between, what you are doing/have done and what you stand for is incredible. You deserve honor and respect. So, thank you so very much.

Special thanks goes out to this guy right here. Thank YOU for your sacrifices and all you do. Thank you for all that you do for me. I am so proud of you. It's an honor to stand with you through this.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Here I am again...more in love than ever...

Dear Bloglandrians,

Here I am, back on blogger, after my wonderful (and very...unusual) visit with my Airman, JoJo.

After graduating from Tech School in Gulfport, Mississippi he came home on leave for ten days. No matter what time they give him, it is never long enough. But still, spending time with him, no matter what we are doing, is the most fantastic thing in the world. I picked him up at the airport on the 25th (there is nothing quite like jumping into the arms of a man in uniform whom you have been missing for 6 months), spent a great 10 days with him, and then returned him, teary-eyed to the Airport early on Friday the 4th. He is now settling into his new base, McChord AFB in Tacoma, Washington. He is very happy with the location and cannot wait to begin his career in Civil/Structural Engineering. Other than the fact he is now 3 time zones behind me and about 3,000 miles away, his new place sounds wonderful and we are both very excited about it. I cannot wait to get out there to visit him! Distance is hard, but believe you me, this man is worth it.

I will post more about our adventures (such as being without power for a week, due to a freak Nor'easter in October) and also share some of the pictures we were able to take.

For today, now that I finally have power and internet, I just wanted to give you a quick little update on how things were going and share some pictures of my incredibly handsome man with you.


ps: I completely love this guy, in case you cannot tell.


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