Monday, July 31, 2006

Catching up

So, Im finally going to catch you all up with what I've been up to since moving here to Boston. Forgive me for not doing this sooner, but Ive done a lot so I wanted to share.

Last weekend when it was rainy so we couldnt do much else, we stopped off at the Boston Temple and walked around a bit. It's been closed for cleaning for the last few weeks but is opening back up this week. The grounds are beautiful, especially just after a nice shower.

These photos are from a trip to the New England Aquarium with Kylee, Marie and Catherine a couple weekends ago. My favoite part was the jelly fish exhibit, but the penguins were super cute too. It's just too bad I couldn't get a very good picture of them...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Maine Attraction

So can I just say I love Maine? It's gorgeous and luckily we had gorgeous weather too! My roommate Liz and I, along with our friends and fellow roommates Kyle and Brandon, headed up on Friday night during a huge thunderstorm that started right after we packed up the car. By the time we got up to Maine it had cleared up and we made it to the house we were staying at around midnight. We stayed with the nicest Mainers I've ever met (Ok, so I haven't met many... but still they probably are the nicest). The Fletchers, friends of Liz, let us stay with them. They even made us breakfast on Sat. and an *excellent* lunch on Sunday... yummy... Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches! Anyway, we "slept-in" for a bit on Sat. Well, at least we said we were going to sleep in, which for me is way past 9, but whatever. Then we got up and decided what we wanted to do with our day. The trip was kind of fun because we didn't have any real plans, we just said, hey this sounds fun, or this sounds nice and just did it. Anyway, I had heard about this place from one of my co-workers called Liberty Tools, in Liberty Maine, that was supposed to have bookbinding tools. Well, unfortunately they didn't have any tools, but I got some great old books! I'm finally starting my collection! We then headed down to Camden where we had lunch and walked around for a bit. Here we are outside the restaurant where we ate a lunch of yummy (if not small and ridiculously expensive) lobster rolls. Then we went down to the dock and got some really good ice cream, perfect on a hot day. (By the way, my four scoops of raspberry and maple/walnut ice cream was delicious!)

Liz, Brandon and Kyle in front of the Village Restaurant where we had lunch. Don't they make great "Vanna's"?

Aparently in Maine they have Mooster... Lizzie this is for you!

After great food in Camden we headed on to the "Main attraction" of the day, at least for me, which was the BEACH! I finally made it to a beach! And this was a nice white sandy beach, with pretty warm water for how north we were. The only drawback to Pemaquid beach was the masses of seaweed. I kind of felt like sushi while swiming, I was so wrapped in the stuff. But it was fun anyway. We played some ocean frisbee (slightly unsuccesfully because of the wind...) and then had a little seaweed throwing war as evidenced by this picture of Kyle attempting a shot at me. He did get me once good, but I got him too...

Here's Brandon trying to be a seaweed monster and succeding quite successfully too, if I don't say so.

After some nice time in the water and on the beach relaxing, we headed off to try to find a light house. Yay! I can check another thing off my list, I saw a lighthouse! This is the Pemaquid lighthouse, and it's on a really great cliff we climed down (and then back up).

The Pemaquid Lighthouse
Brandon, Liz and Me on the cliffs below the lighthouse.
Brandon, Liz and Kyle in front of the lighthouse.
Liz, Brandon and Me attempting to row this boat...
We scaled this cliff! I had to do it barefoot because climbing in flip-flops just doesn't work. The surf breaking on the rocks.

After checking out the cliffs and the lighthouse for a bit, we headed down to Bath and got some dinner at an ecellent BBQ place called Beale Street Barbeque. It was so delicious... yummy.

This was my yummy BBQ before...

All gone! Well, almost, the beans were a little disapointing, but everything else was excellent!

On our way back to the Fletcher's for the night, we saw this gorgeous sunset.

Whew! So we did all that on Saturday! I slept like a rock that night, let me tell you. Today we went to church, which was a small little ward but very nice, after lunch and some songs around the piano we headed back to Boston in time to make pancakes for dinner. It's back to work tomorrow, sometimes I think I need a vacation from my vacation! It was seriously such a fun weekend, I hope I have more like it this summer!

*P.S. I put up some power yoga pictures from the last post... check out the talent!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Human Checkers

Last night, after a very interesting Institute class about Judaism, a group of us headed downtown to the Boston Harbor Hotel for live swing music again. Unfortunately, this weekend I slipped on a hanger at Old Navy and sprained the muscles and ligaments in my right hip, so I can't do any kind of "exercise" movement, like swing dancing, for at least another week. It think a combo of swing dancing and Dance Dance Revolution was to blame for the sprain. Although I slipped at Old Navy, I didn't fall, and my hip had been hurting earlier as well. I think I'm on the mend now though, but it's still a bummer. I decided to head down anyway to scope out some different moves from other dancers, just for future reference, and since there was a larger group going, I figured I'd have fun, even if I couldn't join in. I usually am too busy dancing myself to watch other couples moves, so I thought it'd be a good thing. It was such a gorgeous night and it was fun watching friends dance, and then trying to teach people steps without actually doing them.

Later, after the dancing ended we played a game of human checkers on the black and white parquet dance floor. It was 4 on 4 and after my brilliant move which knocked off two of their players and kinged me at the same time we had fun moving around the floor until eventually it was 4 kings on my team against two kings on the other. We finally trapped the other team into corners of the board and won, thanks to the awesome skills of Richard, who directed our team. It was almost like Wizard Chess in Harry Potter, but without all the smashing and killing.... good times. Anyway, I got some fun pictures of the girls doing power yoga on posts on the way back, such talent!

Kylee is very well balanced!

Laura can do yoga in a suit!

It was a really fun night. And guess what? I think my hip is starting to feel better already! Although it could just be the drugs I've been taking (no worries, just Aleve...) but I'm going to make sure I don't push it too much. I want to get better asap!

This weekend I'm going to Maine with my roommate Liz and our friends Brandon and Kyle (who are roommates). We're going to drive up Friday afternoon and stay with a very nice Sister who works with Liz at the temple. Then on Sat. we're going to explore the coast, either in Bar Harbor (where Acadia National Park is), or Portland and all it's nice beaches. I'm praying the nice weather holds out, although they keep saying to expect scattered thunderstorms on Sat. I'm hoping to get to a beach finally. I haven't been in a bathingsuit once this summer! And I also want to see a lighthouse, it's a goal I have this summer.... or year, either way. Anyway, I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and give an update when I get back on Sunday night!

*Update on the weather... it looks like it's going to be nice on Sat. all over Maine. At least that's what it says here!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


This last Sat. I went with a bunch of friends to Providence, RI to see the WaterFire event they have every year. When you first hear about it, you think... what? Basically it's a bunch of bonfires that float suspended on the river that runs through town. They blast beautiful ethnic and classical music and people just walk or sit by the side of the river and enjoy the sights and smells. After seeing it I can see why it draws such crowds. It creates this beautiful ambiance unlike anything I've ever experienced. It kind of a combination of camping, europe and funeral pyres. Strange maybe, but very very cool. My camera wasn't functioning though, which was a bummer, so I've gotten some pictures of the adventure from my friend who was with us. Before walking along the river we ate dinner at the Providence Mall (which is huge!) at a place called Dave & Baxter's, or something like that. It was a fun place, but had a long wait, so we played Dance Dance Revolution while we waited. Fun times.

Brandon, Me, Jodi and Liz next to the river.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I *heart* Mat Kearney

Ok, so it's official, I'm now a groupie! Seriously, I don't know what else to call making a fool of yourself over some musician, than a groupie. But I'm not alone so I guess it's all good (that's my groupie reasoning anyway). Last night some friends and I went down to Copley Square, right between Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, where they were having a free concert. And actually they'll be having these free concerts every Thursday for the rest of the summer! How fun!
So last night Mat Kearney played, I'd heard just one of his songs on the radio but he was really good. He has a chill, laid-back sound, that's really fun. Plus he kind of rap-sings. Anyway, he has a MySpace page, so check it out if you're interested. So I was taking some shots of the stage and my friend Diana asked if she could use my camera to get some close ups, and if I would send them to her. So all the great photos below are her work, not mine.
After the concert ended, we headed over to the CD/T-shirt table. He had some really cool shirts we'd been eyeing, so eventually we all decided to buy stuff and have him sign it. There was a bit of a line, but we were pretty much the end of it, so by the time we got up there we got to stay and chat for a bit. He asked us where we all were from and when I mentioned I was from Alaska he thought that was cool and proceeded to tell me all about the Alaska Cruise he'd been on when he was little.
Then he mentioned he lived in Nashville (p.s. he doesn't sing country... in case you're wondering) which he'd also mentioned during the concert. Now you'll be so proud of me, because I usually don't mention the church to complete strangers, let alone semi-famous ones, but it was an opportunity to brag about my little brother Mikie. So I said, "Oh! My little brother is going to be living in Nashville for the next couple years!" He asked what he was doing there, whether he was going to school or something else and I said, "He's going to be serving a mission for our church." He politely asked what church, which I was surprised by, because I wouldn't have expected that. So I told him, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, and after he had a kind of blank look on his face I said, Mormons. He put two and two together there, the proceeded to tell me a little about the big "building" they have there with the "gold statue on top". Is there a temple near Nashville or is he thinking of somewhere else?? I didn't stop to him to clarify and none of us could remember where the nearest one was. Anyway, he was just really cool about the whole thing.
He talked to us for a bit longer, about a few random things, then we all got our picture. So after that it's gotta be clear why we're his new groupies. And yes, I'm wearing the shirt he signed today. Good times.

Oh, and as a follow up to my last post, yes it rained on Wed. and yes the dance at the BHH got cancelled, but we went to the MIT one instead. It was a blast, but let me just say, dancing in a humid place like Boston is very different from dancing in Utah, especially in a non-air conditioned building. I'll just say we were pretty much all "dripping" by the end of the night. Gross, I know, but it was still fun.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

So, apparently Boston loves to swing dance as much as BYU. Every Wednesday night at the Boston Harbor Hotel, they have a live band playing out on the dock and swing dancing. It's free, so my friends and I usually head out after institute. The band is great and even though there's not a lot of dance floor for the ammount of people that come out, you can find a spot to swing. It's so amazingly fun. Dancing outside in the warm dark night, looking out onto the water and luxury yahts lined up along the dock. It's gorgeous and I'm addicted. But there's something that has been putting a damper on all the fun. Yep, that's right, the rain. And guess what? It happens to rain a LOT in Boston. The last time we tried to go, two weeks ago, they apparently cancelled it becuase although it wasn't raining when we showed up, alas it had rained earlier in the day. There was no band, and no one dancing. Kind of a dissapointment. So I'm hoping and praying that the rain that's been coming today won't continue through tomorrow. I'm seriously going through Swing Dancing withdrawls (symptoms include itchy feet, uncontrolable leg spasms, and a tendancy to count out loud to self while rehearsing steps in head). I NEED to dance tomorrow. Or I don't know what I'll do. So let's all pray for good weather, cause otherwise I guess I'll just have to fork over a few dollars to dance at MIT, where they also happen to have a dance every Wednesday night. Apparently Boston loves to Swing!

Here are some more pictures from the 4th of July!
Some Patriots congregating outside Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market

The USS Constitution in the Harbor as it turns around on the 4th. It was too far out for us to hear the 21 gun salute they do from the deck, but it was fun to see it!

The Boston Pop's Finale During the song "Stars and Stripes Forever". Such a fun concert, I can't wait until next year!

Friday, July 7, 2006


This is a picture I took in the North End of some beautiful blooming trees in May. The North End is one of my favorite places in Boston, and not just because of the gelato. That's also where North Bennet Street School is!

So we had planned to go to the Cape 2 weekends ago, but of course, it had to rain the entire weekend, so the day before we sat down with a map and said, lets just go somewhere random. I wanted to see a lighthouse, since I'd never seen one before. It just so happens theres this little jetty of land just south of Boston which has a light house on it called Nantasket. So we said, why not?! So after a 3 hour sensory overload at Ikea, we headed off to Nantasket to see what we could see. It's a sleepy little town which was deserted, probably because of the weather. But it was fun, nonetheless. We walked along the beach, took lots of pictures and then drove out to the very end of the land to find the lighthouse. There it was, on its own little island. So although I can now say I've seen a lighthouse, I still don't think it counts. Well, it hasn't quenched my need to see one. Maybe another weekend we'll find one that you can actually get to. While walking on the beach I found a lady bug crawling on a huge rock. I've always heard they are good luck, so I let her crawl around on my finger for a bit, then put her back and took a portrait. It's a really cool picture, I'll have to post it soon.

Here are a bunch of my friends and I going to the Museum of Science. The Charles River is behind us. L-R: Me, Ami, Kylee, Michael, and Marie! Such fun! That day we also went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which is fantastic!

I took this crazy photo during a free Dashboard Confessionals concert out side of the Government Center T-Stop. That was an awesome night!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

With Liberty and Justice For All!

So, I've been in Boston now for almost two whole months and I'm finally getting around to starting the blog I said I would. It's been busy. Good busy, but busy nonetheless. This little spot on the web is going to be where I'll post all the amazingly fun things I do over the next year (or more?) while I'm here. I'm absolutely *loving* it so far. Although I miss all my friends and family, it's kind of exciting to just go off and have to start almost from scratch.

So onto the important stuff. What I've been up to. Well, as you know, Tuesday was the 4th of July, and let me just tell you, in Boston, it's a HUGE deal! There was so much going on it was *crazy*! I loved every second of it. It was an exhausting day though. The basic rundown included seeing the Old State House, hearing an oration at Faneuil Hall (the "Craddle of Liberty"), watching the USS Constitution turn around in the Harbor, eating some yummy Indian food at Quincy Market, having gellatto in the North End, visiting the Old North Church and hearing about Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, going to a BBQ, taking a much needed nap, eating more yummy food and then walking down to the Charles river and watching the fireworks from a bridge! Whew! I'm getting tired again just thinking of all that! But it really was such a blast. I'll post some pictures from the day when I get them off my camera. I was going to post some other pictures of things that I've been up to since coming here, but my thumb drive doesn't want to cooperate, so I'll try again later or on a different computer. Stay tuned for more exciting stories from Bella Boston!

*We saw a band like the one above play patriotic songs before going into the oration at Faneuil Hall. Yankee-Doodle-ific!

The bridge in this photo was where we watched the fireworks from. The Boston Pops does a free concert in the hatch shell every year. We attended the dress rehersal on Monday night to beat the crowds (it was still beyond crowded, but at least we didn't have to wait all day for a spot!). It was such a great show!