PThe Nightingale and the Rose, Oscar Wilde

        The Sorrows of Young Werther, Goethe


        Way behind on all crochet.
        It is NaNoNovember!

        anandadaydream's Profile Page

        blogger profile
        library thing

        desert songs
        amaranth and jasmine
        my lj


        Amaranthus, continued (NaNoWriMo 2010)
        untitled (2009)
        untitled (2008)
        Amaranthus (NaNoWriMo 2007)
        untitled (2006)
        Beneath the Dust (2005)
        Mortal Angel (2005)

        quid pro quo
        modernday phoenix
        life of a naturefreak

        lesbian pirates
        questionable content
        the dreamer
        joe the circle

        101 cookbooks
        i can haz cheezburger

        the hunger site
        the ONE campaign
        amnesty international


        the quote lists:
        summer 2004
        (rest to come once I get them online again~)

          the massive archives:
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          11/28/2010 - 12/05/2010
          01/09/2011 - 01/16/2011
          01/30/2011 - 02/06/2011

I've finally buckled down and started tackling my vacation pictures.

edit: I was GOING to upload the whole big lot of them somewhere, but 1) flickr's megabyte limit is way in hell too small, 2) photobucket is sucking royally and conks out, 3) picasa keeps crapping out too. I'll post another day with a link to the whole mega-gallery.

I've started keeping little text files in the folders with my photos, notes on what the pictures are of, where they were taken, that sort of thing. While doing this for the vacation pictures...I realized I was basically writing a full-blown journal entry for those days. So, I'm just going to copy over those, and then fill in for you all the time periods where I didn't take 4738290234 pictures. :)

///WARNING - I have written like the biggest post ever. It is mainly a memory-aid for myself. No-one should feel guilty for just skimming to find the pictures. ^^;; ///

Travel plan:
Saturday evening - drive to Tom's dad's on Long Island
Sunday - recuperate, hang out in Huntington
Monday - make an early drive to DC, hit up museums, and go eat fresh crabs in Maryland
Tuesday - finish up in DC, and drive to North Carolina
Wednesday and Thursday - spend in North Carolina with Tom's grandma
Friday - drive back to Long Island
Saturday - aquarium on Long Island with penguins
Sunday - drive back to Fredonia

After work Saturday evening, we made the eight(ish) hour drive to Long Island. (It was made a longer drive by the fact that we were both tired from a day of work already, and then driving in the dark, and then hitting some pretty bad fog somewhere around the Poconos I think.) Having a GPS made the whole New York City bit *much* less terrifying... and really, helped out a ton through the whole trip (when Tom's dad wasn't rebelling against it, already knowing a better way to get somewhere). We stayed at his father's in Huntington for a day recovering, mostly just hanging around the house. We did pick up gyros at a local Greek place for lunch - while Tom and his dad went in to order, I popped in to the small music store two doors down. At long last, I have a physical copy of "No Line on the Horizon". <333 I was happy to see the cat toys I'd made for Christmas laying around the house - and even happier to see the cats absolutely flip out playing with them. To the point where they'd start batting at the things even *without* a human to wiggle it at them. :) The guys played their usual games of pool, and we took turns playing some ping-pong (Tom is always amazed that I'm as not-awful at it as I am, hee). When I went to bed that night, there was a cat at the foot of my bed, and it made me rather happy.

We left Huntington at about five, five-thirty in the morning, so as to avoid the worst of the New York City traffic. (I slept through a lot of that one.) For breakfast, everyone had one of the granola bars I'd made for the trip (per a combination of two of Heidi Swanson's recipes, natch) - and everyone LOVED, they were AWESOME. Totally making those again, Tom was flipping out, yay.

Got in to DC around 9 I think, and found a parking spot miraculously near to where we wanted to be. We weren't entirely sure it was legal for us to be parked there, but, there was no ticket when we returned. ^^;

We had a general plan, but first order of business was to find a bathroom. We walked by the Capitol building - and decided the Library of Congress would be a good bet for an uncrowded bathroom, then we'd move on.

A few steps inside, and it was clear we were going to have to stay for a bit. The interior is one of the most stunning things I have ever seen (yes, taking Italy into account - this was totally on par). Every inch was painted or sculpted or arched or marble or...

(I realized my Phistos' surroundings have been seriously lacking, if things like this exist, especially in a young country like ours.)

I could not get over the Art Noveau frescoes. Absolutely gorgeous, and EVERYWHERE. I could've spent days in that main room alone.

A Gutenburg Bible was sitting in a case, and I stared at that a good long while. Nearby was a digital version of it - you could flip through any number of pages, and see it more closely, and get more information. All through the Library were small computer touchscreens, chock full of zoom-able images and information. Along with a map of the place, they had small paper "passports" with barcodes on the back - these could be popped into a slot on the touchscreens, and it looked like you could save information and images to an account (presumably to pull up at home later). It was all very sleek and intuitive, a fantastic setup for wandering around on your own.

We took in an exhibit of native culture as it was when Columbus turned up on the continent. I'm still not a fan of the meso-American style of art, but the stuff was still fascinating to look at. There were a few letters and scraps of diaries from important figures at the time, as well as a page from... was it Washington's diary? He'd used the margins and blank pages at the end of an almanac to keep his diary.

There were also maps of the world from around that time, and some books filled with drawings of the native flora and fauna. God I love detailed drawing like that.

When we made it back outside, probably like an hour later, the sun had come out - so I snagged a few more shots of the Capitol. We were all excited that the cherry trees were all in bloom, we weren't sure if they would be yet or not. (Caught the tail end of the magnolias, too.) There were groves of the cherry trees absolutely everywhere.

We walked down around the side of the Capitol, taking a curving path down a hill. We'd decided to tackle the National Arboretum (largely for me), the National Air and Space Museum (Tom and his dad's main thing), and the Museum of Natural History or maybe an art museum if we had time. The Arboretum was closest, so that was our next stop.

Orchids EVERYWHERE - they had a whole room filled with them, all in bloom, and the main entry area had quite a lot of them as well. The arrangements in the main entry and other places were absolutely fantastic, the mix of colors and forms was just perfect.

The orchid room was one of the first we were in - and unfortunately, there was a swarm of spazzy highschoolers there at the same time. The girls had pounced on this one cascade of white orchids (pretty, but, obvious), and were all having the exact picture of each of them taken next to it. I think I pissed them off, standing right behind them and leaning in to get a shot of another flower.

I kept an eye out for things I might want to have reference pictures of - flowers I knew turned up in my stories, that sort of thing, but I didn't have much luck. There was one type of amaranth, but not the kind I was after (though I took a picture anyway). Acanthus was an exception to this - I recognized the name, though I couldn't recall what it symbolized...and half the plants in the place were some variety of it.

One of these days, I need a camera that I can set the focus on myself. Mine's generally pretty good, and it's great to not have to worry about fiddling when I'm taking mass quantities of shots in a short period of time, but every now and again it's just a hair off and it drives me bonkers - it'll be just close enough that it looks perfect on the camera screen, and I don't see the blur until I get it up on the computer.

There were cacti blooming, which made me happy. There was a room designed as an approximation of the environment dinosaurs hung out in, which was pretty cool. We looped back around, and took another look around the main entryway - where I spotted the closest thing to an alien life form I have ever seen. Apparently the fruit of a Manila Hemp - it was HUGE, probably a good couple of feet long, and hung incredibly ominously like fifteen feet over our heads.

The center tropical area had two levels. Tom was nervous about the metal catwalk that ran twenty feet or so above the floor, pointing out that while the railing was at the right height to prevent normal people from falling, it really wouldn't catch him at the right spot relative to his center of gravity. And he would fall. Far.

It's a little hard to take especially good photos when you're surrounded by so much all at once. There's a few I really focused on though, and I'm quite happy with them.

We left and headed out toward the back of the building, where we found a whole outdoor garden section. Even though not much was up yet, somehow it was still really pretty, and we took our time walking through it.

It was something like lunchtime, and inside the Air and Space Museum, we found the biggest, most efficiently-designed McDonald's EVER. It seriously looked like a space station.

Recharged, we tackled the muesum. The main walkway had all sorts of huge interesting things scattered along it - missles and rockets standing on the floor, airplaces and satellites hanging from the ceiling... it took us a bit to settle down and focus on something.

The one thing I found odd, was that a good handful of the things in the museum hadn't actually been the things that, say, went to the moon. The moon lander, and a good bit of the other space things, were prototypes, or test models, or back-up models. Identical in most cases to what actually went out there, but not the exact one that was actually used. I was a little disappointed by this, and made a point of finding the things that had actually touched air that wasn't on this planet.

We all had kind of a mix of amusement and amazement at the fact that, say, the moon lander, looked like a third grader's science project, made of tin foil and construction paper. (What looks like tin foil turned out to be a type of insanely thin plastic, with some metal in it, to deal with extreme temperatures.)

There was actually a really good mix of both U.S. and U.S.S.R. things from the space race, and all kinds of information on the story of it all. The Russians have never actually landed on the moon - only the U.S. They had actually planned to try at one point, but they didn't have a strong enough rocket engine, apparently, and gave up once we beat them there.

What might well have been my favorite thing there, was the capsule from a U.S.S.R. rocket. Actual thing that went into space - it's covered in scorch marks from the atmosphere. Burn marks from *going through the atmosphere*, metal that has been in space. That is seriously awesome. That... and on the side that had been burned mostly black, the returning astronauts had written their names in chalk. The lighting and plexiglass kept me from getting the shots I really wanted, but... I did manage to get some closer shots of the metal on a U.S. capsule, though it too was all in plexiglass. Boo for reflections.

The actual Spirit of Saint Louis was hanging from the ceiling - and right next to it, the first successful commercial venture into space. (The X-1 contest? I forget the name, but it was partly sponsered by Google just a few years ago. Individuals, companies, privately-owned things, *not* giant governments, making things to go into space.)

I spent awhile looking at one of the early planes that handled Air Mail - something around 1910s, 1920s. Good God those people had guts. Flimsy wood and bits of metal and canvas wings. And open cockpits omfg.

The Wright Brothers' actual first plane was there - the canvas had been repaired, and the original propeller had been swapped out for another one that had been laying around in their shop... but it was still pretty cool.

We looked at a bunch of the planes, but it was the space stuff we were really there for. There was a whole exhibit for space flight - all the things the astronauts took with them into space (hunting knives - apparently the first flights had no idea if they'd land on land or in water on the trip back, or how long it would take to have someone come and get them), bits of space food, various tools, flight manuals. There was also a single GIANT engine from one of the big that I couldn't possibly get it to fit in a shot. So I stuck with the texture of the scorched metal, which is what really interested me anyway.

By about three o'clock, we realized there was no freaking way we were going to see everything we wanted to see that day. All the museums closed at 5:30, and we were only three-quarters of the way through the space museum. We decided we could do the monuments the next morning, and skim through the Natural History museum then as well, then head for North Carolina around noon. We were already pretty darn exhausted, tired from getting up so early, and beat from walking and seeing so much. There was a show about black holes in the small planaterium - Tom loves black holes, and we were psyched about sitting down for a bit.

The seats were low, and leaned back, and insanely comfortable.

Ten minutes in, I was drifting in and out of sleep. I looked over at Tom toward the end, and he was totally conked out.

The show was pretty dumbed-down, lots of pretty graphics but not anything we didn't already know about black holes, so we didn't miss much. It was worth the ticket price for the rest-time anyway.

Price! That was the most awesome thing - all the museums were FREE to get into. I hadn't known that. It was freaking awesome.

We took a long, leisurely stroll along the parkway back toward the Capitol. It had warmed up quite a bit during the afternoon, and the sunlight was really pretty.

From there, we checked in to our hotel, dragging our suitcases in so we wouldn't have to worry about it later. Everyone else resisted the temptation to lay down for a bit, but I'd gotten a headache sometime in the museum, and I was worried it was turning into a migraine. Even though I wasn't planning on smashing and gutting crabs myself, I still wanted to go along for dinner, for the experience of it anyway.

I really should have taken a "before" picture of the crabs, but didn't think of it until it was far too late. I had a crabcake sandwich, which was delicious, and Tom and his dad split a dozen fresh Maryland crabs. It was a pretty impressive pile. The wooden mallets made me rather uneasy. But I did find that I could manage chomping on crab legs, and Tom and his dad both threw me bits of crab meat every now and again, and I will admit it was delicious. It really is an insane amount of work for a tiny bit of reward though, it must've taken Tom close on ten minutes to get all the way through a crab.

The one mistake I made, was wearing my favorite scarf when we went into the crab place. It is made of wool. Wool likes to hang on to smells. When we went back to our hotel, we actually dodged getting into an elevator with other people, because we smelled like FISH. Took a few days before I could wear the scarf again. ^^;;

Next morning, we let ourselves sleep in a tiny bit, since none of the museums opened until 9am or 10am anyway. It was a gorgeous, clear, sunny morning, and we started out with walking along The Mall.

The Washington monument itself, we didn't go right up to - we figured we'd gotten the general idea.

The WWII monument was up first - and I was really struck by the design, it was really beautiful, but in a very different style from everything else. Very open, very elegant, almost minimalistic but prettier than that. Tom's dad and I strolled around taking pictures, taking in the fountains and things...and Tom stood still, not leaving the large patch of gold stars over a pool, until he had calculated out exactly how many there were.

The long, shallow Reflecting Pool was a gorgeous thing to walk along in the quiet, early morning.

I fell pretty much in love with the Lincoln Memorial. Marble! There was so much marble, and it was so smooth and beautiful. The columns were huge - the whole construction was just massive, but elegant at the same time. Very elegant, that's probably why I like it so much, it's comparatively small, but each element was very carefully considered. I was rather surprised to see the paintings at the top of the walls, in the alcoves off to either side - I wasn't expecting frescoes, and certainly not angels! (Still need to look into the significance of those.)

All the area around the Mall was very, very pretty, well-kept grounds and lots of green. I was happily surprised by the amount of respect apparently every visitor shows - I didn't see any trace of litter, no muddy footprints off the side of the path, nothing.

The Vietnam Memorial was really very solemn (despite the somewhat airheaded girls walking behind us as we approached it). The wall starts out very small on the edges, and the names begin in a slow trickle - just a few names in each column at first, but the names grow more numerous and the wall grows and grows, until you reach the center...

I was sorely tempted to go scamper off into a particularly picturesque grove of cherry trees I spotted near the Washington Monument, but, we were pretty sure we hadn't parked the car legally (again), and I didn't want to put off our already-delayed return to it any further.

Amazingly enough, there was no ticket on the windshield - though the meter had expired like an hour before. (25 cents for TEN MINUTES, seriously??) It took us a bit to get to the Natural History Museum - DC's streets are pretty much the most confusing I've ever seen. All sorts of one-ways, and no left turn, and weird curves and merges and splits and roundabouts and omfg it was crazy. Our poor lil GPS got confused as hell. We wound up very nearly getting our car searched, as we took a wrong turn and found ourselves in front of a guard station, where uniformed men were making sure there were no bombs strapped to undercarriages. (They were very understanding and pointed us to a side exit.)

We weren't going to have a whole lot of time at the Museum of Natural History, and it was made worse by the fact that the layout was (to me anyway) a bit odd. The general layout was fine, but within each exhibit area, there was no clear set path to follow, but like ten different little side loops and things plunked all over the place. Fantastic for crowd-control I'm sure, but not so efficient for a quick viewing.

Here, too, were orchids! A whole room absolutely filled with blooming orchids - part of a thing on Darwin, an anniversary related to something of his is near.

Taxidermy everywhere. It stopped creeping me out *quite* so much after a little while, but, it's still creepy.

We looked at bunches of animals, and then realized we were nearly out of time. I'd kind of wanted to go look at the rocks - I like rocks - but general consensus went to dinosaurs. Here too was the same thing I'd run into at the Air and Space Museum - not all the bones were real. I mean obviously the bones aren't actual bones anymore anyway, but an awful lot of the dinos on display were casts and replicas - I tried to focus on the ones that weren't. I lucked out on one thing, at least - the... oh god, I don't even remember which dinosaur it was. In kindergarten I'd have said it was a brontosaurus, but that wouldn't be the right name anymore anyway, and this was something similar but not the same. There was a sign near it saying that the display was soon going to be replaced - partly to correct the critter's stance, which they now think is wrong, but also to replace the petrified bones with a cast, so the real ones can be kept in a more protective environment.

I looked at the actual dino bones for a good, long time. (I 100% understand the need for preservation, but... seeing a photo of Michaelangelo's David is *not* "seeing" the David.)

Around noon, we dragged ourselves away. We'd checked out of the hotel that morning, so we headed straight for North Carolina - which was another eight hours or so away. I think it was about here that we started listening to audiobooks. I'd brought along the first Discworld book (since Tom and his dad were both interested in the series), and Tom's dad had a sci-fi book, "Protector", which was really good. Plenty of real science for them, and interesting characters for me.

We actually managed to keep pretty well away from fast food on the trip, which was a happy surprise for me. Still not exactly healthy eating, but at least not 100% grease. My travel stash was greatly appreciated - I was told, I think complimentary, that I was "just like a mom", pulling out packets of tissues when Tom was desperate in the middle of a museum, that sort of thing. *g* I'd bought a word-based game to bring along, that we could play in the car, just reading the questions off the card. I had cookies and granola bars, every kind of medicine we could conceivably need on the trip (Tom had a cold most of the time) - I was so on top of things, it was awesome. XD

Got in to Tom's grandmother's around 9:30, and though we were all beat, we wound up staying up talking until about midnight. It was a nice couple of days down there, though it rained an awful lot. We did manage to get in a semi-soggy game or two of croquet (where I was slaughtered), but otherwise it was a looooot of card games. Which actually wasn't so bad, once I had the rules for basically everything explained to me. I won a lot, which was weird. Somehow, Tom's grandma had heard that I like playing Scrabble, and insisted we play. Tom's dad HATES Scrabble - I found out later that he hadn't played a game in literally 20 years...but agreed to play this once. I won, which is actually unusual, as Tom almost always beats me despite his inability to spell - but I had an awesome word with a Q that put me over.

I got soooo much crocheting done on the trip, it was great. When we weren't playing cards, I was crocheting. In the car, when I wasn't sleeping, I was crocheting. I had like five half-finished projects with me, and pretty much finished like three, and got a good chunk done of two others.

The night before we left, we were all sitting around the living room. Tom and his dad had been passing my laptop back and forth, since I had the original-original version of Tetris on it. Eventually, though, we wound up getting into this huge philosophical conversation, that I don't even remember where all it wandered. Tom's grandma is absolutely brilliant - she's currently listening to a lecture series on the genome project - and Tom is incredible at philosophical discussions. I broke in now and again (mainly to defend art as having a purpose, or pointing out that the troubles in Africa are more than just resentment over the old colonialism), but, I get out-logic'd pretty easily.'s funny though, Tom and I were talking about how she's so incredibly brilliant, but, after 2-3 hours of explanation, she still barely grasps how to work her VCR. "Best example of a generational gap I've ever seen," was Tom's conclusion. I pointed out that it might not be so much that, as "just the difference in the way minds work. Like, I could *totally* see myself completely unable to get something technical like that---" At which point Tom looked absolutely terror-striken by the life ahead of him, and walked away.

A twelve-hour drive back to Long Island pretty much killed Friday, I think we picked up a pizza for dinner and watched some tv and called it a night.

Saturday morning, we stopped at Tom's old breakfast haunt. Approximately 50% of his high school breakfasts consisted of a hot sandwich of two eggs ham cheese salt and pepper. Drove about an hour over to Riverhead, where we went to Atlantis Marine World. Tom's dad suggested this stop specifically for me, pretty much because of the penguins. :) It was actually a pretty amazing place - much bigger than it looked at first glance, and with the coolest interior design I've seen in a museum-type place *ever*. The amount of detailwork was insane - the stair railings were twisted as if from old age, there were Grecian-style frescoes around the wall, the walkway around the shark tank was made to look like a cave, with sculptures set into little nooks everywhere.

The penguins were African penguins, and they had actually been rescued from a smuggler who'd brought them to the States to sell as pets. It was a cloudy day, with strong gusts of very chilly wind - and the penguins were shivering! The poor things are used to a much warmer climate, they were hardly in the water at all, and some barely left their little cubbies in the wall. They were too adorable. We hung out and watched them for quite awhile, as they got fed, and waddled around, and shivered, and I wanted to hug one.

There was a huge coral reef setup. I kept trying (and failing) to get good shots - I think there was a hefty dose of ultraviolet light mixed in on the interior, given that the bright fish really looked like they were glowing, and it messed with my camera an awful lot. I'll have to see what I can do in Photoshop with a few. All along the window, there was a massive list of the fish inside, with a picture of each by its name. Tom and his dad spent ages trying to see how many they could spot and identify - I just looked for prettily-colored fish and tried to get a clear shot. (I was not helped by the other fish - there's one shot of a clown fish getting right in front of my camera, blocking the pretty little neon fish I was trying to get. It cracks me up, I had to keep it.) I've realized that I really, really like coral.

There was a freestanding tank of a whole slew of seahorses - but holy cow do the buggers never stop moving! Couldn't get a clear shot for the life of me. I had not expected pirahnas to be covered in what looked like gold glitter. They were so pretty! Only with evil red eyes. And they BARELY moved at all. A fin fluttered now and again, and that was basically it. They stayed almost entirely still, just, LOOMING. It was creepy. The lionfish (aka the kind Picard keeps in his ready room) were in a nifty little shipwreck tank, but they too didn't stay still very well for me.

Stepping into a short hallway of reptiles, we all backed away a bit when we turned to see a dinosaur standing up and STARING at us like six inches away. The glare didn't let me get a clear shot, but, it was just standing in the water, hardly moving, staring right ahead at us. It was a freaking dinosaur. It was a little creepy.

We went back to the coral tank several times, as well as the octopus. The light in its tank was far too low for a photo, but we stood and watched it for a good long while. Mostly, it sat still and just lurked, but at one point while we were watching, it began to unfurl its legs from under itself, and move across the tank. Its tentacles did not end. They were huge. And pretty terrifying.

We braved the chilly wind and saw the seal show, and while it was generally the standard, somewhat cheesy fare, we were cracking up as the seal danced to... I think it was "Footloose". It was pretty awesome.

By this point in the trip, Tom had cemented his decision to get a laptop. I had mine with me, his dad had his, and Tom - did not have a laptop. At all. It was driving him bonkers. So, he'd requested a trip to Best Buy - and I requested a trip to a craft store. What do you know, in one plaza, we had lunch, aaaand found a Michael's like two doors down from the Best Buy.

I'd really been after the supplies to finish a purse I was done crocheting - but Michael's had NO purse handles. At all. I was not happy. But! They did have yarn, and one touch of Bernat's bamboo yarn and I haaad to get. It's the softest stuff *ever*. I kept my browsing brief, as Tom got antsy after about five minutes.

He verynearly bought a netbook at Best Buy, but then thought better of it, knowing he could get something he liked better online. (Which he did. It is TINY! Smaller than a spiral notebook. Runs Linux. Solid state harddrive. I'm a lil jealous.)

Back in Huntington, we went out in the garage to play some pinball. (His dad has an old, 1970s pinball machine. He and a friend used to play it like every day at a local arcade - so much so, that when the owner went to get rid of the machine, he was able to get it. It's the coolest thing. It needs reprogrammed like every time it's turned on now, and he had to do some re-wiring to get the score displays working this time around, but it still works - and he's got a whole book of the assembly language for programming it that he worked out. Best toy ever for an engineer.) While we were taking turns playing, Tom poked around at some of the other boxes stacked around the garage.

He spotted the box for a TI-99.

His dad said yeah, the machine was still in there - should still work, even.

Tom pounced. The thing's similar to an Atari, except I think older, more of a computer anyway. Its number pad is a separate attachment. There were at least a dozen game cartridges (including Dig Dug!). Tom and I were drooling over the retro goodness, while his dad was telling us how he'd basically made it into a primitive laptop decades ago, by hooking it up to giant batteries he kept in a Tupperware container. No memory on the thing - once you turned off the power, you lost the information.

...we couldn't find the power cable. Tom and his dad looked all over, racking their brains for a way to rig up a substitute, but the only things they could come up with were too unsafe, even for them (which is saying something).

A day or so after Tom and I were back in Fredonia, he had an email from his dad. There were pictures. Of crazy old-school graphics. Up on a widescreen plasma screen. Freaking awesome.

That night, we went out for dinner. Deciding where to eat in Huntington is the complete opposite of deciding where to eat in Fredonia. Here, there are maybe four options, and Tom and I have their menus memorized. There, omfg, there are literally a dozen nationalities of food within a block. And they're all *great* restaurants. In the end, we went to this tiny Thai place, which was swamped when we got there but holy cow was the food *AMAZING*. I had a curry, which was really sweet, very subtle and sooo good. Tom and his dad had chicken with a peanut sauce - and it was a *light* peanut sauce, it was amazing. I had ginger ice cream over fried bananas for dessert, and I might very well have a new fav ice cream. <333 They also had sake! Tom ordered a bottle to share with his father...and we quickly ordered a second and third bottle. (They're very little bottles. Promise.) It was pretty much the most delicious sake Tom and I have had. And it complimented the food fantastically.

Our drive back was pretty uneventful, and felt much shorter than the drive out. We spent that evening and all the next day being as lazy as humanly possible.

...and if anyone made it through that whole post, I congratulate you with all my heart. I really don't summarize well - and anyway, I want to get things written down before they fall out of my sieve of a memory.

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Oh, so much fun! I went to DC this past October with Kristin, from undergrad, who's in grad school there (the perfect thing, since she hopes to go into politics someday--right now she's studying public policy). But I was a loser and only put up one day's worth of pics, and that happened back in, like, January or February. And I still haven't put up anything about last month's trip to San Fran.

We've got penguins at the zoo in Syracuse...come see sometime! ;-)
geh, we'll see how long it takes me to put up all the pictures - I got so frustrated with every photo-hosting site I could think of. x_x But I took eight bazillion pictures of orchids to show my mom, so that's an incentive, anyway.

YOU WENT TO SAN FRANCISCO?!?! Lord I need to stop ignoring the internet so often, I totally missed that, and I need to hear how it was. I'm trying to get a bit more motivated about moving again, and, holy cow, that's where I'm freaking going.
Dude... Seriously, you need to get with it.
1) This layout is so old, and it hurts my eyes.
2) Blogger? Come on now... At least get a Wordpress. I'll host it for you, seriously! I'll even set it up for you, and you can just make a nice template for it. Wordpress even has a sweet gallery thing now for your photo's. Check out, all I do is upload them and it resizes them and organizes the gallery and everything.
3) Where is the portfolio?
4) Hurry up and move to California so I can have a free place to stay there.

I admit, my layout is old. But it only hurts your eyes because IT HAS COLOR unlike every website you've ever made.

I FREAKING HATE WORDPRESS. Blogger has been quite nice to me for years. Done.

Portfolio...yeah lazy. But less so than I was. I'll get back to you on eating your serverspace.
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