Turtle Power

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Going to the Chapel...

Casie, my friend since 6th grade, got married last weekend in Virginia Beach. This is a significant event of course for Casie, but also for me because Casie is my first friend to get married. Kind of freaks me out.

To be corny for a second, it feels like just yesterday that Casie and I met on a 6th grade field trip to the Air and Space Museum. When we thought one particular scene in Empire Records was hilarious, and kept watching it over and over. When we started high school, and remained friends. When we prided ourselves over never having had a fight. When she visited me in college. And, when she met her now-husband, Jason.

Middle school reunion!

My date Caitlin

Garter time.

Throwing the garter

Seeing the newlyweds off

Congratulations Casie and Jason!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rocky Mountain Park: Part II

After walking back from Alberta Falls, we began the drive up Trail Ridge Rd, to the highest point reachable by car. None of us were prepared for the steadily cooling conditions on the way up.

Towards the bottom, where it was still nice and warm.

Taken from the car while Jess and Lauren braved the brutal cold.

The weather quickly went from warm and sunny, to cold and sunny, to colder and rainy, to freezing and rainy, back to freezing and sunny, which at least resulted in rainbows.

Almost to the top!

We made it to the highest point reachable by car. But, there was still the highest point reachable by foot. The air was thin, and brutally cold. But, we made it this far, we couldn't stop now.

The stairs leading to the top. We didn't think we would make it.

But, at least we had a nice snowman to accompany us on the journey.

Finally, we made it to the top, 2.3 miles above sea level! Enough time for a quick couple of pictures before we froze to death.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rocky Mountain Park: Part I

Well, it's been two months since I came back from the road trip. Maybe I'll finish the wrap up in another two months.

After we left Monument Rocks, we passed through the town of Amy, Kansas.

Passing through into the Mountain Time Zone, which meant we were almost finally out of Kansas!

Finally we were in Colorado! You can kind of see the Rockies in the distance.

After staying the night in Loveland, CO, we were up the next morning, ready for Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Rockies in the daylight, view from the motel parking lot.

The drive to the Park

And....Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake. And, as a little kid asked...no, there are no actual bears in the lake...I think

One of many cute chipmunks we encountered.

Alberta Falls

The two photographers

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I am so ashamed

This weekend I could have been at the Virgin Festival seeing (for free) the likes of Fountains of Wayne, Peter Bjorn and John, Interpol, and the Beastie Boys.

Ah, the Beastie Boys. Back in high school, I was such a big fan that I delivered a speech on their merits for an English presentation. Sure, I'm not as much of a fanatic of theirs as I was in high school, but I still consider myself a big fan. Or at least, I did.

This week on a local radio station, they were giving away tickets for the Virgin Festival, tickets that costs $90 for each day. Weasel, a local legend, who used to DJ for the fallen WHFS, now is a morning DJ on 94.7. On Tuesday morning, he told listeners to call in and win tickets if they could answer this trivia question: What is the profession of AdRock (from the Beastie Boys) father?

I was stumped.

I called in and figured I would wing it on the slight chance that I would actually get through.

And I actually got through.

And Weasel's distinctive voice was on the other end.

"What does AdRock's father do?" he asked me.

"Uh...is he a musician?"

"No" he said, "Try again."

So, what does his father do? He is a famous playwright.

So, instead of spending the weekend enjoying music, I am at home, avoiding studying for the GRE's, which I take on the 16th. I am truly a sad excuse for a Beastie Boys fan.

Sorry Boys for letting you down.

On the subject of DJ's, I also spoke with another local legend, Cerphe on the same radio station, later in the week. I called to see if they had already given away tickets that hour, and had a short conversation with him. A couple minutes later, I hear my voice come over the radio, replaying the same convo I just had with Cerphe.

I may not have gotten free tickets to the Virgin Festival, but at least I spoke to two DJ's I had listened to for years, and got on the radio.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We're almost not in Kansas anymore

Before going to Colorado, we decided to check out Monument Rocks, which are 80 million year old rock formations, and up to 70 feet tall.

Driving to the Rocks, down a long dirt road, we encountered amber waves of grain.

Finally, we reached the rocks. And..they were really amazing. Warning: many pictures of rocks follow.

All right, enough rocks! Next blog: Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More from the middle of Kansas!

During our scenic byway off of 70, we happened upon Mushroom Rock State Park, a national park that is exactly as it sounds: rocks that look like mushrooms!

Then, more driving

Somewhere in Kansas, we stopped at a grocery store. As we were leaving, an older guy in an old truck wearing a cowboy hat was turning into the grocery store. As he was turning, he smiled, and tipped his hat at us. Love it.

It was getting late, so we attempted to find a motel in Oakley, KS. Apparently, Oakley is hopping at this time of year, as all the motels we passed had no vacancies. Finally, we found a motel called the Free Breakfast Inn, around midnight. The office decor reminded me of the scene in Harold and Kumar in Freak Show's house The room's decor had not been changed since the 60's. I kept picturing the Bates Motel, and Norman peeking in at us through a hole in the wall. However, the next morning, in the light of day, the place did not seem nearly as scary.

And, we got free breakfast! Breakfast was served at a steakhouse across the highway.

They frown upon people driving like hell.

Next blog: The last of Kansas-Monument Rocks

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kansas: Part I

After leaving MO, it was time for some good 'ol minor-league baseball, in the name of the Kansas City T-Bones in Kansas. Proudly wearing an Orioles shirt, we sat down to our seats. I hear "How bout them O's?!", and turn around to see a man in an Orioles cap and shirt. Turns out he was from MD, and was visiting his son in Kansas City. I love that I ran into an Orioles fan in Kansas.

The game was relatively uneventful, apart from the amazing sunset.

And a little sumo-wrestling in between innings

After the game, we headed to Topeka for the night.
Topeka from the hotel room.

After an excellent buffet breakfast from the Ramada (a little money will get you a long way in Kansas hotels), we went to the site of Brown vs. Board of Education.

At the museum, I learned that one of the cases that became the Brown vs. BOE Supreme Court case involved the University of Delaware. In 1950, UD became the first university to desegregate by court decree. Not something I ever heard on the campus tour.

We then passed through another president's town: Abilene KS, home of Eisenhower.

When we went through the house, Jess told the tour guide that we had been by Truman's house the day before. The woman scoffed and said that the Truman's house was much more high-class, and Eisenhower grew up in a blue-class household. Meow.

Abilene was nowhere near as cool as Independence, but still had character.

After that, we left civilization for awhile, and saw lots of the Kansas countryside on a scenic by-way off 70.

Next blog: more Kansas countryside, and attempting to find a motel in the middle of Kansas.