Sunday, September 14, 2014

From Grand Cayman to Long Island: August

I seem to have spent a good amount of time on islands this summer!
I began the month of August on the island of Grand Cayman. It was probably my favorite port of the cruise.

For a few bucks, we hopped a taxi right at the port and went to a beach club where we rented chairs and an umbrella. The buckets of beers were a bit on the expensive side, but Mom and I chocked that up to a YOLO moment. (yes, I really used that in a sentence.)  The sun was hot, the water was a blue I had never seen before and it was really refreshing. We spent a good amount of the day there, but decided to pack it in a couple hours before our ship was set to sail. And we left in the nick of time as it started to downpour when we got in the taxi! So much for shopping...

After warming up in the hot tub and promptly taking a nap, the skies cleared and left us with this beautiful view from our cabin.

The last day of the cruise, I finally opened the book I brought, listened to music, and caught some more rays on deck. We had a lovely final dinner with our table mates, and all received a special dessert from our waiter; Carnival's signature melting cake AND a side of cheese cake that when eaten together melted in your mouth with a coffee/hazelnut taste. We celebrated Mom's birthday too. After dinner, walking the deck, we caught an awesome lightening show. It went on for about twenty minutes, at a safe distance, and I know Mom was pretty excited, saying that it was something she always wanted to see.

We took it easy upon returning to Florida, taking a couple of day trips and working around the house. I even made dinner a few nights!

Of course there is always beer involved when I travel. I researched Florida breweries one night and came across the Dunedin Brewery, the oldest craft brewery in Florida. Dunedin is a pretty cool spot that I have never really explored, so Mom and I started the day at the Art center, taking in some local artist's work and a few other shows there, and ended the day at the Brewery for lunch. It was a cool spot that I will definitely go back to!

Another day we took a road trip and I saw parts of Florida I have never seen before. We drove about an hour and a half north of Clearwater, taking back roads all the way to Micanopy. They call it the town that time forgot. Just look at that picture! The main street was full of antiques stores, even the shops themselves were once the general store, a house, a barn. We had lunch at the one little sandwich and ice cream shop and poked around. I would have bought so many pieces of furniture at the first place we stopped. It was clean and uncluttered and everything was clearly labeled with approximate dates and prices. There was a fireplace gate in the shape of a peacock, a heavy, heavy gargoyle door knocker, a beautiful, tall solid wood dresser complete with a mirror and drawers that locked with a skeleton key, painted owl bookends and a mid century round dining room table. Nothing I could fit in a suitcase, thats for sure. 

I was pretty anxious to get home to my new house though. I had unpacking and settling in to do, not to mention some hanging out by my new pool while I could. Amongst all the hard work though, we had the chance to go out and enjoy, a couple of times. 

We had breakfast, complete with my favorite Bloody Mary's, at Deep Ellum in Allston.

And took the train into Harvard Square another afternoon for lunch at Charlie's and some back to school record and clothes shopping. We could even walk to the train from our new house!

I snapped this photo on an after dinner walk one evening. I still can't believe this is my neighborhood and that we are still so close to Boston. I can't wait to set up my easel!

At the end of August, we drove to New London, CT and took the ferry over to Long Island for the first of my nine cousins' wedding. We had a great weekend full of family and reminiscing. I was really thankful to spend time together and to make some new memories.

There was a photo booth available to guests that had props. My brother of course brought them to the dance floor. My uncle also caught this great shot of my Nana and her sister. I love it!

We were able to beat the Labor Day traffic, coming home Sunday afternoon. Monday we spent getting ready for the work week and it's been full steam ahead ever since. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Best Summer on Record.

As we returned to our city last night, it seemed hot and tired.
The same lethargy could be felt today as I did errands.
Its almost as if the here and there and everywhere-s of the city's summers hit at once, as well as the anticipation of the start of school tomorrow, the day after for the kids.
I am already prepared for the pleasantries of my co-workers with their "how was your summer-s?" and "are you ready for the new school year-s?"

I have to say, the summer of 2014 was probably the best summer on record.
And I am not the slightest bit ready for the new year.

I started out painting on Nantucket, an island thirty- two miles off shore, for two and a half weeks.
Followed by packing up as much as I could of our second apartment, in anticipation of the last move for at least for the next thirty years.
Afterwards, leaving for a Caribbean cruise and a week in Florida with my immediate family, as the other half of my family moved what was left of my packed belongings into our new home.
(What kind of lottery did I hit to have such an awesome family!?)
And finally I was home for another two and half weeks before traveling to Long Island for the first wedding of one of my nine cousins!

I wasn't looking forward to what this year brought as I turned 30 in the Spring. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine what the summer held for me.
I am nervous for the new school year to start, as I haven't had much time to plan with all that fun, and will be teaching two courses I have never taught before.
But, I am excited for the challenge as I enter my first year as a "tenured" teacher.

Thank you to everyone who made this summer possible. I look forward to hosting you in our new house!