Monday, September 10, 2012

Check out

the new blog:

I'll be posting from there from now on, as we've moved far, far away from Philly :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


  • started work yesterday. At the Stanford. Very nice. I'm excited!
  • I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get around this durn campus!
  • Two of the women I work with went to Cal. Makes me think of my Ma. And Cod!
  • I got my ID cards. I think I look like Reese Witherspoon. Let me have my delusions, OK?
  • We tried to find her house in Ojai when I was visiting my parents. It was largely a wild goose chase, but we got to see some fancy houses and neighborhoods for a bit.
  • We are living in an RV in one of the more depressing RV parks I've ever seen. I want to get out now. But we can't find housing yet. The cats are ready to kill each other and us. It's actually not too bad, it's just cramped. And I'd like to have some more space.
  • We bought a bunch of DVDs at the bargain bin in Best Buy. Including all three Austin Powers movies, and a set of 8 Spaghetti Westerns. It gives us a little something to do every night!
  • Hopefully we will find a place to live today. Or tomorrow. Soon :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Heading into the mountains

Saw mountains, real mountains, today for the first time on our trip
Went four days without a shower
That shower today was amazing
Headed to Yellowstone tomorrow
Wyoming, oddly enough, is my favorite state so far
We had the most amazing thunderstorm last night that ended with a full rainbow, doubled on one side
I took about a million pictures
I miss washing dishes
If I never own a dishwasher, I will be OK
Driving across South Dakota reminded me of Little House on the Prairie series
I love those books, and I'm not afraid to say so
I miss my cat
I can sleep outside in a tent
I can sleep quite well actually
But I do wake up to some strange noises
Elk last night, perhaps?
I no longer have bags under my eyes
I bought booty shorts and I wear them with hiking boots. I think that's OK
I hope I can have a garden
I am working on not complaining about anything
I appreciate my toes for carrying me so far
We have put 6000 miles on the car since we got it

Sunday, July 22, 2012


  • splurged on a hotel last night. Kalamazoo, MI.
  • After 3 weeks on the road, we will finally escape Eastern Daylight Time. Movin' West!
  • Chicago today
  • Wisconsin next
  • Being on the road is odd. It's nice, but it's strange to not have an anchor, a home. It's odd not to know where we will end up, and when we will get there.
  • Most days are spent driving several hours, stopping at some grocery store to pick up food (and beer, usually). Walking aisles, trying not to buy perishables, trying to figure out what will cook fastest, or what will only use one burner on our little camp stove
  • We have setting up camp down to a science. It takes us about 10 mins flat to set up the tent, and get all the sleeping accoutrements out.
  • I made Alex drive totally out of our way to hit up Detroit to hit up the Henry Ford Museum. I've heard about this museum since I was a little kid. It was awesome to be there, but it would have been better if my Dad had been there. He would have loved it (although he has been there before). They had "Model T rides" for $5. I thought, I can have one whenever I want! Ha!
  • It's hard to do any maintenance on the road. As such, my leg hair is outta control and my toenail polish is in need of a refresher. I also bit off all my nails. I feel a bit of a mess. Thankfully, my husband still likes me.
  • We got rained in in Geneva, OH. That damn Lake Erie strikes again! We got rained on in Ashtabula when we went there for a wedding in May. Then this time, we saw a storm coming in, but thought it would be a couple hours before it hit. Wrong. No way to pack up our things wet, it was pouring so hard. And it was cold. Seriously, don't mess with those storms from those Great Lakes. They don't f around, that's for sure. 
  • Watching the tail end of the Tour de France. Last summer, we watched every or almost every stage. This year we missed it all. I'm looking forward to watching the Olympics, tho. And to hopefully getting some more running/biking in as we move west.
  • We drove through MI last night listening to a broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. It was awesome.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Update

2.5 weeks into trip
5 states: PA, MD, NY, CT, MA
2 provinces: Quebec, Ontario
St Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara Falls
Numerous bug bites, including several on the bottom of my feet
One Civil War Reenactment
3 houses of family, one friends house visited
Lots of XM radio
Lots of road kill
5 campgrounds
Countless memories

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Sunset on Lake Erie!

Toes in the lake

Weddin' guests

the bride


Congrats Dr. Brown!

Number one!

Very old tree

Watching the bike race

race car

Dad in jail

eastern state


guard tower

Update a little late

  • Wow, you guys! A lot has happened in the last week and a half!
  • We took our first road trip in the car. We went to Ashtabula, OH, which is right on Lake Erie. The drive took about 8 hours, and the drive home was the worst, too long and wayyyy boring. But we made it! We got to see a sunset over Lake Erie and I even put my toes in! We also got to see a crazy ass thunderstorm coming in over the Lake (before/during the wedding, nonetheless). It was really cool.
  • The wedding was a non-traditional as they come, with the bride wearing a red dress, and the groom in a three piece suit. They had a bluegrass band and about a million desserts. A good time was had by all. 
  • We camped out in a family friend's backyard in our tent we bought for our honeymoon. I'm still not entirely used to sleeping outside, but hopefully I will get used to it as we head across the country. These people were super nice and really cool. It was great to get to know them; people can be so cool, you know?
  • We got to know the bride and groom's families, and the place where they got married was having an art show that featured the groom's relatives. It was just super neat. 
  • While we were in OH, our families started arriving in Philly for Alex's defense. It was weird not to be here when they got here. When we got home, we were exhausted, having stayed up until 2am, then getting on the road at 6am. We begged off seeing our parents, taking a short nap and a much needed shower. We finally made it down to see the family and it turns out that we had even more family here than we knew about! Alex's Aunt Catherine, and his Uncle Rob and Aunt Eileen came to surprise him for his defense, which was super sweet (and a lot of fun!). 
  • Tuesday was Defense Day, so I rounded up all the relatives and we took the bus to school to meet up with Alex. Of course, as we are heading into Alex's building, the fire alarm is going off. LOL. We detoured to the cafeteria for a quick lunch before the defense. Alex looked so handsome, and so composed. I was just so proud of him and his talk. His advisor gave him a pretty funny intro that made everyone laugh. His defense went well, as about 30 minutes after his talk, he was back in his party room, beer in hand, celebrating. His mom had bought these hysterical decorations that made the room look like a mad scientists' dungeon, which was perfect. We had a great party and a really nice dinner. It was time to say goodbye to most of the family. 
  • On Wednesday, I had to work. I gave lab meeting (my last one! Yay!) and stuck around to talk to my boss and get people's opinions, etc. It turned out well, but I still have SO much work to do before I leave. I'm not sure I will get it all done.
  • After work, we met up and headed to dance lessons. Yes, I took both our parents to dance lessons. It was pretty fun - we learned how to hustle, and we could show our parents some moves. Plus, I think it was just fun to do something different. And it was a laugh to boot.  We ate dinner at Triumph, which is really my favorite place in Old City to eat. 
  • Thursday was a lazy day for my folks, but my Dad and I hit up Franklin Institute to check out the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. As everything at the FI, it was really well done and super interesting. We even watched a planetarium video on the telescope, which was cool. And do you know what today is? Today is the transit of Venus across the sun. It won't occur again until 2117, so be sure to check it out (NASA has some cams you can watch it on - don't look at the sun directly with your eyes!).
  • Friday, we just hung out and we said goodbye to Moo. She went on an adventure, flying with my in-laws to CO, where she will stay until we pick her up on our drive across the country. I was so sad to see Moo go. It was hard to pill her and put her in her carrying case, but she did splendidly well. I think she was paralyzed with fear, but at least she didn't meow across the country. She's now staying with Uncle Taylor, and apparently has a chinchilla to check out while she's there. Hopefully she'll get comfortable and come out of her shell soon. 
  • Saturday was "meet the relatives" day. We went out to Concordville to see Joe and Leslie and have some lunch with them. We had a really nice lunch and had a good time catching up. Alex then got on his bike and headed home on the bicycle, while my folks and I checked out the Bradywine Battlefield, which was pretty interesting. 
  • Sunday was the Philadelphia Bike race, and a lovely day to boot. We dragged my folks down to the street to see the bikers go by and to ring some cowbells to cheer them on. We were looking for a couple of Alex's friends that turned pro recently, and we were hopeful to see some Olympic competitors. It was a lovely day to be outside, and a great day to watch some biking. Dad and I then went to the Simeone Museum, which is a collection of old race cars that I think my Dad really enjoyed. 
  • On Monday, my folks' flight left at 8pm, so I spent the day with my Dad at Eastern State Penitentiary. It was a super creepy day, with random showers, then bright sun. If you ever come to Philly, you should absolutely go see ESP. It is so cool, creepy, and well done. I loved it. We had a really interesting time, and then we sat around until it was time to go to the airport. We drove my folks to the airport, probably our last trip there. It was great to have everyone here to celebrate, but it's also nice to have our little house back to ourselves. Now, it's time to buckle down and get to work. If not actual work, it will be packing. Here goes nothing!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First iBook Book Review: Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter - Gallery Books

My Dad had a friend selling an iPad and he decided to buy it for me. I've had it for about 2 weeks now and I love it for some things. One thing I was really curious about was reading books. We are going on an extended vacation this summer and we have limited space. Could I download some books and have things to read while camping and exploring? Would it hurt my eyes? Can it be similar to reading a book? All of these things were big questions for me, so I downloaded my first book. I'm a bit of a geek at heart, and I've fallen in love with this TV show called Destination Truth. It's on the Netflix streaming. Basically, these people (including the author of the book, Josh Gates), go all over the world in search of "monsters". They interview eyewitnesses, look for evidence of the monsters, and conduct a nighttime investigation, where they always seem to be chasing some real animal (usually, what I suspect to be tigers, or other rare predators). In the end, they give their thoughts on the existence of the monster - usually they chalk it up to folklore, but sometimes, the find a big old Yeti footprint in the jungle, which is also pretty cool. What I find most entertaining about the show is the host, Josh. He's funny, and sarcastic, and always over the top interesting. I also love watching the travel. They really get into areas, interact with locals, travel deep into the interior of countries. So this book is based on his TV show, and includes some behind-the-scenes scenarios. How the show started, how they film it, some shows of particular interest, and his opinions on the existence of these monsters. The books is an easy read, written about adventure travel, so I thought it was pretty interesting. His sarcasm and sense of humor come through the book quickly, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure if you need to be a fan of the show to read the book, but it would probably help.
All together, I was really pleased with this book. I'm not sure I could really get into a difficult book on the iPad. I haven't yet figured out a way to "curl up with it", as you would with a book. Also, the screen switches on you, depending on how you hold it, so that can sometimes be annoying. I am sure I can change that - it's all a learning curve. But I did not find that my eyes got tired, so that's a bonus. I think the only thing that was weird to me was that I didn't feel like I was reading a book. I felt like I was reading a website, so I don't know how much that affects the relaxation you might get from reading a real book. But the good news is, there are lots of stupid books out there to read!