Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Vegas Baby!

I went to Las Vegas last week to see my good buddy B-Rad. We did a lot of cool things, most of which I didn't take pictures of. But here you can see some photos of the view from Mt. Charleston which is a short drive aways from Vegas. It's gorgeous.

This is a picture I took from the front seat of the car and it looks out to Mt. Charleston. Apparently they also call this Mummy Mountain because if you look closely you can see what looks like a mummy/dead body laying down.

I forgot to bring shoes with me, so I only had my Birks, and we went on a short (very short) little hike near Mary Jane Falls.
Another view from the top of Mt. Charleston.

Here we are looking goofy. It's hard to take pictures of yourself. And it was sunny, so my eyes are all squinty, and Brad looks like Maverick from Top Gun.

Sign & Date Here

After I got back from Maine with the family, Joel stopped in Philly for a few days. The first night we went to the Collar and got some beers and food, then crashed because we'd been traveling and were totally tired. The next day it rained, but we hit up the Mutter Museum. Highlights include the largest colon ever, a woman who was obese and as she decomposed turned into soap, and many other tumors and fetuses in jars. I recommend it highly if you're in the Philly area. And if you're coming to see me, it is likely you'll end up at the Mutter Museum because the Liberty Bell is boring, and tumors in jars are not.

Later we hit Krupa's, one of my favorite bars in the Art Museum Area because Yeungling pints are only $1.50! Low on atmosphere, but off the charts when it comes to cheap beers and old characters from the neighborhood.

Finally, we went to see a Phillies game. I lived in So. Cal when I was a kid, and my family loves baseball, so I went to a lot of Dodger games and usually fell asleep by the 4th or 5th inning, but I had an incredible time watching the Phillies kick the shit out of the Washington Nationals. I guess games are a bit more fun when you can drink beer and smoke. My roomate, Andy, came with us to the game and ate the strangest sandwhich ever, called a Schmitter. This is a variation on the cheesesteak, which Philly is famous for, but it has a few extra ingredients like fried salami and tomato. Apparently you can get them at a restaurant in Chestnut Hill and down at the ballpark. Heart attack on a kaiser roll. Sheesh.

So, Joel's visit was suprisingly fun, my brother has a nasty habit of being an asshole, but he was in a great mood and enjoyed all the sights of Philly. Oh, I almost forgot, we toured the prison that's right by my house and I was blown away. Eastern State Penitentiary is worth the trip. Al Capone stayed for a while, and the story behind the design and construction of the penitentiary represents an interesting view into how we perceived crime and criminals more than a hundred years ago. Plus, Steve Buscemi narrates the whole thing.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Six Miles from Hurley

I feel like I've been on a vacation spree. Two weeks ago I went to Maine with my family. Joel flew in to Philly and we flew to Manchester, NH together. That night we celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday party. I hadn't seen her since a similar party 10 years earlier when I was 14. The next morning we drove a few hours north to Damriscotta, ME. Members of my mother's family have had a place on this lake since before I can remember. Some additions have been made since the last time I was at the cottage, this huge moose in the front yard was the first thing I noticed. A friend of my cousin Adam made this for the Moose Lodge. Here is the cottage as you would see it from a boat on the lake. Or standing on the dock, which is what I was doing. Biscay Pond, the north end. It's funny they call this a pond, becuase it's really a large body of water and what any normal person would call a lake, but I guess a body of water is labeled a pond when it has certain plant and animal life that are distinct from lakes. Who knew?
Pond at night, it was just starting to rain, later it stormed incredibly and I slept better than I had in forever.

So yeah, Maine was great. My father, Joel and I spent a considerable amount of time talking my mother into buying our own place up there...that would be out of this world amazing!

We spent a day in Boothbay Harbor, ME. Where, ironically, Angela and Bahvit just spent their vacation. I had fantasitic kaluha ice cream, and brought some fudge home for the roomates. Unfortunately, Joel and I spent the evening playing darts and smoking, so we ate all the fudge. Poor roomates, I brought home a magnet with a lobster on it.

Um, for those of you who have never been to Maine, you need to go. One night we also went to the seafood co-op and ate far too much! But it was lovely. More later, I have to go to school.