Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is it possible to have a better evening than this?

There is a little Newport newspaper that comes out every Monday. In it is all kinds of info, such as, all the family reunions happening in the area, various birthdays, who has graduated from college, the bingo schedule and so on. Real interesting...
However, sometimes you find the diamond in the rough. This Monday I read that there was going to be a concert in a nearby town. Celtic Spring a band made up of the children and parents of the Wood family. They apparently performed on "Americas Got Talent" and now they are touring the country. There are six children all of whom play the fiddle and Irish step dance. Of course I was sold.
The ride to Unity, the town the concert was in, took me down some new roads so, of course, I have to comment on a couple interesting things I saw. First, there was a goat grazing in someone's yard. Second, there was a memorial cross on the side of the road and instead of flowers, it had a mini deer head mounted on it. If that's not country I don't know what is.
Anyway, the concert was amazing!! They performed so perfectly it was ridiculous. The concert lasted for two hours. The five older siblings played and danced for most of it. The youngest of the six children is only 10 and he is just starting to come on the performance scene. I would really encourage you to check them out at I was able to take some video footage of them which I will try to post. We'll see if it works. :)
After the concert on my ride home I was really struck by how incredibly dark it is out here. Even though the moon was huge tonight, I would look out my rear view mirror and it was pitch black. When I got home I just sat outside for a bit looking at the stars. It is really quite chilly out tonight and there are no clouds in the sky. Perfect star gazing night.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Observations and New Job

What I have discovered about the area I am living in:
1. Maine is so different based on where you are in the state. Just like South Florida differs from North Florida; Costal Maine is completely different from Inland Maine. On the coast there are cute New England houses and lots of touristy shops; everyone knows how to sail and there are tons of beautiful sailboats in the harbor. As you move futher inland the scene changes. It becomes more "country." Instead of touristy shops and sailboats you see large forests of evergreens, corn fields, quaint country homes, and lots of broken lawn mowers and old cars in the front yard. :)

2. The sun is up forever! It does not set till after 8pm and then it starts to rise at 4:40 in the morning. If you look it up on-line, Goggle will tell you the sunrises at 5:18am, but they LIE. The first day I slept here I woke up at 4:45am to the birds singing outside my window and the sun peeking... no not peeking... blazing through my sheer curtains in my bedroom. It's ridiculous! I am going to have to change my whole body clock and stop staying up so late.

3. The bustling town of Newport, where I am living, is home to a grand total of about 3000 people. It is right on the Sebasticook Lake. This lake is within a 2 minute walk from my cottage. It is peaceful and quite in the morning, but in the evening there are quite a few boats cruising around on it. My cottage has a little garden in front of it with cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs growing. I don't know how successful I will be at keeping all these things alive...

4. I have not seen a moose yet, but I was told there is no way I can live here for three months without having a couple sightings. I will let you know when that happens.

New Job:
My job consists of seeing 4-6 patients twice a day in a skilled nursing facility. The facility itself is not the most state of the art which forces me to use a lot of "creative" treatment strategies. But being flexible and being able to work with whatever comes your way is what makes a good PT, so I hope I can excel at it. I have not met many other people my age here, but everyone I have met is really nice and I have already received some good tips as far as things to do around the area.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My new home

Well, I have finally arrived in Newport, ME. The drive to get here was really pretty with large expanses of green fields, farms, and cute little farm houses. I have begun to move into my new cottage. It is a brand new little 575 sq ft home and I am the first person to rent it. The decorations are totally my style and I feel very comfortable here. I took a bunch of pictures, but they don't really do it justice. I think I'm gonna like it here. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pleasant day in Vacationland

Now I know why they call Maine "Vacationland." You can't get much more relaxing then this. Today the weather was perfect...the sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing all day and birds were chirping in the trees. Lisa, her parents, her 3 little boys, and I all went on a ferry today over to Isleboro where there is a perfect little beach for skipping rocks and a lighthouse with a museum attached. So cute! After we went back to the mainland we continued skipping rocks for at least an hour. (I wasn't that good at it though so Gabe had to give me lessons. I was good at finding a bunch of rocks for him to skip, though.) On our way home we saw the very uniquely colored "Oreo Cows" otherwise known as Belted Galloways. (I think Oreo is more appropriate.)
When we came home we sat out on the porch and read for a while with a glass of wine, had a wonderful dinner and made smores this evening. All in all a great day!

The "cottages" of Newport, RI

I mentioned in my previous post that I went to a winery and wandered around Connecticut a little. There was a cute little town in Connecticut called Old Mystic Village and it had a beautiful library! I know I am weird for liking to check out libraries, but oh well... :) Here are some pics from that day.

Yesterday, (Thursday) I had a relaxing morning and then went on tours of five of the Newport "cottages." They are only called cottages because that was the typical name given to the vacations homes built in that area. In reality, however, they are the largest mansions I have ever seen in my life! The Vanderbilt family had the largest home called "the Breakers." It was absolutely magnificent. They decorated in a very French renaissance style. Everything was big, beautiful, custom made and expensive.  I found it interesting that the servant’s quarters took up probably half the space in the house. All 40 of them needed a place to sleep, work, and get into all the rooms without ever being seen. So you look at this huge house and wonder how the family could ever use all this space, but in reality they didn't. They would use the big, ornately decorated, public areas for parties and the extra bedrooms to house all their guests. Some of the families personal bedrooms were big and some were a just a normal size bedroom. They were really all about the entertaining. Like I said before, I visited five of these mansions and they were all very beautiful and each had their own unique history. It was fun to learn about the families and all their success and trials. 
Afterwards, I drove to Camden, ME where I am staying with my friend Lisa and her family for a couple of days till I go to my cottage (that is really a cottage) in Newport, ME.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Half way point!!!

Well, I cant write a whole lot today cause my hotel does not have internet access so I am at starbucks and they close soon. But today is special!! I visited my 25th state today so I am offically half way to my goal!!!!!!! Yeah!
I had a pleasant day today taking the ferry from the end of Long Island to Conneticut. Then I wandered around a couple towns and went to a winery. Then, I drove to Rhode Island and looked around downtown. Tomorrow, I am doing a tour of the Vanderbuilt Mansions. I am sure that will be interesting. More details (and pics) tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning Experience

Today was not the best day as far as site seeing goes. My first stop was in Delaware to see the Old Swedes Church which lays claim to being the oldest church in the US still being actively used as a church. Well, as it turns out the church is in a really rough neighborhood! I did not even get out of my car when I got there and there was no way I could even get a good picture of the church.
Then, I was on my way to Philly. It was not a pretty ride... the whole area is very industrial and there were tons of huge trucks on the road. Once I arrived in Philly I drove around the historic downtown area looking for parking. The historic buildings were beautiful and I could see the liberty bell as I passed by. I wanted to park and get to see the liberty bell close up, but when I checked out the garages in the city they would not allow me to park my car due to my bike on the back. (Supposedly, it was a hazard to other cars.) Eventually, I found an open air lot, but when they told me they were full I gave up. I know...lame...but after driving around for at least 45 mins I was just done. I think I would like to go back someday and get to see everything with a tour group where they plan it all and bring you in on a bus so you get front door service. That's the way to go!
After leaving Philly I headed north toward New York. The scenery did not begin to look better till I was headed out onto Long Island. The rest of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and coming into New York were nothing to get excited about. I did, however, stop for gas in Jersey and they had full service with attendents who pumped the gas for me. I thought this was very unusual. Turns out in New Jersey and Oregon it is illiegal to pump your own gas! I had no idea. You learn something new everyday.
On Long Island there is a park called Eisenhower Park. It is very nice and it has a memorial to 9-11 in it so I hung out there for a bit today since I got to New York earlier then expected (due to Philly being anti-bikes.) The reason I headed out to Long Island in the first place is because I am staying with my Uncles cousin and his wife tonight. Even though the first half of the day was not great, they have made the last part absolutely wonderful!! They welcomed me in, fed me, entertained me, and made me feel right at home. They have been more accomodating then I ever could have imagined. It is such a blessing to have a great family that is willing to support you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon was a great stop, and I am so happy I decided to change my plans to include this historical site. I arrived in the morning and there were only a few people there. This worked to my advantage because there was no wait to get into the Mansion. In the Mansion they have many original pieces such as, paintings, Washington's bed (the same one he died in), a fan chair he invented, and the presidential chair he sat in during his time in office. No pictures are allowed in the house, but they had a scaled down model of the mansion in the visitors center so I took a picture of the mini fan chair so you all could see what it looked like. I saw the tomb George and Martha Washington are buried in and walked through all the gardens and farming land. George was always thinking strategically whether in war or at home. He took farming very seriously and when realized how much wheat he was wasting during the treading process he invented the 16-sided barn. This was an almost circular shaped barn where the horses could tread the wheat indoors and the floor boards were spaced apart so the wheat could fall through to the barn floor underneath. It could then be easily harvested.
A couple of things I learned struck me as particularly interesting. One was that during the war Washington only returned to Mount Vernon one time... the war lasted 8 years! The other was that Washington gave up supreme power twice. I knew that he refused to be named King after the war, but then when he was president he resigned from the post so the position could be peaceably transferred to the next person. He was a great man and did not allow power to corrupt him.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Richmond, Virgina

Today I drove from North Carolina to Richmond. I stopped at the Civil War Museum and at the Hollywood Cemetery. The Museum was nice, but pretty small with mostly written plaques more then actual artifacts. However, there was one artifact that really interested me. It was a doctors medical kit. It had all kinds of saws and scaples and the leather strap for the men to bite on during the procedures... it looked more like a torture kit, but it was soooo cool! (Unfortunately, photos were not allowed to be taken in the museum.)
The Hollywood Cemetery was my next stop. It is named after all the holly trees that grow on the grounds. This was the most beautiful and the biggest cemetery I have ever seen! There are two US Presidents buried there, James Monroe and John Tyler; and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate states. I really enjoyed driving through the winding labyrinth of roads with my Pride and Prejudice soundtrack on in the background while taking in the view and serenity. I know there is so much to see in Virgina, but I would highly recommend putting this on your list of places to see.

goin' to the chapel...

I have not been able to write for a few days because I have been participating in my great friend, Katherine's, wedding! The wedding was absolutely gorgeous, but it could not compare to how beautiful Katherine and Ken’s relationship is.It was such a great time seeing old friends, making some new ones, going to the crazy bachelorette party, the sentimental rehearsal dinner, and the wonderful ceremony. I wish them all the best!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Burgers and Aquarium

Last night we went to The Vortex Bar and Grill which was featured on Man vs Food on Food Network. I decided to try one of the featured hamburgers that, the host, Adam Richman ate called the Elvis burger. It is a burger topped with lettuce tomato, onion, bacon, fried bananas and “slathered with a King-sized helpin’ of smooth peanut butter!” It was different and really good, but definitely not the low fat option. ;)
This morning Jess and I went for a walk in Piedmont Park which was absolutely beautiful. You can see the city landscape just beyond the tree line of the park. Of course, I forgot to bring my camera with me so I will have to post pics tomorrow if we go for a walk again.
I changed my plans for next week a little and decided to nix the Baltimore National Aquarium after hearing about the extremely high crime rate in the area. So I took Coralies advice and went to the Georgia Aquarium today instead. They lay claim to having the largest indoor aquarium in the world and it is one of only two places in the world where you can see Whale Sharks. There is one tank that holds over 6 million gallons of water, is 293 feet long, 126 feet wide and 30 feet deep that is home to 4 whale sharks along with 2 manta rays and thousands of other kinds of fish. There were tons of cool exhibits, but I enjoyed watching the whale sharks the most.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Georgia On My Mind

Yesterday I drove from Gainesville to Atlanta Georgia. Along the way, I met a friend in Cordele, GA (where I was born), and I got a tour of the town and saw the house I used to live in. I even got a couple watermelons straight from the farm! Cordele is the watermelon capital of the world, you know! But, a word to the wise… don’t try to go out to eat on a Monday in Cordele. Everything is closed. ;)
Then I continued up to Atlanta where one of my fellow PT graduates is living and working. I have always known that Atlanta has very heavy traffic as you go past it on the highway, but in the city it is even worse! The lanes on the road are so narrow I thought for sure my side mirror was gonna be taken off by another car. Once you get out of the city, though, the traffic dies down and winding roads with all the quaint, old homes on them are beautiful. Jessica N. lives in a very nice area where there are tons of great restaurants, stores and parks within walking distance. She is trying to convince me to move here after Maine, and though I have not given in yet, she is doing a pretty good job. ;) I will be in Atlanta till Thursday so if anyone has suggestions as far as things to do or see let me know!

Monday, July 12, 2010

First Post

For my first entry to this new blog I would like to stay a big thanks to all my friends and family! To everyone who was there for me throughout my life, but especially the last three years which have been some of the most wonderful years of my life! I cherish the relationships I have formed with people who studied with me, traveled with me, lived with me, allowed me to live with them, taught me, visited me, made me laugh, helped me “relieve stress” and most of all those who supported me with prayers and constant encouragement. I love all of you, and feel so blessed to have all of you in my life.