Return to New England

One of the gifts that I gave Candace for her Valentine’s Day was she got to pick anywhere in the nation to spend my birthday. (Which happened to fall on Easter this year.) After thinking about MANY options, she finally decided to go to New England. She was curious to see why Boston was a solid number two on my list of favorite cities.

Well, we just got back a couple days ago and this is the jist of our trip.

Hartford, CT- We flew into Hartford because it was right between New York City and Boston. We wanted to see both of those cities so we thought that it would be a nice base location. That is about all it was for us. We didn’t really take any time to look at Hartford.

New York, NY- I do like New York, but only for a short amount of time. Candace and I got there in the early afternoon and it was already bustling. Our first stop was the Apple Soho store. It was kind of hard to locate on the street. New York has a policy that if a building is determined as historical then you can not change the outside of it (even though you can gut the inside and do whatever you want in there.) The Apple Store was on Greene St, in the old Post Office building. Other then the big windows looking inside, the only thing Apple was allowed to put on the outside was a hanging metal sign with the apple logo. To be honest, the simplistic look increased the charm. The store was very busy!!

We took the subway up to Times Square. It too was very busy. Personally, I like all of the action. Even though it was cold, the naked cowboy was there singing songs and taking pictures for the crowd. That fella gets alot of attention. He is alot buffer then then last time I was there. Still disgusting. Candace took a picture with him. That was funny.

After driving around for a bit trying to find the Hot Dog joint mentioned in “Fools Rush In”, we finally decided we had enough of the hustle and bustle of New York. We took a few detours to get out of Manhattan and took drives thru the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Long Island.

Boston, MA- Oh how I love this city. Second only to San Francisco, this place really does something to me. I love the history and even more I love the personalities there. The Boston natives are so easy to talk with. You can crack a joke at their expense and they’ll do it right back.

Candace and I took some time to see all of the historical parts of Boston. We walked where the Boston Massacre happened. We tip-toed thru the graveyard that Sam Adams, Mother Goose, John Hancock, and Paul revere were buried. Speaking of Paul Revere, we went across the little water way and saw the exact view of the chapel that Paul Revere had before he borrowed a horse and rode off into the night and triggered the shot heard round the world. I was glad to hear that the city of Boston had a law in place to protect that view. There can be no buildings built in that area that will obstruct the view of the chapel. We moseyed around the Boston Commons and saw the original Cheers Bar. We visited Fenway Park and saw the old and worn out stadium. It was announced recently that the Boston Red Sox would continue to play in Fenway even though it was worn down. I was very glad to hear that. The magic of that area is amazing. We hurried thru the Boston Aquarium. This is the most visited site in Boston. Even though the animals were really neat (penguins, sharks, sea turtles, etc) I didn’t like the feel of the place. It was dark, kind of musty, real crowded and people packed in. More then once I wanted to give some of the kids a REAL good view of the sharks.

I really like Boston and suggest it as THE destination on the East Coast.

Enfield, NH- My Uncle and Aunt live in Enfield as he goes to Dartmouth College. This is the second time I’d visited and I like it there alot. For dinner, we went to the Enfield House of Pizza. A humble joint, but good food and the only place to eat at 8pm.

Sharon, VT- This is the birth place of Joseph Smith. I went here last year and was really caught up in the Spirit of the place. I was expecting it again this time but was again overwhelmed by it. The monument was erected about a hundred years ago to remember the Prophet. When you stand there, you can really feel how the heavens must have cheered to see his birth happen. They knew that finally the Gospel Of Christ was in action to be restored. When I say “they” I guess I should say “we”. I believe that i was there too cheering. When you stand there, you really sense that no one , except Jesus himself, has done more for all mankind. I love that feeling. The scriptures teach it, that location (among others) confirms it.

Providence, RI- I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this city. I had never been to Rhode Island and I didn’t know what to expect. As Candace and I drove into the city, it was strangely empty. Like most major cities, the downtown business district shuts down for the weekend. Here we were in the middle of a state capitol and there were rarely more then 15 people within site. It was awesome. The city itself looks alot like a mini Boston. The buildings are old and classic. Candace and I found a great deal on a hotel right downtown and then just walked around a bit. There is a big waterway that runs thru downtown and the city has done an awesome job of keeping it visible. There are walkways, bridges, benches, bleachers and plenty of places to just enjoy the river. I really liked it. Candace and I had a nice birthday dinner of Pulled Pork and for dessert they had these homemade cinnamon and sugar donuts with a strawberry syrup dip. Now that was good!!

That was our trip in a nutshell. It was fun. I added two new states to my list for a total of 28 states, or 54%. You can see the updated map here.

Also, I have put a few of our pictures online if anyone wants to see them. You can click on any of the thumbnails and it will load a bigger picture with a description. Find them here.

If any of you have comments about any of these cities, I’d like to hear them.


Pain Defined

Webster’s has announced today that it will carry 58 new entries in their next edition of the Webster’s New World College Dictionary that will be out in May. There were two new entries that seemed especially interesting to me.

The first word was “blog”. I’m glad to see that it will be recognized and main stream. My only question is if the Word Masters will identify it as both a noun and a verb. Used as a noun it would read, ” Living A Story To Tell is my blog.” As a verb it would be used, “I’m almost done on the computer, I just have to blog real quick.” I’ll be interested to see how it is defined.

But there was another entry that I thought was even more interesting. The fine folks at Webster’s have decided that the word “wedgie” is finally ready for the main stream. This will be so useful, especially for the upcoming generation. In days past, if you asked what a wedgie was you’d usually be answered by someone doing it to you. But now there is a much more humane way.

An ignorant youngster: “Uncle Brian, what’s a wedgie?”

“Well nephew, it is a prank in which the victim’s undershorts are jerked upward so as to become wedged between the buttocks.”

Thanks Webster, for clearing that up.


Something you need to know

In case you were wondering why the weather was so nice today, let me tell you. Today is the 57th birthday of James Taylor. That’s right, he’s a March birthday just like me. Happy Birthday James!


A Sense-ful Morning

I think that it is the norm to not like your morning commute. People don’t like to battle with the traffic and people. So in that regard, I consider myself lucky. My morning routine is really quite pleasing to all of my senses.

I like to get up just before five and enjoy the morning. After I shower and get dressed, I go into the kitchen and pour a nice bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats. I open up the sliding glass door so that my cat, Nelly, can stand guard against the ducks. She likes to sit right at the door and watch the ducks. The birds are chirping and the sunrise usually looks great over the water. Here is a picture of the view I get while eating my cereal.


When I am done with my cereal, I grab my computer and walk out the door. We have had great weather here in Vegas. Hitting 80 in the days and a perfect 60 in the mornings. I take the freeway (which at this time of the morning is traffic free). Heading east, I get to watch the sun come up until I exit at Las Vegas Blvd. I’m usually listening to my latest music gem.

It’s a funny thing to drive down LV Blvd in the mornings. As I drive under the Fremont Street Experience, there is always the straggling few tourists walking around and thinking to themselves “Did all that really happen here last night?” It’s the same feeling you get when you go to the empty parking lot after the carnival rolled out the night before. My guess is that most of these fellas are from the East Coast and their inability to change their bodies to the time zone cuts in on their sleep.

So that is the basics of my morning. Really quite an enjoyable and relaxing morning.

However, there has recently been a thorn inserted in my proverbial morning-side. And this thorn is the size of a Mitsubishi SUV.


In a very ironic twist of fate, I think that the unlock button on my car key is the EXACT SAME frequency of the alarm button on this car. Is that possible? Every morning, without fail, I walk out to my truck and hit the “unlock button” as I approach the door. At that EXACT moment, the alarm on the car goes off for about 15 seconds, just long enough to wake all the neighbors at about 5:15 am. I seriously feel guilty each morning. In fact, to beat the siren I have just been opening the door the old fashion way with the twist of the key. Talk about a pain. Oh well, my hearing suffers a little each morning, but at least the rest of my senses get to enjoy my morning commute.

Gems General

3 random thoughts

Jack Johnson released his new album today. Jack Johnson is one of my favorite artists. He’s got a surfer feel to him playing the acoustic guitar and steady “smooth groove” beats. He also has a very relaxing voice. This album is called “In Between Dreams.” All of the songs are really good. One of my favorites is called Never Know. I also really like Better Together. Take a listen to these two songs. If you like it, visit the iTunes Music Store and get the rest of the album. You’ll really like it.

For those of you who use Mapquest, I have a better option for you. If you visit, you can just type the address into the search field and Google will give you the option to use Google Maps. (Usually the top link) I really like this map service for a few reasons. The interface is VERY clean without all the ads and banners that you find on mapquest. (someone sold out to corporate America,huh Mr Mapquest?) Also, just like mapquest, you can get driving directions to and from your location. Lastly, they have a cool graphic that points out your place. Take a look. Here is one for the White House.

I have been getting a strange, but powerful, dislike toward people who don’t wave when you let them into a lane. I don’t know why but it has really been bothering me. I just wonder if they think that it was by accident that a perfect sized spot opened up for their car while the rest of the freeway is packed bumper to bumper. I mean, how hard is it to send a little thank you wave after you switch lanes. I do it everytime and my arm hasn’t fallen off or anything. I’m sure it’s not unhealthy. Make a habit to do it from now on. Do it for the bettering of society. Do it for the children.