Friday, May 27, 2011

DJDJ - Mansions

The highlight of the Newport trip was definitely the mansions along the cliff walk. It was literally mansion after mansion just yards away from the sidewalk.


It Got Really Foggy, So I Headed Back But Took a Picture of a Few More in the Distance

Now There is an Awesome Gazebo

Unfortunately, Some Lived by the Frostian "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" Mantra
By the way, this will be the last DJDJ for a while. I mean, I am getting married in eight days...yes eight days. Thanks for following along and hopefully the next set of posts will be of our wedding and Hawaii!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

DJDJ - Cliff Walk

As I was picking out a postcard in the harbor for my beautiful fiancee, I saw one with a large mansion on it. Initially, this is one of the things that drove me to Newport. I had heard that it was full of mansions and old money (and tourists). I noticed that the postcard showed the harbor on one side of the island and the mansion on the other. Since I only had a few hours of daylight left, I went back to my car and set off for the next adventure...something called the Cliff Walk.

I Knew It Was Going To Be Great When I Saw This Sight - "FREE"
Essentially, the Cliff Walk is a many-miles-long paved walk right on the Rhode Island coastline. The ocean is on one side, and the other side is just full of mansion after mansion. I probably walked 4 miles just exploring the Cliff Walk, and it may have been the coolest tourist thing I have done since I was down here. The only downside is that I did it alone, but hey - I am getting married soon and don't have to worry about that anymore.

The Path...Goes For Miles

The Forty Steps - Only Descend With Your Lover....Thus, I Stayed On Shore

Beautiful Coastline

View of The Walk from the Road I Parked On

Your Memories are Now Mine?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DJDJ - Newport Harbor

...Yeah, I know I left you hanging from the last post. For those I didn't (very few), I was just talking about how I was in Rhode Island with nothing to do for the next 6-ish hours. I had been wanting to go to Newport, RI the past few weekends because I had heard from my supervisor at work that it was a really cool place to see. It was only about an hour away, so I figured it was as good as anything. I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew that Newport had been the yachting capital of the world and was famous for its mansions.

First, I went to the harbor to see what it was like. Although I don't have a ton of pictures of the town, it was very Beaufort, NC-ish in that it had a ton of old shoppes (including a fudge shop) in a short downtown stretch. A lot of the historic roads were also brick, which was cool.
Harbor Area - Lots of Yachts and Sailboats

Another Old Church, Of Course
Strange Fish Statue

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DJDJ - Diamond Hill, Rhode Island

That's right...Rhode Island, affectionately known as the Ocean State (for lack of a better, more worthwhile claim). This past Saturday, all of my classmates were headed either to see friends or to a Red Sox game, leaving me by myself for the afternoon. So, I decided to head out to northern Rhode Island to a park called Diamond Hill. I think the "Diamond" is really quartz, and there are a ton of large stones at the top of the green hill. I hiked up the hill in about 20-30 minutes. The view would have been amazing, but for the most part trees were blocking all lines of sight. I did manage to get a few decent shots, though.

Pretty Awesome Green Sight

I Saw a Lot of Branches Hiding the View
Oh, and even though the sight was cool to see, the mosquitoes were AWFUL. The park was right next to a swampish lake, which was teeming with bugs. I was wearing just a t-shirt and shorts, and let's just say I was a popular target. After a few minutes on the pinnacle, I had experienced enough, and jogged down the hill, swatting the whole time. I thought the park trip would eat up the afternoon, but I was back down to my car in less than 45 minutes, wondering what to do next.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

DJDJ - My Apartment

I just realized that I haven't even posted about where I am living/what in the world I am doing up here. Pretty much all of my posts have been about Saturday adventures, so I am trying to spend at least a few days of this week explaining the other days of the week....

We were put up in some fully-furnished apartments that are literally less than 1/2 mile from work, so we are able to walk to work every day.

Danny and I Live on the Fourth Floor
Every Sunday Night is Steak Night!

Dining/Living Room...Danny in His Usual Position on Facebook, Listening to Womanly Music

Pretty Nice Furniture

Closet....No Reason I Put This In There Except for Kara to See...Look at That Tidiness

Comfortable Beds. Yes....The Blue Pillow Survives

Bathrooms are Nice Too

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Digital JPEG Du Jour - Fisk Memorial United Methodist Church

When i came to Natick, I knew that I needed to find a place to go to church every week. I had heard from one of my classmates that he had encountered an "interesting" (in a bad way) service near Boston, so I was a little leary. I decided to go with either a Baptist or Methodist church because I trusted their belief systems. I searched online and found Fisk Memorial United Methodist Church. After inviting everyone to join me, Blain wanted to come also, so we went to church together the first Sunday. I really liked it there and went back two other times. The other Sunday, I went to an evening service at another church (at which there were only six other people - one of whom was the preacher). But that's a story for another time. Okay...the JPEGs.
Kara Knows I Am Morally Opposed to Steeple-less Churches....
This Qualifies as a Steeple in My Book

This church has about 60-70 people who attend weekly, but the sanctury can seat well over 250. After only a few weeks, I knew the preacher pretty well. On my last Sunday, he greeted me and I told him it was the last Sunday here. Then, during the announcement time he said "this is the last week for our friends from Indiana" and passed me the mic to say something. Haha. He did this the first week we were there, and we had to say our names. Needless to say, it was uncomfortable the first time. I somewhat expected it the last week, so I was a little better prepared. I told everyone how great it was that we could go anywhere in the country, meet God-fearing people and worship with him. I may never see any of those people again, but for a few weeks they were my Church family.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DJDJ - Island Sights and Return Voyage

We originally thought that we could walk around to see most of what the island offered, which turned out to be extremely ignorant. The island is pretty huge and would be like trying to walk around Emerald Isle 3-4 times. But, there was a touristy town near where the ferry landed, and we walked down a few roads and some dirt paths.
Lots of Praries and Lakes on the Island...We Went on a Mini-Hike

We Ate at the Black Dog Tavern

I Was Just Telling My Group How Rare This Was and It Had To Be a Magnolia
Tree, But I Had Never Seen a Yellow One...When the Homeowner Shouted From
Outside, "Yep, it's a Magnolia".

The Shenandoah is a Boat Made in the 60s That Replicates 1600s Sailing...Didn't Ride It
But Saw Pictures in a Pamplet
Our ferry was scheduled to leave at 7:15, with the next one departing at 8:30. We could have caught either one, but we were just finishing up supper (well three of us was gracefully indulging in his salmon) around 7. We tried to speed the check process along, but encountered several hiccups, finally receiving our bills at 7:15. After quick math for a tip and a signature, we SPRINTED to the dock about 1/3 mile away, where they had already put up some snow fence to block entry. The crew let us on, and the boat undocked less than a minute later. It was quite the experience, but we made it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

DJDJ - Lighthouses

On the Ferry ride out to Martha's Vineyard, we saw some pretty cool lighthouses on wthe island and cape. Of course, I knew that Mom would appreciate some pictures, so I had to take them. Actually, even if Mom hadn't made such a big deal about lighthouses growing up, I think that I would still be a big fan. They are pretty interesting.
Slight Contrast in Technologies...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DJDJ - Martha's Vineyard Ferry

After our Hyannis visit, we thought it would be fun to hop on a ferry and go to Martha's Vineyard, an island just south of Cape Cod. The crowd on the ferry was quite the mix of people - grandparents, families, random loners, couples, and us.

Shuttle Bus to the Ferry

Lots of Money Tied up in Sailboats

Coastline of Island
Island Sunset - On Way Home

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Digital JPEG Du Jour - JFK and Korean War Memorial

Our trip started by us wanting to go to Cape Cod. At first, we thought we would drive up the Cape, and our first stop was going to be in Hyannis, which has been the playground of the Kennedys. We were able to stop at a memorial extremely close to the beach, which had a wall and a fountain (not turned on yet) in tribute to 35th president.

Korean War Memorial Right Next to JFK Memorial....Definitely a Sobering Moment on Our Trip.
Just Under 10% of All Korean War Servicemen Were From Massachusetts

A Great Reminder of the Sacrifices Made By Ordinary Americans
So That All of Us Can Be Free

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DJDJ - Gillette Stadium

This weekend, we went on another road trip, and we went slightly out of our way to visit a little town called Foxboro. Yeah....the town of the hated Patriots. The stadium was kind out away from everything, and the town reminded me of a Bloomington-sized town, without the College Mall area.

The Stadium Was Pretty Huge, Especially Since It Had Nothing Around It
 As much as I hate the Patriots, I think it is funny how attached you become to your local teams. I know that if I were a kid growing up in Massachusetts, I would probably love the Patriots and hate the Colts. Just an observation....but the Colts are definitely better!
Gillette - A P&G Brand, Headquartered in Boston and Acquired in 2005

Monday, May 16, 2011

DJDJ - Fenway Park, Version Deux

I had a great phone call last Sunday morning from one of Kara's really good friends who graduated last year. He asked how I was doing, then quickly cut the small talk and asked if I wanted to go to a Red Sox game at which I replied, "OF COURSE". So, I took the train into town, grabbed myself an Italian sausage from a street vendor for lunch and met Steve and his dad before going to the game.

Steve's call really came from a crazy set of circumstances in which the stars lined up. He and his father were in town for the Twins series, ended up having an extra ticket given to him from someone at work. texted Kara and randomly mentioned the word Boston, Kara told him I was in Boston, and the next morning I was headed to Fenway for an awesome game.

The game invitation, of course, was prefaced under one major condition...that I had to cheer on Steve (and his dad's) Twins. Not being from Boston in the first place, I didn't have a huge Red Sox committment, and since I was getting a free ticket, I agreed (although I definitely broke the cardinal rule a few times before correcting myself).

Thanks a lot for the invitation Steve - I had an awesome time!

Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, and Ted Williams

Teddy Ballgame

We Got Banners on the Wall.....

Mother's Day...Pink Sleeves and Even Bats

The Seats Were INCREDIBLE....

Panorama of Fenway...Cool Camera Feature That Definitely Captures the Park and Where I Was Sitting