Category Archives: Pictures and photo galleries

picture-posts, photo-dumps, and other galleries of images that I figure people will enjoy

A Passover biking adventure – 08-Apr-2020

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Wednesday, 08-Apr-2020

 

Well, we’re not doing an in-person Seder this year, I’ll tell you that.

Instead, We’re going low-key – Matzos Ball soup and roast chicken for dinner tonight, possibly even with Latkes and asparagus on the side.  Then, this weekend, we’ll do a family Seder via Hangouts (or Zoom, or whatever video conferencing technology the cool kids are using these days.

 

For today, though, I took the day off from work.

The plan for the year involved quite a few major trips – Sarah and I hadn’t gone on any full-week climbing trips last year, so this year was supposed to make up for that.  I’d gotten an extra two weeks of vacation as a benefit, and we were planning on burning those vacation days up in Colorado, Joshua Tree, New Hampshire, and who knows where else.  Friends would visit, we’d visit them, and we’d be all-around jet-setting cool kids.

Instead… COVID-19 hit, the stock market imploded, and we’re under stay-at-home orders when I’m not going into work as an essential employee.

So I took a day off.

And you know what?  It was an amazing decision.

 

The weather seemed to know that today was a day for being outside, and being calm.  No wind, no rain, just beautiful sunlight and clear skies.  I took my bike out from the garage, and went for a long ride down the empty streets.

With the city being under semi-lockdown, there wasn’t traffic, and almost everyone I saw (and it wasn’t very many) was simply sitting.  Some kids were quietly playing, and a lot of people were mowing their lawns… or more accurately, a lot of people had yard workers mowing their lawns for them… but still, the sound of lawnmowers was ubiquitous.

It was gloriously calm and serene, just slowly pedaling around the city.

 

I don’t think have any other words to describe how relaxing it was, so I’ll fill in the details with photos.  Sit back, relax, grab a glass of iced tea, and enjoy.

A walk in Portland – Saturday, 14-Mar-2020

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Saturday, March 14th, 2020

 

Well, the world’s a bit on fire now, isn’t it?

COVID-19, Stock Markets, Price wars over oil, toilet paper being hoarded (Really?), and now to top it all off… it’s snowing in Portland.

Portland doesn’t really do so well with snow on the best of days, and this absolutely isn’t the best of days.  But… maybe it is?  It’s a Saturday, we’re under a state of emergency, everyone’s a bit scared and confused… maybe this is actually the best time for there to be a bit of snow to spice up the winter and help keep everyone indoors?

 

It absolutely seemed to be, as Ollie and I walked around the semi-desolate city. Almost no one was around, and the fresh snow did an amazing job of quieting out the standard noises of the city.  It even added that amazing crisp/fresh smell to the air, laying the smell on top of the hint of spring blossoms that was already there.

It was a lovely walk, especially considering that it was a city hike.  We took the scenic route, as much as we could, down to the waterfront.  Our destination was the cherry trees that I’d been seeing on the drive home from work… they’d been starting to blossom for a week or so, and were pretty much in full bloom as far as I could see.

 

In short – it was a lovely Saturday morning and early afternoon.

Visiting Massachusetts – Hiking the Blue Hills, followed by a North End dinner

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Saturday, 16-Nov-2019

 

As I mentioned, the main goal of this trip was to visit family and spend time together.  But that doesn’t mean we had to stay in one place now, did it?  And I’m pretty confident that if I was able to carve out some time to visit with everyone when we were back for Daniel and Erin’s wedding, we should also be able to visit with friends for a bit this time, right?

Right.

Steve unfortunately had to work on Saturday, but never the less Sarah, my Mom, and I all piled into the car on Saturday morning, and headed into Boston to meet up with Daniel and Erin (and their dog Biscuit too!) for a short hike in the Blue Hills.  We weren’t really planning on any specific hiking… just a chance to visit and walk around, you know?  Get out of the suburbs and into some woods while the weather was nice.

And let me tell you – the weather was NICE that day.  Perfectly blue skies, crisp air, and just a tiny bit of frost on the ground… the ideal New England Autumn day, in other words.  Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely cold.  But we’d planned for that, and had some nice warm clothes packed with us that we pulled out.  But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so everything seemed just that much warmed and brighter, thanks to the shining sun and bright skies.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what trail we walked on… Daniel probably knows thanks to his fancy new tracking GPS watch, or maybe some sort of implanted auto-download data feeds, but the short version was that we did a lovely short walk around the hills, passing a neat little cabin and a beautiful bridge.  A bridge which, obviously, Daniel and I climbed the side of while playing fetch with Biscuit.

 

 

After the hike, my Mom had to head out to a “friendsgiving” dinner with some of their friends in Medway – we were welcome to join, of course, but instead Sarah and I took the chance to catch up with some of our own friends in the city!  Daniel graciously offered to not only drive us into town, but also to give us a ride back to Medway afterward!

With those logistics dealt with, we messaged Dillon and Liz and headed into town to rest before dinner – nothing huge, just hanging out at Daniel and Erin’s place for a bit to drop Biscuit off and see some of the new condo accessories before driving to the North End for Italian.

See, I’m sure that Portland has a good Italian restaurant somewhere.  But truth be told, I haven’t been able to find it.  I haven’t really spent that much time looking though… since we can always just go to the North End when we’re back in Boston visiting everyone!

We hadn’t been to this restaurant before, but it absolutely lived up to our expectations of perfect Chicken Parm and a good atmosphere to catch up with everyone.  Really, that’s all I need in an Italian place – a good simple dish, and a good environment to talk in.  The massive boat of oysters (literally, check out the below photos) was just a bonus on top.

Not much else to say, honestly.  The conversation was fun, and catching up with very appreciated.  It was an amazing chance to fully unwind and relax, spending time with good friends in a comfortable place.  Huge thank-yous to everyone!