Sunday, March 30, 2008


Last, but certainly not least, Brian and I went to New York for two days. Originally we weren't going to stay the night in New York because it is SO expensive, but we decided it would be worth it. The cheapest hotel I found was just under $200 with taxes and it was really small and not the most pleasant, but we were only there to sleep so it was ok. We rode a "Chinese bus" there and back, and it was pretty much just a large bus driven by Chinese guys. It was cheap though and it got us there. We were dropped off in Chinatown in New York though and we had no idea where we were, so the first thing we did is hailed a cab to our Hotel to get a map. I would say probably 75% of the vehicles I saw were cabs, go figure! They are some crazy drivers too! Anyway, our hotel was only about 3 blocks from Central Park, so we grabbed a map and started walking.
This is a picture of a skating rink in Central Park.

It wasn't really that exciting, there was a cool path called "Strawberry Fields" that is dedicated to John Lennon and it had some memorabilia. Other than that there wasn't much going on in Central Park. Next we went to see Rockefeller Center.

Here it is... Again not very exciting. It's just a big ice skating rink with flags all around the top.

We then went on toward 5th Avenue and Times Square. That was where it was really happenin'! There were tons of people all over the place, and the majority of them did not speak English! It is definitely the tourist spot.

Here's Times Square. There are tons of expensive clothing stores and lots of cool little shops.

This is the Empire State Building. We did go inside but decided not to stand in line for hours and go up to the top, there were more things to see!

That pretty much took up our day. It was dark by the time we saw all of Times Square so we went back to the hotel and Brian got a hold of his friend that lives there and we went out to a Mexican place to meet up with her for a few hours. The next day, we planned out what we wanted to see, and then we had to get a cab back to Chinatown. First we looked up the World Trade Center Site.

This is all that you can see of the World Trade Center Site.

They have this Path Station that shows what the World Trade Center looked like before 911, and what it will look like in the future. They didn't show much at all though, mainly because they are working on building the new towers. It is expected to be done in 2012. We did go across the street to the Trinity Church, which was where many of the firefighters slept and ate between working long shifts.

Here is the Trinity Church. It is the oldest church in Manhatten that is still in use today. This church was protected from the debris of 911 by a tree that had fallen against it.

There is only this stump of that tree left now, and it is what is said to have saved the church.

This is a picture of a picture that was taken just after 911. Many people came in and posted pictures of their missing loved ones. They also came here for prayer and support.

After touring the church, we found the ferry to Staten Island, which also passed by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We couldn't find a ferry to Ellis Island, but we thought this would be nice also.

This is Ellis Island, where many people arrived to the US by ship.

And here is the Statue of Liberty. She wasn't nearly as big as I thought though!

It was a really great trip, and I loved New York way more than I expected actually. I didn't think I'd like the atmosphere all that much, but it turns out that really the only incredibly busy areas were around Times Square. There were always people walking around everywhere else also, but it gave me a very safe feeling. There is also always different things to do at all times of the day and night and the city is so easy to navigate. The subway system made transportation very easy and the whole experience was really great. I would love to go back again when I have more time to really spend there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


On Wednesday Brian and I went to Philadelphia, along with one of his friends. There were lots of historical things to see. We went to the visitor center and got a map, and then we went on our way. The first place we saw was Independence Hall.

Brian and I in front of Independence Hall. This is right after he said in his pervert voice "I love you Kells." He isn't really that sweet, trust me!

Then we wanted to take a tour of Independence Hall but we had to wait a few hours so we decided to walk around and look at shops. Then we thought we better get something to eat so we stopped at the first place we saw advertising Philly cheesesteaks.

This is directly after Brian put a napkin basket down on our table and a cockroach crawled out. Mmmm, that made us more hungry.

Next we toured Independence Hall. THis is where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Here is the court room. Back then the defendant had to stand in that metal cage throughout the trial.

When we were leaving, Brian tried to step over this fence here and about three guards, like the one above, blew their whistles and made him exit through the proper exit. They're vicious!

Then we went to see the Liberty Bell. It was MUCH smaller than we thought, but it was still really neat to see.And finally we decided to go to the National Art Museum. It ended up being near closing time so we didn't go through it, but it was cool to see.

And of course Brian had to be Rocky and run up all those stairs while I video taped it. Unfortunately he has that on his camera. Here is Rocky though.

And here is a great view of Philadelphia from the Museum. It was a cloudy and rainy day, but it was still great to be there.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Brian's Amazing Studio

Mom wanted me to take some pictures of Brian's amazing studio apartment, and by amazing, I mean amazingly tiny. It is actually quite cute, but so very small!

Here is the very small kitchen area. Hopefully he doesn't want counterspace.

And this is the bathroom. It's not too small, but again not much counter space.

This is the view of his studio standing in the kitchen as far back as possible.

And this view is from the above corner between windows. It really is incredibly small!

This place is small for one person to live in, but with me staying here, there is absolutely no walking room. He bought an inflatable twin mattress and an egg crate mattress cover, which is very comfortable, but it leaves no room for anything else. Honestly, I'm impressed this small place doesn't reek to high heaven, as his bedrooms always did at home, but it actually doesn't have a strong stench. Thank goodness! I will post more on our trips soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baltimore and DC

I spent yesterday in Baltimore with Brian and we had lunch with some of his coworkers at a place called Bertha's. I got a pretty sweet bumper sticker that says "Eat Bertha's Mussels" because they are famous for their mussels. Baltimore has some pretty cool buildings and spots to see, but for the most part it is a dangerous city with tons of drugs and crime. But I did enjoy my time around the city and I took some nice pictures.

Brain showing his "love" of Baltimore.

Us at the Pier at Fells Point.

The National Aquarium at the Inner Harbor.

A view of Baltimore from the Inner Harbor.

The ESPN Center, huge Barnes and Noble and Hard Rock Cafe.

We had a full day in Baltimore, took a nap, went to dinner, then came back and played scrabble for a few hours with Brian's neighbor, Eva. We had a great day and then went to bed to get ready for DC.

Today, we woke up early and headed off to DC around 8:30AM on the train. We arrived in DC around 10AM and traveled around to all the memorials we could think of and even a museum.

Here's Brian napping on the way to DC.

The first thing we saw was the Capitol Building.

Next we went through the National Air and Science Museum.

These are some of the first airplanes.

The first orbital to go around the world.

Amelia and her airplane!

The Washington Memorial

The White House

World War II Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Vietnam War Memorial wall

Lincoln Memorial

Brian demonstrating the dangers.

Jefferson Memorial

Where the money is made!

These are about all the things we saw. It took us 5 hours to walk around and see all of these memorials but it was a lot of fun. We really wanted to see the Holocaust Memorial Museum but we would have had to wait a few hours in line so we may go back this weekend if we have time. I got a lot more great pictures but these are the better ones I have. We are off to Philadelphia tomorrow and then New York City on Thursday and Friday. We are very excited to go! I will be updating more soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pretty Sunset, Lunar Eclipse and Marvin

Well I've had a few more opportunities to test out features of my camera and I'm still very pleased with it! There are so many times that I see things that I want to take pictures of but I don't like carrying around my camera everywhere because I fear it will get stolen or broken, so I usually only take pictures when I'm at home. A few weeks ago, there was a really beautiful sunset that I got a couple pictures of:

The sky at a distance.

A closer view, testing out the scenic zoom.

Also, as I was driving home one night, I noticed the moon looked different but I couldn't tell what was so different. I hadn't heard anything about the lunar eclipse, and I believe it has been since 4th or 5th grade since I've seen it, so it took me a few minutes to realize what it was. Unfortunately it takes me longer to get home living out in Marcola now, so by the time I got my camera and got down to the end of the driveway where I could see it, it was starting to get darker pretty quickly. I did, however, get some pretty good pictures, although they're a little blurry.

I liked this one because you can see the stars around the moon.

Here is a closer picture of it.

Another thing I finally got around to taking pictures of is my furry little child, Marvin! I love this bunny, even though he's a bit of a pain in the butt at times due to his messes. My friends got together last year for my birthday and bought him for me. I haven't had a pet in awhile, but I'd have to say that a bunny is probably more work than a cat or dog even! Although I don't have to take him on walks or anything, he is so messy and is not potty trained very well, even though I tried my best. He's still a lot of fun to watch though and he's so cute.

Meet Marvin, the bunny.

My favorite part of Marvin is his tuft of fur between his ears!

This is Marvin's favorite activity.

And here is Marvin's sweet pad. Yes he is a tad spoiled!

My parents are so very nice to allow me to have Marvin here, as he obviously takes up a lot of room and requires lots of cleaning-up after, which my mom does a lot of for me! Poor little guy has some kind of allergies or something and has been sneezing lots and rubbing his eyes. He seems to be getting better now, but he has had these problems off and on for a few months now. I did take him to the only vet in town that sees rabbits, and she just gave me some ointment to put in his eyes, which worked til I stopped using it. I'm hesitant to take him again and pay a big vet fee if he's getting better, but we'll see. I just feel bad for him.

This term is finally nearing the end, and I am so ready for it to be over! This has been the most challenging term I think I've ever had! Mostly the amount of work to do and the big projects all term long. But I'm down to only 3 projects/papers left! I have really loved being at Department of Human Services this term, but I am going to intern at Courageous Kids next term and I'm sooooo excited! I've already gone to 2 trainings and 2 groups early just because I wanted to. It's an art therapy grief support program for kids who have lost a parent, sibling, grandparent or other family member, and my niece Emma is actually in it. I really love it there, and the program leaders are such amazing people! I am so happy to be there, and I will be doing my senior project there as well, which I have not figured out yet. Anyway that is the latest with me. I will be on the East Coast with my brother from the 16th to the 23rd, going to Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, DC, and possibly more places if time permits. I will definitely be blogging about that!