August 27, 2012

rhode island anniversary.

      Well, we’ve already started to take advantage of our new location on the East Coast. We made a 3 hour drive to Newport, Rhode Island to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! We stayed at Rhea’s Inn & Restaurant: a bed & breakfast type place that had a great balance of affordability and king sized bed and gigantic hot tub comfort. Since I had never stayed at a B&B I was nervous of what to expect, but it ended up being a great experience. 
       We changed into our bathing suits and headed to Easton’s Beach. This was Jason’s first time going to the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve told him several times that the Atlantic Ocean is warmer than the Pacific, but of course he didn’t believe me until he felt it for himself. We found out later that the water was 73 degrees that day. I loved this beach. As you should know by now, I am not a fan of the water, especially water that can tackle me or has creatures that are bigger than me. Nevertheless, I was so excited to be at the beach that I jumped right in and swam further out than I ever have before. The only bad thing about the water was there was a bunch of red seaweed floating around, but the further you went out into the ocean, the less seaweed there was in the water. After swimming, we walked the length of the beach and had our pick of seashells. Jason pointed out the crab shells that had once been sideways walking crabs whose insides were eaten by seagulls.
       After showering off back at our place and getting a little dressed up, Jason and I headed to downtown Newport to have a fancy dinner at The Mooring: Seafood & Bar. I’m not usually a seafood kind of person, but apparently I was ready for anything that day. While we waited for our table, we walked around Newport and I quickly fell in love with the city. I loved all the cute shops, nautical things, and walking along the boat docks. 
      Back at The Mooring, Jason ordered a lobster for his first time, and I went with something I knew I’d like: salmon. We enjoyed the ambiance of the candlelit restaurant and watched the sun set behind the boats and into the water. Jason wasn’t exactly sure how to crack or eat his lobster. We were both laughing hard when he got advice from our lovely waitress on how to get the stupid lobster open. I was not laughing when I tried a piece of it. Jason warned me about the rubbery texture, after I had started chewing. All that mattered was that Jason liked it and that my salmon was awesome. 
       For dessert we walked to Kilwins: a chocolate and ice cream store that I literally smelled a couple of streets away (something I inherited from my mom) from our restaurant. There were so many choices, but I could not resist the way that caramel apple with nuts was staring at me. Jason went with chocolate covered marshmallows. 
       The next day, after we were sure it was done raining, Jason and I took the 3.5 mile cliff walk from Easton Beach to Bailey Beach. Had I known it was going to be such a long walk, I probably would have started complaining before we got there, but not knowing only made me complain during the walk. Luckily the breeze from the ocean made the heat bearable; however, we still managed to sweat a lot. Along the walk, we obviously had a fabulous view of the ocean and we also had incredible views of gigantic mansions from their couple acre backyards that I envied a bit. 

      A little ways into our walk, we came to a spot where you could walk down some stairs and get closer to the ocean. Jason, being the little kid that he is, decided to walk down the stairs onto the rocks and get a closer look at the tide pools. He made a small leap from one rock to another, but slipped on some algae and came oh-so-close to falling into the water. As Jason explained to me later: “One foot slipped, then the other foot slipped, then my butt started to slip and I put my hands out to catch something, but they slipped. I thought I was going into the water. It was the longest slip of my life.” That’s what this smarty-pants gets for wearing flip-flops. He also got to wear algae on his shirt and shorts for the rest of the day.
Just before the leap. . .
      When we finally made it to the end of the walk (about 2 hours later), we realized we hadn’t figured out how we were going to get back to our car. We certainly were not about to go back the way we came, especially since the last part of the walk was mostly climbing rocks. After walking on the other side of the mansions, a pedi-cab wheeled by (essentially a cab pulled by a bicycle) and asked if we needed a lift. We hopped on and relaxed our feet while feeling extremely heavy while this skinny guy with dreadlocks pulled us up the steep hills and back to our car. Don’t worry, we tipped him well. By the time we got back to our car, we were extremely tired and decided to make the drive home. We both had so much fun and we really look forward to returning to Rhode Island some day in the future.

August 19, 2012

cowles family road trip.

      This is a video Jason made of our road trip from Idaho to New York. Jason wanted to be able to document everything that we experienced, so we took turns filming various scenes across the United States. I admit that we would have drove to our new home in Tuckahoe, NY more quickly if it wasn't for all the impulsive stops and pictures, but it wouldn't have been as much fun either. I hope you enjoy!

August 9, 2012

greetings from michigan.

On our way to New York, Jason and I had a fun road trip through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. It took us only 2 days and nearly 2,000 miles to reach White, Lake Michigan to visit my friends and family and pack up the rest of our belongings in a moving truck and head out for New York. We stayed in Michigan for a total of nine days, but each day Jason and I kept busy by exploring Michigan or clearing out my room.
Our first activity in Michigan involved leaving it. We drove with Mom and Dad to Marine City, Michigan and took a short ferry ride to Sombra, Ontario. It was a perfect way to spend a beautiful, sunny day crossing over the St. Claire River to Canada. I admit there wasn’t a lot to do in such a small city except browse in the small stores for postcards and watch several fishermen by the pier pull out gigantic fish. To finish our short trip, we ate lunch at The Aft Cabin and hopped back on the ferry and headed home. Even though we didn’t do a lot, it was fun to use our passports and spend time with my family.
I also had such a great time in Michigan catching up with friends. We went to Fenton Lake where Jamie’s boyfriend has a lake house. Jason and Buddy rode around the lake on a Jet Ski, while Jamie and I chatted on the pontoon. Later we anchored the boat and swam around in the lake and I was made fun of because I floated around in my life jacket. Before going back to the shore, Jason went knee boarding. The four of us then went to Uncle Ray’s Dairyland for ice cream and played Euchre.
Tuesday night, I went to dinner with Jamie and Nicole at Bravo! It was so fun to be together again. After dinner, and yes, more ice cream, the three of us watched women’s gymnastics at the Olympics – you have to expect that from three former cheerleaders! I absolutely loved seeing my besties again.
Our last event was driving to Holland, Michigan. Jason and I wanted to go somewhere new and close to White Lake, but we ended up driving two and a half hour drive, which is considered close for us. We went to Windmill Island where we went inside a 6-story windmill that was originally from the Netherlands. I’m not going to lie, but I don’t think I ever realized that windmills had a purpose other than for decoration. This one in particular was (and still is) for grinding grain into flour. We received a very informative tour of the windmill and the deck had a gorgeous view of the Macatawa River. There weren’t any tulips like I expected because apparently they bloomed and died early this year.
We then drove to Holland State Park where we walked on the beach of Lake Michigan. Jason was surprised at how much it looked like a beach in California except that there were no waves – or sharks for that matter. We walked up the jetty and marveled at a big red light house and the sailboats coming and going. It was a really beautiful moment to share with Jason.
A couple days later on the 3rd of August, we packed up our furniture and belongings in a moving truck and said goodbye to my mother and caravanned to Tuckahoe, New York. My dad came with us to drive the moving truck and help us move into our new home. (There will be a post later about our road trip)