July 24, 2013

what art these?

    This past weekend, Jason came home to New York for a short visit. On one of our days together, we decided to go somewhere different, but close by. We decided to make the journey along the Hudson to New Windsor, NY and check out The Storm King Art Center. Basically, Storm King is a gigantic sculpture park that contains modern art pieces spread over 500 acres of meadow. Jason and I planned on renting bikes to ride throughout the park, but of course the day we decide to go they are rented out for an event. No bother, we had just as much fun walking from art piece to art piece. The giant, open fields made it almost impossible for me not to do a cartwheel between sculptures. I can’t believe I even convinced Jason to do one too. It was also fun to ask each other what we thought some of the art looked like—with modern art, you never know what the artist was thinking.
Butterfly Chair (made of half-dollars)
Mon père, Mon père: Jason thought this one looked like an oil derrick
Beethoven's Quartet: I've still got it
Pyramidian: clearly Jason doesn't have the cartwheel skills I do

    We liked some sculptures more than others. We especially liked the ones that we were encouraged to touch like sitting in The Half-Dollar Butterfly Chair made of 1,500 welded half-dollars. Our favorite piece was fittingly named Beethoven’s Quartet, which provided a rubber mallet for the participant to bang on the metal art piece to create music. I’m not really sure about the music part, but we both had fun with our hammertime. 
Making "music"
Jason thought he was Thor
    One of Jason’s favorite pieces was Andy Goldsworthy’s 5 Men, 17 Days, 15 Boulders, 1 Wall. He had previously watched a documentary that included the making of this wall and didn’t even know it was at Storm King. Jason and I admired the beauty in its snake shape that continuously wound through the tall trees. The shade alone made it worthwhile.
5 Men, 17 Days, 15 Boulders, 1 Wall

We loved how the wall curved around each tree
I look tall on that hill

    I loved the layout of the outdoor art center and how all the artwork was randomly placed in the fields and on the hills, but on this hot day, I wished the pieces were closer together. After an amazing visit, we escaped from the hot sun, chugged some cold water, and headed home.
Three Legged Buddha
Just checkin' him out
Three Legged Buddha
Endless Column
Jason prefers the name Zigzag

July 16, 2013

seeking seashells by the seashore.

    For the next day of Fourth of July weekend, Jason and I were reunited with the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. It’s been almost a year that’s come and gone without tanning on the sand or walking through the surf. It was good to be back. There was a bizarre, thick fog hanging over the water so we decided to hit the boardwalk first. We walked through the Jolly Roger, a small carnival like area, with games to win stuffed animals and a Ferris wheel. We didn’t really know where to start and wandered in and out of shops as we continued along the boardwalk. 
The Pepsi Ferris wheel
Ocean City's pier
    We bought soft served ice cream from the Kohr Brothers and ignored a vendor who tried to sell us a hermit crab. Further down the boardwalk we encountered Pastor Hoffman’s sand sculptures of Christ on the cross, Moses and the 10 Commandments, and the Last Supper. We admired the incredible detail along with everyone else and kept on walking. 
Jason knows the way to my heart: ice cream
Danie's got the directions
I guess we didn't need to buy a postcard, but we did anyway
Handpainted hermit crab shells   
Jason called this The Last Sandper, get it?
    In the distance, Jason thought he saw tons of flags waving in the air for a sale. As we got closer, we realized that they were a mass of kites. I’ve never seen so many different kites floating on there own and so high up in the sky. It was definitely worthy of a picture.
Let's go fly a kite
I've never seen so many kites
    As Jason and I were walking along the boardwalk, we were looking for a place to lay our beach towels on the sand, but we thought it was odd that even though the beach was swarming with people, nobody was swimming in the ocean. Jason usually would have rolled his eyes at my mention of a ‘shark’, but this time he believed me. We went down to the water to check it out for ourselves and it turned out that the water was just freezing. This certainly did not stop Jason from getting in the water to search for sand crabs and shells. I put my sunglasses on and basked in the sun from a distance. When Jason got too cold, we packed up our things and made our way back to the boardwalk. We actually walked the entire 2.4-mile boardwalk and ended up taking a tram back to where we started and headed back to our hotel in Salisbury.
Even dipping my toes in the water was too much!
Jason's on the search for shells
    The next afternoon we met up with one of my good friends, Betsy, her husband, Steve, and their two adorable girls. It was so awesome to see her and catch up over Mexican food at Plaza Tapatia. After enjoying a great lunch, we parted ways and Jason and I headed to Assateague State Park. This state park is supposedly known for having wild horses run along the beach. Total let down. We saw just two horses as we were paying for parking, which honestly made us think wow—the first 2 of many! Unfortunately, these were the only horses we saw and of course, we didn’t take a picture.
It's weird to think horses can be wild
    While walking along the beach waiting for the rest of the horses to show up, we went shell hunting—Jason in the freezing water and me on the sandy shore. This beach had handfuls of the most colorful and different seashells that Jason and I have ever seen. Along with seashells, I found a tiny crab's claw that I had fun playing around with.
Assateague Beach was filled with seashells
I found a crab claw

    We walked for a couple hours collecting shells and spotting the sideways walking crabs peek in and out of their holes. Jason even found the shell of a horseshoe crab. I told him he would get a disease if he picked it up, but he just had to pick it up. Overall, it was fun walking the secluded beach with Jason and taking a decent haul of seashells
I'd be more creeped out if I saw a live one of these
Our own private beach
Mr. Crab, you can't hide in that hole forever!
Just one of the many seashells we took home with us

    Before I left, Jason showed me the University of Maryland campus and where he walks to his internship. We both agree that the Terrapin is the most awesome mascot. Visiting Jason was so much fun, even if it was for a few days. I don’t know how people do this long distance/being alone thing on a regular basis. Even though I’m proud of everything he’s accomplishing in his internship, I can’t wait until Jason comes home for good and my life goes back to normal.
Kermit the frog here
Did you know Jim Henson graduated from UMD in 1960?
Jason told me that it's tradition to rub Testudo's nose for good luck
Saying goodbye to my boy at the McKeldin Mall Fountain

July 11, 2013

red, white, and boom.

    After what seemed like the loneliest 6 weeks of my life, I was finally able to visit Jason and spend the Fourth of July weekend with him. Since Jason and I have been together we can’t remember celebrating a true Independence Day with the traditional BBQ and fireworks, so we were excited to take the metro into Arlington and change that.
I'm glad Jason knew where we were going
The DC Metro is so clean and cool like a space station
We took a subway through 2 states and 1 province, no big deal
    Before the day's festivities, we made a quick stop to Rockland's BBQ and ordered some delicious pulled pork sandwiches with mac and cheese. We both definitely overloaded on amazing barbeque food and were ready to have some fun! 

    We planned to escape from the crowds of people in Washington DC by staying on the other side of the Potomac and visit Arlington National Cemetery. We may have been able to escape from the crowds, but we could not escape from the heat and humidity. We walked slowly in the shade of the trees, first visiting President Kennedy’s grave and then his brother Robert’s small, white cross.
I'm thankful that it was such a beautiful day walking through Arlington
He was only 46 when he was shot and killed 
The Eternal Flame  
Robert Kennedy's Grave
    We continued up a hill to the Arlington house, which use to be the house of Robert E. Lee. The park ranger explained to us that during the Civil War Robert E. Lee abandoned his house and joined the Confederate Army. During that time, the house was used as a barracks for the Union and later a burial plot for those who had died in the Civil War to spite Lee’s choice of fighting for the South. It was fun taking the tour inside the house and then taking a moment to look at the gorgeous view of Washington DC across the River. Right now, the Washington Monument is covered with scaffolding and looks more like a spaceship than a monument, but it’s still pretty to look at.
Learning about the Lee's house and enjoying the air conditioning 
The original knocker of the Lee's house 
A Lee Family heirloom
    We stopped by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just in time for the changing of the guard. This is Jason’s favorite thing he’s seen in the DC area. We are both always impressed at the discipline of the soldiers and how they march and handle their gun in unison. It’s a somber scene and the words “Here Rests, In Honored Glory, An American Soldier, Known But To God”, are always very moving.
Stopping in the shade
Guarded 24/7 and 365 days a year
    As it became closer to sunset, we made our way to the Marine Corps. Memorial or what I always refer to as the Iwo Jima statue. I was so excited that this was going to be where we were going to watch the fireworks because it is my favorite memorial in the DC area. We laid our blanket out on the grass a few hours before the show and ate the perfect American food: hot dogs! As it got darker, more and more people started to set up their chairs and blankets, but we really had a perfect seat centered on the view of the monument.
Nothing like a Big Gulp to refuel
It's slurpee time
    The show was incredible! The fireworks were kind of far away, but it was so gorgeous how they lit up the Memorial of the 5 soldiers raising the American Flag—you forgot that you were watching fireworks instead of witnessing American heroism during World War II. During a big moment of the show, three squiggle fireworks that popped up one right after the other confused the whole crowd. Eventually, someone discovered they were letters and shouted: “Oh, U-S-A!” We all started cheering and chanting: “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” It made both of us proud to be Americans. I only wish I could've heard the music that went along with the fireworks, but that didn't stop me from singing patriotic music in my head.
"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free"
"And the rockets' red glare"
"From sea to shinning sea"