The Statue of Liberty and stuff

We had a bunch of friends in town and failed to lose any of them while touring DC, so we decided to try New York. Fortunately, we didn’t lose anyone there, but we did see the Statue of Liberty.

Keep Park Clean Battery Park waterfront Statue of Liberty

The security screening before boarding the boat to Liberty Island causes a huge line – the whole boarding process probably took a half hour, even though we had reserved tickets. I felt pretty sorry for the folks with non-reserved tickets.

Miss Liberty Circle Line tour boat

The best view of the statue was from the boat as we passed in front of it on our way to the dock on the island and on the way back to Battery Park via Ellis Island.

View of the Statue of Liberty Please Do Not Feed the Birds

Were they really having a problem with people on the boat feeding the birds?

The ShackBurger

This ShackBurger from the Shake Shack was delicious, if a bit salty. Oddly, they served Fiji bottled water there – seems odd in the city with the best tap water in the country.


Nashville notes

I got to go to Nashville for the first time a couple of weeks ago for a friend’s wedding. What a cool place! It combines the crusty industrial feel of Pittsburgh with the artistic party-town feel of New Orleans. Like Pittsburgh, it’s wrapped around a river, the Cumberland.

Goofy fish Murky path

While waiting for Mandi to get a manicure I went for a walk to Centennial Park. The centerpiece of the park is a replica of the Parthenon that was built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition – like the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. On Memorial Day we went back to the park to check out a music festival but only caught a couple of notes before heading off to find cold drinks and barbecue.

Shelby Street Bridge Bricks and sky

We happened to be in town for Memorial Day, which curtailed our ability to shop. Instead, we walked around downtown and across the Shelby Street Bridge, an old bridge converted to pedestrian use in 2003.

While we weren’t shopping or walking, we were eating. Some highlights:

Mandi knew about Fido, a great espresso shop, from previous trips to Nashville. They serve breakfast too – I don’t know what everyone’s waiting in line for down the street at Pancake Pantry – the eggs and sausage at Fido were excellent and we didn’t have to wait.

Our first night in town we had dinner at Marché, a sort of French bistro-market in the East End. My asparagus and salmon with poached egg was about as good as it gets.

I was whining about how we’d eaten everything except barbecue so Mandi found Tom’s Elite Carryout, a funky little place in the East End. The barbecue pork and a double-side of mustard greens made a perfect lunch.

We had sausage, pig knuckles, sauerkraut, and beer at Gerst Haus. I had pretty low expectations, but this place served me a plate of pig knuckles that looked more-or-less like something I last saw in Prague. I only wish I’d had the sense to order the knuckle appetizer instead – I only managed to finish 2 or 3 knuckles. To top things off, they had a live band and real stuffed deer on the walls!

Only known treatment for my condition. Our dinner companions.


LA to San Diego and back

We went to LA and San Diego to meet up with Mandi’s parents and nephew, go to a wedding, do some work, and whatever else we could fit in. In LA we stayed in Santa Monica so I wandered around there a bit. There’s a nice path along the beach that I walked south to Venice Beach and back. We had beer and other things I don’t remember for dinner at a place on the Third Street Promenade and then more beer and sausage at the Fifth Amendment Alehouse.

We expected traffic on the way down to San Diego, but it wasn’t bad. Somewhere along the way we got thirsty and stopped at a place called Cafe del Sol that’s right off of I-5. I just got iced tea, but the bubbling vats of mystery meat caught my eye.

Beach walk Santa Monica sign P


Alaska trip photolog

Within 24 hours of arriving in Anchorage I was on Kachemak Bay with my dad, looking for oysters and salmon:

Working an oyster net Me and my salmon

I talked my father-in-law into going on a couple of trips, including one with nice weather and fun fishing:

Slim & Pete & a halibut Mike fishing for halibut

A lot of the Anchorage-area family came down to Homer for Memorial Day weekend, so for a fun trip we went clam digging and mussel gathering in Sadie Cove:

Washing the mollusks Our ride back to the boat

We all went to Bishop’s Beach in Homer to fly kites and turn over rocks before heading back up to Anchorage to fly home:

Assembling kites at the beach Madeline at the beach

There are a lot more photos in this Flickr set.


Bumbling around Boston

I’ve been way too lazy posting this – it’s been a whole week and a half…

We met up with my mother in law last weekend for a couple of days in Boston towards the end of April. I’d been there a couple of years ago on a similarly-short trip, I think sometime in the summer. I was mostly on my own that time, so a great deal more shopping was done this time.