Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grungy Cardmaking

I haven't posted any creative projects in a while, so I thought I'd share a couple of cards I did recently!

After taking Dina Wakley's Art Journaling 101 class some time ago, I've really been experimenting with the messy grungy style! I really like it because there's no need to be perfect. Just throw the colors on the paper and it looks beautiful!

Here are a couple of cards in that style...

Grungy Birthday

Some free motion stitching and vintage lace make the card complete!

Grungy Birthday

And, a thank you card...

Grungy Thank You

Grungy Thank You

Hope you have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mountain Bike Monday - Box Turtle Trail Buffet

So, last Wednesday we rode the blue and green trails at Pocohontas. As we finished up our last section of trail I caught out of the corner of my eye a giant mushroom and something dark next to it. Of course we had to stop to inspect. And...what we found was awesome! We videoed this box turtle eating a giant mushroom. Take a moment to watch this video. He chows down and at one point even wipes his face clean to continue on with his buffet.

Enjoy! He sure did...

Turtle eating mushroom from Rachel Chieppa on Vimeo.

And, on Sunday morning Dynamo and I did our ride early in the morning. We completed about 20 miles and then Dynamo met up with Marioooochee, Dave, and John for a spin on the blue and green trails. I met up with Elise, Mariooochee's girlfriend, and we went and checked out the snake family at the bridge and visited the nature center. At the nature center the brave Elise held the corn snake. Crazy, if you ask me!

elise holding snake

And, at the bridge we hunted for the snake family. Well, we found 4 to 5 snakes in various locations. They were under rocks and in between the culvert pipes and cement. We watched them move around from here to there. We think that the one we originally thought was a water snake isn't. He looks a lot like a poisonous snake! The others looked like watersnakes.

And, when Elise was on her run she saw a big beautiful owl. We'll have to go back and check on him later.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The last leg

The trip was ending, and we were sad to think that we would have to come back to the "real world." We decided that we would take our time driving back to Boston. So, we were a little hungry and decided to check out Freeport, Maine.


What a lovely little place! We ate lunch outside on the patio at the Azure Cafe!



I had the best lunch ever! It was an eggplant parmesan sandwich. The best part was that it came on those lovely northern hot dog buns!!! Divine!!!!

After lunch we took a stroll through town. This is where the L.L. Bean flagship store is located. Funny...we didn't even go in there! Instead we hit the little mom and pop stores to see what unique items we could find! We also checked out the farmers market! It was an outlet shoppers paradise neatly nestled in a bustling little small town!

We, of course, had to get ice cream! It seemed to be our vacation tradition to check out every ice cream shop we encountered. We bypassed the shop that had the regular old Hershey's ice cream to try the homemade ice cream right next door.


We were lured in by the sign...


No, we really didn't want to try the lobster ice cream, but once inside it was impossible not to. The owner was there strongly encouraging us to give it a chance. So, we did. It was not bad! Maynard's was one of only two shops in Maine that make lobster ice cream! Believe it or not there are really lobster chunks in the ice cream! The base is butter pecan ice cream. So, the instructions were to let the ice cream slowly melt in your mouth and allow the warmth of your tongue to warm up the lobster. It was interesting! Can't say it would be my first choice, but hey! we tried something new!

We chatted with the shop owners and their employees for a while. They even let us taste a local strawberry! She went in the fridge in the back and brought us each a Maine strawberry! One of the young girls working there was so friendly! She told us that they really only get 3 warm summer months and then it starts to get chilly again. They get snow for 6 months and a dusting of snow to them was 5 inches! Wow! I'm glad we don't live there!

So, after saying our goodbyes and thanking them for such wonderful hospitality we got back in the car and headed south to Boston. We got there pretty late, checked back into our hotel after dropping off the rental car, and ate a quick dinner!

We got moving on Saturday after getting some much needed extra rest and decided to take a trolley tour of the city! It was a wonderful experience to ride the entire trolley loop and hear about the history of the city.


We hit some of the same sites as we did while walking the city on our own before, but now we were with Rob...


He was quite hilarious! He had lots of good information!

We stopped at Fenway Park...


We saw a Boston Terrier that reminded us of Lexi (we sure did miss our fur-child)...


We found out that the street shown here...


...looked just as it did 200 years ago thanks to City restrictions! Notice the signage...


We saw M.I.T. sailboats out on the Charles River! If you're from Boston you would say "Charles Rivah".


We learned that the images shown on the outside of some of the buildings in "relief" had a purpose! They signified what actually was going on inside the house in that particular room. You might not be able to see it in this picture, but look closely just above the first floor windows.


We saw statues...


I think he told us this hotel was the oldest continuously operating hotel...


And, the Old South Meeting Hall...


The Old South Meeting House was built in 1729 as a Puritan house of worship. It was also the largest building in colonial Boston.

The Old South Meeting House is best known as the site of where the Boston Tea Party began. In the winter of 1773, more than 5,000 colonists gathered at Old South in a meeting to protest the tax on tea. After many hours of debate, Samuel Adams announced, "This meeting can do nothing more to save the country!" Protestors stormed out of the Old South Meeting House to the waterfront where they dumped three shiploads of tea into Boston Harbor. They changed American history forever.

We had to stop a couple of times for the foot tours...


And, to photograph another cool dog...


At Quincey Market we stopped and checked out the craft fair on the street and walked through the busy, bustling shops...



Then, there was Faneuil Hall...


We saw the USS Constitution through the fence...


USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It was first launched in 1797. Constitution is one of six ships ordered for construction by George Washington to protect America's growing maritime interests. The ships greatest glory came during the war of 1812 when she defeated four British frigates which earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides," because cannon balls glanced off her thick hull. The ship was restored in 1927 with contributions from the nation's school children.
The Charlestown Navy Yard was built on what was once Mouton's or Morton's Point, the landing place of the British army prior to the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was one of the first shipyards built in the United States. During its 174 year history, hundreds of ships were built, repaired and modernized, including the World War II destroyer USS Cassin Young. Today, thirty acres of the Navy Yard are preserved by the National Park Service as part of Boston National Historical Park.

Ok...look at this picture closely...


In the center you will see a white steeple! That's where the "One if by land, two if by sea..." thing happened! Sorry I don't have a better picture!

And, a statue of a great hockey player, Bobby Orr...


I got very emotional when the tour guide was telling us about this building, the Old State House. This is the very balcony where the Declaration of Independence was read...


Also known as Boston's "Towne House", the Old State House dates back to 1713. This Georgian style structure was occupied by the British during the Revolution and was a continuous reminder to the settlers of British dominance and presence in the colony.

The Old State House was the center of all political life and debate in colonial Boston. On July 18, 1776, citizens gathered in the street to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the building's balcony, the first public reading in Massachusetts. The Royal Governor presided here until the new State House was built on Beacon Hill in 1798.


We also saw the Theatre District...


And, a very important landmark...


Yes, this is the real thing! Who remembers that show?

What a fabulous whirlwind tour! All excerpts in italics were from the City of Boston site! Please do read more about this wonderful city. If you get a chance and can go visit, it's definitely worth the trip! We plan to go back one day!

After our tour we did some shopping and eating before venturing back to the airport via the "T", which is their version of the subway! Dynamo and I shared a piece of Boston Creme Pie at a little bookstore/restaurant! We gathered up our luggage and decided to try the subway for $4 to get back to the airport. It was a much easier and nicer experience than the subway in New York. The guy working the gate helped us get oriented and chatted for a while before sending us on our way! He being from Minnesota asked me to "drink a gallon of sweet tea" for him when I got home!

We met a nice family from Jersey on the "T" and followed them for some of the way. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We felt very safe and thoroughly enjoyed our ride back to the airport!

Thanks for reading about our vacation! We had a fantastic time and hope you enjoyed reading about it!

P.S. We're still Yankees fans so don't forget that!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Maine Event - Part 3


This is the last leg of the Maine trip for your reading pleasure! I hope I haven't bored you, but I find it's helpful to add commentary to the photos. Otherwise, they really don't mean too much.

Dynamo came to Maine to eat lobster! It wouldn't be the same if you came to Maine and didn't try it. It's like my dad always says, "You don't go to a steak place and order chicken."

So, Dynamo ate lobster. The owner of the B&B recommended Thurston's Lobster Pound. So, we ventured further into the Southwest Harbor to check it out. The best way I can describe it is as a big screened-in porch. Two levels and out over the water. Nothing fancy!


We walked in and saw three bins filled with lobsters. Small. Medium. Large.


You tell the lady at the counter what size and she scoops him up, throws him on the scale, and off to the cooker he goes. That very same lobster is the exact one you get to eat in about 20 minutes. Instead of a dark burgundy color he's now a bright red!


Dynamo enjoyed his lobster! I enjoyed my crabcake!


We went home with our tummies full having experienced something fun and new! Did I mention there were lobster cages all around?


The next day, which was our last day full day in Maine, we decided to finish riding the Park Loop Road and venture up to Cadillac Mountain. On our way we had to stop and photograph another big gate to the park.


The architecture is breathtaking!

In every harbor we saw boats!


We saw beautiful homes and churches...


We stopped at this beach at low tide to search for treasures! I LOVE to hunt for shells, seaglass, rocks, basically anything! It's kinda ridiculous!


Then, we ventured into the park to check out Cadillac Mountain! Here's an excerpt from the website:

At 1,532 feet, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. It is one of over 20 mountains on Mount Desert Island, Maine, that were pushed up by earth's tectonic and volcanic forces millions of years ago. Were it not for the once huge glaciers that sheared off their tops, they would be even higher than what we see today.

At the bottom in the parking lot we saw this woman on her bike and later we saw her climbing the mountain. I cannot tell you how impressed we were to see her climbing that mountain. It wasn't an easy challenge. There were shirts at the bike shop that said "I climbed Cadillac Mountain." When we got to the top (in our car) she arrived shortly after and we walked over to her and praised her efforts. She sounded so appreciative stating that she was 60 years old and had done the climb every year for the last 10 years. She hopes to do it every year for as long as she can. I hope that when I'm 60 I can be as healthy as she is. Good for her!

It was gorgeous at the top!



You could see everything!



Then, we decided to take a trip to Seawall to hunt for seaglass. This bird was not hunting for the same things we were!


The rocks we so dense on the beach. I was glad we had our sneakers on. Again, their beaches aren't like ours!


When the waves would crash and then recede it didn't sound like what we were used to. Usually it sounds calm and sandy (if that makes sense) here. There, it sounds like little clink clink clink noises. It's because all of the little rocks are being pulled into the ocean over the large rocks. It was so neat!

After spending some time hunting at Seawall we rode up to hike a trail called Wonder Land.


It was a nice easy walk that once at the end opened up to a picturesque water view!



Dynamo napped on the rocks while I hunted some more!



We ate dinner in Bar Harbor and then walked around. Everything stays open this time of the year until about 11 p.m. The streets are so busy that you'd think it was the middle of the day!



We were sad to close our eyes because we knew that the next day we would be leaving!

But, before we left on Friday to head back to Boston, we went back to Bar Harbor to walk the Shore Path trail along the harbor. Dynamo let me hunt for more treasures one last time! He's so patient! There, we saw this rock!


In the picture you can't really tell how BIG it was. Come to find out it was called a "balance rock." to the Balance Rock Inn.

There was a cruise ship out in the harbor.


Here are some daytime photos...





We left to head back to Boston. In my final vacation post I'll talk about our adventure in Freeport, Maine, and our trolley ride in Boston. Stay tuned...