clevermynnie: (smile)
I ended up having a very nautical-themed (pashmina afghan!) past weekend. The sailing class that Ben and I were supposed to do for our anniversary got rescheduled to last Saturday, so we showed up and it was not cancelled for high wind! Hooray! We went out on a racing yacht with three other students and an instructor, and spent about three hours sailing around Dublin harbor. The instructor was great at having us rotate jobs, so that we could each try out controlling the rudder, the main sail, and the jib. There were many other boats out for the day, because the Tall Ships festival was on and had several associated races, plus many people were clearly trying to catch a glimpse of the tall ships themselves, which were mostly docked along the Liffey for the festival. But we stayed clear of the more crowded areas and sailed around, which was really fun as long as there was wind. It was rainy off and on, but it was sunny as well, and we were all in waterproof outer layers so the rain wasn't a huge deal. Overall it was a lot of fun! I did start having some bad seasickness at the end, when the wind slacked off and I was getting hungry, but I made it back to shore without incident and next time I'll know to take Dramamine. The school running the class does a whole series for both yachts and dinghies, and the prices are actually pretty reasonable, so perhaps we will go back in the future!

And then, on Sunday we went to the Tall Ships festival for a bit. Every year they apparently do races around Europe, and this year Dublin was the final port. We had been seeing the ships as we went around town earlier in the week, and popped down to see them get underway. There were smaller and larger ships, all pretty cool looking, but one of the best parts was seeing this enormous ship, with crew all up in the rigging to set sail once they left the harbor, being towed out of the mouth of the Liffey, everyone on the shore waving and the crew waving back!

I've also been seeing ads around for the newly restored Asgard, which is apparently on display at one of the national museums here. It was designed by Colin Archer who designed the Fram, and is most famous for being the ship that ran guns to Howth in 1914, which sparked or supported several important bits in Irish independence. I will have to go see it!

norway

Aug. 10th, 2012 04:39 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
So, Norway. It was amazing and challenging and I can't wait to go back someday. The whole thing was a very intense experience, and this will be a long entry.

Read more... )

So, overall, I really loved Norway. It's a beautiful country, it has a low population and lots of wild places, and it has a spirit of exploration which I love. Not amazing national food, but a few things I do really like to eat, like brunost and rye bread and smoked salmon. Actually, as I've gone around the East Coast of the US and Europe, I have enjoyed myself a lot but I have found few places that feel like home. By that I mean, place that feel natural, like I could belong there, like what's around me reflects and serves what's inside me. I felt that way about Norway, and while I expected to enjoy it I had no idea it would be so amazing! So I really want to go back, would love to see more of Norway or even Jotunheimen again, but obviously much better prepared. I also immediately started thinking about trips to other Scandinavian countries, and selling Ben on the idea. This trip was obviously a mix of very fun things and less fun things, but nonetheless great. And, there are so many pictures to come.

outside

Oct. 31st, 2011 12:50 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
I am having a great weekend, the highlight of which has been going up to Howth to do the cliff walk there. Ben and I took a picnic, and had a really nice time. There are a lot more paths than just the one we did, which is great because I'd love to explore the area more. It's so lovely there, and so relaxing to just walk and watch the sea and the clouds passing over.

howth lighthouse

wicklow mountains
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
Photos from Petroglyph National Monument, outside Albuquerque, taken on a hike with my dad. This is what a lot of New Mexico looks like outside the mountains.

volcano

Read more... )

lake nummy

Jul. 9th, 2011 04:22 pm
clevermynnie: (smile)
I think I mentioned before how I was thinking about doing an open water race this summer, because I've been running very little and swimming a lot due to the heel pain (which is mostly gone at this point!). And then I thought about how I can't help attaching goals to hobbies, and it often stresses me out, and this summer is already crazy stressful for me. So what I ended up finding was an open water swimming clinic, in southern New Jersey at Lake Nummy (seriously), where they promised to teach a lot of open water swimming technique and also have a course set up at the end for you to swim. That's basically a low-key race plus information, and it was cheaper than the other races I'd found! So this morning I got up really early and drove to the lake.

In terms of information, it was actually really helpful. They gave a lot of tips about sighting and navigation, trying to figure out what things you will be able to see from the water level before you get in. And they showed how to lift your head up a little while breathing, to look vaguely forward, and that's way more efficient that the full head up thing I assumed was how you did it. Plus you can mostly keep your head down, even in cloudy water, which I didn't realize. And they explained that drifting to one side is often caused by stroke imbalance, so if you do that you can practice swimming with your eyes closed in a swimming pool with a focus on evenness between your two sides. Which was really interesting, although then I had basically no problem with drift. And we did drills on drafting behind someone, cutting across a group of swimmers, and generally swimming with a bunch of people around, and it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. The coolest thing of all that we learned was a trick for going around buoys, where basically you drop your shoulder closest to the buoy, flip onto your back to do a single backstroke, then flip over again and now you've rounded the buoy. Really easy and clever.

I got a lot out of the tips, but I also didn't realize before going that most of the people there would be triathletes who were bad at swimming. I think the normal thing is to do a lot of running and biking growing up, and then be weaker at swimming, instead of being like me and learning to ride a bike at 25 after being on a few swim teams. So I was the weird person during introductions, "hi, I'm not training for anything because I'm moving soon, and I wanted some tips and then to swim in a lake!" They mentioned to us that wetsuits can lift your legs in the water, which is hydrodynamically better, and I am thinking to myself that your legs should already be lifted if you have good balance and your head is in the right place, and then they told us that wetsuits help bad swimmers more than they help good swimmers. Oh. (They also help keep you warm, but that is really not a problem here in the summer.) There was also a weird exchange when one of the other people asked the coaches what "the technique was called" where you lead your strokes with your hips, and then someone else said "Emergent swimming" or something silly-sounding like that, and I am thinking to myself "that's called the only right way to do it". I wonder if this is what running technique discussions sound like to longtime runners.

Anyway, at the end they had a quarter-mile course set up, and I managed to get 1.5 miles of continuous swim in before they took the buoys away! It was really fun and easy with the buoy, sighting, and head positioning tips they'd given us. Not much of that was swimming in a pack, because (this sounds so jerky) I was the fastest and also swam the longest, but it was so relaxing and enjoyable. The view when you're swimming somewhere scenic isn't quite as good as the view running somewhere scenic, but the feel of the water is so great. Even when algae is stuck to your hair afterward.
clevermynnie: (mask)
On Saturday I ran the Delaware Trail Marathon, which is part of the Triple Crown Trail races. The whole thing is put on by a church organization, and benefits homeless shelters, and has a low entry fee and minimal frills (but, a post-race barbecue! some frills are more important than others). I ran it in a personal record for slowness, which is pretty reasonable given the trail difficulty. I would call this my first real trail marathon (Febapple was also real trail but an ultra), with single-track and lots of ascent and descent, and a few obstacles like fording a stream and logs to go over and under. But overall it was very laid back and fun.

more details )

trail

Apr. 1st, 2011 09:48 pm
clevermynnie: (smile)
This morning I got up really early to do a long run before work, since I'll be out of town this weekend. It ended up being about an hour and a half in freezing rain, an hour and a half in wet snow, and then an hour of cloudy but nice weather where my clothing was still very wet. It felt really good, especially since I made it up to the trail part of Wissahickon Park, and I like that my recovery from these longer efforts has improved so noticeably.

Also I have been listening to the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast on longer runs which is interesting.

Anyway, this post was largely an excuse to post some photos from the Febapple start that I had forgotten about...

sunrise

about to start

trail runners
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
I had a great weekend! Ben and I drove to Southern Adirondack Pines campground and met up with Steph and Scott, my friends who are now living in Rhode Island for grad school. We camped there for the weekend, and it was a great area with a lot of things to do. We:
  • Went on several hikes
  • Swam in Pine Lake
  • Went running up the trail to Indian Lake
  • Played catch
  • Played guitar and sang
  • Built a campfire
  • Saw fireworks for free from a nearby graduation party
  • Cooked fajitas and s'mores in the campfire

It was a lot of fun! A beautiful area, different spot than the last time we were in the Adirondacks. And the campsite people were very friendly and helpful, and gave us tips on all the things to do in the area. I took pictures!

group shot

Read more... )
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
I meant to post these earlier, but two weeks ago I went on a hike near Hamburg, PA and took a couple of pictures. Including one of a "large stone cairn" which was far too large to be called a cairn. So here they are!

hawk

Read more... )
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
This weekend was really hectic but fun, a lot of things happening to be scheduled at once.

On Saturday I went on this pair of hikes with a couple people from the physics department. We sent e-mails to all the women in the department, trying to make it an official thing, and I have to say that if I heard about a hike where transportation was arranged and I just had to show up, I would jump on it. But people on the east coast aren't like that! So strange. We went to Ralph Stover State Park and walked up to the High Rocks, which has some nice vistas but since there's so many trees you aren't really looking at much. From there we drove to Lake Nockamixon, which was much prettier, and hiked around there some. My only complaint with Lake Nockamixon is that you can't swim in most of the lake because they want it for boating. They actually have a swimming pool there. What a waste of a lake. The hiking is really lovely, though, and I took pictures!


trees, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.



a few more )

We also got lost a lot in rural Bucks county, which is a confusing place. But after driving by a zillion farm stands I finally stopped at one to get some dirt cheap tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches. Yum.

Sunday morning we went to the art museum for a champagne brunch with live jazz. This sounds really hoity-toity but the grad student center on campus was selling tickets for less than half the normal price, and it sounded fun and different so Ben and I snagged almost the last tickets. They had delicious food (amaaaazing bacon) and a jazz duo, and we met some interesting people, and then wandered around the museum a bit. We realized we hadn't been to the Perelman building before, which is separate from the main museum, so we went over there to see modern furniture design (cool), jewelry made by Alexander Calder (cool), and quilts (not as cool). There was also a photography gallery which I got excited about but it was closed to install a new exhibit. Aww.

We went home for about an hour, in which I took a nap and recovered from walking in humid heat in the wrong pants, and then drove up to Levittown to visit some relatives and take a ride on their boat! They had a pretty big, nice boat and took us down the Delaware river, actually back to Philadelphia. We went under the Betsy Ross and Ben Franklin bridges, saw some big event at Penn's Landing, saw the New Jersey (the ship, not the state) and a navy ship and the Moshulu from the water, and overall had a really nice ride around. I would love having a boat but I would really just use it to get to cool places to swim. I should have brought my camera but I had no idea if it was the kind of boat ride where you might get wet or not, so I erred on the side of caution. Afterwards we went to their place for barbeque, then came back to Philadelphia and squeezed in our grocery shopping for the week since we had so little food. I had a lot of fun this weekend.
clevermynnie: (Default)

rocks and view, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.



Ben and I drove to the Adirondacks this weekend, in upstate New York. Read more... )
clevermynnie: (i carry your heart)
On Sunday we had our anniversary observed, which I planned because it's an even year. I took as a loose theme, the theme of pirates, and chartered us a vessel. Well, a canoe. We left before dawn to drive north, to the Delaware water gap, to take an 18-mile canoe trip. The Delaware river is pretty gentle, and the trees were starting to turn gold and crimson and shed their leaves into the water. We saw a lot of geese and ducks, and fish jumping out of the water, and we talked some and listened some, because the water makes things very quiet. And we had a picnic, and a few scenic stops, and at one point I jumped out of the canoe to swim in the cold water. It was very relaxing and idyllic, though also somewhat hard work. By the end of the day my shoulders and back were sore, and my hands a little too, but it was very rewarding.

Afterwards we drove back, which was fun because we were driving past scenery at sundown we had seen at sunup the same day. We had time for a quick shower and then got changed and headed to Buddakan for dinner. The atmosphere inside is beautiful, and the centerpiece of the room is this giant golden buddha, maybe twenty feet tall. We shared everything (I love places that serve food family style), and split a wasabi tuna pizza, lobster egg rolls, crispy duck salad, grilled sea bass, and ponzu chicken. At this point we were too stuffed for dessert, and headed home, where we promptly went to bed because we had gotten up so early. We slept about ten hours last night, and then today was work as usual.

It was really fun. I have to admit that one reason we went canoeing was that I knew that convincing Ben to do it would be hard because of how early we got up, but if I decided for us, it wasn't open for discussion. Heh heh heh. The dinner was great, too, really superb; Philadelphia has this amazing upscale dining scene, but unfortunately we can't afford to go there except on the cheap and for special occasions. I would trade it for the gourmet ghetto in Berkeley, just because I could eat there more frequently, but it is really fun to go have these really inventive dishes at great restaurants. A good example is the wasabi tuna pizza, which was raw tuna, avocado, bitter sprouts, and wasabi on this crispy flatbread with sesame oil and soy dipping sauce. It was delicious, and very interesting. Eating out is a third about the taste, a third about analyzing the cooking, and a third about the experience, or so we were thinking. Though taste is the most important third.

When I see things that are beautiful, or fun, or interesting, I always want strongly to share them with Ben. So it was great to have this wonderful day with him.

the path

Sep. 5th, 2007 03:29 pm
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)

path, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.



This weekend, Ben and I spent the first two days doing chores and various things, mostly around the house stuff because I want my house to look nice for my mom. We're expanding our basement storage, we made coq au vin with this wine that tastes much more awful than last year, and we cleaned up a lot. And watched the 60s movie Bedazzled, which was strange and funny. Then on Monday, we drove up to the Poconos, to the Thunder Swamp trail. It's a 50-mile trail system, which we hiked about five miles of, in a very green and pretty, gently-rolling-hills kind of area. It's the sort of hiking environment that Ben loves: lush, fertile, with no particular destination. We saw several tiny frogs, a very large black snake, and small fish in a stream that flowed backwards under a bridge, making it terrible for pooh-sticks. And we found ourselves someplace quiet, where if you stop you can only hear insects, birds, and the wind.


creek falls, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.

clevermynnie: (see us waving)
I went with Ben on my second foray to the Jersey shore today, this time to Ocean City. Ocean City is very near Atlantic City, but it is a 'dry' town, family oriented, supposedly the opposite of the sinfulness of Atlantic City. Ironically, they still had planes flying over the beach towing signs that advertised Miller Lite. And there was an amazing number of churches! The beach itself was pretty nice... not great though, mostly because it was amazingly crowded. There was also this really weird setup where every few hundred yards they had a rock jetty or a huge pipe blocking the beach, and then flags that you were supposed to swim between, so the beach was rigidly subdivided. And of course, you couldn't swim out very far, which is something I really dislike about the New Jersey beaches I've been to. I love swimming, you see.

After at least going in the water, eating sandwiches, and hanging around, we walked up and down the boardwalk some. This is the first real boardwalk I've been to (as opposed to a touristy pier), and it was sorta cool. I mentioned to Ben that it seemed to be mostly places to eat, and he said to keep in mind the body type of the people around us. He observed later that it was sort of like walking past the same five stores over and over: the kitsch souvenir store, the funnel cake store, the frozen custard store, the fudge and taffy store, and the grilled seafood store. The funnel cakes and frozen custard, though, were delicious.

Probably because it's a 'family destination', there were not so many people our age there. There were a lot of families with children, and a lot of older people. This was most strange when we were in the water. I liked it, but I liked the beach at Island Beach State Park better, and I'd love even more a beach where you can swim out further. I also would like to go to Cape May, on the southernmost tip of New Jersey, which supposedly has all these Victorian beach houses from the 1850s, and a historic lighthouse. And beaches, of course.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
It's easy to sit around, thinking about all the places in the world that I want to go, many of which are at the other end of an expensive plane ticket. I love big, exciting trips, like going to London with Jeanine in May, but I can't really afford to do them with any regularity. And honestly, the next time I leave the U.S. I don't want it to cost that much. But one of the great things about moving here for graduate school is that I'm also surrounded by neat stuff I've never done and places I haven't been to, which are much more accessible. It was great going to Cape Cod last weekend with Steph, and then this weekend I went up to the Delaware Water Gap to go canoeing with Jen.

The Delaware Water Gap is about a two hour drive north of here, at a spot where the Delaware river cuts through the Appalachian mountains. There are two peaks on either side of the river (I'm using an east coast definition of 'peak' here) which you can hike to the top of, and a lot of trails because it's actually a smallish national park. Originally Jen and I wanted to go camping, but it's a sticky wicket because of her very young son, and eventually we decided a day trip was better.

I think we canoed about ten miles total, with a break for lunch and a break for swimming, over six hours. It was so very, very beautiful. I would have loved to take pictures, but I would not have loved for the canoe to tip with my camera inside (we didn't tip the canoe at all, btw) so I didn't bring it. The river is very wide, surprisingly deep away from the sides, and easy to navigate. So it was okay that we were beginners who kept zigzagging back and forth. There were a lot of canoes and kayaks out, but the water kept everything quiet, and if you stopped paddling you really just heard the water and the birds. We didn't see a lot of wildlife, other than a beaver dam and some tiny fish, though the rental guy said that the previous day several people had spotted bald eagles. The weather was beautiful too, sunny and warm but not hot. And I was worried about mosquitoes, but there weren't any. It was so lush, and tranquil, and relaxing.

incredible

Jun. 17th, 2007 11:03 pm
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
I went to Island Beach State Park with Jen and her son today, got a little bit sunburned while reading Harry Potter on the beach, swam in the ocean, and saw something amazing. There were dolphins, at least ten of them, swimming up next to the little boats by the shore. They were friendly and kept surfacing, thwacking their tails into the water, jumping. I was in shock; I'd never seen dolphins in the ocean before, much less to close to me. It must have been unbelievable to be in one of those boats.

Once I got home, I did a lot of laundry and some cooking. I called my dad for father's day and was making bread, but trying to keep some of the lights off as it got dark because it was already so hot from the oven. And as I was in the kitchen changing the oven temperature, I looked outside and dimly saw a huge bug fly up to the window, and then--suddenly!--a flash of green! My mouth fell open and I peered out the window into the dusk in the backyard, and saw lots of them, fireflies, winking on and off. I laughed and watched and nearly cried, it was such a thing of beauty. Spec-tacular.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
After having a really nice time with Joao and Gersende, I discovered that I am really behind on work! I have a stat mech problem set due tomorrow, a quantum problem set due Monday, quizzes to grade by Monday, and labs and pre-labs to grade by Monday. None of these are things I want to do! Ah well... at least I had a nice weekend. Joao showed Ben and I how to make bacalhau, which we bought at a Portuguese grocery store in New Jersey (apparently most Portuguese immigrants in the U.S. live in New Jersey). It used about a head of garlic and a cup of olive oil (all of which was later consumed) and was delicious.

I want to have some time to go on a hike with the Philadelphia Trail Club. And I'm finding out about sushi in Philly... further research will show whether this is a fruitful direction to explore or not.

It's getting cold here and I don't feel like going outside or doing work! It's unfortunate that I have lots. This entry is mostly explaining why I have little to write. ("Rewrote thermodynamic identity using term for tension! Making progress!")
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
Earlier this week, I was walking home from swimming at around 9 PM. It had been raining off and on all evening, and my clothes were still wet from a previous downpour I'd had to walk through (I didn't know it was going to rain, so I had no umbrella or anything). I was starting down our block when it started raining again, and I rushed towards our building fumbling for my keys, hoping to get inside before I got more wet. But when I was almost to our door, no keys in hand, it opened, and Ben poked his head out and pulls me inside. He hugged me and immediately gave me a blanket and some hot chocolate and snuggled me while I drank it. Ben has been saying how, this being his first winter outside southern California, he will focus on hibernating activities, like accumulating nesting and eating. I think this will work well for me.

Today, my only class was serendipitously cancelled, so we went to the Morris Arboretum. It's more like a 92-acre park than an arboretum, but with labeled trees and different areas landscaped differently (there's an English Garden, an Azalea Meadow, a Japanese Hill, a Swan Pond, etc.). It was brisk but incredibly clear, and we walked around looking at many beautiful things before lying down in the grass and napping in the sun.

Soon I will have a mostly-new computer, thanks to birthday gifts from my mom and Ben which upgrade my power supply, motherboard, CPU, graphics card, and case. I think this will mostly be good for World of Warcraft, though the power suply should help with overall stability.

And while I'm very excited about Joao and Gersende visiting next weekend, I'm also excited about Ben's and my imminent departure for New York City, where we'll stay with Ben's grandparents and hang out during the day with Steph and Scott!

To sum up, I can't remember a previous birthday when I've been so content with how my life is going. :)
clevermynnie: (i carry your heart)
Maybe you're wondering... what did we do? Read more... )

extras

Sep. 13th, 2006 02:07 pm
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
I'm joining a student-run club swim team here. The practice times are kind of weird, apparently because the university decides who can use the pool when. It seems nice--laid-back--and there are actually meets at times, which is something I miss. I also checked out the practice rooms here, for piano. I was surprised to find that the music department actually doesn't maintain any practice rooms. The easiest ones to use are run by the student union, and are hidden under Irvine Auditorium, which is like Zellerbach at Berkeley. There aren't very many, only about ten, but they're open the whole time the student union is open, which is 6 AM to 1 AM. Awesome.

Apparently the two most popular places to hike around here are Valley Forge and Wissahickon Park, or more generally Fairmount Park. We really need to get out and see those places one of these weekends. I also want to visit the Morris Arboretum sometime. And go to Independence National Historic Park, though it sounds like we'll save that for when Joao and Gersende visit.

Every day to get to campus I walk over the South Street bridge, from which one has a beautiful view of downtown Philadelphia. It's especially wonderful at night, on crisp nights like last night. I am anxiously awaiting fall and the colors changing. :)

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