Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boston Trip ~ What I've learned:

In no particular order, here are some various lessons I've more or less picked up from my ultra-cool time in Boston, Massachussetts, living all on my own except for my twin sister:
  1. Animaniacs is the best cartoon show in the entire world!!! These guys have the greatest sense of humor I've ever seen in animated characters. Honest. Yakko's World has quite probably become the theme music to this trip. And I can sing it at any time now, at the drop of a hat. I memorized it perfectly, just like my social security number. Animaniacs should get another chance on T.V. I've reserved DVDs of their show from the library, so then I won't need to see them on YouTube anymore.
  2. You're never lost for too long. You always find your way back... eventually. This means that no matter how bad things look, when you have no idea where you are or what's going to happen next, you should hold on to your sanity and trust that everything is happening for a reason and that you'll get home safe and sound. Of course, it really does help if you've got a good map handy on you, and you see street signs nearby to give you a clue where you are. But even if you don't have a map, you have to be smart, and go up and ask people for directions. The people you stop in the street will most probably be very helpful and point you in the right direction. You will get to where you need to go.
  3. Laugh at yourself, and don't worry about the little things! When I look back at some of the things that happened to me, I can't help but think that particular times were just plain funny. Like when it was raining really hard one morning, and I was to go off to the Star market all by myself while Annette made some call at a payphone (I think to organise our Berklee tour), and I didn't get the umbrella. I got soaking wet in that rain like you wouldn't believe, waiting for the train to come. And then later a car splashed me in a puddle, and got me soaked to the skin! And what did I do? I laughed! Literally. It was like I'd been at a water-park or something, and even though I was cold, I had fun, so I laughed. This also applies to when the security guards took away our spaghetti silverware on Independence Day, or confiscated our peanut-butter jar on our flight home. That sure was funny.
  4. Live by the old boy-scout rule: Be prepared. Without our parents around, this lesson definitely worked it's way into my head. When leaving your living quarters for the day, you always have to check whether you have everything you're going to need. Things such as enough money for the day's expenses (Annette and I lived on $40 a day, which was more than enough, btw), an umbrella (in case you're in a place that rains often), a camera (for chronicling adventures ^,~), perhaps snacks (if you're not going to eat out), enough water (must keep hydrated), a watch (for knowing the time), and of course the keys, because you do not want to lock yourself out (luckily this never happened to us). I can't think of any other necessary supplies right now, but as the situation calls for it, just try your best to remember everything, and 9 times out of 10, you won't go wrong (made up statistic. ^,~)
  5. Flying in an airplane is awesome! Yes, it's pricey, but it's so much fun, isn't it?! I highly recommend getting a window seat. There's no better way to spend a flight than gazing out into the sky, a view that just a century ago people would never have dreamed of seeing. Especially if you're flying in the day. If you're unlucky enough to not get a window seat, please take something good to read. You need to be as occupied as possible, because frankly, the ride itself is a little boring after a half hour or something, when you're ears have popped and the novelty of flying has worn off. But still, flying is really fun!
  6. I've realized that I like huge crowds. There are plenty of good and bad aspects of being in a large crowd. Some downsides are that you get pushed around a lot of the time, you have to stand in lines a lot, you could get separated from your party and get lost, and you feel helpless, small and pretty insignificant. But a good thing is that you're usually right in the middle of something big, and you know that everyone's having the same experience you are. When lots of different people come together for a special occasion or purpose, the energy you feel is just... awesome.
  7. Visiting college campuses are educational and fun! Trust me, I went on a lot of such tours. Even the bad ones were pretty fun, to some extent. When you visit a college and get led around by a student who knows a lot about the place they study, it's a really informative and unique experience. No college tour is quite alike (probably because no college offers quite the same things for students). You sure get a lot more info than you can from a website, because you actually talk to real people, and you can ask them questions. Make sure to participate a lot in a tour. Show your interest.
  8. Walking is the best form of exercise around. It sure is a wonder that I didn't wear out the soles of my shoes with all the walking I did! Even all over the Freedom Trail, and the times we got lost, and walks around the reservoir and everything. But walking is really peaceful and relaxing, when you're in the right environment. It's great walking somewhere you've never been before. Better than biking or driving a car or some other transportation, because it's easier to stop and smell the flowers or something. Maybe your feet will hate you at the end of each trip, but you'll feel soooo good inside!
  9. Not all things last forever -,- I was really sad when I learned that various stores and locations I'd grown to love in my Boston summers were closed down, like the Circle Cinema, and the Brighton library, and that Barnes and Nobles close to the three parks. Very disappointed. Some people can be so dumb, getting rid of beloved places like that. >,<
  10. I really ought to stop blabbering on and on about the day, maybe stop writing prolific posts altogether! Even if no one was to read this blog and I didn't have to worry about what others will think, this blog is basically for me and my memories. So if only for my own sake, I ought to stop making lengthy posts like these. The next trip I go on, I promise I will be a lot better about putting in some time to blog a little, and never get sidetracked and leave it for later. Because then the memories won't be very fresh, like a few days old or something, and they might stink when I write them. So I'll make sure to write plenty of notes. I PROMISE!
Phew! Until next time! Traveler Bettina Levy is over and out!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Last Day of Boston Trip ~ Day 16

Lucky for you, since it was the last day I ever spent in Boston on this trip, I remember a lot of what happened even without notes. And thank goodness it was the last day! I was starting to miss my family so much, and was really looking forward to being back with them soon. (But even though I've already been back for a couple days and loving it so far, I do kind of miss the apartment we stayed in, and our Cleveland Circle neighborhood. Every day was such an adventure. And now, I don't know, it's kind of... normal. Never mind. I'll keep writing about the last day now.)

Annette and I woke up early, which was good because we wanted to make lots of preperations. Our mom, Shira, had told us that we should do a laundry of the bed sheets and clean a little around the place, like, sweep up the floors for dust and such. In short, we did that stuff. We also packed everything that we had stowed away in the big dresser when we'd first arrived. We also gave the keys to our room to a guy who lives upstairs in another room our parents rent out. He'd give the keys to a new guy who would come the next day to replace us.

Then we took one more walk around the reservoir. I think we saw swans there for the first time since we'd been in Boston. That was nice. Annette and I also had fun thinking up a cool new melody for Yakko's World, kind of a jazzy thing. Maybe someday we'll film ourselves sinnging the song quickly and put it on YouTube or something. I'll let you know if I do on my regular blog. When we were done with the walk, we decided to have lunch at the Eagles Deli. Another large plate of fries. Yeah, I know, I said fries are bad for you. But it was still tasty.

When we got home, it was still a couple hours until we had to leave for the airport. We had it all planned out. Our flight left at 7:15, so we had to be at the airport a couple hours early, like say 5:00 or 4:00 to be safe. Therefore, we needed to get on the train early, because it really takes a while to get to the airport. But we had some time, so we went on YouTube and watched some cartoons before we had to put away the computer.

You might think we were watching more Animaniacs, right? Uh, no. Not this time. Annette and I knew that Steven Spielberg had made a couple other cartoon shows other than the Animaniacs, like Tiny Toon Adventures (we saw a clip or two of that, and I do not think it was Steven's best work. >,<) and this crazy super-hero spoof called Freakizoid. Well, my twin and I got into Freakizoid. Not as obsessed as we are with Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner, but we think Freakizoid is pretty funny. The show has pretty much the same good sense of humor. It's such a shame these shows were cancelled! I won't give you any links this time, but please search Freakizoid cartoons on YouTube. I don't think you'll be sorry.

Anyway, we saw Freakizoid right until the last minute, and then we figured we better get going quickly, so we got the computer in it's case, made sure that the room left absolutely no trace that we'd been there (except the made-up bed for the new tenant) and locked our door one final time. We went to the kitchen and took out our last bit of food from the refrigerator. Some apples, peanut-butter and some bread. (We planned to make P-B & apple slice sandwiches at the airport. Not enough time.) We decided to take the "C" because, as we'd learned before, even though the "B" stopped in front of our house, it took way too many stops. Besides, the "C" is a lot more reliable.

It was hard carrying all our stuff to the station. It was a couple blocks away, you know. But we made it, only just catching the train. What divine timing! ^_^ Then we were able to relax for a bit, until we had to switch to the Blue Line at Government Center. 4 stops later, we were at the airport station. We had to wait a little while for the shuttle bus to come around, but then it came and took us to the actual airport quickly enough. Security was easy again, only they found about our peanut-butter jar and said we couldn't take it along. Jeez! So no P-B sandwiches. ~,~ Well, we nibbled on plain bread and ate the apples whole. No big deal, really, we didn't go hungry. But still, sheesh!

So we were there at the right time. A couple hours early. We hung around in that waiting area for quite a while. At least they had a TV there, but it was only for news. We watched some more stuff about MJ's death and such. Soon, when it was nearly time to board, we saw the flight was delayed 15 minutes, and there was apparently not a lot of room in the overhead storage areas for luggage, so our larger bags had to be checked. Don't worry, they did it for free. Annette and I were lucky to be one of the first to get on the plane, and to have near the front seats. Plus a window seat! Yay!

Annette and I switched off a bunch of times which one of us got to seat in the window seat. I loved it when we took off. I think that's the best part. You look down and you see everything shrinking away while you go up and up... what a feeling. And with all the low-hanging clouds, the land disappeared very quickly. Being above the clouds was so cooooollll! Magical! I imagined that we were actually in Antarctica or something and the clouds were snow, or mountains. I just couldn't believe the view. And to see the clearest sky possible, when you're well above the weather below, with the sun shining so brightly. Awesome. But the sunset we saw while flying, that had to be the best part. Just the most fantastic sunset I've seen in relatively recent memory.

(It's funny, we didn't listen to our iPod too much, and without any reading material with us we focused a lot more on what was outside, so that's mostly what I remember. But I think those are good memories, don't you? ^,~)

Now on the plane, a while before we were to land, Annette and I thought about how we were going to greet our parents and brother when we finally saw them after 16 days of separation. I believe I was the one who came up with the idea that when we see our little bro Adam, we'd both say, at the same time, "Hel-LOOOO, Moosh!!!," kind of like the Animaniacs say "Hello, Nurse!" (Why Moosh, you ask? It's an inside family joke, see. Nuff said.) So anyway, after we landed and had called our parents to pick us up now, and after Annette and I had collected our luggage from that carousel thing and went outside to wait for several minutes, we finally see our good old family-mobile pull up and Adam comes out of the car and says, "Hello, sisters!!!" (Whadaya think? He beat us to the punch! ^_~) So hilarious!

Okay, here's the final stretch here, folks. You have almost arrived at the end of this particular adventure. All you need to know is that it was soooo great to see our parents again, and we hugged and kissed them a lot of times, and they asked us questions and at home had a wonderful dinner prepared for us, even though it was hovering around 11:00. But we were hungry, and our mom makes the best stuff! Then we went online and showed Adam some more Animaniacs clips that we hadn't emailed him and he hadn't seen before. I guess that kind of got out of hand, and we went to sleep past midnight or something. Brushing my teeth was cool tonight; finally, we could use an electric toothbrush!

Yes! I did it! I almost wanted to give up a couple times on chronicling this entire saga, but I did it! Now you know what I did on this trip!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Days 13, 14 & 15: Our last days

Um, okay. This is going to be hard for me to recount. Why did I not write more notes?! The details of it are slipping slowly out of my head, like the trip was all a dream! Still, I'm gonna try my best to get all the last few days out of my way. This is definitely a good lesson for me for when I go on future trips. ALWAYS WRITE NOTES! (Or at the very least, find some time to blog every day so I don't get too bogged down. Or maybe I should stop being so awfully prolific!)

July 5: Okay, so obviously this was after all the Independence Day excitement had gone down a bit. Strangely, I think we woke up pretty early, like at 7:00, despite our late night. (Though I could be wrong. No notes. >,<) We touched base with Benny, Shira and Adam to tell them what a fun weekend we'd had so far. That was great. Then Annette and I started making plans for the day. Since it was Sunday, we decided to get bagels from Kupels again, only this time we would take them to the beach. Yeah. Turns out there's a beach in Boston! How cool! You have to go nearly all the way down the Blue Line train, to Revere beach.

So we bought the bagels, and stopped by at the three parks just for a little while. We wanted to go on the tire swing for a ride just once before we had to leave soon. There were still people at the park, so it was a little weird just waiting for our turn after those little kids. Then finally Annette got on and I tried pushing her to make it spin fast, but the swing squeaked and made an awful racket. Unanimously, Annette and I decided we were just too old to be doing this sort of thing (at least with everyone watching) so we left without me getting a try. I was alright with that.

It takes quite a while to get to the beach, so Annette had ample time to teach my the song. If you've been reading up until now, you know the one I'm talking about. I knew the first verse very well, though I kept tripping over the words "Republic Dominican." Oh my gosh, wait a second!!! I completely forgot an important detail about the previous couple of days! My voice was a little hoarse, so the Independence day concerts didn't really do anything to improve my condition. I don't know what caused it, but I was only able to whisper and talk like the Godfather or something. So my singing was completely off. So that added to my trouble of memorising Yakko's World. But thankfully, on this day my voice got steadily better and I was able to memorise the last two verses surprisingly fast! I mean, I didn't get it all in one go. I kept tripping over words and forgot some countries, but I got them in my head.

Let me say that the beach was nothing short of amazing! Well, then again, maybe I'm exagerating. It was a beautiful beach, to be sure. The water was calm, the sand was soft, yellow and fine, and the wonderful blue sky added to its beauty immensely. But... it smelled very fishy. Literally, like fish. There was lots of brown, icky seaweed on the shore that gave a weird odor. But it wasn't so bad, easy to ignore. I didn't let it spoil the day. We enjoyed making bagel sandwiches and talking and enjoying the day. You know, it was really fun because it was the first time Annette and I had ever come to any beach completely by ourselves! All the other times had been with our family. Huh. We changed into bathing-suits and tried out the water. You would probably expect it, but nothing can prepare you for how cold the ocean is!!! Even dipping your feet in! Brr-r-r! Still, I was determined not to be a wimp, and so was Annette.

We went in up to our belly-buttons, and I spotted a bee drowning nearby. Maybe you'd find it extremely weird, but I love all animals and creatures, so I saved that bee. I scooped it out and stood very still. It was a little on the big side for a bee, and I didn't want to bother it and let it sting me. The bee buzzed its wings a bit to dry itself off and started cleaning his face and legs and, well, have you ever seen an insect do its little cleaning routine on an educational movie? It's fascinating. I stood frozen like a tree, even though the water was still very cold and my inaction made it a little harder to bear. I would estimate with my logical mind it took ten minutes for the bee to get dry, but it sure felt like forever. Finally it seemed to feel well enough to fly off of my hand and far away.

I felt really good about saving a life, even a seemingly insignificant one. In my imagination, I bet the bee was pretty grateful to me and will probably tell his bee buddies never to sting me, because I saved him. But then again, I don't think I've ever been stung by a bee anyway. Oh well, it's good to make sure. (Mosquitoes, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. I've been bitten plenty of times by them. Oh wait, I'm going off on a tangent. Darn.)

Um, let's see. We ate bagels, I repeated the song over and over, I went into the water up to my neck (oh, my arms felt like they were absolutely on pins and needles, it was so freezing!) and later we packed everything up and went for ice-cream. The last part was pretty spontaneous. We both got it in a bowl this time. I had Reeses flavor and Annette had strawberry-banana. (Those who know me well might wonder why Annette went for the pink flavor and I didn't. Interesting pattern here... I had carrot cake and candy flavors and Annette's had fruity flavors. Huh.) I think that was kind of it for the day, 'cause I don't remember anything else.

July 6: So on this day, the big thing I remember is that we went on another college tour. Berklee College of Music. (Not to be confused with the Berkley from California. It doesn't have a "y.") My dad Benny went to this school, so we wanted to visit it. Even though I'm not all that interested in a musical career, Annette and I thought it would be cool to go see it.

And I'm glad I did! I would have to honestly say that, since this was the last college tour we went on in this trip, out of all the schools we visited (excepting maybe Emerson), Berklee had the best tour ever! The two tour guides were both guys, for one thing. (Well, the MIT tour guide was a guy, but he doesn't count because he was handling a huge crowd. And I guess one of the tour guides at Emerson was a guy, but we didn't go with him, we went with those two girls, remember?) One of them had a cool hair-style, but spoke a little quiet, though he was still nice. The other one was really friendly and had a clear voice, confidence, and a sense of humor. Unsurprisingly, this guy stands out in my memory. His name was Alex, and he said he liked Mountain Dew a lot. (I just go with regular water myself. I just noted his Mountain Dew addiction because an interesting trait makes for interesting people.)

These guys sure showed us what a cool school Berklee is. I'm sure that if I was at all interested in music, this would be the place for me. Fun facts: Did you know that music is the second most lucrative business after computer related stuff? And that Quincy Jones and Alan Silvestri went to Berklee? Pretty neat. When the group separated, I was glad that we went with Alex. Near the end of the tour, he took us to this neat recording room, and a friend of his talked about her experience at Berklee. She was kind of into business and production. Really a nice personality. (I think later Alex said that he had a crush on her that she'd never know about, but I don't know if he was telling the truth or teasing.)

After the tour, Annette and I went to a pizza place we remembered going to one time with our family, Little Steve's Pizza, or something. We just ordered plain slices. It was weird though. The guy running the place was a big Italian guy and had... I don't know, a gravelly voice? I'm not sure how to describe it, but he had a voice kind of like the Godfather. And it wasn't like my voice was, because I was sick; this guy had that Italian sound. I don't know, for some reason after leaving that place, I was pretty relieved to get out. The guy scared me a little. (Don't worry, I didn't show that I was in front of him.)

I'm not really sure what we did after that, but I know that later that night Annette and I started seeing Michael Jackson's old music videos on YouTube. I hadn't seen any of them before besides Thriller. He is really a great entertainer. Er, sorry. Was. I mean, I knew it already because I love his music, but it's so cool to see how he danced and acted in those short movies. He pretty much invented MTV! Um, I don't really have a closer for this, so I'll just go to the next day.

July 15: Er, he he. It looks like I'm unintentionally being extra prolific in this post. Well, why should I be embarrassed about it? This is my blog, isn't it? And I'm sure I'm not the only one who writes blogs this long. (Of course, I haven't really read any of those. I'm not sure who would, come to think of it...) But lucky for you, I can honestly barely remember this day.

I do remember that Annette and I had wanted to go back to the Arnold Arboretum, but for some reason it looked very gloomy and rainy again, just like how we'd come there. We didn't want a repeat of last time, so we didn't end up going. ~,~ Too bad.

One of the things I know we did was that in the evening, we went to Presto's Pizzaria, and instead of pizza we ordered their spaghetti. The servings were very generous! And they gave us yummy garlic bread too! I love Italian food so much! Especially pasta! Give me pasta any day and I'm happy. (Though not every day. I like variety.) And during the day, I finally got the whole Yakko song and Annette and I had fun seeing who could do it faster, like Yakko does.

I also think Annette and I climbed up our special tree some time in the day and sat on a thick branch, just talking. Like now that our adventure was soon to be over, what were we going to do with our lives? Very deep stuff like that. I love those kind of talks with my twin. Oh, and while we were talking, this guy came by with his dog, saw us up there and gave a chuckle, saying he didn't see a lot of kids climbing trees anymore. Pretty inspirational, he said. Then he went away. Huh. Maybe he's right. I love climbing trees. Too bad not many other people do too.

Besides those things, I can't be sure of anything. The whole day was like a dream. Um, we got a little started packing for the way home, putting away all our clothes, except for the ones we were going to wear tomorrow. That's it. Now give your eyes a rest before you have to read my next post. You deserve it. (Especially if you read this whole thing in one go! ^,~)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Days 11 and 12: Independence Day Celebratin

Again, let me remind you that I don't remember every little detail that happened to me because I didn't write reminder notes for myself, but I'll do my best to relate all the important details.

July 3: I remember really looking forward to this weekend, with it almost being Independence Day and all. It looked like a beautiful day, which was pretty lucky and miraculous, because all of our first week had been so rainy (plus we'd heard that Boston had experienced the rainest summer in years!). In Boston they make a really big deal about this holiday, and every year they have this awesome concert thing at the famous Hatch Shell. You know, that big dome thing? Ever hear of it? Well, that night there was going to be a sort of preview concert, so Annette and I made a batch of spaghetti and packed it in some tupperware for picnicking later.

Now before we went to the concert, we went to the Museum of Science again. (Remember, where we saw the IMAX movie?) Annette and I were really excited, because we were going to catch two shows in one day. One a cool planetarium show (planetariums are so cool!), and the other some sort of laser display show that would play to Beatles music. (If you know the Beatles, then you're one of my best friends!)

Unfortunately, the train went very slow and we were actually stuck somewhere for half an hour, so we missed our planetarium show. *pout* We actually had to wait around for about 3 hours for the Beatles show. Well, we occupied ourselves as best we could. We'd made sandwiches, so we didn't go hungry, only they did get a little squished and messy. *bleh* We also looked around the gift shop, which at a museum is always fun to do. ^,^ To kill some more time, Annette and I walked around this nearby park and came upon a cool playground that had cool spinning structures. They were more fun than a tire swing! Don't worry, soon I'll post some videos of the trip for you to enjoy.

Oh, I nearly forgot! That morning Annette somehow got obsessed with the Animaniacs song "Yakko's world," and she thought she could memorise the entire thing! Well, she did get a good start. She was even able to teach the first verse to me! It was fun singing it over and over. Well, it's a fun song! But it sure was hard. At that point, I considered anyone who could sing that without looking at the lyrics to be a genius.

Eventually it was time for the laser show. Let me say that it absolutely rocked the hay-ouse! I was so impressed with the show, even more than the IMAX! Just so many blinking lights, and they made psychedlic patterns and solid looking shapes, and even made pictures of Beatles characters! And all the songs! Oh, I loved it. Both Annette and I wished at that moment that our dad, Benny, could have seen it with us, because he's a really huge Beatles fan (which is where I get my love for them from).

When the show was finally over, the Hatch Shell was pretty close, so we walked all the way there. Let me tell you, though, that even an hour before the show was to begin, there were literally thousands of people already there! It was sooo crowded! We were pretty hard-pressed to find a good place to lay down our towel, but we got a good view of the stage in the end. Oh, and when we tried getting in, the security guys confiscated our spaghetti forks. We weren't allowed to bring in sharp, pointy objects. I mean, I can understand their concern for safety, but how were we supposed to eat the spaghetti? With our hands?! Actually, that's exactly what we had to do. LOL! Lucky think it was angel hair! Man, our fingers got sooo stained with sauce! But we had a great time anyway. At least this would make it that much more memorable. Plus, funny story, no? ^_~

The concert itself was amazing. Neil Diamond (do you know him? I don't know him really, but I like his music) came on and sang a couple songs for us, and the crowd went wild. We took lots of movies of the show, don't worry. At one point later in the show Annette and I got hungry again, so I left to buy us some pretzels. I got to the concession stand quick enough, but then I got awfully and almost hopelessly lost and had no idea how to get back in! It was dark and confusing with the bright, shiny lights and such huge crowds of people in my way! I asked directions from a couple guards, and thry tried pointing me in the general direction, but I could never find the way! Too many people were blocking it up. Finally, unable to take it anymore, I decided to take a chance and jumped the fence when no one official-looking noticed me. I found our spot easily, and Annette was glad to see me. It turned out I'd been lost for a heart-pumping 20 minutes. To me it had felt so scary, like I'd been lost for hours and hours! I hate being separated from my twin. >_<

Anyway, the rest of the evening was very lovely. I'd missed a lot, but Neil Diamond came back and sang a couple more songs for us, though he messed up on the second one, so he did it again and all his fans sang along with even more gusto then the first time. It was so much fun, plus by that time Annette and I knew the refrain. We thought there might be fireworks in the end, but there actually weren't. That was fine. We went to bed around 11:00 anyway.

July 4: Obviously, the day of the actual Independence Day celebration at the Hatch Shell. Since we'd had such a hard time getting a spot the night before, and since we heard a rumor that the gates would open as early as 4:00 (4 full hours before the show starts! Imagine that!), Annette and I made some meticulous plans for the day. We would spend most of the day at Faniuel Hall (We only passed it on the Freedom Trail, remember?), and then buy a pizza pie at the Famous One as well as some fruits from the Hay Market to snack on. We also made some more sandwiches as back-up. To occupy ourselves, we brought our iPod and a piece of paper on which Annette had written all the words to "Yakko's World." She wanted to learn the whole thing. ^,~

Faniuel Hall was fun. For some reason, there were large crowds of people there. Maybe everyone had thought along the same lines as Annette and me and decided to hang around here before the concert. I don't know. But we window shopped and walked around, enjoying all the hubbub. At one point we sat and had a nice sandwich picnic on the grass, and Annette tried teaching me the second Animaniacs verse. I don't think I concentrated very well, because I was thinking about all we had to do. We got our caricatures drawn afterwards. Don't worry, you'll see a picture of it in another post sometime soon. But I look fuh-nee!

Now unfortunately, not all of our plans went quite so smoothly. When we went to the Hay Market, we saw absolutely no tents or stalls. No one was selling that day. Plus the Famous One was closed, so no pizza pie. ~,~ Well, I guess we couldn't blame them, since it was the 4th of July, but still! We'd been a little bit stupid not to have considered that! However, we went to that burrito place, Boloco's, and got this good deal with a coupon we ripped out of the Metro newspaper. For $3.00, you get the burrito filling in a bowl, without the burrito part. You eat it like a salad. Very tasty. So Annette and I got 2 of those, instead of the pizza.

So we walked to the Hatch Shell, and it was 4:15. Just a quarter of an hour after the gates had allegedly opened. We thought we'd get a great seat this time... but nooooo! Thousands of people were already there! It seemed as if the same amount of people that had showed up an hour early yesterday had shown up 4 hours early today! Just unbelievable. But at least we did get a better spot than last time, something just slightly closer...

So yeah, we spent 4 long hours sitting there. It was actually pretty fun. There was cool music playing while everyone hung out there, real crowd-pleasers. We ate our other sandwiches and these cookies we got with our burritos very slowly. And Annette repeated Yakko's World to herself over and over again. I told her she could teach me the rest of the song when she knew it absolutely by heart. I had fun observing all the types of people that had come to the concert. When it was about an hour to showtime, Annette and I finally broke out our burrito bowls. Man, they were tasty and filling!

Let me say that this concert was pretty much the same as the one from last night, so we didn't see much new. Neil Diamond sang the same songs. But I did see what I'd missed while I was hunting for the entrance. A girl doing the Pledge of Allegiance and some sort of memorial for Abraham Lincoln. Also I think this show was actually televised, so there was more of an exciting energy in the air. And finally we saw the fireworks. How awesome! We picked up our spot and had to get a good spot to see them, but so did everyone else! It was hard being stuck in the middle of a bustling crowd, everyone shoving for a good view. But Annette and I saw them fine. I took plenty of movies of them. They were the best fireworks I'd ever seen, I think. The music that went with the finale was cool!

Then, when it was all over, everyone went home! It was kind of funny in a way, crowds and crowds of people tiredly walking the streets in a huge group after seeing such a show like that. We walked to the train station almost in a dream state, though I wasn't necessarily tired. But I sure was when we got home. We went to sleep at the latest time ever on our trip: 1:00 in the morning!

Boston Trip ~ Days 8, 9 & 10: I can't keep up!

Alright, this is simply ridiculous! It's so hard to write down absolutely everything that has happened to me on my Boston adventures, especially if I have to include each minor detail and have separate posts for every day. My sister and I will be going home in a couple days *yay!* and I'm not really doing a lot today, so I'll take the time to blog a little and paint my adventures in broad strokes. (Metaphorically, you understand. I don't have any real paints with me. That would be messy. ^,~)

June 30: This day was cool because it marked the first entire week we'd spent in Boston, plus it was the last day of another month. Man, how the year is going by! Anyway, I'll skip the mundanities about what we had for breakfast and stuff and say that we visited Mass Art that afternoon. It was the earliest tour we'd gone on yet. Again, we got slightly lost, but lucky for us we came in just as they were about to start the info session. (Funny that it was the first time we were able to do that. BTW, I was right. Info sessions are boring.)

I liked the look of the school a little better than AIB from the day before, but I didn't enjoy the tour very much. Our guide seemed nervous and inexperienced. Her voice quavered constantly, and I thought she was going to cry any second. She just didn't sound very enthusiastic about her school. But that's just my opinion. Anyway, I was glad when the tour was over.

We spent some time at a nearby Barnes and Noble again (though it was a different kind than the one we'd visited before) and I gobbled up 3 more chapters of Dark Infinity. I am soooo loving that book! I could only read three because our week-long train passes ran out at a certain time, so we had to go home. For lunch we bought pizza from Pinos, got new "T" passes and saw more Animaniacs cartoons. Those guys are so funny!

In the evening we took another walk around the reservoir where Annette and I split up, only we went in the other direction from last time. Then we got ice-cream from a new store I'd never been to before (it hadn't been there when we'd gone all those summers). It's called Chill (fitting name, I think). Annette got mango flavor and I got carrot cake with pieces of Reeses chocolate on top. At first my order was mixed up because they thought I wanted it in a bowl, but I eventually got it in a cone like I wanted. It was tasty!

That night we continued to watch Animaniacs (can never get enough of them!), even seeing their entire feature film, Wakko's Wish (except for the first part. For some reason, we couldn't find it!) That was a really good movie, especially since it starred the Warner brothers and sister. I couldn't how great and funny the whole thing was. After watching it, Annette and I stayed up to talk about how much we'd loved it and which parts were our favorites, just as if we'd stepped out of a movie theater! Of course, the ending was a little so-so, but it still made it into my favorite all-time movies list! I can't wait to see it with Adam when we get home! We fell asleep listening to the music that came from Jake's room. He's a great musician! ^,^

July 1: To start the morning, Annette and I talked to our family on Skype for almost half an hour (our brother Adam was quite appreciative of the Animaniacs cartoons we'd sent him ^_^). I'd wanted to go to the theater that day, but we found out online that there was nothing good playing besides UP, which we've seen already. Just Ice Age 3, which we've heard from reviews is stupid, Transformers 2, which we'd like to see but don't want to without seeing the first one, and a couple other movies we've got no interest in.

So instead of going to the theater, we had fun watching trailers of upcoming movies on YouTube. The movie I was most impressed with was 2012. It's directed by the same guy who did Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. Man, that guy is obsessed with the end of the world! But I liked all those movies and think that this one looks awesome too. Check out these links:

We had the rest of the day to pretty much do what we pleased, so we decided to go to the Arnold Arboretum, a place we went to last year that has acres of trees and flowers and is really beautiful. Unfortunately it was raining when we got there, so it wasn't much fun walking around all wet. But we found a good shelter and hung out there for a period. It didn't let up for quite a while. Annette and I still had a good time talking and stuff, though. We scratched our initials in the wood of the bench with our apartment key, so we could remember our time there.

Eventually we left the Arboretum and took the train back to the same Barnes and Noble we'd gone to yesterday. We stayed for a couple hours. So relaxing to be safe and dry in a bookstore while it rained outside. I was able to read another 10 chapters from Dark Infinity, though I'm still not even half-way done with that book. I was reading in the kids section, so every so often I'd look up from my book and observe the antics of cute toddlers. I love watching young kids.

I forget what we did later that night, because I neglected to write any notes for the day. In fact, after today, I haven't written any notes at all, because I thought I'd be able to remember everything by myself. Well, I can remember the big things, but not necessarily the other things. Still, lucky I'm doing this in broad strokes.

July 2: Uh, basically the only thing we did on this day was take a tour of MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Maybe you've heard of it. You learn to be a big scientist there. Again, Annette and I got largely lost in the area. So we were around half an hour late or something and the tour started without us, so it seemed like the whole adventure had been for nothing. But lucky for us, after wandering around the campus a while and admiring the buildings by ourselves, we spotted a big group of people following someone. It could only be the tour. So we went there and made ourselves blend in with the crowd and acted as if we'd been there the entire time. Wasn't that hard.

Even though we'd definitely missed a large part of the tour, I really liked it. The school is really large and amazing, with a cool history. The guide told us about the funny pranks MIT was famous for doing, like putting a police car on top of a building or something. He showed us inside these funny looking buildings that, from the outside, looks like strange architecture that belongs in a theme park, but inside is pretty normal. He also gave us a couple good anecdotes about his time as a student. He was a pretty good tour guide to keep the attention of all those people by himself.

After the tour was over, Annette and I had fun walking along Newbury Street, which is famous for it's various stores and restaurants that are fun to window shop at. We got a couple gourmet slices of pizza from the Upper Crust. Spinach, tomato pieces and garlic. Very tasty. Even though I'm not a big fan of tomatoes, on pizza it's delicious.

I honestly don't remember anything that happened after that, but I'm sure we watched some more Animaniacs that evening.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 7

I was very tired when I woke up this morning. Somehow I remembered that I'd had some very strange, vague dreams, but I couldn't quite make sense of them. Oh well. Annette went and got the Metro paper by herself while I slept in, and then we ate bananas and strawberries for breakfast. This time Annette and I decided we were okay to walk around the reservoir, but we mixed it up a little by separating and walking different ways by ourselves. That was fun, getting some "me" time. I listened to the iPod for the first half, and hardly anyone was around, so I was able to sing along as loudly as I wanted and dance around too. (One was a Stevie Wonder song that since watching Happy Feet I can never stand still to, so I half walked, half "tap-danced" with my sneakers. That was pretty fun. ^,^ Whoops, now I'm embarressed that I told you guys. ;P) When my twin and I met up in the middle, Annette got the iPod for the rest of the walk.

When we got home we had some Joe's Os to snack on, then we left for our AIB tour. That stands for the Art Institute of Boston. We had to wait for the "B" train to show up for such a long time that we walked part of the way near the tracks before the train finally arrived. Then we forgot all about the fact that the "B" makes a lot more stops than the "C" does (the C is the one we usually take). So this made us a little late. Plus when we got there we got a little lost and had some trouble finding the school. Luckily we found a local Barnes and Noble nearby, so we asked a guy behind the counter if we were near the school. He said yes and pointed us out in the right direction.

I'd have to say that the tour was... okay. We missed about ten minutes of it, but that was no big deal. The tour group was quite small (which, to me, was an indication of how interested people were), the tour guide girl leading us spoke very fast (went over my head part of the time. Perhaps my mind was on other things) and the rooms we visited, to me, were pretty boring. (Well, this was an art school, and Annette is the one interested in art, not me, so what did I care?) Nevertheless, I reached the conclusion that I would most likely never attend AIB, and that out of the three colleges we'd visited thus far, UMass, Emerson and AIB, I liked Emerson the best. It was the most entertaining, anyway.

Once done with the tour, we headed back for the Barnes and Noble we'd found and *yay!* hung around for a while to read. I had a great time! I found the YA section and, after much searching, spotted a copy of The Hunt for Dark Infinity! (For those who are not James Dashner literate, this is the second novel in the 13th Reality series, which I love, that I've been looking forward to reading for ages, since it opened in March or something. I was really excited for this book!) I sat down in a... well, not quite a comfy chair, but it was a chair... and read ten chapters straight! Incredible, huh? It was quite awesome to read! James has definitely done it again! I knew we had to do this again sometime soon.

When we left the bookstore we were kind of hungry, so we started looking for the Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant we knew was somewhere in the area. I'd never been to a Cheesecake Factory before, so when we found it, I was quite impressed with it. It was a lot fancier than I expected it to be (well, it's got "factory" in the name, so I thought there would be much humbler surroundings, but it's really a great place for fine quality dining!) A very nice ambience of dishes and conversation buzzed in the background, and I kind of felt like I was in a movie. Our server was very nice too. It was quite funny, me and my twin eating in a fine restaurant by ourselves for the first time! Made me feel a little extra grown-up. ^,^ We ordered a big, fancy lunch of, to quote the menu, a Luau salad (hold the chicken), Evelyn's Favorite Pasta, and a slice of Craig's Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake (Try saying that 5 times fast!), split between us to share. Delish! Of course, since our parents weren't around, we were the ones to pick up the tab. But it was still cool.

Finally, full and satisfied with our meal, we went home and were able to relax. We decided to go on YouTube for a little while, but little did I know that we'd actually be on for a long while! Like, for two hours worth! What could we have been watching, you ask?

Animaniacs cartoons!

I would like to say a big thank you to a good blogger friend, Rainy.Roni, for actually reintroducing us to the Animaniacs with Yakko's World. I think that set off the whole thing.Those characters are absolutely hilarious, you have no idea! Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner. I am now obsessed with them! (Unlike my friend J. N.'s obsession with Sweeney Todd, I have to see a new Animaniacs cartoon every time, because it's never enough!)

Later in the evening we were so laughed out that we decided to send our brother Adam an email with some Animaniacs cartoons that we particularly enjoyed. These are the links that we sent him:
"The Kid in the Lid"

These all made Annette and me crack up! Please watch them (all of them!), and tell me that they don't set you off on an Animaniacs spree yourself! Needless to say, I went to bed happy and grinning. ^_^

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 6

For some reason I woke up slightly later than usual, I think 9:00-ish, so I broke the 7:00 spell I guess. By this time I'd decided it was okay to check my friends' blogs (I'd been trying to resist for a while) and this morning I saw that Graham had Chopped about Pendragon! He did an awesome job. ^_^ Here's the link, for those who are curious about that. Anyway, Annette and I talked to our parents and Adam for 25 minutes, which made that our longest Skype conversation ever!

We had mango for breakfast, and then we went to the kitchen and cut vegetables for our bagel picnic. See, all the summers I'd been to Boston before, our family had made a tradition in which we'd head down Beacon Street to this small bakery place, Kupel's, and get some bagels and cream cheese to share at this fun kids park that seemed to have three distinct play-areas, one of which had a couple awesome tire-swings! I loved getting dizzy on those things!

So Annette and I walked all the way to Kupels and bought half a dozen sesame bagels plus a couple apple turnovers as treats. But you know something that incredibly shocked me? There used to be a Barnes and Noble very close to those three parks, and now it's gone! The building was completely empty! I just could not believe it! Well, how would you feel if one of your favorite bookstores went out of business and you were the last to know about it, and books were your lifeline? Pretty darn peeved, like me, I'd imagine. Well, we ate a couple of our bagels, but 6 bagels seemed to be an awful lot for just two people, you know. We watched little kids play on tire swing. I wanted to go on too, but we were full and didn't want to get cramps or anything, plus the weather didn't look too good. And anyway, I guess it would be pretty silly of two teenage girls to be playing in a kiddy playground.

Since Barnes and Noble was gone, and we wanted to relax in a place with books in it, we decided on going to the Brookline library. Remember, the one that wasn't closed for renovations, but our cards don't work on it? Now that was a long walk. (What else is new?) It's a little funny now, but when we finally got to the door, we were annoyed to find that the library was closed on Sundays! Why didn't we use our brains? Grrrr! We had to walk all the way back and grumpily take the train home. Needless to say, we were quite disappointed about how the first part of the day had gone. No B&N, no library. *pout* So to cool off we watched YouTube for a while, trying to search for clips of the videos we'd tried taking out from the library the other day. Mainly we saw Marx Brothers clips. Here's a couple links to the funny ones:

Eventually we got back on the train to go to the Museum of Science. We were looking forward to catching an educational IMAX movie there. I tell you, this was a much more successful trip, and I enjoyed this part of the day very much. We were not late at all; in fact, I think we were half an hour early! So we bought the tickets and while we waited outside we examined this cool exhibit full of "interesting rocks." They sure were interesting. There was the U.S.'s oldest rock, a rock taken from the highest and lowest points on Earth, I think a rock that weighed a couple tons (I'll bet they needed a lot of help getting that one there!) and also this cool pink quartz rock. Annette and I had quite an awesome time examining and feeling the rocks for their different textures and reading the plaques that went along with them.

Eventually it was time for the show, and it was really cool because instead of a normal, flat, rectangular screen, they have this strange kind of dome thing in front of you that covers the edges of your peripheral vision when you look at it. When the movie started, they first did a cool sound demonstration with the guy who played Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and how the sounds were all surrounding us. Very complex and awesome. And then the movie itself was just incredible! What a show! The visuals are so interesting; because it plays on your peripheral vision, the film makes you think what you're seeing is real! It was all about DaVinci, risk-taking, and a lot of sky-diving and jumping off of cliffs. It was so exciting! (I fancy myself jumping out of an airplane someday. I don't know, you guys might think that's scary, but to me it sounds ultra-awesome!) It was funny, when the movie started, it made me think I needed seat belts for the ride or something! The music that went with it just made the adrenaline pump big time! I mean, wow. If all movies were shown like that...

So when the movie ended, we had a couple more bagel sandwiches on a picnic bench nearby (we didn't finish them, remember?) and later we took the train home to Cleveland Circle, though before that we stopped by at a market called Trader Joes, to get a box of Joe's Os, a cereal we really like that you can only get from that store. Another old tradition of ours. Anyway, we stopped and had the remaining bagels on the green of this empty baseball park close-ish to the apartment. It was very peaceful there. While eating, my twin and I reflected on how the day had gone by. Sure, the morning had been kind of sucky, but thanks to the Museum, we agreed it hadn't been a complete loss. I mean, every day is comprised of bad times and good times. I guess you just can't let the bad parts get you down too much. (Though the "death" of my favorite bookstore really made me sad at the time. ~,~)

At home we finished the leftover pasta from Friday (delicious), and then we blogged and researched a little on Google Maps. (We had to go to AIB in the morning, you know.) Finally, completely pooped out, we went to bed. There. I hope you were entertained with my day. (And you better check out those Marx links. They are funny!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 5

For some reason, Annette and I always seem to wake up just before 8:00 in the morning. No noise wakes us or anything, we just... get up. I wonder if there's any significance in that. Anyway, we lay in bed for a while longer, until we remembered that it was our Grandpa's birthday today, and Shira had suggested that we send him an email wishing him a happy one. So that's what we did. (Out of respect for his privacy, I will not disclose how old my grandfather is today. ^_~)

We relaxed a lot today. Well, it is the weekend. We just took our sweet old time, and then got ready to go on the Freedom Trail. We took the train and started at the Boston Commons. (Which is funny, because that's where we were yesterday!) The trail was easy to find: It's just a red bricked line in the sidewalk.

Follow the red brick line, follow the red brick line, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the red brick line...

He he, sorry. Oz moment. ^,~
Anyway, we had a lot of fun walking along the trail, and we saw lots of cool statues and plaques and landmarks on the way. A memorable place we hung around was the graveyard where Paul Revere and a host of other 18th century people died. It was pretty cool, though a little weird too. I don't believe I've ever been to a graveyard before. (If you don't count the one I saw near the Haunted Mansion in DisneyWorld when I was 10. That was silly.) I wasn't creeped out or anything, but I was strangely sad for all the people that had been buried there. We looked at some of the headstones and saw that lots of people hadn't lived very long, which was a shame. Hmm, graveyards. They make you think pretty deep. I wondered about how many lives in total have graced the planet over the years...

Oops, don't want to go on another tangent. Anyway, we followed the line a long way and saw familiar sights, such as Faneuil Hall and the Hay Market. We passed by them quickly because we planned on returning there later. We saw North End, also known as Little Italy, a quaint neighborhood, and crossed over the enormous Charlestown Bridge. By this time we were getting quite tired, but we had to continue walking if we wanted to reach the end. Which, at last, we did. We reached the end of the trail, right in front of the Bunker Hill Monument. (The Freedom Trail actually ends in two different places; the other end goes to this harbor with a ship called the U.S.S. Constitution, but we thought Bunker Hill would be cooler.)

Bunker Hill Monument is basically this huge stone tower on a hill. It looks boring, but it's a great tourist trap because it dares you to climb 294 steps to the top. Well, although Annette and I were already footweary, we couldn't take that lying down! So we climbed. And climbed. Boy, did we climb up those steep stairs! You might think taking roughly 300 steps is nothing, but we were taking them up, in a spiral direction! In a poorly lit tower, and not really knowing if we'd ever make it to the end (though the steps were clearly marked by their number every 25 steps or so). It almost made the Freedom Trail seem like a piece of cake! Okay, you get it. Very tiring climb.

Obviously, since I'm back and writing this, it's safe to assume I got to the top. (Well, I sure wasn't gonna be a wimp, give up and go down again after everything!) The view was pretty nice, but it was worth it for the short video I took of Annette all tired. I was as tired as she was, but I was the one filming, so... I tell ya, even going down that thing, though more fun than going up, is really the workout! Anyway, once safe on the ground, my twin and I celebrated by having a sandwich picnic. Very relaxing.

Reluctantly we picked ourselves up and walked onward to the nearest "T" stop, (which wasn't very near, by the way! ~,~) We had to rely quite heavily on our map to know where to go. Then we took the train to the Haymarket station. (Remember I said we'd go back there? The Haymarket is a place one can get very low priced fruits and vegetables that's only open a couple days out of the week. Just thought I'd explain.) So we got off the train, and we had no idea where we were! Turns out that the actual Haymarket is not particularly close by it's so named train stop. It was simply infuriating. Oh, and it was very dark and gloomy and the clouds seemed to hang very close to the ground, so it was more than a little chilly. (Not weather I'm very used to.)

Again though, it's quite aparent that we didn't remain lost for long, and we finally found the market. We also found "the Famous One," which is a pizza place that is, well, famous for it's cheap pies. We ordered a big pie to share between us, and while we ate we switched turns getting lots of low-priced produce. I was very proud of how I handled myself on my turns. It's very different from going to a supermarket, because like, people are shouting all the time, because they're hoping to be the ones to get your business.

At last, we got all the stuff we needed and took the train home, though let me say that our groceries were quite heavy! We packed the food in our little corner of the fridge well enough, I must say. While we stuffed everything in, Leroy the dog came in and licked our faces. I liked that. ^_^ Then we rested for some time, relaxing our bodies. And then later that night, since it was nice and dry and hadn't rained in a while, we thought it would be cool to check out our initial tree, even though it was getting dark. We climbed the tree all the way to the top, and it was so much fun. Climbing a tree is soooo different from climbing a tower! ;P We hung around for a while (ha ha, hung around) and when we got bored we went back to the apartment and watched YouTube for a while until bedtime, though what we saw, I haven't a clue anymore.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 4

I woke up at 7:30ish (always wake up around that time for some reason!) and felt really tired. Annette and I decided we could skip the reservoir walk that morning. I think we worked on each of our blogs for a while and then I got us our simple breakfast. An apple and banana again. (Hmm, why do I bother telling you what I had for breakfast? Well, I guess I want to remember everything.) Later we took the "T"to the Star Market and got a bag of grapes, a jar of mayonaisse, and some spaghetti and sauce that we'd make later that evening. Once again, the train took much too long to pick us up (what is wrong with the transit system these days, huh?) so we walked all the way home. In our sandals, too. We left a message for Tamara at a payphone, saying we'd try meeting her and her kids at the Frog Pond in the Boston Commons. It was a shame we couldn't reach her and make a definite plan, but we knew we'd have a good time anyway, even without them.

In the apartment we snacked on half the grapes we'd just bought and the rest of the cereal box. I was at last able to finish the Thin Threads book (I'll probably write about it in my book club later), so now I don't have any reading material on hand, unless you count the Metro. You know, that newspaper had Michael Jackson's death all over the front page? How sad. Sorry to go off on a tangent here, but I'd just like to pay a small tribute to him. I really liked his old music, especially when he was a kid. I didn't especially like or understand why MJ had to change his skin color or his face and hair, or all those weird rumors about him, and I didn't really pay attention to news about him in recent years. I understood he was the butt of several jokes in movies, like in Men in Black and Click (It's too bad. Now Michael won't live to see the day when he's the first person to clone himself 7 times and sues himself for molesting himself). But I'm glad everyone will remember Michael as the brilliant artist he was and not as Wacko Jacko or whatever.

Around noon we decided to set off for our scheduled college tour at Emerson. You know, Emerson is just right near the Boston Commons? I think that's pretty awesome. On the long train ride I brought the iPod along to listen to. One of the songs I listened to was a Jackson song. ~,~ Anyway, Annette and I got to the Boston Commons and tried looking for Tamara, Joe and Adrianna, Kailen and Toniann, but they weren't anywhere. Well, while we waited we had another sandwich picnic like yesterday at UMass. Very nice. Later though it got a little windy and looked like it would rain soon, so we packed it up and went looking for shelter. It's strange, because it sure didn't look like it would rain that morning, so we didn't bring an umbrella. So we held the newspaper over our heads to protect us.

I had to go to the bathroom, so we took shelter in a nearby Starbucks, only you had to be a customer to use the facilities. So we looked at what they had to offer and decided to get a couple of these big, awesome looking cookies, Outrageous Oatmeal. They had colorful raisins on top. ^,^ We asked the guy for two of them, and he got the cookies for us, only he forgot to ask us to pay for them. As I stood in line for the bathroom (it was a bit of a long line), Annette and I debated whether to do the right thing and pay up or just walk away with two free cookies. I figured it would be better to be honest (ha ha, I'm the little angel!) so Annette said to another worker, a girl, "Excuse me, I'd like to pay for two cookies." The girl must've been a little distracted, because she took out two more Outrageous Oatmeal cookies and charged us for those. So I guess we got two for the price of 1 each! Incredible.

Annette went to wait outside while I remained in the bathroom line. I noticed a little boy and his mom waiting behind me, and when the bathroom was finally free I let the kid go before me. The mom seemed pretty grateful, so that made me pretty happy. Another cool thing is that after I came out of the restroom, I saw a woman do the same thing for another young kid, offering their place in front. So today I learned that good deeds are contagious! ^,^

It was still raining a bit, so we found a Barnes and Noble to hang out in, although despite my being surrounded by books, I didn't enjoy myself. It didn't seem to have a proper fiction section. Luckily it didn't rain for too long, and we were able to enjoy our Outrageous Oatmeal cookies at a bench nearby. They sure were sweet and tasty! Hey, they were kind of like how I enjoy regular oatmeal, with some raisins in it. Cool! We shared some cookie crumbs with a tiny bird that perched on the table sometimes. So cute. By the time we were finished, it was time for our Emerson tour to begin. We found the office easily enough, but strangely it turned out that we'd been scheduled for the 1:30 tour, not the 3:30 one! Oh well, the lady at the desk was nice and let us go on the tour, only this one skipped the info session. What a strange coincidence! No info sessions on either tours, not yesterday or today!

I enjoyed the Emerson tour very much. Almost more than I did UMass. Lot of famous entertainment people were Alumni there and it's a great Liberal Arts place. Theater, acting, T.V./ Film, Writing, Photography, lots of cool stuff I'm interested in. There were two girls who acted as our guides, and they seemed a lot warmer and friendlier than the UMass guide. They actually asked me questions about what I wanted to do. Saw a big theater and a little sample dorm room and other stuff. What's really cool is that everything is so close to the Commons. (Wait, I already mentioned that, right?)

After tour, we stopped by at the local Boloco's and I got Terriyaki this time, just like I said I would. My burrito was nice and warm. Once done with that, we found a quiet place to sit in the Public Gardens (big difference from the Boston Commons, though they are often confused. The Gardens is the one with the swan boats and pretty gardens.) and fed the squirrels and pigeon some peanuts for a couple hours.

OMG, what an experience! Annette and I are really good with animals, and we've fed the squirrels and pigeons many summers, but I certainly didn't expect what happened. The animals there are very tame and expect humans to feed them, so they just walked right up to us and didn't mind eating right out of our hands! We were soon surrounded by pigeons, and they trusted us enough to start flying on to our laps and even on our arms to get our peanuts. Good thing we were wearing longsleeves! And the squirrels, oh! I have a certain love for squirrels, they're so cute and furry. They just came up and plucked the nut from between our fingers and ate right next to us. Even better, I tried scratching their heads while they were calmly nibbling and they didn't flinch! So much fun! Of course, they ran away once they were done with the nut, but came back once we offered some more. I will never forget that feeling of peace.

Even ducks came by and tried nabbing at the peanuts. But I don't think they were meant to eat that, since they're more suited to bread and stuff, so we tried shooing them away. They kept coming back anyway. I think at one point I got a little bite from a squirrel, but it isn't bad. I've got a good, healthy immune system, so I'm not worried about any diseases the squirrels may carry. Which I don't really believe in anyway. It was such fun when other people would pass us by and smile and say things like, "Ooh, look at those girls feeding the squirrels and pigeons! They're like bird people. Those animals are very trusting!" It was especially fun when a family with little kids (perhaps tourists) would watch us and the kids would try feeding the critters, but they didn't know how to be patient and stand still enough for them to come up to them. Still, I bet they had fun watching us do it!

Finally, when the peanuts were almost all finished, we packed it up and reluctantly tore ourselves away from our spot. I can hardly wait to go back there again! We took the long train back home and called our parents on Skype. It was really fun recounting our day to them. ^,^ After we were done talking to them, we made our first home cooked meal in the apartment, spaghetti and sauce! Remember we bought it earlier in the morning? It was delicious. Especially knowing that we'd made it and it wasn't from a restaurant or something. I ate my portion with some chopsticks we found. *chopsticks, yay!* It was nice eating spaghetti without having to think of sharing it with Benny or Adam. It was just for us. We couldn't eat it all though, so we saved the leftovers for another time. And we went to sleep full and happy. I like that feeling, full and happy. Very pleasant. ^_^

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 3

When we woke up, both Annette and I were extremely tired in the legs. Must've been all the walking we'd done the previous day. Well, we weren't about to stop walking. Somehow we roused ourselves to get dressed and take another long walk 'round the reservoir, only this time we went the other way. This made Annette and I even more tired, but it was lovely exercise.
Plus, the weather had improved an amazing deal, so I couldn't help being in a good mood. It didn't rain at all, and we could see a tiny space of blue sky in the thick blanket of clouds above. It's funny, because yesterday, because it had been so cold and rainy on our first walk, we'd prayed to God in our own impersonal way for warm weather, and now we'd gotten it. Pretty neat.

When we were nearly through with the walk, we ate breakfast: an apple and a banana each. Then we walked towards home, but on the way Annette felt like using a pay phone to call our friend Tamara (remember, the woman whose family we flew with to Boston?) so we could make plans to meet with them in the future, maybe to hang out at the famous Public Gardens or something. I went to get the Metro, but there were no more papers left in the bin, so I went back to Annette. Though on the way I did do a good deed and throw away some littered trash on the ground. That made me feel good. ^,^

Annette said she didn't talk to Tamara, but she'd caught Joe and he'd said that they'd already been to the Public Gardens, but they could meet us at the Frog Pond the next day. So that was nice. When we got back in the apartment, it felt good to relax for a while. I got us some cereal to eat out of cups for a snack. While in the kitchen I met Leroy, Jake's Weimaraner dog. He was very sweet. He licked my face when I bent down to pet him, and he didn't even know me very well. I'll admit that I am a fan of big, lickity dogs. ^,^

So we had this college tour thing at UMass, or the University of Massachusetts, scheduled for 3:00, so we had most of the day to plan for other days ahead (I'm not telling! You'll read about them later anyway!) and blog as much as we could. Finally we figured it was time for us to go. We took an incredibly looooong train ride, so we did some crosswords on the way. At one point we had to switch from the Green Line to the Red Line, but eventually we got to our stop. We then had to wait for the shuttle bus that would take us to campus. We waited at that bus stop for a long time, so long that we were a few minutes late for the tour. Finally the bus showed up and quickly took us there, but we were about 10-15 minutes late or something. We asked directions for where we had to go from this campus police guy (he wore an official looking uniform) and he pointed us out to the admissions office or somewhere.

We found the office, which looked quite nice, and the lady at the desk said we'd only missed the info session and we could wait for the people to come out for the tour to start. Phew! So we hadn't missed anything important! (In my experience, info sessions are slightly boring affairs. You just sit at a table while someone talks about the school. At least you're up and seeing it when you're on the tour.) We signed out some form and took a small Reese's chocolate from the desk.

The UMass tour was quite interesting. It's hard to describe everything the tour covered, but the part that most stood out for me was their excellent cafeteria. They don't exactly have a meal plan, they just charge for the food there. The tour guide was nice. After it was over, Annette and I lagged behind, sat at a nearby picnic table and ate cucumber and tomato sandwiches. Very nice. (Oh, wait! I totally forgot about mentioning us going to the Star Market earlier in the day to buy the sandwich stuff! Oh well. I guess it's not that important.) When we were all done, we cleared the table and went to wait at the shuttle bus stop. For some strange reason, the bus took a really long time to get there, so we decided that we wanted to go see the nearby JFK museum. (As you would guess, that's a museum dedicated to John F. Kennedy. ^,~)

I'll make this story short: we took a nice, beautiful walk near the bay, though it was very long and tiring and we didn't quite know where we were going, and when we finally got to the museum, It had been closed for several minutes already, so we were too late. GRRR!!! That's so upsetting. But I didn't let it get to me, because you know what they say: "It's about the journey, not the final destination." Something along those lines, anyway. Luckily the bus came in front of the museum a couple minutes later, so that's divine timing for ya. The train back was long. We used the "B," so we stopped right in front of the house. We marveled at how little money we'd spent that day, just 10 dollars on the sandwich supplies.

Basically we lazed about the remainder of the day, and I actually finally finished writing about our first day. Went to sleep to Jake's cool music again, but then around 11:00 or so we got a sudden Skype call from Benny and Adam that half woke us. Well, half because we weren't all that asleep. It was nice talking to them, (hadn't heard from them all day), but they gave us the sad news that Michael Jackson had died that night. (More on that tomorrow perhaps.) We finally ended the long conversation, quite tired, but we fell back asleep easily enough.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 2

Sorry about last text post. That was a lot to take in, wasn't it? I promise that I'll try hard not to be quite so prolific in future, but if this does happen to be long, just know that I can't help myself. I want to be honest here, and make anyone who reads this feel like they experienced what I did.

On the morning of June 24th, I woke up around 7:00 and felt really well rested. I'm not even sure what made me wake up. Had enough sleep, I guess. We brushed teeth (still need to get used to manual!) and got dressed quickly, then took the long walk around the famous reservoir (really a trail around a huge lake. It's near Chestnut Hill Park.) This was one of the top things I'd been looking forward to on this trip, and it was exactly how I pictured it. The only thing I didn't count on was how mist-rainy and cold it would be. Again. I could sometimes see my breath in puffs of condensation. But Annette and I still enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. It was refreshing, taking a walk and huddling for warmth, rather than feeling sweat rolling down your body in the hot Florida sun.

On the way back we picked up the Metro newspaper, so we could do the crosswords later. When we got home, we saw that Benny and Shira had tried calling us while we were gone, so we called them back and had a fun 10-minute conversation. We miss them so much. After we were done talking, Annette and I took it upon ourselves to take care of the hazard area known as the kitchen ^_~. I washed the pile of dishes in the sink while Annette took out the garbage and cleaned the floor. The work was very meditative, and I found I didn't mind cleaning a stranger's mess. Of course, there was this one pan in the end that had so much crud on it that I didn't even bother with it. It dirtied up the sponge. But anyway, I hope the boys were pleasantly surprised when they found an empty sink and trash. As long as they don't leave a mess again tomorrow, I'll know they appreciated our hard work.

Right after that we had to hurry out the door, because we wanted to catch UP at a different theater and the movie was at 11:00. We took the train to Chestnut Hill Station (which is nowhere near that park, so try not to get confused), but then we realized we didn't know where to go after that. We picked a direction and walked there, but it seemed to be a residential neighborhood, just houses, so we turned around, defeated. We went back to the stop and took the "T" back home. As you would guess, my twin and I felt pretty stupid, leaving somewhere without properly knowing where to go. Before we went home though, we cheered ourselves up by investing in lunch: burritos from the restaurant Boloco's. I had a Bangkok and Annette had a Teriyaki. They were very tasty. We shared a couple bites of the other's burrito, and I think next time I'll get a Teriyaki myself. So anyway, we researched directions to the theater with the help of Google Maps and realized what we'd done wrong. While we were at it, we looked up how to get to UMass, the college we're going to visit tomorrow at 3:00. I hope that turns out good. I'm not expecting anything.

Annette and I decided to give the theater another try, even though the tickets would cost a little more at 1:30 rather then 11:00. We went back to the station and took the correct route to the theater. While still feeling quite silly for getting lost the first time, I was so relieved to have found the theater. We saw a bakery close by, so after we got the movie tickets, I sent Annette to get us something while I went to save us seats. She came back with two peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Sweet. The previews before UP were interesting. The Princess and the Frog, that new animated Disney film, looks like it will be very cute and good to see. Like those good old-fashioned Disney films. There was also Shorts, directed by the same guy who did Spy Kids and Sharkboy + Lavagirl. Kind of silly and childish in my opinion, but okay. Also Planet 51 looks funny. Never heard of either of those two movies before today, so that was pretty cool. It was a bit strange, but even though UP is a Pixar film, they didn't show a Pixar short like they usually do. They just went straight to the movie.

Oh boy, what a movie! I went in expecting to be mildly entertained, with the idea that nothing Pixar did could top Wall-E, my favorite of all their films. But believe me: within the first 5 minutes of the movie, I think it was, I was moved to crying. And when I cry because of a scene in a movie, it's just gotta be good. It was amazing. Already I had invested myself in the characters and cared deeply about them. I don't want to spoil the story and say what I was crying about, so you'll have to trust me when I say that this movie is a must-see. Let me also say that I know now what James Dashner was talking about. It was an incredible story. Cute and funny at every turn. It was very engaging and had my full attention. It honestly made me forget about my world for a couple hours, and when it was finally over, I found it hard to believe I was still in Boston and having the time of my life. I walked out of the theater feeling quite happy. Another sign that the film is really that good. We talked about the movie enthusiastically on the way back to the station. (Turns out Annette didn't cry in the movie. I guess I'm more sensitive than she is, because I've cried from movies like Click and Marley and Me, and she didn't those times either.) (Wait, she did cry with me from Wall-E, when he got crushed and then Eve fixed him and he didn't remember her anymore. That was sad.)

Moving on. We went back to the train station, but instead of going home, we decided to go to the Brookline library. There are two libraries we're familiar with in Boston, Brookline and Brighton. I used to love going to Brighton, because it's small and cozy and has my kind of books, but it closed for renovations and won't be opened until 2010 or something. Grr. So we wandered around looking for the Brookline library. I wasn't quite sure where that was, so I was afraid we'd get lost again, but Annette seemed to know where we were going and I kind of trusted we would eventually find it. Which we did, after some time. So we hung out for a while, looking for dvds and books to check out. I found The Wish List, something my friend Graham recommended to me, by Eoin Colfer. For fun, but not to check out, I relaxed and read this funny how-to comic book called 99 ways to tell a story. It showed this one story in a variety of different comic formats. Quite funny. Finally we got in line to check everything out, except we weren't able to. The librarian said our cards didn't work with that branch. Dagnabit! So we put all the stuff back and went away without borrowing anything. Oh well. I guess it's one less thing to worry about.

At the next "T" stop we came to, it took too long for the train to come, so we walked the rest of the way to the Star. This time we had a notebook with us, so we wrote down all the prices of stuff we liked for future reference. (Smart, huh?) We also actually bought some bananas, a bag of peanuts and a box of cereal. It felt nice buying all that stuff when we'd only gotten apples yesterday. The train took another long time to pick us up, so we walked on with our groceries in hand. It wasn't too far to walk. Remember, Boston is a big walking town. When we were nearly home, we stopped at the Eagle's Deli, an old old favorite of ours from when we were little. It's known as the second best place to "pig out" in the world (I don't know what #1 is) and is where, many a summer, we always ordered these mountainous plates of french fries to share with our family. We ordered a large plate of fries, but I don't think it looked as big as it used to be. Maybe because we're older or something. But hey, it was a warm meal, and we walked out of there feeling full and happy. Though I don't think we'll have the need to go there again. Fries are kind of bad for the body, all that oil and stuff. Not healthy. We just did that for the sake of tradition.

At last, ultra-tired from walking the entire day, we shuffled into the apartment, and we heard someone working in the kitchen. Curious as well as needing to put away our groceries, we looked in and saw our roommate Brad frying something in a pan. It smelled, and I think he was burning whatever he was making. He thought so too. Soon there was a bunch of smoke, and the fire alarm got set off. I don't think I'd ever really heard a fire alarm until then. But then he went out in the hall and flipped some kind of switch that turned the alarm off, so that was good. Around that time, another guy came in, and introduced himself as another of our roommates, George. George had red-orange hair, which reminded me of Seth Green.

Yes, that was a cute little episode, but after that we lazed around the rest of the day. Researching stuff on the computer, reading, talking to our family once again. (Thank God for Skype. I am in love with it! Just being able to hear our loved ones voices puts me at ease.) As we got ready for bed, you remember our neighbor, Jake? Well, he started singing and playing the piano in his room, probably writing a song or something. (I think he studies music in college.) It was really relaxing, and cool to know that we were getting a private concert from him. He's got some good talent. Soon, we fell asleep to his lovely music...

Thank you for reading about my second day in Boston. I think I'll take down my picture slide-show post, since it's a little confusing and I don't think I'll feel like putting up separate picture and video posts for each day. Maybe at the end of this trip I'll put up the best pics on Picture Perfect, but I'll just simply write about what happens. So I might as well take "text" out of the titles...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Boston Trip ~ Day 1

Sorry it's taken me so long to publish this. I wrote so many notes down and had so little time to blog that it kept piling up! But now I've got some time. I'll start from the very beginning...

I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm was set to go off at 4:30. While I waited quietly in the dark, I said silent good-byes to each of my old stuffed animals. (Yes, I still sleep with a couple toys. Got a problem with that?) A little later, when everyone else was up and ready, we had a quick breakfast of freshly squeezed OJ (thanks, Shira ^,^) and some oatmeal with raisins in it. Oatmeal is such a comforting food, don't you find? Well, it calmed me down a bit. At the table we reviewed everything important Annette and I needed to know before we left, making sure we didn't forget a thing. Now that it was time, I didn't feel so scared like I had been all week leading up to it. More excited. It was really happening. Annette and I were going to be independent!

We threw our four carry-on bags in the trunk (we weren't about to spend extra money on any checking luggage, no sir!) and drove over to airport, which took a while. Then we hugged and kissed our parents and Adam one last time, and entered into what could only be described as... the Great Unknown.

But it wasn't so bad as all that. Security was much easier than I thought it would be. All we had to do was show our boarding passes (the lady was nice and noticed our twin-ness), take our shoes off and pull our laptop computer out of it's case. We didn't set any alarm off. Yay! We weren't terrorists! Walking on, we immediately saw Tamara's kids waiting outside the gate of our plane. We had a nice time talking to them for a while, and then Tamara and her husband, Joe, showed up with donuts for their kids. We were okay with eating the apples we'd packed. We waited with them for more than an hour. We talked a little, told jokes, and watched as the sky outside grew lighter. Before it was time to board, Tamara was nice enough to take our picture, as well as one of us with our friends.

The plane was pretty small. Not like I expected. I guess they save the humongo airplanes for international flights. Oh well. Tamara and everyone sat at the front of the plane while we were assigned seats the back, so we couldn't hang out with them. But that was alright, as long as my twin and I sat next to each other. When the plane finally started to seriously move, it took off almost like it was a theme park ride or something. It was really fast! It was fun watching the land rapidly shrink before our eyes, even though neither of us got a window seat. There was a dude half blocking our view. Soon after the land disappeared, we saw the clouds up close. So puffy. ^_^

My ears popped almost half an hour after being in the air. I soon got bored of the novelty of flying. I snacked on trail mix, read stories from Thin Threads, and switched off listening to the iPod with Annette for 3 hours. Listening to the iPod was particularly engaging and passed the time quickly. I noticed a young girl next to me who looked air-sick, holding a barf bag. Her brother next to her seemed to like looking out the window. A mom a few seats ahead played with her smiley little baby. I can remember thinking about my family, and the last picture I had made of them in my memory, of them standing together and smiling and waving at me and my sister. I almost felt like they were still with me, like they were a couple seats in front of us or something, but we couldn't see them. Just a safe kind of presence was near us. Must have been our angels or something...

I had to go to the plane bathroom a total 3 times. The last time I went, we were probably an hour or so from arriving, so I looked myself in the mirror and gave myself a kind of pep talk, reminding myself to enjoy every single day of this trip, no matter what happens to me. I felt a little silly, but also felt good. It must have been all those Thin Thread stories getting to me.

I never got to finish my trail mix on the plane. I left only the raisins. We started our descent, and the backwards ear-popping was uncomfortable, particularly since I was listening to the iPod at the time and the earbuds were in my ears. We noticed how our empty water bottle got crushed from the pressure of going down. It was funny. I guess there's some sort of science to it involved, but I'm not sure what it was. The windows shone brightly, as if we were in Heaven. Then we went below the clouds and it got darkish. I hoped the weather would be alright down below. Then I saw the city. It looked amazing!

I wanted to take a movie of us leaving the plane with my camera, but I didn't get the chance. Maybe it was just as well that I didn't. Tamara and her family were kind enough to wait up for us, and even let us use their phone to call Benny and Shira and let them know we'd made it to the airport. They were so happy to hear us, and we told them we'd call them later on Skype when we got to the apartment. We left our friends and took the free shuttle bus to the "T" stop and then got a ticket for the train. While waiting for it, I felt the cool Boston air for the first time, and it was refreshing and cool. Quite unlike the muggy Florida weather. Though it did look kind of dark and gloomy. As soon as we got to the Government Center stop, just when we were wondering when the "B" train would arrive, immediately a family pointed to each other and said, "Look, is that the B? Yes, we can just catch it!" So it was like we were in the right place at the right time, or as I like to call it, divine timing. When the train got out of the tunnel and into the city, there weren't many passengers, so we could relax and we took a few pics and vids for the fun of it. At last, we arrived at our stop, right in front of our beloved building. The neighborhood looked just as I'd remembered it, as if we'd never left the place at all. But then we went inside...

There didn't seem to be anybody home at first, but when we got to our room, the first thing I noticed was a small, chihuahua-sized dog, sitting on our bed. It growled at us. Spooky! It was weird because we'd been told that one of the room-mates had a dog, only they'd mentioned a big, Weimaraner dog, not this tiny thing. In fact, it was really weird, because the room looked like someone was already living in it. There was a video game station nearby and a mess of clothes on the floor. In the kitchen we saw a sink full of dirty dishes. Those typical boys! The fridge seemed like a crowded mess of food as well, and it didn't look like we'd have much room for the food we might get. We decided to get the Internet running in the kitchen (didn't want to bother the dog) and call our parents with Skype to give them the lowdown of it. What a relief it was to hear from their voices again, and for them to hear us, too! We told them everything and chatted idly a bit, like 10 minutes, and then we heard someone knocking, so we hung up. There was Brad, a tall guy who looked nice enough, and this other guy Jake. Jake was in the room next to us, and the small dog, named Chico, belonged to a friend of his. Another guy came in who must have been his friend. I'm sorry to say that he immediately gave me the impression he was gay. Like, really gay. But Jake cleaned out our room quickly and made it look as if the mess had never been there. After that, we were left quite alone.

We unpacked and put most all of our stuff in this big drawer. We made up the bed and got the computer back online. Now we were all set! But Jake and his friends in the next room (as well as the gay guy I think there was a girl) were loud and talked an awful lot. They probably had no idea we could hear them and were annoyed by them. As you could see, we wanted to get out of the place as soon as possible, so we made a plan for our first outing: First we'd buy our week-long Charlie Passes at the local 7-11, then get toilet paper (our bathroom was out of it) and a pair of scissors (couldn't take them on the plane, and I need a pair for my scrapbook.) at the CVS, and then shop a bit at the Star (super market). It was really nice walking to the Star. It rained lightly on the way, but we barely even minded it. The raindrops were very small and misty, almost like it was snowing. Though it was still quite gloomy, this was my kind of weather.

Unfortunately, we couldn't buy anything from the store because we'd forgotton our Shaw's rewards card, which allows one to make huge savings on groceries, so all we got was a bag of apples. It would be enough to stave off our hunger, and it would be good for the next morning. We like eating fruit for breakfast. We caught the train back towards home and on the way we went to check the Circle Cinema theater, where we hoped to see the movie UP later on, but, alas, the theater was closed. Not just for the day, but permanently! It was all empty, and looked like it had been that way for a long time. I was quite sad. ~,~ When we got home, we relaxed for a while and I started writing the rough draft for this blog. Then I read my book Thin Threads while Annette wrote in her blog.

Some time later, we made a plan to walk to this beautiful foresty area, I think it's called Chestnut Hill Park, and check out this special tree that we'd carved our initials into last year, to see if they were still there. We did, but it rained some more. I think slightly harder, but it still felt like a cool, pleasant mist. The tree was quite wet when we climbed it, and our hands got real dirty. We could just see our carvings. On the way back, we decided to go out for a pizza pie at one of our favorite places, Presto's. We shared a small mushroom pie that yielded 3 slices each. Soooo tasty!

As you could probably guess, my twin and I were really tired by the time we got back to our little room. By a stroke of luck, Jake's weird friends left a bit after we came back, so that was nice. I read some more, and then Benny, Shira and Adam called us again. It was nice to talk to them. ^_^ It was late then, so we changed out of our clothes and into p.j.s and took out our toothbrushes. An interesting thing is that I'm used to an electric toothbrush, and for this trip we packed regular manual toothbrushes. So now I've got to get used to that! Anyway, Annette and I shared the one double-bed there was in the room, with me closest to the window. We were warm with two layers of blanket covering us. And finally, we went to sleep.

And that was just our first day!