Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmastime in Baltimore

Today is my first snow day! We got about a foot of snow two days ago, it hasn't snowed since, and still no school! I like this place.

Kelly and I have been trying to get into the Christmas spirit, but it's been a little hard without snow and all the dead, brown Halloween-looking trees all over the place. Our apartment is looking good, though!

Our first Christmas tree, Dmitri. (a.k.a. DmiTREE, though maybe we should have named it Charlie Brown, because it looks kinda like his little tree.)

We built a gingerbread house together!
Of course the snow outside makes it feel much more like home and like Christmastime. When it snowed on Saturday, the power went out at our apartment for about 5 hours. It was kind of fun. We had candles and read and I took 3 naps and we did all the dishes and Kelly made us soup, and we had our wonderful "Level 6 warmth" down blanket from Ikea to keep us warm! It was a relief when the power came back on, though.

Church was canceled yesterday because of the snow, so we spent two days inside, and now today is a snow day! What a great weekend! Kelly did have work, so I drove him over and his boss was late so got to we sit together in the car for awhile this morning. And I'm meeting him for lunch!

I doubt tomorrow will be a snow day, but I also doubt that many students will show up. I'm planning a fun activity for the few that do come, and I have Wednesday off to fly home! (Looks like my World History kids get out of that test until 2010.) Kel and I are so excited to come home the day after tomorrow!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!

Thanksgiving and Nariman

The view from our balcony on Thanksgiving morning

Thanksgiving was a wonderful break off of school. We woke up to a foggy day and we spent it doing laundry and cleaning our home. (Our little apartment hasn't been that clean since we moved in!) Then Kelly made us a fine Thanksgiving feast of rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes from a box, dressing from a box, and cranberries from a can. It was tasty and more than enough for the two of us! Unfortunately, we gobbled it up before I remembered to take a picture of it.

The next day, Nariman flew in! We met him at the airport and then we wandered around the Inner Harbor and took him to dinner at a swanky seafood restaurant right on the water. We had so much fun just hanging out with him!

The next day we headed out early and went to the Edgar Allen Poe house here in Baltimore. (Nariman is a big fan of E.A. Poe.) Then we hit the road for Philly. We went to another Poe house up there and that was pretty cool. We made it just in time to see everything before it closed. After that we wandered around downtown Philadelphia and got hot chocolate (coffee in Nariman's case) and had a great time. We didn't get to see the Liberty Bell or anything like that because it was late. We were just killing time before our concert started.
I can't remember what this building is called! It's in Philadelphia, though.
Me, Kelly, and Nariman chillin' in Philly.

We got pizza for dinner (not as good as the pizza place by Temple University that kept me alive during TFA summer institute, but still good) and we went to the Mountain Goats concert! We only had about 4 or 5 layers of people between us and the stage and the Mountain Goats were great! I even mostly enjoyed the opening band, Final Fantasy. It was a guy with a violin hooked up to a synthesizer, then he'd play a little bit and then the synthesizer would loop it so it played over and over, so he'd keep layering the pieces. It was really interesting, but literally a little too repetitive. But really, the concert was so awesome! (Despite the annoying girl who wedged herself in front of me who smelled like cat litter.) It was so crazy, the lead singer looked and acted so much like my Uncle Kevin, and what didn't look like Uncle Kevin looked like my dad. I'm kind of wondering if they have a lost brother. It was a good show, especially since they sang my theme song of the year, "This Year" which contains the all-too-fitting line "I am gonna make it through this year, if it kills me." Yep, sounds about like my life at Baltimore Liberation High School.

We drove home late that night and were stuck in traffic at 2AM because of the stupid toll road. We got home past 3 and immediately went to bed. The next day we hung out around the apartment and went to Edgar Allen Poe's grave site. It was in the churchyard of an old church. That was the coolest cemetery I've ever seen. It was so old (you can't get old like that in Utah) and there were above-ground tombs and mausoleums and sepulchers. It was really interesting.

Kelly and me at E.A.P.'s grave

It must have been a good refrigerator to deserve such a fine burial

This marble slab in the cemetery has bent! Apparently it is quite a phenomenon and was on Ripply's Believe it or Not.

On Monday, Nariman was flying out in the afternoon, so Kelly and I both took work off and we spent the morning in D.C. We went to the National Archives and saw the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States. We saw the Washington Monument, the Lincoln memorial from afar, and the White House. Then we went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Since it was free, we didn't have a problem just seeing a few exhibits. Mainly, stuffed animals---not like F.A.O. Schwartz, but like taxidermy. We also saw a whole bunch of animal skeletons and went into a live butterfly room. One landed on my leg and wouldn't get off. We were told not to touch them because it could damage their wings or antennae or legs, so it just sat there and sat there and a bunch of people took pictures of it. Kelly tried, but it was blurry, but Nariman got a good one. Finally a lady with a brush got it off and I was able to walk normally again.
The National Archives
Kelly and Nariman looking at the Constitution (it was really dark, so sorry for the quality of the picture)

The Declaration of Independence. I had to take it in two pictures. In the bottom one you can barely make out John Hancock's big signature.

The Washington Monument
Kelly and Nariman looking at the Lincoln Memorial from the Washington Monument
It looks just like a penny!
I don't think Obama was home.
Smithsonian Giant Squid!!!
Nariman and some fishes
Kelly and the Walrus (it sounds like the title of a children's book)

Me and a seal
Kelly and Nariman and a GIANT TURTLE!
Flying Squirrels!
For cute! Too bad they're dead.
Fish skeleton
Dead butterflies.
Live butterflies!
Live butterfly who I started wishing was dead so I could get it off of my leg and walk normally again.

After that we hurried and got some lunch and ran Nariman to the airport where we said bye until Christmas break. It was so fun having him here! We're so glad he came and invite him back anytime!

Thanks for such a fun Thanksgiving break, Nariman!


I'm trying to catch up! Finally!

A few weeks ago we catsat our friends' from church kitten, Yoda (named for how he sets his ears when he sleeps). He was adorable and quite a handful. Kelly had been wanting to get a cat for awhile, and I wasn't really willing to get one in this tiny apartment. Besides, I was raised knowing that cats are outside animals. Well, this little guy was so crazy sometimes, Kelly decided that our apartment is too small for a kitty. I win. We had fun while Yoda was here, though.

I tried so hard to take a picture of him sleeping with his ears down on the sides of his head, but this is the best I got.