Category Archives: Vacations

quick linkages

No deep musings for this post, simply a list of links to photos and youtube videos from the recent whale watching trip, soccer game, and such…

The sharks smile as they swim past in the big tank at Boston Aquarium:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsyRTXJeEs4

Jellyfish (Pacific Sea Nettles).  The photo didn’t turn out nearly as well, which is sad, since I wanted it as a potential background for my PC.  Very relaxing to watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JcKna8bnAo

A whale feeding, just off the starboard side. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYBS1fJZJpw

Another whale, making the bubble net and feeding, then diving back underwater. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZAthIq3UZk

The kid, playing in the fountain near Quincy Market, Boston.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT2oVbcZ_bM

Sprogling’s first soccer game.  We were “Those parents” who yelled and cheered, and I even tried to get the others to do ‘The Wave‘.  Sadly, the other parents tended to mostly sit on their chairs watching, or chatting on cell-phones, or reading. *sigh*    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RARh3qX_tes

Kid throwing the ball back in-play after it went out-of-bounds.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75XtDRQxhg

Photos:   During the Soccer game.
The penguins at the aquarium.
A seal, at the aquarium.
Happy Kid, after playing in the fountain.
Happy Maebius, eating with a tasty brew.

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Filed under Random, School, sprogling, Vacations

Whale Whatching!

Yes, the typo is intentional in the topic.

Photos and pictures to come later, but we returned from a really fun time in Boston for a whale watch.  I’ll summarize here, and post links and photos in a second blog entry this week.  Work’s busy and the evenings are still filled with barn de-construction.  🙂

The bus left at 4:30am on Saturday, and we returned home just after midnight.   Loooong day.

Once we arrived at the harbor, we boarded the large catamaran boat and headed out to sea.   I liked all the little islands we passed in the harbor, and the view of Fort Warren.  The trip out to sea took about an hour or so, and the waves were somewhat choppy (2ft chop, they said) so there was a bit of a mini-game we played inside the seating area.   I’ll simply describe it as anti-Twister, where you tried to Avoid putting hands and feet in the coloured spots on the floor.  (I was surprised just how many people get seasick, since it is exciting to me, not illness-inducing at all)

When we got out approximately 25 miles from shore, we saw whales!!!!   The humpbacks were feeding, which was really neat.  They would blow little ‘bubble nets’ underwater, to encircle the schools of krill and little fish, then swim up into the circle of bubbles and fill their mouths before diving back down and doing it again elsewhere.   All told, we saw what the captain estimated at 15-20 whales in the surrounding area,  and at least 7 individual whales in our immediate location.   They identified one as “Anvil” but did not have too many clear fluke-shots from the bridge to positively ID others.

On the way back, around 1pm, the kid slept after finally crashing from being up since 3:30am.  The return trip to shore was much calmer as we were traveling with the waves, and a steady tailwind. Returned to port around 2:30.

After this, we went to the Boston Aquarium.  That is a really neat place, with a huge, HUGE tank in the middle, full of fish and sharks, and a few eels, and the usual “big tank” sort of occupants.  (video of shark to come!)

All around the bottom were four species of penguin, which was really neat.  The African penguin sounds almost exactly like a burro/donkey, which was very funny.

After the aquarium, we played in a big fountain in the area, which was probably my son’s favorite part of the whole trip.  Shows once again that the best things are [relatively] free!   The fountain was a big flat tiled area, with little holes all around it.  From time to time, jets of water would come shooting out of the holes, in somewhat random patterns, to heights around 15 feet or so.   The kids in the area loved running through the jets, or dashing under the spouts as they rained down again.   Luckily, we had spare clothes in the bus, but for a short time, the kid got to wear my wife’s very over-sized sweatshirt in order to cover his soaking bottom.

After the fountain, we realized we had about an hour or so before the bus arrived to take us home, so we visited Kitty O’Shea’s Irish Pub.  I had the most delicious Fish&Chips I think I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, topped by a frosty Guinness from the tap.  YUMMM!!

The bus arrived a bit late (around 7pm instead of 6:30), and most of the scouts drifted off pretty quickly.   I fell asleep for a little bit, but very restlessly due to the uncomfortable seats.   Still, when we arrived back home around midnight, I consider the trip a successful adventure.

And that real bed felt extra-welcoming when we finally sprawled into it at, fast asleep almost before our heads hit the pillow.

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Filed under Druidic, Faerie, Healing, Outdoors, Vacations

happiness is a howl to the moon and a root beer in your hand.

Forgive the somewhat cliche and lengthy title, but it sums up my mood today (monday).

This weekend, we took the long five hour+ journey to PA to help out a friend and get some things done that needed done. It involved shopping, and sawing, and such, but was not overly strenuous in terms of physical chores.  Still, there was much productivity and Things Got Done(tm).

The amazing thing about the whole weekend, was the transformation that overcame our family (or at least my wife and I) over the course of it.  Lately, things have been a bit grey and mundane.  We dealt with a death in the family, a relative’s unrelated auto accident, and one of those every project at work deadlines Today times that crop up.  The fact I had to miss my herb class made the weekend seem initially like just another Chore.
(no insult intended to those we visited, we still were going to come regardless. *grin*)

In reality, with such an unexpectedly relaxed atmosphere, and high productivity, it felt like this was a weekend quite well spent!  The trip down was made in record time, so much so that I am almost convinced that my joking comment about “taking the moon roads” (a ley-line shortcut) was partially correct.

The shopping resulted in new shoes that make walking comfortable, and thus firming the foundations of my family.   We ate tasty food that nourished our bodies as well as my heart (huevos rancheros = divinity on a plate!).   I played at the park and watched my usually shy son wander right up and get himself involved with both a pick-up Baseball game, and a Soccer match!

It was one of those weekends that just worked. Things went right, the sun shone unseasonably bright and warm, and a myriad of magical minutiae happened.

Even the ride home, usually long and arduous, was filled with the three of us howling at the moon when it peeked from the clouds, interspersed with an unusually chatty kid who put away his video game to play “alphabet games”.  I’m sure any bystanders seeing a family of 3 driving slowly with faces suddenly stretched upwards to the window in a long Awwrroooooo, would think we were nuts.   But we had fun, darn it.

The root beer?   A tasty treat from Trader Joes, to ease parched throats along the ride. Nothing less, but perchance more.  It was magic potion faerie root elixir if the kid is to be believed.

I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation!

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Filed under Faerie, Foodage, Healing, Moon Muse, Silly, sprogling, Vacations

The joy of working

Due to some mis-planned lack of vacation over the course of the year, I found myself with over four weeks of paid time for work, which I needed to use up before the end of September.   The end result of this is I’ve been working either half-days at night-shift, or staying home completely for the last two weeks.

I noticed some interesting personal habits during this time, not least of which is that this vacation-time has been filled by camping, travel, and a surprising lack of actual “stay at home time”, which I had expected.

Initially, I spent the first day or two just lounging around.  I played on the computer late at night, I slept in (relatively speaking) with the kid during the day, and otherwise didn’t do a whole lot of anything that might be easily called “productive”.

Then the cabin fever started to kick in.  Either that or the guilt of letting dishes pile up.

The few days I was at work (today and tomorrow) actually feels enjoyable, which surprised me.   I also had found myself spontaneously making plans for chores around the house, like vacuuming the upstairs, mowing the lawn on my day off, and other such stuff that usually gets reserved for weekend free-time.

It’s actually kind-of neat, and strangely telling, how once the initial joy of non-work fades away after a few days, I naturally try to fill the time again with stuff resembling ‘work’ that is usually avoided when hip-deep in “real job” daily life schedules.

I’m not alone in this, according to many many anecdotal stories of self-employd people, retired family&friends, and other blogs.

Must be a natural part of the human condition, to constantly adapt to change, and fill that time with “stuff”.

It makes me realize a bit how before the modern 9-5 job was forced upon us as a societal norm, the old artisans could afford to spend hours and hours of their craftmenship.  Perhaps it was more than just working for a living, with a pride in their craft.   Perhaps it’s human nature to “do stuff”.

It’s just a matter of making sure the “stuff” we do is healthy, beneficial, and encouraging, lest we fall into bad habits.

Habits, after all, are habit-forming.   😀

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Filed under Moon Muse, Questions, Vacations, Work