Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Times have gotten rougher.

I'm back from Ecuador, and surprisingly in one piece. There were several moments on this trip that made me believe that I perhaps would not make it home. The number one being the bus crash I got into on August 31. Apparently the bus driver fell asleep, hit a bad bump as he drifted off the road, was jolted awake and we started to fishtail. Eventually we started rolling off the road, the bus started to flip over, and I got thrown out of the window. Again, I am surprisingly home and in one piece. I have some pretty epic battle wounds, but they'll heal. I just hope that I can say the same about my back and ribs. It happened near the coast, so the fall off the road was not too far. But still, I know I am lucky to be alive.

The worst part of the entire ordeal was not actually getting into a crash. 2 days earlier there was another bus accident near the capital, Quito. For those not familiar with Ecuador's geography, the Andes mountains run right through the center of the country. As a result, Quito is over 10,000 feet above sea level. It's known as 2-mile-high-city. (To put that in perspective, Denver is 1-mile-high-city, so Quito is twice as high up.) Since this other bus crash happened near Quito, and fell over 300 feet off a mountain, it had fatal results. 38 people died. The bus driver had so many driving violations he should not have even been allowed to have a license, much less be employed by a bus company. The company is now shut down, thankfully.

In Ecuador, bus crashes are regular occurrences, not freak accidents. In fact, the same day our bus skidded off the road, 15 hours earlier another bus did the same just 2 hours away. Another accident happened just before we left, and not even a week ago, 9 more people died in an Ecuadorian bus crash from the same company we were on (Reina del Camino, a supposedly reputable company, although I beg to differ. They seem to be having "bad luck" lately. Within the last month they have had 2 bus crashes plus a hijacking. They probably should be investigated by Ecuador's transit department.) I think it is incredibly sad that this is every day life for Ecuadorians. Their lives are not seen as valuable. (On our bus tickets, it said that if we were to die or become paralyzed, our families would receive just $3,000 and they would only cover up to $500 of hospital bills. Imagine if Greyhound tried to pull that!!!) The bus drivers do not learn from the other accidents and still gamble with these people's lives. Either way, the bus drivers are paid the same and the faster they get to their destination, the sooner they can get on with their life for the day. Tourists, especially budget travelers like myself, are susceptible to these horrible chances as well. We can't afford to rent cars, hire private taxis, or fly from city to city. 2 years ago, 5 Brits died from another Reina del Camino crash. People are forced onto these buses because of economic reasons and every time they do, they could lose their life. Sad to say, but if we were in Colombia this would not have happened. Even in a country where you could get kidnapped and held for ransom, Colombia has much stricter bus regulations than Ecuador has.

Another pathetic item about this whole ordeal... The next day we had to go back to where we bought our tickets and they would not refund us! They would only issue us no tickets. SERIOUSLY?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gone to Ecuador!

Be back in a few weeks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's been a rough few weeks.

The last few weeks have been a bit hard for me to get on the computer. Although not close friends of mine, yet friends with Peter and even closer with Peter's best friend, the two bands (Early Graves and Funeral Pyre) that stayed with us less than a month back had a really bad van accident fairly recently.. And when I say really bad, I mean fatal.

My best wishes to the family and friends. My heart goes out to all of yours.

RIP Mahk Daniels.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nursing school.

Last night I finished my application, paid for it, and then sent all of my transcripts to Bay State College in Boston, MA. I already have a Bachelors Degree in History, but now I want to go back to school. I am applying to their Associates of Science in Nursing program. Their program is a brand-new program, and as a result, they still have spots left for the nursing program for this fall. I'd basically come back from Ecuador and then start nursing classes the next day.... If I get in! I hope! I really would LOVE to start the education for my new career. It's something I have talked about for 2 years, taken the pre-requisite classes for, but everywhere seems to have a long waiting list! I am hoping I get in to this program.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

vacation, so soon.. yet so far.

Peter and I embark on our trip across Ecuador in less than a month from now! I've been so busy booking things, working my butt off, finishing off this nursing school application, cleaning, cooking, visiting friends, having friends visit, etc. I wish I had more time to update my blog. I just have some photobooth photos to share.

Peter modeling his Ecuador jungle attire for me.

My hair is getting so long!

I can even wear it up now :)

The plan is to send Benjamin Franklin away in this box of beer..

One of my favorite people, Simone, came to visit recently as well. She's Brazilian but now lives in Australia. But she's visiting the states for the summer!

One of my favorite people, Simone, came to visit recently as well. She's Brazilian but now lives in Australia. But she's visiting the states for the summer!

I want to add stuff to my Etsy store, but I am leaving for my holiday so soon. I think I should wait until after I get back?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday's Menu: Pizza!

Pizza isn't something I get to enjoy all that often, as I'm severely lactose intolerant. My tummy does NOT like most cheeses. Daiya and Vegan Gourmet cheeses, however, are a go! So I decided to make some pizza of my own. I didn't make the dough myself, but I picked it up from the Stop'N'Shop I frequent. It's the closest grocery store to us, and the dough was pretty good!

I rolled out about half the dough, put some extra virgin olive oil in the casserole dish, and laid everything out. I first layered fresh baby spinach with some finely chopped garlic and olive oil. Then a little bit of red sauce, baby portobello mushroom slices, buffalo'ed Gardein chik'n tenders, fresh tomato, and then the "cheeses."

I first cooked it for about 15 minutes, and it looked done, but it wasn't. I didn't cook it long enough, but I quickly popped it back in the oven for a few more minutes and it was fine. AND DELICIOUS!

Notes: I can't decide if I love the Vegan Gourmet or Daiya cheese better. Both are good and come in a variety of flavors. I'd say Daiya definitely melts better, but both are tasty.
As for the Gardein products, I much prefer their frozen items. I haven't been too happy with the refrigerator stuff, but the frozen chicken/beef is AMAZING!! It holds up really well in stews too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

touring bands

Earlier this week, California bands The Funeral Pyre and Early Graves stayed with Pete and me in our little apartment by the sea. The living room floor, normally wood, was carpeted with sleeping bags. The dogs loved it. They had extra cuddle buddies. It was like they were having a sleepover party. They've been playing in MA and NH the last few days, and one of the shows was at Church in Boston, which I was thought was a pretty rad venue as well. Pete played with them in Haverhill at Anchors Up on Wednesday evening, but sadly, I did not get to attend as I had work.

The boys' sleepover party.

Church's bathroom. I thought they were cool.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

our little man

Benjamin Franklin is dressed up to go see his dad.

Pete took a 20-something mile bike ride to his friends' house and now is stranded there, so Ben and I are going to pick him up, but with this sweet little get-up I (half) made him, Pete's pride and joy is sure to get some extra love later!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

my job

I actually hold down 2 jobs, both in the food and beverage industry, close to where I live. Although I could not say which job I love more, I can say that I love this view the best, no matter the weather.

Every Sunday and Monday, rain or shine, for 12 hours, this is what I gaze out at. Not bad, right?

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Coming home from a long and stressful day at work, opening the fridge for a drink, and seeing this... makes everything OK.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

carnival type things.

Not only was the Loui beach'n'bake 2 weekends ago, the St Peter's Fiesta (and carnival) was this weekend that just passed. Both were fun, but I didn't take a lot of photos. Here are some of the highlights of both though!

At the Loui's in New Hampshire. Peter with some friends.

The Loui clan, making cotton candy.

This is us at St Peter's Fiesta... Peter bought some fried dough and was sprinkling powdered sugar out onto it. It was coming out quite slowly and very little at a time, so he thought he would just lightly powder me as well. However, a whole bunch of the sugar came out on me, so I grabbed the sugar back and hit him in the face with some sugar as well! I thought we looked adorable, and the girls selling us the dough thought we were funny. They took this photo of us. I love it!

Another New Hampshire photo...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just some recent photos of us that I like..

Picnic with Peter and the pups.

Brushing each others' teeth at the apartment.

Cape Cod, after he ran a 5K for melanoma.

At the Charleston, in Brooklyn, at one of Pete's shows.

St. Peter's Fiesta has commenced! I should be busy all weekend. I'm excited for the carnival.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Iron Works Anniversary.

One of the most solid people I've met since I've met since I moved to New England is Jason Loui. Not only is he a talented tattoo artist, he's also one of Pete's best friends. In addition, he is one of the owners of Iron Works Tattoo in Portsmouth, NH. Recently, they celebrated their 1 year anniversary and they had a bitchin' party that went along with it.

Here's Jason loving on my man.

My boyfriend is really cool and 31 and still does keg stands.

The food, drinks and especially the company were all fantastic. Great party!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Puerto Rico!

Here are a few photos from Kendra and my trip to Puerto Rico. It was a quick 5 day vacation for us, as we both had to get back to the grind. It sucks that it took me an entire month after we got home to post these...

Kendra at one of the waterfalls in El Yunque. I thought it was kind of magical how the light reflected off the lens and sort of created a bubble of light around her.

We also ventured to Cueva Ventana, which is a sick cave that took us awhile to muster up the balls to go into. It wasn't a guided tour and we had to go back and buy flashlights before we went in, but the view was spectacular. Totally worth it.

Here I am enjoying the wonderful bath water of the ocean in Carolina, right by our hotel.

Our own little cabana.

I love mojitos and the perfect weather we experienced.

In addition to the beach, El Yunque National Park, a few caves and caverns, and massive amounts of drinking, we also ziplined through the jungle. It was AMAZING. None of those photos really turned out well, but I was in love. I'm also scared of heights, so it was huge for me to do that. I am glad I did.

still awful at posting!

Here's Pete's second day of the time lapse video getting his entire right arm outlined.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm so sorry!

I know that I've been the worst at updating this blog. I went to Puerto Rico, worked the next day for a few days straight, then had to move. We've been settling in the new apartment, slowly but surely. I've also been working 6 days a week, now that the high season in Gloucester is on the verge of starting. I'm sure I'll be back to posting more when I have a little more time for myself.

But! Here's a link to a quick video of Peter getting tattooed this past weekend. He flew out to San Jose, CA for 2 days so that Adrian Lee from Analog Tattoo could outline and shade his entire right sleeve. He's got some really beautiful work and Peter was so excited Adrian could fit him into his schedule. Peter has wanted to get tattooed by him for years! And it is the perfect design for Peter... Exactly what he wanted without having to ask for it specifically.

It's a time lapse video too. Pretty rad! Just day 1 though. I hope to see a day 2 at some point... I didn't get to go so I like to watch the video. It almost feels like I was there. I am glad to have my man home now though. I missed him terribly. Also, I am damn jealous he got to get tattooed AND go to California!

More soon... Love.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

feng shui

I've been dreaming about the new apartment at night and for some reason it is all about the feng shui of it. When I wake up to look up what I said we should do with placing furniture and painting the walls in accordance to feng shui, it's largely wrong. My color choices aren't too off (green and yellow match our elements, wood and earth, for myself and Peter respectively), but everything else is completely incorrect. So, I've been doing some research on feng shui and we have decided that we are going to arrange things according to feng shui "rules" to maximize our love, health and wealth!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We got the apartment!

We are so happy! It's an adorable 2 bedroom apartment in a house built in the 1920's in Gloucester, MA. It's in the Rocky Neck neighborhood, which is my favorite neighborhood in Gloucester, hands down. I was pushing so hard to live around here and we got it! Since the building is almost 100 years old, it's an older apartment. But it has all hardwood floors, decks, and the location is unbeatable! And the spare bedroom will be perfect for couchsurfers, friends and family.
Sorry for the awful pictures. They're from the realtor.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh my gosh! Puerto Rico!

In less than two weeks, my friend Kendra and I depart for San Juan, Puerto Rico! We are staying at The Beach House Hotel and I am DYING at how gorgeous it is. From the hotel rooms, to the lounge, cabanas and restaurant... I am speechless. But I can definitely tell why it is considered Puerto Rico's chic-est boutique hotel. Also, it is reasonably priced because we are going during the off season! Kudos to Kenda's mom on finding this place for us..

We are staying here for 3 nights, out of the 4 we are in PR. Our last night we are renting a tent and sleeping on the beach. How awesome does that sound?!

Also planned: exploring the caves in Camuy, ziplining through the El Yunque rainforest and being babes. Duh.

I can't express enough how excited I am to go. I could REALLY use a vacation. I think the last one I took was to Spain back in September! I wish Peter could come, but I think it will be nice to just get away with Kendra. Plus we're headed to Ecuador for a few weeks in August and September.

I love Peter, but I also love that we are both really independent people and have our own lives outside of each other. I would hate being one of those couples that don't have any friends and just hang out with each other and no one else all the time. I think it's healthy for us to maintain everything we have going on in our lives, even if we don't both enjoy them. For example, Peter will never crochet with me, but I probably will never go hiking for 3 days straight in the middle of the winter either. Summer? Sure, but not in January!

Also, we put in an application for an apartment, so progress is being made with finding us a new home! We won't have as nice of views as we do in Dogtown Commons, but Rocky Neck is the cutest little arts section. It's America's first art colony, and we will be right there. Plus it's about half a mile from a yarn shop that also stocks the cutest buttons as well. I hope we get the apartment! We should be finding out any day now. I can't wait to get in there and paint!

Monday, April 19, 2010

bushnell park, hartford

Last week I surprised Pete with a quick getaway in Connecticut. For over a week beforehand, I was giving him tiny clues about what we were doing and where it would be. He had no idea! But this past Friday, I finally revealed that he would be meeting me in Bushnell Park, which is in Hartford. We drank tea, blew bubbles, and watched the fish in the pond.

I was so bummed the carousel was not open yet! If it was warmer, I'd have made us a picnic and ride those old horses over and over.

After the park, I found out about Evan's passing. We went back to the hotel and I cried. He cuddled me and we drank champagne. I needed to relax.
We had dinner at an Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant called Abyssinian that he didn't like so much, but I thought was alright. I was looking forward to it because of the wonderful reviews on Yelp, but it didn't live up to my expectations. I maintain that West Philadelphia's Ethiopian food places are way better. Dahlak, please!
I'm still a bit of a mess, but I am trying my best to keep on. Pete has been intrinsic with this process. I love him dearly for it, and many other things too.