Such a busy summer

‘Tis the season for house work–it feels like I’ve barely had a moment to sit down and think. Our apartment was de-leaded earlier this summer and since then I’ve been hard at work re-painting our kitchen with my roomate. Any weekend when I haven’t been doing housework I’ve been on the road somewhere, it feels like. So I’m behind on updates. I have about four drafts saved that I just can’t bring myself to post yet.  Instead of keeping you guys waiting, here’s a brief on what I’ve been up to.

In July, my housemate and I took a trip to Eastham on Cape Cod to visit the house of Captain Penniman.  It was such a lovely day on the Cape that we couldn’t just head back afterwards, so we ended up on the beach for a little while. And of course I forgot sunscreen and subsequently turned lobster red.

Coast Guard beach at Eastham

A few weeks later we were in New Bedford for the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, the largest Portuguese heritage festival (excluding Portugal, I can only assume). Most of the Portuguese-Americans in New Bedford are specifically from Madeira, an island that I have been planning to visit in 2009. So while at the festival we dropped by the Museum of Madeiran Heritage, I got a Madeiran food cookbook (well, I do love to cook), and just kind of soaked in as much as I could from the festivities.

feast of blessed sacrament 085

Wow! Those are some dresses, huh?

feast of blessed sacrament 043

The festival brought back memories of when my family and I used to go to the Greek-American parades in Boston. Greek Independence Day is March 25th, which is a bit nippy up here in New England, so the parades were usually on the cold and dreary side.

So glad I got to go to this festival though. I have been dying to visit Madeira for a few years now and am now more psyched than ever to go and see it for myself. If all goes as I hope, I’ll be able to make a quick stop in Morocco on the way back from Madeira too, but we’ll see about that.  Meantime I have about a year to get ready — I hope I can squeeze in a few Portuguese lessons.

Early in August I was at Otakon with some friends. During the con, I was a guest at the Future of Jrock panel along with a number of industry guests and musical artists. The audience was so engaged and I took a ton of notes from it.  When I’m at liberty to speak more about events from that weekend I definitely will, but for now I’m holding off a bit.

Finally, just yesterday I went on a Boston harbor islands cruise with friends on a lovely sailboat owned by Community Boating Inc (CBI) of Boston. It was a proper sailboat–no motors here!–and I got to help out as crew when I could make myself handy, namely by being the navigator.  I’ve never done nautical navigation before so it was a crash course in reading a nautical map and learning all the different markers. What a great experience!

I now know that this thing here is called a nun:

Nun 10A

Nuns, cans, daymarks — oh yea, and Nixes Mate. Until yesterday I had absolutely no idea what any of these things were (basically all marks to tell you where you are!), they were just funny buoys in the water. It kind of got me hooked into sailing now. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd for maps and navigating on the water is definitely a thrill.

Harbor islands sailboat cruise

(Our final destination for the day was Georges Island, in case you were curious.)

I’d like to note that even though I learned my lesson from the Cape trip earlier this summer and remembered to wear sunscreen AND reapplied throughout the day, I still turned lobster red by the end of yesterday. I can’t win. I’ll be in southern Pennsylvania for Labor Day to visit family, on Martha’s Vineyard the weekend after, doing the Hub on Wheels ride two weekends after and then visiting NYC the weekend after that.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it.