For a few days I thought I might give up writing the year in review posts. Gathering all these photos together, uploading them to the hosting site (yeah, I know blogger hosts, but my technologically handicapped brain can't figure out the formatting options) and then attempting to remember details about whatever is going on in the photos is way more time consuming than I'd like to admit. But I have some free time..... Ok, seriously, I'm lost this time of year when all my friends start to head to their respective homes and destinations for the holidays and I remain here solo.
After the success of our previously mentioned hiking trip in the Palisades (from Year in Review Part I), we agreed we were ready for a longer trip, and packed ourselves up for a Memorial Day weekend camping excursion in the Catskills. We booked some primitive sites at Devil's Tombstone State Park (how could we not stay at a place with that name?) and spent the weekend taking shits in holes in the ground and marveling over our inherent yet primitive ability to light and maintain a fire.
The limited amount of exploring we did (the Palisades really did a number on our, or rather my, interest in hiking) brought us to Kaaterskill falls, the tallest falls in the Catskills, and if I remember correctly also in the entire state of New York (as in, taller than Niagara falls.) If you squint really hard and stand upside down on your head, you can barely make out a weird white-colored shape just right of the top of the bottom falls, close to the ledge. That's either my friend David or Chris or girl-Chris, though I'm not entirely sure which one it actually is because they are so small. Blonde Allison and I agreed to be lazy and wait at the bottom of the falls with She-ra until our friends returned.
This was the beach at North-South lake. They didn't allow dogs on this beach, so we went to the other shore which ended up being better because it was covered with nice squishy grass and everyone knows nice squishy grass is better than hard rocky sand anyway. We also rented some kayaks and canoes, and paddled around the lake for a bit.
So when I said we rented some boats and paddled around the lake, what I actually meant was that with the exception of a 10-minute run, my friends did the majority of the boating. I mostly waited around on the shore, alternately soaking up the sun, reading my book, and pretending the water wasn't nearly as cold as it actually was. I saw this family of ducks during this super productive time.
I wasn't the only one hanging out on the shore. Dan spent some time keeping me company, though at one point, decided he needed a bath. Our primitive site back at Devil's Tombstone barely had a faucet with running water, let alone a shower, so Dan chose to bathe in the lake. Three to four days later, he was wondering why and how on earth he managed to get ringworm.
I'd like to say that this photo was more towards the end of our trip, but sadly I think it was only about half way through. We were actually having a really good time, just a little bit tired. Here, Dan rejuvenates and revitalizes his eyes with some cucumber slices while the rest of us drink beer and stare aimlessly into the fire.
The following photos are from a spur-of-the-moment trip I took to Boston a few weeks later.
Some random bar, somewhere downtown. Or Chinatown. Or maybe the financial district. Does Boston even have any of those three things?
I walked along the freedom trail for a bit, which took me past the old home of Paul Revere. I think it's the lower brownish building in this photo, but it might have also been another building hidden behind the brick wall.
The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world.
Dry dock at the Edmund Hart Shipyard. In case the previous photos weren't evidence enough, I'll tell you now, I live for shit like this.
War of 1812 Reenactor, near the Shipyard.
One of the last touristy things I did was take a ferry tour of the harbor. Shot this from the roof deck.
Most of my summer-time weekends were spent either in the park or at the beach, watching my friends play sports (and sometimes joining in.)
There were a lot of random memories from these days, though at the moment nothing in particular stands out as a story worth sharing from this time. The following are photos from a variety of these weekends.
here, my fellow non-jock friends relax with margaritas while watching kickball.
Towards the end of July, some friends gathered together for their annual camping trip at a Christmas tree farm upstate. I had never attended this yearly event, and was surprised to see over 40 ppl in attendance when we arrived. We set up our tents in a big opening on the far side of a lake on the property, opposite the actual Christmas trees. Despite no working bathrooms or running water of any kind, the following days seemed more like summer camp for adults rather than actual camping.
Camp Christmas Tree
Ben and Paul, superheroes (or, the ambiguously gay duo)
Singing campfire classics like GNR's "Don't Cry" around, well, the campfire.
Just like summer camp as a child, the first few to fall asleep got fucked with. Here, Brook gets tied to his chair, covered in peanuts, and face-painted with mud.
Near the peak of the summer, I organized a few voter registration drive events at the Pool Parties. The first one could have been a complete failure had it not been for the kind and very generous folks at Brooklyn Brewery. The weekend I chose as our first big drive also happened to be the weekend mother nature chose for her first big storm of the season. The pool area was flooded in a lot of places, the rain would not let up, and we did not have a tent or any way of keeping ourselves or our voter registration cards dry. So we asked around, and Brooklyn Brewery came to our aid. They not only gave us a big ole' tent to keep us dry, but also fed us, non-stop, their summer ale and lager. Thanks to BK Brewery's support, we managed to register over 100 people.
Us, under the BK Brewery tent.
The newly installed lake to the left of us.
After a couple rounds, Matt convinced me we needed to run through this puddle.
Sometime over the summer, my sister moved from Florida to DC. This was a pretty big deal for both of us. For her, she'd never lived more than two hours away from my parents, much less out of state. For me, It was the first time in four years that I've had a family member within driving distance. During the first week of August, I pulled a little disappearing act and went down to visit her for a few days, though I forgot my camera, and don't have any photos (shame too, the Smithsonians are some of my favorite museums.)
The remaining weeks of August were filled with trips to the beach, a handful of roof-parties (I won't bore you with those photos), and a few not-so-fun events. My car was broken into a few times, my sister was mugged at gunpoint (actually, my timeline is off, that happened before she moved to DC), I had to serve Jury Duty, and worst of all, we found out our mother had cancer. But don't worry, this paragraph has a happy ending, though it will be continued in the next part of my review.