Saturday, January 12, 2008


The Poconos

Bangor is a pretty nice place for those who like the great outdoors, as it is only a few miles from the Appalachian Trail and about 10 miles from The Poconos, a popular mountainous tourist destination full of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, resorts and ski mountains.

In the Poconos we found this cute little duck pond while driving on a back road near Stroudsburg.

We also stopped to gawk at Buttermilk Falls, just off the main highway outside of Stroudsburg. It looks more like a large water slide than an actual waterfall, but we tend to be drawn to just about any kind of waterfall.


Philadelphia is the biggest city in Pennsylvania and only an hour-and-a-half from Rob's mom's house, so we made a day-trip to the popular, eclectic South Street neighborhood to visit with Rob's sister Brandi and her boyfriend Alec.

Brandi's been living in Philadelphia since she turned 18 a couple years ago. Unfortunately we couldn't get a photo of Alec because he was feeling sick.

Here's the funky little clothing store where Brandi currently works on South Street.

South Street is home to all kinds of young artists, giving the neighborhood a hip ambience that makes it one of the most popular destinations in Philadelphia.

Yes, it's art! This is just across from the Whole Foods grocery store on South Street, where we were finally able to restock on a variety of organic and all-natural products that are not available in any stores near where we live in Mississippi.

New York City

That's right, we also hit The Big Apple, also an hour-and-a-half from where we were staying. Here we are in Times Square on a Saturday afternoon.

The goal for this excursion was a visit with Bakar, one of Carley's good friends from college (Vanderbilt) and from her years attending grad school here in Manhattan. These days Bakar has his masters degree and is teaching Creative Writing at a nearby city college.

Rowan really enjoyed these big city day-trips. He loved being strolled down the busy sidewalks, as he babbled away at all the people and cars passing by.

He also really loved this playground at Madison Square Park. He certainly showed his displeasure when we finally had to leave!

One of the great things about New York is that it's so much easier to walk than it is to drive to most places. This playground was only about 10 blocks from Bakar's apartment in the Murray Hill neighborhood (in the area of 5th Ave and 42nd St). We're pretty sure we'd both be in much better physical shape if we lived in a place like New York rather than a small city like Tupelo, where you almost have to drive if you want to go anywhere.

Happy New Year!

New Years Eve found us in Philadelphia again. This time we left Rowan with Rob's mom, who was happy to have an opportunity to babysit for him. Our destination this time was the 7000-seat Tweeter Center (actually just across the river from Philadelphia, in Camden, NJ) to see a concert by local techno-jam-band The Disco Biscuits, with Keller Williams and Antibalas as the opening acts and DJ Loren Bassnectar spinning some dance sets in the lobby. We enjoyed the opening acts, but weren't blown away. It probably would have been better if we had been closer to the stage, but we were all the way at the back of an indoor amphitheatre with reserved seating and very restricted movement everywhere. Ultimately, the DJ Bassnectar action in the lobby was probably the musical highlight for us.

However the concert was really just an excuse to hang out with our friends Ellis and Kristen, whom we hardly ever see these days because they live in southern California. The good thing is that their parents live in Atlanta and Philadelphia, so we have been able to hang out with them for the past 2 New Years Eves in a row. (Last year we saw STS9 with them in Atlanta.) We always love catching up with them and hearing about what they're up to - Ellis is teaching statistics at a college and Kristen does organizational consulting for large non-profit organizations like ACLU and Amnesty International, and we are constantly inspired by them and their accomplishments.

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