Erin Virginia

Name:
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, June 29, 2009

East Coast Living

Today, our good friends, Johnny and Alicia, packed up their Harvard Square apartment, loaded the U-Haul and set out for Chicago. It's a bittersweet move, knowing that they are in our old stompin' grounds, while we remain here on the East Coast. We have so many family members and friends along the Minnesota to Indiana route that it's hard to visit the Midwest for only a couple days.
In other happenings, on Saturday Chris and I were strolling through the cheese section of Whole Foods just as one of the cheese gurus was cracking open a huge wheel of Parmesano Reggiano. Apparently, the very inside shavings of the wheel are the sweetest pieces, kind of like oysters on chickens. We ate samples of the cheese with garlic bread knots and sweet red wine. Whole Foods has the best samples. Chris and I try to go for lunch at least every other week. We typically buy a piece of smoked fish (preferably sea bass) and eat it at their little cafe. Chris has done some smoking himself with a used smoker we found on craigslist but has only had time to smoke a few rounds of fish so far.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Canada

On Friday, June 5, two days after I got back from Chicago, Chris' parents, his younger sister Katie and his grandfather flew in from Indiana. His sister Allison, her husband Rob and their 10 month-old baby, Lilly, also flew in from Minnesota. We had a packed house for dinner that night, but it was so much fun to see everyone.

Saturday morning, everyone packed into a 12-person van, and we set off for Canada. Over the course of the roadtrip, we spent one night in Montreal, two nights in Quebec City and three nights right off the Kennebec River in Maine. All in all, we didn't spend much time in Montreal, but we were able to walk around the city and also hike the peak of Mont Royal, which overlooks the city and the St. Lawrence River. It was also Katie's seventeenth birthday on Saturday, so we had a special dinner to celebrate.

Chris and I love Quebec City - this trip was our second within the year, but I'm still not tired of it. It's often said Quebec City is the most European city in North America, and I very much agree: narrow, brick streets, flowers dripping from windows, big stone churches, etc. We stayed in an adorable B&B that delivered breakfast to our doors in a basket. The two days in Quebec City translated into lots of walking, shopping and eating.
We spent our last three days in Bingham, Maine, at the North Country Rivers lodging facilities. We had our own massive cabin (only one bathroom) with a kitchen and living area. Chris, his dad and Rob all purchased three day fishing licenses, but Allison, Chris' grandfather and I only took out one day licenses. Chris had booked a guide for the first day to show us around a few local fishing spots (including a dam and a couple river spots), but over all three days, no one caught ANYTHING. The rivers were flowing very high, and the weather was rainy the entire time. Such a bummer. Chris and his dad fly-fished most of the time, and the rest of us used spin-casts. We did go on a couple hikes: the first was an easy one with the whole family and the second was practically straight uphill for a mile (Chris' parents, grandfather and Lilly stayed back at the cabin for that one). It was fun, though - we got lost on an insanely bumpy logging trail and had a couple false starts finding the trailhead, but the view at the top was worth it.
Everyone stayed for a couple days in Boston before flying back to Indiana and Minnesota. We walked the Freedom Trail loop and ate a seafood feast on Saturday night. For most of the trip, Lilly provided lots of entertainment--she is a really happy baby. Even when she's tired, she'll smile and laugh.
It's been back to work for us since Monday. Chris accepted a new Sr. Credit Analyst position with Rockland Bank & Trust and is just now getting into the swing of the job.

Chicago 2009

At the very end of May, Chris and I flew to Chicago. I had a work conference downtown Chicago June 1-3 so Chris and I flew out the Friday before and stayed with Sean and Bonny at their new condo over the weekend. Jamie and his girlfriend Samantha also flew in from Minneapolis on Friday, so it was fun to catch up with everyone. We had a fun weekend. One afternoon, we went to a German festival in Lincoln Park and explored the neighborhood surrounding the new condo (Uptown). Sunday, Jamie and Samantha flew back about noon, so the rest of us walked around the city, finally saw The Bean and The Museum of Science and Industry (which has a full-sized submarine in a specially built room) and ate in Greektown that evening. Afterward, Chris and I checked into our hotel room downtown, and while I was at the conference center most of the early week, Chris was able to hang out some more with Sean and Bonny.