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4/30/10
Frozen Peeps = so good!

Off to the Stadium on a rare sunny Friday night. Tomorrow I'm off to Chicago, where it's supposed to rain on Sunday (when I have Cubs tix). Figures.

later on 4/29/10
Fences - wow wow wow. Blown away by Viola Davis and of course Denzel.

Oh and I won $10 in a scratch-off lotto ticket. I used the winnings to buy a large caramel-and-banana ice cream thing at the Seaport.

4/29/10
So, CC Sabathia has been pitching (quite well!) with Cervelli as his catcher. But last night, he was pitching to Posada (which I have no problem with). But I joked, man, why can't Jorge get hit or suffer a devastating injury so Francisco can come in and catch? And what do you know, in the top of the second, Jorge got hit in the leg and had to come out of the game - and then Cervelli went 2-4 and has the highest average on the team.

I am going out to buy some lottery tickets, maybe my luck will hold. I have also asked the weather gods to let up on the rain for tomorrow's game at the Stadium. I probably have a greater chance of winning the lottery.

4/28/10
Drove into the city last night - with a quick stop at Dad's to drop off some Florida oranges (yum) - to see a play with Tesse. Red, about Mark Rothko (excellently played by Alfred Molina. Afterwards, we gorged ourselves on the Sinfonia de Pasta at Becco - I will never eat again. Always good food there. Tomorrow she invited me to see Denzel Washington in Fences - it took all of three seconds to say yes.

Off to Baltimore to see the Yankees. It's cold, so I am layered up.

4/26/10
Home - after a quick stop at the Peeps store in the National Harbor outside of DC. Mmm, peeps of all colors and even chocolate-dipped ones. And plush peeps stuffed animals and clothes. Fantastic store.

Of all the things I bought on the trip - this print sums up the trip the best. No Paris, only zombies. Check out the pictures on their website - this store in Savannah had a slew of the portraits for sale, and I had to laugh when I saw the Mona Lisa one. Will have to find an appropriate frame for it.

4/25/10
A still balmy 86-88 degrees today, and that's fine with me. I had no interest in sitting in standstill traffic on I-95 south of Savannah on the drive north, so we veered off the highway and onto rt 17 north. Much more scenic, and I got to see all of the lovely trailer parks (sorry, "mobile home communities") that I could live in. Driving through places like that makes me feel lucky to live near (and for ten years, IN) the city. I can't imagine living in the sticks. Too many auto repair shops and swamps, not enough Broadway shows.

We did get back into Savannah in time for dinner, and then drove another few hours north. Only bad part of Savannah was having to drive over that horrid bridge again.

Staying overnight in Dillon, SC. Off for home in the morning - should be home in time for House.

4/24/10
I can now say I've been to games in all five AL East ballparks - we watched the Rays beat the Blue Jays in Tampa tonight. Tropicana Field is domed, and the roof doesn't open (unlike the dome in Toronto). They have a million bathrooms and food concessions up the wazoo. They also have a tank in center field full of cow-nosed rays, and you can touch them and feed them. They must've thought that Yankee fans taste good, because one of the little buggers latched onto my fingers and chomped down HARD. Luckily, they have no teeth, but man, their gums are strong. I'm sure my index finger will be black and blue tomorrow.

It was 92 degrees today.

And since the Rays have the second most annoying fan item ever (first belongs to the inane rally monkey in Anaheim), I had to buy one: a cowbell. It is really annoying.

After the game, John Fogerty was there giving a concert on the field as part of their summer concert series. He sounds terrific.

And here at the Doubletree, Casino Royale - with Daniel Craig - is on the TV! Love!

Back north (somehow) tomorrow.

4/23/10
Hemingway's six-toed cats are precious (and there are two-month old kittens too!) - and the house and property are gorgeous. After another beautiful drive through islands and over bridges, we are back in Key Largo. I did indeed jump right back into the Gulf (our room wasn't ready when we got here, so we just sat on the beach until it was).

The community theatre production of The Producers lived down to all my expectations! Singers who couldn't sing, an actual orchestra that wasn't tuned (and was hidden offstage and un-miked, so you couldn't hear it), and bad lighting. But the show is so fun that it's hard to ruin, and there were some standout performances.

I will surely miss Key Largo, and I know I'll be back.

Off to Tampa tomorrow (for the Rays game, and then John Fogarty is giving at concert at the Trop after the game), staying at the Doubletree where I stayed three years ago. I think we're heading back to NJ Sunday-Monday, instead of going slowly and ending up in Baltimore. It'll save on hotel bills and honestly, there are no relaxing beaches between here and home (that I care to sit on, anyway).

4/22/10
In Key West - beautiful drive out here (with a stop at Theater of the Sea to see the dolphins and sea lions). Despite the beautiful sunset and open container law, I prefer Key Largo and the Gulf. Very touristy out here (but beautiful and warm, can't complain about the weather!). Headed back that way tomorrow (after a stop at Hemingway's house) and will dive back into the Gulf of Mexico.

Oh and we did see the "Southernmost Point in the US" marker. We are closer to Cuba than we are to Miami.

4/21/10
In Key Largo. I think I could easily sit on the Gulf of Mexico with a pina colada and stare at the sunset for the rest of my life. The drive down route 1 was filled with traffic and then with road construction, but as soon as we checked in (to the Key Largo Grande, a Hilton resort) and looked out the window onto the private beach with lounge chairs set up so you can just sit there as the tide comes in... I was sold. Dove right into the Gulf. I'm sure lots of people have had that thought. Went for dinner (fresh seafood, what else), and I got a "key lime freeze" "to go" for dessert, and oh my god, it's like liquid pie. I am in heaven.

There is a (probably bad) community theatre production of The Producers going on here on Friday. I know where I will be.

Drove down via Boca Raton (home of the Addison Mizner-designed houses, for anyone who saw Bounce). I want to move to Floresta (one of the neighborhoods, where the Mizner houses are), but there is no way I can afford it. There is also the Sports Immortals Museum in Boca, which is dedicated to one man's obsession with collecting sports memorabilia. They have a Honus Wagner T-206 card - an original one. We had to stop and admire it.

I hereby forgive the volcano.

4/20/10
In Titusville (that's Historic Titusville, if by "historic," you mean "still stuck in the 1950's NASA era," which I have no problem with). Dona gave the recommendation to eat at the Dixie Crossroads, which was delicious. Bacon-wrapped shrimp, you cannot go wrong. And the corn fritters were amazingly good.

Drove down from Savannah, with a stop in St. Augustine to visit the Fountain of Youth, the lighthouse, the pedestrian shopping streets and the old fort. Beautiful city. I especially want to come back and study something - anything - at Flagler College, just because it is such a beautiful campus. And the weather is bright and sunny and I am turning pink and relaxed, so life is good. We drove down route A1A, which runs along the ocean past some huge houses (like an upscale version of Belmar), and then past some dumpy rundown seaside towns (like, er, Belmar). Lots of oceanside condos for rent and for sale. We stopped to stick our toes in the ocean - which yeah, we can do at home, but it isn't the same.

Big thanks to the Bank of America in Savannah, who changed our Euros back to dollars.

4/19/10
Thirteen hours again to Savannah (and this time we DID leave at 5am). Got here in time to walk around while it was still light out, watch House, and go get some Mexican food. Tomorrow - more of the same (the walking around bit) and then it's more driving south into Florida.

There's a gallery here that has some paintings of some guy's cat that are brilliant, so I might go buy one. Will figure out where to put it later.

4/18/10
Damn Mets/Cards game - 18 scoreless innings and then a thrilling 19th and 20th last night. You read that right. I dozed through the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th, and was surprised to find the game still on (and scoreless) when I woke up.

Today's plan is to pack (for both the hot Key West weather this week, and the chilly, probably rainy weather at Camden Yards next week) and get the keys to the catsitter. Should have gone to EWR and picked up some stranded Brits to stay here and watch the cats, but my ex-coworker is going to do it.

4/17/10
No planes = no Paris. I'm disappointed, but will be happy to go snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico and drink fruity umbrella drinks in the Keys.

Canceled the plane tickets for a full refund, emailed the owner of the apartment we were going to stay in - I don't think I'll get the deposit back - and emailed the Paris Opera to see if we can get a refund for the Billy Budd tickets (questionable).

I guess there were not enough human sacrifices to appease the volcano gods.

Down to Shrewsbury and back for Bill Marshall's memorial service. So good to see Eve and Kati and Eric et al, but the circumstances couldn't be worse.

later on 4/16/10
The highlight of my game night was getting a photo with Freddy Sez, the frying pan guy at the Stadium. My friend Alan and I lasted four damp, cold innings before leaving. The game was called after six anyway because the rain got heaver. But Francisco Cervelli went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and CC Sabathia looked fantastic.

If Paris is off - and we need to decide soon - I think the choice is to drive to Key West. It's on my list of places to go, and the other two options (Montreal and Mackinaw Island) are both cold and rainy (no, really?). Key West is 80 and sunny and we can see Hemingway's six-toed cats. And it's also the Conch Republic Independence Day celebrations all next week. And I had a great time driving to FL last month, and we could go to Savannah again and eat shrimp and grits. If that's the solution, expect heavy hurricanes and possibly tornados in the Keys next week. Possibly snow.

4/16/10
My last day of work was uneventful, except for coworker Kelly surprising me with a chocolate cream pie!

No idea if the vacation is on or off - the airlines don't know when they'll be allowed to fly to Europe because all the air space is closed. Fortunately Continental has said they will refund plane tickets if the flight is cancelled, or let you rebook without fees, but they haven't said anything about Monday flights yet. It's too expensive to fly anywhere else on such short notice, so I'm trying to think of backup-vacation spots that can be driven to. I just wish I knew if we were going.

Yankees tonight, supposed to rain (of course).

4/15/10
Happy Jackie Robinson day, and happy last day of work for me! And then three weeks off - and if the volcano in Iceland stops erupting, a week in Paris.

Stop erupting!

Stay tuned.

later on 4/14/10
An earthquake in China, a volcano erupting in Iceland, and a sunny day at the Stadium. The world must be ending.

The people who will be sitting next to me seem nice and chatty. Well, they'll only be there for some of the games since they live in Baltimore. Now that's a true fan. And the guy behind me is back for this season, too - he didn't bring an umbrella either. Oh, and they changed one thing that I noticed (we didn't walk around too much) - last season I was so happy that the ladies room on our level was huge, there was never a line. Well, in the off-season, they put a concrete wall down the middle, cutting it in half. There're signs up that a "terrace bar" is coming soon. Bad move. Don't replace half the bathroom with a bar. There was also a crazy-long line at the ticket windows, which weren't moving at all. I have tix from a rainout (no, really?) to exchange, as well as the $5 ticket coupons (for being a season ticket holder) that I want to use, but the line was just not moving. I'll try again on Friday, maybe it'll move a little faster.

NYY Steak was crowded, the steak was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the woman at the table next to us was the drunkest I've ever seen someone, outside of Marie's Crisis. Completely tacky.

4/14/10
Well, the sun is out and the ground is dry - I chalk that up to be being a Wednesday and not a Friday. Off to the Stadium (and then to the steakhouse) for the first game in my plan of the season. I'm sure it'll start raining as soon as we cross the GWB.

4/10/10
Not only was Nathan Gunn spectacular from the front row of the Met (and I was so happy that he was actually there and not sick), we got in the car and put on the game, and CC was in the sixth inning of a no-hitter. He gave up a hit in the eighth inning, but still. Fantastic. And guess who was catching? That's right. My baby. He should catch CC all the time (cf that fantastic game we were at in Baltimore where A-Rod hit the three-run homer).

4/9/10
I ate two chicken sandwiches, a hot dog, and two Diet Cokes at the Trenton game. I'm stuffed. We left in the fourth inning - can't wait for summer and actual baseball weather! They had a fantastic t-shirt in their store that said, "My Ex is a Red Sox Fan," and I thought about it for five seconds, but I have never even considered dating a Red Sox fan, so it would be a lie.

4/8/10
Tomorrow (and Sat) is "all you can eat" night at the Trenton Thunder game. I already bought tickets. It will undoubtedly rain. Actually, it's supposed to be about 20 degrees cooler tomorrow (and downright cold by Saturday), but gametime should still be comfortable.

I think they're trying to get Adam Richman (of Man vs. Food) down there. From the Thunder website:

And of course, fans enjoying the view from our Luxury Suites will once again be able to take the Thunder Burger Challenge, in which they have a half hour to eat chef John Caiola's monster creation featuring pork roll stuffed grilled cheese sandwiches serving as the buns for 16 ounces of beef with all the fixings. The $15 burger is free if eaten in the allotted 30 minutes.

4/7/10
Wow it really is almost 90 out! A little taste of summer (but don't worry, it'll be cold and possibly rainy for my weekend off). I'm actually off today - gotta go shave my legs and find my shorts.

Broke out the bike, put air in the tires, went for a spin, went to the library (Tesse lent me a book by Joyce Carol Oates - whose books I have never read somehow - and I'm hooked), and washed the Escape. Whew.

I love this weather.

And I love that we OWN Papelbon - Yankees win two out of three in Boston.

4/6/10
My season tickets have arrived - the season can now officially start.

Went to the doctor today (before my insurance ends) - my primary MD is the medical director at the new place where I'll be working, so I told him I'd be seeing him there more often.

And in sad news, Bill Marshall (Eve and Kati's dad) passed away from cancer yesterday. Eve called me at work (and she never uses the phone unless it's something really good or really bad). She's going to let me know when the memorial arrangements are made. I hadn't seen Bill in years, but he and Cindy helped raise me and Pete when we were growing up.

4/4/10
I managed to watch most of the game at work, in between the moments where I was actually working. If we start out 0-8 against the Sox again this season, I'm OK with that - as long as we win the World Series again. Tense game, bad ending.

4/3/10
Opening Day (Night) tomorrow - Yankees at Red Sox. And I have to work (I requested the day off two months ago and it was turned down, I am not so unprofessional that I would call out). So don't tell me anything about the score, I'll watch it when I get home.

4/2/10
Quick trip down to AC, where I managed to not-win the big jackpot. Surprise!

4/1/10
I think this sunny weather and warm wind is a big fat April Fool's joke. It'll be raining by midnight.

To celebrate the Great Changing of the Jobs and the Great Increase in the Pay, Mom and I are extending vacation week as such: Paris from the 19th til the 27th (can't believe it's almost here, I emailed the apartment owner yesterday to find out the details of getting the keys etc), then Baltimore for the annual "Let's go see the Yankees in Baltimore" trip, then Fri night is a game at the Stadium, and then a quick trip to Chicago. The Cubs and Sox are both in town, and I haven't been to Chicago in easily ten years. Plus I've never been to Wrigley and they had great seats available. And then my new job orientation is on Wednesday the 5th, and that's when I'll work out my new schedule with them. And I have my Philly-Boston roadtrip on the 8-9-10th, which I'll have to work around.

-catherine

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