25 August, 2009

It's our anniversary!

That's right, it's been 6 years.

Man, we're getting old.

17 August, 2009

look what I found on Flickr!

Silver and Multigold Vine Box, originally uploaded by MaevinWren.

I was looking for something rather unrelated and found these beautiful little boxes. The craft is so good that it's hard to tell that they're wood or paperboard underneath. I've never been terribly interested in working with polymer clay, but doing something like this might be interesting. You can see more of them here in the photoset.

16 August, 2009

The Ginger Man

Our last event of the night was dinner at The Ginger Man with a couple friends. It's sort of a pub atmosphere, but thankfully not smokey. Each of us tried something different, and everyone seemed pleased.
The photo shows their European Beer Flight, which includes-from foreground to background- Hofstetten Kubelbier, Franziskaner Weisse, Palm Amber Ale, Boddingtons, Rodenbach Red, and Youngs Double Chocolate Stout. Samplers like this are a favourite of Banik since he gets to try a bunch of different things at once. Alcoholic beverages are rather lost on me, so I couldn't tell you which ones he liked or why. Maybe he'll post it in the comments.

SoNo Switch Tower Museum

After lunch we needed to kill a few hours, so instead of being boring and going home we wondered around downtown looking at stuff. The Switch Tower Museum is free and an interesting educational experience for anyone who likes history, trains, old buildings, or random knowledge.
I learned lots of stuff about Armstrong levers, mechanical switching, how tracks work, and in general how much stuff you don't see happening when a train moves between tracks. This placed is staffed by knowledgable volunteers, and they certainly earn their donations.

Cafe Chocopologie

Our second stop was Cafe Chocopologie. It was about time for lunch, and since we were already in SoNo we figured it would be a shame not to go. We've seen the owner, Fritz Knipschildt, on Food Network (and-believe it or not-at the DMV. Welcome to CT.), and Banik got me a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day from Chocopologie. The experience would be interesting at the very least.

I got the frozen hot chocolate, which is their signature hot chocolate blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. Banik was not a fan, but I really liked it. It was less sweet than most cocoa, and tasted more like dark chocolate. I'm ususally ambivalent about whipped cream, but I enjoyed theirs because had just the right level of sweetness (even so, I allowed most of it to be pilfered from my glass). I'll have to use these as a model in my continuing endeavours to make my own cocoa mix and whipped cream.

He had their take on nachos: thick, fried potato chips topped with melted blue cheese and truffle oil. I had a grilled sandwich: a wheat roll with fresh mozzarella, avocado, tomato, red pepper spread, and grilled portobello. The little salad that came with my sandwich was mediocre, but everything else was very good.

Yes, I'd usually have pictures, but I didn't think about it in time. You can see some pretty awesome photos and read someone else's thoughts on the restaurant here. I shall conveniently have to go back such that I might take my own.

15 August, 2009

The Maritime Aquarium

This is what started the whole thing. We'd originally gone to the Aquarium mainly to see Penguins on the Loose, which is an event that lets people see one of the African penguins up close, without glass, waddling around a taped-off square as he or she pleases (under the supervision of handlers). This was a terrible idea on a Saturday during school-year summer vacation. We went to get in line 45 minutes early hoping to be seated right on one of the edges, but there were already tons of people in line with their kids. We ended up skipping it because it would've been really crowded and hard to see all that much. Fortuntely if you just go to their exhibit you can be a foot away from one and the glass just protects you from splashing. Maybe we'll try again on a week day.
Fortunately there's lots of stuff to see. There's a reptile exhibit that's really neat, and includes these little guys. It's probably not a surprise to anyone, but I love the blue ones with little black spots.

The seals were really cute and amazingly graceful. We watched them for a while and then came back to see their first feeding of the day from the floor above.
The jellyfish exhibits are strangely hypnotic. You can watch some of the larger jellyfish swimming about here. There's also a video of seahorses that I think someone in particular will enjoy.

Otters are adorable. I think that says it all.
And the sea turtles. Yes, we all know how I love sea turtles. I was expecting to see the smaller Hawksbills because my sister brought back pictures of them when she went. I was in complete awe to discover that they had a Loggerhead and that she was easily 4-5 feet long. In the above picture she actually looks much smaller than if you were standing in my place. She was also quite shy, and I'm sorry to say I've no videos of her.

It's about time for an Adventure.

We've had a busy day. After living up here nearly eleven months we decided to actually go see some of SoNo (South Norwalk). Eight hours later we came home, fed the cats, and started downloading photos and videos. I'm way too tired to post everything tonight, but I will start.

We spent a few hours at the Maritime Aquarium, then had lunch at Chocopologie, then visited the SoNo Switch Tower Museum, then wandered around for a while, and finally had dinner at The Ginger Man with a couple friends. A good time was had by all.