Friday, August 22, 2008

What a wonderful world

It's still pretty early, but everything seems to be going well for me so far. Little things, like not being late for work or even fresh, perfect-tasting office coffee have bolstered my spirits and made me grateful to be alive. I even woke up for one of the first times this week and wasn't completely enamored with the idea of hitting the "snooze" button and going right back to bed for another couple hours! I even went to bed late last night!

Add to all this the fact that it's Friday, with the forecast predicting sunny, comfortable weather for the weekend. I'm excited for the possibilities it holds and the fun things Darren and I could do. I'm definitely hoping to take a nice afternoon tour on the motorcycle -- maybe to one of those nice, sleepy shore towns along the eastern Massachusetts seaboard. Last time, we watched the sun set from the lighthouse in Scituate, a beautiful town lined with quaint beach houses and miles of rocky and sandy coast. It reminded me so much of my childhood in Maine, when we'd go to Nubble Light and scour the tide pools for starfish, crabs, mussels, little fish and sea snails. I could have spent forever there on those rocks. I tried reliving that time on the seaweed-covered rocks at Scituate, but the real pools were too far out, and the rocks were too slippery. Still, we walked out onto this stony pier and sat on the very end under a lookout tower, watching the boats come and go and taking in the beautiful, red sunset. In fact, I have pictures I've posted at the end.

Tax-free weekend was last weekend in Massachusetts, and I used the opportunity to buy the mountain bike I've wanted for a couple weeks now. My original plan was to bring my old bike from home, but after I considered how old it is (at least 10 years), I realized it's time for a new one. Maybe my parents can bring the old bike to camp for visitors' kids to use. I went to a locally owned bike shop down the street in Dedham called Adi's. He's a Romanian guy who once played bassoon for the Pope in Italy and runs the bike shop with his father, Vadi. He seemed offended when we said we were also looking at bikes at Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart, educating us about the need for quality in bikes like the ones we were looking for. I got the feeling that he wasn't just telling us that to sell a bike; he really believed it. In Europe, the good-quality bikes like the ones he sells are the norm. Mass-manufactured bikes in the U.S. have taken on a lesser quality that hinders on their performance and endurance through the years. We found this largely to be true when we went to Dick's, where the bikes were just as expensive but didn't look as good as the bikes at Adi's. I settled on a blue Jamis Ranger, the cheapest bike in my size and type that I wanted. Adi even reduced the sticker price $20, and it was tax free! I also bought a nice helmet designed in Germany, and Darren got Adi to throw in a $6 bike trails map for free. "Deals, deals for everybody today!" Adi remarked. "Except for me -- well, we'll see what happens!"

People walk along the beach in the bay and docking area by the Scituate Lighthouse.

We parked in the lot next to the lighthouse, tethered the bike to a park bench and headed out to the rock pier. The lighthouse masters actually inhabit the house by the lighthouse tower, and it's one of the oldest-used lighthouses in the country. A story goes that during the War of 1812, a pair of sisters -- daughters of the lighthouse master -- were left in charge of the lighthouse while the master and the rest of the family were away. They scared away an anchored British warship by beating a drum and playing a fife one foggy night. From then on, they have been called the "Lighthouse Army of Two."*

The boats made their way into the docking area in the bay as the sun set.

The money shot: It took a couple tries for us to angle the camera on my phone correctly so that the lighthouse would be in the background.

* Source: New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide


At 1:43 PM , Anonymous Elyse said...

Hey Liz, I went to Nubble Light last Friday with my job. It was so nice there! Glad to see you're enjoying Massachusetts so far. :-)


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