Outtakes from Summer 2011

Despite long-term unemployment, Summer 2011 was a pretty solid endeavor. Here are some images taken during the heat of the fun on my iPhone.

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup! During the playoffs, these encouraging stamps were spay-painted all over Boston. This one was found on a light box by the Garden as I was on my way to my chosen sports bar to watch the game.


After the Bruins victory parade, I joined the Mirabella Pool in the North End. For the low, low price of $15, I had unlimited run of the place. Once the MimiMobile came into my life, I was often driving around too much to enjoy the pool as much as I should have. But during the epic heat wave of July, I definitely made use of it to avoid heatstroke.


Speaking of the MimiMobile, it’s great to have access to your own set of wheels, and it definitely saved my bacon a few times when I had interviews scheduled close together or if a friend needed a ride. But keeping the thing gassed up was a bit of a wake-up call. That’s nearly how much my T Pass costs me to get around town for a month.


One of the many gas-sucking adventures I had was a trip to Salem Willows to visit my friend and her family. They were running a bit late, so I ordered a slice from one of the many restaurants along the arcade and took it to a bench in the scenic park across the street. I was very popular with the seagulls, who tried to appear nonchalant as they waited for me to let my guard down and drop the crust.

Salem Willows is home to what must be the world’s most affordable Skee-Ball (still twenty-five cents per game) and what I know to be the world’s best popcorn. E. W. Hobbs. The stuff is magic—lightly buttered with just the right amount of salt. Some women have a sweet tooth, but the E.W. Hobbs popcorn is my waist-expanding vice of choice.


I am a Dunkin Donuts girl, through and through. It started when my family would get a dozen donuts on Sunday morning (back when the nearest Dunkin Donuts was in Coventry), continued when the chain introduced the Coolatta (I’d drive to the new one on Route 3 in West Greenwich between the end of school and Drama Club), and continues today with a fairly serious iced coffee addiction.

But I have a soft spot in my heart for resurgent Bess Eaton‘s hallmark creation: The Tank. It’s a whopping 32 oz. of iced coffee served in a cupholder-busting styrofoam vessel. The chain has recently made a comeback, and after a trip to the beach I stopped to engage in some nostalgia.

While the coffee is a bit weak, Bess Eaton beats Dunkin on style points. Before it’s served, each iced coffee is poured into the cup with some chipped ice, then dumped into a mixing cup, then dumped back into your glass. This mixes the ice, milk, sugar, and coffee uniformly. Dunkin, take note.


In August, my friends and I took the advice of My Secret Cape Cod and stayed in a hostel on the Cape. We chose to head all the way out to Truro, and stayed at this former Coast Guard station. While the guests skewed a little bit older and a lot more female than we’d hoped (and snored much more loudly than any well person should), it was worth it for this view and proximity to the beach. Just over those dunes was the most gorgeous, secluded, perfect stretch of sand I’ve ever stepped on. In 2012, I will bring better earplugs and some Red Bull to stay again and enjoy the beach.


One nice thing about being unemployed is being able to travel at a moment’s notice. My Mom felt the need for some time off, so we decided to spend a few days in Portland, Maine. We ate well, shopped quite a bit, and took some scenic jaunts up the coast. As we strolled though downtown Portland on an incredibly beautiful late summer morning, I spied this bumper sticker affixed to a fire box. Preach it, well-read vandal. Preach it.


This is how I prepare for most storms; stock up on beer and settle in for some nonstop storm force coverage. My love for WHDH Meteorologist Pete Bouchard is well-documented. As is my love for Brooklyn Beer.

Irene was pretty good to me personally—I never lost power and the only big branch that fell in our yard didn’t interrupt any utilities. However, my Rhode Island family was without power for several days, testing the limits of their sanity and the capacity of their small generator. Luckily, both survived long enough for the power to come back on.


On Labor Day weekend, I finally made the trip to Narragansett Town Beach for some last-chance summer sun. I brought a friend who hadn’t been to this slice of heaven yet, and she fell in love with the people-watching quickly. The waves were high, so the surfers were out in full effect. Unfortunately, the surf also tossed ashore mountains of seaweed. But one cannot avoid the last swim of unofficial summer, so in we went.


And on Labor Day, the summer ended with the ceremonial last al fresco lobster roll of the season. The next day, I’d open up my first pumpkin beer of Fall 2011. Goodbye, favorite season. Until we meet again.


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Filed under Adventures, Boston, Food, Life

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