Boston

I have pictures on my computer detailing a trip that Kyle and I took to Boston in March, which I never posted, so here they are.

Kyle was working for the National Bureau of Economics Research taking minutes of their winter meeting, so they put him up in a a nice hotel for the week. I just mooched off the last day he was there. This was our view of downtown Boston, from across the Charles River (the hotel was actually in Cambridge, MA).

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On Saturday morning Kyle and I checked out of our hotel, left our bags with the concierge, and headed out into the city to explore. In Boston they have an ordered trail known as the “Freedom Trail” where you pass various buildings with historic importance.

It was amazing how much history there is, packed into such a small space. Kyle and I were able to see almost every site, and most of downtown Boston, over the course of a 3-4 hour walk. You could never do that in NY! There were several graveyards on the trail, and the Granary was one of them. John Hancock (among others) is buried here.

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Kyle in front of a statue of Benjamin Franklin.

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This was by the Old State House, where the Boston Massacre happened. It was actually only about 5-6 people who were killed, but at the time labeling it a massacre was one way the revolutionaries contributed towards the spread of anti-British sentiment.

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This was Paul Revere’s house!

IMG_2353 These next two pictures were taken inside the Old North Church, which is where the lanterns were hung to signal which way the British were coming. The stairs to the belfry were hidden behind the organ, and the lanterns only stayed lit for 60 seconds. “One of by land, two if by sea.”IMG_2355 IMG_2356

To finish the day off in true Boston style, we went to the Cheers! restaurant and had a big bowl of clam chowder, the perfect ending to a nippy day walking around New England! 🙂  IMG_2361

We didn’t end up having time to do the entire trail, so we missed seeing the USS Constitution, which was across the river and the last stop on the trail. We turned around after the Old North Church and headed south to catch our bus on time.

Back at South Street Station to catch the bus home to NYC.

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Along the way we stopped at a 10,000 Villages store, and I explained to Kyle how their stores work, bringing gifts from artisans in developing countries and selling them at market value in the US, so that more of the profit goes back to the artisan rather than a middle man.  We also saw a One Direction band booth in the center of town, and I had to send  a picture to my cousin Marie, who loves One Direction! 🙂

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The Little Things

It’s Monday, and it’s a rough one! I’m having a hard time focusing on anything lab or research related, so I’ll post on the old blog instead. 😉

On Saturday Kyle and I went for a walk, for fun, and the walk itself was more evidence that we are city dwellers than I realized. We set off from the apartment, and walked along the Hudson, cutting in to explore Broadway on the Upper West Side. When all was said and done and we got home around sunset, it had been a five mile walk (or so) which I thought was a nice afternoon activity.

Then yesterday we went out to Connecticut for church with my relatives, and while we were talking to people after the service, we mentioned that we walk to church from the train station, because it’s a “nice, short walk” (it’s 1.5 miles, takes about 30 minutes to leisurely walk). The laughs and the knowing looks we got were evidence that we are city slickers. Only city slickers think a 30 minute walk is short; suburbanites drive their cars across a Walmart parking lot or down the block. I realize that’s a stereotype, but as I always say, stereotypes exist for a reason.

So, I guess one good way the city has rubbed off on me is that I’m not afraid to take long walks. Another is that I’m much more aware and confident in the logic and utility of public transportation. Hopefully someday when we get a car, I won’t totally give up on public transportation. (fingers crossed)

Another way the city has (literally) rubbed off on us is that yesterday while we were walking down Broadway, while I was complaining to Kyle about how much animal poop/pee covers the ground in NYC, as if to punctuate my statement, a dog in front of us stopped and started peeing in the middle of the sidewalk, which doesn’t have soil for it to sink down into and disappear… and then (literally) 1 minute later, Kyle stepped in dog poop that some bad neighbor didn’t pick up after their dog left it. A little gift to the neighborhood.

Anyway, I picked the title for today’s post because I feel like it’s the little things that make a difference between city living and elsewhere-living… long walks and dog poop on the sidewalk, because there is nowhere else to poop!

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Travels

It’s been a busy month. My sister graduated from Nursing School, and K’s sister graduated the next weekend from Baylor, in TX. We travelled down to NC, and on up into the Appalachian Mountains to Boone, for Allie’s pinning and commencement ceremonies. At the pinning ceremony (a tradition for nursing students) Allie had the largest (by far!) contingent of people to cheer her on. It was our family, my uncle’s family from Maryland who drove down to be there, my grandparents, and then Billy’s parents, two of his sisters and their families  totaling around 25 people howling for her as she received her pin. Such fun! We are so proud of her!

ImageWe also enjoyed having another weekend up in the mountains. We visited a local farmers market, selling local produce and lots of yummy things. They also had goats and bunnies for the kids to pet, which was cute. Then we headed back to our cabin for a HUGE feast. I felt like all we did was eat the whole weekend!

And one highlight was that Kyle and I had a flat screen TV in our bedroom, so we got to luxuriously watch the Miami Heat win their way into the playoffs! They play Game 1 of the NBA finals tonight, against the San Antonio Spurs, and we are hoping for a repeat of last years victory!

The following weekend we boarded a plane to TX (my first time!). We had a layover at DFW, which is probably the biggest airport I’ve ever seen, except for maybe Heathrow in London. We got to Baylor in time for Kyle’s sister Kaila’s graduation in Accounting, and I met another blonde named Ashley Rae (first time in my life!).

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Baylor is in Waco, TX, which is infamous for the Branch Davidian cult and standoff back in the ’90’s. We did drive over and look at the compound outside Waco, which was very creepy, and I don’t have a picture… We also went and saw an awesome homestead community.

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It’s a community of people that believe in living simply, off the land. They grow their own food, and have a self-sustaining homestead with an iron forgery, a mill where they grind their grain, a place where they weave fabric and make all sorts of beautiful designs. (The looms were so complicated, and amazing!!)  I wish I had a picture. 😉 We finished off in the restaurant, which is behind us in the picture above. I had yummy burger and sweet potato fries. It was nice knowing that everything we ate came from less than a mile from where we were sitting!

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I’m not dead… yet. :)

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything. I’ll blame it on a rather major lifestyle shuffle (in good ways!) coupled to an inexplicable apathy towards blogging.

In the meantime, please enjoy this link to some of our wedding pictures. They aren’t all in there, but the best ones are!

The Jurado’s are doing well in NYC!Image

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Long overdue post

I’m sorry it’s two months in coming, but I am finally getting around to posting my engagement story! 🙂 It took putting together a wedding website to get me to put it down in words.

Kyle and I had gone hiking with three friends from our Bible study here in NYC, Bonne, Jon, and Susan. Last year we’d hiked the same trails, up in the town of Cold Spring, NY which is about an hour north of NYC. We’d had our first picture taken together, and that was June 2012.

Our First Picture

We started the day off this year with breakfast in quaint downtown Cold Spring, and then drove over to the trail head. Kyle had been in charge of planning the trip, and had selected the trail with the most scenic overlooks. Little did Ashley know that there was a very specific reason why.

Everyone else on the hike was in on the surprise, and kept waiting for Kyle to propose, all day long. But Kyle had decided that he would wait until I asked to have our picture taken before he would propose. (Hence his selection of the most scenic trail, sure that would mean I’d ask him for a picture!) He wanted to be able to  say that I had picked the spot where we got engaged.

Well, as the day wore on, we hiked and hiked and hiked. And we passed many beautiful overlooks looking out over the Hudson River valley. And every time we passed one, everyone was like “ooh, ahh, so pretty!” but I never asked for a picture.

The poor other people on the hike were probably all anxious, all day, thinking “When is it gonna happen!?” because Kyle had failed to tell them the key detail that his cue to propose would be me asking for a picture.

We made it all the way to the top of the mountain, and again I just said “oh, isn’t this pretty? This is where we hiked to last year,” and promptly kept walking right on by. Poor Kyle was now having to think up back-up plans, and nobody else knew what was going on. Kyle was getting texts galore from his family and my family asking “Has it happned yet!? What’s going on?”, and he had to turn his phone off so I wouldn’t get suspicious. As we hiked down the hill, and there weren’t any more scenic overlooks, he started trying to prompt me to ask for a picture by making suggestions that Bonne & Jon get pictures together. I thought about it, but then decided against it.

Bonne & Jon positing on the bridge.

Finally we were almost back to the parking lot, and Kyle thought “I can NOT propose to her in the parking lot!” Thankfully, before we got there, we happened upon some beautiful stone ruins in the woods with greenery and vines growing all around them.

I loved them and starting taking pictures everywhere, and exclaiming how beautiful it was! And then I turned to Susan, handed her my phone and asked her to TAKE A PICTURE OF US!

Susan took one normal photo of us, and then after she did, it was starting to rain a little and I was trying to grab my phone and put it back in a plastic bag to keep it dry. But Kyle kept pulling me away and wouldn’t let me go…)

“Kyle! I need to put my phone away, it’s starting to rain!” says Ashley.

“Just wait one minute,” says Kyle.

“No! Its going to get wet!” says Ashley, pulling away trying to take the phone from Susan.

“Just wait one minute, I want to say something” says Kyle patiently.

Kyle went off into a little schpeel, about how when our bible study had hiked these same trails last summer, I had asked him if we could have a picture taken of us. At the time, it was the first picture we’d ever had together as a couple, and I had been nervous to ask him if we could have it taken. I thought he was being sweet and sentimental, as I was still trying to take away my phone and put it away. And then he said “Well, last year you told me that you were nervous to ask for a picture of us. So this year, it’s my turn to ask you a question that I am nervous to ask you!” And he got down on one knee, pulled a beautiful solitaire diamond ring out of his pocket, and proposed!

I was completely surprised, burst into happy tears and said “YES!!”

And Susan was there the whole time, snapping precious pictures of the whole thing. It was fantastic, and I love the backdrop for where he proposed, probably because I picked it! I immediately called my family and my Aunt Jan, and told them the happy news. They all seemed surprised, and very happy for me.

After the proposal, Kyle had even more surprises planned. He duped me into believing that he didn’t have plans for us for that evening, so when my Aunt invited us to come out to NJ for dinner that night to celebrate, I agreed.

When I showed up, Kyle had planned a huge surprise party with (almost) all of our  closest friends from the city (a few couldn’t be there), his Abuelo and cousins from Philadelphia, Aunts from Pennsylvania and Delaware, and MY FAMILY HAD DRIVEN UP FROM NORTH CAROLINA! They drove through the night to be there for the surprise, and had all been pretending earlier that they weren’t together! Realistically, they had all heard me tell my story 4-5 times as I called them all one by one, and they tried to stay quiet in the background of the many phone calls. I was so surprised, and so happy!

It was a huge and wonderful surprise party, and I was overwhelmed. Such a beautiful, beautiful day.

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Fall

Last weekend was my 5-year homecoming at Wheaton out in Chicagoland. I flew in for a couple days with girls who have become even more dear to me since the time I left Wheaton. Last time I was in the Chicago area I spent way too little time with them (only a few hours!), so this time I made no plans except laying low and being together. We attended our class reunion event on campus, and that was about it. The rest was spending time at the Stillman’s or Spanogle’s and talking. It was really nice to have the time together. The trees in Wheaton were already so much more colorful than NY, and it was breathtaking and so refreshing. *LOVE*

We squeezed a trip to Goodwill in after lunch on Sunday, which was pretty funny. Many of us walked out with cute and possibly impractical pairs of $5 high heels. Ha! And Emily exclaimed after we walked out, “OK, now I need to wash my hands!” 😉

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Not For A Moment

Someone recently shared this on Facebook, and I love it! Enjoy.

Also, the quickest update in WordPress History: I’m getting married January 5th in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Between now and then I have lots to do! Kyle and I got our apartment this week and will have two months of juggling where to house 2 people with 1 apartment… sigh. Hopefully friends & couches will pull through in our pinch! I head home next weekend for a week of wedding cramming! It will be here before we know it, and I am so EXCITED! 😀

 

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Hello!

Hello to my faithful few readers…. Sorry I’ve been so MIA these past two months. They’ve been busy and quite eventful!! I’ll try to get a post up sometime soon-ish… with fun stories about my ENGAGEMENT!!! Travels, parties, etc.

For now I’ll leave you with a recent engagement picture of Kyle and me. So happy, too full for words.

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Self explanatory

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SO HAPPY!!!!

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The Riddles

Allie & Billy’s wedding was Saturday, and it was SO beautiful… Words won’t do it justice, but let’s just say I want Allie & my mom to plan my wedding someday. =) So pretty… The photographer gave us this sneak peak at the photos, which will be great. Enjoy!

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