Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kitchen renovation, part seven

Ed took a short break from kitchen renovation until he finished finals on December 10. Right after his last exam, he came home and installed the cabinet glass and cabinet/drawer pulls.

He started tiling the floor on December 13.

Ed back-buttered the tiles before placing them in the thinset.

We decided on a brick pattern for the 6x20" tiles.

Ed has gotten a lot of use out of this tile saw.

Brad, the wonder brother-in-law, helped out all day on the 14th. Here the boys strategize about the best order for tile-laying in areas around the kitchen.

Almost done!

Later, Ed installed the under-cabinet lighting.


Baseboards and toe-kicks on deck.

The completed floor on the 22nd.

The kitchen as it was on December 23rd. Still remaining: changing out the lights, tiling the backsplash, and putting up the moulding at the top of the cabinets.

Friday, December 26, 2008


I haven't been so much in the Christmas spirit this year, but we have really enjoyed the wonderful Christmas cards, text messages, gifts, SuperPokes, and phone calls from friends and family, as well as the opportunity to visit our CT family. Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou to all of you!

When we saw Whit and Jen in November, we got to try out their fancy German vacuum. It was objectively awesome and fortunately Santa brought us one to help deal with the fur that Lola and Betty leave around (and the construction dust). Ed immediately vacuumed a few rooms. I haven't seen him this happy since our wedding day. ;)

Ed's also been hard at work in the kitchen. He's done tiling the floor and spent today working on the toe-kicks and baseboards. I'll post photos this weekend.


We had two snowstorms, one a week ago today and one last Sunday. Ed did a great job clearing a path around the house, which Lola was able to enjoy a few times this week. There have also been a few times when she hated it -- it's been cold! We had a warm spell over Christmas and now a lot of the snow has melted.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Buenos Aires, 11/19/08

We signed up for a tour with Alfonso and Charlotte. First we took a smaller tour bus, then met up with a larger tour bus. Then that bus took us to Tren de la Costa, which we took a few stops to San Isidro. Here is the beautiful cathedral there:

Then the bus picked us up again and took us to Tigre, where we got on a tour boat. Tigre is on a delta. There is little land, which is used for housing. Things like schools and supermarkets are all on boats.

Alfonso found the tour to be terribly exciting.

After an interminable bus ride back to Buenos Aires (the highway was closed due to a protest) I enjoyed my last el bife de chorizo of the trip in Puerto Madero.

We also had our last dulche de leche helados. Sigh. Here's a picture of "our" Freddo on "our" corner, Arenales and Callao. It was a great end to a wonderful trip.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Buenos Aires, 11/18/08

Tuesday was a pretty quiet day. After breakfast and dulce de leche helados with Eugenio's brother and sister-in-law, our excellent hosts and the proprietors of Discover BA, we headed out for some sightseeing. We tried to go to MALBA, the main art museum, but it was closed. So instead we walked through United Nations Park and looked at Floralis Genérica, which has solar-powered motors that open and close the petals. Very cool.

Then we went to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which had a great collection of famous European and Argentinean artists. We spent the evening walking around Palermo Soho and stopped at two different supermarkets (supermercado) to pick up breakfast for the next morning. The food was unbelievably cheap.

We stopped for dinner at a small place around the corner from the apartment where we were staying called Oasis. They had wonderful bife sandwiches and Ed enjoyed some Quilmes Cerveza Negra. I liked it too -- a bit sweet and not too hoppy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Buenos Aires, 11/17/08

We started the day walking around Recoleta. We went to Centro Cultural Recoleta and the Recoleta Cemetery, where Evita is buried. I made friends with a feral polydactyl cat.

Lots of feral cats in the cemetery.

It was a small city made up of mausoleums.

We went to the amazing Esquina Carlos Gardel for an incredible tango show.

Argentina is 3 hours ahead of Boston. But everything happens 3 hours later so we didn't feel very jetlagged. E.g., dinner starts at 10 or 11 instead of 7 or 8. So getting ice cream after midnight was totally normal. Yum!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Buenos Aires, 11/16/08

We started our day at Feria de San Pedro Telmo. The photo below doesn't really capture how crowded and overwhelming it was. I was also hesitant to take pictures of the many people in very strange costumes (I wasn't sure if tourists were supposed to pay them for photos).

After reading the excellent article "Argentina on Two Steaks a Day," I was disappointed at how long it took us to find steak number one. Finally, after gawking at the gorgeous fresco in Gallerica Pacifica (a high-end mall) and running into a few of Ed's classmates, we had one. Yum. Then of course for dessert we had dulce de leche helados.

Some weird art in Galleria Pacifico. This wasn't even the weirdest art there.

Then it was off to the wedding, held at the gorgeous Palacio San Souci (a historic mansion) in Victoria.

Gorgeous outdoor ceremony. Due to complete separation of church and state in Argentina, the ceremony was purely religious. The civil ceremony and paperwork are completely separate.

The first dance.

Argentinean weddings go all night and feature lots of food and fun. The first entertainment was a pair of professional Argentine tango dancers.

The Tone Bellows reunited and sang for the Sloan Fellows.

There were also professional salsa dancers who gave lessons. Then everyone was provided with hats and masks. Here Ed does something I like to call the "Bill Cosby dance."

Fun times.

The limbo. BTW, Ed was not drunk. Not even a little bit. He is just a lot of fun.

I didn't get a mask, so I was a bit jealous of Mariam! We were fortunate enough to be on our first flight, from Boston to New York, with Teck and Mariam. I really enjoyed getting to know them better. (Totally random side note: I was very distracted at Logan Airport by the unedited, poorly punctuated tweets from random people that CNN was running in the crawl.)

This hat was so perfect for Harry.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Buenos Aires, 11/15/08

We went to Buenos Aires about a month ago to attend the wedding of one of Ed's classmates. We had a wonderful time and were lucky to make the trip with frequent flyer miles. Some friends (who live up here) let us stay in their apartment in Recoleta.

One thing I particularly enjoyed was being able to get around fairly easily with Sesame Street Spanish and an okay reading vocab from English, French, and Latin (collectively).

Our second stop after arrival (first we got sandwiches) was Freddo, purveyors of fine dulce de leche helados (gelato).

We walked around Recoleta and visited Plaza R. Pena. Those are chinaberry trees.

Ed did some studying in the lovely apartment where we were staying.

Tim and Ed (along with the rest of us) sang Happy Birthday to Diego, the groom.

Since we were at an Italian place, Amici Miei in San Telmo, Diego's birthday cake was tiramisu.

One of Amici Miei's owners, a former singer at Teatro Colon, performed several famous arias for us.