Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 9:19 PM | No comments

Happy Easter

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. Here are some cookies I made today. I saw these designs online and decided I had to give them a shot. I tried making cookies with minimal sugar so these have splenda over sugar and ricotta rather than butter. They are pretty good, but they bubbled up during the baking process. If someone has a relatively health cut-out cookie recipe, please send it my way.

This one is my design. I was out of all colors at this point except the orange so the egg matches the beak.

not sure if it is obvious that this little guy is a lamb.


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 10:35 PM | No comments

Newport, RI

Last weekend we spent Friday driving through Rhode Island. We did a quick stop at the Roger Williams park in Providence and decided to keep going to Newport. The Roger Williams Park area just didn't make us want to spend much time there. Newport, on the other hand, was an adorable town. Full of restaurants and shops. I wish I would have taken a picture of the scenic downtown, but we just drove through it.  In brief, Newport is home to many very large mansions that the wealthy folks of the late 19th and early 20th centuies used as vacation homes when it got too hot in the summers down in New York.

You can see the bridge, in the background, that we had to take to get to Newport.

We spent the afternoon walking along the Cliff Walk, looking at ocean on one side, with the the local mansions on the other side.  Apparently you can pay to walk through the mansions, but neither of us was up for that.  It was pretty pricey. Opulence, for sure.

This is a Chinese Tea House that you could only get to through one of the mansions.  Not entirely sure of the purpose of the Tea House, but I imagine that the ultra-rich wanted to have an authentic place to take their afternoon tea.  The parlor in the mansion wasn't good enough.

After the Cliff Walk, we headed to Third and Second beaches. It was a little cold at this point, but we enjoyed picking up a few shells for our collection. The beaches are surrounded by a wildlife refuge, and we saw two deer having dinner in the fields.
To finish off the evening, we headed back into the downtown portion of Newport for dinner. We ate at Cafe Zelda (Kyle was psyched, even though he failed to find the Master Sword there) and topped it off with some chocolate toffee crunch from a local candy store. The rest of the shops were already closed for the evening, but it would be a fun town to browse through.
Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 12:25 PM | No comments

Kyle visits Alaska

Back in March, Kyle got to go to Alaska for work. Work, in this case, was a radio propagation experiment involving the HAARP.  The plan was to fly to Anchorage, then drive to the HAARP site and to Valdez in order to learn how to set up antennas and associated equipment.  Then Kyle would go back to Anchorage, then on to Juneau to set up another antenna.  Throughout the final week they would spend time taking data from the various parts of the state. Below are some of the photos of Kyle's journey.

As with many things, not everything went according to plan. Kyle's flight out of Boston was delayed, so he missed his connection in Minneapolis.  That might not normally be that big of a deal, but the next available flight to Anchorage wasn't until the next night at 9:30pm. However, this delay did give him a chance to see the Mall of America and visit this huge Lego store:

He did manage to get out of Minneapolis that next night and landed in this beautiful state:
Driving from Anchorage to HAARP

Driving from Anchorage to HAARP

Antenna site at Thompson Pass, near Valdez.


Looking roughly south, near Juneau - taken from the roof of where Kyle spent the week working.

Kyle had no complaints about the view.  From the roof where Kyle was working, he could often see whales (humpbacks, probably) and sea lions out frolicking in the channel.

Kyle also got to spend a day hiking around Mendenhall glacier with another scientist. He had seen Mendenhall back in 2008 during a cruise with his family, but this time he was able to spend a lot more time in the surrounding area. The hiking was pretty treacherous as the trails were still covered in ice.  The other hikers on the trail were wisely wearing crampons.
This sign was inside the visitors center right behind the fence in the picture above. So sad.

After the last day of the experiment, Kyle drove north out of Juneau and came upon Eagle Beach.  Kyle loved this area. It was extremely peaceful, the only sounds were waves and the honking of geese. There were a few bald eagles, too, one of which startled the geese.
Eagle Beach -- north of Juneau.


Overall it was a good trip. Some science was accomplished and Kyle enjoyed some beautiful scenery.


Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 10:33 AM | No comments

Here comes Spring

The 19th of March was the first weekend with nice enough weather to venture outside. We started out Spring with two very different walks. Our first jaunt was through part of Minute Man Park:

The next day we walked from Davis Square through Harvard to the Charles River and back through MIT.

Google Map showing the transit line which pretty much was our walking path.

Davis square had a lot of restaurants and a movie theater. Looked like a great place to hang out. We walked through Harvard square too, but I didn't take any pictures till we got to the river.

The first thing we saw when we reached the river was a rowing team practicing. I didn't get my camera out in time to photograph them. It was a nice day to be on the water though.

Kyle had read about these odd buildings at MIT and we were lucky enough to find them.

Looking into the windows made us think they might be robotics labs.

Notice the Pantheon like dome in the background.

Just enjoying the odd architecture to the fullest.

We are so happy that Spring is finally here!
Posted by Julie Wiens Posted on 9:52 AM | 2 comments

Cookies Anyone?

Just a quick post to show some cookies I made for St Patty's Day and for my Dad's birthday.

I still need tons of practice, but it has been fun.