great island, wellfleet, massachusetts.

On a coworker’s recommendation I visited Great Island in Wellfleet all the way back in April. I’ve gone back since and it’s just as magical (and empty!) if you catch the right day in summer.

Great Island isn’t actually an island anymore – since the 19th century it’s been connected by a growing sandbar. You can read a quick history lesson here.

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TO VISIT

Here is the guide from the National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/upload/FinalGGGreatIsl.pdf

They have a small parking lot that my GPS can’t quite figure out. If you want to visit and your GPS says you’ve arrived, keep going about another half a mile until you see the lot on your left. You’ll go over a small bridge with a great view just before you get there.

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Days 49 & 50: MIM & PRICE.

MIM
On Saturday I set off an adventure with my camera in the morning. I wanted to knock something off my bucket list, so the Museum of Musical Instruments it was. I wandered from West of the city center all the way to Parc Royale and the museum (Note, this long walk is important later.)

jenclinton/08052013aFrom MIM’s website: “Besides the well-known Scottish version, many more countries appear to have their own type of bagpipes, Tibetan monks make musical instruments out of the bones of their deceased colleagues, and African slit drums are the local form of Twitter.”

I don’t know what genius decided the concept for MIM but I’m kind of in love. You get a little transponder thing in your language of choice when you walk in, and there are markings on the floor that you stand on in front of most of the instrument displays. Once you’re in the right place, you hold the transponder to your ear, so you actually hear what the instrument sounds like! I mean really. That’s the point of an instrument right? It was so simple it was obvious, but it sort of blew my mind when I realized what the deal was, haha. So clever.

Many of the pieces were from Eastern Europe (lots of Romania), and most were instruments I’d never heard of. I apologize in advance for picture quality but lighting was definitely not conducive to picture taking, not with my little camera dude anyway. Let’s give out some superlatives, shall we?

Creepiest :

Yikes! That would be a skull drum and a femur horn. I thought a femur flute would be a great alliteration but would be decidedly less intimidating in battle I suppose.

Yikes! That would be a skull drum and a femur horn from Tibet.

Most ornate:

I'd be too afraid to even hold this thing, never mind play it.

I’d be too afraid to even hold this thing, never mind play it. She’s so dainty.

Most BA to play (listen to it here):

the SERPENT from RUSSIA.

the SERPENT from RUSSIA, distant cousin of the tuba.

Most difficult to play:

no WAY is that a one person instrument! holy lung capacity. maybe it comes with a reverb pedal or something, haha.

no WAY is that a one person instrument! holy lung capacity. maybe it comes with a reverb pedal or something, haha.

Best Smile:

:D!

:D!

Best Dressed:

from romania, circa 2007. (that threw me.)

from romania, circa 2007. (that threw me.)

Most “what the?” moment:

"it's a little weird that we're blowing into animal intestines, ya? let's cover it in fur so it's less conspicious. much better."

“it’s a little weird that we’re blowing into animal intestines, ya? let’s cover it in fur so it’s less conspicious. much better.”

Personal favorite:

phish guitar?

phish guitar?

I will say this though, I did enjoy the museum but it would  be much better for you if you have a pretty deep-seated appreciation for classical music. I only appreciate it in small doses, usually when working, which is not something pleasant to think about on a free Saturday afternoon. That’s probably why the nature museum was the one for me. 🙂

On the walk back I took a few more pictures of the city. Isn’t she pretty?

PRICE
So Sunday was designated write-your-damn-thesis day. It went, eh. Okay. I took a break go to the insanity that is Garde du Midi on a Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately as I was walking through the crowd my right knee just gave out for no reason at all. I’m like, hello old lady. I was able to put weight on it fine so I kept on keeping on. I actually got some delicious food today, look look! And aside from the provolone I didn’t spent more than… seven euro?

pêche, pastèque, fraises

pêche, pastèque, fraises

carottes, fromage feta, fromage provolone, persil

carottes, fromage feta, fromage provolone, persil

When I got back to my work space I tried to stretch my legs out to the chair on the other side of the table. OWWWW OWOW OW. So I can walk on it but I can’t straighten it. Gah. My several-knee-surgeries boyfriend suggested a strained tendon and PRICE – pressure, rest, ice, compression elevation. It’s not swollen or anything, and I’m sure it’s from walking so much in not-made-for-distance-walking shoes. Just PLEASE no crutches, they don’t have normal ones here. Everyone uses the hand ones and not the underarm ones and excuse the vanity but it would make me look all the more pitiful.

Sad face. I should probably wear my sneakers to work for a while. I’ll be the only one in BRUSSELS wearing running shoes, I think even the women who run wear cute flats at the very least, haha. Ah well. Body says slow down, you better darn well listen.

Days Twenty Nine to Thirty One: ACK it’s been a month.

What! Seriously. I let this little gem of a milestone slip by unnoticed yesterday.

Except for the fact that I bought myself ice cream, haha. I mean gelato has been relatively cheap and all, but you get one stinkin’ little boule like (thisbig) for 1,50 or 1,60. I went to the grocery store around the corner to see what I could find, and now I understand that I will need to buy a cooler to sneak a stack of these home.

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Holy moly. Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce hiding around the sides and like, a pound of cocoa powder. In case you don’t understand this level  of deliciousness yet, here’s a close up.

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I won’t show you the aftermath, haha. (No, it’s not gone. I’m not totally crazy).

I’ve been working and thesis-ing mostly this week, but I’ve also been checking things off my Brussels bucket list. I went to Place Lux on a Thursday night with all the Euro Parliament interns + JB…

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We also ate the fish and chips at Bia Mara… best meal I’ve had in Brussels, besides Soleil Afrique.

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I also had my Guinness at Michael Collins…

jenclinton/07172013awhich was followed up by LITERALLY the weirdest set of nachos I’ve ever had in my life. Now, to be fair, some of the best nachos at home are from an Irish pub. Like, go out of your way to go there and eat tortilla chips and guac and sour cream and olives and peppers and omg. But when I ordered Mexican nachos at the Irish pub in Belgium, I ended up with American doritos, Thai sweet chili sauce, guac and cheese. For real? I was told it was an interestingly misguided decision, and I couldn’t say it better myself.

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My retinas, ow. (And of course there was the museum trip.)

There will be some more radio silence this week, as I’m off to ITALIA! Good thing I’m flying or I might get off in Switzerland or something. Here’s some more of life through my phone this week:

I think I’m hungry. There’s a heck of a lot of food in this post. The best part of traveling is for sure expanding your food horizons, as long as that’s the only thing that’s expanding. Amiright?

Side note, exciting news! I was interviewed by a (pretty big if I do say so myself) newspaper today about my environmental policy work. Can’t wait to share! 🙂

Day Twenty Six: Dîner Chez Moi

When I worked in Salem, my favorite place to get lunch was A&J King Bakery on Central Street. Incredibly sweet people serving incredibly fresh and delicious food. You should probably go there for lunch… right now. I usually ordered the same thing every time, and it inspired me to make my own salad sandwich here. Except ‘artisan’ is just ‘corner market food.’ (Sort of like how ‘military time’ is just, you know, time. Still getting used to that.)

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The bread’s the most important part. Pick something crusty, preferably still warm. If you pick the bag that calls it nutritious then you can feel better about the amount of bread you’re about to consume. Mmmm.

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Then the greens! (Side note – I can’t believe how over-packaged some of the foods are here. No recyclable boxes here. Even the apples and bananas come shrink wrapped.)

 I forgot to take a picture of the next part, but I made my own salad dressing with 2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt and herbs de provence. Then I let the cheese hang out in the mix for a while.

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Sheep’s milk! I thought it was goat cheese all along. Regardless, it was REAL tasty. Now spread your homemade dressing on your crusty bread, sprinkle the balsamic-y feta cheese on your greens, and admire your handiwork.

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And don’t forget the vino.

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It’s a beautiful day outside, so you should probably open the window and let the breeze in while you’re eating.

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Immediately close the curtains when you see the creep across the street watching your every move.

No, not him. The vampire cat upstairs.

we're not friends, you can't have any.

we’re not friends, you can’t have any.