Last week felt like the first real days of summer. We had eighty degrees, humid nights, afternoon ice cream breaks, shoulder sunburns, clock-watching at the office, fans whirring at home, summer food like smoothies and homemade pico de gallo and grilled chicken, peach tea in the fridge, evening walks. And I soaked it up with a little exploring of my neck of woods, some solo trekking and some with my roommate, Christy.
The beach! Fifteen minutes from my place, and it is embarrassing I've never been to this one before. It's on the Long Island sound and has the most tranquil network of boardwalks you could ask for. The day I headed out here was breezy and cool, I should have brought a sweatshirt, but perfect for walking and thinking.
Christy and I went out for New Haven pizza last week and tried Modern's, one of Connecticut's top pizzerias. To try two of the house specialties, we got half sausage and half veggie bomb and it did not disappoint. The Saturday night we went must have been Yale's graduation because it was full of families, many from other countries, out celebrating.
Exploring Riverside Park one evening
With sunglasses, a book, and a water bottle, I headed off on my bike Friday afternoon to find Indian Wells State park. It was a few miles away (unfortunately those miles were mostly uphill) but a fun new discovery. The park runs along the river with outdoor picnic areas, grills, grassy fields, forested areas, a beach, and miles of hiking trails. After some exploring, I spent an hour reading on the sand and then hiked a bit of the trails. Toting my Nikon and messing around with aperture and shutter speed like I haven't done since high school was a blast - I'm terrible at it but need to do this more!
The perfect place to read
I'm almost at one year here in Connecticut and don't know how much longer I'll be at this location. I decided on my bike ride back that I should document the buildings on Canal Street so I can remember my first east coast odyssey. There is so much character in these old industrial buildings, so many stories unknown to the millennials who move in and out in a year without a second glance. Many were old factories, now decommissioned; some were converted into modern lofts with high ceilings and exposed beams, others remain empty for now, with broken glass, graffiti, and leafy vines the only evidence of life around them. Earlier in the week, with a bit of sleuthing and piecing together Google history, Christy and I discovered an old locks and a deserted gun factory just a bit further down the gravel road. By the lack of cobwebs on several doors, it appears new owners may be coming to bring Canal St to a new glory.
It's a bit premature for a reverie on this first year out here, but I will say this: the learnings have been good, stretching both personally and professionally; trials have taught me many things, most notably that all 'things' are God's -- so it does no use to worry about them -- and it is in Him alone we must hide our souls; and new relationships have brought refreshed energy to my life. Here's to the next three months, three months of summer that yes I'll be working through but will also be jetting off on weekend roadtrips and Cape Cod biking and a bit of vacation and of course, #exploring.
Still have yet to make it to Nikki's .... flea market about five minutes from my apartment. We went exploring one night after hours when the building was left unlocked and it is now on my list to return in the daytime. The hours are quite unfortunate for a working woman though.
Me and my bike, a Nikon and some red brick. What more can you ask for?
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.