Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The cruise


-lots of sun
-lots of free time (read a whole book)
-the food!


-too much sun (that was our fault)
-rough seas had us pretty queasy
-not enough time to really get to know the ports of call

My conclusion is that I'm very glad that we had the opportunity to go on a cruise. It was great to have the experience first-hand, and the ocean was so vast and gorgeous; I feel lucky to have had the chance to be surrounded by it. However, Kimberly and I are dive-into-the-culture, adventurous vacationers. If I go to the Bahamas again, I'd rather spend a week on one island than a week at sea with day long stops at several islands.

One highpoint:

Sneaking through the lobby of the Sheraton on Cable Beach in Nassau. On the other side we were met with a long beach shared by all of the upscale resorts. One look around and we suddenly felt like we were amidst the postcard ideal of Caribbean vacation.

Cable Beach across the little bay. We walked several miles looking for a place to hang out before coming across it.

More here (from Kimberly).

Monday, March 24, 2008


Last night Kimberly and I had a muy buena cena a la Casa Blanca. It's a brand new Mexican restaurant that just opened in North Billerica, right off of Rt. 3 on Rt. 129.

I've long been yearning for authentic Mexican food around here, on a par with what you can get in the Southwest. After one visit to Cafe Azteca in Lawrence, I fell in love with the quality of their food and their low prices. Similarly, La Carreta in Nashua offers a good selection and quality food.

But the Lowell area has been lacking (unless there's some other place I don't know about). The two best Mexican places (Mambo Grill and Isabela's Burrito Bar) are really burrito joints. The food is great, but they don't offer a full plate and wide selection. Casa Blanca has come to finally fill this void!

We were seated by a very young girl who was obviously the daughter of the owners and then greeted almost immediately with water and chips. The homemade salsa was a yummy cilantro packed hint at what was to come. The prompt, frequent, and friendly service continued throughout the night (admittedly, there were only a few people eating while we were there).

Our waiter took our order in a thick-accented Spanglish, though I think it was stylistic rather than out of necessity. His speech hinted that he also spoke fluent English. I had the standard green sauce enchiladas while Kimberly ordered chicken flautas. Both of us were immediately blown away. Kimberly compared hers to this little Mexican place that we stopped at in Paige, AZ in passing on our honeymoon, where the staff were all first generation Mexican (the place stands in our minds as stereotypical authentic Mexican).

We were thoroughly impressed and started joking about what we would order when we came back the next day. Please drop what you're doing and go to Casa Blanca immediately! I would love to see this place flourish and we'll be returning very soon.

Feeling claustrophobic all of a sudden...

I came into my office after a week away to find that Gmail chat is now being blocked by my network administrators!

I can't think of a single good reason why I should be allowed to use this service at work (other than the fact that my productivity was just fine while it was accessible), but I will sorely miss it. I feel pretty detached from the world right now.

Also to blog about soon:

1) The reason I haven't blogged in so long.
2) The cruise.
3) Casa Blanca.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Eye passed out.

First thing yesterday morning I went to a new eye doctor. He found that I have a bit of trouble focusing close-range, so I got these spiffy reading glasses:

He also decided to dilate my eyes to check my retinas, which probably would have been fine if he hadn't told me that the eye drops numbed my eyes. I don't do well with numbness. In fact, it makes me pass out. The eye drops actually just stung a little and then my eyes felt cool. But it was too late.

I warned him in advance that I have a problem with numbness and then after he applied the drops I said something like "oh yeah, I don't feel so good," which was the last thing I remember saying.

While I was out, my mind was thinking of other things, trivial things, but like being awoken early from a dream, I forgot it all when I came back to the examining room, slowly realizing what had happened, with a slightly distraught optometrist tending to me. As I sipped some Poland Spring he wrote in his notes, saying that that wouldn't happen in his exam room again (meaning that he'd never give me that test again). It was certainly a rather odd start to the work week.