Mark Your Calendar: March 27

So there are two cool things happenin’ on March 27.

1. National Passport Day.

I love that there is a day for the passport. I wish I needed to renew mine, but I don’t. All I can figure out right now is that it is a day that you can get a passport or renew one without making an appointment. I HIGHLY recommend that you get one or renew one now (if you will need one in the near future) because word on the street is that the fees are going to increase by at least $20 pretty soon.

[Insert daydream-ish musical segue] Let’s share first passport stories. I got my first passport at the age of 17 because I wanted to go to Italy with my Latin club. Latin class was freakin’ awesome. It’s kind of a strange language to learn, since it’s dead as a doornail. But I loved it all the same.

Back to the passport. I got my bakery job at the much beloved Wegmans to help fund the trip to Italy. We did Rome, Florence, Pompeii, and Capri, I believe. Pisa! Somewhere I have photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from a bazillion different angles. We covered a lot of ground on that trip, wow. I have a desire to dig out my photo album from that trip. If I have it in Boston, I will post a pic in this entry later!

2. March 27 is also EARTH HOUR. Who participated last year? I did, I did. At 8:30 pm, people around the world will turn off all of their lights for an hour, to show solidarity for taking action against climate change. Light a bunch of candles, and chill out for an hour in the candlelight. You can make a cool virtual lantern at this site.

Here’s mine:

Earth Hour 2010

Suburbia Fix

I spent the weekend visiting Sam(antha) and Dave in Buffalo, NY. It was really nice to catch up with them, see their new house, and get my western NY suburbia fix. Wegmans! Gargantuan mall! Target! Perkins! They were gracious enough to accompany me on a quest to find brown boots in a size 5. In all, we went to seven different stores and I couldn’t find anything. Blast.

Tomorrow is March 1. Which means I have three months to finish the birthday list. It’s time to crank it up a notch. I have one thing planned for this week…visit the MIT List Visual Arts Center. I’ll be stopping by after my two-hour fMRI session on Wednesday. I really hope that I get a printout of my brain after the session. I am going to try to finish a book as well: Carson McCuller’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. That’s all for now…

Boston Globe Travel Show

Linda, Mary, and I went to the Boston Globe Travel Show today. It was fun! We entered to win at least six or seven free trips. Got a lot of reading materials…saw a presentation by my man Arthur Frommer and his daughter Pauline. Tasted just about every free sample at the Gypsy Wind Jam booth…jam made by “Wild Maine Women.”

And then. All of the excitement happened in the last ten minutes we were there. As we were making our way to the exit, we walked by the Aruba area. And lo and behold, there was my friend Eddy Croes. Well, not really my friend. If I lived in Aruba, I bet we would be friends. I went to Aruba for my 31st birthday, and the highlight was taking a daylong tour of the island with Eddy. He runs a sightseeing business. He is a native of Aruba, and co-founded the national park there—Arikok National Park. If I hadn’t taken that tour, I would have thought Aruba was just a bunch of resorts on the beach. But he took me, and a couple with their teenage son, to the national park, the residential areas…off the beaten path basically. I got my photo taken with Eddy so I could be entered into a drawing for a free trip.

After leaving Eddy, we came across another free photo opp. We weren’t sure what was going on, but the photo was free and there were props. Mary and Linda donned leis and I strummed a ukelele for the photo. I think this company, Polite in Public, sells some kind of portable instant photo machine thing.

I am currently listening to a mix tape…I think it is circa 1996. It’s a lurrvve mix. Goo Goo Dolls, Journey, U2, Depeche Mode, R.E.M. Makes me feel like a college kid again. Oops, time to flip the tape. Is that the correct phrase? Switch the tape?

Arthur Frommer!

Met one of my idols tonight. Arthur Frommer! Yeah, the guy behind the Frommer’s travel guides. He gave a free lecture at the Boston Public Library tonight. I got his autograph; it was awesome. His talk centered on the 10 best things about travel right now and the 10 worst things about travel right now. He praised the couch surfing and home exchange phenoms, a surge in hostel openings, and the stimulus money that Amtrak received. The one “worst” item that stuck out for me was Americans’ paltry amount of vacation time. I immediately recalled that I was fired up about that once!! I signed a petition or something…I can’t remember any details. The fire has been re-fueled. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that Americans are given so little vacation time. Other countries have a minimum amount specified in their wage laws…the United States has no such specification in its laws. I need to look into this situation again.

Tomorrow is the big parade day. Unfortunately, I feel like my cold is getting worse…I hope I can make it through the 30-minute walk in the cold tomorrow!