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June 6, 2006 9:20pm


Today was a nice, relaxing day. I woke up around 10am and after that Michelle and I went to downtown Baltimore to wander around. First we drove by and around the Johns Hopkins University campus which was really interesting (it's also located in an interesting part of town for that matter - though it being primarily a medical campus with a hospital makes sense). Then we had to pay her parking ticket - which involved going to the Police Station and after that we went and had lunch at a small restaurant downtown. Following that we then walked basically all over downtown Baltimore. We visited a really cool Barnes & Noble that is located inside of a remodeled power plant that was in service from 1900 until 2000. That by itself was pretty cool (you can even walk through the old smoke stacks). But to top it off, there was an enormous fish aquarium inside the store, which was flat out awesome. I want one someday in my house :). It was huge - and there were a *lot* of fish in there. It was clearly freshwater, and had giant angel fish, neon tetras, and all sorts of other fish. Once we'd stared at the tank for a while, we walked around the pier where we saw a few interesting ships - including the U.S.S. Constellation. There was also a middle school band playing a random, free concert which we sat and listened to for a bit. Next we walked over to another ship that we couldn't figure out whether it was Australian or British - there was what appeared to be an Australian flag on the bow and what was clearly a British flag on the keel. It sounded like the crew had British accents. Anyway, following that we got some ice cream, wandered a bit longer and then returned to the apartment.


At that point I began dissecting my laptop because, well, Kamino decided to die. The monitor had been acting flaky for quite some time, and I guess it finally just decided to quit. It sounded like something had shorted out inside. Anyway, I got it all taken apart (and I mean all taken apart) and it still wouldn't work, so I put it back together. Miraculously after being completely reassembled it began working again. I'm guessing it was a loose wire and that the act of reassembling everything reseated the wire and caused the machine to work again. So, I once again am able to update my journal and website. We'll see how long that lasts though.

Following that we climbed out onto the roof outside Michelle's window and sat for a while watching traffic and chatting. Following that, we both went to sleep.

June 7, 2006


Today was another awesome day. We went to Washington D.C. (on my motorcycle) and spent the entire time sight seeing. We saw the capitol building, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Smithsonian(s) and a few other places. Overall it was a fantastic day. The weather was great for the most part - at the end when we dropped by the Pentagon and finally Arlington National Cemetary it began raining. That, thankfully, didn't last very long and the ride back to Baltimore was mostly dry.

There isn't really a whole lot to say about today – it was a lot of fun, it involved a lot of walking and I took a lot of pictures. We were so tired when we got back we both went to sleep immediately.

June 8, 2006

Today was a lot of fun as well. We went to Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania to go whitewater rafting. The ride there was neat - it was about three and a half hours and it took us through a decent part of the Appalachian Mountains. Following that we arrived at the state park which is pretty cool by itself. The scenery is great and they have some waterfalls and natural water slides in the area.


We departed for the rafting trip around 1:30pm, and it lasted for about 4 hours or so. Our guides went over some basics - commands that the "captain" of each raft would yell to navigate and how to use our safety equipment. He also covered what to do should you fall out of the raft (something that later turned out to be pretty useful) - it was basically don't try to stand up, and float on your back. This trip was interesting since there were only two guides and everyone in each raft was basically on their own. The rapids weren't terribly challenging - there was one class IV rapid, called Dimple Rock, but that was it. It was still a lot of fun.


We started out down the river and we had decided that one of the two people in the back of the raft (who arrived late) would be in charge since he had apparently kayaked the area before. Well, as we entered the first rapids it became clear that he didn't remember the commands, wasn't yelling loud enough, and wasn't really preventing us from ending up in bad areas. So, I started yelling commands instead. Once we made it through the first rapids the lady in front of me asked who was yelling the commands, and I indicated that it was me. At that point I was nominated by everyone as the new "captain." And so I ended up steering us down the river almost the entire way.


I say almost the entire way because after getting unstuck from a rock in the class IV rapid I fell out of the raft. I'm still not sure how it happened - one minute I was there and the next I was in the water. But regardless, it was definitely interesting floating my way through a good part of a class IV rapid. According to everyone else in the raft there was some chaos that ensued after I fell out as well, since nobody was yelling commands at that point. Whoops. Anyway, after that I was pulled back into someone else's raft at which point we all paddled back to my original raft and I hopped back over. That bit of fun done, the remainder of the trip went fine.

All in all it was a lot of fun. Though looking back, it probably would have been even more fun had the river contained more challenging rapids. It was, nevertheless, a good start. I'll definitely be doing it again sometime in the future.

Once our travels down the river were done we hopped back in the car and returned to Baltimore. Shortly thereafter we both went to sleep, as once again we were pretty tired.

June 9, 2006


Today was a more relaxing day than the past two. We got up around 8:00am and went to look at a few apartments (Michelle is moving to a new one sometime towards the end of July). Then we came back and sat around for a bit. While she looked for more apartments online I cruised around Baltimore on my bike. Ultimately I ended up at Fort McHenry, the location that apparently inspired Francis Scott Key's words to our National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner." That was an unexpected surprise - but really interesting.

Following that we got lunch and took a look at a couple more apartments. At some point I need to do laundry and start packing my stuff (I leave for Shenandoah National Park tomorrow morning). So, that's it for now!