Thursday, August 23, 2007


August 23, 2007: Big news. Adam proposes. Valerie says yes. The Doog was present.

Valerie: After spending a couple of days at home, and before heading off to China, Adam came to Columbus. He arrived this afternoon.

Adam: I had been planning a big proposal for some time. I was originally going to propose to Valerie on a scenic overlook (or, as my mom put it, "a scenic overpass") on our drive down I-75 to Miami. However, I discovered that no such scenic overlook existed. So I instead told Valerie that when I arrived in Columbus, I wanted to take some pictures with the doog in the park.

Valerie: I must admit, I thought the picture idea was a bit odd, and it's been really hot here all day. But, because I love taking pictures, I didn't object. We picked up the doog and headed to Schiller Park in German Village.

Adam: I picked a nice spot in front of some purple flowers, and told Valerie that I would set up the camera. While I was setting up the camera, I grabbed the ring box out of my shorts pocket, where I had stored it for the flight over. I set up the camera to take a picture on timer, walked over, and got down on my knee. I took out the box, and promptly dropped it. Then I picked it up, and asked Valerie to marry me. She was, to say the least, surprised.

(The proposal caught on camera.)

Valerie: Shocked is more like it. I was definitely not expecting it. Adam did a great job with the ring (as you can tell from the pictures). It's exactly what I would have picked out. Afterwards, we took some pictures and headed to dinner at my favorite Columbus restaurant, The Northstar Cafe. After dinner we met up with some clerks at Novak's for happy hour and $1 beers.

Adam: I'm very excited to have Valerie as my fiancee. She's everything I always wanted, plus the doog gets thrown in for free. Two for one!

(The three of us after the proposal.)

(The ring -- oooh -- sparkly)

Next: The two lovebirds and the doog travel down I-75, eating some BBQ, and debating which "scenic overpass" Adam would have picked for the proposal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Clerk's Night Out

August 16, 2007; Columbus, Ohio

Last Thursday my co-clerks and I went out one last time. Allison and David were done on Friday and me and Barney have only 2 more weeks before our clerkships are over. It was a great time. We started with dinner at Marcella's -- a new Italian restaurant in the Short North area of Columbus. The food was tasty and cheap -- definitely worthwhile to eat here if you're in town. Afterwards we headed to Spice for drinks. Spice has a nice outdoor seating area and we were lucky enough to find a free cabana. All and all it was lots of fun.

(David, Me, Allison and Barney at dinner)

(The four of us after dinner -- at Spice)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Other Cape

August 10-12, 2007; Essex, Massachusetts

Valerie: My visit to Essex (on Cape Ann) two weekends ago was reminiscent of my trip to Chicago in June. My trip started with a delayed flight -- a very delayed flight thanks to a meltdown at JFK. Needless to say, the flight was originally supposed to leave Columbus for JFK at 2:40pm. Actual time of departure: 8:30pm. I arrived in New York only to discover that my connecting flight to Boston was also delayed. Original time of departure: 10:30pm. Actual departure time: 1:15am. I ended up arriving in Boston around 2:45am.

Adam: Believe it or not, I actually arrived in Boston only 10 minutes late. So I went and got the rental car and hung out in Logan airport for two hours. It turns out that when a lot of JetBlue flights are late, there are a lot of people there....

Valerie: On Saturday Adam and I, along with Adam's brother, David, and his girlfriend, Lindsay, headed to the beach for a kayak ride.

Adam: We went around Hog Island, which is right near Crane's beach. For you movie buffs, this is where "The Crucible," starring Winona Ryder, was filmed.

(Adam and Me in the water)

Adam: We spent Saturday afternoon riding around downtown Essex and going in and out of some old antique shops. I use the word antique very loosely - this was some real junk (our favorite kind of antique shop).

(View from the beach in Essex)

Valerie: On Saturday night, we all enjoyed a lobster cookout. Lobsters were bought (live) and boiled in the backyard.

Adam: Meet chompy:

(Adam and his lobster.)

(Adam; Adam's Dad, Mark; Anne, Adam's Stepmom; and a lobster facing death.)

(The lobsters in the boiling water.)

(The finished product)

On Sunday, we slept in, and then went over to Gloucester. Gloucester is a picturesque old town. It is still a big fishing community; as you walk along the dock, you see ice packing plants and fishing boats. This was the town featured in the book and movie "The Perfect Storm," and the portrayal of it is pretty true. But it's got a nice old main street, and some fun used bookstores.

(Adam's family from left: David, Lindsay, Adam's Stepmom, Adam's Dad, Adam and Me.)

(Us in Gloucester.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I go to El Yunque too much!

Hey all! I've been moving around quite a bit, so I haven't updated the blog much recently. But here's a brief recap of the past few weeks.

July 25, 2007: ELA Constitution Day and a trip to El Yunque

It was constitution day here in the ELA (Estado Libre Asociado, or "commonwealth"), and we had the day off of work. So, as a good law clerk does, I took two of our summer interns for a trip up to El Yunque! First, I have to say that our interns this summer were awesome. They are a bunch of brilliant women (plus Josh, who is bright, but not a woman) who really helped us to get our chambers in order.

[the gang]

So as a reward, we figured that we'd put together a quick "summer outing" to one of Puerto Rico's most famous sites: El Yunque (also known as Caribbean National Forest).

Going to El Yunque on a weekend is usually a bit of a challenge - the parking situation is not great, and the tables at El Yuquiyu - the best burgers in the forest - are usually packed. Nothing prepared us for this voyage though: not a single parking space was to be found at the normal trailhead! So instead, we decided to take the Mount Britton Spur to El Yunque, a trail which was quite a bit steeper initially, but ultimately much shorter. However, we made it to the summit, and look at these views:

[Gia & Montse]

After coming down the mountain, we discovered that there were no tables or parking spaces to be found at Yuquiyu. So instead, we went to El Hamburguer, a shack right off of Nozagaray in Old San Juan, which in addition to serving up some really great burgers, also happens to be the only place I have found in PR to serve root beer - amazing!

July 27-30, 2007: Drew visits and . . . a trip to El Yunque!

My friend Drew - also my college roomate (go G-dubs!) visited this weekend, which was also my last weekend in the apartment. It was a really great weekend - some tasty food, good beers, and we also saw The Simpsons movie, which turns out to be just a really long Simpsons episode (~ 65 minutes). Still, not bad. We also made it out to - wait for it - El Yunque! The weather (and traffic) for this trip were really good, and we managed to hike the main El Yunque trail. When we made it up to the rock outcropping right before the summit, this guy told us that there was an even more interesting rock to climb a bit further. So after coming to the road at the end of the trail, we turned left, and took the La Roca trail. It was pretty off the beaten path - it did not look like anybody had hiked it for some time, but it was pretty cool. Check out this picture:

[Adam & Drew]

Later that night, we took a kayak tour of the bioluminescent bay at Fajardo. It's a really cool experience - these tiny microorganisms in the bay (dynoflagellates) start glowing when the water is agitated at night (a little like a firefly glow, but blue instead of yellow). It basically makes it look like you have neon glitter on you. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to capture on film . . .

Also this weekend, my roomate for the past 2 months - the pigeon - hatched her chicks. Congratulations to the pigeon!

[roommate pigeon + chick]

July 31: I say farewell to Condominium Condado del Mar

Today, I began the first step of leaving Puerto Rico, as I had movers come and pack all of my stuff up so that I could move out of my apartment. For all of you who did not get a chance to see my beautiful apartment (with some very scary elevators), here is a picture of the view:

[View from Adam's Balcony]

August 3-6, 2007: Amy visits and . . . you guessed it - Adam goes to El Yunque!

Amy, one of my great friends from Law School came to visit this past weekend. It was honestly one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in PR yet (which is good, because it was my last weekend in PR). On Saturday, we got up at around 10, and drove to El Yunque. This was probably the best traffic out of the past three visits, but the worst weather. It was misty the entire time; the summit was not visible from the bottom. Nevertheless, we trekked on, and took some fun pictures in the mist:

[Amy on El Yunque]

Later that night, we went to a gathering of all of the PR law clerks who were leaving. It was a fun party, but a bit bittersweet - a lot of these people have been my close friends for the past year, and I'll be sad to leave them behind.

[Ivan, Lory, Adam]

[Karen and Adam]

And then finally, yesterday, I sold the green monster: my enormous 1994 Ford Explorer, who hadn't been looking so well recently:

[now in better hands]

That's all folks! Next weekend, Valerie and I will be posting (or at least planning to post) from Essex, MA where we join much of my father's family for a weekend at the beach.

Friday, August 3, 2007

All about the Doog

August 3, 2007; Columbus, Ohio

I recently discovered that some of our blog's readers enjoy hearing about the doog. So here is a post dedicated to our four-legged friend.

Molly is doing well. She recently visited the vet and received a clean bill of health. I'm happy to report that Molly's couch-potato year in Ohio has not led to her gaining weight -- Molly still weighs in at a healthy 8 1/2 pounds.

I was scrapbooking this week -- I'm working on a scrapbook of Molly -- and have compiled a few good pictures of the Doog:

She is either yawning or trying to look intimidating. Your guess is as good as mine.

Adam and Molly (aka "the Potato") in Columbus.

Molly looking very cute

Up Next: On Sunday Valerie is headed to the Ohio State Fair -- a true midwest experience. The Doog hangs at home -- we think she's plotting against us. Adam is in Puerto Rico with Amy, a good friend of ours from law school.