6.11.2013

the gills go to new haven

as soon as i was back on american soil, i started preparing for our gill family vacation!
we were all heading to new haven for my sister in law, sarah's, graduation from YALE.
she is really an incredible human being.
she has more talent in her pinkies than most people can even dream about.
she got her undergraduate degree in architecture at the university of texas.
immediately after graduating, she moved to india where she worked for an architectural firm for a few years. we got to visit her once, and it was amazing. see my travel blog for more details on that.
anyway, she got back from india and before she'd even washed all the new delhi out of her hair,
she was headed to new haven to pursue her graduate degree in architecture.
so basically, what i'm getting at here is- she has been slaving and slaving and accomplishing greatness for years on end. her graduation was the culmination of A LOT of work!
as if graduating from yale isn't enough to impress you...

we arrived midday in hartford.
the flight in was really beautiful. it was overcast (which i love) and the descent took us down over millions of fluffy green trees.
we got our bags, rented the gill family van, and set off for new haven.

i am terrible at packing, and almost always forget essential items.
example: i once went on a three week trip to europe and forgot all my underwear.
example 2: i frequently go on trips and forget toiletries.
example 3: i once went on a trip to new york and forgot shoes.
example 4: i went to new haven in the spring and forgot to bring a jacket.


we quickly realized that the northern air is considerably more chilly than that in texas,
and sarah informed us that rain was an inevitable and unfortunate part of this town.
sweet. i didn't bring a rain jacket either.
ironically i had brought a rain jacket to london, and it didn't rain once. GAH


ANYWAY
we were all starving by the time we got in, and thus decided to have dinner at like 4:30.
and i don't want to hear anyone complain about my photographing food.
warning, tangent approaching:
i think food is delicious.
i also happen to think it's quite pretty.
i love cook books with pictures.
i love to see new dishes and think of how i could make it myself.
do i want to scroll through a million of your fuzzy, out of focus, iphone photos of your lunches on facebook?
no.
but will i continue to photograph beautiful dishes i get in restaurants?
yes.
so that is that. no complaining, and no making fun.


we ate at this fabulous wine/cheese/meat/amazingfood place.
(which perhaps sarah can tell you the name of)

these boards of meats and cheeses are, in fact, as delicious as they look.
 mmmmmmmmm
 i got soft shell crab on a salad.
this is one of my most favorite foods,
so i was pretty happy.
 andrew got this massive bowl of mussels,
 and sarah got this salad with duck.
we were so stuffed by the time we left!
 i didn't make in in this group photo, but it's probably for the best.
the gills are a good looking bunch.
 the next day, sarah took us up to school to show us where she has been slaving for the past three years.
 here's her desk:


 it was awesome to finally see where she's been all this time.
 this photo had to be taken.
don't laugh.
 then she took us into the wood shop.
this is a robot!
 there are a million ways to build things in this shop.
 and a million and one ways to hurt yourself.
 that afternoon, we hopped in the gill family van and drove out to guilford to-
 see anything on this menu that doesn't make you salivate?
 i thought not...
this is the giant fire where they grill everything:
 all the tables are under this huge red tent.
 and the chairs are big fat stumps!
each table had a little bunch of purple flowers that were just gorgeous.
 we popped some bottles and got the party started.
 first up, corn.
 correction, butter- with a little corn too.
 and clams!
 clams from heaven...
 after you eat them, you toss their little shells on the floor.
i realized after a few tosses, the ground is completely covered in bits of clam shells!
 the salmon was amazing....
 and, after ordering a giant lobster, me and sarah realized that
we are the only gills that even like lobster!
score one for us.
the place was awesome!
again, we left totally stuffed.
 we headed back home and got cleaned up.
later we went back to the architecture building to see all the student's work.
 this is sarah and her partner, jacqueline, in front of their most recent project.
it was nominated for a feldman award
(which is a big deal).
 it was so cool!
 she explained all the little details to us non architecturally minded people,
and we were even more impressed!
afterwards, we walked back to sarah's place.
she lives in this cute little apartment near the yale campus.
sarah has an unbelievable ability to make a house feel homey.
 flowers and candles
 cheese
 mango margaritas
 and there you have it!
 it was the perfect evening with the fam.
 i love these people:
ps-
toby couldn't come to new haven,
so he stayed back in austin
at his uncle stu and aunt val's house.
he loves them so much!
clearly, he was having a good time.
valerie even shared her bunny with little tobes.

6.05.2013

until next time, london!

on our last day, we drove out to windsor to spend our last night out in the country.
our tour guides were two new friends (the couple that put on the fantastic movie premier).
they brought along their two kids,
and together we toured the windsor castle.
it was a very chilly afternoon,
and some of us neglected to bring jackets.
tc shared his.
brrrrrrr
this is a good looking crew!
the castle was really amazing to see.
we walked all around, and spotted this little guy watching from
behind a fence. we all waved and his tail thump thump thumped.
these tall hat guards are great.
they won't budge.
ever.
i loved how short this lady was compared to him:
then adrien got a photo:
that evening we had a party over at keira and rony's house
(our new friends and hosts)
and celebrated the film, and adrien's success.
it was so fun to meet so many new people
and to hear so many stories.
it was a delightful ending to the trip!
thank you to all our new friends
for making our trip to london unforgettable!
i hope to see you again soon!