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"We Entertain When It Rains"  



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December 17,2012- NYC Santa Pub Crawl...

Our "official" reason to visit NYC this time of the year is to check out the Holiday windows along the shops on Fifth Avenue. Can we help it if the date also happens to coincide with the annual NYC Santa Pub Crawl?

The streets of NYC were packed with Santas of all kinds. Due to the warmer than usual weather, they were also in various state of (un)dress. Some of them (an occassional slutty Santa and more than a few naughty elves) were definitely NSFW , not that we were working :-) The pub crawl started around... [more] - XMas in NYC: Santa Pub Crawl


December 14,2012- XMas in NYC: Windows...

The Holiday window displays at the department stores is one the reasons we look forward to our annual December trip to NYC. Sure, many cities put on a festive face this time of the year, but there is something special about the annual showcase of creativity put on by the liks of Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and other retail heavy-weights along Five Avenue.

This year, Macy's theme for their animated windows at Herald Square is "The Magic of Christmas" and they did not disappoint. We foun them mesmerizing and could have stood there for hours exploring the... [more] - XMas in NYC: Windows


November 13,2012- Sea Crest, Falmouth MA...

Lots of people know that the Cape is a great place to visit in the Summer...which is why we usually avoid it until the off-season. We like the off-season for a lot of reasons, the main one being the peace and quiet. However, getting the weather to cooperate can be tricky after Labor Day. We visited Falmouth over a year ago, but that was just a quick day trip. We had always planned to return for a longer stay and we did just that this past weekend.

The Nor'easter had passed earlier in the week and the weekend weather was in the low 60s. Unusual for November, but we were not complaining. Especially since we had reservations at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth for Veteran's Day weekend. The Sea Crest was only about an hour from... [more] -Sea Crest Beach Hotel, Falmouth MA


November 9,2012- A concert in the parlor...

Even though we live in a 24x7, connected-all-the-time, let-me-Google-that kind of world, there’s something to be said for the still-mysterious incident of the coming upon something unexpected; something you weren’t looking for, weren’t expecting, or even knew existed. Why that thing, why your life, why right then? But then the thing happens, and the mystery turns into happiness, because you no longer care about the why of it, you only care about the it of it.

And that’s what happened to me the other day, when (and I’m not sure this is how it happened) I saw a little thing in a little post on a little calendar online, about a concert at a historical house less than three miles from the house. On a Wednesday night. Two fellas from PEI (Prince Edward Island) (up in Canada), playing the fiddle and the guitar.

I can’t really put my finger on it, the thing that made me say, “Hey, let’s go to that,” but serendipity answers to no wo/man. It’s nice to know that sometimes “I dunno” is actually the truth and not some lame, lazy shrug meant to wiggle out of having to put the energy into explaining yourself.

Anyhoo, we went to hear/see/watch this fantastic, acoustic performance of Richard Wood (fiddler) and Gordon Belsher (guitar, etc.) and we didn’t even know we were going to! Talk about awesome happenstance.

Like a kitchen party back in PEI

That’s what Richard and Gordon said, not me. The Loring-Greenough House, in whose parlor we were listening to these two, fit about 20, although there were 30. There was so much excitement in this audience, that they were here and they were here, all in this parlor that originally belonged to (gasp!) a Tory family. It was just so exciting to be part of this excitement, and we weren’t even expecting it!

So this is what I know, now: where you play is not who you are. I was four rows from guys that played for both Queen Elizabeth AND Gene Simmons, and played with Shania Twain AND The Chieftains. And you know what? They were... [more] -notloB Parlour Concerts by Carolyn Donovan


November 5,2012- Edge 80 at World's End...

After our successful FirstUse outing with the Lensbaby Composer Pro and Edge 80 optic, we went looking for other locations to further "exercise" the lens. We packed up the Lensbaby gear and took a drive out to World's End in Hingham. As it was late October, foliage colors were on full display. The last time we were at World's End was the dead of Winter. We had a lovely visit then and thought we should definitely revisit it again during the Fall. Good thing we went when we did, because after the recent hurricane, there probably isn't much foliage left on the trees.

The ability to direct the viewer's eye by is, of course, the reason for using a Lensbaby. The bonus of shooting Fall foliage with this lens is that the Lensbaby's impressionistic effect works well with the colors. Landscape and scenic shots take on an entirely different quality through the Lensbaby. We especially liked... [more] -Lensbaby Edge 80 InTheWild at World's End


October 10,2012- Rumor Has It...

Fabulous. No wait, I have to say it in French...fabuleux. Fabuleux. Oui, fabuleux. And I don’t even speak French. But last Saturday night’s L'Académie’s Rumor Has It was so...fantastically...French—and Baroque French at that—that no word but fabuleux will do.

L'Académie may be a start-up in the classical music world, but at five years old, it’s established itself as a serious, Baroque-focused ensemble. It’s general director, Leslie Kwan, is the... [more] - L'Académie's Rumor Has It review by Carolyn Donovan


October 5,2012- Mammoths and Mastodons...

The Museum Of Science's new exhibit, Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, opens on Sunday October 7th. The RainyDayScience folks had a chance to preview the exhibit on Wednesday and came away impressed.

The Pleistocene Epoch spanned from 2,588,000 to about 10,000 years ago, which also marked the end of the last Ice Age. Discoveries made by British, American, and Soviet scientists and explorers have indicated that the last of an isolated population may have been living on Wrangel Island until as recent as 2500 BC.

Mammoths and mastodons were giant creatures of the Ice Age. These beasts weighed as much as 8 tons and had tusks reaching out 16-feet. As amazing as it was that these huge animals existed, it was even more amazing that they eventually became extinct. What is cool is they have... [more] - MOS: Mammoths and Mastodons


September 4,2012 Patriots Training Camp

NFL Football Season 2012 is starting! The first regular season game is tomorrow (Cowboy vs Giants). It couldn't come soon enough for the folks here at RainyDayMagazine. Besides the Olympics, football is the only sporting event we pay attention to. Yes, we watch the World Series if the Red Sox are playing, we may watch some tennis or basketball, maybe even golf, but not with the interest we have for football.

At the beginning of August, we—along with a few thousand other Patriot fans—stopped by Gillette Stadium to check out the Patriots during training camp. It was a pretty sweltering day, but the heat clearly had no effect on the enthusiasm of New England fans for their team, as the stands were full. Many folks turned out just to see their team go through drills, plays, and other practice routines. Some were hoping for the chance to snag an autograph from their favorite... [more] - Patriots Training Camp


July 19,2012- Fenway Park :100 Years Old...

Boston and baseball has had a love/hate relationship for a long time. Red Sox fans held their collective breath for the 86 years between the BoSox's World Series championships, and that is a long time to not breath. OK, so the Chicago Cubs have not won since 1908, but hey, while totally lovable, it's the Cubs. We'll leave it at that.

This year Fenway Park, the home of the Red Sox, celebrates its 100th-year anniversary. The Park opened in 1912 even though construction had not completely finished. The right- and center-field grandstands and the center-field bleachers were in place, but the Park was missing the... [more] - Fenway Park: 100 Years Old


July 16,2012- Hummingbird at the FPZ...

We are trying to entice hummingbirds to the RainyDayGarden. A few weeks ago, we got a couple of beautiful glass feeders from our favorite garden-gear source, Gardener's Supply Company, and put them up. So far, no luck in spotting the little hummers. However, we are hopeful that our efforts will be rewarded now that the trumpet vines and cone flowers are in full bloom.

When we were at the Franklin Park Zoo in June, not all of the exhibits had opened. One of those was the Butterfly Landing. We have been meaning to go back to the FPZ to check it out. So when we heard that the FPZ had some hummingbirds nesting there, we dropped everything and... [more] - Hummingbird at the FPZ


July 11,2012- Nikkor 18-300mm Zoom FirstUse...

The FirstShots we took over the weekend gave a quick glimpse of what Nikon's new 18-300mm DX zoom is capable of out of the box. We wanted to see if this longer zoom could replace the trusty Nikkor 18-200mm "grab-n-go" lens. In order to do that, we really needed to take it out into the field and give a workout. We could have stayed in Boston, but the 90º+ weather made us think that the Cape would be a better choice. So Sunday afternoon, we packed up and head down to Chatham, aka The Elbow of the Cape.

The first place we tested out the new Nikkor was at a baseball game. If you live in the New England area and have not been to a Cape League game, you are missing out. The cost of a ticket? What tickets? The games are free!

We got there after the game started, but were still able to find seats closed to third base. It was around 6:30 when we sat down. The lights had not come on yet, but we knew that in order to freeze the action, we had better crank up the ASA. So all the images taken at the game were at ASA 3200. All of the shots were taken hand-held and with VR active. Here are some shots of the... [more] - Nikkor 18-300mm Zoom FirstUse


June 25,2012- Hampton Beach NH...

The heat wave that had been steaming up New England finally broke on Friday with some impressive thunderstorms across the area. When it cleared, we took it as a sign to go for a drive. A search for goings on within the 1-hour driving radius pointed us to the the 12th Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. When we saw that, we knew we had found our RainyDayDestination for the weekend.

The Hampton Beach exit was just at the border between MA and NH and it took us exactly an hour to get there on Rt 95. The vibe at Hampton Beach is 1950s Summer resort town complete with old-time arcades, fried-clam shacks, and a boardwalk which went for miles. A perfect... [more] -Sand Sculpting Competition: Hampton Beach, NH


June 21,2012- Hot Time Summer In The City...

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice, or the first day of Summer. Normally the Solstice is on the 21st, but due to astronomical weirdness, it was on the 20th this year. Anyway, the temperature went from a comfortable 75º the day before to a sweltering 98º in less than twelve hours. It was as if someone said "Summer is here" and threw a switch.

What better way to enjoy the heat than to wait in line to see and smell a plant which entices its pollinators by mimicking the scent of rotting flesh? Super hot day, the odor of decay, it's a "can't miss" combination! We are, of course, talking about the Amorphophallus Titanum, otherwise known as “Corpse Flower,” which recently bloomed at the... [more] -Hot Time Summer In The City


June 4,2012- Franklin Park Zoo: Spring 2012...

We started our Urban Safari series on January 1st at the Franklin Park Zoo (FPZ). We went back in early March and again at the end of May. It was interesting to see how how the FPZ and the animals change over the course of Spring.

The FPZ is open year-round. Many of the animals have no issues with the colder New England weather. Those which do are moved to indoor facilities for the duration and emerge when the temperature becomes more moderate. Animals like the bustard can stay outside all winter as long as they've access to... [more]- FPZ: Spring


May 11,2012- Brimfield Antique Show...

The Brimfield Antique Show got off to another wet start this year. The weather, while awesome for the plants in our garden, put quite a damper on the show's attendance. We had planned to check out the show on the first day, but the rain kept us away until today.

Having attended the Brimfield show for the past several years, we have found that getting to the show can be as much of a challenge as trying to see everything once you are at the show. The reason is that Brimfield is a small town and there is only one road into and out of it, so during the Antique Show, there can quite a backup at the Brimfield exit. After sitting in traffic last year, we thought it might be faster to go past Brimfield to Palmer and to get to... [more]- Brimfield Antique Show


April 30,2012- Gore Place: Waltham MA...

This past Saturday was kind of cool, but very sunny. After running some errands, we thought we would see if there was anything happening which would get us outside. A few years ago, we went to a Sheepshearing Festival in Waltham MA. As it turns out, the festival was on until 5 PM. The timing was perfect as it was just a little past noon and if we hurried and cleaned up, we could hop into the Boxster and be there with plenty of time remaining.

The festival was in full swing when we arrived. Parking was free (out in a big field) and there was plenty of it. The only drawback was there is only one entrance so there was a bit of a bottle-neck. As this was the 25th time for this particular festival, the organizers have worked out the logistics the best they could. They had cops directing traffic to ensured things kept flowing. We only had to wait a little bit before making our way onto the fair ground. Next year, to avoid the congestion, we may park at one of the auxiliary lots and... [more] - Gore Place: Waltham MA


April 25,2012- BPG in the Spring...

Boston is a beautiful city any time (Spring, Fall), but there is something extra special about it in the Spring. The rain last weekend had things blooming everywhere. We intended to go back to the Arboretum to see what else had popped, but instead went down to the Boston Public Garden (BPG) and said "Hi" to the ducklings.

The Boston Public Garden, America's first public botanical garden, was established in 1837. The design (lots of color, showy blooms, etc) was heavily influenced by the Victorian style of gardening. The garden's large series of formal plantings and the lagoon are maintained by... [more] - Boston Public Garden in the Spring


April 24,2012- After The Rain...

Some areas of the East Coast got hammered by the weather over the weekend, but the few inches of rain that fell in New England was much needed and very welcomed. In the RainyDayGarden, plants such as the wisteria and the Japanese Maple responded enthusiastically.

We were hoping to take advantage of the early Spring and get some of the seedlings into the ground earlier this year, but the lack of rain had us worried. While the basil seedlings are still quite small, the bean sprouts will be ready to go into the ground in another week or so. We have been... [more] - After The Rain


April 23,2012- Shobu Aikido: Spring Gasshuku...

Readers may be wondering why we were kind of quiet last week. The reason was that many of us were at the Shobu Aikido Spring Gasshuku. A Shobu Gasshuku only happens four times a year, and we try to attend when possible. These 3-day-long seminars are very different from regular practice in that they bring together students from all over. Many of the attendees were from other parts of New England--western MA, Vermont, Maine--but there were also Aikidokas from New York, Las Vegas, and even Quebec!

The three days (four if we also count the Thursday night class) of intensive training is different than attending regular classes in that it gives the instructor (Sensei Gleason in this case) the time to teach something over the course of a few days. It also lets the students maintain a focus that is... [more] - Shobu Aikido of Boston: Spring Gasshuku


April 18,2012- Spring At The Arboretum...

The Arnold Arboretum is a fantastic place to visit any time of the year (Spring, Fall, Winter). However, if we could only go once a year, then Spring would be it. While the colors of Fall at the Arboretum are spectacular, somehow we would still prefer the blooms of Spring.

We stopped by today to see how things were going and got quite a surprise. We knew the plants at the RainyDayGarden were a few weeks early this year, but the effect was entirely different at the Arnold Arboretum. Plants currently flowering are the magnolias, cherries, forsythia, early azaleas, redbud, Japanese andromeda, and many more. Go here for an interactive map of... [more] - Spring At The Arboretum


April 17,2012- Macro In The Garden...

The weather forecast for Marathon Monday was spot on: the mercury climbed to over 80º. While the steamy temperature was a challenge for the marathoners, the plants in the RainyDayGarden loved it.

The heat sped everything up. The daffodils, which had been blooming, perked up. The yellow tulips, which hadn't even turned yellow the day before, started to bloom. Even some of the irises got into the action. We took advantage got in some practice on shooting close-ups and... [more] -Macro In The Garden


April 13,2012- RDG Update...

A month ago the temperature hit 80º+, but like any aberration, it returned to the seasonal norm quickly enough. Those few days of warm weather in March jump-started all of the perennials in the RainyDayGarden and everything is about two weeks ahead of schedule. The only thing still lagging is the rain. Currently, the rain gauge is registering about 7" less than what should have fallen by now. Fortunately, a little bit of rain (and hail!) finally showed up yesterday. The plants really needed it as they were pretty parched!

Plants like the daffodils have been blooming since the end of March. A few tulips are starting to show some color and we expect to see one open in the next day or so, especially if the 75º forecast for... [more] -Mid-Spring Update


April 9,2012- NYIAS 2012: Pure Electric Vehicles...

One thing is certain, oil is a finite resource and one day it will be gone. With $10/gallon gas possibly in our future, electric-powered vehicle's time may come sooner rather than later. Car makers have been demo-ing pure electric-powered vehicles (PEVs) at NYIAS for many years and show goers have been teased with futuristic concept cars and prototypes, but none of them were available to the consumers. Last year, a few (Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt) companies finally began selling models which can actually purchased.

While each generation of e-car has seen significant improvements in battery life and driving range, there are still many issues (cost, refueling time, etc) to be addressed. As the majority of commuters drive less than 50 miles total each day, electric cars builder such as Ford have made the 100-mile range their... [more] -NYIAS 201: Electric Vehicles


April 5,2012- NYIAS 2012: Porsche Boxster...

The Boxster (Type:986) was introduced to the world in 1997. Even though the Boxster is an entry-level Porsche, it was a chance for Porsche engineers to start with a clean slate. What emerged was a two-seater sports car suitable for year-round driving, even in New England. In the intervening fifteen years, this affordable Porsche has developed a large and devoted following. There are car clubs and online forums (986, PedrosBoard) dedicated to the mid-engine roadster. The appeal is understandable. The Boxster is great looking, well-engineered, and incredibly fun to drive. We have had ours for over 10 years and can't imagine driving anything else.

The Boxster has seen a couple of significant updates since its introduction. The first (Type: 987) was back in 2005. With a bigger engine and some cosmetic and mechanical refinements, the 987 addressed some of the requests and lessons learned from the 986. A more powerful engine gave the car more snap off the line and agility when maneuvering. At the start of 2012, Porsche unveiled the next generation of Boxster (Type: 981). This time around, Porsche went... [more] -NYIAS 201: Electric Vehicles


April 4,2012- NYIAS 2012...

The RainyDayGarage folks make the trek to NYC every year for the New York International Auto Show (NYIAC). While the show does not open to the public until Friday, they drove down on Tuesday to catch the two-day press-only event.

Attending Press Day is a much more enjoyable way to see the show for a couple of reasons. First, as the show hasn't officially opened, there is no wait to get inside, and once you do, the floor traffic is very light. Second, the vendors are... [more] -NYIAS 2012


March 26,2012- CraftBoston 2012...

The CraftBoston show was at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston this weekend. Similar to the Paradise City Art Festive, it is a venue for artists and artisans of contemporary arts and crafts to showcase their work. We have heard about this show, but have never been to it. We were glad we had a chance to stop by and check it out.

This is CraftBoston's 11th year. The show had over 200 artists from across the country. Some of them have exhibited before, but many of them were new to the show. Besides the exhibits, there were... [more] -CraftBoston 2012


March 15,2012- Spring Already?...

How different this Winter was from that of a year ago! We hardly had any snow this season. Coupled with the unseasonably warm weather the past week, and things in the RainyDayGarden really got kicked into gear. The growth in the garden is probably a week or more ahead of schedule.

The dwarf irises and crocuses have been out since the end of February. The tulips, day lillies, and even the peonies have poked through the ground. In fact, this is the earliest we we can recall the... [more] -Spring Already?


March 12,2012- RISD: Paper Buffet...

In 2008, we dropped Sarah, our RainyDayIntern, off at RISD. Sarah will be completing her studies this year. Last Thursday was the opening of Paper Buffet, RISD's Graphic Design Senior Show. We thought it was time for us to check in and see how she has fared.

The show was an opportunity for the seniors to showcase some of their work from the past four years. Kristin, Sarah's mom, flew in from L.A. for the occasion, but kept it a surprise. Both the show and the... [more] -RISD: Paper Buffet


March 9,2012- Boston ICA...

Boston has an incredible waterfront, but amazingly has never really been developed. One of the reasosn was that the Central Artery (Rt 93) had cut off the waterfront from the rest of the city. In 2003, the roadway was demolished and moved underground as part of the huge Big Dig project. This change has spurred all kinds of development in that part of Boston.

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) was the recipient of the waterfront site for a "museum that would be the cultural cornerstone of the waterfront." The ICA broke ground on Fan Pier in September 2004 and on December 10, 2006 opened the first new art museum in Boston in nearly... [more] -Visit to the ICA


March 7,2012- MFA: Seeking Shambhala...

In 1933, British author James Hilton wrote in Lost Horizon about a place of peace and happiness. This place, where the inhabitants were isolated from the ills of the world, was called "Shangri-la." Some have equated Hilton's "Shangri-la." with the mythical Tibetan Buddhist kingdom of Shambhala. Is "Shangri-la" or Shambhala a real place or just a state of mind? Some would argue that there is no difference. Regardless of one's personal view, visitors will enjoy MFA's new exhibit, Seeking Shambhala, an extraordinary look at the spiritual search of this mythical place.

The exhibition features more than 60 objects primarily from the MFA's collection, which has one of the largest sets of Shambhala kings paintings outside of Asia. Complementing these ancient paintings are... [more] -MFA: Seeking Shambhala


March 5,2012- Drumlin Farm...

We have visited a few Mass Audubon sanctuaries (BNC, Blue Hills, etc...), but have never been to Drumlin Farm. Recently, we popped in for a look and were quite happy we did. Drumlin Farm is Mass Audubon’s flagship sanctuary, containing 232 acres of fields, forests, and ponds. The property features a sustainable working farm and a display of wildlife native to New England. The farm has a full-time staff of 25 people, in addition to 90+ seasonal teacher/naturalists, camp counselors, and farm apprentices. It is the only facility of its kind in the Greater Boston area.

The farm was established in the early 1900s by Louise Gordon Hatheway and her family. The family maintained a working farm and invited city children to visit and learn about farm life. In the mid-1950s, as farms close to Boston began disappearing, Mrs. Hatheway was inspired to... [more] -Urban Safari: Drumlin Farm


March 2,2012- LimoLiner...

What is the best way to get from Boston to NYC? Google Maps recommend taking I-95 all the way. MapQuest suggests going to the Mass Pike, take it to I-84, then switch to I-91, and finally pick up I-95 in Connecticut. Having driven both routes countless times over the years, we would actually recommend just taking the LimoLiner.

The LimoLiner is a luxury bus which goes between Boston and NYC three times a day. The seats on the LimoLiner are just like the... [more] -LimoLiner to NYC


February 29,2012- L.A. Visit: Day 6...

In 1970, several trustees of the Palm Springs Desert Museum foresaw the impact that resort development would have on the local desert ecosystem. They created The Living Desert to educate the public and to promote the value of desert conservation. Since check-in at the Rancho Las Palmas resort was not until the late afternoon, Kristin thought it would be fun to drop in for a look.

The place is huge, with numerous exhibits, talks, and staff to help visitors appreciate the variety of plants and animals which call the desert their home. The Living Desert is more than just a zoo. It is active in programs to help desert animals andd... [more] - L.A. Visit: The Living Desert


February 28,2012- L.A. Visit: Day 5...

While we would have been happy to stay in the city the entire time we were in L.A., our hosts wanted to get out of the city for the weekend. The great thing about L.A. is that one can go surfing in the ocean, skiing in the mountains, or hiking in the desert. For those really ambitious, one can even do all three in the same day :-) As we were on a break from the New England winter, we opted for the drier warmer option. Road trip!

Heading East on I-10, we could not help but notice the fields of windmills. More than 13,000 of California's wind turbines, or 95 percent of all of California's wind output, are located in three primary regions. One of those is the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm (near Palm Springs, east of Los Angeles). Wind power in California has doubled in capacity since 2002. As of the end of 2011, wind energy supplies about 5% of California’s total electricity needs, or enough to power more than 400,000 households. California now ranks... [more] - L.A. Visit: Palm Springs


February 27,2012- L.A. Visit: Day 4...

Knowing that we were in L.A., a few readers suggested we check out the Griffith Observatory. Of course, Kristin had already scheduled us for a visit as Saturday was the date for this month's star party.

The public star parties are held monthly with the assistance of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers. These parties are a great opportunity for those interested to look at the sun, moon, visible planets, and other celestial objects. It is also a perfect chance to... [more] - L.A. Visit: Griffith Observatory


February 24,2012- L.A. Visit: Day 3...

After a couple days of garden tours, we were ready for something different. What better contrast can there be than a visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)? LACMA is located in central Los Angeles, midway between downtown and Santa Monica. Even though we have been to L.A. quite a few times, we have not had the pleasure of a visit. This trip, we made sure and scheduled time for a look.

With over 100,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. LACMA's seven-building complex is located on twenty acres in the heart of Los Angeles, halfway between the ocean and downtown. We knew we would not be able to... [more] - L.A. Visit: Day 3


February 23,2012- L.A. Visit: Day 2...

It is the second day of our week in L.A. We thought we had slept in, but it was only 5 A.M. when we were dressed and ready. To slow us down and help shift our clocks, we decided to stretch the day out (meaning: no naps) and stay up later into the night. Spent most of the day in the L.A. County Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The L.A. Arboretum is a historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, and is located in the city of Arcadia.

Visitors to the 127 acre acre botanical garden are often greeted by the free-roaming peafowls. Our visit was no exception. We were greeted by a very friendly peacock. Peafowl, Pavo cristatus, were introduced to the botanical garden by Lucky Baldwin in the late 1800's. Apparently, they were well suited to the garden, as they have thrived. Only the colorful males of... [more] - Urban Safari: L.A. Arboretum and Botanical Garden


February 22,2012- L.A. Visit: Day 1...

Every year around this time we get the urge to visit our RainyDayLA office. It may be that we miss our friends out West, but it may also have something to do with the New England weather. The fact that it has been unseasonably warm in Boston this Winter did not diminish our enthusiasm for the trip! When we left Boston, the temperature was gray, cool, and in the mid-40s. A nap, a few movies, and six hours later, we stepped out into the warm, sunny, if a bit hazy L.A. As always, our host Kristin has assembed various fun and interesting activities and food options for every day of our visit :-) This time her "suggestions folder" was almost an inch thick!

After a quick bite, we headed out to our first destination: South Coast Botanical Garden. It was only six miles away from where we were staying, but L.A. traffic being what it was, it took us... [more] - L.A. Visit: Day 1


February 6,2012- Urban Safari: The Stone Zoo...

A Zoo New England embership has many benefits, one of which is free admission to both the Franklin Park and Stone zoos (ours were purchased after our visit to the Franklin Park Zoo in early January). So while most New Englanders were getting ready to watch the Super Bowl, we visited the Stone Zoo. Stone Zoo, founded in 1905 as the Middlesex Fells Zoo, is located on a 26-acre site next the Spot Pond Reservoir in Stoneham, MA.

Both the Stone Zoo and the Franklin Park Zoo are managed by the non-profit corporation Zoo New England. Zoo New England is a participatant in the Species Survival Plans (SSP) for several of their animals. SSP started in 1981 as a means for zoos and aquariums to... [more] - Urban Safari: The Stone Zoo


January 30,2012- Geckos at the MOS...

The Museum of Science unveiled a new exhibit last week. Geckos: Tails to Toepads is a traveling exhibit created by Peeling Productions, part of Clyde Peeling's Reptiland. With over 60 living exotic geckos, it is the country's largest and most advanced exhibition of its kind. RainyDayMagazine was on hand for the preview and it was amazing!

"We are excited to introduce our visitors to the fascinating world of geckos," said Paul Fontaine, Museum of Science VP of Education. "The exhibit allows visitors to take on the role of biologist and observe these intriguing creatures in naturalistic habitats. By immersing themselves in the geckos' world, visitors will enjoy a unique educational experience that includes... [more] - Urban Safari: Geckos at the MOS


January 24,2012- Lego Mindstorms Competition...

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a program designed to get kids ages nine to sixteen interested in science and technology. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the League has gotten more popular with each passing year. The goal is to challenge the participants to be innovative, to explore, and to promote competitive creative play or "coopertition." Unlike a sports competition, in FLL, coaches and teams are encouraged to help each other. FLL wants everyone who participates (team member, coach, event volunteer) to have a fun time and a rewarding experience. That’s the reason why FLL has a clear set of Core Values that guides everything they do.

Every September, a new Challenge, based on a real-world scientific topic, is posted. Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. Teams (up to ten children + one adult coach) tackle the Challenge by developing a solution to a problem they have identified. Teams may then choose to attend an official tournament, hosted by... [more] - Lego Mindstorms Competitions


January 16,2012- Snow on bamboo...

Winter has finally arrived in New England. The temperature scraped the low teens for a few days last week, and even dipped into the single digits over the weekend. To the delight of commuters and the dismay of skiers, snow has not made much of an appearance (discounting the freak October storm) except for some light dustings.

A few days ago, we woke up to such a dusting and mananged to grab a few quick snaps before the sun got high enough in the sky to make it all disappear. The one downside of taking shots so early was we could not get any pics with the new glass feeders sparkling in the sunlight. We had mentioned these glass feeders from the Gardener's Supply Company in the 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. The Crackle Glass and Moon feeders are designed to... [more] - Moon and Crackle Glass Birdfeeder


January 10,2012- Boston Nature Center...

The first in the series of Urban Safari got quite a nice response and a lot of excellent suggestions on other locations. One of those suggestions was the Boston Nature Center (BNC) in Mattapan. As with the Franklin Park Zoo, this wildlife sanctuary is just a few miles from the RainyDayMagazine office. While we are frequent visitos to the BNC in the Spring and the Fall, we have never been there during the Winter months.

With the weather being unseasonably warm this January, it felt more like a day in late Fall than the middle of Winter on our visit. We arrived fairly early. The Nature Center building was not yet open and the grounds were very quiet. This urban sanctuary was built on the grounds of the... [more] - Urban Safari: Boston Nature Center


January 2,2012- Urban Safari:Franklin Park Zoo...

The Franklin Park Zoo is just a few miles from the RainyDayMagazine office, yet in all the years we have been in Boston we have never been there. So over the Holiday break, we dropped by for a visit (basically because somebody in the office was a little disappointed---yet again--that she didn't get a pony for Chrismas and insisted on an animal interaction nonetheless). We were not sure what to expect, but what we saw amazed us. Right in the middle of Boston were numerous exotic animal species from around the world! We were so impressed that we decided to lead off the new year with an "urban safari" to this wonderful city zoo.

The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham (Massachusetts) make up the non-profit corporation, Zoo New England. If you want to avoid the crowds and spend some quality time with the animals, get there early (and not during school vacation). We arrived right when the... [more] - Urban Safari: Franklin Park Zoo



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RainyDayDestinations 2004


2010 Trips


2009 Trips



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