Matt and I hosted our first Thanksgiving this weekend. Our first Thanksgiving away from home and family. We had a great time with Lori and Greg, who are our closest thing to family here in Massachusetts. Everything went very well, minus a few small burns I got while trying to flip the turkey over mid-way through roasting and a little spilled gravy when we were cleaning up. And despite the picture, it was actually me (*surprise*) who did the spilling. Oh, and Matt just reminded me I broke a couple wine glasses too. I lived up to my reputation.
Matt and I also got a much deserved 4 day vacation together this weekend. Matt's traveling should calm down a bit this winter, at least with fewer weekends away. Only a couple things scheduled for December. Matt's off to Maryland on Monday and in a couple weekends we're going to New Brunswick for his holiday party. I'm actually carrying Canadian money in my purse now, after the two trips to Toronto. And I'll probably need it. The company is actually paying for me to fly from Boston to Bangor, Maine, then rent a car and drive the rest of the way up, since Matt will be there a couple days early. Crossing the border by myself in a rental car. Should be interesting. :)
Last weekend my dad told us a fact he heard: 70% of the US population lives within 50 miles of a coast. We thought that seemed high and were wondering if it included the Great Lakes coast (Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland). Searching the internet, I found several sources saying 50% of the population lives on a coast. No mention of the "third coast" so maybe that's the extra 20%.
Since both my brother and I moved to opposite coasts (him for the better weather in San Diego and Matt and I for a job in Boston), I find the demographic pull out of the Midwest rather interesting. So, I did a little data gathering. This map shows population changes in the US from 1990 to 2000. Clearly the Midwest and the Northeast are losing population or at least holding steady, while the West and South are gaining population in certain areas. This map shows the population change by state even more clearly.
And by the way, I didn't look this up purely for my own amusement. Matt and I were discussing how population trends might be affecting sales by region. I wanted some proof, at least of the population trends.
But all this leads me to another aspect of my day-to-day life on the east coast that has been irking me. If the northeast isn't gaining a ton of people, why does it feel so darn crowded here!? Wherever you drive, there are people. And I'm not talking about in the city. Boston is a smaller city and slightly less dense than Chicago, so moving here was a little breath of fresh air.
But in the "country" you see house after house after house, town after town after town. People are settled everywhere. Even on a trail in the woods, you generally run across at least 10 people. Whenever I go back to Michigan, which is a populous state (MI ranks 8th and MA 13th), I feel like I can breath a little easier. You can drive down a country road and actually see a field or an expanse of woods devoid of settlement. There are open spaces between towns.
So what's the difference between MI and MA? Population density! There are almost 5 times as many people per square kilometer in Massachusetts than in Michigan. I knew it was more dense here but I had no idea it was that profound. MA is the third most dense state in the country! We're up there with New Jersey, and we're surpassing New York by a lot of extra people per square kilometer. And NYC is one of the densest cities in the world. Manhattan has 25,849 people per square kilometer. Crazy!
Sociology lesson over. Did I mention Matt gets home tomorrow!? Woohoo! :)
Matt and I have been moving non-stop, so sorry for the lack of posts. Over the last two months…
§I went to Toronto twice (bachelorette party then an evaluation conference) and to Michigan twice for weddings (Jeff+Sarah and Brad+Stephanie).I was a bridesmaid in both. Hopefully I was helpful to the lovely brides.
§Matt went on a couple event tours for work which took him to Pennsylvania (multiple times), Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. Not his usual territory. His family got a chance to visit him while he was promoting his wares at stores in Lansing and Chicago. He also flew home to Michigan twice for the weddings, and was a groomsmen for Jeff.
§My parents visited for 4 days. We did some touring of New England, including Gloucester, Rockport, Scituate, Portland, Maine, and Portsmouth, NH.Steve and Kate visited for a weekend while attending a wedding here, and we bummed around Boston a bit. The highlight, besides the pleasure of their company, was eating at JP Licks (funniest name for an ice cream shop ever).
§Oh, and on top of all that, we moved in mid-September. This time it was just to a more spacious apartment in our complex. We owe a *huge* debt of gratitude to our friends Lori and Greg who helped us move our stuff. Since then (and since Matt arranged for them to celebrate my birthday with me by climbing Mt. Monadnock), we’ve been doing less strenuous things together like making soup and playing Scrabble.
Now that November is here, I'm slowing down by taking a pottery class with Lori. Matt's still on the run, having left for PASIC this week. For the rest of the month, he has trips to Eastern PA, New Jersey, and Maryland. We’re looking forward to taking next Tuesday off to bum around Portland, Maine, together. Also, we’re staying home for Thanksgiving so we’ll have 4 days together with nothing much to do. So we’re very much looking forward to the time off (even though we’ll miss you all). We’ll be back in Chicago and Michigan for the holidays!
Below are moments of celebration and moments of pause in an otherwise hectic 2 months...
The last few pictures are of the more curious things I've seen lately...
A tunnel of soothing light and sound at the Detroit Airport designed to calm you down as you walk further than expected to another terminal (it did calm me down)
An elaborate roundabout for bikes in the middle of the woods on the Cape (so very Massachusetts).
Also, included is a picture Matt took of Manhattan from a plane, on a flight out of LaGuardia.