Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adventuring! Featuring Marty's Donut Land.

They say that nothing good happens after midnight. Some even say that nothing good happens after nine pm, or that nothing is open after nine pm when you live anywhere rural. Clearly "they" who say these things have never heard about the gem tucked into Ipswich, MA that is Marty's Donut Land. 

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I will explain. Marty's is a small bakery with a dining area located on the main drag of Ipswich. For anyone who has ever had bakery-made (similar to homemade, but in a bakery rather than an actual home) doughnuts, the pastries themselves aren't that surprising or magnificent. The trick is to time your visit to get the freshest doughnuts you've ever had in your LIFE! And how does one do that? Why, you simply show up while the Portuguese baker (is it Marty, or someone else? I don't know...) is in the kitchen, whipping up the day's fresh doughnuts. You see, Marty's officially opens at midnight. That is literally the time listed on the door that the store opens at. However, if you show up at midnight, the door will be locked, the open/closed sign will be flipped to "closed", and all of the lights will be off except for the ones in the kitchen. Marty's is not closed though.

To get in, all you have to do is knock on the door until the baker comes and opens it for you, and then you are free to waltz back into the kitchen and snatch up the fresh doughnuts and simply leave a donation as you see fit. And if the warm, sweet, melt in your mouth doughnuts weren't enough to make the night perfect, the food juxtaposed with the total sketchiness and adrenaline rush of the situation certainly should be!

Last Thursday evening I made my fourth ever trip to Marty's and it was just as wonderful as ever. I was spending the night at Alina Rudnieva's house and we had just waited several hours for her boyfriend, Jack Connolly, to show up (it was a surprise for her). When he finally arrived, with help from DJ Williams, the four of us headed off to Marty's.

Alina and I had both been there before, but it was Jack and DJ's first time! I don't know if they really appreciated it as much as I do, but that's okay.
We happened to walk into the kitchen at the exact moment that the baker was sliding a few doughnuts onto the tray after having just dipped them into the glaze. Mine literally melted into my mouth! MMMM :) The forty minute drive might have been a bit much for just one doughnut each, but I still think that a trip to Marty's is the best way to spend a late night.

In other note: earlier that night, Alina and I also made a delicious meal of couscous with peas mixed in (one of our favorite dishes) and pistachio encrusted chicken (also a very tasty dish) and it was quite exciting and tasty. Just thought I'd add that into this foodie post...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Totes Inappropes.

Over the past several days, I have come to realize that my most basic instincts are probably what sets me apart from my fellow Bible school students the most. You see, almost all of the other students here seem to have a filter that I happen to be lacking. It's not that I'm totally obnoxious, nor that I can't control myself, but really I do things that simply don't fit into this world.

For instance, on Friday night, while bumbling along behind Alina as she picked up from youth group at Calvary Christian Church, I stumbled upon a cardboard cutout of Pastor Tim Schmidt. As many people do when they see cardboard cutouts, I immediately decided to take a picture with it. However, my driving force in this was not so pure.

You see, last semester, a certain teacher at my school accidentally mispronounced Pastor Tim's name while preaching during chapel. Thus, he referred to a well respected man as "Pastor Tim Shit" from the pulpit, in front of a couple hundred current and future ministers. It was hilarious. So I decided to send my picture with the cardboard cutout to this teacher with the caption "Hey, I met your buddy Pastor Tim Shit!" Which, if you know the teacher I sent it to, really isn't that big of a deal. Until he responded to the text by telling me that he opened it while on stage, speaking to 200 high schoolers at a 20 Hour Famine event. Ugh. It turns out he didn't really open it on stage, but he was at that event when I sent it to him. Sheesh.

And then, at lunch today as a different teacher was filling up his cup with Mountain Dew and giving me a hard time about something, I decided to respond with, "It's a good thing you already had your kids, because they say Mountain Dew kills your sperm!" Now, I honestly do not know what possessed me to say that to this man. The nanosecond it came out of my mouth I could not believe that I had done it. Luckily, he took it completely in stride and made some dismissive remark about how he was definitely all done having children now so he was safe. I am still a little shaken up about having said that. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with myself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Geocaching, the Previously Alluded to Treasure Hunt

I first discovered the world of Geocaching by way of the movie Splinterheads. (note: I highly recommend this movie to any fans of Juno or Will Ferrell movies.) For those of you who haven't seen the movie or learned about Geocaching from some other source, I will explain it. To participate in Geocaching, one must own a GPS and create an account on the website Once you have an account, you can search for cache locations in your area. A cache is a small treasure chest made from some sort of container. Many of them are in army issued ammunition cases, but caches can come in any shape or size as long as they can be effectively hidden.
My first cache, a camouflage peanut butter jar.

After watching Splinterheads, I was inspired to join this worldwide, technology-driven treasure hunt so I followed the above steps and was led the the J.C. Phillips Nature Preserve featured in my previous entry. The preserve is a gem in and of itself, but I also loved the search for the cache, and have revisited that cache on several occasions. In fact, until a few weeks ago that was the only cache I had been to, repeatedly though it may have been. Finally, a few weeks ago, I gathered up a strapping team of eager new Geocachers and headed out to explore the areas surrounding Haverhill that hide hidden treasures.

Just as I told Tim the snowbank was solid...
Unfortunately, Tim Keehr showed me up and was the individual to discover both of the caches we were searching for because he is faster than I am and had his own GPS. Oh well. We also had a tick scare getting in the car after the first find of the day, and Adam Johnson was practically begging to be dropped off back at school. (We didn't let him off that easy, although the poor kid had at least eight ticks on him that we pulled of. Yikes!) And the man who we followed to the Plugg Pond entrance told us that some kid got murdered there and that the castle is haunted (before asking if we went to Zion Bible College....weirdo!) while his daughters shook their heads from the backseat.

I will say that despite all of these unfortunate circumstances, I had a marvelous time and the fresh air felt lovely. We did not encounter any ghosts and nobody except for some ticks tried to murder us all day. We did look up the murder as we drove out of the park after our adventure and learned that some kid was murdered there...TWENTY years ago! Sheesh.