My San Diego Trip

29 Oct

Potato Chip Rock     La Jolla Cove

During the last week, I went with my brother Brian and his girlfriend Amanda to visit San Diego. There, we met with our cousin Chris, who is a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton and lives in nearby Carlsbad. We got to see various attractions in the city, such as The San Diego Zoo, Potato Chip Rock in the mountains of Poway, the beaches of Coronado, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla, and other sites. We also met with our cousin Chuck and his girlfriend Alice during the weekend in La Jolla, which is where we stayed during the course of the trip.

Brian, Amanda, and I arrived in San Diego on the morning of Friday, October 17. It was a beautiful day when we arrived at the airport, awaiting to be picked up by Chris at the front entrance. He then took us his apartment in Carlsbad, where he has two roommates Joe Deignan and Nick Oney, along with a pit bull mix named Tally and two cats named Atlas and Pippa. After being introduced to Chris’ place, we then checked a local burrito place called Senor Grubby’s, where I had a delicious burrito, which had chicken, vegetables, and french fries in the meal. We then went back to check in to our hotel in La Jolla, which is a rented house, with a nice deck with chairs and a hammock, a hot tub in the backyard, a pull-up couch, which converts to a bed, and a basement with a pool table and a flatscreen TV attached to the wall. We were then introduced to Camp Pendleton, which each of us performed a flight simulator test to demonstrate what it would to fly and pilot a helicopter. At the end of the day, we went out to Pizza Port in Carlsbad, where I made new friends such as Molly Boyne, Jaci Conrad, and Joe and Nick. It was a nice kickoff to the beginning of an exciting trip.

The next day was easily one of the highlights of the trip. Brian, Chris, Amanda, and I went for a hike to Potato Chip Rock in the mountains of Poway. The hike took us about 90 minutes to reach the rock at the top of the mountain. In order to take make to the cliff of Potato Chip Rock, you have to jump across a crevice to reach the peak. I bravely jumped the cliff with the aide of Brian, Chris, and Amanda and we ended getting a beautiful photo of us at the rock with some spectators in the background. Later on, we met up with Chuck and Alice for dinner at George’s at the Cove, a restaurant in La Jolla. We talked about life in San Diego and how are current careers have been going during the course of the meals at the restaurant. We ended the night with some dancing at the nearby Prospect Bar with some drinks to fit the atmosphere of the weekend.

On Sunday, Brian, Chris, Amanda, Molly, and I went to a shooting range near Camp Pendleton to practice using guns. I was a little bit nervous at first before doing the mock shootings since I had never used a gun before in my life, but get used to handling the weapons after some tutorials. I then fired a handgun and rifle at targets to conduct my skills at controlling the guns. Brian and Chris practiced shooting shotguns, but Amanda, Molly and I sat out during the shotgun demonstration. These practice shootings gave us new experiences on what it is like to use guns at a shooting range. At the end of the day, we went to the Zac Brown concert in Chula Vista, south of San Diego. Zac Brown played a mix of his original songs and covers of songs from the past four decades. It was my first time going to a concert in a state outside of my homeland.

Monday was another exciting day during the trip. That morning, Chris took Brian, Amanda, and I to Montgomery Field Airport, just north of downtown San Diego to learn how Chris pilots airplanes. We went on a small Cesna airplane piloted by Chris and his co-pilot for the day, Terry and flew over the downtown of the city with views of Chargers Stadium and the downtown below. It was an exhilarating adventure getting to fly on a plane piloted by my cousin and seeing the views of the city from the skies.  We closed the night by staying at a rented hotel on Camp Pendleton, where cooked steak and chicken dinners on an outdoor oven near the beach and had S’mores on the backyard of the hotel.

The next day, we went back to our hotel in La Jolla, as Chris had to work during the day. Brian, Amanda, and I checked nearby Windanesa Beach when the weather was so nice outside. We managed to get some rays and tans and walked along the sandy shores and water of the beach. The waves were bigger than any beach I had seen closer to my summer house of Marshfield. After checking out the beach, we took strolls alongside the streets of La Jolla and saw great views of various additional beaches in the community. We also got to indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine at Alfonso’s for Taco Tuesday and I had some nachos as appetizers and a Tijuana Taco with a Dos Esquis beer for my main course. We finished the day with great meals at Whisknladle in downtown La Jolla, where I had a great burger, which had cheese, a fried egg, and caramelized onions inside the burger.

Wednesday was also easily one of the highlights during the week long San Diego trip. Brian, Amanda, and I visited the San Diego Zoo for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised at huge the Zoo is in terms of area. At the Zoo, I got to witness various interesting animals, such as a polar bear, a rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, Tasmanian Devils, leopards and cheetahs, monkeys and orangutans, and many other members of the animal kingdom. We also went on a glider, similar to that of Epcot Center, which provided us views of the many zones at the Zoo and the skyline of San Diego. It was truly delightful to get to see many different kinds of animals in the different zones at the Zoo since back home in Massachusetts, many of the animals would not be able to adapt to the colder habitats of New England in the winter.

After leaving the Zoo, we then headed south to Coronado to check out the world famous hotel and beaches. I found out from the tour guide at the entrance that the famous Marilyn Monroe movie “Some It Like Hot” was filmed at the hotel in the 50s. Brian, Amanda, and ate at the local restaurant in the hotel and took a walk alongside the sandy beaches and saw some gorgeous hotels and condos near the beach. Later on, we met up again with Chris to celebrate his 29th birthday at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar in Carlsbad. The sushi was great and we talked about what we saw at the Zoo to Chris and wished Chris the happiest of birthdays. We then went to Chris’s place to watch a few classic episodes of “The Simpsons,” one of Chris’s favorite television series of all time.

Thursday marked a momentous farewell to the delightful week that we had in San Diego. We started the day by going to Pacific Beach, which is just south of La Jolla. Pacific Beach is a community that attracts a younger crowd, with some transplants from the Boston suburbs. The beaches were majestic and we walked along the nearby the pier to take photos with views of the nearby buildings and check out the views of the waves. We had lunch at Jordan’s Restaurant near the beach and even took a visit to the deck with a pool upstairs after finishing our meals. The trip to San Diego concluded with Chris, for one last time, taking us for supper at Island Prime/C Level, where we thanked Chris for being in our lives throughout much of the trip. We then bid an emotional farewell to him after being off at San Diego Airport awaiting our flight back home to Boston.

My 27th Birthday Celebrations

21 Aug

Me blowing out the cake 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend, I had multiple celebrations for my 27th birthday. The first celebration occurred on Friday night at my brother Brian’s girlfriend, Amanda Smith’s apartment in Southie with a surprise party arranged by her and Brian. The following day, Saturday, my family had a celebration for me at my cottage in Marshfield. Finally, on Monday, my actual birthday, I celebrated my birthday at Jimmy’s restaurant in Arlington with Mom, Dad, and Keith.

The 27th birthday celebrations all began on Friday evening as I arrived in Boston. I initially believed that I was to have the party at Brian’s apartment in the North End, but Brian and Amanda had a change of plans for the location. We then headed to Amanda’s apartment in Southie, where I went inside the dimly lit building. Once we turned on the lights, I was greeted with thunderous applauses of “Surprise!!” by friends including Meg Mahoney, Liv Fahey, Rich Kei, and even my cousin Matt. I then proceeded to greet all the guests and have snacks and a cake, as I patiently waited for the presents. The theme of the party was a dog themed party as I am a huge fan of dogs. The presents consisted of items including a hat with a golden retriever from Rich, a poster Amanda made with all various dogs I have known in my life, dog cards, including one from Laura Feloney, in which you pull the chin of the golden puppy who will then bark “Happy Birthday”, and Vineyard Vines gift cards from Brian. To close off the night, we then headed to the nearby bar Playwright, where we danced and talked about interesting events going on in our lives.

The next Saturday, I first headed over to Amanda’s parents’ house with a nice cup of Twix iced coffee from Marylou’s and was then approached by Summer Smith, Amanda’s blonde golden retriever and one of my favorite dogs. Summer is always happy to see me, Brian, and Amanda. Amanda’s parents wished me very much a happy 27th birthday. I then get to see Summer play with her best friend and neighbor Rascal, a reddish golden retriever, who reminds me of my cousin Kaylene’s late golden, Casey. Summer and Rascal love to run around and play with each other every weekend for all seasons. I even did photo ops with Summer and Rascal as part of my birthday celebrations. When we left to head to Marshfield, Summer felt sad since she does not like it when the guests have to head out for the day, since she enjoys the company of her friends.

We then arrived in Marshfield at the beach house, where Mom was preparing to get ready for the relatives to arrive. Various relatives of mine, including Nana, cousins Tim, Ryan, and Henry, my younger brother Keith and his girlfriend Malorie, and many others. Keith introduced Malorie to my aunts, uncles, and grandmother, who were all greatly impressed by both Malorie and Amanda. The main foods of the day consisted of burgers, salad, Chinese chicken fingers, bruschetta, vegetable pasta, and vegetable pie. When it was time to sing “Happy Birthday,” I was delighted to see both a Reese’s cake from Sweetcakes in Marshfield and a Dairy Queen cake. Both cakes were extremely delicious. I was finally greeted with more presents from the guests including more dog themed cards and gift cards to places like Starbucks and Texas Roadhouse. It was a wonderful time seeing my family members and seeing Amanda and Malorie and also seeing my cousin Tim’s chocolate lab mix Dublin.

Then Monday the 18th arrived a few days later. I was now entering the 27th year of my life. For supper, I chose the restaurant Jimmy’s Steer House in Arlington because it had a favorite restaurant of mine growing up as a teenager and the fact that it is near my mother’s childhood home in Arlington. I had my favorite meal as the birthday dinner, chicken parm with fries and a side Caesar salad with blue cheese and additional sides like zucchini sticks and buffalo,chicken tenders. After the dinner, I then reflected on what a great birthday weekend with all of the friends and family members who had come out to visit me for this momentous occasion.

 

My Summer Aspirations poem

5 Aug

Here’s my new poem about summer. It is called “My Summer Aspirations.” I hope you love it!

Scott

My Summer Aspirations

Reaching out, making connections
Looking for friends and new directions
Exploring new places and meeting people
Moving forward and looking for life’s next sequel

Beautiful beach weather with waves crashing on the shore
Allows me to connect with nature
My senses feel alive to the core
And I relate to life’s basic force

Crowded beaches with people everywhere
Dogs of all shapes and sizes
Makes me feel like part of the affair
And I am happy and my spirit rises

Celebrating the vacation with family and friends
Seeing new and old acquaintances
Helps me reconnect and feel alive
And enables my mind to thrive

Summer is a great time of year
A bright new beginning in life is here
My plan is to make the most of this season
And let the meaning of my life deepen

My new poems about autism and fall

9 Dec

Here are my new poems that I wrote over the last month. Hope you enjoy them!

Scott

Acceptance of Autism

Wanting to be free
Wanting to be me
Trying to make people see
And accept the real me

Some people think my voice is too loud
And that my mannerisms strike them as being odd
This perception of me by others keeps me feeling blue
But there are plenty of struggles in life that I must get through

I am determined to show my critics my true personality
Hoping that people move away from their narrow-minded mentalities
I want them to know that I am a bright young man
Who is willing to take on as many challenges in life as I can

I want to make new friends and create a new start
I like to develop new relationships with an open heart
I hope to be accepted for the person that I am
So people can understand a true autistic man

Fall in New England
Fall is such a beautiful time of year
There are plenty of sites to see here
Leaves with bright colors orange, yellow, and red
Signaling a change that the year is near the end

But fall is also a time of new beginnings
It is a time to start to learn new things
A time to look at the world in a different way
A time to learn new strategies to handle each day

Let’s take this time of change
And focus on new ways to think
Let’s give individuals with challenges a new look and rearrange
And find a common link

Fall reminds us to turn over new leaves
To think about starting new goals to achieve
I call on the world to change perceptions
And give all of us a new reception

My 26th Birthday and NYC Trip this past weekend

24 Sep

644050_712373331406_224636985_n1231668_712267743006_345240861_n

On August 18, I turned the ripe old age of 26.  For my birthday, I went out with my family to Jimmy’s in Arlington, a favorite restaurant of mine. I had a nice chicken parm dinner with linguini and bread with a side order of salad with blue cheese.  The following weekend, I hung out with my brother, Brian and his friends Phil Gustin, Rich Kei, and Amanda Smith at Tia’s in Boston. The next day was even more exciting, I saw many of my relatives at my cottage in Marshfield and received wonderful gifts from them.  My aunt Noreen gave me a delicious Reese’s cake for a treat and Sheila and her family made Rice Krispie treats with vanilla ice cream and caramel in it.  Both on the beach and later in the evening, I hung out with my friend Caitlyn DiSanto and her friends from Burlington and college. I gave Caitlyn and her friends copies of the Arc’s newsletter that featured my poem about All Aboard The Arc! back in May. Through Caitlyn, I made some new friends throughout the course of the day in Marshfield and hope to see them again this fall.

This past weekend, I went with my parents to NYC for a weekend trip as part of celebrating my parents’ upcoming 30th wedding anniversary. It also did feel like an extended birthday present for me.  We stayed at the Dream Hotel in Midtown Manhattan on the 10th floor. During the weekend, we visited many sites throughout this great city and I felt a strong desire to visit as many places as I could in NYC.  I would also check out various interesting restaurants and culinary flavors the city has to offer.

On Friday evening, I would catch up with my cousin Catie and her friend Jackie at a bistro called Papillon. There, I told Catie about how my birthday went, how my family members (immediate and extended) and friends have been doing lately, and we even had a lengthy conversation about our personal celebrity encounters in life. I had seen Harry Smith of NBC News, formerly of CBS News, on his way to a bank machine in the NBC Studios building, since earlier I was on a tour to see the skyline of the city from the top of Rockefeller Plaza.  Saturday was perhaps the most eventful day of the trip. That morning, my parents and I did a boat taxi ride tour to see the Statue of Liberty. Seeing Statue of Liberty was truly exhilarating since I got a great view of the Statue from the boat and this experience was made memorable with Frank Sinatra’s “Theme from New York, New York” playing in the background.  I made sure to get a memorable photo of the Statue with me and my parents.  Later on that day, I would go to such places as the 9/11 Memorial, Tribeca (where Robert De Niro has his film festival), Greenwich Village (near where Catie lives and the folk and bohemian capital of the city), Little Italy (where I ate pizza and tried a new sweet treat called a cronut, a mix of croissant and donut), Carnegie Deli (where I had a great pastrami reuben that was extremely filling), and finally to conclude the evening, my parents and I enjoyed a nice rooftop view of the city, including Times Square, from the top of the hotel.

Sunday morning and afternoon was the final day for us in the city. The main highlight of the day was going to a tour of NBC Studios in Rockefeller Plaza. The pages showed us the sets of Nightly News with Brian Williams, the news operation room, SNL, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Football Night in America. I had noticed that one of the pages had an Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin and told her about my experiences on the autism spectrum and my poems about autism. The page encouraged me to send my poems about autism to the crew at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to help gain more exposure about the message of autism through poetry. Finally, at the end of the day in NYC, I enjoyed nice two slices of pizza from Famous Original Ray’s Pizza, located near the Dream Hotel. NYC has so many pizza places named Ray’s that it was difficult to keep track of all the locations. I hope to come back to this city in the next few years and also hope to visit cities and places like London, Chicago, LA, San Diego, Montreal, Vancouver, Ireland, Toronto, Italy, Seattle, Paris, and Texas.

My new poem about the May 18 All Aboard The Arc! event I’m attending

12 May

Hi everyone,

This is the new All Aboard The Arc poem. All Aboard The Arc! is a charity event on May 18 at Hynes Convention Center in Boston. It is an annual event to help raise money for supports aimed at peoples with developmental disabilities. I have also lucky to get more endorsements from the likes of Brookline native guitarist Bob Margolin, who played with Muddy Waters, Ms. Magazine cofounder Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author Thea Singer, actor and drummer for Bob Dylan in the 60s, Mickey Jones, Boston area singer-songwriter Thea Hopkins, comedian Jonathan Katz and comedienne Cathy Ladman. I hope everyone enjoys the latest poem and finds out more on charities to help raise supports and acceptance of people with developmental disabilities.

Scott

All Aboard The Arc! Anthem

Breaking down barriers

Opening up doors

Letting every individual’s opportunities soar

This is what All Aboard The Arc stands for

Changing norms that is the goal

Making sure society does not leave us out in the cold

Struggling every day to gain equal rights

Obtaining this vision through passion and might

I’m taking this journey with you

I want to be a member of your crew

I am pleased that my ideas have gained a new world view

Together we can see our dreams come true

We are here at All Aboard The Arc! on the 18th of May

Your participation helped make this a bright day

You can see individuals demonstrate their true abilities

All in part for a great charity

Celtics game last week

22 Feb
Me, Brian, and my group at the Celtics game

Me, Brian, and my group at the Celtics game

On February 13, last Wednesday, I attended a Boston Celtics game against the Chicago Bulls at the TD Garden. I went to the game with my older brother, Brian, and sat with him and a few coworkers of mine from The Arc of Massachusetts. I had received the tickets from a raffle I had won at The Arc some weeks before. I found out I had won tickets from a phone call from my friend and coworker of mine, Barbara Rhines, during Snowstorm Nemo two weeks ago. I was truly excited after winning the tickets and was interested in the seeing the Celtics play under the reign of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

The highlight of the night was being featured on TV with Brian and my Arc coworkers. I was sitting fairly close to the court in Section 16 of the Garden. I found I was on TV from a Facebook post by my friend Joe Babcock, who tagged a photo of me and Brian when he was recording on television. Joe tagged me and Brian in the photo and the photo got a lot of comments from friends and family members.

The game itself was truly exciting. The Celtics played a good first quarter, with abysmal second and third quarters getting clobbered by the Bulls. The Celtics gained their momentum back in the fourth quarter, when they used their defensive and hoop shooting skills against the Bulls. The final score of the game was a very close 71-69 from the victorious Celtics.

After the win came the second highlight of the night for me and my fellow attendees. Brian and I got to shoot hoops on the Garden court floor. Sadly, neither Brian nor I made the hoop shots. However, it was a wonderful experience getting to play hoops on the floor of a famous basketball arena. I also saw that Celtic legend Antoine Walker was at the game that night, but no one in my group got to meet him. Overall, it was a truly superb experience that I will never forget in my lifetime.

Me and Brian on the TD Garden court.

Me and Brian on the TD Garden court.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers