New Jersey: 5/15 – 6/3/19

I have realized that the cheapest flights either depart at the crack of dawn or arrive after midnight.  It is a costly headache to have to find a place to sleep in the middle of the night (especially in Los Angeles) than it would be to pay a higher rate to fly at a more reasonable time of day.  I will mention more of this later in the blog.

Our visit to New Jersey was a whirlwind for me as I pretty much never stopped.  It began with my mom’s 90th birthday weekend.  We had a family party planned with 22 people for dinner at Lieto’s on Saturday night.  

This is what 90 looks like!!
Mom and Siblings
Mom and Grandchildren (missing Patrick, Paige, and Cody)
Althea, Mom, Rose and Brother Bernie
Mom and Danielle
My honey and me

On her actual birthday, May 21, we took a ride to Barnegat, NJ, to see my brother, Jim, and Jeanette’s new digs in a beautiful 55+ retirement community about 15 minutes from one of my favorite places, LBI.  (I just may find myself down in that area someday.)  We enjoyed a seafood lunch on the island, and returned home that same day. 

Jim and Mom
Selfie outside of restaurant
Mom and Stephanie

On Thursday, we went to Finnegan’s in Westwood for another birthday celebration with my mom’s brother, Bernie, and his wife, Rose, and my dad’s brother, Phil, and his wife, Dorothy.  Just another reason to celebrate my mom. 

9C05A647-7A64-41D7-9E3C-EF2A0BF56C11B9162940-CC11-4C33-8F5C-4D0502D202054C67BDFC-0EA8-40C2-A114-DA058EB78CB6On May 26, 2019, my daughter, Danielle, was the maid-of-honor in the wedding of her childhood neighbor and dear friend, Alexis.  Scott and I were invited to a Pre-Wedding Rehearsal party at Alexis’ and Arianna’s new home in Booton, NJ, on the Friday evening before the wedding.  It was great to see their digs and meet the rest of the bridal party and close friends.  The wedding took place at Rock Island Lake Club, a beautiful lake-front venue in Sparta, NJ.  It was truly a beautiful ceremony with a fun reception to follow.  Why is there so much food served at weddings????

Ariana & Alexis


Maid of Honor Speech

D414EAE2-6633-4149-9F40-8083255C468A37AD8257-5867-4CE5-A1F2-6299CC07ADFDMemorial Day evening was spent at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my great-nephew, Marlon’s, 21st birthday.  Why didn’t anybody take pictures??  It was a fun evening.  

Scott and I were able to take one hike in Harriman, and I got to three yoga classes at Juluka, my training location.  It was a year ago this month that I completed my 200 hours to become a RYT, and it was wonderful to see my teachers and teachers-in-training again.  It’s a family that I miss and think of often during our travels.  I also crammed in doctors visits to get in my annual checkups – physical/mammography/body-skin check.  And, I was able to see my orthopedist to learn that I had a small tear in my ACL in my left knee. So much for being ski bums this past winter.  I went back to my favorite Physical Therapist, Jeff Grinkovitch, in Oradell for a take-home exercise program to strengthen my knee.  Thank you, Jeff.

Scott returned to San Diego on Wednesday, May 29, while I stayed in NJ to attend my very first Bat Mitzvah for a young girl that I tutored for several years.  It was a privilege to see how she had grown and to witness how her determination and effort to overcome dyslexia while simultaneously studying Hebrew paid off.  She was amazing!  I was beyond proud of her accomplishments.  


My date

In between attending the ceremony at the Temple and the evening gala, I made a quick trip to Valley Hospital to meet my second great-nephew, Luke Thomas Smith.  He was absolutely perfect!  Congratulations to the parents of boy #2.

336B47E5-388E-42A1-B4A0-A53B9710F39BD5801B87-1E5E-400F-A186-920AA2F11908My final event before returning home was an art show at Glen Rock Art Studio.  My goddaughter had won an award, and I was invited to the showing.  She is too stinking cute and becoming quite the little artist.  It will be nice to see how she develops her talent in the years to come.

132DCADB-E7FF-4615-9F02-4AF640FBCFDBThere were so many friends that I wanted to see during my short visit to NJ, but it was impossible to make that happen.  After one year of full-timing (living on the road), I am realizing that “home” is where Scott and the trailer are.  New Jersey is my hometown, but no longer my home.  It is now a place that I visit.  And, there is only so much one can do during a limited visit.

Scott returned to San Diego a few days before me.  His 8:25 p.m. flight out of Newark scheduled to arrive at 11:25 p.m, was delayed due to poor weather and overloading.  Overloading??  What??  They had to wait while they emptied fuel from the plane, and some people actually got off the plane, too.  By the time the plane was ready to take off, it would not have landed in San Diego by midnight, which is the cutoff for any incoming and outgoing flights.  Who knew this rule??  Thus, he had to fly into Los Angeles airport, and then take a two-hour bus ride to the San Diego airport.  This was a long night/day for him.  He was up for 27 hours.  

A few days later, my return flight was scheduled to leave Newark at 6:00 p.m. There were delays, and it was an hour later before we took off.  At least my plane landed in San Diego by 10:30 p.m.  Scott picked me up and we drove three hours just past Los Angeles.  There were several motels that I searched on google that had limited availability.  They all said the same thing.  “We only have two beds in a room or a suite available.”  A one-bed room cost from $89 – $125.  A two-bed room started at $135.  As it was, we paid $154 at a Super 8.  Highway ripoff.  Just saying.  We would only be there for about eight hours.  If I had gotten in a little earlier in the day, we could have driven the six hours to Sequoia National Forest to sleep in our trailer for free.  

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