Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jersey in Photos

Alright, don't be expecting professional photographer quality photos. That's Eric's area of expertise. I'm just over here snapping quick pictures with my phone, and chances are I'm intoxicated while doing it.
Ben drove Eric and I to the airport on his way to work at 6:45am  Friday morning (what a good guy!). We had dropped Nym off the night before, and I was pretty sad about it, but we were pumped to be heading home for the first time in a year.
First stop: Geno's Steaks for lunch. Yes, I know there are better in the city. But no place takes me back in time like Geno's. I ate the entire thing in ten minutes and didn't eat again til the next morning because I was so full/sick. Always worth it!
We arrived at my house, and I promptly ran out of the car barefoot to feel the soft grass between my toes and admire Mom's flowers.
Kelly always decorates our chalkboard for the month. September's drawing: an anniversary surprise for Eric and I! These lyrics were our wedding cake topper. :)
My back yard. It smelled like pine trees.
Goon #1: Diego
Goon #2: Binx
Our first night, we saw some of Eric's family. We went to Uncle Adam and Aunt Jen's and looked at pictures from their Disney vacation that we were supposed to join them on, but sadly missed, due to tropical storm Erika's "cone of uncertainty"... AND DRANK MY FIRST PUMPKIN BEER OF THE SEASON! Hate away, haters. This was delicious.
This was also delicious. Tasted like a milkshake. Mmmmm Florida beer.
Saturday morning, I had my first Wawa of the trip, which was also my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. Basic.
It was our one year anniversary, so we got to eat our wedding cake, which was still amazing.
And it also happened to be the wedding day of our good friends, Dave and Rachel!
Couldn't think of a better way to spend our first anniversary. Beautiful scenery, great friends, unlimited drinks... Here I am posing with my "anniversary flowers" from Eric, aka the table centerpiece hahaha.
Sunday was spent at Eric's family's Labor Day party. My parents came, too, so it was really nice. I was having way too much fun seeing people and playing cops and robbers with the kids to take pictures, but here is a snap of a cake that Linny got for us from her bakery for dessert. DELICIOUS.
We met Nym's cousin, Zeus! Look, he has a huge tongue, too. They are definitely related!
Monday. Starbucks PSL and Philly soft pretzels. Still basic. Still delicious.
Monday, my Uncle Al came over for a Labor Day cookout. We made s'mores at my request. :) 

Peg, Ray, Sean, and Kelly joined us as well. We spent the night drinking wine, eating s'mores, and having a guitar jam sesh on the deck.
Tuesday was spent recovering from a busy few days. We went to Uncle Al's briefly to discuss Italy and see my cousin Adam and his daughter Annamarie! She babbled the whole time. So cute. But Wednesday was SHORE DAY! We visited Sean in Ventnor and had the beach all to ourselves since the season was over. It was incredible. I missed this view of AC.
Eric and I stopped at the OC boardwalk for lunch. Here is the Wonderland Pier ferris wheel. Such great childhood memories.
The boardwalk is a ghost town out of season. So peaceful. I spent a lot of time thinking about Aunt Joyce, my cousins, and how lucky we were to spend our lives here.
Ocean City Music Pier
GOOD pizza. REAL pizza. MY pizza.
Couldn't leave the boardwalk without getting some mango Polish water ice. Can Florida please get some good junk food? Please?
After lunch, we headed down to the Cape May house to hang out with Erin and Aunt Sean! Eric spent his childhood here, and I spent Cape May Vacays here. Aunt Sean's flowers are ridiculous this year. She had these all around the yard!
Watching the sun go down in Cape May with good company.
Thursday morning, we all took a nice walk. Love walking by the bay.
The weather quickly turned to shit, because it knew we had to drive a lot today. Of course. But it was the only shitty weather day on our whole trip!
We made it down to Delaware despite the rain to see Dave and Sunny and finally meet Arya! She is the chillest baby. Eric wasn't even scared to hold her! We got dinner and margaritas, then ate brownies and played Exploding Kittens. The only thing harmed during the game was Eric's ego, I promise. ;)
Friday. How did a week go by already? Eating a mint icing Andes brownie from Linny's bakery. Do you sense a theme of eating a lot during this trip?
After a week of being a PSL-loving basic bitch, I decided to get real and go to Endgrain Coffee in Pitman. The benefits of a small town include shop owners who will actually spend time with you. Joe, the owner, gave me some insight about why I love basic bitch coffee and how to start loving real, good coffee. He gave me a real latte, made with real, high-quality coffee beans... it was incredible. No sugar necessary.
We headed on over from Endgrain to the Speak residence for a giant party with most of our Jersey friends. Mr. and Mrs. Speak have graciously hosted our alcohol-fueled nerd hangouts for as long as anyone can remember, and it never gets old. We ate a ton and played yard games. Sean's girlfriend, Lauren, and I won at bocce ball! I never win things! It was the power of the Laurens.
Mrs. Speak got candy corn just for me! Thank you, Mrs. Speak! My first candy corn of the season. It was the highlight of my night. :D
... but also, THIS happened. Jager shots with Shot Buddy trumps all. Love ya, Linds!
We ended the night in true nerd form: Dean created his own Mario levels, which we played til 4am. Yes. 
Saturday we were hurting pretty bad. Bella helped me feel better though. :)
Saturday night, our last night home, we went out to dinner at Manino's in Pitman with both our families together. Good Italian food is like drugs to me. I got an instant high when I ate this penne alla vodka. Also, I don't know why these pictures are flipped the wrong way, but I don't care enough to fix it.
The cognac pumpkin cheesecake was BOMB. Great food, wine, and family. This is why we love NJ!
Sunday morning. This morning. Our trip ended, and I drowned my sorrows in an Auntie Anne's pretzel in the airport, like usual.
We arrived safely with NJ goodies for Kristin and ourselves, including Philly soft pretzels, boardwalk fudge, and salt water taffy. Kristin picked us up from the airport and informed us that we had not missed a lot during our ten days away. I don't think she realizes that being away from her and Ben and Chloe for ten days IS missing a lot.
... AND being away from Nym. Reunited with my baby and it feels so good. Speaking of which, Nym had quite a good vacation...
We boarded her at a really great place. Lauren, the woman whose house she was at, runs a doggy daycare and boards dogs of all sizes. Nym even had her own room. She sent us updates throughout the week and said Nym did really well. In fact...
She became best friends with another dog there! 

Now, we are home with Nym, watching football and drinking Funky Buddha Sweet Potato Casserole beer. Fall is upon us! It feels like our time home was just a dream. It was too short. It always takes me about a week to adjust to being away from my family and friends, so I am feeling pretty down right now. But the more I think about it, the more Florida is feeling like home to me. I have a good life here. I have a feeling my heart is going to be torn between Florida and NJ from now on. When I am here in Florida, it feels like a piece of me is missing. But now, when I am in NJ, it also feels like a piece of me is missing. My Nym, my Florida fam, the palm trees, the water...

It's a pretty good problem to have when your life is TOO good no matter where you are.

1 comment:

  1. I so totally agree. I still have that problem after 14 years, but it does get better. I love your report.