Another week and another road trip for us. This time it was to the East and out to New Jersey to visit our son and his fiancé. They are two Grad students getting it done in the Big Apple.
After an exciting (insert sarcasm here) day’s drive across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, we spent another full day driving through the beautiful forested hills of Pennsylvania. A little pre-trip planning got us an EzPass transponder which made all the toll roads a breeze. Not to mention that traveling on a Sunday keeps the traffic light and the roads clear. It was a beautiful evening and we were able to spend it on the rooftop of their apartment building sipping wine, watching the sunset and enjoying the nighttime skyline of Manhattan.
Monday one of us, sorry Sydney, had to work. She works in the city. After a year in their current apartment, they have decided to move to be closer to Matthew’s school and shorten Sydney’s commute. So while she was at work, the rest of us ran all those important errands one does in preparation for a move. Even so, we did find time to explore some history of one of New Jersey’s more famous residents, Thomas Edison. We went to his Factory/Laboratory in West Orange. It was fascinating to learn of all the inventions discovered here and all the amazing modern technology that he commercialized. We then headed off to Menlo Park to his home and the location of his original workshop and lab. The laboratory and estate had been destroyed by fire back in 1887. However, in 1929, Henry Ford, who was a close friend of Edison decided to move what was left, and recreate what had been destroyed, and establish a museum in Greenfield, Michigan at his Museum of American Innovation. Needless to say, back at the original site, there is a memorial to Edison’s invention of the light bulb and the foundation of his original laboratory. There is even a continually operating light bulb that Edison himself lit.
Tuesday was a better day, as no one had to work. So we headed off to the south to explore. As chance would have it, as we were driving on the surface roads on our way to lunch, (it was rush hour and the Garden State Parkway was a parking lot), what should we stumble upon but a historic marker. To make things even better, it was in a little park established at a lock on the old Delaware and Raritan Canal. Ever since our trip a few years ago on the Great River Road along the Mississippi River, we have been fascinated by canals and the locks that made commerce happen. The lock is no longer functioning, they converted it into a little waterfall and the old trail the mules used to haul the canal boats is now a hiking/walking/biking trail. It was so peaceful and it was easy to imagine what life must have been like with canal boats all along the water.
A fun lunch at a local landmark, Cahoots. Seemed like we stepped back in time to what local neighborhood taverns were like back in the 60s. It was very nostalgic and the food was very good. Not to mention, it was within walking distance of the day’s focal event.
What visit to New Jersey would be complete without some kind of “tasting” event. I think I am becoming addicted to this craft beer thing. Just less than a year ago, I was perfectly content with what ever lite beer was on sale at the grocery store. Now, after a trip to England tasting “real beer” and a fall and winter of hitting local breweries, I am hooked on craft beers. This time it was to a local brewery, Demented. Each of us tried a flight and found some brews that definitely should be in our fridge.
After an afternoon of busy travels, we took a short walk to one of our favorite restaurants in Montclair, Cuban Petes. All-in-all a great couple of days with a wonderful couple we are so proud of. Here’s to your upcoming year in your new apartment and busy lives with school and work. Thanks for a great time.