To America and back

Crikey it’s been over a month since I last posted something!  Where does the time go?

The past month has been a total whirlwind because we decided to fly to New Jersey while waiting (seemingly interminably) to complete on our house in Cardiff.  It’s been about three years since I last set foot in the good old US of A so it was high time for a visit.  Besides, everyone was so excited to meet Morgan… and some were even mildly pleased to see his parents too.

I wish I was in a less jetlagged state of mind to write something really eloquent but I’m still recovering from the journey back to Wales so I’m afraid this post may be a little bit random.  Travelling with a small person, while doable, is exhausting!

The best parts of this trip were watching my family and friends interact with Morgan.  Here he is with my parents at Wyckoff’s “Environmental Center“, a nice reserve with a pond, walking trail, and a few animals.

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Morgy finally met his two cousins on the Morgan side, Joey and Jack, and his Aunt Karen and Uncle Anthony.  All the Morgan grandsons were born in March, three years running.

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Morgy loved swimming and splashing in the pool.  Here he can be seen with my cousin Chris and his daughter Viviana, Daddy, Uncle Anthony and cousin Joey.

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Here’s the boys with Grampa in the Corvette — steering wheel on the wrong side as far as Morgy is concerned!

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And with Gramma and Jack at home.

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In addition to meeting the fam, it was important to me to expose Morgy to all things New Jersey, so we went shopping at Garden State Plaza, a mall at the junction of Route 17 and Route 4…

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…where I sorely needed my friend Niru’s help in the Nordstrom’s shoe department!  Morgy didn’t like those high heels though so we took him to Sports Authority, where he used his well-honed organisational skills to rearrange this sales rack:

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His favorite part of the mall however was the escalator, just like the one at Heathrow Airport.

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No visit to New Jersey is complete without a trip down the shore, where my Gramma and Uncle Doug live.  It was a little windy that day so we took shelter behind the lifeguard station.  For the Wellingtonians, it was but a breeze.

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Afterwards we went for a walk down the boardwalk, which looks a lot different than it did before it was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  They’ve rebuilt a lot of it, but it’s not the same.

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New Jersey sometimes gets a bad rap but I can’t really understand why.  Perhaps it’s because most of our highways go through the industrial areas so people driving through only see the ugly parts.  But there’s some really nice places to visit, such as Skylands Manor at the New Jersey Botanical Gardens.

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Just around the corner is Shepherd Lake, which is a great spot for cooling off on a hot day and for going kayaking.

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Can you believe we actually spotted a bald eagle?  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  (FYI the bald eagle is America’s national bird.)

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We also snuck up on several snapping turtles who were sunning themselves on logs and rocks.

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Of course there were also bagels to be eaten.  My favorite is a bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel.  Not something you want to be eating every day but two every three years won’t kill you!  Honestly, New Jersey/New York bagels are the best on the planet hands down.

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So friends!  I’ve got to stop here for the moment.  The good news is we get the keys to our new house next week so we’ve got a few things to organise.  I will carry on posting another day with further pics of the visit, full of all the lovely people who we got to see this time around.  Hope all is well with everyone!

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168 thoughts on “To America and back

  1. Hi Diane
    So nice to hear from you. And yes, I would have loved the shoe sale ;))
    Look forward to seeing pictures of the new house.
    Cheers.
    Niru.

  2. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  3. I’m impressed, I should say. Genuinely hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that is both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you may have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the problem is some thing that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am pretty pleased that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  4. Hi Diane, Aled and Morgan,
    Do you guys ever sit still? Cant wait to see some pictures of the house and some of you please Diane – typically it is always mum on the wrong end of the camera!
    Love the blog – take care, cheers Michelle

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