Who are we

We are a family of 3 who took a break from our routine. Usually we live in Scotland but February to the end of July 2011 we were on the road in North America for 6 months. We are Mark (also known as Dad), Rachel (also known as Mum... and a whole bunch of other names... my usual at-home blog is here) and Heather (10/11 years of age during the trip).

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Jersey Shore

We arrived in New Jersey almost 3 weeks ago and today we headed back off on the road (south... west...). It's funny because in some ways (in terms of the trip) this has been such a long chunk of time (we feel like we almost live here!) but then in other ways it's a brief snapshot of life too (a short time to get to know a whole section of Mark's side of the family... a side that Heather and I have mainly known through photos and the internet up till now). The cousins here live down on the beautiful Jersey shore and it's been lovely to be based back near the ocean again too (OK the North Sea isn't technically an ocean... can we call that poetic licence..?).

Apart from our few days in NYC and the Philadelphia day-trip that Mark and I made a while back we've spent the whole time in Jersey doing less sightseeing and more just living a normal life really. There is a (gorgeous!) three old year boy in the family here so h has had a real chance to just be a kid for a few weeks too (oh, let's be honest - we all have...). It does mean, however, that our photos for the last few weeks are mainly family shots and not really travel blog material. I'm sure you all have your own 'people sitting around a table saying "cheers" ' photos and don't need to see ours! Still, we've done our best to put together some pics of our time here in the Garden State... and the ones below include shots of:

The cornerstone of our visit - Anne-Marie's Keurig coffee machine (coffee so good we nearly broke the machine...).

The boardwalk at nearby Point Pleasant (much fun, many amusements, aquarium, beautiful blue skies on the days we were there, even lunch al fresco with cousin Isobel).

Local playgrounds - we visited a few. It's so nice to be out playing in the open air again now Spring is here.

Diners - Jersey is famous for diners and though all the ones our guide book recommended were up in the northern part of the state our hosts found a few local ones for us too. We learnt a few new meals (Reuben sandwich anyone?).

Chuck-E-Cheese - it sounds scarey (giant mouse, so-so pizza) but on a fairly quiet Tuesday lunchtime this kids arcade/restaurant was really kind of fun. Bring on the virtual skipping machine! And tokens - we need more tokens!

The marketing wonder that was the bacon festival at the local Denny's restaurant (and no, we did not try the bacon sundae...).

A trip to a place they call Highlands - including a visit to the Twin Lights lighthouses and a tasty Mexican meal.

h's birthday - she had a trip to a girlie beauty parlour (hair/'mani and pedi'... and no, I didn't know you could call them that...), a cinema trip and the North American favourite for birthdays - an ice-cream cake (complete with dog face). All this didn't completely make up for the lack of our real dog and some of her most beloveds from home but it was a pretty good day and the New Jersey contingent made it very special for her. One to remember.

Pets - h does miss our lovely pup Zoe so it was nice to back in a house with a dog (and a shy cat) again.

Atlantic City - we called in on our way south and out of the state. Blues skies, beach, casinos galore (weird - walked through one from carpark to boardwalk... lots of seniors staring at one-armed bandits...).

A giant elephant that you can climb up into and walk around. The elephant is called Lucy and is in Margate, just south of Atlantic City. We looked through her eyes, stood in her 'howdah', climbed up inside her back legs...

The ferry from Cape May across the Delaware bay to... Delaware. We were so lucky and got a beautiful sunny day, smooth waters and, as we arrived in the new state, a cracking sunset.

Oh, and here are a few of the things we won't be showing you:

Whack-a-mole and Breaking the Ice and all the other games we played with little cousin Nicholas.

All the pizza we ate! Would need a whole new blog...

Mark losing at golf (thanks Mario, thanks Jim...).

The penguins copulating at the Point Pleasant aquarium... right before our very eyes...

Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Soprano et al. Because although New Jersey has many famous folk we saw none of them. We went past JBJ's house though.

The local Blue Claws baseball team at work. We had tickets but rain stopped play... 3 times!

The fantastic thunderstorms near the end of our visit. Talk about going out with a bang.

Tonight we're by a beach in Delaware but tomorrow - the nation's capital...

New Jersey


The Bug said...

I've been to Atlantic City - it took me all day to use up my roll of quarters at the slot machines so I considered it a day well spent.

I think I would have had to try the bacon maple sundae - in fact, I'm going to see where the closest Denny's is & see if I can get Mike to take me there this weekend :)

Love the sun on the water - lovely.

hope said...

Glad you continue to have fun and amaze the rest of us. :)

More glad that "h" got a super birthday! Travel on!

Rachel Fox said...

We couldn't do any gambling even if we wanted too, Dana... not with the young'un on hand. We loved the boardwalk though.

I did wonder how many people had tried the sundae...

Yes, Hope, a good birthday. And the next day she asked 'will I still be excited next year about being 12?'


Anonymous said...

What an amazing trip you have had so far. I would love to go to New Jersey - I am such a major Springsteen fan it just isn't funny. And I would be in 7th heaven going to a diner. I am enjoying hearing about your travels so much!

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, we love diners!