As our month in New Jersey draws to a close, I am reflecting back on all that we did since leaving Cape Cod in mid-September. Following our stops at Ricketts Glen and the Bloomsburg Fair (check out the previous post), we spent three days at Susquehanna University to participate for the second year in the Ring of Honor Induction Celebration. Once again, one of Bill’s former football players was inducted posthumously, which resulted in many of his teammates and families attending. We also had the opportunity to eat at the Squeeze Inn (“Great dogs in a tiny place” – a Sunbury tradition since 1945!), play golf locally, visit with some friends, experience the Selinsgrove street fair and to see Bill’s grandson, Adam, for several meals! I always enjoy seeing Coach Moll on the wall in the Athletic Center!
Once settled back in New Jersey at Driftwood RV Resort, in addition to seeing all of our medical professionals, we dined – breakfast, lunch and dinner – with so many special friends, still had time to go the gym and enjoy 11 sessions (and one breakfast) with Rob, my trainer, and spent quality time with all of our children and grandchildren!
“Home Highlights” include …
- A beautiful beach day;
- Dinner at Lucky Bones with the Michalskys;
- Dinner at Fred’s Tavern with Gretchen;
- Post-church breakfasts at Uncle Bill’s with Dawn and Gretchen;
- Breakfast at George’s with my exercise family compliments of our trainer;
- Car show on the beach in Wildwood – The Race of Gentlemen;
- Oktoberfest in Smithville;
- Dinner at The Washington Inn to celebrate Bill’s birthday;
- Dinner at a newer local restaurant, Scola, with the Finebergs;
- Dinner at The Salty Mermaid with the Russos (almost got flooded in!);
- Car Show in Woodbine;
- More breakfast at Georges with Ginny and Michelle and then again with Deb, Sue, and Steph;
- Sleepover in Mullica Hill at Catherine’s and then a sleepover again at our place – including our semi-annual facials at Cape May Day Spa and a great visit to Willow Creek Winery where we ran into more family -cousins Beth and her son Marcello;
- Breakfast just this morning with favorite son Matt at Marge’s Diner!
One particularly enjoyable week for me began on October 20 when I flew to Indianapolis, Indiana, to see my daughter Kelsey, her husband, Ed, and my grandchildren, Abigail and Soren. The family relocated to Fishers, a suburb, in July, so I was anxious to see their new home, neighborhood, and surrounding area. Having started school on August 5, fortunately the kids and Kelsey were off all week for fall break.
Our first adventure was the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, which was magnificent. Having been there once before, the children were anxious to show me the dinosaur exhibit, the railroad room and the space exhibit, but the special attraction that day was the Haunted Hotel! Presented with lights on, we wound around through various rooms in the hotel, receiving a “treat” in every room and encountering witches, skeltons, ghosts, spiders, cockroaches, monsters, and dizzying tunnels! When we found our way out of the hotel, the rest of the museum was fair game! What an awesome resource to have so close! I’m sure the Acker family will put their season family pass to excellent use!
Continuing the family theme, surprisingly, as a child I spent two weeks every other summer with my dad’s side of the family about two and half hours south of where Kelsey has settled. With my father being one of 11 children, with every trip I would meet new cousins, most of whom my children had never had the chance to know. Well, that changed when, the following day, we traveled to Harrison County, Indiana.
My cousin Jon and his wife, Judy, had invited us to come for the day and stay overnight at their home in New Salisbury. They went to so much trouble to entertain Abigail and Soren and to make us feel at home. When was the last time you had a “Pumpkin Hunt” during the Halloween season? After spending the afternoon with just a few family members reminiscing and sharing old photos, we attended dinner at a local restaurant where 19 family members – first, second, and third cousins along with my dad’s only living sister, Aunt Judy – gathered for more stories, laughter and food! It was amazing to me how comfortable everyone was with either not seeing each other for twenty-plus years or even meeting for the very first time. I also learned some things about my dad through tales told by others – he truly was a special man!
The following morning, Jon made us all pancakes, which of course the kids loved, and before setting off for home, promises were made to stay close, which I know we will. I also feel good about Kelsey and Ed having family close by in their new location.
I am writing today as rain pelts the roof, which reminds me that a week ago I sat on the tarmac in Indianapolis for 2 hours as we waited for the same kind of weather to stop in Philadelphia. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to leave my family, but when Abigail said, “Mims, do you promise to come back?” of course I strongly said, “I promise!” Then she uttered, “Promise to bring Grandpa?” to which I replied, “Absolutely!”
Bill had spent the weekend at his daughter, Cara’s, with her husband, Pete, their two boys, Van and Adam (who was home from college for fall break), and his daughter Sarah, who was in from Los Angeles. Bill and Sarah picked me up at the airport in Philly and was with us in New Jersey until Thursday. While here, she wanted to do certain things, so we walked the Wildwood Boardwalk, dined at a few favorite restaurants, and walked the Ocean City Boardwalk, including a stop at Manco and Manco Pizza – truly an Ocean City institution!
Overall, our month in New Jersey was filled with beautiful fall weather, family experiences, and time spent with friends, who in essence, are family as well. Feeling extremely grateful, tomorrow we will pack up, and Tuesday will be on the 7:30 ferry heading to Naples, Florida, for our next crazy workamping experience!
Stay Calm and Travel On…