Ramble On

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Jersey Road Trip, Part 1

And so it was that we took to the road this weekend for a trip to New Jersey, where Mary grew up.  Without offering any associated arithmetic I'll just say we went up for a high school reunion, and since we were there we had the chance to visit some friend and relatives and old haunts.

For myself, there are a couple of things I like to be able to check in on in addition to the basic requirements of a trip like these.  I like a visit along the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, and we drove through Asbury Park on the way to one of the appointments we'd made in Long Branch, Mary's home town.

Here's a shot of The Stone Pony, the watering hole and music venue where Bruce Springsteen got his start, along with many others - some of whom play there to this day, like Southside Johnny.  In fact, Mary's cousin Grant had a high school band that played there on teen night.

So with this stop out of the way, we drove on up to Long Branch.  We always make a side trip into Mary's old neighborhood to see the house where she grew up.  It's changed.  I guess they always do.

Mary's big observation was that they had taken down the street trees.  I thought the landscaping was nice, that they'd added something to the place that way.  It was clear the house is being well taken care of and loved, in any case.

After lunch in a little pub - this is close to the Monmouth Park horse track, and the venue was a place that is used as a watering hole by race fans - we headed back to our hotel in Neptune, with a stop by the cemetery where Mary's folks are laid to rest.

We paid our respects in the well-kept grounds populated by so many first and second generation Greek families.  It was a nice moment to pause and reflect on their lives.

I have a few more photos to add, some from the reunion and then from a little sightseeing lunch trip we took to Point Pleasant - those will be up later in the week.

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