Monday, July 11, 2011

New Jersey

Leaving Massachusetts was bitter sweet. We were sad to say goodbye to Liz, Vanessa, Miles & Tasha, but we were also really excited about seeing our friend, Beth, and her family. Beth was in our Peace Corps training group. She was one of my very best friends and she was actually Warren's girlfriend! We hadn't seen her since my baby shower when I was pregnant with Satchel--almost ten years!

Beth has her own lactation consulting business, her husband, Paul, works for Mars, and they have three sons. Beth's two oldest boys happen to be almost the same ages as Satchel and Jiro. For that reason alone, the monkeys were almost as excited as we were about visiting.

We arrived just in time for dinner, and the boys settled in as if they'd known the Mylers their entire lives.


Gabriel & Satchel and Nolan & Jiro immediately hit it off. (Jonah, the youngest, was content to play by himself or hang with the adults.) Once dinner was over, they took off and played until we pulled them apart at bedtime.

The next morning we got up early and packed up our things for a hike along the Delaware Water Gap near the Pennsylvania border. The trails there are a part of the AT. Since it was the fourth of July, it was pretty crowded, but it didn't stop us from enjoying the hike.


The boys were moving a lot faster than the adults, but they did give us a chance to catch up every once in awhile.


The water was pretty chilly, but no one cared.


After swimming and hiking for over an hour, we turned to go back to the car. The boys took off and left us in the dust. Paul and Warren left Beth and I with Jonah and the dog, Ginger, and went off in hot pursuit. It gave Beth and I a chance to talk uninterrupted which was great. We hadn't seen each other in a decade, but we picked up right where we left off.


Once we all were reunited in the parking lot, we went for a quick lunch and then gathered supplies for a cookout. The roadside farmer's market stand had a giant chair, perfect for a photo opp.


Beth was watching a friend's house while she was out of town, and said friend just happened to have a pool, so we spent the evening there.


Isn't Beth cute?


Don't worry, those are my glasses. She was just being silly.

By nightfall we were all pretty exhausted. I think we definitely maximized our one day together. In the morning, we decided to go by Paul's office to say hi and score some free candy before ultimately saying goodbye.


They seriously have a M&M guy inside full of candy free for the taking. As you can imagine, convincing the kids to just take one was pretty ridiculous.


Loading up on free candy before a 7 hour road trip was so not a good idea, but hey, we were on vacation! It was really sad to say goodbye to everyone after such a short visit, but we were so happy to have had the chance to reconnect.

As we headed towards Virginia to see our friend, Hope, we made one pit stop in Pennsylvania to see the ringing rocks as Beth & Paul suggested.


When the rocks are struck with a hammer or another rock, they sound as if they are metal and hollow and ring with a sound similar to a metal pipe being struck. We didn't have hammer, just a wrench. However, Warren discovered that hitting the larger rocks with smaller rocks did the trick too. It was pretty cool, and a little eerie, to hear the sounds that they produced.

Other than that one stop, our drive to Virginia was pretty uneventful.

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