Jamie asked me to write something on this blogity-blog and so here I am. I asked what he wanted me to write and he asked for reflections about the last three weeks.
New Jersey is a place not really made for me. It's fine and everything and lots of people live there and like it, but it tended to make me angry and I always felt dumb cause my license plate said Minnesota and my accent said Minnesota and I felt this sense that everyone was always thinking of me as a poor, country bumpkin. Perhaps this all says more about my own "issues" and less about New Jersey, but these are my reflections.
I got the feeling while in New Jersey that most of the state was a forest, field or grassland not that long ago and that when development needed to happen, it just happened without much thought. Maybe the zoning laws are just different than in the Midwest. There is so much country mixed in with so much sprawl and the mix cast a very disjointed pallor on the landscape for little miss me.
For what it was, the apartment was pretty nice. I'm really glad not to be there anymore, but it wasn't a bad place. The overall look of the place was good, but underneath the good there was some cheap and some dirty.
Just a few miles from where we stayed is the New Jersey Garden For Sculpture. It is a very cool place. Jamie's boss and his wife took us there and then I took my mom and sister there. I enjoyed both of my visits and would recommend checking it out if you are ever in the area. I hate to say it, but it sorta kicks the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's butt. The grounds are very well landscaped so that you come upon most of the sculptures one at a time. It has a very intimate feel even though it is quite large.
The Jersey Shore was also lots of fun. We visited a town called Spring Lake which had a two-mile boardwalk along the ocean and a cute little downtown. The shore had a very different feel than the rest of New Jersey I visited. The streets were wide and tree-lined, the houses were huge, old and cool and the beach had baby's-butt-soft sand, big waves crashing into the shore and very few people.
My new favorite restaurant is El Vez. It's in Philadelphia and it's super yummy. The food was spicy, interesting and packed with flavor and the mojitos were oh so mmmmmm. Jamie and I ordered about half of the menu, but we would have liked to order so much more. As it was we had way too much food, but it was worth it. I think I would come back to this area just to eat there again.
Going to the Dow Jones campus in New Jersey was a trip. There is a security gate that you have to get through in the car. Once you park and walk to the visitor's entrance you have to buzz to be let in the door. Once inside they take your driver's license, put your stuff through a metal detector, take your picture, have you sign in and give you a visitor pass with your picture on it. Crazy stuff. The inside of Dow Jones is pretty much as one would expect. Big, big, big, with lots of cubicles and out-of-date decor.
The first two weeks that we were in New Jersey, Jamie spent a fair amount of his awake hours working. I found this to be annoying and let him know so on perhaps a few too many occasions. We even had a fight about it. All is well that ends well they say, and so all is well. The last week had Jamie back to a regular schedule and me very much happier for it. Sometimes I am a little less than understanding. I try and work on it from time to time, but so far I haven't gotten very far in my search for understanding. Sometimes it's difficult not to be selfish and only see the world through your own eyes.
The Ear Infection
It's Sunday and my ear has been hurting since Wednesday. It's lame and I'm hoping to turn the corner any day now. I got some water caught in my ear in the shower on Wednesday and that somehow turned into a very painful, outer and middle ear infection. My empathy level for those suffering from ear infections on a regular basis has greatly increased in the last few days.
It officially begins tomorrow. Woo-hoo! See all of you crazy MinnEsotans back there in MinnEsota land in a few weeks.