I returned from New Jersey a week ago tonight and I'm just finding time to write about it.
You may be wondering what it is I do with all my time that I can't update my blog.
That's a damn good question.
Either way, I'm here now!! I've got a handful of pictures to show you all the super cute things I did on my trip to the other side of the country to see where Jersey Mike grew up.
First of all, this is Lily. She's a super fluffy kitty that gives kisses when you pet her. She's basically the star of the trip.
Jersey Mike's mom and sis live in Manasquan, NJ. It's an adorable town with tons of colonial-looking homes with so much individual character. The people are really sweet and have the type of Jersey accents that are cuter than they are annoying. We were close to the ocean, so he drove me to Point Pleasant where Hurricane Sandy did her nasty deeds.
You can see that so much is cleared away. I'm told this area had beach houses one after the other. Now they are all gone.
Those that didn't completely lose their homes are trying to rebuild at this point.
The beach wasn't all about Sandy, though! We went to Island Beach State Park where we were basically the only people on the beach short of a couple of fishermen in trucks.
We picked out seashells and threw a few back. We're too cute for words.
(Pause for sickness)
Then he took me to Seaside Heights where 'Jersey Shore' is filmed. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen that show, but it was cool to see the boardwalk.
It was an honor to see the home of the original cheese balls...
Jersey Mike was a groomsmen in a wedding, which is the main reason why we went to New Jersey in the first place. The lucky fella in the middle is James, the groom. The guy on the right is Charlie. These gentlemen go way back. They even have a secret handshake!
He and I actually managed to get a picture together! This dress, care of my friend Brandi, is a bit loose up top, but luckily I avoided any major wardrobe malfunctions even while dancing.
I proceeded to drink more than my share of wine at the wedding, managed to get out without completely embarrassing him or myself and woke up the next morning with only a slight hangover. This was lucky, considering we had breakfast plans with his mother and older brother.
One thing about California: it's hard to find restaurants with larger portions. You start to get used to the fact that you don't usually get a lot of bang for your buck. So when I ordered a side of fruit, this is not what I expected:
Glory be to God for this mountain of yum.
We were lucky enough to go to New York for a night. I saw the George Washington Bridge for the first time! I tried taking a picture of the city from the bridge...I promise that's NYC.
I met Jersey Mike's friend Dylan and his roommates. Then we went out for a few drinks and then to Mike's favorite jazz spot in NY: Fat Cat.
I love live music! The jazz was pretty good. The drinks weren't bad either. The crowd was eccentric. There were no two people alike, it was great. Such an amazing mixture of people.
Then I found a party hat, cuz I was ready to party.
The next afternoon we went to Jenkinson's Boardwalk where, apparently, the world's tallest sand castle is constructed. You never know what you'll see in Jersey!
FYI, it's 50ft tall (I think).
There is an arcade at the boardwalk where Jersey Mike and his lil bro got to play together.
I tried to play a good block of skee ball, but almost every game I touched was broken. It took everything in me not to take it personally.
Our last morning I finally had Dunkin Donuts, which I haven't eaten since I was a kid in OK.
We visited a handful of different beaches and tried shooting a few more pictures.
The weather was amazing. I didn't even have to wear my coat!
I had an incredible time on my first trip to New Jersey. His family is incredible. All of his friends were so welcoming and nice to me. I enjoyed seeing all of the places and people he talks about, learning more about where he grew up, seeing so many baby and family pictures, and getting to hang out with the people he cares about the most. The whole thing made me feel really special.
Now to figure out when to bring him home to Oklahoma...