Family Travel

It's not creeping, I'm just appreciating good curb appeal.

Bunker Hill Twinsies
Oh, but if these houses could only talk...

Our friends at GM were kind enough to send us a loaner, this week.  They knew Melisa was visiting with us from Chicago and thought I would probably appreciate playing tour guide in a vehicle that...you know...actually works...because they are awesome, like that.  

It was so nice to be able to show Melisa all our favorite places here in Jersey and NOT have to worry about breaking down on an off ramp or, even worse, a jug handle (i.e. traffic circle or rotary).

But that is a different post, for another day.

Here's the really awesome part:  they let me borrow the car through tomorrow, because they are TOTALLY AWESOME like that, so my husband and I took our middle daughter to visit colleges in Boston.  

The weather was beautiful and it actually hit 60 degrees on Saturday, which is EVEN MORE AWESOME, considering we're talking about New England, in mid-November.

I was swiping through the pictures on my cell phone and was once again reminded of my slight addiction to creeping on other people's houses.

Especially at sunset: when the houses take on a warm and inviting glow and each entryway becomes a prelude to a much deeper story that lies within.

We decided to go exploring around Bunker Hill and, well, here are just a few (seriously, I've got a BIG problem) of my favorite captures:

Bunker Hill at Twilight

I don't know about my husband, Garth (not his real name), but I'm pretty much ready to move in...as soon as we hit the lottery...HARD!!!...I could totally see myself living here.

Boston Ticket

In and around Commonwealth Avenue, not so much.  Even a car THIS awesome can't avoid the efficiency of the Boston traffic police.

P.S. The check is in the mail...damnit.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Thanks for the memories, we miss you already.

Melisa and I drove down to Seaside Heights, yesterday.  I hadn't been back since Superstorm Sandy ripped through the Jersey shore a little over a year ago, so it was a bittersweet moment for me.  Melisa wrote a beautiful post about our trip to Seaside Park and captures the meaning behind "Jersey Strong," perfectly.

Which is truly ironic, considering this is her first trip to our neck of the woods and that many folks have openly questioned Melisa why, of all places, she would even consider visiting New Jersey.

It's okay, we're used to it.  Also, it's mid-November; if I had my choice, I'd probably pick somewhere a little, you know, warmer to spend my frequent flyer miles, too.  

Still, it was very important for me that Melisa was made to feel right at home and I asked my kids to help by treating her as if they would any other member of our family.

We invited her to attend my son's last football game of the season with us and, after teasing each other, giggling in unison like a bunch of school girls and then huddling close together (it was like Antarctica cold, last night) my youngest daughter turned around to ask Melisa a question.

"Hey mom...wait...I mean, Melisa..."

I feel it safe to say that...THAT alone...was most likely worth the 1,600 miles. 

Glen's Cheering Section

Aaaaaand, it's okay.  I didn't mind one bit, because anyone who knows Melisa would probably agree with me when I tell you that SHE REALLY IS sort of hard to resist, like that.

Thanks for all of the wonderful memories, we miss you already, Melisa.

 ©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Sharing in a little bit of November magic.

When my husband, Garth (not his real name) heard that Melisa was going to visit with us, his initial reaction was, "Uhhhhhh, okay then, where are you going to take her?" 

Considering it is November and summertime is pretty much over on the Jersey shore, after traveling all the way from Chicago, he was afraid the weather would not cooperate and that she would be bored. 

Me and Melisa Fall 2013 in New Jerrrrrrrrrrrsey

On the contrary, Melisa and I have been going non-stop since she got here:  we dropped her bag at the front door and headed back out to explore the hiking paths that run through Longstreet Farm in Holmdel Park.  My kids have been going "to the farm" since they were babies and it is still one of our favorite places to go to walk, talk or just air out our brains, a little.

Sandy Castle

We hit the beach on Tuesday: visiting the world's tallest sandcastle (seriously, it was AWESOME!) in Point Pleasant Beach.  It was built to help raise money for Restore the Shore and we're hoping that it will stay intact long enough for Melisa to come back and see it in the springtime...when our faces won't freeze off...hopefully!

Melisa, Patty and Me

We rode the train into Manhattan on Wednesday to meet up with our dear, sweet friend Patty (she blogs at Enjoying This Life).  I adore Patty and absolutely love the pic we took after our lunch date.  It took us a couple of tries: it was a very windy day, which is conducive to taking ridiculously unflattering selfies.

Central Park Turn on Your Heart Light

Melisa and I then decided to head into Central Park and, although the weather was still on the chilly side, it really did turn out to be a perfect autumn day and we each found new and exciting things to explore.

Central Park Castle
Belvedere Castle: the official Central Park weather station .

The tree behind me cast a shadow on the stone of the Belvedere Castle that I think is both cool AND creepy.

Central Park Alice in Chains
Alice in Wonderland, in Central Park

There are many bronze statues found throughout Central Park, but Alice in Wonderland is my absolute favorite.

Central Park Tunnel Vision
Bethesda Terrace Arcade in Central Park

We also found another cool staircase, followed it down and...WOW!!!...we were both blown away by the beauty of what we found.  There are literally thousands of Minton tiles found in this awesome walkway in the center of Central Park that leads to the Mall and Central Park Lake.

Central Park Tiny Dancer

I was also reminded of another reason why I love living in New Jersey:  it's right next door to NYC, one of the most magical places in the world and I am SO glad I got the chance to share it with Melisa, in November.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Sandy Castle, the world's tallest sandcastle.

One of the many reasons I love living on the central Jersey coast (yes, ON PURPOSE!) is our close proximity to, well, everything.

Agricultural and dairy farms, campgrounds, hiking trails, lakes surrounded by two state parks and OF COURSE our favorite beaches are ALL less than a 30 minute drive from our front door.

Problem is, I want to show ALL of it to Melisa or, at the very least, do my best to make her...you know...want to come back to Jersey.

Yesterday was our first full day of exploring, so first thing on my list of "show Melisa ALL the things" is:  Sandy Castle at Jenkinson's Beach in Pt. Pleasant.

World's biggest sand castle OMG

Sandy Castle was declared the world's tallest sandcastle by Guinness World Records on October 29, 2013:  one year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy.

World's biggest sand castle frozen
Sandy Castle was built to raise money to help Restore the Shore.

Although, my brain was too frozen to think about having her stand next to it (the temperature didn't go above 38 degrees, yesterday) she did manage to snap one off of me...because, she's smart AND really good at this blogging thing, like that.

P.S. Check out HometownHeroes.org to see all the awesome stuff going on in our community of helpers, here in Jersey.

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

A Brief Encounter, With a Doorman, In New York City

Creepy Mannequins
I hate fake people  ~  Yeah, me too!!!

Day 1 into NaBloPoMo...[scratches head, blank stare]...and NOW I remember why I haven't NaBloPoMo-ed since 2011...this blogging every day (even on weekends) thing is hard...YO!!!

The really cool thing about NaBloPoMo-ing is that there are daily prompts to help get my blogging juices going, but today's prompt was a little too hard (i.e. made me think more than I really care to) for a Friday.

Instead, I'd like to tell you about a brief encounter, with a doorman, in New York City:

Continue reading "A Brief Encounter, With a Doorman, In New York City" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

I Blog, Facebook & Instagram: Therefore, I Remember

Cape Cod 2013 for Facebook
I left for BlogHer13 on July 24th and I haven't been home, since.

Okay, so I was home for a whole entire day and a half, before leaving for our first family summer vacation in, well, forever, giving myself enough time to:

  • unload my suitcases
  • wash clothes
  • drop Doofus-Dawg off at his country canine cousins' house
  • take my teens shopping for last minute vacation-y sort of stuff
  • [deep breath, exhale]
  • clean the house
  • because, coming home from vacation to a messy house is worse
  • and THEN reload suitcases all over again

In an attempt to ignore the pain in my lower back and the constant throbbing in my pinky toe -- long story, short (you're welcome!) I fell down the stairs at Melisa's house and we were both surprised to learn that I had only broken my toe -- I tried to focus on stuff to help keep me from passing out while dodging packs of squeeing tweens at Forever 21:  

  • I cannot WAIT to sloooooooooow down and disconnect
  • to not have to worry about stuff other than whether it is low or high tide
  • which directly affects where we park our beach chairs
  • or not, whatevvvvvvvvvvvver

Guess what?  Disconnecting is harder than you may believe -- especially when traveling with teens, or pretending that social media has not become an important part of our life and perhaps not in the way that most people think.

Continue reading "I Blog, Facebook & Instagram: Therefore, I Remember" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Our Stay, Play and Eat Weekend at Morey's Piers

#moreyspierscollageMy family and I were very honored to have been invited, as special guests of  Morey's Piers, to spend the weekend in Wildwood, NJ and meet the famous Morey brothers, in person.  

Okay, so I was THRILLED!!!  

I got to revisit some of my favorite childhood memories of summertime(s) past:  when my twin brother and I would spend our days playing on the beach, as my parents sunned themselves while listening to my dad's favorite doo-wop radio station (WCBS FM 101.1), and then follow the parade of flip flops, begging our parents for "Please, just one more quarter?!?" to play any one of the dozens of carnival games (it was a long time ago, shuddup!) along the 2 miles of boardwalk, at night.

Okay, great, but what really made this family getaway even MORE fabulous:

Continue reading "Our Stay, Play and Eat Weekend at Morey's Piers" »

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.