Monmouth Junction, NJ

11:25 PM

Everyone loves a long weekend. I may not be working the standard 9 to 5, but I still find my mind is trained to think more during the week and then relax more once the weekend is here. I guess the 9 to 5 is ingrained in there. I just got back from an awesome time in Monmouth Junction, NJ. My sister is getting married in a couple of months and her fiancé is from NJ. On Saturday his family had a shower for her. The girls did the shower thing and the guys went golfing. Afterwards the groups got together for a barbeque.

It felt great to be on the highway again. After a work meeting on Friday, we were in my dad’s car, but I did all of the driving. 6 hours of sunny skies, CD tunes, and the open road. We were following Bryan the whole way, so I didn’t have to think, just stay behind and enjoy the view. New Jersey has a bad wrap for being ugly and run down, but I really liked the part I saw. They call it the Garden State for a reason. Tree after tree and open, hilly fields surrounded us once we were off of the highway. The township or borough even had declared undeveloped land that we passed as we drove.

We had a group of 12 for golf and my dad and I played with Bryan’s dad and brother for the front nine and then his uncle and cousin for the back. My game was rusty, but not as rusty as it has been. Bryan’s grandfather Pop Pop and Pop Pop’s twin, Uncle Les, are awesome. They didn’t golf, but drove around with smiles, jokes, subs and coolers filled with water, soda, and beer.

The barbeque was a group of about 30, including the maid of honor and another girl in the wedding. They came over from Philly and Rochester. The weather was warm but nice and we hung out in the backyard. They had a tiki bar and a volley ball net. The couple got a ton of gifts, and not what I would deem typical shower gifts. There were pots and pan sets and place settings amongst other things.

Ginny, Bryan’s mom, hosted the weekend. She is the one I stayed with when I was on the road. It was great to see all of the family that I had spent time with. I had spent about a week with them on the road, in Monmouth and the Jersey Shore. I even saw Janice Parrott, a woman I interviewed for the book as well as another interviewee’s husband. That was good to catch up on.

The BBQ ran all night and then some. His family is very tight and there were around ten people who stayed over for the night. The night ended at about 3 AM after hours of Uncle Jim dealing blackjack. I ended up winning a few bucks. It felt great to have cards back in my hand and to be sitting at the green table. Too many drinks later, we all called it a night. I had my uncle’s egg shell and crashed out on the dining room floor. There was some snoring coming from the family room above me, but I was so whipped I fell asleep quickly.

The morning came and the family did their best to get me to stay. There was talk of going to the Highlands (shore) or the pool, but I was worn out. I wanted to get home to hit the beach for Memorial Day. I left with my folks and my sister’s friend in the wedding at around 11 AM. I must have had a long night because once we were a mile away I realized I had left all of the clothes I brought on a hanger. Then when we filled up for gas I realized I forgot all of the sandwiches Ginny had made for us. 30 minutes into the drive Bryan called me to let me know I had also forgotten all of my dirty clothes. As much traveling as I’ve done and I can’t remember the last time I left something at a house. Now it was 3 things.

It was a long drive back, but we made it fine. There was not as much traffic as expected and it was a sunny day, which always makes the driving easier. Last night also caught up to me and I had to relinquish the keys midway through the trip so I could get some shut eye.

I just got done watching the Sabres game. They should have won, but lost in OT. Time to head outside, my cousin is having a bonfire on the beach.