I heard at work that NJ has more cherry trees than Washington D.C., and they are prettier. Having been to D.C. during cherry blossom season, not sure I agree with that, but the blooms at Branch Brook Park near Newark sure are pretty.
The place was pretty packed owing to Easter Sunday–everybody seemed to bring a picnic basket. The blooms were coming down from peak–recent rains and winds seemed to have de-petaled about half of the delicate flowers. But the park’s variety worked in its favor as there were still plenty of cherry blossoms to go around. You had your standard round five-petals, but then tiny, silvery-pink stars; thick, almost magenta clusters, and bright white ones.
Last month, I had a business trip to Mexico City. The kitty wasn’t happy about it…
I went to the NYC Comic Con for the first time in October, and it was…an experience. Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I saw so many people packed in so small a space.
I also got surprisingly exhausted. I wanted to take it easy for my first time, so I only bought a ticket for 1 day and didn’t dress up. After waiting 2 hours to get into the Javits Center, I walked into a seething morass of people, exhibits and costuming and truly had no idea where to look. There was just so much, and got tired just fighting my way through all the people.
On the plus side, despite being certainly more commercial than indie, you could still feel the enthusiasm of the attendees (caught Peter Capaldi mugging it up for some fans). And we didn’t run into any trolls hostile toward people who hadn’t been there from the absolute beginning, like superhero movies for god’s sake, and can’t even name what Character X did in Issue Gazillion, Page Whatever and what the artist was originally thinking he would draw and why he decided to change his mind.
I definitely would go back next year, though probably would spring for 2 days (one a Thursday, for less people) to have more time to look around, maybe see a panel or two, and work up the courage to ask to take pictures with the cosplayers (seriously, some were pretty cool).
So I’ve had my current car for almost 2 years now, and never had a garage during that time. Plus, I live in NJ, which has even worse roads than Michigan (didn’t think that was possible). So the paint job has gotten a little beat up–plus I scraped the corner of the bumper during a vacation this summer.
So I decided to do something about it. The problem is, getting it done at the dealership would cost hundreds and regular body shops not much less.
So…I consulted the Google.
The full name of the EMP Museum (Experience Music Project) is a little misleading since it covers the latest in pop culture in general and not just music. Probably why it usually goes by its initials, though there is a cool little music studio on one of the floors where you can actually record your own songs.
Coming back from the park, we discovered that there is a lavender trail on the way back to the city. Similar to wine trails, there are bunch of little lavender farms dotting the highway and they vary in size and how slick they have the tourist catering done. The first one we saw wasn’t that great, but the second was pretty good:
If otters were my must-see, Olympic National Park was Justtwomorethings’s.
Now that we are all in separate states–me in NJ, Justtwomorethings in NY and our parents in OH–it takes a great deal more effort to get together. While we still spend Thanksgiving and Xmas together, we also have been trying to do 1 family trip somewhere for a week during the other 75% of the year.
Last year was Hawaii–this year, we decided to try Seattle.
So my work actually gave us the Friday before the 4th as well as the actual 4th off so…4-day weekend! Since I’ve been here for 2 years but never gone to the beach, we decided to fix that. Justtwomorethings had a good experience with airbnb on her roadtrip–and there was an added plus of finding people that wouldn’t mind a 3rd, fuzzy house guest.
Justtwomorethings: Finding a place that is okay with cats is definitely easier on Airbnb, but the selection is still pretty limited (although dogs seem to be welcomed in many, many places).
Justtwomorethings moved back to the city recently, so when her birthday came around a few weeks ago, I hopped on the train to go see her.