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.
We were recently in Penang, Malaysia for a whirlwind trip, due to some family events. Usually for Asia trips, we try to have at least a week of actual downtime, just so we have the time to get over the jetlag, but this time we could only manage three full days on the ground. One less layover, but weirdly, I think I preferred the two-layover flight, since sitting for fifteen straight hours makes you end up with cramps in places you didn’t even know you had joints. Taking advantage of the airline’s little sleeping cubicles (full bed! not a scrawny twin!) was surprisingly small mitigation.
Bed in sleeping pod
cute little rainbow cake for snack
Still, landing in warm, humid heat was a nice change of pace from the dry cold winter back home. The humidity was also merely sticky as opposed to a slap in the face, which helped ease the constant wooziness from the jetlag. We took it pretty easy as well, going light on the tourist activities and concentrating on food.
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.
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.
If you take Whole Foods and smush it together with an Asian supermarket, you will get something like H-Mart.
Meow Parlour is NYC’s first cat café–a concept brought over from Japan, where living conditions are even more congested than NYC. Sometimes housing units are barely big enough for people, let alone a fuzzy, so city dwellers visit cat cafes to get in their kitty time instead.
Meow Parlour is tucked away in a little corner on the lower East Side, near Chinatown. Its been open for about a year, and yet I hadn’t made the pilgrimage. Surprising, I know. But given the MLK three-day weekend and the fact we were in the city anyway to have lunch with our cousin who lives in the area, it made sense to fix that.