"My Birthday" (or) "Why Katrina is the Best Wife Ever"

I drearily awoke to my lovely wife delivering french toast and coffee to my bedside. A note accompanying my breakfast told me that over the next few days the two of us would spend a relaxing weekend in a "bed and breakfast" sited in the foothills of Pennsylvania's Poconos mountains. Katrina had planned a birthday for me that was really quite awesome. We went hiking, hot-tubbing, boating in the lake, and spent a hilarious evening drinking pina-coladas with a dozen scrap-bookers who had rented out nearly the entire inn. And while I could blabber on, narrating the whole thing through, I'll let the pictures tell the story with only minimal sign-posts along the way. Thank you Katrina for making me feel like the most loved man alive!

If we ever go hiking where there are grizzlies, forget the "bear pepper spray", I'm bringing a bazooka.

Katrina baked a carrot cake, my favorite :)

Shento made friends with the "Black Walnut Inn" owner's lab/great-dane mix.

This is "Grey Towers", built in 1876, it is the home of the Pinchot family, a French family who would go on to sire the one time governor of Pennsylvania and conservationist responsible for creating the U.S. Forest Service. Who ever said "tree-huggers" couldn't live large?

Hiking at Bushkill Falls, the "Niagra Falls of Pennsylvania"

Sunset from atop Sunrise Point, in Sussex county New Jersey.

Goin' down the shore

The fall is the best time to go to the beach in New Jersey. Reason one: the weather is gorgeous, birds are migrating through, and the fact that the sun never exceeds a height of 45 degrees in the sky means you get sunset-like pictures all day. Reason two (and in my opinion the most important): all the glistening, oily, hairless beach-monkeys who flock to the sun and sand all summer long have already begun their 5 month winter hibernation; a phenomenon indicative of the fact that we won't see our neighbors till late March when the two-inch crust of ice slowly begins to recede from the roads and sidewalks. We, however, will probably venture to the shoreline tundra well into the icy depths of February, seeking seashore solace, pulchritude and respite from my apparent habitual grandiloquence. ;o)


Today is the hubby's BIRTHDAY.  Happy Birthday. 


Some interesting facts about the place we call home

New Jersey is a peninsula. Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida .

New Jersey is the only state where all of its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.

New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky .

New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq mi.) than Havana , Cuba .

New Jersey has the densest system of highways and railroads in the US .

New Jersey has the highest cost of living.

New Jersey has the highest cost of auto insurance.

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation.

New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the "Diner Capital of the World."

New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts Club (no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll.

Home to the less mysterious but the best Italian hot dogs and Italian sausage w/peppers and onions.

North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.

New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island .

The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland .

New Jersey has 50+ resort cities & towns; some of the nation's most famous: Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Long Branch, Cape May.

New Jersey has the most stringent testing along our coastline for water quality control than any other seaboard state in the entire country.

New Jersey is a leading technology & industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.

Jersey tomatoes are known the world over as being the best you can buy.

New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production (and here you thought Massachusetts ?)

Here's to New Jersey - the toast of the country! In 1642, the first brewery in America , opened in Hoboken .

New Jersey rocks! The famous Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, in 1940.

New Jersey is a major seaport state with the largest seaport in the US , located in Elizabeth . Nearly 80 percent of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.

New Jersey is home to one of the nation's busiest airports (in Newark ), Liberty International.

Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington.

The light bulb, phonograph (record player), and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park , NJ , laboratory.

We also boast the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs. The first seaplane was built in Keyport , NJ .

The first airmail (to Chicago ) was started from Keyport , NJ .

The first phonograph records were made in Camden , NJ.

New Jersey was home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City.

The game Monopoly, played all over the world, named the streets on its playing board after the actual streets in Atlantic City. And, Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world, not to mention salt water taffy.

New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East countries.

The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey , in the Watchung Mountains.

New Jersey has the tallest water-tower in the world. ( Union , NJ !!!)

New Jersey had the first medical center, in Jersey City.

The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark , was the first skyway highway.

NJ built the first tunnel under a river, the Hudson ( Holland Tunnel). The first baseball game was played in Hoboken , NJ , which is also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.

The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 ( Rutgers College played Princeton ).

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden , NJ , (but they're all gone now!).

New Jersey is home to both of " NEW YORK 'S" pro football teams!

The first radio station and broadcast was in Paterson , NJ . The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong.

The Great Falls in Paterson , on the Passaic River , is the 2nd highest waterfall on the East Coast of the US .


That's a BIG Pumpkin

Halloween this year was quite. Nothing really exciting happened nor did we do anything that required us dressing up or for that matter even leaving the house. Halloween this year was perfect in our own little way. On Friday night we went to our local pumpkin patch and for an added bonus everything was half off. Apparently, when you decide to go pick out your pumpkins the night before Halloween, you get the best deals. That is how the story begins as to why we bought a 55lb pumpkin. You see, when we arrived we imagined getting the usual size pumpkins to carve and nothing more. But we got caught up on how big and may we add cheap some of the pumpkins were. Neither of us had every owned a huge pumpkin so with no convening at all on both of our ends, we left the pumpkin patch with 2 small and one very large pumpkin. We came home eager to carve the small pumpkins (we are saving the large pumpkin for decoration). This was the first time Bear and I have carved pumpkins together so it was a first for us and a lot of fun. We laughed as we carved away on the soon to be jack-o’-lanterns. I made quiche (a tradition in my family on or around Halloween) and we enjoyed a very quite and relaxing night.
The night of Halloween went about the same. We answered the door to our cute trick-or-treaters (see picture’s of our neighbor kids) and watched the Gator game. Shento was even in on the action, like it or not. I dressed him up as a Tim Tebow fan. The ear bows and balloon necklace did not last more than a minute but we did get a picture with his shirt and I LOVE TEBOW sign. Let’s just say that we are a little bit in love with the Gators as well as Tim Tebow ( GO GATORS). After the game we played cards and ate home-made chili. To most, this would sound like we are an old married couple, eating chili, watching football, playing cards, but to us, at least to me this was a perfect Halloween.