The US of A
New Jersey Travel Blog› entry 132 of 134 › view all entries
As soon as I stopped for my layover in Orlando I knew everything was different. Gone was the Spanish charm and my ears were assaulted with kids and parents alike screaming and creating, children crying and the wails of "but mummy i want one" piercing the silence. I missed Latin America immediately. However I was very excited by health food shops and clothes stores (although i couldn't afford to actually buy anything, looking is harmless fun).
I finally arrived into New York to my wonderful family and their friends and Jon and Anita who drove us from Newark back to Hacketts Town which is my final final stop. It was good to sleep in a clean bed, with no fear of bed bugs, midnight attacks from a machete weilding backpacker and take showers without flip flops on. I have missed this.
The next 5 days were spent in a whirlwind of sightseeing, family tales and wateraerobics. My US family are incredible. My Uncle Ken is an absolute genuis - if you're into economics or even just American History check out his book - The Puritan Gift - which is changing the face of economics. He's a fountain of knowledege and anecdotes and it's a joy to spend even 10 minutes in his company. I learnt a lot these 5 days.
It was my first time in the States in the summer. This seems strange for someone who has defined their travel based on the movements of the sun, but it is true. I can honestly vouch for coming this time of year too. The sun shone almost every day, we ate fresh vegetables from the local farms (I am particulalrly attached to the fresh corn which I am going to have to go back for regulalrly!).
I was fortunate to visit historic towns and special places for my aunt and uncle. It was great to learn about the wider history and their personal history as we went.
My favourite day however was spent with my aunt's best friend Dee and her husband and 4 dogs. Dee should be listed in the Lonely Planet and under Stepford Wife in the dictionary. There is simply nothing this woman can't do. Whether it's baking (bread and cakes), making soft furnishings, interior design, snaring bargains on ebay or throwing together a "simple dish" which would take me weeks to master let alone prepare and she makes it look effortless. We spent a wonderful afternoon in the sunshine gossiping, drinking and eating. I wish life could be like this all the time.
An afternoon in New York with my Aunt revealed a much different city to the one I had known in winter months. We strolled from North to South and east to West and I finally visited Central Park and the Upper East and West side. New York is truly wonderful but it feels strange to be in a Western City again. But here I am, it's a good stepping stone back to "reality" and reality is hot on my heels!