Images of Home

My family lives up and down the northeast coast so my month-long visit itinerary hit some of the best late summer vacation spots. I don’t have pictures from all my adventures, but here’s a pleasant sampling:
A couple days before Hurricane Irene I went up to Maine to visit my dear cousins. Now, Irene was hitting dry land as a category 2, which means by the time it got up to us it would be category 1 at best. That’s a couple days without power and some downed trees. I wasn’t worried and I didn’t change my travel plans. 
The calm before the storm.
Then, this time actually paying attention to the newscast, I saw a tiny little footnote that maybe should have been bigger: 8-9 feet of water surge. Oh, so that’s why everyone is in a panic. I changed my travel plans and stayed in Maine to weather to storm. 
We did, as expected, lose power, even though the storm had died down and moved inland. After the brunt of the storm passed we escaped the dark house and non-flushing toilets by going to see the waves. We took a ridiculous amount of pictures.

 Very impressive, Mother Nature! 

My next stop was to visit the grandparents and co in New Jersey. It just so happened that my aunt and uncle had planned their annual trip to Ocean City that week. This is the only picture I have from the beach:

But I did have my camera handy for the birthday party.

She turned 3!
 Aren’t they cute! 
It’s a lie. 
I love them all, but the four of them combined are a force of nature to shame Irene.

 The adults also had fun. Uncle Gary surprise attacked Mom-Mom:

Who’s counter attack failed miserably,

Uncle Gary wins! 

When the fun in Jersey was done, I jumped across the Delaware to visit my very good friend in Pennsylvania who became a new parent just a couple weeks before. I have a really great picture of my pre-baby visit, but I don’t think she’d speak to me again if I put it on the internet. How about this one instead:

 How adorable.

A couple of days and 2 sleepless nights later I finished the circuit home to tour some very happy newly weds around the Hudson Valley. We traversed the new walking bridge – formerly the only rail line across the river, converted for the 400th anniversary of Hudson’s trip up the river. I failed left and right to recollect interesting facts about the River and it’s history. “I feel the ship was named something to do with moons… wait, that doesn’t make sense… oh! there on the sign – the Half Moon. I was so close!”

We ate lunch just under the bridge at the Mayor’s favorite resturant (I didn’t know this before we … actually, Patricia… pointed it on the menu as one of the establishment’s fun facts.)

Then we tortured the poor new groom with our American and related social history lessons as we toured the grounds of FDR’s childhood home.

We also decided that since we pay taxes we shouldn’t feel awkward about making ourselves at home. It is a national PARK after all.

Then Patricia and I did that thing where we talk about period architecture or whatever terribly interesting subject comes to mind.

Not everyone in our company appreciated this, spawning this inspired piece of photography:

And that was it! Two days later I was on an uneventful flight back to Australia – I only went to the wrong airport (only in NY, I think, will you hear “oh, I’ve done that” and have a new itinerary offered without another thought.) and stood in an unnecessary immigration line causing me to nearly miss my connection to Melbourne. Easy as pie.

I’d just like to take this moment to thank all the babies on the long flight who did NOT cry (exorbitantly) and that nice couple who decided to move to another row leaving me 3 seats to myself by the window on a 15 hour flight.

Thanks.

No really: thanks.

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