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New Jersey Fun with Family & Friends

December 7 - 14, 2013   

We arrived at our friends Cindy and Rob's in Keyport NJ around 4pm on Saturday the 7th.  We plan to be here for the next 8 days.  These are the friends that have an electric set-up for our 5th wheel when we are here in the summer.  In the winter, they offer us a guest room for the duration of our stay, so they have become our port while we are in NJ.

Cindy and Rob are KJing (Karaoke Jockey) at a local shore bar tonight called Bahr’s.  We decided to go to as we used to frequent there as Patty sings, I do not.  It was supposed to be an ugly sweater event but we didn’t see very many ugly ones.  We stayed for Patty to sing a couple of songs.  We met up with an old friend Diana.  It’s nice to go somewhere they all know your name.  I didn’t mean this to be an episode of Cheers, but it really is something like that here.




Patty singing a song at Bahr's.

Cindy (second from left) with her ugly sweater


After we arrived back at Cindy and Rob's, Patty started to feel like she was coming down with a case of GERD.  She has been having this since she was switched from her original medication due to some side effects.  Patty got up during the night to vomit so things were not going well.  Usually by morning she feels better and then we just move on, but not this time.  

Sunday the 8th Patty couldn’t hold anything down including water.  So we went through another night with her not getting better.  Then Monday the 9th we decided to see a doctor at a local clinic.  The doctor told us she needed to be in a hospital to get blood work quicker than they could do. 

Our next stop was Bayshore Community Hospital Emergency Room in Holmdel NJ.  By this time she was bringing up blood.
We got in right away and within an hour she was diagnosed with another case of Diabetic Ketoacidosis or DKA.  What we believe happened is that the GERD triggered her gastritis which caused her blood sugar to spike dramatically on Sunday night causing the DKA.  Because she was having the gatritis episode then getting the DKA the 2 were feeding each other in to a vicious cycle.
Patty was admitted to the ICU and got a room around 1am on Tuesday the 10th.  We have been through this before so we pretty much knew the procedure.  Only this time they were going to also treat her gastritis. The procedure is to get her blood sugar down and get her hydrated.  They also gave her intravenous protonics to control the gastritis.



By Wednesday the 11th Patty was back to being herself again, YEA!  She was discharged around 3 in the afternoon and we packed it in and headed back to Cindy and Rob's.  

Patty felt good enough to go out for dinner with her son Chas and his girlfriend Lisa.  We went to a new bistro in Keyport called Drew’s Bayshore Bistro.  Our opinion was that the food was better than average and fairly priced.  We would more than likely go back again.

Thursday the 12th I took the train into Newark NJ to have a few drinks with my old work mates.  We call ourselves the Old Bastards Club or OBC for short.  I arrived about an hour early so I took the opportunity to walk down Ferry Street and see what had changed.  I hadn’t walked Ferry Street for 2 years now since I retired.  Really, not much had changed.
Picture hanging in the Matawan/Aberdeen train Station NJ

The "big" board a Penn Station Newark NJ.

I didn’t, however, take any time to actually go to my old office.  I am feeling very ambivalent about going back to where I worked. I had a good ride there but it just isn’t something I want to relive. It seems that the longer I am retired from NJT the more I just don’t want to go back. Near the end of my career there I lost my personal connection to the place.  It just became way too bureaucratic.  Anyway, enough about work.

I had a great time talking with the OBC group. Tom V., Danny M., and Joe G. showed for this meeting.  We met at Bello's Bar that is near the NJT HQ.   It was again nice to walk in and, even after a couple of years, the bartender knew me by name.  I guess that is nice depending on how you look at that! We broke up about 9 pm and I got a train back where Patty picked me up a little after 10 pm.
The official meeting place of the OBC in Newark NJ.

Tom Vinson

Danny Melando


Joe Gallen

Friday the 13th we had plans to have dinner with my daughter Jennifer and her husband Christian.  We met them at their apartment in Budd Lake NJ at 5:30 pm after Jennifer got home from work.   We decided to take our rental car to the restaurant that is 25 miles away.  We went to a favorite restaurant of Jennifer’s and it is one of mine as well, the Walpack Inn.  

The Walpack Inn is located in the old Tock’s Island Dam area in northwestern NJ along the Delaware River.  The Tock’s Island area was a 1950s federal project to flood an area of 72,000 acres in NJ and PA for a reservoir to provide water for Philadelphia and New York City.  The land was acquired but, due to environmental issues, the dam was never built.  The federal government still owns most of the land and the Walpack Inn sits in the middle of this 72,000 acre site.  The first thing you encounter when you exit your car at the Inn is the lack of ambient light and the extreme silence. This just doesn’t feel anything like busy NJ.





Tree at the Walpack Inn

My daughter Jennifer and her husband Christian.
We all had nice dinners of the Friday night Prime Rib special.  The Walpack is also known for their fresh baked brown bread and large salad bar.  It really didn’t matter too much about the food though as we were just enjoying the company.  However, Patty and I were not real happy with the Prime Rib, it was very average with little taste.  It was a great night none the less.

Saturday night the 14th Cindy and Rob planned a karaoke party at their house.  This was going to be the time for us to see a lot of our old friends and have some fun as well.  As luck would have it, the weather turned bad with snow and then ice.  It snowed most of the day but just accumulated to only a few inches.  The problem was that the heaviest snow and the changeover to ice/rain happened at the start of the party after dark at 7 pm.  There were a few people cancel but to our surprise most came.  We had a great time seeing our friends.  


Rob doing some driveway cleaning before the party.  The girls are calling him the Gingerbread man in the brown overalls.


The girls rolling cookie balls before the party.  From Left: Leigh, Patty, Mandy, and Cindy


Cindy gives cookies as gifts so she makes a lot of them.

The duck picture so you will duck and not hit your head when you go downstairs for the party.

Rob after setting up the sound system for the karaoke party.
Patty working the bar.

Eileen, Michael, and Diana mugging for the camera.

Patty and Leigh doing a song together.  Rob with the sound system.
Sunday the 15th was our last morning in NJ.  It is always hard to say goodbye and it seems we do that a lot.  The reason we are saying goodbye so much is because we are saying hello to so many now.  We believe this is a good thing.  We have so many friends across the country now.  
However, our friends from the Jersey Shore will always be very special to us. Patty's son stopped by to say goodbye as well.

We managed to finally get on the road by 11 am.  We are headed 330 miles to our stopping point on our way to Indiana.  Indiana will be our final leg of the 3 leg trip for the holidays.  We arrived at the Days Inn about 4:30 pm.  We will get dinner somewhere here and that will be that.

Tomorrow we travel the last 400 miles to Crawfordsville IN.  
They are still saying NO SNOW!

Stay tuned!

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