Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Gwyns Take New Jersey

We’re here! I’m writing this in Word. Not sure when I’ll be able to post it to the blog as we don’t yet have our wireless set up. If you’ve emailed me, I’m sorry I’ve not responded. Just haven’t had the opportunity to get online.

We spent all day Thursday and Friday driving from Clinton, TN to Bayonne, NJ. We waited too long to purchase plane tickets, and so Seamus and my parents had to make the long car trip with us. My parents were so helpful taking care of Seamus while T and I unpacked. It was a 12 hour drive, but with a baby, dog, cat and four adults somebody always had to pee or eat or stretch their legs. Despite the many miles, it was a beautiful drive. I had forgotten how gorgeous the Shenandoah Valley was and how much I love the whole state of Virginia. Pennsylvania was a sight to be seen as well. Lots of corn fields, barns and old stone houses.

The weather was nice too…

Until we reached Bayonne and began to unload the U-Haul. This is when our neighbors told us about the tornado warning in Manhattan and the hail storm there. This type of weather is very unusual for the NYC area. However, this is the second tornado warning for Manhattan in as many years. In about an hour, the storm reached Bayonne. It was short and intense. Thomas, my father, my cousin Jesse and I were drenched from pulling furniture in from the street during the downpour. Luckily the rain waited until we had only a futon and dresser to move.

Today is our third day here. I have to say, I love our apartment. It’s just as beautiful as T said it was, maybe the prettiest apartment we’ve ever had. I’ll post pictures once everything is out of boxes. I love our neighbors too. There’s the nice Russian couple I mentioned in an earlier post; they live above us. They have a white poodle. A single woman named Jan lives above us as well. She’s my favorite person so far. She is the mother of 41 year old twin boys. She has bangs cut straight across her forehead and glasses. She’s lived in Jersey all her life and has a cat who spends most of his time outside. I find that odd for a little city, but I guess pets here are fairly street smart. Our landlords live behind us. They are fabulous. This morning they left on our doorstep a bottle of wine and a letter full of Bayonne info. They have a beautiful sheep dog named Marley. Everyone in our building is so helpful and friendly, and everyone has a pet. I told T it feels like living in a sit-com. We even have to buzz people in like Seinfeld.

We’ve eaten at two Bayonne restaurants so far. The Broadway Diner is our absolute favorite. We’ve actually been there two days in a row. They have the best pancakes (mine came full of golden raisins and walnuts) and hot chocolate and the gooiest grilled cheeses. Their menu is the size War and Peace.

We’ve also ordered pizza and salad from Nino’s. The pizza was incredible, but the salad was even better. Lots of marinated red peppers and big green olives. Bayonne is a diverse community and has every type of food you could imagine. There’s a Polish Bakery close to my house, an Italian deli with baskets of fresh bread on the street, lots and lots of fresh produce stores and natural food markets. If I didn’t have to walk everywhere, I could get really fat.

We are surrounded by water here. There’s Newark Bay on one side and the Hudson Bay on the other. In some ways this feels like a southern coastal town. Lots of row houses and waterfront access.

But it definitely does not feel like a vacation. We’re all bruised and sore from moving, and we still have so much to do. The animals need their shots. I need a job. Seamus needs a day care (sigh). T and I need a family practitioner. Seamus needs a pediatrician. We still have lots of odds and ends to purchase for our apartment, but we need to save our money until I find a job. There’s so much to think about; it’s overwhelming.

This morning I awoke to a domestic dispute. It was 5:30 and a woman was screaming and cursing and slamming the screen door to her apartment. The whole thing might have lasted 5 minutes but every dog in the neighborhood started barking. It’s strange living so close to other people, not having a yard to separate neighbors. Sometimes, if our windows are open, I can hear the conversation of the neighbors in the building next to us. Yesterday Seamus was crying and I could hear the woman in the building next door ask her husband if their daughter was crying. I guess we’ll get used to all the different sounds over time.

Today we’re going to buy a Sunday paper and walk to the Bayonne Park. It’s a long walk, but it’ll be nice to see more of the city and get my bearings about me.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I'm happy you guys are starting to get cozy in your new home. I can't wait to see pictures of your apartment. Things are quite well here. Aiden is growing like a little weed. I'm actually recovering from another surgery. I went to the ER last friday night with a gall bladder attack. They kept me in the hospital and took the silly thing out on Monday. I'm really sore but it's a little better every day. My body's just been through a lot these past few weeks. I look forward to hearing more about the new place soon.

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