Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Visit to a Busy Family

Disclaimer: This post and the next one will probably be of interest to no one except me and my family.  But it is an easy way to keep a travel journal, so here goes!

I am nearing the end of a seven day-six night adventure on my own.  It didn't start well.  Travel time from our door to our son's door in Princeton was 12 1/2 hours.  We could have driven it in that time.  A flight was cancelled, a second flight was delayed, a monorail was out of service and the shuttle bus ride in Newark was endless at rush hour.  It made me sad not to be able to help out during the late afternoon hours as I had planned to do.

The next day went better.  I was quite apprehensive about driving Susan's large van, but I enjoyed it.  I did
eshew parallel parking however!  My duties for the day were to do the grocery shop and transport the older two kids when needed.  I fulfilled my duties with only one miscommunication but Katie was patient with me.  

I spent a few hours of free time visiting the Princeton University Art Museum for a wonderful exhibit called Rothko to Richter.  These works of Abstract Expressionists were great examples of what I had just learned about in my art docents class.  Photographs were not allowed, but the guard suggested I photograph the works in the catalogue.

I delighted in seeing Susan in her work environment at the new Chemistry building.  A brisk walk back to my car showed only nine minutes left on the meter.

Jeff was able to return early from his talk in Annapolis so he fixed supper for us.  What a treat to have one's son fix a family meal!

Saturday was a leisurely day for me but not for the others who had dress rehearsals and baseball.  I watched part of one baseball game and enjoyed seeing Coach Jeff in action.  Later,  I walked from the baseball field to Palmer Square and then back to Jeff's house--a three mile walk.  In all the years they lived there, I had never attempted that very pleasant hike.  Of particular interest to me was Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, just down the block from the large Nassau Presbyterian Church.  Its former name included a church for people of "colour" and it was founded by a former slave almost 200 years ago.

Susan's parents had arrived by this time so Sharon, Susan's mom,  fixed supper.  I had planned to go to Trenton and stay in a hotel near the War Memorial Theater but Susan took care of her mother-in-law and persuaded me to cancel the reservation.  She was right--the neighborhood was pretty desolate and sketchy.  I stayed one extra night on the futon in the play room (dinosaur sheets and legos decor!).

Sunday was the big day!   Susan managed all the group moms and the logistics backstage to ensure a smooth performance for  "It's a Small World," the 12th  annual recital of the Dance Factory.  Katie has danced all 12 years and she was marvelous in this performance.  She is so graceful and strong and controlled and looks as if she is taking pleasure in her dance whether it is funk, tap, ballet, or lyrical.   Watching Michael in his hip-hop solo brought tears of pride to my eyes and Jeff--for the first time ever--participated in the Dad's Dance and was great.  I didn't know he could be such a ham!

Between performances we watched Michael's travel team play baseball--and saw Michael make a great catch in center field.  

Supper was take-out Chinese and wonderful. Jeff brought me to my quiet room at the Nassau Inn and I spent the night there.  Family time was over.

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