Rainy, cloudy skies welcomed us to Jersey as we crossed the border at I78. No Visitor Center? Oh well, we pressed on, knowing the roads would be familiar soon. At least for Cesar they would. Despite a few drops of water here and there, we arrived dry at Cesar’s sister Aurora’s home in Ringwood. Most of the businesses were still intact from Cedar’s memory, but there were changes noted along the way.
It’s an old Italian custom to enter via the back door, knocking and calling out “permisso”. Not to mess with tradition, we trod up the back deck stairs and were soon giving hugs all around. The youngest of my sister’s children had recently been engaged, and she was there with her finance. New introductions and interrogations were in order. Some things don’t change in Jersey. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Jersey.
Later in the evening Cesar’s younger sister Miriam stopped by with her husband and children and so the visit continued.
The weather held out for us the next day as we hit the local NJ Botanical Garden at Skyland Manor, which is right in Ringwood. It was a nice walk with lots of photo ops. Butterflies, ground hogs and tons of bees were all active. I forgot to mention that we also visited Ringwood Manor, which is another historic home site with beautiful grounds. You can never get too much walking – especially after so much driving.
Afterwards it was dinner at Miriam’s, and we hung out on her back deck and watched the hummingbirds duke it out with the bees. What a show. Food, drink, singing and guitar playing, checking out all the photos from Miriam’s trip to Italy filled the evening. In the meantime the rain came down like the dickens, but when we packed up in the car it was clear for the winding road home.