Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Spring break in the Garden State, March 2016

In just a few months, we will be back in the US, and re acclimating to life in the states.  I'm trying  to picture it.  We have lived in Bermuda for over five and a half years now.  I always knew we would return to the US, and I've looked forward to it.  It's watching the process unfold that makes me pause.  I can't wait to move back.  I've missed it so much.  I have no ambivalence about it.  But the process isn't that easy.  There is so much to do between now and July.

Over spring break, we returned to NJ for some house hunting.  You know how much fun it is to watch couples wander through homes on House Hunters or Love it Or List It?  It's not that much fun in real life with kids in tow or where your budget basically gets you the equivalent of Snoopy's dog house.  It's also different when you have a house of your own that must be sold, and it needs work before you can put it on the market.  Technology has improved over the years, so it's easier to view houses online and get a good feel for them before you go out to look at them in person.  That helps a lot since flying back and forth from BDA to the US to look at houses as a whole family is cost prohibitive.

Thankfully, on this trip, Grandma H and Michael took over kid duty, and left Jeff and I some solo time to look at homes, reinstate our state driver's licenses, and debate the pros and cons of mid century modern vs Victorian home ownership.

Unfortunately, this round didn't reveal the droids we were looking for.  Last week's solo trip on my end didn't either.  But, we have hooked up with a fantastic agent, who was vetted by my own real estate mogul brother no less.  She's been very helpful thus far, and I hope she will bear with us as we forge the path of home ownership again.

After exhausting the list of homes available to see, we decided the kids needed a break.  New Jersey is a wonderful place for kids, as I knew from the years we spent living there, when I was deep in the trenches of motherhood.  With two kids under the age of two, we spent a lot of time in the parks. Van Saun was a favorite.  They have renovated significantly, over the years.  None of that matters to a gymnast though. 

He saw toadstool seats and decided it was time for a spin.


Kids U. was another popular place for us.  Back it the day, I took Jordan and then Mina to mommy and me classes. Maybe I'm feeling overly nostalgic.  It was also the home of the infamous telephone in the toilet incident.  Mommies are not allowed to go to the bathroom during gym class, even if their daughter is left in the care of her teacher.  If mommy departs, it must mean it is time to start banging on the bathroom door, which results in mommy darting up, phone falling out of the back pockets of mommy's oversize corduroy Costco pants, and falling into the toilet.

 Kids U is also great because it had a huge play quad that you could use whenever.  We revisited it this time with Theo, who had a blast.


Spending some time in the Poconos over Easter.  The chilly weather encouraged the Easter bunny to hide the eggs somewhere warm... like the playroom. 

Me and Mina

I got to enjoy my birthday over the break as well.  We had a lovely family dinner at Trattoria 903.


Theo didn't disgrace himself too badly.  There may still be some hope of taking him out to eat with us in the future (fingers crossed.)


Grandma and Michael got a Chocolate cake to rival all chocolate cakes for a lifetime.


Jeff and I also did some solo celebrating at the Mermaid Oyster Bar in NYC. 


And we enjoyed Aperol Spritz toasts for an evening of solitude at the Battery Park Ritz Carlton, kid free.

Between time spent with family and seeing good friends in our old town, I felt the week was supremely successful, even though we couldn't find the right house.  I vaguely remember when we purchased our first home.  I still can't exactly recall how we wound up in the town we did, or how long it took us to find the right home.  I remember loving the house and wishing it was in our budget.  Back in 2006, pretty much everything was overpriced thanks to the housing bubble. So, with this next move, I really wish it could be our last one - one to settle into our final house, the forever home.

The search continues.

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