Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

Cool, sunny suburban NJ Thanksgiving afternoon

Full photoset here.

We went to New Jersey last weekend to spend Thanksgiving with Amy’s family, and to witness the baptism of her brother Bob.

The Trip There

Hour-long Metro ride to Union Station (with transfer at Metro Center), much of Orange Line segment spent unwilling audience to cringe-inducing self-esteem theater of teenager under impression that Metro is his personal dance studio. Moment of schadenfreude when, in the midst of poorly executed breakdance move on damp, moldy train carpet, kid’s iPhone flies out of his hoodie, tearing earbuds from his head and smashing into steel pole.

Union Station, Gate B, for Amtrak 198 NE Regional. Amtrak Wifi

Union Station food court Indian place closed early, Chinese and Japanese likewise. Settled for lukewarm jerk chicken served by understandably grumpy Jamaican man in Bob Marley hat. Noted his comments on annoyance of DC bag tax.

Expected Amtrak ride to NJ at height of outbound Thanksgiving rush to be a frustrating ordeal of crowds and delays, and was pleasantly surprised that we got seats together and a quick ride to Metropark with no complications. Amtrak wifi service spotty with high latency, but that’s why I have 3G.

Me and Amy on the train

Thanksgiving in New Jersey

Father-in-law recovering from recent knee replacement surgery, admirably determined to get back to his normal walking life. Brother-in-law playing Skyrim, which made me want to get Skyrim, if only it didn’t cost $60 plus every waking hour of my life. Mother-in-law prepared a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner: roast turkey with cranberry-sausage stuffing and all the traditional sides, with a bit of shrimp cocktail to start and light mead on the side. She regaled us with stories of her time working at the old Tico Taco on Route 22, back when they had an elephant.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Felt bad for my brother-in-law’s friend, who joined us for Thanksgiving dinner before going off to the local Toys ‘R Us, where he reported for work at 6PM to prepare a Black Friday doorbuster sales event.


Presented early Christmas present to Amy’s parents (as we plan to be in Manila for the holiday itself): an iPad 2, to help attend to their informational needs, and provide cheap data-based video calls while we are overseas. Accordionist father-in-law’s first act was to tap on YouTube app and load Myron Floren playing Tico Tico.

iPad 2 (16GB wifi) iPad 2 (16GB wifi)

Found Megatron on coffee table in living room. Megatron is just not the same as when I was a kid.

Saturday at the Met

Went to New York for a day at The Met, via bus to Port Authority. Lovely day out, uncharacteristically warm for late November. Stopped at Grand Central around 11 with a mind to try a few Blue Points at Oyster Bar for an early lunch, but the restaurant was closed till noon; settled instead for falafels in the food court.

Grand Central Main Concourse
Oyster Bar Restaurant, Grand Central

At The Met, saw exhibits of Venetian renaissance works, historic caricature and satire, Perino del Vaga, Indian master painters, and of course the famous Met Christmas Tree.

At the Met At the Met
At the Met At the Met
At the Met

Baptist Sunday

Baptism of my brother-in-law Bob. As Baptists our mode of baptism is full immersion in front of the congregation, in this case administered by Anthony, interim pastor at First Baptist Union.

There was cake afterwards, and dinner a Applebee’s.

Trip home at peak of post-Thanksgiving rush surprisingly fast and uneventful. Amtrak was a joy this long weekend.

NJT Train at Metropark