Apple & Pumpkin Picking

We went to Battleview Orchards over by Monmouth Battlefield Park for some apple and pumpkin picking today. Its the freshest apples you will ever have – straight off the tree and into our bags.

We try to go every fall. It’s a blast to have the kids run through an orchard picking apples. Last year we had two full bushels of apples. There were more apples in the house than we could reasonably use. Today we managed the number of bags of apples alot better. We came home with two full bags of apples and 4 large pumpkins.

During this week we’ll be carving the pumpkins!

Also I picked up a pumpkin for this coming Friday. On Friday, Divers Two is having their annual under water pumpkin carving contest.

Family Vacation to Maine – Part II

Here are some pics from the top of Table Top Rock.  We were about 900 feet above the valley floor.





On Thursday we took the high speed ferry from Portland, ME to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The ferry was a really nice way to travel.  The trip over took 5 hours.  The ferry has 3 movie lounges, 3 food courts, a casino and several observation lounges.  Going over MJ Jill slept most of the way.  On the way back we took advantage of the movies.  I enjoyed the casino.


Yarmouth is a sleepy fishing town. We easily walked the town, enjoying some of the restaurants and shops.

The only bummer about the trip was the drive home.  In total, it took 8 hours to drive back to NJ.  Still I could be convinced to explore the Portland and Bar Harbor areas.

Family Vacation in Maine.

We’re midway through the week and our vacation in Maine has been excellent so far!  The resort is very nice with all the amenities.

On Sunday morning, MJ and I walked to the top of Jordan Mountain.  It took us a full hour to walk up.  We spent some time walking around the ski lifts and then came back down.  In the afternoon, we drove to the top of Mount Washington, which is the highest peak in the entire North East.  At the base it was 69 degrees, at the top of the mountain it was 21 degrees.  It was an eight mile drive up with the road being just wide enough for 2 cars to pass each other with inches to spare.

On Monday we took ATV’s out.  Cathy and I each drove one with the kids on the back.  It was a blast.  Its Wednesday and Cathy is still recovering!

Tuesday we went Horseback riding.  Jill got to ride her own horse!  In the Poconos we go on trail rides all the time.  This was different.  Everyone had to control the horse through the trails.  We even got to trot with the horse.  Jill and MJ had an absolute blast.

Today we went to Grafton State Park.  I thought the trail we were walking was going to be a relatively simple trail.  Whoops!  It was a 900 foot climb to the top of Table Rock.  We had a great view once we got there.

Tomorrow we’re planning to take the ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Melissa’s Cake

One of the primary reasons for starting this blog was to display the family photos. Well, it took awhile, but I been loading photos up into the Gallery. This is great, because I can share with the world photos like the following:

Back on June 9th, right after Jill’s recital, we had a few friends over for cake and coffee. One of the running family jokes is to always ask if the icing on your cake smells funny. If you pull the cake near you face, you know someone will give the cake a nudge into your nose.


On this night Audie, Melissa’s husband,tells MJ that he can make a quick $10 if he pushes the cake into Melissa’s face. MJ, of course, does not hesitate.

It was probably the easiest $10 MJ has made to date! Although I think Audie will continue to pay for sometime to come.

MJ took his First Solo Flight!!

MJ is growing up fast! Today I took him to the airport. He is going to southern California to stay with friends for a week. He had to fly out from Newark to LAX by himself, and what a bummer of a flight he had!!

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, so we sat down and had a nice dinner, just him and I. Afterwards we checked in at the gate to find out the plane was delayed by 2 hours. The plane was coming in from an International flight and was late getting off the ground. After the plane landed, the gate attendants then told us it would be another 45 minute wait while customs clears the plane.

MJ finally boarded the plane almost 3 hours later than scheduled. I was told that since he was flying as an unaccompanied minor that I had to stay in the terminal until the plane was in the air. With all the flying I do that makes sense. I can’t recall how many times we’ve returned to the gate due to problems. So I went to an area of the terminal where I could see the plane. I also used my Blackberry to check the status of the plane. I found out that Continental has their website tied directly to flight operations. The plane’s status on my Blackberry would update before the plane took the action!

Well, the status was upgraded for the plane. It had another delay due to catering. Delay due to Catering – I never heard that one before! About 9:30pm his plane was released for taxiing. He finally got into the air around 10:15pm!! A full 4 1/2 hours late.

MJ then had to endure a 5 hour flight to California. Fortunately he had armed himself with 2 movies on his iPod, 2 books and about another 10 hours of music. When he got to California, he gave us a call to let us know he was ok. He slept about 2 hours of the flight. When he landed it was close to 4am on the east coast.

I can only hope that his return flight is better!!

So my Daughter has a little bit of me….

Tonight my 6 year old daughter discovered that the remote from the master bedroom will work with the TV in the family room. She decided to play a prank on my wife and I by using that remote to turn off the family room TV that we were watching. At first my wife looked at me and asked “what happened?”. I caught on rather quickly because of the scampering feet and snickering as she ran down the hall. My wife turned on the TV back on and I told her what had happened. “What a little devil” was my wife’s response. A few moments later both of us hear her approach the family room again. Again the TV suddenly turns off. This time my wife ran down the hall after her. One of Cathy’s favorite phrases is “ok, who’s turn is it going to be to get punished”. This time the response from my daughter was “I’ll take the punishment  because it was so funny to trick you guys. I really played a good one on you”. Cathy had all it would take to walk out of the room, before she got  hysterical laughing.  Jillian is definitely our character with a great sense of humour.