I’ve always had a penchant for throwing parties— especially themed parties. And although none were too elaborate, I’ve thrown a few surprise parties. It’s always fun to celebrate friends’ birthdays and it’s even better when you can surprise them!
This is Ellie. We’ve known each other since kindergarten. Not only is she one of my best friends, she’s also one of my sorority sisters.
Because we now live in different states and she’s in medical school, we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as I’d like. But for her short summer break, we decided to go on a three-day road trip.
To kick off this road trip, however, I decided to throw her a surprise birthday party the day before we left. Unfortunately she couldn’t arrive until late in the evening so there was much less food, fanfare and friends than originally planned. Read more →
So to continue celebrating my father’s birthday, we went for a bike ride, ate peanut butter cake and went out for ramen. It was a three day weekend of fun and food.
If you like bike riding, Duke Farms in Hillsborough has a couple nice trails that are worth checking out. We went a little earlier in the morning before it got too crowded. If riding behind young children isn’t your thing, try to get there before noon.
Although I’ve been to Duke Farms a few times over the years, I’d never taken my bike there. Unfortunately Duke Farms has undergone major downgrades since I last visited, namely the demolition of the iconic Doris Duke Mansion. Learning that the Duke Foundation made this decision, well, it’s quite a loss for New Jersey. I’ll leave it at that.
At least the picturesque waterfalls and small orchid greenhouse remain. And of course, my favorite orchid was the one that smelled like chocolate. Yum. Read more →
SCOOBY DOO CHEATS ON THE MYSTERY MACHINE + PAN FRIED CHEESE
At Division Café and Somerville Cruise Nights
If you had the choice between having a personal chef, housekeeper, butler or driver, which would you pick?
I’d have to go with the driver. I love riding in cars— especially with the windows down. (One thing I have in common with dogs is we both enjoy sticking our faces out car windows )
I also love looking at classic cars but I don’t know what I’d do if I actually owned one. Unless there is no one else on the road, I’m not usually comfortable driving and that’s with an automatic transmission. Forget about stick.
Speaking of cars, I finally made it out to Somerville Cruise Nights last week. Every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day for the past 27 years, Somerville NJ has run a classic car show. Now 100+ classic cars regularly line Main Street on Friday evenings turning the event series into a nationally acclaimed classic car show.
To celebrate my father’s birthday, my family ate in Downtown Somerville and then leisurely walked along Main Street enjoying all the cars. There are a couple restaurants in Somerville that we enjoy but we decided to try Division Café, a small Costa Rican joint on a pedestrian-only side street.
NJ DINER MUSEUM EXHIBIT + THE PRETTIEST CUBAN FOOD
At the Cornelius Low House and Esquina Latina
It’s been almost a year since my mom first mentioned the “History of New Jersey Diners” exhibit at the Cornelius Low House. Even though the museum is right around the corner from us, we only just took her there last Sunday for Mother’s Day. Better late than never!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Cornelius Low House, it is the Middlesex County Museum, which holds rotating exhibits free of charge. It’s actually down the street from the Metlar-Bodine House Museum where I interned back in 2014.
(Fun Fact: The Metlar family actually bought the Low home in 1870 and it became known as “Ivy Manor” after George and Catherine Metlar planted ivy around it.)
This two-story Gregorian-style stone house was built back in 1741 for wealthy Dutch merchant Cornelius Low. As one of only two surviving 18th century structures from the Colonial port community of Raritan Landing, it has been cited in the Historic American Building Survey of the Library of Congress.