Garden State

When I woke up last Saturday in New Jersey, I was determined to go for a run.  It was a gorgeous morning, and I got out before the heat!  My cousins have a 3.1 mile loop in their neighborhood, and I set out to run a 10k.  I love exploring a new neighborhood by foot, and I was shocked to see how many garage sales there were.  People were also leaving tons of fantastic things at the curb for garbage pick up.  One such thing, was a balance beam!!!  As I ran by, I was in awe of what good shape the beam was in.  As an x-gymnast, I so badly wanted to scoop up the beam and fly it back to Chicago with me.  Instead, I kept on running and by lap 2, I half expected the beam to be for sale at one of the garage sales.  However, it was still just sitting on the side of the road waiting for a new home.  When I made it back to my cousin’s house, I found the crew exercising in the living room.

 

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After a sip of water, I mentioned the beam (both of my cousin’s daughters are gymnasts, and I thought it was a GOOD find).  Everyone agreed, and we immediately hopped in the car as I tried to remember where I had seen the beam.  We made it there moments before the garbage pickers and easily moved the beam into the minivan.  It fit perfectly in their home, and we all took turns performing our most impressive moves 🙂

 

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I told my cousins that once they won their first Olympic medals on balance beam, they would have to thank me for finding their in home balance beam.  This was arguably the BEST garbage find ever although my dad did argue that the bowling ball he found at the side of the road 35 years ago was cooler, we all had to disagree!  After a quick shower, we headed out for the first of two softball games in town.

 

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We were joined by some more family and spent the morning playing at the park and cheering on the Koalas!

 

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And then headed back home for an outdoor lunch.  We had a little bit of time for shopping in town.  I always love shopping in New Jersey because there is NO sales tax, and there happened to be LOTS of sales!  We grabbed a Starbucks and headed off to softball game number 2 to cheer on the Braves!

 

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We made quite the cheering section, and the Braves looked strong.  It must have been their amazing coaches!

 

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We had one more event to attend at the local Relay for Life where my cousin and aunt were honored as survivors before finally making our way back home.  We ordered New York style pizza (my favorite!) for a late dinner.  After a jam-packed day, everyone crashed comfortably on the couch to watch the Devils game.

 

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Except those of us who were engaged in a highly competitive game of Apples to Apples, Junior.

 

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The kids had never played before and they immediately got right into the game!  There was a lot of negotiations and laughing throughout the night.  When the game was over, we had to promise to play again soon.  I told them that we have Apples to Apples at our house and there would be a rematch when they came to visit in August.

 

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Sometime after 10PM, we wrapped up our game, and it was time for everyone to return home.  I headed upstairs and collapsed into my bed.  We packed a lot into the day, and it was seriously a blast spending a busy day with my family in the Garden State!!!

 

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