Monday, June 16, 2008

Suburbia on the East Coast

Leaving Ohio, we headed east to my second home with my cousin Shawn in New Jersey where I had lived for a year. We fast-forwarded in time from Justin and Angie's kids who were toddlers to Shawn and Victoria, who have teenage girls. (We're hoping that all these stays with families with children will give us some great and wonderful wisdom on parenting, and also help us know when we're ready to get some children of our own.)

The family had grown slightly since I had lived there three years previously with the addition of their bengal cat Lily. The once spastic himalayan Merlin had now matured considerably to make room for Lily's spry youthful spirit.

One of our first activities was to head up to a retreat in the woodlands of New York. There, JooYeon got a chance to try painting for the first time and perhaps if Shawn is reading this and he so desires, he could send us one of those shots to put on the blog although there is certainly no pressure to do so. :) (As it turned out, Shawn was indeed so desiring, and consented to send us the following image which is a historical record of JooYeon's first painting experience)

After that we returned to the quaint suburbs where we continued our morning runs, did some cooking, and taught the girls go-stop. One evening, there was a live concert in town so we took some wine, cheese, and snacks and made a picnic of the occasion. We were joined by Victoria's brother Larney and his wife Julie who were kind, thoughtful, and conversationally intrigueing.

JooYeon and I took several walks around the neighborhood looking at all the beautiful houses and thinking of potentially adding New Jersey to our list of possible places to settle down. Shawn told me about the property taxes in New Jersey. It is no longer on our list. (However, it should be noted that after reading this original blog, Shawn sent me the link to a sight which puts things into perspective by comparing the tax rate with the income rate, painting New Jersey in a slightly more favorable light =

On one walk, JooYeon decided to experience blindness just temporarily since we had recently stayed with a good friend Craig who is visually impaired. Our respect for Craig grew immensely as we agonizingly navigated through a very simple walking path...

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