What Exit?

In a few days my family and I are making our sorta annual trip up north to visit our old stomping grounds. It’s my brother-in-law’s 60th birthday and there is going to be a party that will rock the very foundation of a small, upstate NY town.

Both my husband and I grew up in Leonia, New Jersey – it’s a small little community a stone’s throw from the George Washington Bridge and New York City. We moved away in 1997 because it got too expensive, but we really miss it. After living in central Virginia for over 12 years now, I still consider Leonia as my home.

We also spent a whole lot of time up in Cuddebackville, NY. It’s an even smaller town just outside Port Jervis, NY. This is the home of my brother-in-law Mark and our really good friends Lynn and Scott. Lynn and Scott live in an adorable little house on a few acres of land, and each summer they throw a big bash where folks pitch tents, sit around the bonfire and party like it’s Woodstock.

This year it’s occurring over the July 4th weekend, and we have decided to make it vacation destination #1 for this summer. Hubby and I used to spend weekends up in Cuddebackville when we were dating/newly married. It was a great way to get away from the “city” and just relax, get drunk, and laugh your ass off. Thus, going back is always a blast for us. The kids? Not as much, but they do dig being able to light off fireworks, throw shit into the fire and sleep in a tent. Unless there is a spider – like last time. Then we wind up sleeping 4 in a bed or crashing on the floor or the couch.

Equation: Tent + Spider = I’ve got no place to sleep. Hopefully that won’t happen this year. Of course, showing my daughter “The Blair Witch Project” last night might have sullied the rustic notion of camping.

We are also going to hit our hometown and see all the sights and how it has changed over the years. We will both visit our childhood homes, where I am sure I will see my neighbors, the Aratas. Every time I have traveled through Leonia, I have managed to run into my old neighbors while doing a drive-by of my old house. We will once again show our kids the school we went to, and the parks we played in. We’ve shown them before, but by now they have forgotten.

We are also going to eat, eat, and then eat some more.

But that will be tomorrow’s post. Aaaaah, the culinary hot spots of my childhood. Yes, that deserves a post of it’s own.