Thursday, May 15, 2008
Blast from the Past
Our trip to NJ went very smoothly, and featured cute animals. We shared our flight to Denver with a sweet avalanche-rescue dog -- although we weren't sitting near her -- and a funny little bird was hopping around our gate area in Denver. Our flight from Denver to LaGuardia (where we went because it was cheaper than flying into Newark) was crowded, but Gary and I actually had an empty seat between us! That made us very happy. Our in-laws had sent a car service to LaGuardia to pick us up; we found the driver right away, and got to our hotel (which is top-flight and very comfortable) in record time.
Today we had fun hanging out with Gary's folks. We've seen very little of the bride, who's running around making final arrangements, but we've had good visits with everyone else. Gary's mom took us out to lunch today, and said, "Oh, we should go to Baumgart's!"
There was a restaurant called Baumgart's in Englewood, where I grew up (and where, improbably enough, the wedding will be). It was an Englewood institution: when my mother was growing up in the thirties, all the kids went there for ice cream after school, and my mother and sister and I used to go there for ice cream when I was growing up.
Yes, my mother and I grew up in the same town. She moved back to live near her father after my parents split up. We even went to the same high school -- where my aunt and uncle met and fell in love -- and were both valedectorian of our graduating class. Pretty weird, huh?
So when I heard "Baumgart's," my ears perked up. But surely this couldn't be the same restaurant, especially since we were in Livingston now?
Turns out that it is the same Baumgart's! They're in four locations now, and these days they're a Chinese-American restaurant as well as an ice-cream place. I was tickled. Tonight I called my mother and said, "You'll never guess where I ate lunch today!" She was tickled, too.
Meanwhile, it's unnerving to be back in New Jersey. There's too much moisture in the atmosphere, and strange green growths run rampant everywhere, and the flatness of the terrain is extremely disorienting. Aren't there any mountains on this planet? We're overcoming our instinctive fear of this alien habitat, however, and having a very pleasant time.