New Jersey may be the fourth smallest state in the US, but it is the most congested. Driving here is a nightmare! Going 10 miles takes about 45 minutes, and being from Texas, I judge time by miles. Big mistake. I have learned to plan ahead. Today, I took my furry child, Atticus, to the vet that is only 5 miles away, but I allotted 40 minutes. It took 30 minutes. Not bad.
I’ve been budget-watching after the vet visit and spending $600 on brand new, all-season tires for the bad weather up here. So after making my scrumptious BBQ chicken salad for lunch, I walked 10 blocks to the West New York Parking Authority to purchase my resident parking permit for $10. Then I spent the afternoon walking around my new town. A grand total of 40 blocks of walking bliss. Up and down residential streets, along the Hudson River with spectacular views of Manhattan, back to my neighborhood where I purchased some wine. It was a leisurely stroll through a new culture. Along the way, I spotted a preying mantis on the sidewalk. It passed me in simple delight. To my surprise, I saw my very first bobcat in person. A dog stood its ground while incessantly barking at it in plain sight in a town park along the Hudson. It was as if I were an excited kid at the zoo. I passed by the high school and saw the miniature band practicing in what would have amounted to a middle school stadium in Texas. Wait…that’s not true. It’s actually smaller than the middle school stadiums, with bleachers only on one side. It’s such a charming little community right across the pond from the big city jungle. It’s magnificent! I love having and taking the time to enjoy every little moment. Thanks sabbatical 🙂