Wandering Around New Jersey

Little Hudson had to go in for umbilical hernia repair surgery this week. It wasn't serious, but as his vet is about an hour drive away in Morris County, NJ, we had to make a day of it, staying in the area in case of any complications and waiting to hear when he would be discharged.

(BTW, the reason we drive an hour to take him to the vet when there are perfectly good ones nearby is because this vet has a partnership with the rescue agency and so we get discounts. For example, they didn't charge us for the anesthesia for his surgery, which saved us quite a bit.)

So while not terribly convenient, it's kind of nice because each trip to the vet ends up turning into a mini road trip.

After dropping him off on Wednesday, Eugene and I  drove to a nearby diner for a classic NJ breakfast. I ordered my favorite lox & onion omelet with a toasted butter-drenched bagel and a side of Taylor Ham. Eugene got corned beef hash and fried eggs.

He'd never tried Taylor Ham, a New Jersey staple, before and said it reminded him of "Russian baloney that's been left too long in the fridge until it dries out so then you fry it in butter on a skillet."


After breakfast, we checked our phone to find some local attractions.

Photo via Hidden New Jersey
There were, unsurprisingly, not many local attractions except something called the "Stickley Museum," which I first misread as the "Stickey Museum" and we spent an excessively long time laughing hysterically about the kinds of things you'd find in a museum of sticky things (honey, tree sap, the glue used on Post-its, waterproof caulk, etc.).

Unfortunately, the Stickley Museum is only open on weekends, so we decided to head towards the only other area attraction:

The Rockaway Townsquare Mall.

It took us forever to find it; the GPS made us drive around a huge US Army base, and Eugene kept complaining about getting lost in "the sticks." I pointed out that cell phones don't usually work in "the sticks" and that we were actually in what is called as "the suburbs."

We finally made it and actually had some good times at the mall. I stumbled onto a ridiculous H&M sale and bought 8 items for $36. (Everything was 50% already reduced prices, so that floral blouse cost $7. The purple dress was $5.)

I also discovered a very cute shop called Francesca's, where I picked up the above red peplum blouse, a turquoise dress with gold accents, and a funny birthday card for my dad.

We then went to Brookstone and played with the drones . I was trying to figure out how you attach the weapons which can be used to kill American citizens without warrant, but they explained that these weren't the killing kind of drones; just meant for recreational spying on your suburban neighbors and/or freaking out your dog/mall passersby. 

After that, we headed over to the Piercing Pagoda, where I bought a new nose ring. The girl tried to upsell me a warranty package for my $20 nose ring and I was like, "No, thank you," in a way I hope conveyed how ridiculous I thought that idea was.

By our third time around the mall, we were bored, so we headed to a nearby town for lunch. We ended up at a cute little Mexican restaurant in Dover named El Tapatio, and had some pretty delicious tacos.

I went with chorizo and Al Pastor (seasoned pork with pineapple), which reminded me that I really need to get an Al Pastor recipe up here soon. Stay tuned for that!

We still had about 45 minutes to kill, so we headed to the Pier 1 that I remembered spotting next to the vet. I had a $50 gift card that I figured I would use to buy some gorgeous springtime props.

(Such gorgeous things I think they deserve a post of their own!)

We finally got the call that Hudson was ready and headed to the vet to pick him up. He was a little woozy, and promptly fell asleep in my arms where he stayed the whole way home.

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