Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A visit from Ohana. Stacey's Coming to NJ! 3/24/12

It all started with a promise to her daughter, Nicole; a shopping trip to NYC for her 21st birthday. Visiting me in New Jersey was just a bonus!

During the afternoon, I received a text from Stacey when she and Nicole were boarding their plane. I couldn’t keep from smiling. I missed my bestie and fellow H50fanatic. I had the rest of the afternoon and evening to wait until they would arrive. They weren’t landing until 11:30pm that night. I had a hockey game to go to, so that kept my mind occupied while I waited. After the game was over and I got home, Stacey texted me they were finally here.

I got comfy, grabbed my car keys and headed to the airport. On the way there, I received a text from Stacey that they would be waiting outside at the passenger pick up area. As I approached the terminal to pick them up, I could see her and Nicole waving me down. I got out of my car so fast to give her and Nicole a big Jersey hug. I was so happy to see them. Of course, we couldn’t hang there to revel in the happiness; airport security was around to chase you away. So, we loaded the car and headed home.

The first order of business was to tweet and Facebook a picture of Stacey and I together. Some peeps were actually waiting for it. 
 After that was done, the catching up and weekend plans began. Thank goodness it was a Friday night. Stacey, Nicole and I were up talking until 3 a.m. My daughter, Abbey, finally came home from work at 2 a.m. so she could join in the fun. She and Nicole hit it off so well, that a 2nd generation Ohana was born that very night. Unfortunately, she and Nicole would not be able to hang out until Monday night due to Abbey’s work and school schedule. Trust me, the wait was worth it. Pictures speak a thousand words. J

Since this was a shopping weekend, I decided to take them to Peddler’s Village in PA on Saturday for our first shopping excursion. The drive was lovely even though it was a gloomy, overcast day. We wound our way through western NJ and into PA. Once we got to the village, we walked around and hit every shop. Nicole had a lot of fun trying on hats in this one store. Damn her…she looks fabulous in all of them.

We headed into the Leather Shop. That was a big mistake, HUGE! Look at what Nicole found to try on. You’re looking at real fox fur. A mere $4,500.00. It was a beautiful jacket though.

After a while, a rain shower hit the area so we decided it was time to stop shopping and head to the Cock & Bull for lunch. No, I’m not kidding, that’s the name of the restaurant. See…

Lunch was over and it was time to walk it off. There were plenty more shops to hit that afternoon. The showers stopped and the sun was trying to peek out. Along our walk, we stopped to take some pictures to remember the trip by.

Stacey and Nicole share a moment together by the pond. Awwwww!

The last stop of the day was my favorite shop, Skip’s Candy Store. Any nostalgic candy you could think of was in there. It was very easy for us to spend almost $50 on our sweet tooth… each! We made one more stop on our way home. Once we got closer to home, we stopped at DSW for some shoe shopping. A girl can never have enough shoes.

 The ladies wanted a real“Jersey diner” experience for dinner so we headed over to the Menlo Park Diner. This place had a jukebox at each table and a menu that read like an encyclopedia. Most of them do. We chowed down and made our way home.

We took a survey of our purchases, kicked off our shoes and snuggled up to the tv to watch, what else, the past Monday’s episode of Hawaii Five-0.

Stacey and I caught up with fellow H50fanactics Ellen and Deb online. We sent the few pictures of our adventures in the village and caught up with them on the day’s events. Our plan for Sunday was shopping in NYC. This would be Nicole’s very first trip ever to the city.

Sunday morning…time to rise and shop! We met up with my sister Maria and headed to the train station. There was no way in hell any of us were driving in NYC. When we finally arrived and headed to the nearest place that served coffee, we were hoping for a Starbucks but settled for Krispy Kreme instead. We were determined to hit as many stores as humanly possible today. Remember, we were all walking city blocks. That’s a lot of walking.
Our first stop, Macy’s on 34th Street. As we approached the side entrance, we noticed Nicole frantically looking for something. She realized her cell phone was missing. She must’ve left it on the train, because she had it while taking pictures, but sat it down at some point. Nice way to welcome her to NYC for the 1st time. So our first stop was not Macy’s after all. We hit the closest Sprint store to have her phone turned off.  Luckily, there was one right across the street. After taking care of that nightmare, we finally headed to Macy’s.

This was the first time any of us had ever been inside this store. Did you know that this store has 9 floors? OMG! We didn’t know where to go first. We grabbed a directory and headed to the 4th floor juniors dept. for Nicole. I think we spent 2 hours in there just watching her try on assorted outfits. 

As the day progressed, we stopped for lunch at TGIFridays. The day was spent walking from 34th Street to 52nd between 5th and 7th Avenues. We window shopped, stopped into St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center to enjoy the sites before heading back to Penn Station for the ride home.
All in all, the weekend of shopping was a blast. I think Nicole got a lot of wonderful new clothes and boots to last her a while.

Since I had no days to take off, Monday was back to work for me. Stacey and Nicole decided to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I loaned them my car for the day and Stacey had her Google map ready to go. Setting off on what should’ve been a 40-minute drive tops, turned into a 90-minute drive because Stacey got lost. But, rest assured, they made it just in time to catch the ferry. It had to be the windiest day of all. They survived the ferry ride out to both islands although the water was very, very choppy. Once the tour was over, they headed back to my house to meet up for dinner. Once again, Stacey got lost the closer she got back to my house. Somehow, with no battery left on her cell phone, she navigated her way back and made it to my house before I got home from work. (Quote from Stacey “And they say driving in Seattle sucks? OMG, I will NEVER drive in Jersey AGAIN! I felt like a local driving in Oahu compared to Jersey!")

Once everyone was back home, I cooked for the first time since Stacey and Nicole arrived (we ate out all of our other meals), and wanted to make them one of my family’s favorites… Arroz con Pollo. I’m pretty sure I saw Stacey and Nicole eat seconds, maybe even thirds. It was a huge hit!
After dinner, Abbey and I decided to give Nicole an early birthday party...Jersey style. We bought her an ice cream cake, sang Happy Birthday to her, made her blow out the candles and then served the cake.  Well almost.  As you can see, the girls had other ideas about that cake and sharing it.

 That evening, we watched… ya, wait for it… Hawaii Five-0! While watching, Stacey and I were of course commenting on something to do with Alex (surprise, surprise) and one of us mentioned Moonlight. Nicole had an instant epiphany and said “Mick and Steve are both Alex?!” Stacey instantly disowned Nicole and was planning on leaving her in Jersey. I don’t think Nicole would’ve minded at first (she has a boyfriend at home in Arizona waiting for her), her and Abbey were like sisters at this point. You would never have known they had only met 4 days before.

Tuesday came and Stacey and Nicole just hung around my house while I went to work. They had packing to do, because it was time to say goodbye later that evening. Once I got home from work we set out for the airport. Where did the time go? It seems like they had just arrived and now I was dropping them off at the airport. Lots of hugs were given as we said our goodbye’s.

Next up… SOTB 3 in 134 days!!

From Stacey and Nicole: Thank you, thank you for making our trip one to remember always. We had a wonderful time (minus the cell phone mishap and the getting lost in the car, LOL) and look forward to many more visits!!


  1. Sounds like such a wonderful weekend. Next time they'll have to drive cross country so they can stop and see all of us too :)

  2. Peddler's Village is really cool, isn't it? (and about 35 minutes from my house ;) Ya'll should've stopped in at the New Hope Winery while you were there. The lovely ladies that run that place would've taken great care of ya ;) (Oh well, next time...right?)
    Great blog. Looks like you had a tremendous amount of fun :)