day trips

Red Beach Chair at Asbury Park Beach

Asbury Park beach red chair
This red beach chair photo may make it appear that there is hardly anyone at the Asbury Park Beach on July 4th, but in truth it was quite crowded on the beach. I hope to write a pictorial, historical post on Asbury Park in an upcoming post.

Wooden Fence at Battle of Monmouth

fence at monmouth battlefield
I was driving down to Manalapan, NJ (carpooling my teenage son and friends to a counselor orientation) and decided to drive by the Battle of Monmouth. This battle was fought on June 28, 1778 between the British and the Americans. There is not much to see other than this pretty field with a wooden fence; somewhere nearby there is a visitor center that is open on the weekends. Supposedly, every year on the last week in June, the battle is re-enacted here in Monmouth Battlefield State Park. I think I may have seen the Sutfin House in the distance from my car. My previous post showed purple vetch growing in the field. I did find orchards (Battleview Orchards) nearby.

wooden fence at Battle of Monmouth
Due to the wooden fence, I get to share my battlefield adventure as part of Thursday Challenge.

And I just discovered another meme: Rural Thursday. (If you saw the rest of Manalapan, you would say, gee, this battlefield park is the only rural area left).

Visit to Princeton University

Princeton University - East Pyne Building, detail of turret
Princeton University - East Pyne Building, detail of turret

Yesterday my eldest son and I went to visit Princeton. This was my third visit to Princeton this year. In the summer I took my daughter and her friend to the Princeton Art Museum. A few weeks ago I went for a conference – I was the NJSGC photographer for the day.

We went on a visit to Princeton University yesterday because my son is applying to colleges, and as he had the day off due to parent-teacher conferences, he decided he would like to visit Princeton. We arranged to meet my niece for lunch at the Center for Jewish Life. Having had a late-for-the-conference experience due to parking issues a few weeks ago, I now consider myself a Princeton parking expert, and we drove straight to Palmer Square Garage on Chambers Street. In the dripping wet we figured out where Clio Hall is, the place where the tour begins. The photos on top and bottom were taken in the sunny summer month of August – it did not look that bright in New Jersey yesterday, lots of rain. We did the tour (one other mother-son team joined us), and then we had the pleasure of my niece’s company at a kosher lunch at CJL. She seems to be enjoying Princeton, and I was pleased to hear she is taking French as one of her courses. She is the sister of the blogger in Norway.

So, now that I’ve left you with some of the details of my day, here’s some questions for you:

  • If you’ve had a child leave home, how did it feel to have the first one leave?
  • If you could apply to college now (all expenses paid), where would you go and what would you study?
  • Have you been to Princeton?
Princeton University Chapel tower
Princeton University Chapel tower

Nature Notes: Washington Valley Park

Washington Valley Reservoir
On Sunday we visited Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Our friend found the hike on the website; I had never heard of the park before. Pictured is the lovely reservoir at the bottom of the hiking area.

red trail at Washington Valley Park, Bridgewater, New Jersey
We decided in advance to follow the red trail – it wasn’t always easy to see these markings for the trail on the trees.

plants at Washington Valley Park
I saw a variety of plants growing – no idea what this striped little plant is called.

Red berries barberry bush at Washington Valley Park, New Jersey
I recognized these red oval berries from my childhood – I looked up the bush (red berries with thorns is what I looked for in Google Images), and I learned this is called a barberry bush.

moss washington valley park
I rather liked this plant inside moss that I found on the trail.

stream at Washington Valley Park
There were various streams on our hike that led into the reservoir. The girls (my daughter and friend) had fun hopping over the rocks.

hawk at Washington Valley Park
When we got to the top of the hill on the trail, we were rewarded with views of hawks flying overhead.

washington valley view
You could see quite a distance from the top – the fall colors have faded, but they are still varied, though muted.

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

Apple Picking in New Jersey

apples at Lee Turkey Farm
Last Sunday we went apple picking at Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor, New Jersey. The previous September we picked apples at Terhune Orchards near Princeton.

chickens at Von Thun Farm
Our first stop was Von Thun Farm in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey; however, they did not feature apple picking until the next Sunday. So we proceeded unto Lee Turkey Farm, which also has a corn maze and pick your own corn. My daughter and her friends enjoyed watching the chickens for a while.

corn maze
No real reds in this photo, but I loved the rushed look of my daughter running through the corn maze at Lee Turkey Farm.

For more Ruby Tuesday posts:
Ruby Tuesday

Nature Notes: Stream Wildflowers

wild flower with bee
On Sunday we visited Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor, New Jersey. Across from the farm is a stream, and some lovely wildflowers were growing. The yellow wildflower above seemed to attract bees.

orange yellow wildflower
This droopy pale orange flower added a wispy look to the scene.

green pads in the stream
These green, round leaves were growing in the stream, but I didn’t see any lilies.

This white flower seems to be a kind of honeysuckle.

fairy aster
Would this little daisy-like flower be a fairy aster?

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

Princeton Art Museum Visit

Roman bust of woman at Princeton Art Museum
Last week my daughter, her friend and I went to the Princeton Art Museum. The museum is in the middle of the Princeton University campus, and it features Roman, Greek, European, modern and American art in its collection. The museum offered scavenger hunts for inquisitive children like my own, and the girls chose between Roman, Greek or American portraiture. We first went to the Roman room. After a few minutes of looking at mosaics and busts of people dead for about 2000 years, the girls declared the collection “creepy,” and we went back upstairs to try the American scavenger hunt.

The section with the American paintings was more appealing to them.
John Singer Sargent, Elizabeth Allen Marquand , 1887
The life-size portrait of Elizabeth Allen Marquand, 1887 by John Singer Sargent is more captivating in real life. I would probably sit for hours and draw her, if I had the chance.
drawing in the Princeton Art Museum
After a few minutes of doing the scavenger hunt, my daughter and her friend decided to use the backs of the hunt papers to draw a distinguished family from the 18th century, The Hartley Family with lovely silk dresses.

John Witherspoon
There’s sculpture and architecture to be seen outside the museum, on the Princeton campus, but I’ll save the architecture for another post. The statue is of John Witherspoon, 6th president of Princeton and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

For more Summer Stock Sunday, visit:
Summer Stock Sunday

Bradley Beach Shul

bradley beach shul
Congregation Agudath Achim in Bradley Beach, New Jersey may not be the most picturesque part of the Jersey Shore, but for those who attend services at this little shul, it is a special place. My in-laws’ friends threw us a Sheva Brachot (party after getting married) for us here way back in 1993.

Agudath Achim

Batya will be hosting a JPiX carnival this coming August 4 – if you have any posts with photos relevant to a Jewish Photo Bloggers’ Carnival, please submit them to

Bridge by Grand Central

Pershing Square bridge by Grand Central Station, New York City
Pershing Square bridge by Grand Central Station, New York City

This is the Pershing Square Bridge next to Grand Central Station on the East Side of New York City. I was in New York on Wednesday for the 140 Conference. Here’s a cool night photo of the same bridge that I found on Flickr.

Sculpture on top of Grand Central Station, New York City
Sculpture on top of Grand Central Station, New York City

This is the top of Grand Central Station in New York City. From here I took the Lexington Avenue subway uptown to the 92nd Street Y.

Summer Stock Flag

flag over the beach next to the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ
Flag over the beach next to the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ

For more Summer Stock Sunday:
Summer Stock Sunday

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