Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer Vacation 2007

The Clarks of New Jersey study dinosaur history at Yale's Peabody Museum in New Haven, Conn.

The car is loaded with suitcases and sandwiches, a golf bag and a baby crib. We're all gassed up. So come with us on a rather unorthodox vacation: a swing through Southeast Connecticut and Western Massachussetts.

The first stop: the Peabody Museum in New Haven, Conn. Outside the museum, Dad asked Theo if he wanted to take a picture of the 30-foot high Triceratops statue. "No," he said dismissively, "I'll remember it." Dad took the picture anyway. Inside, Theo makes no effort to contain his excitement. In the great hall of dinosaurs, his body unconsciously begins to jump up and down.

Next stop: Pepe's Pizza in New Haven. This place in New Haven's Little Italy is renowned as one of the best pizza parlors in the world. The Clarks of New Jersey officially recommend it, however, Margie complained of burnt crust.

Next stop: Mystic, Conn. After checking into our hotel -- the Inn at Mystic -- we walked to the Sea Swirl for ice cream and shakes. Natalie's red, white and blue crocs were a big hit with the clientele, some of whom asked for purchasing information.

Next stop: The Mystic Acquarium. WIth the exception of the bird cage, the Mystic Acquarium was a bit of a disappointment. From the rinky dink ray pool to the underwhelming penguin display, there wasn't much to write home about. Even the sea lion show was a let down. (Dad's comment: "That was about as entertaining as church.") But the bird cage stood out as an unexpected joy. Colorful little beasts flirting around all over, and kids chasing them with popsicle sticks loaded with bird seed. Let's not talk about the price, but suffice it to say I wish we had visited the historic Seaport instead.

Next stop: Sea View restaurant. Dad recommends the fried clams. Natalie shows more interest and takes more delight in the rocks in the parking lot than any of the fish-related exhibits at Mystic Acquarium.

Next stop: Alford, Mass. and the home of the Casarsa Family. Gary, Christine, Livia and Will again showed us the joys of living well, eating well and understanding the important things in life. The Clarks of New Jersey salute you!

Throughout the entire grand circle, Margie encouraged Natalie to become potty trained, with limited results. We're happy to report today that Natalie has shown tremendous progress.

Below are some pictures captured during the vacation.

Theodore becomes acquainted with brass skulls and the ideas of Charles Darwin.

Nat-Nat and Margie feed the birds at the Mystic Acquarium.

More bird feeding.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nat-Nat Turns Two

From left: Joyce, Margie, Natalie, Theo and Michael III.

Little Nat-Nat enjoyed a big celebration Saturday afternoon. Her second birthday was attended by Mimi, Poppy, Diana, Madeline, Michael, Holly from Milford, and, of course, Nat's immediate family.

As a matter of actual fact, Natalie's birthday falls on June 11. We celebrated two days early because of several interconnected dates and activities, including Luke Rivera's birthday party (June 10), Margie's birthday (June 10) and little Madeline's dance recital (June 9). It just worked out.

Except for the smoke from the fire pit, Natalie's party was a triumph! To all those who contributed: CNJ salutes you!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Light Dispelling Darkness

Caption: The Clark family gathers near the world-famous fountain of Roosevelt Park in Edison, N.J.

On Saturday, the Clarks of New Jersey drove 45 miles to Point Pleasant Beach for a day of sun, sand and fried funnel cake. (Remember the CNJ advice: you'll enjoy it more if you don't watch as it is prepared.) Credit to Aunt Debbie and Aunt Helen for the free parking, ride tickets and walking-around money. As this blog has noted before, there is nothing like getting the star treatment at Point Pleasant Beach. Debbie and Helen, the Clarks of N.J. salute you!

What's that? Yes, dear reader. Sunday was in fact the seventh wedding anniversary of Casey and Margie. The weather on June 3, 2000 was spectacular (as was documented on this Web site in a previous post). It was just as spectacular on Sunday, June 3, 2007.

To celebrate our love for each other, we did what most normal New Jersey couples do. We spent quality time together at a terra cotta sculpture featuring representations of the four horsemen of the apocolypse and the additional scourges of greed and materialism. Located just a stone's throw from the former home of Sonya Mizerak at 112 Thomas Place, Waylande Gregory's art deco masterpiece "Light Dispelling Darkness" was commissioned by the Works Project Administration during the Depression and masterfully restored a few years ago.

The Clarks of N.J. applaud the reconstruction of this classic work of public art!

As for our wedding anniversary, well, what more is to be said? A wedding anniversary is a very personal celebration. Dear reader, let us turn our eyes away from the Clarks of New Jersey just this once, and give them the consideration and the privacy that such a loving couple deserves on such a romantic occassion.

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What's your best wedding anniversary story?