I really debated even mentioning it because you know how you're never ever supposed to tell anyone when your baby starts sleeping through the night because then that baby will stop sleeping through the night? Well, that's kind of how I feel about my tank of gas.
Josh filled up the van for me last Sunday, and I have driven all over NJ this week, but not just like back and forth school driving, but for real, I have been all over the place - and I even drove into the city once too. But I don't like to talk about that because I couldn't find a spot and I had to park in a garage. Except I didn't know where one was, so while I was waiting for what seemed like hours behind yet another delivery truck, I asked a cop standing on the corner where I might find a parking lot. She looked at me for a long time before she said, do you mean a garage? Garage. Yes. I mean a garage. Parking lots only exist in suburbia. Where I'd always rather be.
The cop told me there was a lot at 7 and 7. Seven and seven? I was on the upper west side, and while I may not know my way around there as well as I used to, I am pretty sure the street names have not changed and that there is no corner of 7th Avenue and 7th Street on the UPPER west side. So I did what anyone would do. I called for help. And Josh said that there's a lot at 81st between Broadway and Amsterdam, but I have to go up 82nd first and come around because ugh, one way streets. Driving in the city is really too much for me in my old age. And also, seven and seven - it took me a while (like the 45 minutes I waited just for the privilege of entering the Lincoln Tunnel), but the policewoman must have meant 77th Street. I think. Whatever. I'm back on high ground here in NJ, where I have a wide street, empty sidewalks and a driveway so life is looking much better right now.
Back to my magical tank of gas. It's Friday. And there's still half a tank left! How is that even possible? I have been in Union, Essex, Morris, Somerset and Bergen counties (some of them even more than once) this week, plus a trip into the city and still, a half a tank of gas. I think it really might be magical. I wonder if it will last all summer. I can only dream.
One of the counties we visited this week - specifically Morris county - has an awesome farm called Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. It's about an hour away from us, but is totally worth the drive. They have lots of pick-your-own stuff over the summer, but this week they still have amazing strawberries. They are red all the way through, they are super sweet and they are big, not at all like the ones you might pick up in Shoprite. Or in Fairway, if you're still stuck in the city, waiting for traffic to ease up.
The strawberries were also pretty cheap. Five kids picked strawberries for under $20. And (and!) if you go on a weekday and get there before 12pm, there is no $5 entrance fee and the hayride to the strawberry fields is free, so it's definitely worth the trip on a weekday morning.
I don't have any pictures of the actual strawberries, those were all eaten the same day we picked them, but, if you like, I can show you a picture of the ones that are now smashed into the carpet of my van. No really, Stepped on and smashed. I really have to get in there with some carpet cleaner because overnight-marinated strawberries do not make for the best smelling car in the morning. (Although, and this is so off-topic, but we were actually grateful for the awful strawberry smell yesterday when it was still able to overpower the vomit that happened on route 78 during yesterday's adventure. Isn't that such a special story?)
This is what the fields look like - so beautiful. There's no shade because strawberries do not grow on trees, but even though it was a very sunny day, there was a breeze and it was amazing. Also, the hayride comes back around every twenty minutes to these cute hayride bus stops so you don't have to wait too long if you're ready to head back. Or if you're related to me, and you have to go to the bathroom.