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This is my first visit to New Jersey. We stay in my brother-in-law's house in Holmdel. In an wooded area half way up a hill.

I slept about 2 hours before I had to wake up at 3:30am. By 5:00am, we were all ready to go. The shuttle was supposed to pick us up at 5:10am. It finally arrived at 5:25am. Still it had 2 more stops before heading for the airport. The next 2 stops were not exactly out of the way but unfortunately, because of the outdated map of the shuttle company, the shuttle made a big circular loop from 2nd to 3rd stop because the driver did not know the road was finally completed and was thru almost a year ago. The shuttle took almost extra 10 miles and we ran really late. Especially the other 2 passengers were dropped off at the terminals ahead of us and the traffic was already crazy in the airport.

We arrived airport less than an hour before our scheduled flight. Fortunately, the check in system by Continental is superb and it didn't take us long to check in our luggage. There is a not-so-long-line for security check point but unfortunately, we couldn't see and pick a line with a mother travelling with an infant and a toddler. She had about 10 bins :rolleyes: The people right behind of her didn't care or didn't know they could help her. Finally, a young lady in another queue jumped in and help her in putting some of her stuffs in the bins. To make matters worse , hubby didn't follow my advice and left the power supply to the laptop in it's carrying case. So the carrying case was picked to get extra check. With all these, by the time we arrived at the gate, they just announced we were able to aboard.

The plane was full and the flight was pretty good. I was surprised when they announced breakfast would be served. :eek: It's not gourmet breakfast but not too bad. A single serving bowl of honeynut cheerios, milk, a tiny cranberry muffin and a box of dry raisin. We also had coffee. It's a more than 4 hours flight. They showed "Ratouille" (?sp) and although I didn't watch the movie, with the constant serving for beverages, the flight didn't take long.

We just got out of the plane and hubby's brother called. We told him we were on our way to retreive our luggage. He told us to call him when we were ready to leave the airport. So we walked out of the airport and tried to call him. Our f**king prepaid cell phone could receive call but not outgoing. So hubby had to walk back to the terminal to call him. Unfortunately, he tried to stay in the pickup area too long to wait for us and got a ticket from the police so he went and parked in the parkade (which should be something he did in the first place :p since the first 30 minutes are free :rolleyes: )

Anyhow, we finally made our way to his house. That's when I knew that we were supposed to go with them to one of their friends house to have a "party". :eek: *sigh* Well, there's nothing we could do except follow our shepherd like obedient sheep.

Some of you may know that this brother of my hubby is the smartest of all 3 brothers. After finished his Master in Physics in Chinese University in Hong Kong, he continued his study in Phyisics in MIT and received his Ph.D in Physics. He married his wife during that time and after moving to US with him, she went to study in Brown University and received her Master degree in Librarianship (or something like that). Most of their friends here were friends of them when they studied in Chinese University.

So all the husbands we met in the party, have different kinds of Ph.D in title and their wives, all have a Master degree in something. And all their children are overachievers. Still hubby and I had a great time and our son were really happied to have so many children to play with. The hostess is the one with best memory. She's the first one recognised who we were. :lol: Here a detour for the story but if you're interested, continue to read the bold part.

Basically, more than 16 years ago, we first visited my brother-in-law in Boston. We arrived on the day his son was born, a few days earlier than expected, which resulting us waiting in the airport hours for him to pick him up. It's a hectic day for him because we missed our connecting flight and was delayed for more than 6 hours. He picked us up from airport, dropped us in his apartment and left immediately to the hospital, where he dropped off his wife earlier and that's why he's late to pick us up. We went to his graduation ceremony while his wife and new born son were in hospital. Since he was pretty busy so we went to NYC on our own. We wanted to find a hotel/motel to stay but he insisted it's OK to bunk in his friends place (whom we never met before in our life) for 4 days/3 nights :tape: The guy was studying for Ph.D in Columbia University and he and his wife were living in the marriaged student quarters. We could all imagine how BIG those quarters are. So we slept on the living room floor with the cushions from the sofa as mattress. :tape: And most of the time, our hosts were not home. We hardly saw them and we managed to have dinner together the last night we stayed there. :lol: Let's return to the topic on hand.

Since I never expected to visit their friends, I didn't bring with me any gifts or whatever. To make matters worse, their friends knew we would be there and even prepared a Christmas gift for my son. :eek: I better remember to ask my sister-in-law how old are their daughters so I can buy something for them when they come to my sister-in-law's Christmas party on Christmas day. :banghead:
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