August 20, 2006: Happy 21st Birthday to Joe Tocco!

No sleeping in for us this morning. We had to be up nice and early this morning so that we could get up to Lebanon to go to church. Fortunately we went to bed at a pretty reasonable time last night so we weren’t too bad this morning. Our plan had been to pick up dad at 8:30 but we weren’t able to get over there until 8:40 but we had built in plenty of buffer time so it worked out fine.

We drove out to Lebanon and went back past the entrance to the condominium and took the scenic drive around Round Valley State Park so that dad could see the area where we hope to be living in a few months and went to the small, rural church via the local backroads where were very much “back roads” here in New Jersey. Dad was really impressed with how nice the area is. The drive from Lebanon to the church is really pretty and a lot of the drive is preserved historical farmland – sort of like an agricultural museum.

We were very early for church which is unusual for us. It was a very small church and we got a chance to meet just about everyone before the service actually started. We enjoyed the church although the service was very long which ended up being a problem with the dog out in the car. I had to leave the service early to go sit with him and turn on the air conditioning as the sun had come out while we were in the service. He was fine but it was going to be getting hot.

After church we went back to Lebanon so that dad could see the condominium development. I had to drop off another check for the house anyway so it was a good use of the trip. We went up to our unit and gave dad a tour so that he could get a feel for what it will be like. Then we went down to Main Street and got lunch at the Fox and Hound Tavern. It was a really good lunch but one thing that is going to be a problem living in Lebanon is that eating is very, very expensive. It is a very good thing that there is the luncheonette and a Stewart’s there too.

After lunch we drove back down to North Brunswick and decided that we all needed naps. So we took dad back to the hotel and Dominica, Oreo and I returned to the apartment and crashed. Dad only slept for thirty or fourty-five minutes but I slept for about three hours and Dominica for even longer. I really needed that and felt much better after I got up.

In the evening we took dad over to Tanjore so that he could see what we really eat out here in New Jersey. We got a lot of food. Dad tried the soup (mulligatawny) that we warned him about – it is very spicy. He doesn’t normally eat spicy but he tried to eat it but had to give up about halfway through. We got cashew pakoda and bel purhi as appetizers so dad had a sampling of food. Then he got the rava dosai with cheese, cashews and potato masala. He even got dessert. We think that he liked it although it was all very adventurous for him.

We came back to the apartment after dinner and just visited for a little while before having some cheesecake to celebrate Dominica’s birthday which is tomorrow.

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