Well, we’ve survived a week here in Princeton, and it hasn’t even seemed that difficult (yet). Of course, Summer Greek hasn’t started yet, tuition bills and grocery bills and other bills haven’t found their way to our new address yet, and we haven’t really looked inside all the boxes stacked against the walls yet. Still, it’s been a great first. Someone (I can’t remember who, now) asked me if it felt “surreal,” and that is indeed the best way to describe it. But I’ve never been one for one-word summaries, so here’s the more verbose version:
- Friday — After waking up in Baltimore, we drove the last stretch of our Journey past Philadelphia and into Princeton, we picked up our keys, signed our lease, and found ourselves in an empty apartment waiting for our stuff to arrive.
- Saturday — We slept in, then Grady and I went to the “Dinky” trains station (that’s really what they call it) to pick up my sister, and Grady’s Aunt Emily. Em treated us to lunch at Chili’s (yes, they have those here), then we went back to our empty apartment, and took turns cleaning and playing with kids. For awhile, Emily and I sat on the front steps watching Grady play soccer in the front yard with Matthew, a little boy who lives above us. When we realized how late it was, we rushed Emily back to the train station, explored Princeton a little more, and then called it a night.
- Sunday — We woke up early in the morning to go to church New York City! Our first trip on the train was exciting, and when we arrived in NYC, at first we thought we were lost, but it turned out we weren’t. A subway trip brought us to Columbia University, where our friends John and Annie Feighery are PhD students. Our kids played with their kids, we all went to play in a water-fountain-park near their apartment, had an excellent New-Mexico style dinner, and then to Central Park for a free concert by French/Israeli singer, Yael Naim. By the time we got back to the Feighery’s apartment, kids and adults were exhausted and ready to crash. Click here for the rest of the pictures (taken by Annie) of our NYC trip.
- Monday — Got up early to say goodbye to the Feighery’s and catch a train back to Princeton. When we got back, I made a trip to the seminary campus, where I filled out paperwork for financial aid, and then bought my first two textbooks for my Summer Greek course. Cost about $50 for both, which actually is not that bad. Yet. That night, newfound friends Andrew and Kristina invited us to a cookout with a few other seminary families. Afterwards, Andrew took me on a quick tour of Princeton and a stop at Triumph brewery for some growlers (1 growler = approx 4 pints), which we enjoyed later that evening with a few friends and some deep theological discussion. Well, maybe more interesting than deep.
- Tuesday — Our stuff was supposed to arrive Monday, but somehow got stuck in Pennsylvania, so we spent most of Tuesday waiting for it. We did make a quick trip to Babies R’ Us to cash in on a present from Amy’s parents: A new play-saucer for Abby (which came in really handy the next day while we were all unloading furniture). Finally our stuff arrived, and we did a little unloading before it got dark. Some friends we had met the previous night, Nate and Janel, were kind enough to invite us over for dinner.
- Wednesday — John & Aidan caught a train down from NYC to help us unload, and two sets of neighbors from our building (Chris & Sarah, and Casey & Rachel) also pitched in — making the unloading of the truck complete in an amazing two hours. Following my mother’s advice, I made sure I had beer for the movers — I would have provided them with some good Texas Shiner Bock, but it seems nowhere to be found here in New Jersey, so I opted for Stella Artois instead (hey, it’s Belgian). Afterwards, the Locke’s took the Feighery’s (2/5ths of them, anyhow) to lunch at the local WaWa. The What??? Actually it’s a chain of convenience stores. I know, not too fancy, but apparently they’re well known for their hoagie sandwiches, and we were feeling experimental. In true New Jersey fashion, you go in, punch your order on a computer screen, and never have to talk to a single person! Later, John and Aidan caught the train back to NYC, and we began the piling of boxes (of which there is no end).
- Thursday — After a rather whirlwind week, we slept in Thursday morning, and relaxed for most of the day. Somewhere in the midst of it, Abby spoke what may have been her first word? We’re really not sure. She was looking at Grady, and out of the blue started saying “bubba, bubba” (or it might have been bababababa). The thing is, when we say it to her now, she’ll repeat it. So it’s reproducible, but we’re not sure if it really has meaning attached to Grady, her brother. That evening, we made our first family trip to the grocery store, and I discovered Chimay Cheese in the specialty cheeses section! The trip took longer than we expected, and so we grabbed some Chinese take-home on the way out, and had a late, improvised dinner to finish out the week.
That’s pretty much it. If you’re still reading, you must either be incredibly interested in our family, related to us, or else in serious need of switching off the monitor. Either way, thanks, and keep checking back for more Locke family adventures in Seminary. If you don’t want to bother with checking back, just enter your email address in the “subscribe” box to the right, and you can receive email updates on our journey. If nothing else, it might be slightly more interesting than spam!