Sunday, March 1, 2009

The New Jersey Rat Race - Part 1

Though its good to be back home, I'm sad that my time with the International Jovi Chaos Committee is coming to an end ... the girls fly back tomorrow. :-(

Oh, but what a time we have had. Music, laughter, shopping, food, more laughter, more food, pictures, drinks ... and much, much more shopping. And, amidst all that there was the Bon Jovi New Jersey Tour.

Yes, that litany of sites that you MUST see while in Jersey ... you know, the ones that after visiting them all make you feel intimately familiar with the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

As you know, Tico Torres has an incredible line of clothing, jewelry, baby stuff, etc. called Rock Star Baby. Well, I just LOVE his stuff and its hard to get here in the States (umm... Tico, you really need to work on that!) Anyway, you can imagine my incredible glee when the girls brought me a stuffed animal from his collection.

So ... here is the story of Rat's journey thru New Jersey ... Welcome to Wherever You Are ...

disclaimer: this is not necessarily in the order we saw them, some pics are on different people's cameras, etc. but I wanted to at least start posting something ;-)

The first stop of the day was the Roadside Diner ... the location for the cover art for Bon Jovi's Crossroads album.

(Speaking of greatest hits albums, seems we will need to wait a bit longer maybe for another one from BJ ... Jon said they are 20 songs in on the new record. I personally loved the look on poor Obie's face when Jon was rattling off the list of projects ... guess Obie ain't gonna be sleeping for a while ... LOL)

Deciding on what to eat ... not too hard ... BREAKFAST!!!

I have to say ... I've had a lot of pancakes in my day ... and these rank up there in the top three along with the pancake house on LBI and this little hole in the wall place in Cincinnati.

Damn, that was a good breakfast! And we had the nicest waitress - a Jersey girl named Tiffany. She got a kick out of us ...

Of course, we had to take a picture of the guys ... that's Tiffany holding the picture ... LOL

So, then back in the Jovimobile (a six passenger blue mini-van ... our home for four days.)

And the journey continues ... Jon's old house ... (I love the clearly displayed security sign ... perhaps that is for all the Jovinuts benefit ... LOL

One of my friends shared a story about this place. Her Italian friend had been looking for it back in 1990s. She got all turned around, completely lost and decided to stop and ask for help. Finding two guys on a motorcycle, she thought maybe they would be able to assist her so she asked them if they knew where Jon Bon Jovi's house was. The one sitting behind proceeded to tell her how exactly to get there. So, without much effort she ended up finding the place. You can imagine her suprise when the two guys on the motorcyle pulled up to the house and the one on the back took his helmet off. It was Jon, himself. She'd actually asked for directions to HIS house ... and he gave them to her ... LOL

I actually really love this house. What a great family place. Wonderful neighborhood -- really a place where you can just be normal and the kids could just play. I understand why that had to change, but still ...

Then, back in the car...
Of course, we had to go back to Jon's roots ... where it all started ...

Jon's childhood home ... (the poor current occupants, hopefully someone had warned them that lots of Jovi fans would be in town for the show ... they probably just sat inside and watched all us crazies get in and out, picture picture picture, etc.)

And then off to where Jon spent his days - perhaps not studying as hard as he should have ... LOL

Okay, there's a lot more to come ... watch Rat tackle Atlantic City and brave the winds in Asbury Park. There's also pizza on the menu (lots of pizza) and a little shopping (okay, a whole helluva lot of shopping!)

So, stay tuned ......................................