I finally get to Union, New Jersey and wait at the AVE Housing Complex. It is almost hotel like. Actually it is Hotel like. It is abut 5 PM. My friend Roberto (Tito: nickname) is coming in at around 7:30 PM so in the meantime I go into the guest/lobby area and lounge about, watch TV, blog and stare at the swimming pool outside.
Tito is from Bolivia. I met him through our mutual friend Srikanth from Roanoke, Virginia and when I went to Barcelona, Spain he gave me great tips which I benefited from. So it was great to see him again and thank him in person. He is currently staying in New Jersey temporarily on a project, otherwise he would be residing in Roanoke, Virginia.
We visit his favorite restaurant Tiff’s Burger and Ale House a few blocks away.
Oh yeah, we went dressed in our football teams jerseys. His team Spain is out of the World Cup. My team is still in – and if you are wondering, it is and has always been Brazil since I was 8 years old. I do root for America almost as passionately as Brazil – however they are my second team.
Tito and I order some food and beer and catch up from where we left off. Later the owner of the bar Shaun gives us a free round of beers and thanks Tito for being a loyal customer.
We head back to the apartment and go to his balcony, and the view of the pool is amazing.
I stock up a pile of ‘continental breakfast’ get back to his room and then out to the balcony to enjoy the warm weather and get some blogging done and buy a airline ticket using my points from Seattle to New Orleans and back.
I meet Marwan the lifeguard who like me is an immigrant. He is from Egypt and came to the US when he was 8 years old and now is a citizen. As we share stories of our journey to the US I discover that he wants to also travel the US on a road trip and I tell him about the blog post I read to travel the contiguous US in 113 hours.
And HE MIGHT ACTUALLY DO IT with his friends. Looking forward to hearing from him if it happens in a month or two.
I get back to blogging and notice that the internet speed is really really really slow. This is a good time to get out and visit my friend Joga in Verona, New Jersey. So after a few texts with Joga I head on out.
Airline ticket taxes: $5.00