Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New Beginnings - Week 2

Week 2 in New Jersey was all about new beginnings. We all continue to settle into our new life and new surroundings and each of us is adapting to something new every day. 

To our great surprise we found out the movers were coming on Sunday the 8th, which as it turned out was great timing.  We cannot imagine what would have happened if it was mid-week when I was at work.  The kids were ecstatic to see their stuff arrive, kind of like our first guest arriving, it was good to see some familiarity.  The kids were super helpful in getting us set up.  Rachel started to organize her art supplies and Ian set about getting the Man Cave in order. Beth has been the quarterback of the move and as we all know this is one of many places she excels.  As we sit here a week later, all boxes have been unpacked and you would have no idea we just moved here except for a few pictures getting hung.  We slept in our new house on Wednesday and it was so nice to be home again!  She has a gift!

First Day of School
Talk about hitting the ground running, the kids had no hesitation about starting school. If anything I think they both were excited to go; maybe a little structure in their lives was something they subconsciously craved, or that is what Beth and I were channeling :-).   Rachel is in Mrs. Agovina's class and from everything we have seen and heard she is going to be amazing. Plus there are only 18 kids in class!  Ian has Mrs. Pepe (think Italian) and paid her the highest compliment comparing her favorably to Mrs. Alterman, his teacher from last year who he adored. High praise!  Rey both knew a few kids going into their first day which eased the transition.  The beauty of being 9 or 6 years old is how quick you make friends.  Ian also commented how great the school was, "when we have art or science we leave our classroom and they have a room setup for each of those."  

I am totally blown away that I now work at Google.  I am constantly amazed t the pace and culture of innovation. It helps when you are printing money, but there is nothing they touch that they don't appear to be trying to innovate, in addition to making a self driving car!  For those that are not familiar, I am what they call a Noogler (new Googler) for my first few months. There is so much going on here that everyone admits there is no way to know it all, but yo eventually learn enough to get around and do your job.  One other thing many of you might not know is that they feed us early and often. My office is located above Chelsea Market and we have three micro kitchens on my floor filled with cereal, snacks of all varieties, drinks, candy, nuts, fruit, etc., all free.  Then they have a cafeteria one floor below me where the serve breakfast and lunch with another 4 themed restaurants across the street.  All of this is gratis and the good is not sloppy joes, it is cuisine made by their staff of chefs.  I'm going to feature a few items each week, so this week I will highlight a few dishes to give you a flavor:
- maple glazed salmon
- spinach with garlic, lemon and petite raisins
- hangar steak with balsamic reduction sauce
- frittata with tomatoes, leeks, and asparagus (breakfast)
- desserts - s'mores pastry, pumpkin brûlée, chocolate-peanut butter fudge (this was yesterday)

They talk about the Google 15 but if you want to eat healthy there is a full salad bar at each lunch so I'm home free. 

So I'm getting plenty of experience being away from my car as I'm on trains about 140 minutes a day. Here is my home station.  

Our adventures have been somewhat limited but we got to Ridgewood and while it is a little bigger than other towns, it was still charming.  We found a great pizza place in town and look forward to going back to explore it a bit more. 

Fall is Starting
It's hard to believe we have only been here 2 weeks but we are feeling very settled in and looking forward to Fall weather complete with watching the Fall colors and experiencing apple picking. Here is a picture of Woodcliff Lake as a reference point, we cannot wait to see heat this looks like in another month. 


  1. I love this blog! I feel like I am there with you guys! :) I also think I need to get a job at Google.

  2. No one has ever made Jersey sound so good. From a girl born and raised til 8 years old - thanks for bringing shine to the Garden State.

  3. SOOOOOOOO cool! I love this blog! I'm so glad that everything is going well with you guys and you are geting all settled in. I had no doubt Beth would have you unpacked within minutes! Mike, can you get me a job at Google? I want to be a Noogle too!!

  4. I am so excited, happy, THRILLED for you and this wonderful change!!
    P.S. I'm incredibly jealous, too :0) in the best possible way.... Congrats again, Mike :0)

  5. Google 15 sounds right up my alley :-)