We definitely needed to lighten the mood around here so after a night (finally) of uninterrupted sleep we packed up and headed into the wild outdoors. (Thanks for the awesome advice everyone, but I was desperate last night and took a Tylenol PM.)
The fresh air was calling so over the George Washington Bridge we went to our favorite park, other than Central Park of course. Van Saun Park is nestled in the mall crazy town of Paramus, NJ. According to Wikipedia, Paramus is one of the largest shopping meccas in the country, with over $5 billion in annual retail sales, more than any other ZIP Code in the United States. Because of all of the malls, strip malls and distractions Paramus does a good job of making you think that you need to shop, shop, shop! You would never even know that Van Saun Park existed. But it does…….
So, we drove right on by those crazy, yet sweet ponies and went to ummmm…..feed the geese and ducks. I know, I know. We fed the geese. No more geese police for me. We fed them Cheerios today and they were quite well behaved. There were a few moments when, I have to admit, my husband and I got a little scared, but I totally blame those Bronx geese who scared the poo out of us last November. The trauma those geese caused us has really done some damage I’m afraid. Jack was completely brave and totally protected us by waving his shovel around while saying, “Hi Geese!” Thank goodness someone in this family has the guts to stand up to the geese.
After the tranquil geese feeding we were off to ride the train at the Bergen Zoo, which is also located inside Van Saun Park. You have to drive out of the park and re-enter to get to the zoo, but what can I say? It’s Jersey. The state where you have to go left to make a right and a right to make a left. Sorry all of you from Jersey, but you know it’s true.
We ended the afternoon with a trip to the newly renovated playground. Pictures do not do this playground justice. Maybe I’m just used to New York City playgrounds where glass is embedded in the dirt and the occasional rat will cross your path because I am blown away by this playground. It is gorgeous. It is separated by age, but all are welcome. There is a huge sandbox, at least four swing areas and I have lost count of the slides. Is this normal in the suburbs?? Are all parks like this?? If that is the case than maybe we should start researching a different place to live because every child deserves a playground like the one that we experience when we go to Van Saun Park. I’ve heard it said that New Yorkers have seen everything, but that can’t be true because if New York City parents got a gander (no geese pun intended) at this playground then they would be raising money by the mountain to build one of their own.
We were all exhausted at this point. So with one last spring in our step we made our way back to our car and headed back to the city. The day was wonderful and completely stress free. Thank you Mother Nature for giving us such a beautiful day.