Tag Archives: brook

Adventure of Essex County Kids

I grew up in Essex County, NJ with my Sisters and a whole host of cousins.  Both my parents came from families of 7, my Mom’s side, blended, Dad’s side, not.  My Mom’s immediate family all lived in Ecuador, but she had a first cousin who she lived with when she first came to the US. We spent almost every weekend with her cousin and her family. We all called my Mom’s cousin, “Aunt” since we had no other “Aunt” on my Mom’s side.  Her daughter was like a Sister to me and my Sisters.  My cousin and I spent every other weekend being “best cousins”  since my cousin was very diplomatic and split herself between my younger Sister and me.  (she never missed a week!) We would all play together, but she would just favor me one week and my Sister the next.  It was an understood thing and we just went with it. 🙂

One of the things we used to do as kids was trample around in the woods behind my Cousin’s house, (it was more like a mansion)  It was the house my “Uncle” grew up in, complete with secret back stairs for the days of servants and a servant’s quarters near the kitchen.  It had 2 fireplaces, a library, baby grand piano, a beautiful staircase, gorgeous velvet chairs, a sun room, basement, attic, complete with amazing train sets, 6 bedrooms, claw bathtubs, 5 bathrooms, a porch, 2 car garage, large driveway around the whole house, dog pen, swimming pool, a perfect sledding hill and those woods.  My cousin called it the “Glen” or the “Brook”  When the weather was nice and the water was not up too high, we would venture out for hours.  Sometimes just the cousins, sometimes the neighborhood kids would tag along.  My cousin’s house had back stairs by the old pool that would lead into the “Glen” and that was our entry point.  It was so beautiful and so peaceful. Of course we would be screaming and carrying on, hiking, turning over rocks, daring each other to climb trees that fell across the water, digging for salamanders, hunting for animals, and just having a great adventure.

How I miss those days of reckless abandon.  It was so much fun.  That is probably why, still to this day,  I truly love taking long walks in the woods.  It brings me back to the days I knew well and loved.

Loudly yours.


My only photo of the glen. This was taken with a 110 camera in its original state.

Our Spring Break Trip to Jockey Hollow

This Spring Break, I was fortunate enough to have my Hubby home from work for the whole week.  Having this luxury gave our family the chance to spend more time together and take several trips in the local area.   One of the places we chose was Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ. A historical place that housed the troops of George Washington from 1779 to 1780.  It is a vast area, full of trails, soldier hut replicas, knotty trees, brush and many other interesting things.  There is something so very peaceful about the woods…even with a bunch of kids running around.  I just love to get re-energized walking through it. There is something so special to me, being in the woods. (Just don’t ask me to sleep there overnight.)

We met with my Sister and her 3 boys, headed over to the Hollow.

First, we drove through the woods, for what seemed like forever and decided to park near the soldier huts.  We checked it out;

then we decided to hike one of the trails.  We really made our own trail starting at the yellow trail by the soldier’s huts and cutting into the blue trail to keep it just long enough with the kids.

They had a tendency to run ahead of us parents.

Sometimes we would catch up with them, but they were always in our sight.

It was fun looking at the crooked trees and the budding trees at the beginning of Spring.

We had a lot of fun hiking through the woods and finding the intricacy of the paths as we walked along.

On our chosen path, there was even a brook, babbling alongside us as we walked.

My favorite.

There was even a bridge for the perfect photo op…


It was fun to watch the kids interact with each other and enjoy the fresh air of the woods.

At the end of our trail, everyone was ready for a snack and to head back home. The perfect day trip on our Spring Break!

Loudly yours,