The Traveling Steve's

Clearance shopping, dummies, and work week in New Jersey

After returning home from Saõ Paulo, I had the rest of the week at home in Orlando.  I work remote ‘home  office’ when I’m not traveling, which is not very often, but typically around the holiday weeks due to their shorter work week.  I then traveled up to Newark New Jersey this week for work, but first had a bit of weekend shopping to do before I went.

Steve (DOS) and I went to the mall over the weekend to get some winter jackets that were on clearance at Dillard’s.  One of the nice things about living in Florida is mild climate, so the season for winter clothes is very short. We each got a couple jackets marked off 65% the original price, and then another 40% off of that!  Talk about a bargain, and good quality coats too.

We then walked to Macy’s and were disappointed to see they were already liquidating the store.  I had heard Macy’s was shutting down some 80 stores, but didn’t realize it was so soon.  They were literally selling everything too – including shelving units, carts, and even the dummies! No, we didn’t buy any dummies, but they would make some great Halloween props!

 And no, we didn’t buy this ‘Christmas tree’; actually what was formerly an in-store display for Christmas ornament sales.  I did buy some Christmas napkins, stockings, and coasters that were marked off nearly 90%! 

I also had to go to the Apple store and get my iPad Pro replaced as I had a bit of screen damage from dropping it a while back.  It still worked but part of the screen was cracked and the front camera no longer worked.  Apple make great quality products, and while their ‘appointment’ system seems a bit quirky, it really does speed things up when you need a repair or new product offering just released.  We have the Apple-Care plan, and the nice lady at the store replaced my iPad Pro for a brand new one for the $49 charge per the contract – even for my accidental damage – great deal!

As it turns out the weather in New Jersey this week was fairly mild, but I took my newly bought  lightweight blue jacket which was so comfortable.  I flew from Orlando to Newark and back this week nonstop on Jet Blue, on this Embraer 190 jet.Although I don’t take Jet Blue often, I love this airline – they really do things right.  While it’s an all coach configuration, their seats have more legroom than others, and I always pay a bit extra ($40 or $45 each way) to get the ‘Even more space’, which is definitely worth it for me, as you get priority boarding and a nice 38″inch seat pitch.  Both flights up and back were on an Embraer 190, which is a smaller but comfortable jet with 2 X 2 seating, compared to the 3 X 3 seating on their other Airbus 320 planes.

Jet Blue offers not only free ‘Live TV’ and music channels, complimentary soft drinks and snacks, plus free wi-fi!  I pay $50 a month for American Airline’s internet service – Go Go Inflight, and it fails miserably compared to Jet Blue’s free ‘Fi Fi’ network.  While I did pay $25 each way for a bag, Jet Blue offers excellent value and the Flight Attendants are normally up beat and fun.

When I got to Newark, I took the tram to the rental car center.  That’s one thing I like about Newark Airport; you don’t have to take a bus to the rental car facility, just a monorail.  I then rented a car at National Car Rental and drove to the Homewood Suites in Cranton, NJ, only about 15 minutes from the airport.  I had stayed here last year, and was planning on staying there all week.  I had a nice ‘Premium Room’, and that included all of these complimentary snacks and waters!  At first I thought it was a paid mini-bar type setup, but it had a plaque saying it was including with the Premium Room rate – who knew?  I had just booked a regular King, but must have gotten an upgrade with my Hilton Diamond Lifetime status.

Anyway, as my faded memory at age 54 would have it, I actually stayed in the wrong city!   Actually I think I just got my many projects mixed up, as I had been to Newark several times last year, most recently before Christmas, and didn’t verify the project I was working on when I booked my trip.  It wasn’t until I GPS’d my phone Tuesday morning for directions to the site, when I realized I was an hour and 20 minutes from where I was going to be working!  I checked out of the Homewood Suites after only one night, and then drove to Clinton, New Jersey, where I had also stayed last year when working on this project I had gotten mixed up with the other.  Clinton is a small town that feels very remote from the big cities of Newark and New Jersey, which are only an hour or so but a world away.  I stayed once again at the Holiday Inn in Clinton primarily because it had a restaurant, and there are very few places in town to eat, although it does have an indoor pool and game room, reminiscent of the old Holiday Inn “Holidome” days.

The town of Clinton does have a McDonalds  (slightly past the main street and heading out of town) that was a ‘museum’-like McDonalds, with lots of McDonald’s memorabilia in cases and nostalgic photos hanging on the walls.

I had a very busy week and worked long hours on this project; with the Wednesday cutover working from 7:30am until after midnight with no break for dinner, and only brought in pizza for lunch.  Fortunately my co-worker Rick from upstate NY was here working with me, so we had some good laughs, and one good dinner Thursday night.

Our Thursday night dinner at the Clinton House  Restaurant,  was by far the best meal we had all week, not to mention the best restaurant in town (there were only maybe half a dozen places in this rural area), and it was a high quality and historic restaurant, that had been around for decades.  From the outside it looks like a large classy hotel or inn, but from the inside it has a rustic casual elegance to it, with soft lighting and even Christmas garland lighting creating a warm and cheerful mood.

We had a brewski at the bar before heading to our table in the dining room.  

We then headed to our seats in the adjoining dining room for dinner. The restaurant’s ambiance was also warm and friendly, overseen by an excellent staff, and beautifully decorated with ornate woods, wall paintings and memorabilia, and made especially inviting with the soothing and warm centerpiece fireplace.

The restaurant serves up several signature steaks as well as seafood and other dishes, and has a nice wine list to compliment the meal.  I had one of the specials of the evening, which was a ‘Bourbon-glazed’ ribeye, which was enormous!

Coupled with a Simi Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a terrific meal after such a busy work week.  Heading home to Orlando tomorrow!


2 thoughts on “Clearance shopping, dummies, and work week in New Jersey

  1. edward gonzalez


    1. Steve Uno Post author

      Wow Ed – you never told me that story! Sounds like a fun night with a very nice family! We love their stores.

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