Our Jersey Adventurer At The Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum is the most somber and important locations I have visited.  My husband and I stopped by one Saturday afternoon in October on our way back from a random beach.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I was taken aback by the fully-restored UH-1D helicopter (more commonly known as the Huey) perched on a pole right in front of the museum.  Upon entering the museum, we noticed that we were the only visitors there.  A friendly gift shop cashier suggested we take a guided tour with a veteran.  Our tour guide, Jim McGinnis, was incredible. He guided us through the entire grounds, starting with the US War Dogs memorial, which was erected to honor to tens of thousands of dogs and their handlers that have served in the Armed Forces since World War I.  Jim regaled us with stories of his tour of duty in Vietnam while also showing us dozens of pictures he took.  The Memorial itself is an open area surrounded by 366 black granite panels arranged in a circle.  Each panel represents month and day, and lists the names of the New Jersey residents who sacrificed their lives during the Vietnam War, on that particular day, along with the year they passed away.  The museum offered an informative juxtaposition of the happenings of pop culture in government leading up to, and through, the Vietnam War, both un the United States and in Vietnam. On our way out, Jim began telling us the story behind the Huey on display in front of the museum.  When I told him that I was a student pilot, we instantly bonded and shared stories of our respective experiences in helicopters (with his stories being exponentially more exciting than mine).  I highly recommend this location for students, veterans, history buffs, and military families.






Meeting halfway

How do you and your co-parent arrange parenting time exchanges?   Does one parent do all the driving?   Do you share the driving?   The Court recently opined that parents should meet halfway!

In the recently decided (Sept. 5th) Appellate Division case of Devorak v. Devorak, a Father appealed a trial court’s decision that required the parties to share the driving responsibilities to facilitate his alternate weekend parenting time with their 9 year old child.

Father filed a motion at the trial court level seeking, among other things, an Order compelling the parties to equally share the driving responsibilities relative to his parenting time.  Mother filed a cross-motion compelling Father to “be required to do all the traveling in connection with his visitations.”

The deadlock arose from both parties’ history of moving between residences following their divorce.  At the time of their divorce, both parties lived in Woodbridge.  As per the parties’ Agreement, Father did the pick-ups and drop-offs for his alternate weekend parenting time.

However, Mother then moved to New York City and the parties entered into a consent order wherein Father agreed to continue doing all transportation relative to his parenting time, pending Mother’s relocation back to New Jersey.  Unfortunately, the parties’ consent order did not set forth a specific plan as to what the parties’ transportation arrangements would be after Mother effectuated her move, nor did it delineate a distance from Father or area wherein she would move.

Eventually, Mother moved to Roseland, New Jersey and Father moved to Ewing, New Jersey, which is approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes away (per GoogleMaps).

The Court found that Father “established a significant change in circumstances warranting a modification of a prior order regarding pick up and drop off….”. The trial Court also stated that “it is fair and equitable [for the parties] to share in the transportation responsibility” and ordered the parties to “agree to a pick up and drop off location equidistant between their current residences.”

On appeal, Mother argued that the trial court made an error in entering an order that modified the parties’ divorce agreement, and that Father did not have to pay alimony and paid “modest” child support in exchange for having agreed to do all the driving for parenting time. Mother also argued that she had to do all of the transportation for her other child from her subsequent marriage in support of her position.  The Appellate Court was unimpressed with Mother’s arguments, and affirmed the trial court’s findings that the parties should MEET HALFWAY.

Our Jersey Adventurer Visits Alpacas

Jersey Shore Alpacas is a whimsical little farm hidden in Cape May.  My husband and I were lucky enough to get a private tour on a Sunday in May, before their busy season.  The owner happily provided us with pre-packed bags of carrots to entice the ultra-social woolly inhabitants.  Some of the alpacas were amenable to pats on the neck.  None of them wanted the perfect tufts on their heads to be touched.  Others were interested solely in the crunchy orange offerings that they knew we had.  The $25 fee for a private tour (four up to four people) is worth it to get up close and friendly with the friendly lumbering herd.  The alpacas seemed to become comfortable with us being in their pen after a few minutes, and turned their attention to spitting their freshly chewed carrots at each other in a fashion that made them sound like mini mortars.  After all of our peace offerings had been exhausted, we visited the gift shop, which was full of hats, gloves, socks, scarves, and fabric woven from various kinds of alpaca fleece. I left as a very satisfied customer with a baby alpaca scarf.*

*No baby alpacas were harmed in making the scarf.  Baby alpaca wool is the name for the extra soft fleece taken from the underbelly of the animal.