Opinion: Trenton, N.J., Greece of the Northeast
Last year my husband and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to North Africa and Turkey. Thanks to a teacher grant, I studied Islamic culture and the history of mathematics in Marrakesh, Cairo and Istanbul. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. And with my newfound confidence in grant writing, I applied for what was sure to be an equally remarkable trip to Greece this year. Admittedly, this second proposal wasn’t my best work – I did only have three days to pull it together – but I still felt certain I would win. Like the classic John Cusack film, it was a sure thing.
Despite my clever title “Greece Lightening: A High Speed Journey through the Isles of Mathematical Innovation,” I was denied. Now what was I supposed to do this summer? Doo shared my disappointment, as we had already booked a cave hotel on Santorini and planned our re-enactment of the original “Clash of the Titans” on Samos.
Not to be undone, we regrouped and began looking for another vacation spot. Without a major philanthropic group to foot the bill, it had to be cheap. International travel was out, as was anything on a coast; the airfare was simply outrageous. We considered driving, but all of the cities within a few hours scored low on our interest scale. Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Detroit? Been there, done that. Where was the adventure? Where was the exotic food and culture? Not in the Midwest, that’s for sure. So it seemed we’d be stuck in the northern ‘burbs of Indy come June. Bluh.
Then, out of the blue, I received an email from Doo: “How about Trenton?” What? Where the hell is Trenton? “I can get us flights for $70 roundtrip!” Sold. Book it. And get me a map.
Turns out Trenton, though not so lovely in and of itself, is very close to some rather picturesque towns like Princeton and Burlington. The city center is also on a light rail line that can have you in New York City in 90 minutes. So guess who’s going to Trenton, N.J., for a three day extravaganza?
Sure, it’s not Greece, but I’m actually really excited about the weekend. I’ve never been to the area before, and I love discovering new places with my spouse. And any time away from the kids is a good time, even if it’s in New Jersey. Besides, going in to Manhattan for a day will probably feel like a foreign country when compared to Indiana. I don’t speak New Yorker, so mischief and mayhem are sure to abound.
Next summer I’ll hopefully be reporting from Greece, but this year it’s Trenton, N.J. Peace out.