I arrived in NJ a little bit ahead of Gustavo, and right on the heels (literally right on the heels) of getting my permanent visa in Brazil. It had been a few months, and I wanted to get a little quality time with my mom while also enjoying a TON of the little American conveniences and luxuries I missed while in Brazil.
About two weeks later, Gustavo joined me via our now favorite direct flight from GIG to JFK. We spent the week in my mom’s house while she took a quick vacation to the Jersey Shore. Gustavo has spent a fair amount of time in the United States before, but not as much in the New York/New Jersey area and I am consistently gung-ho to share with him all my favorite parts of the place where I grew up.
We hit up some of my favorite food spots in North Jersey. For some reason, in July, I could not stop talking about donuts. I wanted a donut so bad! Problem: I don’t eat gluten, and gluten-free donuts in Brazil are non-existent. So one of our first stops was at The Squirrel and the Bee, a grain-free/gluten-free bakery in Summit, NJ. I had a donut as an appetizer and then had a waffle with spinach and eggs on top for breakfast. (Sounds weird, was amazing.) So good! On the way back, we stopped at Drew University, my alma mater, for a quick walk and then spent some time wandering around Madison.
Later in the week, we took a trip down to the Jersey Shore to get dinner with my mom. As a kid, I went to the Shore every single year with my family, so it has a lot of good memories for me. Getting to show Gustavo the boardwalk, playing in the arcade, riding a rollercoaster, and, of course, getting some ice cream was a ton of fun. And he even conceded to us taking a picture in front of the Jersey Shore house together. (I still have to get him to watch this.)
During the rest of the week, we made our way to Crossfit Caldwell for a few classes, Bareburger for some delicious noms, and even spent a lot longer than you would expect exploring the aisles of Whole Foods which we determined to be a mix of Casas São Pedro, Hortifruti, and Guanabara.