We always anticipate a road trip with great enthusiasm. Our oldest son, Brennan, and his wife, Hannah, live in Washington, DC and carving a weekend in busy December to travel to Boston was a challenge. Meeting half-way in Princeton, New Jersey, however, was a bit more doable. Despite Lin’s bum foot, she was game for the trip and I was ecstatic. Road trip!!! East coast states are small … four hours travel, 270 miles through four states. After several days of grey skies, we woke to sunshine for a change … a great day for a trip.
Princeton, New Jersey is a university town … home of the prestigious Ivy-league Princeton University. Princeton was founded in 1746 and, according to Wiki, has been associated with 37 Nobel laureates, 17 National Medal of Science winners, two Abel Prize winners, eight Fields Medalists (more than any other university), nine Turing Award laureates, three National Humanities Medal recipients and 204 Rhodes Scholars. By endowment per student, Princeton is the wealthiest school in the United States with over 21 billion dollars in endowments. Two U.S. Presidents (James Madison and Woodrow Wilson) and three vice presidents (who cares?) have graduated from Princeton University, making it the fourth largest producer of commander-in-chiefs and veeps. Albert Einstein lived in Princeton for over 20 years. Pretty impressive, huh? All that, and ivy on the walls!
We weren’t here for a university education, but university towns are always interesting and offer lots to visitors. Brennan and Hannah arrived mid-afternoon, and after hugs, beers and some Christmas present opening, we bundled up and headed downtown for a little exploring before dinner. The downtown was a-glitter with twinkling lights, classy Christmas decorations and Christmas trees. It was wonderful … candy for the eyes.
We found the pleasant, very-crowded Triumph brew-pub and bellied up to the bar to warm up … inside and out. We all ordered a different brew and sampled each others. Needless to say, we were quite jovial and spirits ran high after an hour or so of “warming up”.
Dinner followed at Agricola, a farm-to-table type eatery, specializing in “seasonal American dining”. Having been a Latin teacher in my younger days (yes, I hate to admit it, but I taught high school Latin at one point in my life), I made a point of declining this noun for my family and pointing out it is one of the few first declension Latin nouns that is masculine. They were not impressed. Old joke: Latin teachers never die; they just decline. David was missed, but we Skyped while we were all together, so got a chance to talk to everyone.
Lin and I returned to Princeton University in the morning and wandered around so we could appreciate the campus and grounds in the daylight. It’s a grand place … stately and steeped in history and tradition.
All in all, a good road trip and a great visit. Now for the ride home!