Driving to New Jersey, Alone

The soundtrack for the trip was mostly Bon Jovi. The route was a relatively straight shot down I-87 and then an hour or so on the Garden State Parkway. The destination was PMI International Stone Importers in Marlboro, New Jersey. The trip was a solo one, as Andy didn’t want to drive that distance. The pay-off: our granite countertop selection would be chosen solely by me.

After a weekend in Boston, getting up at 4:30 AM to be on the road by 5:00 AM was a poorly-planned-out bit of over-scheduling, but somehow I did it. It was fine until I hit that dreaded Garden State Parkway, where suddenly the lanes narrowed to incomprehensibly-tiny size, exits popped up left and right, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic was going way too fast for my comfort level. But when in Rome, you go with the fast-moving flow and before long I was calm, darting in and out with the best of them.

The woman who was at the desk was the epitome of New Jersey – thick accent, loud and overbearing demeanor, and a fluffy fur vest that looked like it came directly off the back of New Jersey Housewife Teresa Giudice. In other words, I loved her. After screaming at someone on the phone, she offered me a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate, and soon we were touring the immense 55,000 square-foot granite warehouse.

Our lot of Betulare was sandwiched between other slabs, so she asked the workers on hand to move them out of the way. While the crane worked its high tension magic, we walked around and perused some other granite pieces, Shannon marking down lot numbers and locations in the event that the piece we had on hold didn’t match up to what it looked like online.

While I wasn’t happy with the one they had reserved, I loved the next slab over – the same Betulare style, but much richer and more varied in its veining, more dramatic in its movement, and more the original look we had in mind. She marked them with our names on red tape. It was done in about fifteen minutes, and then I was back on the road.

The kitchen renovation plan was almost complete. And just in time…

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