Monday, August 01, 2011

New Jersey

My Scion Road Trip continues to New Jersey.  Now I've heard all of the jokes about New Jersey and although I have been to New Jersey a few times, most of those by accidentally missing the last exit to Philadelphia, I really had no idea what to expect when I went to visit Phyllis.

Phillis received a liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic over a year ago, but I really didn't know her too well.  She only came to our support group meetings after her transplant, so I really only got a chance to see her a few times.  Thanks to Facebook, we have become online friends but when I mentioned my road trip she asked if I'd like to make her home one of my stops?

I was a little nervous.  Not because I'd be going to New Jersey, but because I wasn't sure if I was going to find some common interests with Phyllis and her husband.  You know, if we could carry on a conversation!  Turns out I didn't have any problems and I adored them both. 

Phyllis and I hung out in her studio for quite awhile chit chatting and taking pictures of paintbrushes in the mirror, of us in the mirror, plants on her patio, silk flowers in a vase, etc.  I don't look nearly as comfortable on the floor as Phyllis does.  Her hands look so soft and mine look like they are holding on to my camera for dear life.   

Phyllis is a painter and in this house she had a studio built for her with skylights above and lots of windows.  She even had some shelving made to accommodate many paintings. 

This is her current painting, still in progress.  We played around with our camera settings with the painting by getting as close as possible and moving out until it was in focus. 

Phyllis has shown her art in many galleries and also had a class that she taught on Tuesdays to a wonderful group of ladies.  A professional photographer took this photo for them (I took a picture of the picture) and I just thought it revealed so much about the people Phyllis hangs out with -- they are fun!

These small green pods are not going to put forth a small delicate flower.  No, no.  These buds are going to reveal some of the largest hibiscus flowers I have ever seen.

Phyllis spotted these by her husband's office and suggested we go by and take some pictures, even though it was nearly 100º outside that day.  When she pulled into the lot where the bushes were located I was truly flabbergasted at how big they were!

I have a fairly small hand, but still, just look at the comparison with that flower!

There was a pink bush, too, and the flowers were just as huge. 

We drove around the city where she lives, drove by a Quaker Cemetery (It was quite plain, as you might imagine) and she showed me their lovely little downtown area.  I can see why Phyllis loves her little community in New Jersey.  I can't wait to come back and visit for more than a day. 

Thanks so much, Phyllis for such a wonderful time.  I had a blast and I'm so grateful that you asked me to stop by.  I am now a fan of New Jersey, too!  Maybe it really is the garden state?!

Have a great day!


Ann in the UP said...

OOOO, aaahhh, gorgeous!

Those hibiscus are AMAZing!!! I have to go out and take an August 1 picture now.

Phyllis looks like a person well worth knowing! I really liked New Jersey when I was there.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your visit with Phyllis certainly sounds like it went extremely well.
She is very talented. I love your pictures and I love the painting she is working on.

lisleman said...

One of the best things of travel - pleasant surprises. Nice post

Mrs4444 said...

Awesome. Loved this post. I enjoyed the story of your visit as well as the pics.

Why do I want to eat that last flower? I must be going mental...

42N said...

Phyllis is a good sport. Nice story and, of course, the photos are pretty darn good!

Lisa said...

What a beautiful studio!!!!! It's funny, I was worried about having something to talk about with you, and you had the same worry with Phyllis. I am still so grateful for the time we were able to spend together. Wishing I had planned it out better to show you more.

Christine said...

Nice story...and lovely photos. I stumbled across your blog, and I like your perspective. Nice storytelling. Phyllis is my aunt, and she is a hoot. Very talented as well. I bet you guys had a great time together. Thanks for letting the rest of the world know about her kind spirit.