Visiting my Sister and Rafting on the Delaware River

After visiting friends Jen and Michael I drove to northern New Jersey to visit my sister, Tina. My mother and her father were married for about a decade while we were growing up and we spent every other weekend together as kids. Lots of fond memories. To make a long and personal story short, Tina and I accidently lost contact and were only able to find each other again in December. Since then we’ve been talking all the time but this was the first time I’ve gotten to see her in almost ten years. It was like we just picked up where we left off, like we never lost contact. Of course we still look like we’re in our early twenties, so there’s that. But in all seriousness, even though we more or less lived our adult lives apart and there’s a lot of day to day reality stuff that we’re still catching up on, it’s evident that we still share a bond that’s just as strong as blood. She is one of only a handful of people who have given me unconditional support and I love her for not only that, but for the amazing person she was, is, and always has been. Okay, so I’ll stop embarrassing her now and get on with it.

These days Tina lives in New Jersey with her amazing husband, Kurt and their two awesome kids, McKenzie and Gabe. I stayed the first week of July with them and I can honestly say I’ve rarely had so much fun. Really, I just love her family. They also made me feel so welcome in so many ways. I mean, the night I arrived Kurt ran out to the grocery store and unbeknownst to me bought a bunch of specialty ingredients to make me vegan zucchini bread after researching recipes on the sly! Everyone was beyond generous the entire time I was there and accommodating to my diet too – it was really sweet. Love you guys!!!

My first full day there we drove up to Matamoras, Pennsylvania to go rafting on the Delaware River. The Delaware is pretty calm with only a couple class twos on the six mile stretch we floated so it was fun without being at all dangerous. Recent heavy rains caused the river to be very muddy and brown but the cliffs and trees overlooking the river were really beautiful. It was a pretty relaxing paddle and we had a good time splashing each other and laughing. Our lunch spot was a flat rock outcropping on the New York side where we were joined by our friend Chuck the Duck who followed us for the first half of our trip.

As I mentioned in the past few posts, I was at the time without a camera. Fortunately Tina is quite a photographer so she brought along her waterproof camera. Except that once we got there we realized the battery had failed to charge. So Kurt made a mad dash from the shuttle bus to the rafting place office and picked up two disposable waterproof cameras. Needless to say, there will be no beautiful, scenic photos in this post. What you will see however are five people having a great time.

Starting off! Kurt, Gabe, McKenzie, and I paddling, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Starting off! Kurt, Gabe, McKenzie, and I paddling, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Gabe and McKenzie in bow, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Gabe and McKenzie in bow, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Cliffs on the Pennsylvania side, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Cliffs on the Pennsylvania side, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Me, Tina, and McKenzie, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Me, Tina, and McKenzie, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

My sister’s family, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

My sister’s family, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina and I, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina and I, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt and Gabe, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Kurt and Gabe, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Me, Tina, and McKenzie, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Me, Tina, and McKenzie, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Cliffs on New York side near take out, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Cliffs on New York side near take out, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina having a good time, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York

Tina having a good time, Delaware River, Pennsylvania/New York