Mrs. Fitzpatrick was hoping to give us an update on her travels, but apparently Internet access is a bit spotty in the wild English countryside. Instead, you get to hear about the Brits in the great state of New Jersey!
One of the things I like about visiting my home state is the age of some of the surroundings. You can’t go two miles without seeing a “George Washington Slept Here” or similar sort of historical marker. (Sure, in California you have the Spanish missions and the occasional Native American burial ground that serves as the foundation for a shopping mall. But there’s a distinct feeling of newness to the buildings that I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to.)
This weekend, not only did I have the requisite good pizza and bagels, I also was around to witness the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Bound Brook. The good people of Bound Brook and South Bound Brook celebrated by reenacting the battle in full Revolutionary War regalia. (My brother, who lives a half hour away in Princeton, also noted that he saw some red coats out and about near the Princeton battlefield when he was getting his morning coffee.) I swear to you that I never experienced anything like this in my town when I was growing up. There were always Revolutionary War things going on in other towns—the most entertaining being the reenactment of Washington crossing the Delaware every year on December 25—but the most exciting local event I ever attended was the South Bound Brook flea market! So what a surprise to suddenly feel like I was in Stars Hollow rather than home. (Though unlike the Battle of Stars Hollow, the red coats and Hessian mercenaries really did show up in Bound Brook.)
All weekend I kept hearing Lydia Bennet’s voice from the 1995 Pride & Prejudice sighing while envisioning a whole campful of soldiers. That isn’t actually a quote of Lydia from the book, but I never get tired of Julia Sawalha‘s delightful reaction to the idea of seeing so many soldiers in Brighton. I wonder if the young ladies of the area were equally swoony over the Colonial soldiers that were walking around town. I, for one, found the current-day soldiers on both sides of the battle charming. (And, I suspect, a lot cleaner than the men they were portraying.)