Yep – Instagram too!

“A picture is worth a thousand words”

instagram-logoNow, more than ever, does this quote ring true in our very digitial world.  Everyone is snapping and sharing and uploading pictures at an unbelieviabel rate.

Add KMM to this list 🙂

KMM is now sharing and liking on Instagram.

Follow us.  Share with us and together, we can make our commutes happier and safer!

See on there mgpharmacie.com!

Lace up your Sneakers

roosevelt-park-middlesex-countyjpg-1f9815b2dbf4c121With the weather slowly (very slowly) warming up,  everyone is spending more and more time outside walking, playing or just enjoying the fresh air.

Here in New Jersey, we are very lucky to have some of the most beautiful parks to explore  and we also have many communities that boast hiking trails and fun parks.

But before you lace up your sneakers, here are some walking safety tips.

Visibility – Make sure that you can be seen.
  • Wear bright-colored or light-colored clothing such as a cap, hat, jacket, vest  to make you more visible to other ans drivers.
  • Attach a piece of high visibility fluorescent material to your purse, backpack, briefcase, or any item in plain view.
Awareness – Make sure someone knows of your plans if you are hiking.
  • Inform family or a friend if you are planning a hike or long walk.
  • Make sure to have a bottle of water and some fruit or nutrition bars.
  • Bring your charged cellphone and a back-up battery.
Community Walking – Walking in the city poses many risks.  Know what is expected of you as a pedestrian

  • Cross only at corners or designated crosswalks.
  • Stop at the curb and look left-right-left.
  • Before stepping off the curb, be sure all vehicles have stopped. Make sure drivers see you.
  • Walk in front of parked cars instead of behind them whenever possible.
  • Listen for engine noise
  • Look for back-up lights.
Walking can be an enjoyable way to not only explore your community but it’s a great way to exercise too!  Happy Walking!
Photo Credit: Roosevelt Park, Middlesex County, NJ

New Jersey Commuter’s Guide to Super Bowl XLVIII

super-bowl-48-broncos-vs.-seahawksWell, the week we have all been waiting for is finally here!

Super Bowl XLVIII is in full swing and in a few short days, the Seattle Seahawks will meet the Denver Broncos right here in Jersey!

For commuters, this week can be a little more hectic than normal.  But since we are #jerseystrong, we don’t mind the extra traffic or people on our commute.  In fact, the more the merrier!

Here is what you need to know:

Highways – Most of the Route 3, Route 17, Route 21, Route 120, NJ Turnpike area will see increased traffic up until game day.  Additionally, Route 80, Route 46 and the bridges and tunnels will see increases too! If you can, avoid driving through the area and try to find an alternate route.  Sign up for 511nj.org alerts (you can register for just this week too) and you will receive all the alerts you need.  Also, check with coworkers and neighbors and make the commute with a friend and carpool!

Mass Transit users – Expect company on the trains this week.  As the week progresses, consider telecommuting to avoid the crowds, if telecommuting is an option.  If not, accept that trains will be more crowded and show our new friends how great Jersey can be.  For those of you with the super saver passes, remember you can also show that pass to a host of eateries across NJ for discounts on your meals!  For complete info, visit the #njtransit website.

Game Day – If you are one of the lucky people with tickets, keep in mind fan screenings begin at 2pm on game day.  Expect various check points to ensure everyone’s safety.  For a complete list of do’s and don’ts, check out the NJ State Police’s informative post!

Jersey House Party – Yes, we Jersey folks know how to put on a party and since we encourage everyone to stay off the roads, check out theses terrific party ideas from New Jersey’s very own Party Bluprints.

Now let’s just hope the weather cooperates……

Say Cheese and Drink Hot Chocolate

WinterPhotoContest2The weather outside is certainly frightful and Winter 2014 is turning out to be memorable –  if nothing else.  So the staff at KMM decided that we need to help make the winter commute brighter and warmer.

Beginning this month and running until supplies last, KMM will send every commuter who submits a photo of their winter commute (either via our Facebook page or via wintercommute@kmm,org) a packet of delicious hot chocolate!  Once the photos are submitted, fellow commuters and Facebook fans can vote on their favorite photo.  The photo with the most votes at the end of the program will receive the Grand Prize Gift Basket filled with winter goodies.

As for the photos?

Be creative.  Whether you carpool, vanpool, take mass transit, ride a bike or drive alone – take a picture of what you winter commute looks like.

There is a delicious hot cup of chocolate waiting to be sent just to you!

Happy and Safe Commute!

We do remind everyone, to exercise safety and common sense when taking their photos.  Please do not take photos while driving.

New York City by Four

1497648_688135747892945_821497177_nThe Big Apple during the Holiday Season is truly magical – especially through the eyes of  a child experiencing it for the very first time.

Recently, I took a day off from keeping Middlesex moving (no worries, Middlesex kept moving because of our terrific staff) and I practiced what I preached.

Together with my husband and two absolutely delighted children, we drove to our local train station.  And because we were commuting with children, we raced to grab the NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor train bound for the Big Apple just in the nick of time.

The train ride into NYC was filled with late morning commuters who I swore, cracked a smile when they noticed my gleeful children asking the train agent if she had hot chocolate to share , “You know, like on the Polar Express!”

Soon we pulled into New York Penn Station and we tightly gripped the children’s hands and headed up to the busy Manhattan streets, that under the gray skies truly looked like they were paved with glitter.

On foot, we navigated the Avenues pointing out landmarks the children had either seen on tv or read about – until we reached our destination –  Rockefeller Center.

Despite the complaints about the long, fast paced walk, the pay-off was priceless.

After completing the obligatory holiday stops: the Christmas Spectacular, visiting the Lego, American Girl and FAO Schwartz stores and a quick prayer in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we piled into a bona fide yellow NYC cab at rush hour to meet with friends for dinner in Tribeca.  “No seatbelts!?!??!” cried the kids in glee.

Dinner was splendid and filled with much laughter and smiles despite the trip being almost over.  But the trip would not be complete without a ride down under – that is, the subway.  So as the night came to close, we hoped on the 2 express and grabbed the only available seat and huddled together as we swayed along the bumps and jerks of the New York Subway.

As we waited for the NJ TRANSIT train home in the nicely decorated waiting area, the children were still smiling ear to ear.

“Thank you Mommy and Daddy. I wish we could do this every year!”

We saw New York City by four with four and created memories that I hope, they will enjoy for a long time!

 

 

 

Over the River and Through the Woods

It’s that time….Tis the season to travel over the rive and through the woods for…..

Seasonal dinners.

Visits to family and friends.

Shopping and sightseeing.

Ice Skating and a tree lighting.

Yes, the 2013 Holiday season is here! This year, enjoy comfort and convenience and avoid the hassles of traffic and parking by taking mass transit trains or buses this season. Let KMM’s interactive map help plan your trip and while you are online, register for the new INN – Information Notification Network traffic alerts.

From our families to yours, a safe and joyous holiday season!untitled

Join INN

INNIn the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, one thing was clear. Information is key and getting it fast is essential. With widespread power outages, many of our commuters depended on their smart phone to get information during and after the storm. Armed with this knowledge, KMM has completely re-invented the ETN to give subscribers a greater degree of information delivered right to their smart phones.

KMM is proud to introduce Middlesex County Information Notification Network – be in the INN and get the information you need.

INN is customizable based on the type of information the user is seeking. INN offers traffic alerts, train alerts, bus alerts, municipal alerts and ozone alerts, in addition to the many other options. Users can receive this information via text or email and can manage their profile on the KMM website.

INN provides commuters and residents with a central, easy to access information page personalized for their needs. For example, a commuter who lives in Cranbury and commutes to North Brunswick could register for not only traffic alerts, but could register for the municipal alerts for both townships. During emergencies, the commuter will receive the latest information on current road status and other information relevant to the origin and destination points.

Current ETN members have been automatically transferred to the new system without disruption in their selected customized alerts. Already, many have begun to take advantage of new types of alerts INN provides, and it’s all at no cost to subscribers.

We can’t control forces of nature but we can stay informed and connected glucophage xr 1000 mg cena. The KMM staff, like many of the commuters who use our services, understand the need to continually improve upon programs like INN, and we are committed to providing the most comprehensive program we can. Join INN and register for the Middlesex County Information Notification Network by visiting kmm.org/inn.

The Emerald Isle – Changes In Latitude

Polite and friendly people. Warm and delicious brown bread.  Green for more than the eye can see.  Guinness on tap everywhere and anywhere you go.

Where are we?

Ireland, of course – the Emerald Isle.

As the plane descended from the clouds, the morning was bright and beautiful.  And at the expense of sounding cliché, outside our window the greenest fields and lush rolling hills greeted us.

ireland2This was my first trip oversees in many years and the first in which I was leaving my children behind in the care of my parents.  Trying to suppress my anxiety of leaving them, I vowed to make the most of my time in the beautiful city of Dublin.

And what a city it is!

During our week stay, we visited the “must see” sites Dublin primarily by foot and bus……

…St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which unlike the cathedral in New York City is Anglican).

ireland…Trinity College and the splendor of its breath-taking library.

..the Guinness Factory and the tour up to the Sky Bar for a free pint of Guinness – there is a full meal in every pour!ireland3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But of all the tourist sites we visited, by far my favorite was taking the Literary Pub Crawl.  What is better than being immersed in Irish literary history while enjoying a pint at each stop along the tour.  On the night of our walking tour, a light rain fell and we met Yeats, O’Casey, Joyce and Swift along the way on this tour.

And like all good trips, the night before we left, our tour bus made its way up the winding hills and delivered us at the door step of The Merry Ploughboys Pub where we dined, danced and sang as if we were just another fellow family member.

 

 

Mind the Gap – Changes in Latitude

As a mother of two active school-age children living in the New Jersey suburbs, our family vehicle is very much a part of our family.  We drive almost everywhere with children and gear and friends in tow.  Add office life and social commitments – it’s safe to say our lives as professionals and parents and chauffeurs are full.  So you can imagine my absolute delight and glee when my husband and I left the car and our children in the hands of their loving grandparents and flew off to England for a “holiday”/ work combo trip!

Cheers from London!
Cheers from London!

For 10 ten days we navigated the city of London by foot, train, Underground and river boat and were able to capture the true essence of London.  Staying 25-minutes outside of the city for the beginning portion of our trip, each morning with our Oyster Card in hand, we boarded the train and headed into London.  With a quick exchange in the Underground, we made our way to my husband’s office.  Work first and recreation in the afternoon was our motto and it served us well.

The sun shining and the temperatures in the 70’s was quite unusual for London, but we took advantage of all the city had to offer.  A river boat trip down the Thames gave us a glimpse of the hustle and bustle from both sides of the river.  A walk past Parliament, Westminster Abbey and to Buckingham Palace allowed us to take in the sights by foot.  A stop at the local pub allowed us to converse with the locals and rest my poor feet, who had become slaves to my poor shoe choice.

Each day brought us new discoveries – a ripe enormous fig tree nestled in the middle of St. James Park – and visits to sites we enjoyed on our last trip together to London – a walk across Tower Bridge.   By the end of our first week, we had traversed most of London and I didn’t need to think twice about minding the gap and found myself looking left at each corner!

The weekend brought us to England’s countryside as we carpooled with our local friends to the cities of Ilminster, Glastonbury, Wells and quick stop at Stonehenge.  Thatch roofs cottages lined the country roads and just the most quaint villages welcomed us with endearing conversations and delicious foods.  But like all good things, our weekend came to a close and we returned to the city of London.

With my stint of the trip coming to an end, I did my best to consume every last pound on my Oyster Card.  A trip to Kensington and some last-minute gift shopping in Harrods brought my card to just enough to get me to Heathrow Airport.

The morning of my departure was most fitting.  The rain that is very much England-norm fell lightly as I made my way to the Underground to the Station to the Airport.  This leg of the trip was mine to take alone, since my husband still had work to finish and reality was waiting for me on the other side of the pond.

As my flight took off and we reached higher and higher altitudes, I was thankful for this opportunity for a Change in Latitude.

Changing Latitudes – Jersey Shore

I love my passport.   I love the stamps from far away locations gracing each page (although it irks me when customs randomly selects a page to stamp – seriously, why can’t they just stamp in order!) and the tiny stickers placed on the back of the book.  But most often, these trips, while great fun, involve sightseeing, jet lag and sore feet.  So as much as I love my passport, I also love Route 539 which is my passport and passageway to the Jersey Shore.

American Rock on Route 539 in Lacey Township, NJ.  Photo credit: Lacey Patch
American Rock on Route 539 in Lacey Township, NJ. Photo credit: Lacey Patch

Over the years, much of the route and its fixtures remain the same.  But from time to time, there is a subtle change or a Super Wawa that graces the route along the way.  Even the children have come to recognize the landmarks along the way.  When we reach the American Flag Rock, the kids know that we are half way to our final destination – that is unless we are vacationing in LBI which then means we are minutes away from vacation time.

There is something comforting and reassuring about this county road that stretches the four counties we pass through to reach the beaches of Cape May.  And each year we travel this road, new memories are made and old memories are cherished through conversation and laughter.  Once upon a time, it was just Hubby and I racing our way down the single lane road with a small bag flung in the back seat with the tunes cranking and the windows rolled down.  Now seated behind us are two passengers who vie for their music selections as we sit in a temperature controlled SUV amidst sand toys, suitcases, games and toys. Did I mention, toys?

Yes, times have changed, but so have we.  Despite the ordeal that is associated with packing up for the beach with two

Summer Fun at the Jersey Shore
Summer Fun at the Jersey Shore

children, their delight and absolute glee about vacationing on the beach is far better than days gone by ….although I do miss reading peacefully on the beach with my one towel, water bottle….the pleasant dinners eating bayside…..the late mornings sleeping in….but I digress.

Route 539 captures every essence of the best part of summer vacation – getting there!

SummerBlogPhoto

Each Wednesday, KMM’s staff members share stories and anecdotes about their
memorable vacations, recent and past.  These will be personal
recollections about trips to our beloved Jersey shore, across America,
and around the world.  Changes in Latitude………..