What can I say? The bf was at Fort Dix for two weeks and his birthday was going to be while he was there, so I cashed in some miles, flew to Philly, took a train to Trenton, and experienced New Jersey for a few days. There are parts of New Jersey which are quite beautiful; Trenton is not one of them. But the unincorporated village where we stayed was pleasant enough, a neighborhood right against the Delaware River, with row-houses and a light rail station, and we could easily get to the quaint village of Bordentown from there, it being a pretty slice of Rockwellian Americana with boutiques and nice restaurants. The real draw to the area for me (besides the bf, of course) was the Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre sculpture garden with mostly giant installation pieces and a fancy restaurant in its midst. The restaurant is boldly named Rat's (after the Wind in the Willows character, but still). Gary had been there once before for a brief visit and a great meal and wanted to spend more time, and I was intrigued by the idea of giant pieces of art in the middle of New Jersey.
We arrived in the early evening on a perfect night. It was sunny and somewhere between warm but not hot and cool but not cold; there was no humidity and no breeze, it was just perfect out. We spent two hours strolling through the grounds, ambling down trails, and wandering into hedged gardens. We enjoyed the view of the adjacent lake and had fun admiring (and not admiring) the sculptures. The resident peacocks were out in full force and showing off. It could not have been a more pleasant way to spend an evening, which was topped by a spectacular dinner at Rat's (seriously, the place is called Rat's). We had crispy fried shrimp to start (here's a secret I've learned at dim sum which was employed here: prawns + mayo = yummy treat), followed by roasted duck, steak, and molten chocolate cake for dessert. I'm totally over the whole lava-cake thing, but the rest of dinner was fantastic.