Monday, May 10, 2010

Greetings from my Daycation

Last week was bleh. It was hot--which I hate--and I was wingie (for lack of a better word). But hey, Wednesday was Cinquo de Mayo and who can complain about a reason to drink margaritas, eat some good food and celebrate with our friends south of the border.

Except I got sick. Really sick. Like high fever, can't keep a thing down, my whole body hurts and I'm going to the Emergency Room because I don't feel like dying alone in my apartment and getting eaten by the cats.

And New Boy had a root canal so he was wingie too. (P.S. He took very good care of me when I was sick.)

So by Saturday we were both ready for a daycation. Jersey Shore--here we come.

First things first--what are we going to eat? Ever heard of Pete & Elda's? I had never been but New Boy keeps talking about it so we hopped in the car and off we went.

It was a positively gorgeous day! I woke up to thunder in the morning (which by the way wouldn't have stopped us) but the tv said the afternoon would be pretty but windy--perfect. Over the bridge (hello Hudson River) and onto the turnpike. True confession--we didn't even make it onto the turnpike proper before we stopped for a snack. I'm not a big fast food person but I do love me a Nathan's hot dog. Luckily, we got on line just before a few bus loads of girls basketball players arrived.

With our first hunger pangs satisfied we continued on our way. Gotta tell you--the turnpike is still pretty icky but once you get on the Garden State Parkway it's a gorgeous ride. After one big wrong turn (not too dramatic) and a call to K who is all-things-South-Jersey, we found our way to Pete & Elda's and the best thin crust pizza I have ever had. Just writing its name makes me crave it. The place was casual and comfy and we sat at the bar and didn't say a word to each other until we had just about finished the pie. Again, we were followed by a group of girls basketball players but they weren't sitting at the bar so they didn't cramp our style.

After a few hours of lounging and eating it was back into the car to go exploring. I haven't been near the Jersey Shore since about 1979 and I had no idea how pretty it could be. Point Pleasant is beautiful and all the little villages that you drive through as you go down the island have their own little characters. I don't know how I would feel about it during the height of the season but on a gorgeous Saturday in early May, it was paradise.

After a quick stop for a doughnut (New Boy has quite the metabolism), we drove all the way down to the State Park where they very kindly let us make a u-turn and head up to the Seaside Heights boardwalk. It's exactly the same as it was some 30 years ago--loud, garish, tacky and wonderful.

The place was crawling with prom kids who all looked so tired but they were determined to have a good time. Oh--and did I mention the wind? It was wild! By this point, I was completely wind blown and didn't care one bit. We found a place to sit down, have a drink and stare at the ocean for a while. I was on Diet Coke all day--thank you antibiotics--but that didn't bother me one bit either. New Boy had a dozen and a half clams on the half shell that he was crazy about (see my note about his metabolism) and we watched the rides on the pier just north of us and stared at the waves coming in.

Look at the way the water is blowing back off the tops of the waves.

That's how strong the wind was. And yet, some crazy people were still going on this ride.

Now you wouldn't get me on that thing for a million bucks on the best of days but in 45 mph winds, you would have to knock me unconscious and strap me in. If you can't tell by the picture, it's about 8 stories high and has a cab at the top and the bottom of that long metal thing and then it spins around. And around. And around. And when people are getting off at the bottom, you just sit at the top like it is in the picture. Definitely not for me.

After a walk on the boardwalk and the requisite piece of fudge, it was time to head home. But daycation wasn't over yet. A quick stop at Fairway got us a big bag of beautiful shrimp which ended up stripped, steamed, chilled and then tossed with grated fresh horseradish and lemon juice. By this time I was hungry again so it was the perfect meal.

And, in perfect daycation mode, we spent the end of the day fantasizing about the pizza place we would open with wonderful thin crust pizza and lots of seafood on the menu.

It was perfect.

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