Hash tag #42..

New speak or old speak, 42 in the number of miles I rode on my bicycle on Saturday.  The adventure was billed as a four-ish hour tour.  After a few missed turns due to GPS issues, I found myself exhausted, fighting the wind, ten miles from the final objective.  My cell phone was rapidly running out of juice. I was faced with calling it a day or riding on without the ability to contact my DW when I either made it to the end of the ride or just had enough. But I getting ahead of myself..

The adventure was like most grand bar schemes, dreamed up after a few beers or a glass or two of wine.  The idea, which has been brewing for the last three or four years, was to ride my bike for 50 miles. The distance seems unattainable for me. I have tried the ride to conquer that distance twice and have twice come up short.  The starting point is my home in Manahawkin and the planned end point is the Margaritaville Cafe in Atlantic City.

Due to geography and highway planning, there is no direct route to Atlantic City from my house on a bicycle. The trip involves a meandering tour of the Pine Barrens.   This summer’s bicycle riding was supposed to be the big training push for the September or October big ride. The the heart issues and life stepped in the way of my training.  I have avoided the big ride in the summer months since I tried the big ride in the summer and did not make it and ran out of drinks out in the middle of nowwhere.

I was ready Saturday. Food and drinks in my backpack and in the carriers on my bike frame. One cell phone to do the GPS navigation, one cell phone to track the ride via Map My Ride and a Ipod to provide the music.  One ear for music and one ear for directions!  What could go wrong?  Well the phone doing the GPS locked up at the first turn that I did not know. I had to stop and reboot the phone. One hour and forty-five minutes later, at another turn that I did not know, the battery on that phone went belly up.

Out of my pocket came the printed  directions.  I used the paper copy for the next 15 miles. Finally at mile 37, the phone doing the Map MY RIde app was almost dead. That was decision time. There are not any pay phones left in the world.  Maybe there are, but would you want to bet on finding one and having enough change to use it?  That was the point that I called my DW and said “Uncle”. Come and get me. I rode another 5 miles while waiting for my ride home. I did accomplish riding the longest distance for the year.

We stopped at Allan’s Clam Bar for lunch. We were only 10 miles from Margaritaville, but I was not driving there if I could not ride my bike there.  Lunch was good. Clams on the half shell, fried scallops and mussels in white wine and garlic.

I am already planning for next year.

Here are two pictures.  See the captions. Thanks for reading.


Happy Anniversary – 29 years of marriage..

Happy Anniversary to my DW for 29 years of marriage. We were married on October 7, 1984.  How did/do you celebrate your anniversary or some other big event with your significant other?  Monday was the actual day. We both worked, came home had raviolis and meatballs for dinner. Then we went to hot yoga for 90 minutes of 105 degree sweating and breathing. After yoga we watched some tv and drank our coconut water.  11 pm was bed time. Not exactly a crazy celebration.

However, on Thursday night, we went to Atlantic City to visit the Margaritaville Café and Land Shark Landing at the Resorts Casino. Atlantic City is about 45 minutes door-to-door from our home. We rarely visit.  We are not big gamblers and with three kids facing student loans and the costs of college not covered by those loans, we pick and choose our fun expenses.  As Jimmy Buffett fans, we have tried to visit the various Margaritaville restaurants as we travel.  We decided to eat outside at the Land Shark Landing. Our table as facing the ocean. We had a good time. The waitress was attentive. The two person band did a decent job. The two artists that got the most applause were Jimmy Buffett (of course) and Pink Floyd. Go figure.

For appetizers my DW ordered the Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds. These came with a choice of dipping sauce. She choose the blueberry ketchup. Yep, blueberry ketchup. It had the consistency of blueberry jelly. It was good, I’m not sure if I would buy it for the house. I had a half-dozen oysters. Five out of six were good. I decided not to eat one of them. No big deal.

For dinner she had the fish tacos. The fish of the day was Tilapia.  I tasted her tacos, they were good. I order the Lobster Mac-n-Cheese. That was excellent. If you eat dinner there and don’t want a burger and fries, get the lobster mac-n-cheese.  We skipped dessert and wondered though the restaurant taking pictures before walking through Resorts and heading home. A good night for sure.

Our gift to ourselves is a four night, five-day trip to Tampa in late February.  Hopefully the weather will be nice that weekend.

Here is a link to the pictures from Atlantic City.  I will post a few on the bottom of this blog.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures!




Been talking rum, how about you?..

Yep, I took last night off from the blog writing gig. I am, back in the saddle this evening. Yesterday my DW and I went to Atlantic City for dinner. We live about 45 minutes north of the city. We are not gamblers. I would rather enjoy a good meal or a trip somewhere than sit at a table or slot machine watching my money disappear. There are plenty of people that feel the opposite. I see them on the GSP every evening while I am driving home.

I woke up Thursday morning and decided that I did not feel like playing lacrosse that night in Manalapan. Turns out that lacrosse was cancelled due to the weather.  Go figure! I got the idea that I could probably find some good, fresh oysters in Atlantic City. I went online and looked at the various casinos and what their room rates were. There are certainly some good deals mid-week in the Fall and Winter.  I read many of  the reviews on Trip  Advisor and decided to book a room at Caesar’s.  

After work, I drove home and picked up my DW who was dressed in the “little black dress” outfit for the night.  I changed into some nicer clothes and we headed south. We checked into the casino and found out that the king bed we reserved would actually be two twin beds. Whatever, my DW prefers a larger bed. Something about me not sleeping in one spot. Beats me..

We walked around the casino and finally found our way to Morton’s Steak House. We had one of the most delicious steak dinners ever. Ever!  Ruth’s Chris in Annapolis was better because someone else picked up the check. Talk about steak that melts in your mouth. And yes, I got my oysters. Six of them, no need to share.   We really enjoyed dinner.

After dinner we walked down to the Tropicana and visited the Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar. We were the only customers sitting at the bar that night. The bartender asked what kind of rum I liked. I showed him one of the bottles on his shelf, the top shelf, that I enjoyed. We talked rum for the next hour. He brought down and gave me a taste of each of the high-end bottles of rum that they had in the house.  Wow!  I had two doubles of Vizacya 21 year rum. The rum is produced in the Dominican Republic by Cuban ex-pats. It was really good. My DW had the house-made white wine sangria.   After we left the Tropicana, we rode in one of those wheeled chairs that the guys push up and down the boardwalk.

This morning came early. My DW could not get out of work so she had to be at work for 7:30 am. The drive up the GSP was uneventful. After I dropped her off I took a nap for an hour before I started my work day. I was surprisingly busy today.  Most Friday’s are slow. This one was not. While I working this morning the brown truck stopped by.

On the brown truck was my box with three pounds of jumbo Florida Stone Crab Claws. The season opened up on Wednesday. We had fresh claws on Friday.   They were dinner tonight. That and some fresh mozzarella and prosciutto.   A picture of the claws will be at the bottom. Three pounds equals 8 claws!  The claws came from Keys Fisheries in Marathon, Florida.

The other interesting development is that my middle child posted on Face Book that he is in a relationship. That is pretty cool.  We’ve watched the other two children go through the first girlfriend process.  A process is not necessarily a bad word in this context.  They will do what they do.  We both wish them the best. One day at a time.

Tonight’s picture is of stone crab claws we ate for dinner. Enjoy (we did)!





Friday, day thirty-two (I survived a month!)

Well, to the naysayers (there was only one that actually articulated their opinion), I lasted a month blogging everyday. Only eleven more months to go! So far I have looked forward to writing “a page a day”  Maybe this winter when there is snow on the ground, I will go back and read about the summer. It should jog my short-term memory. It was hot again today (note to winter, freezing self), not as hot as last weekend, but smack you in the face humidity for sure. I worked from home today so I was able to hide indoors. My only excursion outside was to turn on the sprinklers to water the garden.

Tonight, DS2, his epic beard and I are going to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. We have tickets to see a band called the Decemberists. I heard about them in a Groupon mailing earlier in the week. I don’t know any of their songs. That’s not really accurate. At lunch today I asked him if I would like the music. What band are they like? He thought, then told me the name of a band. Oh, I’ve never heard of them either.  “Um” he says.  Then he played one of the songs off the most recent album for me. So, I have heard one song. It should be a fun boys night out.  Maybe we’ll drop twenty dollars in a slot machine.  Maybe not.

I had company for breakfast today. Since I was working from home I made cheese omelets and pork roll. All three of the children were home this morning. DS1 was hung over from his birthday celebration. He has Friday and Saturday off each week. DS2 is off today. DS3 is working the noon to close shift. He was sitting at the table looking sleepy around 11 am and I said to him that he looked sleepy.  His reply was that he has a full-time job!  My response is that I have had one for thirty years. His response was that I look sleepy too!  Hmmm. I wonder what I would look like if I was not working full-time?  I’ve always said that my job interfered with my personal life.  Now I know it is!

I played lacrosse last night in Manalpan. We play on Thursday nights from eight pm to nine thirty pm (or later). If you are reading this and interested, just reply. We are always looking for new players. Last night at least six of the players from last week had other commitments so we were short-handed again. This time we had two goalies!  It was fun to shoot at a real person as opposed to a plastic man shaped covering that made you aim for the holes to score. I played attack for most of the night since we’re had an uneven number of defensive players.

Off to Atlantic City, I will leave you with this picture from June 2011. Here is DS3 posing after receiving his diploma. If you have ever seen Three Sheets (tv show) then you will understand the pose.  Enjoy.