Asbury Park Oyster Fest 2013..

When is an “Oyster Fest” not an “Oyster Fest”? Maybe when the event is held in Asbury Park.  In two weeks the Red Bank “Guinness and Oyster  Festival” will be held in Red Bank. Then, I will have another “oyster fest” to compare this one to.  I am not complaining. It may sound like I am getting ready to rant about the Asbury Park Oyster Fest 2013, but I am not. Tonight’s blog is a “review” of the festival. I spent over twenty years in the seafood industry and have worked a few of these festivals. I am no expert. I am a consumer with an opinion. And we all know about opinions. They are like, ummm (your butt), everyone has one, nobody wants to hear it..

Parking was a challenge for those attending the festival. I guess that is good for the city of Asbury Park. We drove around for 15 minutes until we found someone leaving a metered spot. Parking was three dollars for three hours. No big deal.  Entrance to the festival was three dollars (a  theme?). The entrance fee benefited the Boys and Girls Club of Asbury Park. A good cause, just a fee.  We (my DW and I) entered the festival around 5 pm on Saturday. I had my trusty camera to record the event. The first order of business was to find the beer truck. We had walked past about a dozen food trucks (some I would guess made famous by food tv) and had not found the beer truck. We saw a women with a beer and I asked her where the beer truck (s) were.  She was kind enough to point out that they (three) were in the complete opposite end of the festival.

We changed directions and walked towards the beer trucks looking at the various vendors and planning our eating adventure (post-beer truck).  As we stood in line we met the person with the best job at the festival.  As you waited in line, someone (a man) would come up to you and check your id. He had the discretion of looking at you and deciding, or asking to see your id. These guys enjoyed their jobs. I would guess they (at each of the three beer trucks) were single and working on meeting women. Me, they had no interest in my id. My DW and every other women in line, they got to show some id or the id checker spent a minute or two talking them up. I could do that job!

After we go our beer (wine for my DW) we continued our search for oysters (Asbury Park Oyster Fest, remember?). We found two vendors shucking clams and oysters. One had a huge line of people waiting. The other had a manageable line of people waiting.  In my mind an oyster fest would include more than two vendors selling shucked oysters. There was no choice of the type of oyster.  How many and how much were the choices. We got a dozen clams and a dozen oysters and found a spot to set our plates down and enjoy our feast. They were nice and cold and really good.

We also sampled a serving of Lobster Mac and Cheese. I will make this at home one Sunday for dinner.  What we got was good but, our portion was the last in the pan and may have been a little light and dried out. It was good. But for a ten-dollar snack, ouch, it was pricey.  And, here was another festival where they really did not have an ice cream vendor. There was a frozen gelato vendor, that was it. After we were done eating we went up to the boardwalk and found an ice cream place there. We sat on a bench on the boardwalk for almost an hour Saturday night watching the waves and the people walking the boards.

We saw a wedding on the beach as we were walking the boards. My DW and I have rarely been to Asbury Park. We live about an hour south so the trip up and back needs to have a reason.  We enjoyed our visit and will be back again as tourists.

Pictures, well of course!  Here is a link to entire folder via Drop Box.

Namaste

 

 

LimeGuy birthday morning..

Reading the title you can figure that today is my birthday. As such, I took the day off as a personal day. I get five sick/personal days a year. Today I took one of them.  I was up at 7 am, my usual work day time. DS3 asked me why if I had the day off was I awake at 7 am?  I told him I could not sleep. The adventures of the day beckoned. (Sounds like a good answer anyway).

I decided laying in bed this morning that I would ride my bike to the Barnegat Lighthouse and back today. The round trip distance is 35 plus miles. The two biggest challenges of the ride (other than the actual distance) are crossing the Manahawkin Bay Bridge on a bicycle and the inevitable winds on Long Beach Island.  The bridge is not bike friendly as you will see in the pictures I took from the top. The winds, I hoped to get my ride in before the wind picked up.

Thursday roll call here at the house found only DS2 and I not working. Everybody was out of the house by 7:15.  I was dressed and out of the house on my bike by 8 am. The ride onto Long Beach Island of the bridge was not too bad. What the two children that regularly travel onto LBI failed to share was that the inbound lanes and the outbound lanes had been compressed around the bridges. This left absolutely no room for a bike and two cars. I got through that section but was none to pleased to have traversed it.

The trip up (north) the island was uneventful. I sopped at the Barnegat Lighthouse and had a drink and a snack. I took some pictures and started heading home. About a mile from the light house I ran over an industrial staple and promptly had a flat tire. Guess which tire? If you guessed the back tire, you would be correct. I got off the bike on the bay front of Barnegat Light and sat on a park bench and changed tubes removing the staple from the tire. I took pictures if the view that I had while working on my bike. At least it was not raining and I was on the side of a busy highway. After the tire issue I stopped at a gas station and completed inflating the tire and rode home. The wind was in my face and was building the entire way as I rode south.

Up and over the bridges, no problems. The inbound side was scarier. DS2 and I went out for lunch (2 beers and a cheeseburger) after I had cooled down and had showered.  The beers were to hydrate and replace the carbs that I expended this morning. The burger, why that was the protein of the meal!

Pictures and such.  Several pictures with captions are below. Here is a link to the entire group of pictures from today’s ride. Here  and here are links to the Map My Ride APP that recorded the ride.  Enjoy!

Namaste

 

The best times in life are often unscripted..

It is snowing here in New Jersey this evening. We got to leave work early today due to the inclement weather. That was nice. We had a power outage this morning at work and also lost the internet and phones for a short while. I guess the patch job that was done might have a few kinks to be worked out. The linemen will have months more of work after Sandy. My MIL got her power back on yesterday around 5 pm.  She was without power for eight days.  She lives in one of the most densely populated parts of Ocean County. Just imagine how much longer she might have waited if she lived out in the sticks. Yes, there really are “out in the sticks” areas in New Jersey. NJ is not just what you see driving down the turnpike or the parkway.

I forgot to mention that Monday night was the official Halloween Day in NJ. The governor postponed Halloween last week due to the damage from Sandy.  We had many, probably an average year, trick or treaters visit our house. I heard the night ended early. I was of course, off playing lacrosse in the dark.

Tuesday (yesterday) was: A. My DW’s birthday and B. Election Day 2012. Let’s tackle Election Day first. I worked the election again this year. We had to be on site at 5:15 am and ready to rock by 6 am. The polls closed at 8 pm. Then we have to break down the voting machines and do all the “stuff” that ensures that the votes are protected and delivered to the municipal clerk for tabulation. That makes for an easy 15 hour day.  We were busy.  There were 30 or more people that rushed in at 6 am to vote. And the waves of voters kept coming all day.  I worked with a good group of people. We had fun, but I was pretty beat by the end of the night.

After the election was over, my DW and I went out for some wings and a beer (or two). The beer was medicinal. My back was sore and the beer made that problem go away.  At the bar we had a beer and a cider and toasted my DW’s birthday. I’m sorry to say, due to my being at the polling place all day, I did not have a good party planned for her. I will do better next time (or maybe this weekend). While we were sitting at the bar, the bar started to fill up with 20 somethings and a musician started playing music that was appropriate for their age.

The group next to us, four girls and one guy we out celebrating his 25 th birthday. We congratulated him and toasted his and my DW’s birthdays.  A little while later one of the girls went up to the musician requested Happy Birthday. So, everybody in the bar sang to this guy and my DW. I spoke to the girlfriend of the birthday boy and gave her 20 dollars towards his birthday bar bill. She was driving last night. A few minutes later they bought two shots of something they called “Birthday Cake”. A shot and a slice of lemon coated in sugar.

My DW and the birthday boy did their shot and then sucked on the lemon. Everybody laughed and smiled. The bar by now was packed and quite noisy. We, the old people, figured it was time to go home so when we left we congratulated the birthday boys once more and he gave my DW a hug. It was a pretty cool, spontaneous night. We figured a beer and some wings and wound up with a birthday party. Unscripted.

Pictures, pictures. Here are a picture of the snow on my way home from work. Enjoy!

Namaste

Snow in Wall, NJ

Brother can you spare (a)159 post..

I visited my parents today before heading back to New Jersey. As I was driving down the road to visit them I reflected on how often I had been by to see them now that the children are going to school in the same city.  Probably before DS2 started at Marywood, I had been by maybe once a year, twice a year was a notable year. They were their usual silent self’s today. It was sunny, nearly 50 degrees and a little breezy. 50 degrees in Scranton on December 4 is something to enjoy. Sooner or later the real Scranton winter will rear its ugly head.  I do believe that they keep an eye on the children while they are in school. Or at least I hope they do.

If you read yesterday’s post you could probably figure out that I did not add to the blog Saturday night. We (DW and I) found ourselves sitting in a pizzeria across from the University of Scranton at 11:30 at night. At the table was a pitcher of beer and four college students. We went to get something to eat after DS3’s holiday chorus concert. He brough along his girlfriend and his roommate to eat. Our middle child was there as well.  We had fun at the table. DW and I drank the beer, the kids polished a 2 liter of Sprite. None of them are drinkers (that I know of). After we finished our pizza and beer we walked DS3 over to his dorm. The grass on the Donner green crunched under our feet. That is the beginning of the real Scranton winter.

Sunday morning we woke up to figure out that it was 10:20 in the morning. That explained the noise of the children swimming in the indoor pool at the hotel.  We had planned to attend mass at the U since Marywood’s Sunday mass time was changed to 4:00 pm today.  Needless to say, we did not get there. There was no way to get out of the hotel, pick up DS2 and drive across town and be there by 11 am. Instead, we went to the Sunday brunch at the Radisson hotel. Note to self, eat breakfast elsewhere. Why?  The brunch was excellent! Really good. But, the cost was 26.00 per person (in Scranton), ouch! I told the kids to back and have more to eat. They had everything, carving station, made to order omelets, chocolate fountains, unlimited mimosas.  Good, but just more expensive than I expected. I am more a diner person.

On the ride up we listened to the LSU – Georgia football game on Sirius. As LSU fans, the first quarter and a half were distressing. But they woke up and ran all over Georgia. Sunday driving home we listened to the Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati game on Sirius. Cincinnati got the snot beat out of them. Granted they shot themselves in the foot early and often, but they did not seem in the same league as Pittsburgh today.  Dinner was leftovers since neither of us were interested in a big meal or any elaborate meal preparation.

For pictures tonight, I will add a slide show of pictures shot this weekend. Enjoy!

Namaste

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