We make holes in teeth!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Easter Vacation Day 6: The Bronx Zoo

Nice & easy day on the bike in the morning before we got stuff together and headed out the door to the Bronx Zoo. Aside from the traffic on 80 across the GWB, it was an easy enough trip. This was just more or less a day of pictures so I'll leave it at that. We ate lunch when we got there, saw animals, got ice cream, and drove home. We were home for an hour and then went to peewee practice, where Julia was bored then fell off a see-saw after and cried. I then went to buy beer.

I like the tree in this one.

Water is always unpredictable and interesting.


Julia looking into an empty cage.

Always a sucker for these kinds of pics.

Looks nice

That's all. 


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Easter Vacation Day 5: Defined by Nothing

Today again was a day defined by nothing. Julia had a play date set for 12-3 which meant I was going to sleep in, bum around the house, then go for a bike ride while she was at play date. It was a beautiful day out, warm temps and lots of sunshine. It would have been perfect for the zoo but Wednesday is free zoo day at the Bronx Zoo and we've made that mistake once before. Instead of getting out early I decided to make some juice.

It tasted exactly like it looks, which is what I was aiming for. I ended up just using a food processor and a colander, which works fine. I then take the pulp and use it on toast, to dip things in, whatever. It tastes like pulped vegetables but that's what it is. I added it to quinoa and tossed some cumin on it. Not bad, but it needs more. This was spinach, celery, carrots, cucumber, and pineapple. Need to add a little fruit for sweetness. Allison suggested some ginger, which I like the idea of. 

My ride was uneventful other than seeing the Easter hippo.

When I got back we tried to go and fly a kite that Julia got for some gift to a party or something and it lasted 3 seconds then fell apart. I wasn't expecting much but this underwhelmed even my meager expectations. Not a big deal because we were at the playground and she wanted to do that anyway. So it works out. 

When we got home we took a few pics around the neighborhood. Julia had a half-decent smile for this one which is rare when it's time to pose for a picture.

Finally we topped the day off with some pizza for dinner, then chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. I had half of 1 then called it a day. I've been eating plenty and there are still 4 days left on the week. 

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Easter Vacation Day 4: Bike Rides & Life

Some days of a stay-cation are going to be a little better than others. Today was a bit of a down day. Well, more specifically it was a lot of a down day. At least in terms of a vacation is was. My legs are pretty tired after this one. I started my day with a bike ride, and got home and we sort of bummed around then made our way to Alstede Farm, which was more of "something to do" than anything else. 

It was a beautiful day, so we hung outside, fed some animals, played on the hat stack, then took a walk. That was about all there was to the farm. Grabbed some pizza, went to Costco, then hit the food store and that was more or less there was to the meat of the day. Julia loves Costco because she gets ice cream. 

I took Julia to her art class then Utah & Jeremy came over for the Tuesday night ride. It was a good ride, and then we came home and ate food and drank beer and talked. Good times, tiring for sure. 

Julia had a bit of a drama though. As we were out on the ride Nat was picking her up and she fell on the pavement in the parking lot. She skinned her elbow and apparently cried for a solid hour. As crazy as it sounds, this is the first time she has fallen and skinned her elbow like this. It was her first real crash into the ground. She's hit her knees a bit before but this was a new ballgame. The rest of the night was a bit of a drama but after I convinced her to put band-aids on, she cried for a minute but then turned the corner and felt better for the rest of the night. 

Nothing special on this one. Bike rides and life. 


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Easter Vacation Day 3: Cheese Steaks!

Wake up in the hotel after an incredibly good night of sleep. Out like a light by 10:30 and slept right on through to 7:00 or so. Solid night of sleep, much needed. Overnight, Vinny had texted  that he could not sleep because he drank too much. I remember those days when too much beer used to cause bad sleep. Not any more. Lights out, I'm out. I ate a vending machine bag of peanuts before bed. Maybe that's the key. Take some Advil just in case. 

Off to the Please Touch Museum which is kid friendly and used to be located behind the Franklin Institute. Find parking, feed the meter, and find out that it's since moved. Get back in the car and after navigating the annoying streets with an annoying GPS, we get there. It's a beautiful day out. 

Julia has started posing like a "challenged individual" when I break out the camera. So the only time I get her in a natural smile is when I hold the camera at knee level, or hide, and take pics. She's got such a great natural smile but she's taking after her cousin and thinks that she's supposed to make a special smile when it's picture time. I shake my head. Kids are nuts. Speaking of kids, Vinny's oldest daughter is now 12, and I'm sort of half-mortified how she is now developing. We have a pic of me when I weighed a good 250 pounds holding her when she was about 10 pounds. I still weight twice as much as she does but the kid is growing up, and fast.

The museum was good for her, and probably better than the Franklin Institute. After a solid 2 hours we got her a yogurt and started making our way to the lunch target of the day: Jim's Steaks on South Street. It's been a long, long time since I've gotten a cheese steak in Philly - high school to be exact. We used to randomly find a steak shop after whatever concert we had gone to. We didn't have a set place, and they probably weren't very good. But I do have fond memories of them, more than likely because it was food and I was a slob. 

Anyway, we got a tip from Mr. Fred on where to go. Why do I call him Mr. Fred? As a parent I guess you just get used to calling people Mr. So-and-So. We call the wife Mrs. Linda. I feel like I'm talking about a pro wrestler duo - Mr. Fred & Mrs. Linda. Drop the hammer! Well, after a solid 20-30 minutes in line, I got this, which I fully planned to drop the hammer on:

And drop the hammer I did. This was good, well worth the trip. This could be a return trip waiting to happen. I feel like they should be serving fries, but they're pretty standard with what you get. It's more or less cheese steak or nothing. They have "hoagies" but I'd say 1 in 100 people get them. You go there for the steaks. And you get Whiz not American or provolone cheese. The locals get Whiz. I get Whiz. 

I ate it all and finished Nat's sandwich. Have to say, she did a good job with her's. I probably could have eaten another. Fred and I discussed riding our bikes down and having one, then riding home after it. The thing is a total gut bomb, and would make for a brutal hour after lunch. But goddamn it would be memorable. 

Rest of the day was uneventful. Drove back up 95 then 206 which was great then terrible. 95 (great) and 206 (terrible) makes for a frustrating combo. You crush the first 45 miles then have to slog up 206. My allergies were overall better, which I was happy with. Julia started to really fade by the end of the ride but when we got home she was all good. I topped it off by going for a late afternoon bike ride and having some soup that Nat made. 

In all, a solid day+ trip down to the Camden/Philly area. I have no love for Philly but this turned out to be a nice trip. Maybe we'll be back one day. I feel a Jim's Steak calling my name. 

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Easter Vacation Day 2: Picking Up Where You Left Off

First part of the day:

I ride my bike, come home, lament the fact that these allergies are destroying me in every respect, get ready to go, drive to south Jersey, grab some cheap lunch and a cup of coffee at the rest stop, hit the Camden Aquarium, see fish and stuff, go to Whole Foods to grab a drink, hit Joe Canal's, then go to Vinny's. It is now 5:00.

The aquarium was ok but this is what Julia thinks of the whole "touch the fish" thing:

Second part of the day:

Who is Vinny? He's an old college buddy who lives in south Jersey with his wife Bridgette and their 3 girls. He was the best man at our wedding, and we lived together at some point towards the end of the post-college days. Our history is more or less based on beer & drugs. We don't do drugs anymore, but the way it usually goes is I get to Vinny's house, we drink beer, and then we drink more beer. 

Nat & I were discussing how to play the day. She figured since we were in the area, we should "stop by" and say hello. I know better than this. There is no stop by. It is either all-in, or don't go. She doesn't understand this. I explain to her that we'll see. 

So I show up with a bomber of Firestone & a sixer of some Founder's something or other. As expected, I'm right. This is how it goes:

1. Vinny tries the Firestone, likes it
2. He hems and haws about the first Founders, but decides he'll have another
3. But just 1 more
4. After we wipe out everything I brought, Vinny is yelling about diving into the Sam Adams he's got in the fridge
5. We are drunk, we eat pizza

This is how it goes. Every time. This is why I said to Nat - either we skip or it's all in. I think she actually expected to be there for a beer or 2. It's funny, I laugh at the notion. 

See this is really how it goes with someone you're really, truly good friends with. I haven't been to their house in 2 years, a virtual eternity in this day and age. In that time span I've probably seen Utah 100 times. But one of my best friends, exactly 0. But when you really know & love someone like this, what is time? Time is nothing, it doesn't matter. Even though we're old and shit now, we're always just going to be the same good friends that we've always been. 

You just pick up where you left off, it's just good times. It's like a running relay. For the past 2 years we've sort of just been sitting on the bench, and then it was time to get back on the track and grab the baton. We just hit the deck and sprinted like we always do. Damn good times. 

Ok, maybe we're not as fast. We used to drink 10 beers each not 5. But the point is the same. When you've got a good friendship, it doesn't matter if you don't see each other every day or week or month or even year. Life gets in the way, then 1 day you find yourself on the track again, baton in 1 hand, beer in the other. Just run, have a good time, and don't think too much about it. 

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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Easter Vacation, Day 1

Wake up, it's 4:40, the first day of your vacation. Hello, it's the first day of the rest of your life. But I didn't get to enjoy the last day of my previous life. I would have had a party of something. Scotch anyone?

It is raining, but I get on the bike anyway. Like any ex-fat bastard you know that calories burned allow you to eat more later. And vacation is a flag in your brain to eat more. So you need to suck it up and burn more. The ride is uneventful, though it does have all 3 pieces of the Bad Pie: cold, dark, and wet. Carson says that means you're also stupid. Make it 4. In hockey I think there's a term for 4 goals, the Hat Trick on Acid? A turkey? No wait, that's golf.

I get an interesting message from someone in the car industry offering to help the car buying process. Not going to pull out any names just to protect the innocent, but let's just say that Mandell and Dan "I'm a no-show to ST #4" know him. It may delay the process a few days, but I'm a patient man. I'm not an ideal customer because I have no problem walking away and waiting. We'll get there.

At the Korean market we get some sashimi for lunch to bring back to the house. It is as good as it looks.

Julia is cooked, I feel lousy. The allergies this year are brutal. The trees and colors are awesome but it is drilling both of us. I'm more tired than congested, she alternates between tired and congested. By the end of the night she is cooked. She goes to sleep in literally 3 seconds once she stops being a little brat.

First full day of vacation is boring. The weather was unimpressive, so we went to buy Korean meat. Breakfast is scrambled eggs in an orange bell pepper, lunch is the above pic, and dinner is some leftover kung pao tofu I made a few days ago. I eat ice cream later in the evening. I skip the beer, as much as I want to drown out this awful feeling. Bill tells me beer doesn't work. He prefers vodka.

I clean out a corner of the kitchen, order some North Face jackets, and make a video about mapping out trails at the BSA. Pearl says he likes it.

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Accommodation in aviemore