Wednesday, August 10, 2011

jersey, baby!

I won big in Atlantic City.

Not at a slot machine, which refused to take our money (?! Is that not the very reason slot machines exist? To take one’s money?)

No, I lived it up at this attraction right here.


Obviously, I totally OWNED Steve at Skeeball (I got 21,000 while he struggled desperately with the final ball to break 10). I was generous enough to share my ticket winnings, though, and we pooled our resources to buy some lovely costume implements.

Vampire and Angelina say hello.


So we were on the Atlantic City boardwalk (which I have to say was one of the most bizarre places I have ever visited; Steve likened it to "Chuck E. Cheese for adults”) because we were in South Jersey for my friend’s beauteous wedding. We arrived before check in at the hotel, so we headed down the road to Atlantic City, and went to the boardwalk.

So we were hungry.

When I think boardwalk, I think lemonade and funnel cake.

So that happened.

Lemonade was fresh squeezed and what I’ve been craving ALL SUMMER. Drinking it on a boardwalk definitely enhanced the experience, too!


Funnel cake was, of course, hot and doughy and sweet and sublime straight out of the fryer


It was also, as these things tend to go, HUGE. We split it, and I actually persuaded Steve to throw some of it away rather than treating our bodies like garbage disposals, cause while it’s delicious it’s one of the most nutritionally void things there are.


Well no. These are the most nutritionally void things there are.


They’ve really been branching out from fried twinkies!


Now, at this point we should’ve just gotten some salads or something. But I mean LOOK AT THIS SIGN.


The Cooking Channel is doing some sort of round-the-country-road-trip-tour blah blah blah free carrot cake ice cream?! I could not could not could not resist. And I’m glad I didn’t because it was delicious. Tasted like cream cheese frosting :D


In a concession to health (and our wallets, and our time crunch), we stopped into one of those overpriced-but-gets-the-job-done gourmet grocer type places that was actually built into a casino.

Salad. Grilled veggies, seafood salad. Stuffed grape leaves and most of the artichoke hearts salad went to Steve. Picnicked on hotel room floor.


Steve also had sushi, of which he bequeathed to me two delicious pieces. And of course palate cleansing pickled ginger.


But wait! As a Priority Club member (?! Apparently I signed up for this rewards program when I registered for the hotel) I get free junk food upon my arrival at all Holiday Inns and Holiday Inn Expresses (Holiday Inns Express?). I drank the bottled water and have since bequeathed the other things to people in my life who enjoy junk food. The front desk also hooked me up with a razor and shaving cream, since I didn’t want to attend the wedding looking gorilla-esque.


So as perhaps you will recall from the wedding post, we danced for something around 4 and a half hours. It actually takes a lot out of you. I woke up the next morning STARVING. And, as fate would have it, luckily (…?) there was a complimentary Holiday Inn Express buffet to take on.

Oh and I did. Coffee (with International Delight creamer, be still my beating heart!) was my first stop. Then I could’ve cobbled together something vaguely wholesome with instant oatmeal and/or a banana (the single fruit OR vegetable present at the buffet), but I decided, screw it, I wanted to be satisfied. Sometimes (hopefully usually) I satisfy my appetite by eating foods with protein, fiber, healthy fat, heavy on the produce, which is ideally fresh and local. Sometimes, however, I satisfy my appetite by eating food that tastes really good. So.


I started with a biscuit and gravy (which used to be my all time favorite breakfast when I was a kid; I was such a lumberjack), a cinnamon roll (which was WARM!) and in a sort of concession to health, an omelet. Except I shivered with pleasure when I tasted the omelet and realized it resembled the inside of an Egg McMuffin.


So okay that cinnamon roll- did I mention it was warm?- GONE. The biscuit was kinda dry, so I ate the top in a healthy dosing of gravy, and that was great. Scraped upon the remainder of it was the fake cheese inside the omelet, which I ate a lot of but didn’t quite finish.


So… still hungry. A slight concession to health. A yogurt, a banana, and a (surprisingly good) bran muffin.


Ate most of the yogurt, the top of the muffin (and picked raisins out of the remainder), and like half the bananer with some surprisingly good peanut butter. So yes, moderation. So then I had to get part of a cheese bagel cause Steve had gotten one and it was SO GOOD OH MY GOD.


Yeah, it was all really good. Definitely thought I was going to throw up at one point not long afterwards.

But I bounced back. And thoroughly enjoyed the hotel pool.

For the drive home, we could either take the Atlantic City Expressway (which we knew from the drive there was less than scenic, and we figured would be clogged with traffic on a Sunday afternoon) or the rural back way. We went scenic.

Which meant farm stands, baby!

We bought some of the cutest, tiniest watermelons ever.


These are regular tomatoes. I ended up buying cherry ones that were seriously the sweetest tomatoes I have ever been fortunate enough to taste. Wowsa.


We had a hilariously lengthy conversation with the guy at the farm stand. It encompassed many things (such as his pet ducks, who come to the stand to beg for tomatoes. And amuse the children. And sometimes during hunting season people ask to shoot them. He declines). We also asked him to recommend either white peaches, yellow peaches, or nectarines. He laughed and said as they’d picked that morning, he’d said that the white peaches were “Mercedes people peaches”, which literally proved accurate later in the day when a Mercedes driver pulled up and bought three buckets worth. He preferred the yellow peaches, so we went with that (and he threw in free nectarines, so nice!)


And then we continued on a drive that turned out to be BEAUTIFUL! Like so many Americans, I have unfair stereotypes about New Jersey that mostly result from only having seen it via the seriously gross New Jersey Turnpike, and of course… that show.

But down south it’s charming! Rural! Quaint! We stopped in a vineyard! We admired antiquey houses!

And look at this adorable market where we made a pit stop.


Steve enjoyed tapping a keg of olive oil (they had regular or, his choice, blood orange infused, ooh la la!).


My appetite was nowhere in sight after that lunch, so I stuck to a beverage, photographed on the adorable, sunflower-bedecked front porch of the market.


This drew my attention for several reasons:

1. Fresh Jersey blueberries
2. Unsweetened iced tea, the only kind I can drink


3. Commendable ingredient list


4. AWESOME mission! I love buying products like this!


I was set, thirst quenched, but Steve is a growing boy and therefore required food. There were two pizza places on the corner, one a chain and the other “Nick’s Pizzeria”. Steve was uncertain whether they’d offer pizza by the slice, but I said, “It’s a pizzeria in Jersey called Nick’s. Greeks own it. They’ll feed you.”

Sure enough, I walked in and burst out laughing to see baklava on the counter and a woman with a name tag reading Maria (my mother’s name) waiting to serve us. She confirmed they were Greek, and sold Steve two slices of pizza for less than $3. He was in heaven.


1 comment:

Penny said...

Such a pretty post. I love that you eat normally, not always a health food robot. It's honest and refreshing.