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Posts Tagged ‘Nagle’s’

After spending a couple of hours at the beach, we reluctantly decided we had to head back to the cottage, shower, pack up and meet our friend, Joe for dinner. Making the decision to get up and go from the beach is like an Italian good-bye. First you have to come to a consensus and then it’s gathering up the newspapers, throwing out the trash, shaking the sand from the towels, repacking the lotions, books, visor etc. and folding the towels to fit into my new beach cart. I FINALLY bought a Tommy Bahamas beach cart to use in lieu of my wagon, which takes up too much room in my shed. This contraption holds the beach chairs, the umbrella, a cooler of its own, the towels, the beach bag and anything else you want to toss in. It’s great – getting it up the stairs from the beach to the boardwalk is a bitch!

 Of course once back at the cottage we now have to unpack everything we just loaded into the cart so by now a half hour has passed since we decided to leave the beach. I still have to shower, pack up some fruit Wendy and I ma want to snack on the train and pack up my computer. I call Joe and suggest we meet at Mom’s at 7pm. Here comes the first glitch – all weekend long, Joe and I had been texting over whether I should cook dinner (because last week I did invite him to dinner) or go out. He suggested we make it easy all around and go out. OK but can we pick him up because he doesn’t really like to drive in the dark, Michael usually does that but Michael is in San Francisco living it up (we’ve seen the photo!). Now this IS a problem;

For the last couple of weeks I have been nagging (yes I am a nagger) Peter to get the air conditioners out of storage and install them in the cottage. I haven’t been entirely successful in getting this accomplished because every day that has been hot has been followed by a lovely breezy evening with temperatures dropping just enough to make sleeping a dream! However, I was able to insist on Friday that he pick them up and bring them back to the cottage and guess where they remained? In the back of our SUV! As large as our RAV4 is, once you put the seats down in the back, there was room for the 3 air conditioners, the milk crate (see previous post) AND THE ELEPHANT! One seat had to be returned to upright so Wendy could sit in the back and that left no room for Joe!

 I know I sounded silly trying to explain to him why we couldn’t pick him up; I mean really, we have no room for him because we have an elephant in the car?! So he opted out of joining us and said he was going to make himself some pastina for dinner!! Oh Boy! I’m not sure if this is a dose of Italian guilt or if he really wanted pastina for dinner, after all, he’s Italian, I’m Italian so he IS programmed to give guilt and I’m definitely programmed to receive it especially if it is coming from a man and it’s about cooking/eating!

 The three of us (and the elephant) head to Nagle’s thinking eating locally would be quicker and since it was Sunday night and supposedly everyone would be on the GSP heading north, the restaurant should be empty-NOT! A 20-minute wait – so we head over to Mom’s, the original destination. It’s in the next town and really close so I don’t follow my instinct, which is to take our stuff with us and go from the restaurant directly to the train – we were planning on taking the 8:45. Peter says we’ll have plenty of time to swing back by the house and get our stuff – Uh Huh!!!

 Mom’s is almost packed and it’s a large restaurant and of course there is a party of at least 12 people seated in the middle! We sat down and waited and waited and waited. We all live in NYC but only Wendy and Peter are true New Yorkers which means pretty soon Wendy is waving her arms at a waitress who is clearly not serving in our area. She dispatches that waitress to find out who ours is! Geez….

 Our waiter shows up and we quickly give him our order and inform him we have to catch a train! Like that was actually going to get translated to the kitchen lol lol!!! Salad arrives and is finished and we are anxiously waiting for the meal, which happens to be one of their specials meaning it includes the salad, entrée, dessert and coffee. You can tell how much I’m enjoying my meal by the number of times I check Peter’s watch to see what time it is.

 We gotta go, where is the waiter? We need our check. He comes by and Wendy asks him what dessert comes with the meal. I’m somewhat opposed to this but say nothing…we all pick out cheesecake and tell him to pack it to go! How long does it take to put 3 slices of cheesecake into 3 Styrofoam containers? I’ll tell you – TOO LONG! By the time he returns, I announce that there is no way we are going to make the train because we still have to go home and pick up our stuff!!! In that moment of clarity, we know we cannot make the 8:45 so we will take the 9:45 even though it means arriving in NYC just before midnight – good thing there are two of us traveling together. We tell the waiter we are staying and will eat our cheesecake out the container and by the way, I’ll have some decaf coffee! I swear I saw an ever so slight eye-rolling going on, and he never brought us forks!

 Peter drove us to the train station in Asbury Park in plenty of time and as his custom, he waited in the car while we went up on the platform because we thought the light signaled the arrival of the train. Actually it was the train heading to Bay Head, not NYC.

Asbury Park Train Station

Asbury Park Train Station

 As we walked onto the platform, Wendy remarked, “Wow what a motley crew” and she wasn’t referring to the rock group! We stopped beside a bench and put some stuff down where there was a man sitting on the end. He looked weird and was sort of moving from one side to the other, swaying I guess. So we moved farther down the platform. Meantime I’m looking at my watch and wondering where the train is. Then we hear the announcement, which is only slightly clearer than a MTA subway announcement and what we gather is that the train will be 28 minutes late. What we don’t know is whether that means 28 minutes from now or from the scheduled 9:45 time. I see that our car is still parked because Peter wants to make sure we get on the train safely, so I call him and tell him the train is delayed AND that there are 2 guys fighting each other behind the platform! Oh yeah, this IS the Asbury Park station.

 In the meantime, some woman who is sitting with a six-year old girl strikes up a conversation with Wendy, explaining in vivid detail how she arrived on the 9:04 to pick up her little girl and they are headed back to Newark. The little girl has announced a few times that she had to go to the bathroom (good luck there since the station is closed). The mother says, “I wish you were a boy”. The guys stopped fighting and cursing for a few minutes and then started up again. Peter shows up on the platform – a welcome sight!

 The man on the bench is still lolling around and a young woman who has a cell phone attached to her ear is next to him and asks me if this train goes to Trenton and where can she buy a ticket? Trenton? I inform her that Trenton is south of here and we are headed north! She doesn’t seem to want to go to the kiosk to buy a ticket and I’ve already told her that if she buys it on the train it costs $5 more. At this point, the woman with the kid tells me that the woman with the phone can get off at Rahway and take a train to Trenton from there. Well it’s after 10;00 and the little girl who has to pee, is cold because she’s wearing a sundress and the temperature has dropped considerably. Wendy offers her a sweatshirt (which I had been hoping to wear); the man on the bench has decided to lay down on the bench with his head hanging off the edge. The woman who needs to go to Trenton is standing near him screaming to someone on the phone that she doesn’t know what to do, how to get to Trenton and this is clearly the fault of the person on the other end. Another loudspeaker announcement: The 9:45 train is delayed 28 minutes because there is a car on the track in Long Branch. Since Long Branch is north of us, we wonder why the train can’t get through. Another southbound Bay Head train arrives and now we’re thinking it has to go to Bay Head and turn around and come back but what do we know anyway? And 28 minutes has come and gone

 Thankfully (for me) the little girl decides she’s not so cold anymore so she returns the jacket and I put it on immediately and Wendy (good-hearted soul) gives the girl a shirt to keep in case she gets cold later. At this point the man on the bench rolls right off!!! Dear God, he could have rolled onto the track! The girl ignores him and we all look on with amazement as he goes through some contortions to sit up. Peter decides to go to the Police station, which is adjacent to the train platform, to report this man’s condition, and for God’s sake I hoped he wasn’t planning on traveling with us. As I see Peter and the cop returning, the man attempts to sit up again but can’t and just collapses back on the platform. The song, “Oh What A Night” is playing out in my head. Another loudspeaker announcement: The northbound train is due to arrive in 3 minutes.

 Peter leads the cop to the man, the woman is still on the phone, the woman with the child is still trying to converse with Wendy and I’m whispering in her ear to make sure we don’t get in the same car with her! I quickly give Peter a kiss goodbye as the blessed train pulls into the station. It is now 10:30pm. We are so happy to finally be on our way. The only reason we are heading back to the City even at this late hour, is because Wendy has an early morning dental appointment and I have a 10:00am meeting! The conductor tells us that there was no car on track in Long Branch but rather an automobile on the tracks in Point Pleasant (which is south of us and explains why no northbound trains came through).

 The Bay Head/Long Branch local train only goes as far north as Long Branch and that’s about 10 minutes from Asbury Park. We settle into our seats and duck down as the chatty woman with the child comes into our car and thankfully passes us by. First stop is Allenhurst and at that point the conductor makes a loudspeaker announcement: Due to the extended delay of this train arriving in Asbury Park, the connecting train to New York left! The next train to New York City is at 11:30!!! OMG! I turn to Wendy and say, “Do you realize that from Long Branch to NYC is about an hour and half? We won’t get home till 1am!!!”

 There is no station at Long Branch, just a platform with two small rooms with benches. When we arrived the doors to the rooms were locked and why am I not surprised? My final word on this long day’s journey into night is that sitting there for an hour outside till 12:30 only confirmed that I was right; This all happened when Wendy bought the elephant.

Wendy's Elephant

Wendy’s Elephant

 I think I walked through the door to my apartment around 1:30am!

 

 

 

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No, no it has nothing to do with Snookie and the rest of the Guido Gang….I’m talking about…………

First of all it was a glorious day and I was still alone at the cottage with the cats (my choice) and so I did some running around.  I even drove to Shrewsbury because I was sucked in by a persistent ad that has been running on the radio on The Breeze from Shrewsbury Bicycles.  I want a pink beach cruiser or mint green or yellow or well, you get the picture.  Too far to go to find out all of their bikes started around $325.00!! Oh well….

I picked Peter up at the train station around 4pm and he was glad to be back; see his wife and his cats (hopefully in that order) and finally be able to sit on his porch and enjoy a martini, something he has been unable to do because of the dreadful heat wave which made going outside a chore and not a pleasure.

That’s how the evening started and around 6:30pm we took the Metro (so cute and so much fun) and drove to Bradley Beach to Vic’s – NOW that’s a Jersey Shore kind of place and we love it.  Pasta the old-fashioned way with gravy you know.  A bowl of shells and meatballs and a Perroni, sitting on the restaurant’s patio and I was in heaven.  The breeze was delightful, the food was exceptionally good that night-we even shared an antipasta salad.

My plan was to come home and leave the car and talk Peter into walking over to Day’s because I had been abstaining from ice cream all week and wanted a treat tonight.  Here’s what I forgot; It was Founder’s Day in the Grove and hundreds of people went to the Great Auditorium at 7:30pm to hear a concert and they got out somewhere around 9:00pm and MOST of them headed directly to Day’s for ice cream- this is how we live it up here in Ocean Grove.  In all the years I have been coming to Ocean Grove this was one of the longest if not the longest line I have ever seen.  It literally was back to the corner of Pilgrim Pathway and Pitman Avenue.  Even a junkie like me was deterred.  Plan B: I suggest we go over to Nagles where hopefully the line won’t be so long.  So much for Plan B.  Trying to keep up good spirits and chatter so my companion who never wanted to walk anywhere at this hour, would not say “Enough is enough”.  So I suggest we walk to the boardwalk and wait for the moon to rise – an experience my Brooklyn-born, City bred husband has not yet seen in his life.  The breeze was delightful, so soft and cool but not cold and this is the kind of summer day and night we have been hoping for all through July.  Hot day, not humid, cool evening-God is good (after all we ARE in Ocean Grove)!

We sat down on a bench facing the ocean and watched the waves gently lap at the shore-no crashing waves tonight.  You could smell the ocean which by the way does NOT smell like any candle claiming it’s name and scent as Ocean. The stars were out, however we couldn’t really see the hundreds that were dim spots overhead because of the lights on the boardwalk.   Still, seeing as many as we did is a treat for us city folk who have to view the night sky through thousands of ground lights.  We thought we saw Mars, that is until Mars started to move North.  Oh well, astronomers we’re not.  I knew the moon was supposed to rise at about 10:07pm and like a child wanting to know “Are we there yet?” I kept asking Peter the time.  Finally the clock moves to 10:05. 10:06, 10:07-nothing.  10:08, 10:09, 10:10 and “Look, there it is”! The slightly larger than half moon popped up above the horizon as big orange beach ball, albeit a misshapen one.  Beautiful bright orange, a fiery imitation of sister sun.  And it kept rising, faster than I thought it would.  Lucky for us we happened to be near one of those put the quarter in telescopes on the boardwalk.  In went the quarter and I got to see the bumpy topography of Mr. Moon.   Lots of people were walking along the boardwalk this spectacular evening and many remarked on the orange orb floating in the night sky.

Time check – we still have time to get ice cream and surely the line can’t be as long as it was at Nagles, which was the closest ice cream venue.  I would have preferred Day’s BUT I didn’t want to push my luck.  The line wasn’t too bad and it was almost 10:30 – I can’t imagine how many scoops of ice cream were sold in Ocean Grove last night!!!  By the time I got my cone (coffee mud pie) and we were walking home, our moon had risen high enough through the atmosphere to become a creamy white.  It followed us home, the end of a perfect evening.  The photo below is not what we saw last night since the moon is waning and is at about 68%, but isn’t this a better photo anyway?

full moon, orange moon

Full Moon Rising

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It’s a weekend house (read relax on weekend), it’s in a vacation area. BUT it is a house, not an apartment with a Super, Handymen, an elevator and a laundry room.  In Manhattan, that means someone else shovels the sidewalk, you don’t have to make 8 trips from the car to the house carrying bags of groceries and I don’t have to transport the dirty linens and clothes from NJ to NY and then back again.

Friday: Breakfast at Nagle’s because there is no milk or orange juice in the house (we arrived last night). Go to hardware store to buy more salt -they are ALL OUT.  Bought a shovel to chip the ice away and a shovel for the car because next time if we arrive after a snow storm, we might even be able to dig our way out of the car and onto the sidewalk and up the stairs and to the backyard where the snow shovel is stored! There was also this handy little gadget up at the counter that I thought was ingenious – an extension magnet. It looks like a pen and instead of a point has a small round magnet on the end and you can telescope the pen-like case out.  So next time I drop and earring back or hair clip down between my dressing table and the bookcase,  I won’t have to ask Peter to move the heavy furniture so I can retrieve it.  There is another upside to this – I don’t have to acknowledge all the dust bunnies underneath the dressing table!!

Next we need to go to the storage area so we can put away the Mardi Gras beads, bring back a bin of stuff from our now defunct antique booth so I can photograph it all and put it up on eBay.  Also we need to check the oil in the Metro because it does leak a bit.

A quick stop at Habitats for Humanity to see if we need or must have some treasure we find there and we always do.  Down the road apiece and the next stop is the liquor store to buy wine as there is a dire need of red wine in Manhattan as well as gin for the shore house.

Next two stops: buy my Grande Americano at Starbucks today so I can have it tomorrow morning and not have to go out – again, this just isn’t New York City where I need only to walk a block to get to a Starbucks.  And while we are in that plaza,  might as well stop at Harmon Discount Beauty Supplies and get Peter the gooey stuff he puts in his hair and some hair clips for me.

Costco is next, gas is $2.45 per gallon – should we fill up here and now or wait till tomorrow or Sunday and hope that Citgo is the same price? We opt to wait, because unfortunately this is not the last stop.  Costco is a trip in itself.  You can never just go in and say you are only going to buy one thing. It doesn’t happen that way.   I went to pick up a prescription and if you don’t know, you should – Costco has the best prices ever on drugs.  And while we are here, we need to buy seltzer, blueberries and bananas.  We’re not done yet, the Costco ladies are hawking their food wares and who can resist having a nibble here and a bite there.  There was pizza, yogurt, dried blueberries, your choice of shrimp, salmon or crab salad, veggie chips, protein drink and salmon and cream cheese on cracker.  Sampling works on us – we left with some canned salmon and the yogurt as well as sardines and cranberry-grape juice.

I am already tired and can’t believe I still have to do grocery shopping at Wegman’s.  Both households need the essentials which are so much more reasonably priced in New Jersey so shopping is a weekly errand.  I LOVE Wegman’s and even if I didn’t LOVE it, I would still shop here in NJ because I totally detest and freak out in Gristede’s at home in NY.  Having lived most of my life in Connecticut where the grocery stores are CLEAN, bright and the shelves filled with multiple choices, I find grocery shopping in Manhattan almost impossible unless of course you to Agata and Valentina or Eli’s and there you will definitely pay for the quality.

Back in the car and on our way home, I remember that we need to go to Michael’s so I can buy some yarn.  Susan has promise to design a pattern for me so I can make something for Miss Finny, hopefully a sweater.  Susan has been very encouraging and helpful in getting me back to knitting, something I haven’t done in years!  Peter offered a comment about the knitting idea and said between the blog, Mah Jongg and now knitting, there would be no time left for him, lol lol – although I don’t think he was kidding.  Anyway, he has told me he does NOT want to be in the blog – that’s pretty difficult to do since so much of what we do is done together and I can’t always write in the first person singular when clearly there is another person involved.

Home Depot was on the errand list for today and we forgot to stop at the tile store also to check on finding tiles that match some we bought in South Africa two years ago.  As you can see, most projects take a very long time in our house.  He who shall not be named ( I love Harry Potter) and who does not want his name in this blog has to get some half inch round molding for yet another little project I have planned for our apartment in Manhattan.  I strongly suggest Home Depot and the tile store be put off till tomorrow.  Believe it or not, it is already past 5pm and I still have tons of stuff to put away when we get home.

Finally home, 6 trips from the car to the house, 45 minutes to put away the groceries, trying to sort what stays and what goes to New York and repacking the freezer so I can fit some frozen food I want to take back to Manhattan.   My freezer is something like Fibber McGee’s closet so anytime you want to put something in you literally have to take many somethings out.  I found a way – I took out a at least packages of left-over hamburger buns,  hot dog rolls (yes from last summer) and a few dinner rolls hanging around since Thanksgiving!! I tore them all up and threw the bread out for the birds and squirrels and now the snow in the backyard looks like it has freckles!  Seriously, I had a little talk with myself and likened my keeping fifty cents worth of rolls in precious freezer space to the argument I often pose to you know who about how much expensive New York City real estate certain videos, old magazines and lots of record albums occupy in our den.

I LOVE Wegman’s and even if I didn’t love it, I will still shop here at the Super Shop-Rite or Foodtown because I absolutely hate going into Gristede’s at home.  Having lived most of my life in Connecticut, I am used to large CLEAN, bright stores with shelves stocked with multiple choices.  Actually I won’t buy anything at Gristede’s unless it is prepackaged or non edible.  I know that sounds terrible and snobbish but I think the store smells bad.  I would rather go to Agata and Valentina or Eli’s and pay more but know I am getting great quality.

So, do you think I’m having fun?

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